Movie fan or not, you will agree to the fact that 2017 was one of the most disappointing years for Indian cinema in recent times both in terms of critical and commercial successes. Thus, picking up the best films for the year gone by was much easier than what it was for 2016 and hence this list was rather easy to build. There were a few films which surprised us and a few which let us down and we’ll obviously be discussing or mentioning the former in this listicle. However, there are a few film which I couldn’t watch due to their unavailability or due to my own personal constraints. So these movies will not be graced in my list in spite of them being good (or so I hope).
Films That I Need To Watch: –
Tu Hai Mera Sunday
Honourable Mentions: –
Miscellaneous Mention: –
Sachin: A Billion Dreams
While most good films appeal to a million audience, this documentary sent the entire country and beyond on a nostalgic roller coaster ride. Speaking of me in particular, this movie summed up my entire childhood through the amazing and inspiring journey of the man who is revered by billions as the “God Of Cricket”. There would be no justification of putting this movie in any sort of lists because it stands out of all. Sachin: A Billion Dreams is not a movie, it’s an emotion and there are no ways to measure emotions in this materialistic world.
10. Meri Pyaari Bindu
Even though the trailers of Meri Pyaari Bindu were kind of good, I hadn’t really even wished to give it a watch lest liking or disliking it. Thanks to my internship at Guwahati and my will to explore the city that I ended up watching it and boy I was impressed! The flick in its own isn’t any ground-breaking but it’s simplicity and honesty hits you hard. It really dives deep into the souls of its characters instead of just melodramatising the plot. What works best for it is the way it wraps up and even if it did break hearts, I consider it to be the best thing in the entire film and the prime reason as to why I liked this movie more than most others.
You may wish to check this out: Meri Pyaari Bindu Review
9. Bank Chor
Not just of 2017, but Bank Chor was probably the most surprising movie of this entire decade. Not just its trailers but even its first half made a shallow impact on me. The first half was filled with so much of nonsense that half of the theatre audience (which was also pretty small In number) left in disappointment and the only reason I stayed back was because I had spent money on it. The second half took such a strong turn that it justified the nonsenses of the first half aptly and a movie which seemed like any other crass Bollywood comedy turned out to be one of the best crime-thrillers of the year and I’m glad that I actually went for it.
You may wish to check this out: Bank Chor Review
8. Jagga Jasoos
After a long time did Bollywood get a musical right! After being in a developmental hell for a really long time, we got to see magic mingled with music and emotions in the most likeable manner in Jagga Jasoos. While the story and the performances of the cast (especially Ranbir Kapoor) were amazing, the real hero of the movie undoubtedly was Pritam whose music was just out of the world. Even though most of the audience couldn’t really accept the Hollywood style of musical in an Indian film, I hope they do understand it as time goes by. I could see this film again and again, notwithstanding its length, just because of its musical excellence and once again kudos to Pritam for his deliverance.
You may wish to check this out: Jagga Jasoos Review
7. Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Everyone had expected this feature to be good but not as good as it really proved to be, given the fact that Bollywood has not been quite impressive in portraying heavy social issues. Though most such films blame the authorities blatantly for the existing problems, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha was bold enough to show the other side of the story where the general public itself is responsible for its predicaments. It’s hard hitting and true to the core with appropriate amount of dramatisation and equally strong performances by the entire cast which makes it entertaining as well as an eye-opener.
You may wish to check this out: Toilet: Ek Prem Katha Review
6. Lipstick Under My Burkha
What makes Lipstick Under My Burkha stand out with respect to most other films on women issues is that it talked about those aspects of a woman’s life which we really don’t understand or know can exist. It doesn’t really portray its characters to be correct, instead just opens up their souls and emotions for you to judge. This feature doesn’t really care about talking regarding women empowerment and rather asks you to understand women, their intricacies, their desires and their vulnerabilities which makes it even more beautiful and poignant.
You may wish to check this out: Lipstick Under My Burkha Review
5. Hindi Medium
Movies like Hindi Medium evince that you don’t really need a strong plot to amuse your viewers. A simply outlined story with some amusing characters portrayed by terrific thespians like Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar and Deepak Dobriyal was all that Hindi Medium required to entertain its audience and it did. It’s traversal through the Indian education system on the primary level was well balanced with humour as well as seriousness. The cast just ameliorated the entire cinematic experience with their acumen as the film became an expected hit at the box office (and rightly so) which paves way for many other lower budget non-star studded films to compete in Indian film market in future.
You may wish to check this out: Hindi Medium Review
With talent powerhouses like Vikramaditya Motwane and Rajkummar Rao teaming up for a film, the expectations were pretty high on Trapped and luckily for everyone it didn’t disappoint. Though it may not be an easy watch for most people as the movie digs deep into the precarious situations the protagonist could face, it ensures that you stay hooked on to your seats no matter what happens. Wonderfully directed and powerfully acted, this survivalist drama-thriller is a film which even Hollywood may not get right, but Motwane did and kudos to him for what he delivered.
You may wish to check this out: Trapped Review
3. Mukti Bhawan
Mukti Bhawan is not the kind of movie a generic audience would enjoy watching. It’s the most matured film of the year and paces steadily with rich character development. Adil Hussain and Lalit Behl carry the film entirely upon their shoulders delivering powerful performances as they strengthen the film both humourously and emotionally. The characters are less complicated and more realistic due to which one can understand the film’s philosophical implications in spite of its peculiar story setup. Exploring themes like family, relationships and death, Mukti Bhawan is the kind of movie you can watch anytime and still end up liking it. All you need is to understand it with sheer maturity.
The movie which India had officially sent to the Oscars is also one of the best of the year. It’s amusing take on the Indian electoral system and the people associated with it is not just funny but also startling. The most appreciable aspect of Newton is that it knew when to keep its premise light and when to take itself seriously. The film doesn’t really take sides and thankfully provides a neutral outlook of the problems in Indian elections. Though Rajkummar Rao and company were quite good in their work, the one to steal hearts was Pankaj Tripathy who was magnetic and stellar, both in his act and presence. So if you have watched this flick and the next time someone asks you what two plus two divided by two will result into, you know it’s not two. *Winks*
You may wish to check this out: Newton Review
1. A Death In The Gunj
The only problem that I had with this film was the characters speaking in English otherwise I really couldn’t find out anything wrong in it. It’s purely character based and hence makes a pretty intense watch. The pace is perfect which ensures that you are strongly involved with the film throughout its premise. It’s predictability hardly affects its cinematic experience and that can be credited to its outstanding direction and performances especially that of Vikrant Maasey who steals the show right from under the noses of other experienced actors like Om Puri, Tanuja, Ranvir Shorey, Gulshan Deviah, Kalki Koechlin and Tillotama Shomey. Not only heart breaking, A Death In The Gunj is equally shocking and is likely to be imprinted in your minds for days after you have finished watching it.