The year 2016 brought some new additions to the long list of great movies from the Bollywood cinema. Hindi films like Dangal and Pink took the front row and legitimized the importance of women’s voice in the Indian society. The movies based on true stories seem to capture more audience this year; maybe a sign of changing times where realistic dramas and stories are gaining momentum over the ‘formula’ films. Here are some of the greatest films of 2016:
1. Dangal: Based on a true story, Dangal is a biographical sports drama. The captivating film is directed by Nitesh Tiwari and stars Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat who taught wrestling to his daughters Geeta and Babita and turned them into world-class female wrestlers. This inspiring movie showcases some brilliant acting, lively entertainment and equally good music. At the Filmfare Awards, Dangal won many awards, including Best Film of 2016.
2. Pink: Pink is a courtroom drama with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role as a lawyer, carrying the burden of defending three young working girls in new Delhi, and proving their innocence in the eyes of Indian legal system. With the realistic urban and court-room settings and fantastic acting, the seldom exposed issues of sexual harassment and molestation take the center-stage in this epic production. Don’t watch this film just for entertainment values, but also for social education about the evils of male dominated Indian mentality. Oh, and by the way, don’t miss the closing credits, to watch the actual incident the movie is about!
3. Udta Punjab: Punjab produced some of the top sportsmen and wrestlers for India for a long time; and now, the same Punjab harvests some of the worst drug use of modern days. This is not a film you would want to watch for fun. The lead cast includes Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit Dosanjh. The drug abuse by the youth population in Punjab and the surrounding conspiracies are painfully exposed throughout the movie. Agonizing songs like ‘Ikk Kudi’, written by Shiv Kumar Batalvi – the famous Punjabi poet, suitably fit into the heart wrenching scenes of drug addition and its lasting effect on today’s youth. The film is worth watching, even though many sad scenes are hard to watch.
4. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil: This is a lively and romantic drama written and directed by Karan Johar. The main cast features Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.This is a beautifully told story revolving around personal relationship, their interactions and interpretation. Composed by Pritam and mostly sung by Arijit Singh, the music is one of the many strong suits of this well-rounded film.
5. Kapoor and Sons (Since 1921): If you are looking for an entertaining and comic family story with surprising twists and turns, this is the one to watch. Directed by Shakun Batra, the film has a star studded cast of Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt. The film is a story of two estranged brothers who return to their dysfunctional family after their grandfather suffers a heart attack.
6. Neerja: The flow of this interesting movie has the feel of a documentary at times, as if Neerja is narrating the story at her own pace. This is a historical drama based on the actual events centered around hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1986. The film features Sonam Kapoor as the title character along with Shabana Azmi, Yogendra Tiku and Shekhar Ravjiani in supporting roles.
7. Sultan: Sultan is a romantic drama with sports based story line. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, the film stars Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma in the lead roles. The movie focuses on Sultan Ali Khan, a wrestling champion from Haryana with a successful career, and the success impacting his personal life. Very popular at the theaters, this is one the highest grossing Indian film of all time.
8. Airlift: Loosely based on actual events, this is a historical drama directed by Raja Krishna Menon. The film stars Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur as the lead actors. Akshay Kumar’s performance as a Kuwaiti businessman is superb, leading the evacuation of Indians living in Kuwait during the Invasion by Iraq.
9. Parched: Parched is a thought provoking movie depicting the age-old evils of rural Indian beliefs and traditions, with women often on the receiving end of a male dominated society. This is a touching story of four women in a desert village of Rajasthan. The film portrays the innocent yet miserable lives plagued by age-old practices of patriarchy, child marriage, dowry, marital rapes, mental tortures and physical abuse. Written and directed by Leena Yadav and produced by Ajay Devgan, the movie stars Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain, Lehar Khan and Sayani Gupta. Continue reading “Best Bollywood Movies of 2016”
Best Bollywood Movies of 2014
When in comes to Hindi movies and Indian Cinema, the tastes differ, the personal choices vary. Some like action while others prefer drama, and yet others long for serious films. Here are some of the best 2014 Bollywood movies:
Queen – Rani (the name translates to the ‘queen’) is an average girl with below-average self confidence. After her fiancé calls off their wedding, she embarks alone on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam. This comedy-drama film is beautifully directed by Vikas Bahl. The film stars Kangana Ranaut in the lead role with Lisa Haydon and Rajkummar Rao playing supporting roles. This is a lively and a well-done movie, highly praised by the audience and the experts alike.
