2018 in Bollywood saw an interesting mix of biopics, social drama, horror, mystery, thriller, period drama, comedy, and family drama. One thing that is getting evident from the last few years is that now Bollywood simply cannot fool Indian audiences. The audience is smart and agile today as they have many modes of entertainment these days. So, “content is king” is the phrase which every production house, writer, and director is understanding. This 2018 was another example of how movies can have a successful run at the box office not based on A-list stars or big budget but simply on content. Thugs of Hindostan, Race 3, & Zero are like the final warning to the top stars of the country – don’t make mindless cinema because people invest their hard earned money to get entertained. And entertainment these days come with a bit of logic!
Here are the best of Bollywood- 2018
I simply wanted to dance in the theater shouting out “This is the movie we all deserve”. Undoubtedly this is the “Movie of the Year” and it is going to sweep away all the major awards. This movie is like “Kahaani” of 2012 that showed Bollywood how chronicles and subtexts are developed in motion. Tabu as the ruthless woman & Ayushman as the “acting-blind” pianist simply nailed their roles. Too smart editing of Pooja Ladha Surti, the impactful direction of Sriram Raghavan, and peppy music of Amit Trivedi gave huge profit to this one. This is one of the rarest of rare Bollywood movies which has an “Open End”. It means you can form your kind of story regarding how things must have turned!
Directed by debutant Amit Sharma, Badhaai Ho was made on a budget of 22 crores and now it is “still counting” post 220 crores. It dealt with a very rigid and restricted topic of “romance & pregnancy post 50”. Very cleverly, the cynicism and hypocrisy of the society. The octogenarian mother even utters that “how can you be a govt. employee, if you don’t listen to govt. of using contraceptives”. The infusion of this social anxiety is done very carefully sans “high-octane” drama and that’s why it clicked with everyone. But post interval, somewhere this movie was dripping but quickly the director pulled up the socks.
Bollywood came up with a “horror comedy” this time and the fun part is that there was hardly any horrific scene. Debutant director Amar Kaushik made this movie which makes us think deeply considering the current time. The female spirit calls men with their names at night and takes them away to a haunted house leaving only their clothes. In a land where for centuries men have threatened and dominated the women, here is a movie where men are wearing sarees to disguise as women as they are petrified by “Stree”. A special mention of Pankaj Tripathi must be done here. He is a stellar performer in the tiniest of roles!
Someone who has grown up in the 90’s and embraced adolescence in the millennium would have no problem in understanding the sweet and deep undertone of this flick. How do “Tinder-Generation” people perceive love? Is love only about sex? How far can you extend yourself for love? How long can you wait for that perfect love? And how easy is to forgive and forget? This movie raised these questions and answered them too. The most beautiful subtext of this movie was the continuous glimpse of the twins in Amritsar & Kashmir that kept on relating to the dualism in the head of the characters. Anurag Kashyap made me his fan again.
As the trailer says, “this is not a love story, but a story about love”, it lived up to the tagline truly. Many people didn’t get the motto of the movie but its ok all movies are different and are meant for different audiences. Those who love good cinema were impressed with what Shoojit Sircar brought to theaters. Varun Dhawan completely shed his star glamor and became the irritating and loser Dan Walia.
Khajoor Pe Atke
Harsh Chhaya forayed into direction for the first time and I think he should wear this director’s cap more often. He simply showed it to the rest of the directors how a good film is made. This movie is about a family which you will literally identify. This movie had everything – relatives about whom we keep on gossiping, the greed for family property, lying to relatives about whereabouts, show off, and the undying love and care which a family showers. It could have faltered but the perfect comedy timing of the great actors saved this one. I don’t know why no one is talking about this movie in the year-end round up of movies. But definitely, you must watch it for a relaxing weekend!
Big banner, Big Opening, & a Smash Hit – this is all Ranbir Kapoor needed post break up and flops. As a cinegoer, the audience is only interested in an entertaining story. And that’s why despite various controversies too, this movie was accepted. Ranbir Kapoor truly became a clone of Sanjay Dutt and Vicky Kaushal was the other actor which Bollywood re-discovered. The supporting cast was also used well be it Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma or Sonam Kapoor. Rajkumar Hirani, although missed Sanju’s relationship with his past wife and children still this is a movie worth your money.
Based on a true story “Calling Sehmat” by Harinder S. Sikka, Meghna Gulzar wrote a brilliant screenplay. It was meant to be a small and a slightly un-Dharma Productions kind of movie and thus the budget was also hardly 35 crores. But a perfect direction and performance of talent on screen made it one of the highest grosser on 2018. It deserves all the attention and accolades truly.
Another first-time director duo – Rahi Anil Barve & Adesh Prasad presented a stunning movie of 2018. This is something “never done before” in Hindi cinema. Bollywood has shown horror movies with scary faces but somewhere every attempt has been outlandish. Tumbbad starts as a dark horror movie which is quite eerie and next moves on to a story of greed and how the generation suffers for that. It is a visually stunning film.
I love the simple, innocent, and rugged world of Vishal Bhardwaj cinema. He reminds of Gulzar with his work. This is a story of two sisters who hate each other since birth. And their father is always in tension for that. With the turn of fate, they are married in the same house and how they treat each other is for you to watch. What was written in Charan Singh Pathik’s short story titled Do Behnein was portrayed and what was not written was also amazingly expressed by Radhika Madan & Sanya Malhotra. With a perfect company of Sunil Grover, this movie went a few notches higher than what was written on the script.
I would also like to mention the dark horse of the year- Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, socially awakening Pad Man, sports drama Mukkabazz, psychological drama Gali Guleiyan, unusual gritty thriller Pihu, historical Parmanu, and dramatic Hichki too.