Connect with us

Featured

10 Best Films Of The Year 2018

Subhash K . Jha

Published

on

What  a year it has been for  Hindi cinema! The hits and the  critically  acclaimed films  kept rolling out. At the last count 10 films of  the year had jumped  into the  100-crore league. Not all  of them deserved their success. Subhash KJha picks his  favourite films of  the year.

1.     Badhaai Ho: An absolute charmer, a delightful exploration  of  the  suburban middleclass and its sexual-emotional anxieties as  the  matriarch  of the family announces her pregnancy.All hell breaks loose.Sophomore director AmitSharma  eschews  melodrama and hysteria. The reined-in screenplay gives  the characters breathing(and breeding) space . The  narrative never  breathes down the characters’ neck, allows them to just be. Never before have  the people populating a movie-made housing colony seemed  so real. The performances were  so vivid and endearing I had to go back to them . And to think the  director Amit Sharma had earlier directed  the potboiler Tevar, best remembered  for putting the redoubtable  Manoj Bajpai  on screen in his innerwear  to  endorse a particular brand  of lingerie.Yuck.

2.     October: Shoojit Sircar’s delicately-drawn  love story about an annoyingly  selfimportant  hotel concierge (VarunDhawan) and his softspoken  colleague (newcomer Banita Sandhu) who slips and  falls into a coma. Did she give him  a hint of her feelings for him before she lost consciousness? This was an audacious and daring premise  for  a love story. But then when has Sircar  ever played the  game by the rules?  He breaks them with tender care  and  gives  us a romance as  wispy and gossamer as Shakti Samanta’s all-time classic Amar Prem, without R D Burman’s timeless songs. This  is the problem with romantic films today. The soul may have music. But the music hardly ever has soul.When Varun  Dhawan was  deeply effective when he was not busy showing us how daring an actor he is.

3.     Padmaavat: Despite a fatally flawed script,  this epic—yes the  only film this year that  qualified as one—sailed across to greatness on  the strength  of its visual resplendence  and the  power of its director the great Sanjay LeelaBhansali to  bring glory to large-screen grandiosity. Bhansali  for my money is  the best filmmaker  in our country  today. Every in Padmaavat spoke to  us  in a language of spectacular  resplendence. On a second viewing the  performances except Jim Sarbh  left me unmoved. I’d have liked to see more of   the love story between  RanveerSingh’s  Allauddin Khilji and Sarbh’s  transgender  character Malik Kafur .

4.     Lust Stories: This 4-storey treat  on Netflix has so much to give, it requires, no demands,  repeat viewing. The theme is  lust.  This orgasmic omnibus opens with the weakest  story story of the  lot. Anurag Kashyap’s  ploughsthrough the sexual  escapades of  one of the most  unlikable  female  heroines I’ve seen in recent times. Radhika Apte  plays the sexually active Kalindi,  a college lecturer with the hots for her  virgin student Akash Thosar who remains  virgin  no more after she finishes with him.

Zoya Akhtar’s story sees Bhumi Pedneker blossom into  an actress  of substance . Playing a house-help who is helping her unmarried single employer(Neil Bhoopalan) with his bucket-‘lust’ Bhumi hardly speaks. Zoya tracks her unspoken movement through the  apartment which she  knows intimately  but can never own, as her employer-lover’s prospective bride descends  on  the  ‘1 BKH’ apartment with her  folks,  reminding her   of her place in the domestic hierarchy.There is a kind of unvarnished elegance  in Zoya’s  delineation of domesticity .In the  third story   DibakarBannerjee does an Ingmar Bergman-Basu Bhattacharya portrait-from-a-fractured-marriage in the third story where lust is not a predominant impulse.

Desolation is.  And who better equipped than Manisha Koirala to project the hurt and wounded pride of a wife who has found comfort in her  husband’s best friend’s arms? Bannerjee uses  a lot of words  to heal wounds in the fractured relationship. Dibakar builds a bewildering wall around the  triangular  relationship. I found the fourth story  in this Lust-omnibus to be the hardest to define.  Clearly  Karan Johar enjoys the  orgasmic beat much more than the  other three directors. His story is an unabashed  ode to the  Big O, though a little  broad  and  tactless in  the way it  makes  the  self-pleasuring vibrator seem like  a tool of sexual liberation.Sending  the warrior queen to the battle field with a sword….It is  really not that simple

Still,  full credit to Karan Johar and all the other three directors of Lust Stories for opening that  door into the Indian middleclass’ sexual consciousness where there lurks a lust for self-fulfilment , seldom explored, scarcely  realized. For  exploring what  goes on behind those doors of middleclass bedrooms this omnibus deserves an ovation.

