For starters, the last few years haven’t been too good for Indian Cinema and the degrading quality of films that includes 100 remakes per year have really brought the overall moral down. To my surprise, 2015 has been way better. Half way through we have had some really good films in our hands. Here is a list of my favorite films of 2015, so far.
- Dil Dhadakne Do | Director: Zoya Akhtar.
I wasn’t a fan of the film but if there could be one film out of the bad films of the year that I had to pick for this list, this would be the one. After the much acclaimed and loved Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara, hopes were soaring high for Zoya Akhtar’s next multi-starrer Dil Dhadakne Do. While it had moments of complete serenity and chaos, the brilliance and charm was somehow missing. When a dog has to explain the emotions to you, I draw a line there.
- NH10 | Director: Navdeep Singh.
Inspired from the horrific slasher film Eden Lake, Navedeep Singh’s NH10 was bold and gritty. With shades of honor killing and rural issues relating women, this film could have been one of the bests of the year but its uneven narrative and a half-hearted screenplay did not bring it to the heights it deserved.
- Baby | Director: Neeraj Pandey.
January has mostly been a month of bad movies for as far as I can remember. But once and again there are few films that break the spell. It was Dedh Ishqiyan last year and it was Baby this time around. This Neeraj Pandey film took me by surprise. Firstly, it was one of most tense thriller in recent times in Bollywood and surprisingly it has good and witty humor to do all the right things. Even though most of it is petty influence from its Hollywood counterpart. It managed to leave me breathless a couple of times. The plot was silly but then the dash of Deshbhakti thrown in felt quite apt (when you compare to the bullcrap thrown in Happy New Year last year). Then there was Taapsee Pannu who managed to outshine many other big names in a single scene. It’s also a rare piece of event cinema – because how many Akshay Kumar movies turn out to be anything besides awful?
- Hunterrr | Director: Harshavardhan Kulkarni.
This has to be the surprise of the year. I never expected it be anything more than a raunchy adult comedy. But, on the contrary its a lot more than that. Its a sort of a coming-of-age film that talks about a man refusing to be a man. What works for the film is that the director knows when to play safe and when not to, he also fills the film up to its brim with nostalgia which makes it very difficult for people like us to take our eyes off.
- Margarita With A Straw | Director: Shonali Bose.
A bold, poignant and charming film about a girl with a disability. Shonali Bose’s film never gets you overly sympathetic towards the central character. It just shows how problematic the life of a girl can get when compared to other’s of her own age. It talks about love, loneliness, sex and motherhood but that one last shot of the film shows how accepting oneself should be the prime aim in life.
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns | Director: Anand Rai.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns was not your usual Bollywood sequels that turn out to be nothing but a quibbled query. Anand Rai knows how to get the Indian audience to like a seemingly unlikable pair. He doesn’t necessarily give his characters depth but he gives them a witty mouth, a knack of delivering dialogues and a small, but essential heart. Tanu Weds Manu Returns took us through a journey of ups and downs as we see Tanu & Manu move apart, lose interest and eventually give up on the happy-part of a marriage. It also showed us how a woman shouldn’t be judged by where she comes from and what she does. It also showed us that people like Jimmy Shergil, Deepak Dobriyal & Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub can work wonders if given the right things to work with. And above all it cemented the fact that Kangana Ranaut is all set to take the world by storm.
- Dum Laga Ke Haisha | Director: Sharat Katariya.
Filled with 90s nostalgia, this Yashraj Film is one of the most honest and feel-good films of recent times. While mostly it talks about the fact that love comes in all sizes, it doesn’t fail to make a point that marriage is not just a 8 letter word that can be tossed around for ones profit.
- Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! | Director: Dibakar Banerjee.
Banerjee’s seluth thriller had some pacing issues but apart from that it almost got everything else right. People can go on complaing about how the director ruined the age old character for them, but being a fan of the television show I can ensure that this film was brilliant. From the set design, to the cinematography, to the brilliant score to the acting everything was pitch perfect. The only mistake that Banerjee made was putting up too much story for the naive Indian audience to digest.
- Piku | Director: Shoojit Sircar.
The duo of Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi work magic together. After the brilliant Vicky Donor, the duo came up with a story that basically revolves around ‘shit'(Literally) but has so much more to say. It’s fascinating how these people find ordinary but well-fleshed out characters in peculiar problems. The film was not just about how we should treat our parents when they grown old but it also had toilet humor that was not crass but adorable. Piku reminds us of simple concepts: like the need to give unconditional support to parents however flawed they might be.
- Badlapur | Director: Sriram Raghavan.
Badlapur was a dark, twisted tale of revenge, grief and forgiveness. With brilliant performances, both behind and infront of the camera, Badlapur witnessed the return to form for director Sriram Raghavan. It also almost cemented the fact that Varun Dhawan can act if asked to.