Ten Bollywood films with no songs

Bollywood has become so synonymous with song-and-dance that it’s difficult to imagine a film without them. Here are 10 movies that took the plunge


Actor Shah Rukh Khan (left) posed for photographers with his Madame Tussauds wax figure in central London on 13 April. Photo: AFP
Actor Shah Rukh Khan (left) posed for photographers with his Madame Tussauds wax figure in central London on 13 April. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan collected Rs.52 crore over the opening weekend, but despite its disappointing numbers, the film has been noted for taking the superstar out of his comfort zone—of exotic locations, glamorous leading ladies and, most importantly, a bunch of catchy songs (the promotional Jabra fan anthem is not part of the film). Bollywood has become so synonymous with song-and-dance that it’s difficult to imagine a film without them. Here are 10 movies that took the plunge.

Ittefaq (1969): Known for elaborate picturization of his songs, Yash Chopra broke the mould with this songless thriller, starring Rajesh Khanna and Nanda. Only the fourth Hindi film ever to not have any songs, it made close to Rs.2 crore at the box office.

Kalyug (1981): Shyam Benegal’s modern-day Mahabharat starred Shashi Kapoor, Rekha and Raj Babbar in pivotal roles. Revolving around the rivalry between two business families, it won several popular awards that season.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983): Kundan Shah’s black comedy, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah and Satish Kaushik, was a satire on corruption in Indian politics, bureaucracy, business and media. Considered a cult classic today, it made Rs.2 crore at the time of release.

Kaun (1999): The psychological thriller written by Anurag Kashyap and directed by Ram Gopal Varma featured Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpayee in lead roles. It notched up box office collections of Rs.4.50 crore.

Bhoot (2003): Ram Gopal Varma’s supernatural horror film had a promotional song but no music as part of the narrative. It won lead actor Urmila Matondkar several awards that season and earned more than Rs.7 crore in box office collections.

Darna Mana Hai (2003): The anthology horror thriller directed by Prawaal Raman featured an ensemble cast, including Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani, Shilpa Shetty, Sameera Reddy and Nana Patekar. It made slightly over Rs.2 crore at the box office.

Black (2005): Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s drama on a blind and deaf girl and her relationship with her teacher was inspired by the life of American author Hellen Keller. A song composed for the film was not part of the narrative. It earned rave reviews and more than Rs.8 crore at the box office.

A Wednesday! (2008): Neeraj Pandey’s directorial debut was a drama thriller starring Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah. The sleeper hit made over Rs.9 crore at the box office and was even remade in English as A Common Man, featuring Ben Kingsley.

Bheja Fry (2007): Sagar Ballary’s directorial debut was a sleeper hit, starring Vinay Pathak and Rajat Kapoor. Made on a moderate budget, it ended up collecting more than Rs.8 crore.

The Lunchbox (2013): The internationally acclaimed romantic drama was written and directed by Ritesh Batra and featured Irrfan and Nimrat Kaur as the odd couple in love over letters and lunchboxes. Feted at several international festivals, it made around Rs.20 crore in India.

All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and IBOS Network.