It is that time of the year again when I have to compress all the content that I have consumed in terms of Bollywood films and have to come up with the list of my Top-10 favorite Bollywood films of the year. I have to admit that I haven’t seen each and every film this year. Some I don’t regret not watching (Housefull 4) while some I truly regret watching (Dabangg3). But as I mention every year, this is just my top-10 favorite list of films and you may agree or disagree with this list. There might be films here that you might have hated. There might also be films here that you adored. The pedestals that they are on the list may not be as per your wish or liking and that’s because this is a list that in keeping with my choices. If you agree with it, I am elated. If you don’t then I thank you for taking the time of going through this list. You can also click on the titles of the films for a more detailed review of the films. With that out of the way let’s begin.

  1. Uri: The Surgical Strike 

Uri: The Surgical Strike was probably the most profitable film of 2019 and for good reasons. It was made at a budget of 25 crores and made a whooping business of 342 crores. The film had terrific performances from Vicky Kaushal, Mohit Raina, and Paresh Rawal. Add to that a goosebumps-inducing feel at every twist and turn, an edge of the seat story and some pulsating action sequences and you have a film that is destined to be a smasher. The fact that it had a lot of Pakistan bashing and at the right time also contributed to making it a sure shot winner.

  1. Thackeray

Love it, hate it or ridicule it. One cannot deny the fact that Thackeray is a well made and mighty entertaining film. Bolstered by a scintillating Nawazuddin Siddiqui performance and a stellar supporting cast, Thackeray made quite an impact. What I loved more about it was its tight screenplay that was as relentless as Nawazuddin’s fire-spitting dialogue delivery. The film also wonderfully recreates the period where the story unfolds. Whether you believe it or not, the story was always engaging and entertaining.

  1. Section 375

Bollywood isn’t very good at making courtroom dramas primarily because of the fact that our cinema is somewhat over the top in its treatment of materials and courtroom dramas need subtlety. Section 375 is an exception. This is a film that is very close to being a realistic courtroom drama. The story is relevant to the current times and begs the question of whether Section 375 should be used as a weapon or not? I was also pleasantly surprised by the ending. To add to that the ever likable Akshay Khanna is in his elements and is ably supported by Richa Chadha in another good performance.

  1. Chhichhore

Chhichhore is Student of the Year in a different and better realm. Every cast member brings out something likable about the various characters and the energy is infectious. Again, this is one film that is perfectly timed. It just goes on to show what stress and peer pressure is doing to the kids of this generation and what we should do about it. Add to that some uproariously funny set pieces and a lot of heart-warming drama and you have a film that was one of the best of the year.

  1. Lukka Chuppi

The funniest film of the year for me. Yes, I liked it more than Bala and Dream Girl. There was a sense of realism to it that made the comedy that much more enjoyable. Pankaj Tripathi has a smallish role but he shines brighter than anyone else in this film. The scene where he brings the protagonist’s family to his hidden love nest is alone worth the price of admission. Aparshakti Khurana is brilliant and so is Vinay Pathak. If you really want to watch a film that is believable, tickles your funny bones, and gives you a relevant message without being preachy then Lukka Chuppi should be your first pick.

  1. Laal Kaptaan

One of the year’s most intense and cerebral dramas and boasting of one of Saif Ali Khan’s best performances in years. This is a period film that gets its feel right and it is shot with such panache that you would love to watch this film again and again just to immerse your senses in its breathtaking visuals. The action is top-notch too. The film will also entice you with its thrills as it doesn’t reveal its cards till the very end. I really hope Navdeep Singh makes more films like this one.

  1. Gully Boy

India’s official entry to the Oscars is an underdog story and as is the case with well-made underdog stories, it effortlessly resonates with you. Ranveer Singh delivers one of his most subdued and yet relentless performances that brings the protagonist Murad and all his insecurities to life. I am not much of a Rap fan but even I got the core of the film and it was mighty enjoyable. There are very few people who speak about the chemistry between Ranveer Singh and Vijay Raz who plays his father in the film but to me, it was one of the best things about the film especially because of how it culminated. The music was an added goodie for those who are into Rap.

  1. Sonchiriya

Sonchiriya takes us through the journey of Lakhna who just wants to be on the side of what is right for once. The setting is the ravines of Chambal. The film gives us an ensemble cast of characters whose allegiance shifts depending on the situation and call of the ravine. Ranveer Shorey is brilliant as one of the dacoits and Sushant Singh Rajput’s primary adversary. After a very long time, Ashutosh Rana is given a character that lets him spread his wings as an actor and he totally nails it. Sushant Singh Rajput as Lakhna is brilliant. Like Laal KaptaanSonchiriya is wonderfully shot and edited and has great re-see value.

  1. Article 15

I loved Article 15 from start to finish. Be it the story, the performances, the thrills, the whodunit aspect of it or the social commentary that is at its core. Everything about this film worked for me. It is also one of the best shot films of the year with a haunting background score. The scene where our protagonist discovers the dead bodies of the two girls and the bit leading up to it, which would set into motion the whole story, was one of the most goosebumps-inducing moments that I had at the cinemas this year. Ayushmann Khurrana is terrific as a disillusioned police officer coming to terms with the harsh realities of rural India. It may be a thriller but it is that rare kind of thriller that can be watched and re-watched.

  1. Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota

Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is the kind of film that is a rarity in Bollywood. Everything about it is unique and odd. Be it its protagonists, the insane story or the over-the-top antagonist. Nothing in this film is in keeping with the conventions and that is what makes it so very exciting. The film has some of the best martial arts action that I have seen in a Bollywood film in years. Abhimanyu Dasani and Radhika Madan are the perfect foils for each other. But the screen-stealer in this film is Gulshan Devaiah in the double role of Karate Mani and Jimmy. This will also rank as the smartest and quirkiest film of 2019.



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