What a fantastic year it has been for Bollywood. Diverse films ranging from absolute thrilling concepts and commendable performances to inspiring sports biography has increased the fan base of Bollywood cinemas not just in India but in the entire world.
The ticket prices of the Indian cinemas increased thanks to the inflation but also were the audience watching the films in theaters. Few films did caught my attention this time but more than that was the heart-touching story told by these films. Though these films did not make 100 crores at the box office but was made with right intention that strike the right chord of your heart :-
Nagesh Kukunoor has come a long way from his early days of “Hyderabad Blues”, “RockFord”, “3 Deewarein”,”Iqbal” to the recent one “Lakshmi”. Just like “Iqbal”, “Dhanak” is a feel-good cinema that gives a strong message that anything is possible in life if you have a positive attitude. The screenplay, also written by Kukunoor, is superb keeping on your toes with comic scenes between brother and sister that will surely bring down the house. The movie was salvaged due to high publicity given to “Udta Punjab” but I would strongly recommend to watch it.
Nil Battey Sannata
Directed by debutant Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, “Nil Battey Sannata” is a sparkling film in every context. Right from the beginning of the film, you will be completely engrossed into the beautiful tale of mother and her struggle to keep her dreams alive. Blended with sarcasm and light moments, the film is a powerful drama which will help you sail it through 2 hours without getting bored. Told in a subtle manner, it is the simplicity of narration which is the highlight of the film and you will cherish each and every frame. There are no glossy sets, colorful costumes over-the-tone melodrama yet the film is entertaining and will keep you glued throughout. The screenplay is pivotal which defines each and every characters to the core. Swara Bhaskar steals the thunder with her electrifying performance. The “Tanu Weds Manu” actor is just growing better with each film. Surprisingly, this is her first film as a lead and she has displayed matured acting.
It takes courage and guts to make a film like Aligarh. Hats off to Hansal Mehta for giving yet another knock-out film after “Shahid”. The court room- drama, friendship between Manoj Bajpai and Rajkumar Rao and even the climax sequences are definitely the highlight of the film. Screenplay is engaging. Art direction and cinematography is simple yet powerful. Manoj Bajpai has delivered a solid performance. He fits into the character as if it was tailor-made for him. Rajkumar Rao lends in a good support.
The highlight of “Parched” is defining each female protagonist character appropriately, the issue of women equality still existing in the Northern part of India and how these central characters overcoming the challenges to live their own life. Hats off to Leena Yadav for a fantastic effort and keeping the audience on their toes. “Parched” belongs to queens of desert – Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla who were electrifying and enigmatic.
From the director of “Ragini MMS” and “Darr @ Mall”, Pawan Kripalani takes a step ahead with a story never attempted before. The trailer of “Phobia” was intriguing but after watching the film, you will be in surprised with a wonderful story that keeps you glued to the screen. The screenplay is absolutely thrilling with solid twist. It is Radhika Apte all the way. She goes into the character of Mahek and gives her best. This will be her best performances of her life till now.
Omung Kumar has certainly improved over his previous film “Mary Kom”. He keeps you on your toes till the last scene which is appreciating. The main attraction of the film is the performances. “Sarabjit” belongs to two actors – Randeep Hooda and Aishwarya Rai. Randeep Hooda goes deep diving into the character of Sarabjit. He completely transforms himself from a stout dynamic mane into a skeleton-prison look and gives the best performance of his life. Watch for him when he reunites with his family at the prison. Aishwarya Rai surprises you with a powerful performance as Dalbir Kaur. She proves that she is more than a eye-candy and does a good comeback after debacle of “Jazbaa”.
Happy Bhaag Jayegi
Slow and steady wins the race. That was the case with Anand L Rai’s produced “Happy Bhaag Jayegi” which opened slow at the box office but thanks to solid word of mouth went on to become a sleeper hit. The film boasted commendable performances by Abhay Deol, Jimmy Shergill and Piyush Mishra and audience loved every minute of the hilarious comic scenes.
A big clap for the director Aniruddha Roy for a fantastic characters details defined in this 136 minutes film. Amitabh Bachchan was a knight in shining armor. Watch out for him in the second half when he questions the witnesses in the courtroom. It is an unforgettable performance which should be lauded for its sheer brilliance. Among the actors – Tapsee Pannu and Kirti Kulhari is mindblowing with their natural performances. Angad Bedi does well as menacing character. Piyush Mishra, as usual, is powerful.
– Ketan Gupta