Happy New Year – This film is one of the most expensive films ever made in Bollywood. The action packed heist story can also be branded as a comedy film. The movie has a lovely direction by Farah Khan and is produced by Gauri Khan. The star studded cast includes Shahrukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah and Jackie Shroff. It is a very entertaining film, and has rightfully clinched the most number of trophies at the 2014 Stardust Awards ceremony.
PK (Peekay) – This is a comedy film but a brave one – a full fledged satire on God and the religions. Some of the scenes include money extraction at temples, coconuts being offered in at a church… There is nothing comic about a Muslim girl’s dialogue, “Itna chota nahin ho sakta hamara khudaa, ki use hamare school jaane pe aitraaz ho.” (Our God cannot be that ‘small’ that he would object to girls attending schools). The plot begins with an alien landing on Earth but is stranded in Rajasthan when his spaceship’s remote control is stolen. The film stars Aamir Khan in the title role, with Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, and Sanjay Dutt in supporting roles. The truth delivers under the guise of comedy is always a brilliant idea, nothing so alien about that. Continue reading “Top Bollywood films of 2014”
The best Bollywood Hindi films of 2013
The tastes vary, the choices differ. When it comes to the Bollywood films, some like them spicy and action packed thrillers while others prefer sweet and romantic dramas. Some like suspense while others prefer plain old romance. The films below are some of the best standout Bollywood features from 2013.
1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: This is a sports drama film produced and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; the script is written by Prasoon Joshi, based on the life of Milkha Singh – an Indian national champion runner and an Olympian. The movie stars Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Pavan Malhotra, Yograj Singh, Meesha Shafi and Prakash Raj. 2014 Filmfare Awards recognized this movie with multiple awards including the Best Movie, Best Director, along with Farhan Akhtar receiving the best actor award.
2. Chennai Express: This is a romantic action comedy film directed by Rohit Shetty and produced by Gauri Khan under the film production company Red Chillies Entertainment. The film features Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles, along with Sathyaraj, Nikitin Dheer and Kamini Kaushal. The movie is about a man’s journey from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens along the way after he falls in love with the daughter of a local don. The melodious music is composed by the duo Vishal-Shekhar; the lyrics come from Amitabh Bhattacharya and Yo Yo Honey Singh.
3. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: This is a coming-of-age romantic comedy, directed by Ayan Mukerji and produced by Karan Johar. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles – the duo know for their on-screen chemistry. The cast includes Aditya Roy Kapur, Kalki Koechlin and Kunaal Roy Kapur. Madhuri Dixit appears in an item number titled “Ghagra”. The soundtrack score is composed by Pritam, with lyrics from Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kumaar. The popular songs include ‘Dilli Wali Girlfriend’ and ‘Badtameez Dil’.
4. The Lunchbox: This artistic film is a romantic drama written and directed by Ritesh Batra. It stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles. This unexpectedly refreshing and slow-developing love-story has a touch of loneliness, highlighting complicated human relations. The story is simple and supported by brilliant acting. The film was screened at International Critics’ Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d’Or. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival as well. Continue reading “Best Bollywood Movies of 2013”
Top Bollywood films of 2012
As every year, Bollywood industry churned out hundred of feature films in 2012 – some very good, some very bad and a lot of mediocre ones. Here are some of the standouts of the year:
Barfi!: This is a romantic comedy written and directed by Anurag Basu. The movie narrates the story of “Barfi” – a mute and deaf boy in Darjeeling, West Bengal. The plot beautifully outlines his relation with two girls, one of whom is autistic. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz in lead roles.
Gattu: A low-budget flick for all ages, Gattu appeals to kids and adults alike. Directed by Rajan Khosa, the story revolves around a kid living in a small town where everyone is obsessed with kite-flying. No glitter or high-budget stunts here; just pure human drama at its best.
Vicky Donor: This romantic comedy with modern twist is directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham.The movie explore the subject of sperm donation and infertility, something new for Indian cinema. It stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam and Annu Kapoor as the main cast.
