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My Favorite Hindi Films of 2016

December 27, 2016 Leave a comment

In 2016, Bollywood got a January AIRLIFT  that ended with a “Dhaakad” December DANGAL. What happened in between was a topsy-turvy ride of classic ups and downs!

As an audience, we were taken for fools (WAZIR, TE3N, AZHAR) and our sensibilities were tested (HOUSEFULL 3, DISHOOM, KI & KA). We were subjected to some sleep-inducing experiences (FITOOR, BAAR BAAR DEKHO, MOHENJO DARO), had our eardrums assaulted (BAAGHI, FORCE 2, SHIVAAY) and even saw our hearts broken, thanks to some colossal disappointments (MIRZYA, BEFIKRE, ROCK ON!2).

But all was not lost! Redemption found its way through some exemplary films and into our hearts.  My personal belief in good cinema came out unscathed and as per the annual tradition, I am presenting the list of my Top 15 Bollywood films of 2016.

I laughed and I cried. I was thrilled and I was moved. I was shaken and I was excited. I experienced a gamut of emotions through these fifteen offerings and I hope that you experienced similar feelings while watching at least a few of them.

15.) PINK

Essential. Relevant. Topical. Superbly Acted.

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14.) MADAARI

Irrfan. Irrfan. Irrfan.

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13.) PHOBIA

Smart. Clever. Terror-ific horror, minus the gore, mayhem or ghosts/spirits. Oh…and that superlative actor named Radhika Apte.

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12.) AIRLIFT

Motivational. Tight script. Commendable translation from the real-life to the big screen. A restrained Akshay Kumar, minus his usual buffoonery.

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11.) NEERJA

Riveting. Edge-of-the-seat re-enactment of a tragic episode. The claustrophobic atmosphere, aptly captured. And of course, a huge surprise called Sonam Kapoor.

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10.) FAN

Ah, the return of King Khan. Tightly shot. Thrilling. Taut screenplay. Great chase sequences.

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9.) DHANAK

Heart-warming. Warm. Lovable. Excellent kids film, for adults alike. Wonderfully acted by the child actors. One for the entire family.

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8.) RAMAN RAGHAV 2.0

Look at the screen. No…look away. No, look again. Spine-tingling. Bone-chilling. Cringe-inducing. Vintage Anurag Kashyap. Stunning acting by Vicky Kaushal and that chameleon, Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

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7.) KAPOOR & SONS

Entertaining. Touching. Emotional. Brave. Great ensemble casting.

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6.) AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL

Finally, the return of Karan Johar. The year’s best music. Great acting (naturally!) by the lead couple. Bittersweet.

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5.) ALIGARH

Poignant. Tragic. Absolutely essential viewing. Brilliantly acted by Manoj Bajpayee.

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4.) DANGAL

Rousing. Motivating. Inspiring. Clapworthy. And memorable performances by the four girls!

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3.) WAITING

Absolutely wonderful story. Humane. Moving. Truly one of the year’s best.

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2.) NIL BATTEY SANNATA

Humane. Humorous. Sweet. Emotional. Pulls at your heartstrings. Highly inspirational. Endearing. Must-see for everyone.

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1.) UDTA PUNJAB

Hard-hitting. Relevant. Brutal. Honest. In-your-face. Haunting music. And what a superlative cast! Quite easily the Best of the Year 2016.

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(Honorable Mentions: SULTAN, DEAR ZINDAGI, KAHAANI 2, MS DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY, JUGNI.)

Categories: Bollywood, Movies