5.     Padman:  R Balki’s  heartfelt propaganda  film on  female  hygiene  is  to  menstruation  what  Toilet Ek PremKatha was to defecation. There is the period  film. And then there is the film about the periods. Excellence comes in many packages. But rarely in a small secret package wrapped a newspaper. Sometimes these packages cost Rs 55 and are completely out of reach for the non-urban women of India.One man in Tamil Nadu, who is miraculously a convincingly-transformed North Indian in Pad Man, decided to do something about making sanitary pads affordable to poor women. Balki adopts a simple straightforward linear narrative mode, leaving behind the swag and swagger ofChini Kam, Ki & Ka and the underrated Shamitabh to focus on the man and his mission with a singlemindeness of vision shared in equal measures by the protagonist and the filmmaker. There are passages of keen satire rubbing shoulders with fleeting images of deep contemplation in the supple sturdy and rugged storytelling,all merging in a marriage of Pure Cinema and Social Statement.

6.     Soorma:  At a time when supposedly responsible filmmakers are  glorifying gangsters, terrorists and sociopaths in ostensible  bio-pics, Soorma  about the struggles of hockey champ Sandeep Singh to overcome crippling obstacles  to claim  a name  among sports legends,comes as a gust of unpolluted air. This is a  film that  needed to be made  , a story about  a man whom future generations need to know about and  look up to. Damn,  the  young need role models from  our everyday life, not imported super-heroes  who can’t save their own egos even as they purport to save civilization  from destruction. Diljit Dosanjh makes the character and  his struggles look so artless  and  credible  you want to reach into the  innards  of  the  plot and hold the protagonist’s hand  and tell him, ‘It’s okay. You will be fine.I’ve suffered too.’In a sequence like the one where  Diljit pleads and  rages over the  phone against  his beloved’s  seeming  betrayal . Dilijit’s  gentle control over the  swelling  emotions is laudatory.If this  performance doesn’t  fetch  Dosanjh a National award, what will?

7.     Sui Dhaga:  After I saw Sharat Kataria’s  debut film Dum Lagake Haisha I hoped Kataria won’t sell out to the star system .But his second film starred a market -friendly lead star .I hoped Kataria’s second  film won’t lose the charm and innocence of the first. Providentially Sui Dhaga lost none of the delicacy and sting of  a tale rooted to the  soil, even while providing space to its leads to surrender of to their characters .Varun Dhawan surrenders to his characterMauji as though the role was tailor-made for him .Never afraid to look less than heroic on screen, Varun furnishes hisdarji’s characters with a rugged candour.This is an actor and a character  who are so sincere to their craft  they don’t mind crawling on the floor if that’s what it takes to stay afloat.Dhawan’s performance is filled with a smothered disappointment .it takes his quietly confident deceptively docile wife Mamta to bring out the suppressed ambition in her husband. The aspirational narrative of how Mauji finds his groove with considerable help from his street-wise wife ,works like a charm because all the performers are solidly sincere .But most of all Sui Dhaga wins our hearts because the director never milks the milieu for soppy sentimentality.Nor does he swing the other way to make the middle-class ambience a place to celebrate misery.The tone is constantly energetic yet poised.Kataria is neither awed by stillness nor intimidated by noiseHe listens to the heartbeat of the Indian heartland.We listen.

8.     Raazi: Though I  had several misgivings about the plot which bends backwards to show the  traditional enemy as empathetic , this  film is  finally a brave and sensitive  attempt to portray  the life  of  an Indian spy in Pakistan. Raaziis  that triumphant  film which leaves you with some serious misgivings. The  story, as we all know by now, is based on the real events during the eve of the 1971 Indo-Pak war when a valorous young Muslim Indian girl Sehmat  decided to cross the  border to become  wife in a Pakistani family of armymen to  gather information for  the  Indian government. It is an audacious tale. And one waiting to be filmed. As a work of cinematic art Raazi scores very highly , almost  rivaling  the director Meghna Gulzar’s previous film Talvar . Alia Bhatt lets her  performance merge into  Sehmat’s  moral dilemma . We often see her  break down in private. But her grief earns  no sympathy from us. Her imagined moral high-ground is not only patronizing  to the people whom she betrays  it is also unconvincing to us who watch in  horrified silence as she murders and double-deals with a defiant impunity.

