Before I unveil my favorite Indian films of the year, here is a quick look at 5 other films that were just as good but couldn’t make the cut. It is needless to mention that the film in this list and the one that will follow are picked from all the Indian films that I have watched over the year and quantify my “personal choices”. This is not a top-ten list. The films mentioned here are not in any order but only signify an assemblage of films that I appreciated. These films are here because there were 10 more films that I liked more.
The only purpose of this list and the one that will follow is to bring to the notice of my readers some films that might have slipped under their radars because of the torrential downpour of content on OTT and now cinemas. This is my humble effort, to sum up, my year in cinema with my readers who have cared to read my reviews throughout the year.
I watched 420 IPC in a hurry just before I was going for Spiderman: No way Home. The film made such an impression on me that all I could think of while watching Spider-Man was could Bansi Keswani be innocent? I just loved how the makers kept the film simple, low-key, and yet raised and changed the stakes every 10-minutes in the narrative. You will be amazed at where the film starts from and where it culminates. The story is the biggest hero here and so is the execution. The performances from veterans Vinay Pathak, Gul Panag, and Ranvir Shorey are terrific. Vinod Mehra’s son, Rohan doesn’t disappoint either in a role that wasn’t easy to essay.
Silence… Can You Hear It?
Silence proved to be an intriguing thriller with solid performances and investing screenplay. I hadn’t expected much from this film and that was one of the reasons why I liked it so much as it surpassed my expectations many folds. Even though it has its share of cliches and favorable coincidences to progress and culminate the narrative, these drawbacks never prove to be too jarring or take you out of the experience. Manoj Bajpayee is in his elements and is the biggest strength of the film.
State of Siege: Temple Attack
Powered by a swashbuckling Akshaye Khanna performance, Temple Attack proved to be a wish-fulfillment of the highest order. It is a film, unlike its predecessor that was a full-fledged series. The short runtime and engrossing screenplay don’t let the viewers drift away even for a second. The action is solid. The suspense and thrills are well realized. The villains are investing enough and the story, as we all know, is heart-wrenching. What more could we ask for in a film like this?
Haseen Dillruba proved to be spicy, raunchy, and rambunctious. Just like the Hindi paperbacks that it draws its inspirations from. Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey not only added credibility to the plot and the screenplay with their investing performances but also cooked up a storm between them that generated whirlwinds powerful enough to envelop the audiences. It proved to be a racy and engrossing whodunit thriller that drew in the audiences and made them stay.
Contrary to expectations, Sherni was not a gun-toting adventure about the annihilation of a tiger but a dramatic satire about ethnic life and its challenges in rural India. Led from the front by the ever-dependable Vidya Balan, the film also boasted of a stellar supporting cast that included Vijay Raaz. Amit Masurkar is a director who is beginning to make a good habit of subverting expectations and excelling at them.