Dev D Cover Picture

7 Brilliant Movies/ Series That Have Imperfect Lead Characters

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Good looking, brave, helpful, honest and oh-so-charming! No, I’m not describing your dream crush (or maybe I am!). That’s a quintessential Hero! And if that’s how a hero looks like, imagine how a heroine would? World’s most beautiful girl with a perfect body & features, gifted with brilliant abilities to sing, dance, play ace basketball and what not! Thanks to the silver-screen since the beginning of cinema, that’s how we’ve learnt to see our leads. Anything less just doesn’t sit right!

However, does a great film always restrict itself to these so-called rules? In fact, aren’t the rule-breaking movies often more interesting? To be honest, every time brave filmmakers had the guts to break such stereotypes, that’s when great cinema was made! A loser hero who gets beat up. A heroine who lies, binge eats and cheats. A little shade of grey ironically adds more colour to the character! So, here are some of my personal favourite movies and series that I love especially because of their flawed characters in the lead roles. Watch them if you haven’t yet, and you’ll know how imperfections make things more exciting!

1. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

When we’re talking about flawed and imperfect characters in cinema and series, the first name that comes to my mind is definitely Walter White! The perfect example of an imperfect character. The story of Breaking Bad is about a chemistry professor who after getting detected with cancer starts making and selling drugs. The brilliance of the entire series lies in the very transition of a simple man into a full-blown criminal engaging in all sorts of messy acts! Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul bring the characters alive on screen and make them everyone’s favourite for all the so-called “wrong” reasons!

Watch it on: Netflix.

2. Fleabag (2016-2019)

“I’m not obsessed with sex. I just can’t stop thinking about it”! When the lead female character of a series is a sex-obsessed, twisted, brutally hilarious and insanely dysfunctional 30 something woman, you know you’re in for some major dark humour stuff! This British comedy series has the most bizarre female lead who does all that she’s “not” supposed to and yet you can’t stop adoring her! There are plot twists, exceptionally witty dialogues, interesting chemistry between the characters (who are all by the way, completely messed up) and remarkable performances. Especially the creator and lead actor Phoebe Waller Bridge makes you totally fall for a broken and massively devastating character! What’s there not to love?

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video.

3. Pushpavalli (2017-)

Here’s one of our own home-brewed comedy-drama series where the female lead is just as twisted and flawed as she could be. Pushpavalli is a girl who meets and falls in love with a man during a conference and then goes to extends beyond imagination just to pursue her love! Her obsession for the guy leads her to become a full-time stalker. This girl is so messed up in so many ways that you definitely wouldn’t want someone like her to fall in love with you! Yet…you root for Pushpavalli. Without even realizing, you want the stalker to win. Great punchlines, smart jokes, unexpected twists and interesting characters make this series a worth watch. One of Prime Video’s best desi original stuffs so far!

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video.

4. A Star is Born (2018)

This 2018 Oscar-winning movie is about an alcoholic singer who helps a young girl to rise as a singing star. However, he can’t take control over his own life and keeps falling into the deep crevice of alcoholism and self-destruction. This Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga romantic musical was a remake of a 1937 and then 1954 movie with the same title. The beauty of this film lies in the flaw in Bradley’s character. Despite of their strong love for each other, his own darkness takes over and gives depth to the character. Watch this “star” for its brilliant blend of darkness and shine! And of course, the magical music!

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video.

5. Dev-D (2009)

Dev D Cover Picture

The story of a loser who doesn’t appreciate the love of his life when she was ready to go to any extent for him but realizes only when it’s too late and drowns himself in alcohol, drugs and self-pity. A contemporary take on the Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s classic novel Devdas makes it a cult film with special Anurag Kashyap effects. The male lead in the story Dev, isn’t just an alcoholic but also rude, snob and arrogant. Everything you don’t look for in a man. Excellent music, fantastic yet unconventional camera treatments and brilliant performances by Abhay Deol, Mahie Gill and Kalki together make it a ground-breaking movie in Indian cinema.

Watch it on: Netflix.

6. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994)

One of Shah Rukh’s finest (and his personal favourite), Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa is about a simple dreamer boy in love with a girl. It’s a story of a “hero” who fails in his exams, forges mark sheets, lies and misguides people, yet is so loveable. This film was way ahead of its time when heroes were always the winners with no flaws. There are moments when you actually get tears in your eyes and pray the world to get nicer and gentler to people like Sunil! You feel like forgiving all his flaws…because maybe you can relate to him. Watch this gem on a Sunday afternoon for some innocent cinema.

Watch it on: Netflix.

7. Parinati (1989)

Based on a Rajasthani folklore, Parinati is a story of a married couple who runs a Sarai or inn in the middle of a desert where travellers visit to rest for the night.  The couple then kills them in their sleep to loot the money & valuable belongings. The stellar performances by Surekha Sikri and Basant Josalkar gives you the chills. The lead characters look so simple and uncomplicated but freak you out of your wits with their actions. If you haven’t watched this epic masterpiece by Prakash Jha yet, do it now because there are some extremely unpredictable moments awaiting you.

Watch it on: YouTube.

If you know more such movies or series with flawed and imperfect lead characters, share them with us! Let’s chat!

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Sud
Sud
2 years ago

Love ” Sunil ” from kabhi haan kabhi naa ” .One of my favorite movies too
Interesting list . Makes me wanna watch Parinati now

Devraj Roy
Editor
2 years ago

Really nice collection. Each one of the characters deserves a special mention. Kudos!

satwat bagchi
satwat bagchi
2 years ago

Very well written. I have watched Parinati just once and that too at least 15 years ago and it still haunts me. As for the other ones on the list, agree with everything except for Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. I like the concept of the movie too and the bold climax in those times. I just think it could have been better acted. But that’s just me!

Snigdha
Snigdha
2 years ago

Such an awesome read

Joyeeta
Joyeeta
2 years ago

A great collection of movies. Haven’t watched all of these but intending to. A gripping write up here. Enjoyed every bit.

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