9.     Mulk: It is  very  hard to  believe  that Sinha whose earlier credits include fluff stuff like Tum Bin and Ra.One ,  has actually created this modern political  masterpiece which attempts very successfully to humanize  a community that has been demonized by some negative elements. And yet Mulk doesn’t take sides, doesn’t make the  Indian Muslim community a portrait of  injured innocence.What  it does do—and full-marks to Anubhav Sinha for writing a script that doesn’t bend backwards to humanize  the  community under siege—is to lay bare the layers of deception that  mars a  truly fruitful dialogue between sane rational elements  in  both the Hindu and Muslim community.When the son(Prateik Babbar) from a Muslim family  in  the  dense  bylanes of Varanasi decides  to became  a so-called jihadi, the ramifications on his  family are deep and wounding.It is in portraying the  family’s  anguish that  Anubhavemerges  with cinema that’s masterly and  timely. There comes a time in the  taut narrative when the patriarch  of the family is asked to choose between home and safety. Rishi Kapoor making that resolute choice  reminded me  of BalrajSahni in Garam Hawa.

10.  Andha Dhun: Everything and nothing makes sense in the  morally unhinged world of Sriram Raghavan. People kill maim hoodwink and betray the unsuspecting at the drop of a hat. This  intricately  woven  whodunit’s hero is a blind  pianist ,  played with  eclectic  aplomb by Ayushmann Khurrana. We soon get to know the blind pianist  is  not blind after all. Though mercifully he remains  a pianist right until the bitter battered finale when nemesis is no longer willing to stay huddled in a corner. told with a verve and velocity that  the suspense genre has never experienced  before in Hindi cinema. So if you’ve been wondering why suspense films in  Indian cinema seem so amateurish  think no more.Andhadhun is  everything that  a murder mystery should be. Filled with morally reprehensible  characters including  an absolutely debauched   cop(Manav Vij, dazzlingly slimy)  it doesn’t try  to  impress us with the right moral values.God is on leave. And goodness is on a hunger strike in this film about greed passion and nemesis.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Must Read

Shatrughan-Sinha Shatrughan-Sinha
Featured3 hours ago

Shatrughan Sinha’s First Interview After Electoral Defeat

As the ballot count proved to go against Shatrughan Sinha’s victory in the Patna Sahib constituency the man Bihari Bahu...

Featured3 hours ago

Modi A Winner, Narendra Modi Bio-Pic No Takers

The Vivek Oberoi -enacted Narendra Modi bio-pic which opens on Friday ,holds little interest for the public. Held back by...

Featured3 hours ago

Priyanka Chopra Upstages Deepika In Cannes?

 Whether we choose to  sweep it under the  red carpet  or  not, the  Priyanka Chopra-Deepika Padukone rivalry is a resonant...

Lata Mangeshkars Interview With Subhash K Jha Lata Mangeshkars Interview With Subhash K Jha
Featured4 hours ago

India’s Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar Is Ecstatic Over Modi’s Win

The minute it was clear that Bollywood had only real electoral winner Sunny Deol the phones would stop ringing for...

Featured17 hours ago

India’s Most Wanted A Game-Changer In Cinema On Terrorism

India’s Most Wanted Starring Arjun Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma Written & Directed  by Rajkumar  Gupta Rating: ****(4 stars)  In  a milieu of  bustling  violence, terrorism  has...

Featured1 day ago

Hina Khan:“The Support I’ve Received From My Fraternity Is Overwhelming”

One condescending snobbish tweet from an arrogant entertainment editor has changed not only the course of television actress Hina Khan’s...

Featured1 day ago

“Vivek Oberoi Is A Creep,” Says Asha Parekh ,Shatrughan Sinha,Renuka Shahane Blast Vivek

Two days after Vivek Oberoi’s preposterous meme featuring Mrs Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her little daughter, the anger and rage...

Featured2 days ago

Inaamulhaq Takes On The Communal Issue In Varanasi

The Hindu-Muslim divide in India was never felt to be so pronounced before. And here’s where cinema could play an...

Featured2 days ago

No Sridevi, No Mr India Sequel, Says Shekhar Kapur

Not again! Rumours and gossip about a sequel to the 1987 landmark motion picture Mr India which brought to viewers...

Featured2 days ago

Career Frustration Behind Imran Khan’s Troubled Marriage

Imran Khan was at the top of the game when he married his long-standing girlfriend Avantika Malik in 2011. He...

Featured3 days ago

Pankaj Tripathi On Janhvi’s Kapoor’s Comment

The enormously talented Pankaj Tripathi is flooded with compliments for his recent performances.But at times the praise floors him. On...

Featured3 days ago

5 Reasons Why India’s Most Wanted Works Even Before Release

In the week when Will Smith will  take  over  the world over  as the  blue genie in Alladin , here comes  a...

Featured3 days ago

Hina Khan Triggers Off A Movement

Television’s very popular star Hina Khan has a lot to be thankful for, to entertainment journalist Jitesh Pillai. His disparaging...

