Bollywood or Hindi Film Industry as Mr. Amitabh Bachchan would correct me, churns out films after films; most of the time each one is mediocre than its predecessor. Some would say it is easy to write about Worst films in today’s times. Earliest signs of fading Hindi films was the invasion of VCRs and cable television, people preferred to watch it on their television and not take time out to visit a cinema hall. The cinema going trend revived around 12 years ago with multiplexes. But off late it has also seen a decline as the mall craze is now long gone. I get high dosage of Bigg Boss Salman Khan and Jhalak Dikhla Ja Shahid Kapoor in the comfort of my home and do not seek to go and watch them looking any different than my own LCD. Needless to say the promotion of films via television is an even bigger spoiler where stars come and promote the movies “in character” leaving less and less to our imagination.
But like all middle class kids raised on Films of Doordarshan on Sunday, I look forward to watching Hindi films. They introduce me to pain, pleasure, exhilaration, jubilation and fantasy in 2.5 hours in a language I am most comfortable with.
2015 had many films that I saw. Some of them I could watch on Television thanks to the almost negligent time a producer waits to declare the movie a hit. (While jubilees are passé, even 100 days are not in vogue any longer; the success party starts at 7th day of the film’s release). “Crore Clubs” is the new gauge of movie ratings. I am going to take a detour from it as I have not studied any business figures before writing this. Below were my favorites in no particular order:
- Dum Laga Ke Haisha – I shall start with a movie that I watched more than once in the theatre. Ayushman and Bhumi both played their parts so aptly. A story so simple and novel, the dialogues all praiseworthy and colloquial. I give thumbs up to the maker. In fact I found it so engaging that I felt sad when it ended, as I thought that it ended so soon. It was so good to hear Kumar Sanu’s voice after ages.
- Baahubali – Ok I know it is a dubbed one, but that should not take away the credit it deserves. Such magnificent execution of a story board deserves accolades; every actor playing their part to a tee is a plus. It does remind you of Hercules, but then that comparison will be unfair. The masterstroke is viewers waiting for more and Kattappa haunting their logic.
- Drishyam – I would be asked to watch the original and do the comparison before mentioning this one as a good movie. I actually have watched this one in Hindi only and liked the basic plot. A story where family comes first is not shouted from rooftops by indulging in elaborate song and dance sequences. A plot where suspense is not on who did it but on how best he saves himself.
- Piku – I am all for a simple movie with simpler storytelling and Piku nails them both. The three lead actors each better than the other is not once dwarfed in any frame. The cinematography delightfully capturing so many cityscapes. This one is also a good road trip reckoner.
- Badlapur – Nawazuddin is the hero of the film. He may be the antagonist and yet at the end he takes away the pie. Not many dialogues this one has and not many are required when actors can do all the talking with their expressive eyes.
- Talvaar – Controversy notwithstanding, this movie is well made. The loopholes and callous attitude of the system captured subtly. When Irrfan Khan plays a pivotal role then the movie becomes believable and one can live the scenes.
- Bajrangi Bhaijaan – It may be considered uncool to include this one in the list; most of Salman Khan Movies are senseless and lack depth. Bajranigi Bhaijaan however touches a chord somewhere with brilliant performances by young Munni and Bhai himself. I also liked the refreshing storyline. Nawazuddin again shines through the movie and at places he carries the film on his shoulders despite Salman Khan’s presence.
- NH10 – Strong female protagonist, gritty screenplay and realistic setting makes this one a bold and different effort from Bollywood. Not for the faint hearted, some of those scenes are so impactful they just stay with you.
- Dil Dhadakne Do – Stellar star cast and too many characters may cause the downfall of many films as has been observed off late. But Dil Dhadakne Do manages to cruise on the able story, capable performances and breathtaking locales.
- Bajirao Mastani – History must not be tampered with; and this one got into controversy for all the wrong reasons. But the message of it being more of a fiction is loud and clear at the start of the movie. It should not be missed for the sheer effort Sanjay Leela Bhansali has put in the sets, costumes, music and dance moves. Ranveer Singh has done commendable effort on his spoken Marathi and Deepika and Priyanka are effortlessly beautiful.
Comedy, Thriller, Romance, Suspense, Road Movie and Historical; if all of those were touched upon by our film makes in 2015, it was not a bad year for a fan.