Hindi films are known for their songs and entertaining elements with very little attention paid to the story, script and screenplay. Most producers prefer to sign big starts, shoot the film on foreign locations, remix few old hit songs, add item number and they are done with the film. Most of the time – this formula-films collect crores of rupees at the box office and become hits. But there is also a kind of cinema which is less commercial and focuses on cinematic aesthetic as a whole. This kind of cinema is known or called by many names among which the popular are Independent Film, Low Budget Film, Art Film and Art House Film.
2018 proved to be that watershed moment of Bollywood for which cinephiles waiting for long. This year would be remembered for the rise of independent, experimental, realistic, and new age cinema on the big screen. All varieties and genres of films released in this year. Here, in this list we will be discussing the films which broke the chain, carved a path, established itself, earnt at the box office, set trend and changed the face of Hindi cinema as well as the perspective of audience towards Bollywood.
After a long time, Bollywood has added to its list another fresh fright-tale #tumbbad, a real treat to all the horror hungry fellas as it has everything u need to get your bones shivered. Rahi Anil Barve’s directorial debut is poetic, lilting, agonizing, horrifying, fresh and new of its kind in India. It is not just a regular horror movie as most of us want to slot every movie into a genre. The movie has world-class cinematic feel its story that is steeped in Hindu mythology. The movie is divided into three chapters which trace the story of the protagonist from childhood to his ultimate fate. From the very opening scene, a gloomy atmosphere as it rains throughout the movie remains which heighten the tension.
The movie has been shot totally in natural light which makes most of the scenes dark, making viewing in a theatre mandatory. Pankaj Kumar, (who earlier shot Ship of Theseus) has done an outstanding job in capturing the locations giving beautiful pictures. It will stick to your consciousness enough for it to be a pop-up dream, rousing you suddenly in thoughts and ruminations to see it. It’s a story of horrors of some of the man’s sins. No horror films have been made in Indian cinema till date as this. This film has changed the definition of Horror film in the Indian context. It has created a name for itself in the history of Indian cinema. Whenever, in the future, the Horror films will be discussed in India then it will be divided into before Tumbbad and after Tumbbad. This film needs to be screened, discussed, applauded and encouraged.
A young man from a respected Muslim family of Banaras indulges in a ghastly act of terrorism which casts an evil spell on the entire family. All of them are accused of aiding and abetting the crime and being terrorists. Cases are brought to court wherein Hindu daughter-in-law of the same family fights for justice against prevalent prejudice in society. Court’s verdict doesn’t matter because the judgement closes one case but leaves the viewers with many questions which are thought-provoking.
This film stands out for its subject and objective portrayal of the same. This hard-hitting and sensitive topic is discussed in detail with cinematic excellence. While our heart bleeds for the family of people affected by terror attacks, nobody thinks about the ordeal which innocent members of terrorist’s family go through which eventually gets extrapolated to the entire community, mostly for financial and/or political gains. Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu and Ashutosh Rana bring in the right amount of emotion, expression and aggression to their respective roles. Courtroom sequences are noteworthy for its engaging, isolating, disturbing and contemplating dialogues.
A daughter marries a Pakistani man to keep up her father’s mission of saving the nation. She goes ahead with a motive to spy them and to know their intentions and plans. In this verge, events take place, secrets unfold and a lot of things come her way. This film is dedicated to the unsung heroes who sacrifice everything for the betterment of the nation. The film drives strong content and is gripping from the very beginning till the end. Both Aliya Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal are skin deep into their characters which add fire to the intensity of the film. A film worth a watch and Bollywood definitely needs more movies like this. Meghna Gulzar has done a wonderful job as a director. She has proved herself to be a versatile director after making Talvar and Raazi.
This movie stands out for its unique narration and presentation of a horror story with humour, suspense and finally delivering a message beautifully without being preachy or over dramatic. The way this film is written and narrated keeps you at the edge of your seat with a smile, laughter as well as curiosity to keep guessing what happens next. Rajkumar Rao with his comic time and performance wins your heart, even after having less screen time Shraddha Kapoor played her role with ease and precision. Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khuranna, Abishek Banerjee are a delight to watch on screen. It’s a mood swinger film.
Andhadhun is a perfectly stitched thriller which keeps you at the edge of your seat with thrill chill and fun throughout the film. From start to end, it’s totally unpredictable and unexpected. The main characters of the film add extra value to film with their tight performances. It’s unique and something really fresh with a new concept, screenplay, characterization, narration and overall execution. Ayushmann excels as Akash and Tabu immersed into her negative role so beautifully that you forget for a moment that she is Tabu. The Background Score of the film and editing are done brilliantly. However, eventually, it’s the director who brings this film in such a way that marks its mark in Bollywood as well on the audience.
Extremely entertaining ‘Badhaai Ho’ is exactly how a film should be. Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s film grips, engages, wakes conscience up, entertains and hits hard on your face. You celebrate pregnancy and motherhood in your family, but what if a middle-aged couple gets pregnant? Does it remain the same? To add to it, if this happens with your own parents, would it remain as happy as it was before? This film breaks the norms that ‘Log Kya Kahenge?’ and makes you see the taboos with normalcy. With a colourful approach towards togetherness, it redefines love and affection even in the middle age of life. It’s a powerful addition in the list of bold films, aiming to change the way we live.
Ayushmann proves that he has carved a niche for himself in the Hindi film industry. In every shade of his character, he gives his best. You don’t see Ayushmann but only Nakul behaving and reacting to situations in his own life. Sanya Malhotra is wonderful too. In her restrained act, she shines like the bright sun as her character has depth and realism. No word is enough for scintillating acting of Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta. Both these actors have done justice their characters. Overall, it’s a wonderful film that should not be missed.
The list and its sequencing are based on cinematic sensibilities of the writer. However, you are welcome to give your suggestion.