29/04/2016 7:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

5 Films Kalki Koechlin Says Everybody Should Watch

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
MUMBAI, INDIA - MARCH 20: (EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an exclusive shoot of Hindustan Times) Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin during Hindustan Times Most Stylish Awards 2016 at Taj Lands End, Bandra on March 20, 2016 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Kalki Koechlin enjoys the unique distinction of being an actress coveted by mainstream and independent filmmakers alike.

The actress has a disarmingly bohemian, somewhat rebellious vibe about her, and her choice of favourite films are testimony to just that. With the morally complex characters that she portrays, we joke that her list is perhaps full of films that might be considered, um, 'deviant'. "Like Korean slasher-thrillers?" she says, with a laugh, during over a phone conversation with HuffPost India. "After all, there has to be an outlet that justifies my need for murder, right?"

The Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara actress says she isn't exactly good with lists, but went on to share the five films that had a major influence on her, some even shaping to a great extent, the person that she is today.

1. Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise), 1945

"It's a stunning French film, made by Marcel Came during the mid-1940s in Nazi-occupied France. The film is about a bunch of theatre artistes and it encapsulated their struggles and triumphs in equal measure. I watched the film while I was in my teens, and someone who aspired to be a theatre actor, this film had a lasting impact on my consciousness."

2. Bandit Queen, (1994)

"It was one of the first few Hindi films that I saw and just the sheer amount of shock that followed changed me. I must have been around 14 [when I watched it] and this film was a revelation because it exposed me to the ideas of social injustice and what it takes to raise your voice against it. I realised that films could have such complex themes and yet engage the audience, triggering a conversation around the subject.

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, (2004)

"This Charlie Kaufman film deeply moved me, and it still moves me. It's pure romantic indulgence and I can sit with a box of chocolates and just cry watching this beautifully layered film that is so much more than just a classic love story."

4. Pyaasa, (1957)

"This is an all-time favourite — perhaps the greatest Bollywood film ever made. In fact, Naseer and I spent a lot of time deconstructing Guru Dutt's films while we were shooting for Waiting. The sheer visual brilliance was so ahead of its time, the songs were outstanding and its theme is such that it has stood the test of time and still resonates with us deeply."

5. Contact, (1997)

"It's a science-fiction Hollywood film but not a very popular one as I feel not many people remember it. It had Jodie Foster and Mathew McConaughey and didn't really make a big impact, but I still loved it. Though weak in its execution, the film has a deep underlying philosophy which has stayed with me over the years. I'd recommend this film to everyone who hasn't seen it yet."

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