Featured3 days ago

Vivek Oberoi’s Meme On Aishwarya Isolates Him Further From The Film Industry

If you have wondered why in spite of his  talent Vivek Oberoi made little headway with his  career  , his  latest  antic  gives ...

Entertainment4 days ago

Would Bharat Be The Lengthiest Film Of Salman’s Career?

Considering  it spans more than  70 years of storytelling  , would  Salman’s Eid release Bharat be the  lengthiest  film  of  his career?...

Featured4 days ago

Rajkumar Gupta Confirms Removal Of Controversial Religious References

We are living through volatile  dangerous  and touchy times when  one never knows what would end up offending one or...

Entertainment4 days ago

Saaho To Get A Much Bigger Release Than Baahubali

The  plans for Saaho are getting bigger  by the week.One now hears  that the producers  plan to put out  the film in...

Entertainment5 days ago

12 Actors Who Have Played Specially Abled characters.

Rani Mukherjee in Black, Konkona Sen-Sharma in 15 Park  , Priyanka Chopra in Barfi, Kalki Koechlinin Margarita With A Straw….what’s it about these inwardly-ravaged physically-challenged characters that makes them awards-worthy?...

Entertainment5 days ago

Priyanka Chopra One Song In Bollywood To Go, And She May Duet With Farhan

Priyanka Chopra has just one more song to complete before she’s done with Bollywood for now. The song, a romantic duet, will be filmed  on Priyanka and Farhan Akhtar who plays her husband  in Shonali Bose’s  The Sky...

Entertainment5 days ago

Malaal Gives Us Two Talents To Watch

The  trailer  of the Mangesh Hadawale-directed Malaal  is  out. Mangesh  helmed  an unforgettable film  called DekhCircus Dekh. It is  the finest  film of Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s career,and ...

Entertainment6 days ago

The Censor Board Didn’t Cut Babe-With-Booze-Bottle Scene

BFor a  couple  of days now there  have been stories  on  the Central Board  Of Film Certification(CBFC) ordering a booze...

Sunny Deol Career Hits Rock-Bottom Sunny Deol Career Hits Rock-Bottom
Entertainment6 days ago

No Plans For Gadar 2 Yet, Sunny Deol Denies It

 There were  reports recently  suggesting that Anil Sharma was  planning  a sequel to his  2002  mega-hit Gadar: EkPrem Katha the pre-Partition  love story about an Indian Sikh following...

Featured6 days ago

Ajay Devgan Is The Quiet Achiever

From balancing between two  motorcycles in his maiden  film Phool Aur Kante  to balancing two women  in  his latest  release De De Pyar De….that’s Ajay Devgan for you....

Featured1 week ago

5 Reasons Why De De Pyar De Looks Like A Winner

Because it’s Luv Ranjan, the game changer from Pyaar Ka Punchnama and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. This time Ranjan...

News & Interviews1 week ago

Sonam K Ahuja Preparing For Motherhood

From among the four high-profile recent Bollywood weddings(Anushka-Virat, Sonam-Anand, Deepika-Ranveer , Priyanka-Nick) it looks like Sonam and Anand would be...

Featured1 week ago

Hema Malini Hands Over Her Crown To Deepika Padukone

It’s official, Well,almost. Indian cinema’s undisputed Dream Girl Hema Malini has handed over her crown to a new successor. And...

Featured1 week ago

KGF To Release In China, Yash Reacts

Kannada superstar Yash has a lot to rejoice about. His last year’s release KGF was the surprise blockbuster of the...

Tiger Shroff No Kiss Clause Tiger Shroff No Kiss Clause
Featured1 week ago

Tiger Shroff Denies Being Approached For Bhaichung Bhutia’s Bio-pic

Youth icon Tiger Shroff is currently in the news for his all-system-go performance in Student of the Year 2. Though...

Featured1 week ago

De De Pyar De Is Cuddly Winsome & Naughty

De De Pyar De Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rakul  Preet Singh Directed by: Akiv Ali Rating: **** ½ (4 and a  half stars) Okay , guys,  there is  news....

Featured1 week ago

Ajay Devgan, Ranveer Singh Will Make Guest Appearances In Sooryavansham

Rohit Shetty’s khaki world just got much bigger, and more inviting. After Ajay Devgan’s Singham and Ranveer Singh’s Simmba, it...

Featured1 week ago

Siddharth Malhotra Dating Another Johar Protégé

Reliable sources from Karan Johar’s Dharma Production confirm that Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani are in a relationship. “They are...

