2016 wasn’t the brightest of years for Bollywood. A lot of big budget movies bombed while some of them, though earned well, disappointed the audiences’ taste. On the other hand, a lot of lower-budget films got appreciation both from critics and audience alike some of which became unexpected hits. The box office and critical successes of movies in the second half of the year neutralised the failures in the first half quite effectively, and gave Indian cinema some of the finest pieces of cinema-work. Here I bring to you the best of the best Bollywood gave us this year.
Honourable mentions: –
Sultan, Aligarh, Parched, Nil Batey Sannata, Dhanak, Kapoor And Sons
Director: Ram Madhvani
The most positive thing about Neerja is that it’s an honest film without much of dramatization, especially the scenes in the plane have been executed brilliantly. Anyone who hasn’t seen the Nat-Geo documentary on the Pan Am Flight 73 hijack will easily be engrossed with the film’s premise and even those who have seen that documentary (like me) can still find it likeable. It’s one of the fewest movies in which Sonam Kapoor has done a fine work thanks to director Madhvani who quite effectively merges the story of the present with the past of Neerja and ensures that his actors don’t go overboard and give convincing performances. Jim Sarabh and Abrar Zahoor are two new revelations in the film and have a bright potential future if used effectively. Neerja is a must watch for not just movie buffs but also for every Indian. Watch it and feel proud for having known about one of the bravest persons, India has ever given birth to.
Director: Aniruddha Roy Choudhury
Pink wasn’t an easy film given that it’s prime actors were youngsters who haven’t made big in Bollywood (the only experienced actors were Amitabh Bachchan and Piyush Mishra) and its director too wasn’t a popular one and was breaking into Bollywood for the first time. Inspite of all these, Pink had a riveting story which talks about the harassment a common man can undergo when standing against a politically, economically and socially stronger person. What elevated the movie is undoubtedly the performances of the cast especially by the youngsters namely Kirti Kulhari, Tapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi who were ably supported by a strong story and convincing script. No doubt Pink made it to the UN headquarters in New York City which is a matter of pride for all of us.
Read the review of Pink here: Pink Review
3. Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
There were 2 mammoth reasons why Kahaani 2 was supposed to be a failure: –
- It had the weight of its predecessor ‘Kahaani’ which has been considered as one of the finest Bollywood movies in recent years.
- Indian cinema is not good with sequels and most of them often fail badly both critically or commercially or both (viz. Rock On 2, Great Grand Masti, etc. in 2016 alone).
However, Kahaani 2 (gladly) disappointed most of us by being an excellent movie with an all-round brilliance in terms of technicalities as well as performances. It is much different from its predecessor and that’s its prime beauty. Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal make strong comebacks by delivering extra-ordinary performances and Sujoy Ghosh impresses you with his insightful direction and scripting. Talking about child abuse in a horrifying and rather unconventional manner, Kahaani 2 is undoubtedly one of the best suspense-thriller movies Bollywood has given us since Kahaani which makes it a treat to watch.
Read our review of Kahaani 2 here: Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh Review
2. Udta Punjab
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Udta Punjab was marred with several controversies before its release which actually made it unsure for it to succeed at box-office. Nevertheless, it not only came victorious in its battle against the censor board but also passed with flying colours in the test of box-office. To be honest, I hadn’t expected much from Udta Punjab either and thought that it would be another typical Bollywood crime-drama movie, but I came out of the theatre thinking otherwise. Udta Punjab is one of the bravest attempts of film-making we have seen in Bollywood and one of the finest movies made in recent years, cementing Abhishek Chaubey’s place in Bollywood as a skilfull director. It would be unfair if Chaubey doesn’t receive any awards in the upcoming award season because whatever Udta Punjab is today, it’s greatly because of him. I had a feeling that Udta Punjab was probably a one-time watch and to confirm it I saw it again and guess what! I loved it even more!
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Widely acclaimed and considered as one of the best Bollywood films ever made, Dangal is an astounding piece of cinema-work and a masterpiece. It has everything you need to see in a good movie and witnesses one of the greatest performances in Bollywood by ‘Mr. Perfectionist’. Dangal is finely crafted with smart direction, stellar performances, powerful writing and enthralling music. It’s impossible for you not to jive to the title track of Dangal as you see the movie. Like Pink and Neerja, Dangal also witnesses fine performances by youngsters and all of them (Fatima Sana Sheikh, Sanya Malhotra, Aparshakti Khurrana, Zaira Wasim, Suhani Bhatnagar and Ritwik Kishor) win your heart with their honest and natural performances. Nitesh Tiwari is the only director who can challenge Abhishek Chaubey in the imminent award season thanks to his flawless direction. It’s also one of the best movies I have seen on women empowerment given to the fact that it doesn’t demonise men unlike most others do. The best part was its climax which made the whole audience stand on their feet to the national anthem and it is impossible for you not to have goosebumps. Dangal is a movie you should watch at least once and rejoice the presence of cinema in your lives.
Read our review of Dangal here: Dangal Review
What are your views on the list? What are your Top 5 Bollywood movies of 2016? Do let us know by posting your valuable comments.
Follow us on: –