2018 was an excellent year for movies. There were several other content-driven films that glorified Hindi cinema this year and won several accolades abroad. These movies were praised by critics and audience as well.
So if you are a movie buff, here are some of the must-watch Bollywood movies you need to re-watch before you enter 2019. You can thank us, later.
An Indian girl marries the son of a Pakistani army officer. This is no ordinary girl. She’s a spy and her name is Sehmat, brought alive on screen by Alia Bhatt. The Meghna Gulzar spy caper once again proves Bhatt as an acting powerhouse, who had previously wowed critics with a hard-hitting portrayal in Udta Punjab (2016).
Intrepid Sehmat, a RAW undercover agent, picks up the threads which her ailing father had left. She uses her marriage to Iqbal Syed (Vicky Kaushal), son of a Pakistani military officer, to rat on the enemy.
Raazi combines the dirty intelligence-gathering that goes on both sides of the border on one hand with a more balanced and humanistic idea of patriotism and what you can do for your country, on the other. It’s one of those rare films that does not go all bombastic on Pakistan, reminding us that people across the LoC, too, are just like us. As with Talvar, Meghna Gulzar displays a knack for handling a complex subject with fast-paced plotting and enough twists and turns to keep a regular viewer hooked.
Based on a “ridiculous phenomenon,” first-timer Amar Kaushik’s Stree is a horror comedy, on the lines of Go Goa Gone. No coincidence, then, that the two films share the same writers — the two-headed directors, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K.
A novel take on a popular folktale, Stree is about a female ghost (Shraddha Kapoor) terrorising Chanderi, a village in Madhya Pradesh. Seeking retribution for male cruelty and humiliations, she preys exclusively on men (usually hunting at night). If only the rest of real-life India were as safer for women as Chanderi! Anyway, to defuse the ghost’s evil intent, the only solution seems to be to put up a sign outside your home that reads, ‘Aye woman, come tomorrow.’
This is a smart, tightly-edited film with an open-interpretation ending in which the principal cast Rajkummar Rao, Shraddha Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana and Abhishek Banerjee appear to be having a blast. Ditto the audience.
Ayushmann Khurrana has scored big this year. The reason could be his interesting choice of scripts. First Andhadhun, then Badhaai Ho. Both released within weeks of each other in October. Usually, two films in such close succession is career suicide. But in Khurrana’s case, they turned out to be blockbusters. Lucky streak!
Khurrana, who has a soft corner for quirky subjects (sperm donation in Vicky Donor and erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan), plays a man trapped in an awkward situation. The Kaushiks are a regular middle-class Delhi family. Until, Khurrana’s middle-aged mother (Neena Gupta) discovers she is pregnant. Director Amit Ravindernath Sharma uses this thread to give us some of the funniest everyday comic moments of 2018. The senior Kaushiks (Gupta and screen husband Gajraj Rao) become an object of curiosity. Then, one day, the embarrassed Khurrana accepts the reality of his situation. When teased by friends about his mother’s unexpected pregnancy, he tells off one with, “Tere liye toh mera baap hi kaafi hai.” The father, who had till then done nothing extraordinary in life, finally becomes a hero in the eyes of his children, oddly by way of becoming a father once more. One commentator interpreted it as a “spiritual sequel” to Vicky Donor. Now, that’s a fun way to look at this refreshing comedy!
Could this be Sriram Raghavan’s best noir? It’s certainly one of his most darkly enjoyable. Watch the absurd scene where the blind pianist (Ayushmann Khurrana) has walked into a murder. He sits there, as Tabu, the adulteress, cleans out her dead hubby’s body. At hand is her lover, a bulked-up cop who eats dozens of eggs at breakfast lovingly prepared by his wife and unloads all the protein in bed with another woman. (This is his betrayed wife talking). Add to this mix a doctor and his shady organ racket and what you have is probably the raciest and craziest thriller of this year. Wait till you get to the bizarre climax. No spoilers: We will leave you to crack the ending on your own. Oh wait, a word of caution: hold on to your liver!
Have we missed out any popular ones? Tell us in the comments section below.