Time and again, filmmakers have drifted from the usual boy-meets-girl-they-fall-in-love stereotype to create films that are more rooted to reality. And if you think this is only the current trend, then you’re highly mistaken.

Bollywood has churned out a number of films in the past which weren’t the usual fairytale romances that we’re all accustomed to watching; instead, we’ve had a number of gripping tales that took on a more realistic approach with refreshing storylines and some beautifully etched and unforgettable characters. So, here’s a list of films that were way ahead of their times and which managed to gain cult status in the years that followed.

Amar Prem

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Directed by Shakti Samanta, Amar Prem was based on a Bengali short story that depicts the story of a young boy who is ill-treated by his step mother, and who eventually befriends a neighbourhood sex worker. Sharmila Tagore played the role of the sex worker while Rajesh Khanna played a lonely businessman who visits her, time and again. Vinod Mehra played the adult version of the child who moves to another town as a child, and returns to find the protagonist.


Abhimaan



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Starring Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, this film depicted the marital life of two popular singers. In the film, Amitabh Bachchan encourages his wife to sing, but later on, marital discord sets in when her popularity surpasses his own and he starts suffering from bouts of jealousy.


Aandhi



The filmmakers deny any co-incidence, but many believe that this film was based on Indira Gandhi’s relationship with her husband. Starring Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen, the story depicts the relationship between a hotel manager and a politician’s daughter who fall in love and eventually get married. But with differences creeping up in their relationship, they separate only to meet years later, when they decide to give it another shot.


Masoom

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Starring Shabana Azmi and Naseeruddin Shah, this terrific drama is about a family man whose domestic life turned upside down when he discovered he has an illegitimate child from his past. The film also features Urmila Matondkar and Jugal Hansraj as child artists.


 Arth

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Directed by Mahesh Bhatt, Arth’s story revolved around a film director who has an extra-marital affair with a woman, for whom he leaves behind his family in search of her real identity. This film had a fantastic ensemble of veteran actors such as Shabana Azmi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Smita Patil, Raj Kiran and Rohini Hataangadi.