The Best Indian Films of 2018
The year 2018 brought some memorable films. Starting with the extravagant release of Padmaavat, there were many great new movies throughout the year. Comedy, social drama, biographical films… every genre was represented with some bold and beautiful flicks. Here are the main standouts of 2018:
Sanju: The movie is a biographical drama about the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. It portrays different stages of his life including drug addiction, arrest for alleged association with Bombay bombings, relationship with his father and his comeback in the film industry. Ranbir Kapoor stars as Dutt, along with an ensemble cast featuring Paresh Rawal, Vicky Kaushal, Manisha Koirala, Dia Mirza, Sonam Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. This is a ‘bigger picture’ of Sanjay Dutt’s life with a clear advantage of hindsight.
Blackmail: Irrfan khan is known for his realistic performance and this film is no exception. He plays the character of a middle class married man who finds his wife engaged in an extramarital affair. And hence starts the plot to blackmail his own wife and her boyfriend. The plot doesn’t go as planned, followed by a series of failed attempts and unexpected comic turns along the way. Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh and Divya Dutta star in the support roles.
Raazi: This is a spy thriller directed by Meghna Gulzar. It stars Alia Bhatt as the main character and features Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Shishir Sharma, and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles. Set in the background of 1971 Indo-Pak war, the film is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s 2008 novel Called Sehmat. The story is based on the true account of an Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) female agent who gets married to a Pakistani to spy for India.
Sui Dhaaga: Made in India (transl. The needle and the thread): The movie is social drama produced under the banner of Yash Raj Films. The brilliant performance comes from Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma as a young couple in rural India who start their own small-scale clothing business. Along the way, they deal with social stigma of the elders, family hardships and day-to-day challenges that come with the new venture.
Omerta: Omerta is inspired by the real-life story of a terrorist Ahmed Omar Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani descent. Starring Rajkumar Rao as Omar, the film explores the 1994 kidnappings of Westerns in India and the plotting of murder of Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. Rajkumar Rao and the support cast deliver some of the best performances of 2018.
102 Not Out: This a beautifully put together comedy-drama directed by Umesh Shukla and starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in the lead roles. The story revolves around a lively 102 year old man who believes in living life to the full while his son is exactly the opposite. This is a sweet family film celebrating life.
Badhaai Ho (transl. Congratulations): This is a light-hearted comedy-drama starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao, Surekha Sikri and Sanya Malhotra. The comic plot deals with the embarrassment and disappointment of an adult son when his middle-aged mother gets pregnant. Watch this movie for simple humor and fun filled situational punch lines.
Andhadhun: The film stars Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana, and Radhika Apte and tells the story of a blind piano player. A beautiful drama, supported by spell bounding performances, the film entails a series of mysterious events that change the life of the pianist who now must report the crime that he actually never ‘saw with his own eyes’.
Pad Man: This was envisioned to be a social awareness film without focusing on the commercial success. It features Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte in the lead roles. The film is based on the “The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land”, a short story from Twinkle Khanna’s book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. The story is inspired from the life of a social activist who revolutionized the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkin.
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi: Professor Happy (Sonakshi Sinha) arrives in Shanghai and the another person by the same nick name Happy (Diana Penty) also lands in the Chinese city around same time. The gangsters kidnap wrong Happy, this starting the comedy of error. The writing and direction by Mudassar Aziz are superb. The movie is filled with delightfully random humor and is a great film for family nights.
Stree: The folks in the town of Chanderi live in fear of an evil spirit named Stree who abducts men at night. The movie is based on the urban legend of Nale Ba in Karnataka. This is a comedy horror film starring Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi and Aparshakti Khurana.
Padmaavat: This is one of the most expensive Indian films ever made. Beautifully done for visual effects and the cinematography, its storyline is slow moving and without much substance compared to the modern expectations. Based on the epic poem Padmavat, it stars Deepika Padukone as Padmavati, a queen known for her beauty. Maharawal Ratan Singh is played by Shahid Kapoor. Sultan Khilji, played by Ranveer Singh, learns of her beauty and attacks the kingdom to claim her. Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad, and Anupriya Goenka feature in supporting roles.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety: This is a light comedy drama starring Kartik Aaryan, Nushrat Bharucha and Sunny Nijarhen. The movie is based on the bro-code of two best friends. It is the silly humor and comic situations that carry this movie from beginning to end.
Hichki: This is an inspiring account of a woman who turns her biggest weakness (the non-stop hick-ups) into her biggest strength. The movie stars Rani Mukerji, Neeraj Kabi and Jannat Zubair Rahmani in the lead role. The film is based on the real life accounts.
Laila Majnu: Laila Majnu is an Indian romance film starring Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri in the lead roles. Based on the classic folklore, the story is set in modern day Kashmir where Laila Majnu have their own problems in the society. The film did not fare well in the theaters, but it is a meaningful reminder of the rich past of Punjab’s romantic folklores.
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