Featured1 week ago

Pooja Bedi Speaks On The MenToo Movement

In the wake of actor-musician Karan Oberoi’s incarceration for alleged rape, Oberoi’s close friend Pooja Bedi has launched a MenToo...

shah rukh khan shah rukh khan
Featured1 week ago

7 Things Shah Rukh Won’t Be Part Of

Since Shah Rukh Khan has made it explicitly clear that he is in no hurry to move on to his...

Featured1 week ago

No Bollywood Debut For Manushi Chillar Yet

There are reports going around that beauty pageant winner Manushi Chillar would be making her debut opposite Akshay Kumar in...

Featured1 week ago

Ananya Pandey’s Role Was Reworked In Student Of The Year2

The one certainty that emerges from the mess created in Student Of The Year 2 is the star potential of...

Featured1 week ago

Karan Johar Stares At Another Flop In A Month

Scarcely had  Karan Johar’s Dharma  Production gotten  over the debacle  of  Kalank than another setback stares the illustrious  production  house  in  the face. Dharma  Productions  Student ...

Featured1 week ago

Shah Rukh Khan-Aanand Rai Fall-Out

The great creative partnership between Shah Rukh Khan and director Aanand L Rai has gone kaput, after the thundering failure...

Shabana In Auntyji A Short Film Shabana In Auntyji A Short Film
Featured1 week ago

Shabana Azmi: “I Am Not Going Anywhere”

A fake tweet with Shabana Azmi’s picture is being circulated stating that Shabana will leave the country if Narendra Modi...

Featured1 week ago

Ajay Devgan Prepones De De Pyar De To Thursday, Poor Response To SOTY2 Responsible?

The Luv Ranjan-produced Akiv-Ali directed Ajay Devgan-Tabu rom-com De De Pyar De has a new release date. It will now...

Featured2 weeks ago

Roshan Taneja’s Star-Pupils Pay a Homage To The Imcomparble Acting Guru

Roshan Taneja was to the art of acting what Lata Mangeshkar is to singing,or Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket.His death...

Featured2 weeks ago

Irrfan’s Right To Privacy Must Be Respected

We mediapersons tend to think a ‘no’ is not a no when a potential interviewer clearly doesn’t want to speak.That’s...

Featured2 weeks ago

Dia Mirza: “I Take My New Responsibility As UN’s SDG Advocate Very Seriously”

The very lovely Dia Mirza has been appointed one of the 6 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate by the...

Featured2 weeks ago

Roshan Taneja, The Incomparable Acting Guru Is No More

His star-pupil Shabana Azmi  speaks  to Subhash  K Jha  on   the legendary man-artiste-guru mentor.   “He was the only person...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Tiger 3 Is Being Preponed For Katrina

While there was a  gap of five years between Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai,the third film in the franchise will be  made  sooner  rather than ...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Momma Dearest, Bollywood Stars Want To Make Mother’s Say Special For Their Moms

Shabana Azmi: “At 89 Mashallah, Shaukat Kaifi is my mother, my child and my friend.Warm compassionate generous to a fault. But brutally frank. Her memory is failing....

Badnaam Gali Badnaam Gali
Entertainment2 weeks ago

Badnaam Gali Means Well, But Flounders & Falls

Badnaam Gali(Zee5) Starring  Patralekhaa, Divyenndu  Sharma Directed  by Ashwin Shetty Rating: ** ½(two and a  half stars)   A film on surrogate motherhood  for Mother’s Day....

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Vishal’s Ayogya Is Better Than Ranveer’s Simmba

Ayogya(Tamil) Starring Vishal Krishna,Raashi Khanna, K S Ravikumar Directed  by  Venkat Mohan Rating:  ****(4 stars)  For those who were wondering, why a third version  of  the...

Blowing Kisses At Fans & Clicking Selfies Is Not My Idea Of A Birthday Says Vishal Blowing Kisses At Fans & Clicking Selfies Is Not My Idea Of A Birthday Says Vishal
Featured2 weeks ago

Vishal Krishna: “Politics Behind Attempts To Sabotage My Film.”

Tamil  superstar Vishal Krishna  says he was  stunned  when  his producer  informed him that he  won’t be  able to release ...

Vishal Krishna Vishal Krishna
Featured2 weeks ago

Vishal Krishna’s Ayogya Release Delayed

In a  shocking incident  of  last-minute  upheaval, Tamil star and political activist  Vishal Krishna’s new  releaseAyogya was  stopped  from release in Tamil Nadu as  per ...

Entertainment2 weeks ago

Saif On The Success Of Sacred Games, Models His career On Tom Hardy

 In an effort to get the optimum work done without compromising  on  the quality  of  work,  Netflix has appointed two  separate  directors...

Advertisement

Most Popular