Ek Tha Tiger: This is an action film, directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj Films. The movie stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles supported by Ranvir Shorey, Girish Karnad, Roshan Seth and Gavie Chahal. A combination of love story and spy drama, the movie is full of dazzling action, beautifully filmed international scenery and pleasant music. Continue reading “The Best Bollywood Movies of 2012”
The best Bollywood Hindi movies of 2011
The tastes vary, choices differ. When it comes to the Hindi films, some like spicy and action packed thrillers while others prefer sweet and romantic dramas. The films below may not be what you crave, it may not include your ‘all time favorite’, but these are the standout Bollywood features from 2011.
1. Ra.one: This is a very ambitious, very expensive and a very technically complex film from Bollywood. It pushes the envelope on the visual effects. This science-fiction/superhero film is well written and beautifully directed by Anubhav Sinha. The star-studded cast includes Shahrukh Khan in dual roles, Kareena Kapoor, Armaan Verma and Arjun Rampal in the lead. Amazing graphics, along with Shah Rukh Khan as the superhero make this sci-fi thriller a great success. Hollywood delivers so many sci-fi themed movies every; this is a good one from Bollywood.
2. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: This flick is a beautiful reminder that you only live once. The film features an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Ariadna Cabrol and Naseeruddin Shah. A story of three bachelors dealing with their friendship and romance, the well-scripted film has real-life acting all around. The scenic back-drops are very lively; the refreshing music is composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy with lyrics from Javed Akhtar.
3. Delhi Belly: In the words of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, the movie is a “Sexy, filthy and thoroughly entertaining comedy”. The film is shot in English mostly, with very little Hindi dialogues. Directed by Abhinay Deo and produced by Aamir Khan, the movie stars Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan and Shenaz Treasurywala. Rated ‘A’ for adult contents, the film highlights today’s street-smart youth in an evolving society, influenced by the global culture. Continue reading “Best Bollywood movies of 2011”
Best English Movies based on India or with Indian Themes
There are so many English movies that come out of India every year. Some equally beautiful movies based on Indian culture originate from other parts of the globe. Here are 20 best stand-outs:
1 Gandhi (1982): This Internationally acclaimed movie needs no introduction. The film stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, a brilliant actor by any measure. Amongst much recognition home and abroad, the film bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture, winning eight Academy Awards in total.
2. City of Joy (1992): The social drama is based on the life of a farmer who moves to Kolkata with his family and finds out that life is nothing but simple in the city. Patrick Swayze, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi and Art Malik lead the brilliant cast. This is one of best movies that use talents from India as well as Hollywood.
3. Monsoon Wedding (2001): Directed by Mira Nair, this is romance, comedy and drama – all together – depicting the lives of NRIs and the NRI weddings. An extravagant Punjabi wedding and the family traditions are beautifully depicted throughout this movie. Naseeruddin Shah’s acting is solid once more, and plays a father who is organizing an enormous, chaotic, and very expensive wedding that involves NRI families and joint families coming together from different parts of the world.
4. A Passage to India (1984): This classic drama is one of the most memorable English film based on the Indo-British relationship and their impacts on the day-to-day life during English Rule in India. Written and directed by David Lean, the screenplay is based on the 1924 novel by E.M. Forster. The acting, the direction and the beautifully landscaped scenes equally contribute to this masterpiece. The film has won various awards included Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. The brilliant acting comes from Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft and James Fox in the key roles. Continue reading “20 Best English Movies from India – The Indian English films”
Top Bollywood movies of 70s (1970 to 1979):
The Bollywood in 70’s was at the peak of of its game. Everything you can relate to in a Hindi movie – acting, directing, music and exploring new boundaries – was flourishing. Some of the best Bollywood movies of all times were produced during this decade.
Choosing top 20 movies out of a span of 10 years, when every year was producing score of hit flicks, is almost impossible. The selection below tries to accommodate every genre – action, classic, artistic, popular….
So here we go:
1. Sholay (1975): This all-time-great movie needs no introduction; it is one of the biggest hits ever. It is a classic thriller of modern days, a must watch Bollywood gem. The mega cast includes Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. Sholay is the highest grossing film of all time in Indian cinema. When first released, the movie did not win any major awards from the film critics, but it has a cult like following. At the 50th Filmfare, it received the award as the Best Film of 50 Years.
