As we welcome a brand new year and bask in the glory of the films that we are highly excited about, Let us take a moment and look back at the ten best Bollywood films of 2016. Please note that this is my list. You may or may not find a film that you believe deserves to be on this list and I request you not to be displeased or for that matter offended by it. Please remember that if you have enjoyed a film, it has served its purpose and hence there should be no bad blood about it.
The fact remains that you can make a top ten list of your own choice too and uploads it just as freely as I do.
So let’s start with my picks of the year.
- Kahaani 2 : Durga Rani Singh
Kahaani 2 was not perfect but it was still extremely well acted and had a lot going for it in the first half. The second half may have pattered out but it still kept up some momentum and once again the performances came to its rescue. Vidya Balan was brilliant as ever and her energy catapulted the film to being one of the best films of the year.
Another film that was rescued by some terrific acting. It had an intriguing story to tell and it did tell it well upto an extent but a lethargic second half and some let off in terms of grip in the later half pulled the film down a tad bit. But still it was one of the best films of the year owing to a flamboyant Irrfan Khan show and the noble plot that it set out to put forth.
Phobia was a terrifying thriller that was nearly flawlessly executed. It had a short runtime which helped matters even more. Radhika Apte was brilliant and the narrative was gripping to say the least. The film had very little hiccups and scored brownie points for venturing into an area that is far from being tried and tested.
I never expected this film to be so great. A brilliant Sonam Kapoor led from the front as the dramatization of Neerja Bhanot’s life leapt out the screen and made its way into our hearts. A heroic tale told with panache and respect, Neerja became a critical and commercial success of gargantuan proportions and for all the right reasons.
Airlift had an exciting story to tell and with Akshay Kumar helming a pivotal role, it was a winner all the way. Patriotism, drama, thrills and heartwarming emotions. You name it, the film had it. It was no surprise that this film made it to this list.
- Raman Raghav 2.0
Directed by Anurag Kashyap and starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the Masaan fame Vicky Kaushal was a terrific film. It was near perfect in its treatment of a subject matter that was not only difficult to fathom but also equally difficult to film. But Anurag Kashyap did it once again and I was blown away by it. The film was dark, gritty and sometimes haunting. Brilliant performance from Nawaz whose dialogs alone merits the price of admission.
- Udta Punjab
A film that was marred by controversy, censor and finally piracy but came out trumps thanks to its material, execution and performances. Shahid Kapoor and Alia stood out while the films music was also a revelation. It features higher on the list than Raman Raghav 2.0 because of the amount of entertainment that it has to offer.
Another film on social issue and primarily based on abuse of women, found a voice in the masses like very few films did. Its protagonists gave air to a dormant fire that not only blazed through the box office but also was heard on discussions and coffee tables. Amitabh was brilliant and so were the three protagonists Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari, & Andrea Tariang. It was a crowd pleaser and a thoughtful one at that.
The last release of the year is also proving to be the biggest film of the year. Based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat and his fight to see his daughters become international wrestlers, Dangal is an extremely loveable film that has equal portions of drama, action, comedy and inspiring moments. Aamir Khan is its USP but he takes a backseat every now and then to let the girls take centre stage. One of the biggest hits of the year and also one of the best films of the year.
Hansal Mehta directs Manoj Bajpayee in this stirring epic where Bajpayee plays the role of a gay professor who is targeted and tormented for his sexual orientation. The film follows Bajpayee’s character as he tries to earn respect and survive in a world that is becoming more and more hostile towards him. Manoj Bajpayee gives probably the best performance of his career. Rajkumar Rao is brilliant too as a reporter who not only voices Bajpayee’s words but also understands his pain.
I am really looking forward to some exciting films releasing this year. I believe 2017 will be better than 2016 and with that hope lets usher in a new year of films, its aesthetic beauty and power.