It’s again that time of the year when I have to make a list of top 10 films of the year. It must be noted that this was a great year for smaller films and apart from earning good word of mouth these films earned a truckload of money. Hence they will also be dominating this list. Just to reiterate, this is my top-10 films list and you may agree or disagree with it and that would be perfectly ok. Watching a film and the opinion that one has about it is very subjective and hence a comparison or cross-questioning is unnecessary and uncalled for. Also, I have missed a few films here and there and hence this list is in no way demeaning to them or their craft.
With no further delay, let’s start with the list.
This John Abraham starter had its share of flaws but one cannot deny that it was as entertaining as it was gripping. John played a character that suits him to the ‘T’. The film was also laced with a heightened sense of patriotism and provided some interesting information about a subject that we knew very little about. Add to that the sheer pleasure of seeing our country triumph against all odds and becoming a Nuclear power with Gusto and Parmanu becomes a film that shouldn’t be missed.
I loved Soorma’s simplicity. The untold story of India’s finest drag-flicker who rose from the ashes to rediscover his success was as entertaining as it was inspiring. Diljit Dosanjh is immensely likable as Sandeep Singh. It is a clean, innocent and heartwarming film with standout performances from the ensemble cast. Sandeep Singh is the role model that this generation deserves and Soorma is the biopic that deserves to be made.
Mulk is an important film that is as entertaining as it is eye-opening. The tale of a true Indian who is wronged when a family member of his is implicated in a case of terrorism and all the pain and insult that follows was riveting. It is a good courtroom drama sans the usual Bollywood theatrics. It raises the right questions and answers them with power and conviction. It has great performances from Rishi Kapoor and Taapsee Pannu.
- Bhavesh Joshi Superhero:
Everyone hated this film. But I loved it. I strongly feel that it is the kind of superhero film that would work in Bollywood. Everything about the film was spot on. It dealt with a genuine issue. It showed the metamorphosis of its protagonist from a nobody to being a superhero. The film remained believable all the way through and above all that, it was endlessly inspiring. I couldn’t have asked for more. Harshvardhan Kapoor does a good job and Vikramaditya Motwane efficiently helms the proceedings. It’s only a matter of time before this film becomes a cult classic.
Stree was an interesting mishmash of horror and comedy. Based on an unbelievable true story, Stree stars Rajkumar Rao as a tailor who becomes an unlikely hero to save his town from the menace of a spirit that kidnaps the men of the town leaving behind only their clothes. Apart from Rajkumar Rao who is in terrific form, the film has a great supporting cast including the ever loveable Pankaj Tripathi and Shraddha Kapoor. The quirky dialogues and some genuine scares keep the film fresh and entertaining.
Irrfan acts his heart out in this quirky dark comedy where a husband decides to blackmail his own wife after he finds her in bed with another man. The tale that follows is one of the most bizarre and oddly funny renditions of how a blackmailing plot can go wrong and backfire. Apart from Irrfan, Kriti Kulhari and Arunoday Singh bring adequate spice to their characters as this film with its nonstop entertainment takes you on a whirlwind journey into the psyche of its characters and how they react when pushed to the limits.
- Sui Dhaaga:
Sui Dhaaga is a film that we have seen a 100 times but the execution and the performances by Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma take this film to a whole new level. As we see Mauji and Mamta struggle through oppression, poverty, disbelief, and treachery we can’t help but fall in love with them. The manner in which their romance is rekindled as they embark on a journey that will define their lives is heartening to watch. A simple underdog story that is sure to win your hearts and minds.
Based on a true story and sans any jingoism, Raazi relates the story of a daughter who travels to Pakistan on her father’s bidding to spy on the family of a Pakistani General to whose son she is married. The film is as much about the espionage as it is about the decisions that Alia Bhatt’s character has to take and the emotional baggage and guilt that comes with it. Alia Bhatt turns in another superlative performance with able support from Jaideep Ahlawat and Vicky Kaushal.
A film of immense beauty and depth, October stars Varun Dhawan in a career-best performance. It is easily one of the most innovative and unlikely love stories where love blossoms after one of the couple end up in a coma. Soojit Sarkar once again scores heavily on subtlety and invoking emotions as October makes its way straight to your hearts. A tale that will appeal to all those who are willing to surrender.
- Badhaai Ho:
Badhaai Ho made us roll with laughter. At the same time, it also raised some important questions about what we think is apt for a particular age group to do and not do and what should decide their lives. Should it be our own life force or that of the inquisitive questions of the society that we live in and the answers that we have to give to them? Ayushmann Khurana turns in another terrific performance but the true heroes of this story were the senior actors namely Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta, Surekha Sikri.
A revolutionary film that challenges you to predict which way the story would go and then turns everything that you know or thought you knew on its head. Sriram Raghavan brings another delicious thriller that is bound to make you scratch your head. Ayushmann Khurana, Tabu and Radhika Apte turn in scintillating performances in a film that ends in a manner that is bound to raise a lot of eyebrows.
Pari is the first genuine Hindi horror film in a long time. It is a film that not only has a novel story to tell but set up its premise with such eeriness and temperamental film-making that it crawled under my skin. The scares were genuine. The performances, led by Anushka Sharma were superlative and it culminated in the right fashion leaving you with a haunting memory of a genuinely sad and doomed love story.
Tumbbad is my top pick for the year. It is a gruesome fairytale that our grandmothers would tell us to put us to sleep if we didn’t sleep with clean and regular fares. The manner in which this film unfolds sent shivers down my spine. Soham Shah holds your attention as the protagonist of the film as make our way through the twists and turns of the narrative immersed in the sensational visuals and innovative approach to storytelling. Tumbbad is the kind of film that points Hindi films in the right direction.