2. Bobby (1973): The movie is a brilliant combination of romance, music and social conflicts. This blockbuster is known to be a trend-setter in its own rights. Raj Kapoor introduced the genre of teenage romance with a rich-vs.-poor clash as a backdrop. Some of the romance scenes were simply too bold for its time. This popular flick was a debut film for Dimple Kapadia and the first leading role for Rishi Kapoor.
3. Pakeezah (1972): This is a legendary movie; with a larger than life appeal. Beautifully directed by Kamal Amrohi, this movie is a combination of good artistic tastes, lovely costumes, a fluid storyline, excellent settings and melodious music. The film is a story of a Lucknow tawaif (courtesan) played by actress Meena Kumari. Raaj Kumar and Ashok Kumar lead the cast. The evergreen and superb music comes from Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad. Continue reading “Top 20 Bollywood movies of 70s”
Top 20 Bollywood Movies of 1980s (1980 to 1989):
Samita Patil was still alive, Dilip Kumar still in action, the Big B showed no signs of grey hair, Naseeruddin Shah was in his prime, Pran was still the bad guy to beat…..you got the idea, right?
Choosing top 20 movies from 80s is almost an impossible task. Should you go with the mega hits from mega stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar, or should you go with the artistic movies supported by Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Shabana Azmi? The list below is not perfect by any means, but a good mix of the both styles. Depending on your tastes, likes and dislikes, the choice may vary, but here are the top 20 movies from 80s, arranged in a chronological order, by the year of movie-release date:
1. Aakrosh (1980): This is an acclaimed art film. The star power comes from all around brilliant acting of Naseeruddin Shah, Samita Patil, Om Puri and Amrish Puri. The movie is a satire on the corruption in the Indian judicial system, and power abuse of the rich against the poor.
2. Qurbani (1980): A very entertaining family movie, also known for an ensemble of super-stars, excellent music and many ever-green songs. The film stars Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Zeenat Aman, Amjad Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Aruna Irani, Amrish Puri and Kader Khan. Enough said. Continue reading “Top 20 Bollywood Movies of 80s”
There are lots of movies that explore the lives of NRIs and Indians living overseas. Most of them are made in Bollywood, others overseas. There are lots of films with ‘India Abroad and NRIs’ theme. However, not all the NRIs stories of overseas are well told, well played or worth the time. Some of the best movies that actually leave a lasting impression of the life abroad include:
1. Monsoon Wedding: Directed by Mira Nair, this is romance, comedy and drama – all together – depicting the lives of NRIs and the NRI weddings. An extravagant Punjabi wedding and the family traditions are beautifully depicted throughout this movie. The touch of folk music is very refreshing. Naseeruddin Shah’s acting is solid as always, and plays a father who is organizing an enormous, chaotic, and very expensive wedding that involves NRI families coming together from different parts of the world.
2. East is East: This is a very comic and funny movie with a dark side of an NRI story based out of England. Om Puri delivers one of the best acting of a conflicted father with double standards. Married to a white woman, the father forces his kids to live the traditional and strict desi lifestyle. The children, born and grown up in UK, see themselves as British and reject their father’s rules on dress, food, religion and arranged marriage.
3. Bend it like Beckham: Starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley, the title comes from the soccer player David Beckham’s skill at scoring from free kicks by “bending” (curving) the ball past a wall of defenders. It is a beautiful depiction of a Punjabi family’s life in England. The film explores the lives of Indians abroad and how NRIs ‘bend’ the social and traditional rules to adapt to the local culture. It has a lively music, with a touch of folk genre, like ‘Rabbaa Rabbaa Meeh Barsaa’. Continue reading “10 Best Movies with NRIs and India Abroad Theme”
The other quizzes on this site can be found as linked below:
Bollywood Quiz 7 – Evergreen Playback Singers of Bollywood movies :A quiz on popular playback singers.
Bollywood – Do you know their real names? The Bollywood actors and actresses were not born with these popular and stellar on-screen names. Wanna test your knowledge of their given names? Try this quiz!
Bollywood Quiz 1 : The yesteryears!
- The Best Bollywood Movies of All Times
- 10 Best Movies with NRIs and India Abroad Theme
- 20 Best Bollywood movies of last 10 years
- 20 Best Bollywood movies of 90s decade
- Top 20 Bollywood Movies of 80’s
- Bollywood Quiz 5 – The Idiots and a Dog