BOLLYWOOD 2015 - MEDIA MAHIMA'S TOP PICKS
The year 2015 saw an eclectic mix of movies hitting the screens. There were the usual mix of potboilers, formula films along with some niche movies. We at Media Mahima brainstormed together to pick what we felt were some of the outstanding hindi movies of 2015, in no particular order. In compiling this list we have gone beyond mere box-office numbers and looked at other aspects like story, direction to choose the movies.
Shoojit Sircar’s slice-of-the-life drama featured a great star cast with Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan in the lead roles. Amitabh played a Bengali patriarch with bowel movements. He makes it a habit to discus his bowel movements at the dining table much to the amusement of the audience. Deepika plays the responsible daughter who is torn between her responsibilities and straddling a professional career. In a refreshing change the lead female character made no bones about her sexual independence. While it can be annoying at times to deal with parents’ tantrums, at the same time our heart melts at the slightest discomfort in their health. Many in the audience could identify with Deepika’s character. The romance between cab driver Irrfan and Deepika was very subtle and not cliched. The movie had no over-the-top drama or cliched romantic moments. The movie approximately earned Rs 80 cr (gross) in India.
Sriram Raghavan made a successful comeback with this Varun Dhawan-starrer after the disastrous Agent Vinod. Varun shed his chocolate lover-boy image to play a serious role in this crime thriller & proved he is here to stay in Bollywood. The conventional story about crime & revenge was given a new twist by Raghavan. The plot revolves around a bank heist gone wrong with Varun Dhawan ending up as the unexpected victim of the crime. The twists and turns in Varun’s revenge tale kept the audience hooked till the end. What worked in the movie’s favor was also the stylishly composed scenes, a haunting background music & great cinematography to capture the movie’s dark mood. Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the baddie was once again brilliant in his performance. Badlapur grossed Rs 51 cr at the Indian box office.
TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS
Anand L Rai’s sequel to the 2011 movie Tanu Weds Manu was a runaway hit. Kangana Ranaut charmed the audience in her double role. The movie had double the dose of humor compared to the original movie. While Tanu was a wild and reckless girl who loves to defy rules, Datto on the other hand was a Haryanvi sportswoman who endeared the audience with her emotions. While the script was predictable, the punch lines in the movie wonderfully enacted by Kangana which had the audience in splits. The screenplay reflected the cultural and linguistic nuances of middle-class Delhi and Haryana.
DUM LAGAA KE HAISHA
Director Sharat Katariya’s debut movie starring Ayushmann Khurana and Bhumi Pednekar was a sweet, warm love story that endeared our hearts. The plot revolved around an arranged marriage wherein the male protagonist is married off to an overweight girl. Set in small town Haridwar, Bhumi’s character is a well-educated woman with excellent English speaking skills. The movie also brought back the 90’s style soulful and peppy music with Ayushman’s character being a huge Kumar Sanu fan and an audio-cassette retailer. One of the highlights of the movie was the beautiful song Moh Moh Ke Dhaage written by Varun Grover. The movie made a 100% return on its investments.
This cross-border drama with the message of subcontinental peace starring Salman Khan emerged as one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. However the real star of the film was the child actor Harshaali Malhotra. Her smile, playful eyes and a face can melt even the toughest heart. The Kabir Khan directed movie witnessed one of Salman's most mellowed-down performances in recent times. The plot revolved around a Hanuman devotee Salman trying to reunite an abandoned child from Pakistan with her parents. Nawazuddin Siddqui as a Pakistani TV reporter left the audience amazed and charmed with his performance. The dialogues were written in such a way as to avoid hurting any religious sentiments. The movie earned around Rs 320 cr gross in India.
DIL DHADAKNE DO
Zoya Akhtar’s family drama had a stellar ensemble cast led by Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah. The plot revolves around a dysfunctional family who embark on a cruise to celebrate their parents’ wedding anniversary. Priyanka Chopra, as the daughter of the family is under pressure to produce a heir even though she refuses to reveal she is trapped in an unhappy marriage. The heir apparent played by Ranveer Singh is more interested in romancing Anushka Sharma, a cabaret dancer rather than concentrating on the family business. Make no mistake Zoya’s film is set in an upper-middle class background but it also mocks how the privileged take themselves too seriously. The movie could have been trimmed for duration and the climax was a big letdown. Shefali Shah as the frustrated wife and worried mother portrayed her character brilliantly. Her interactions including the dining table quibbles with Anil and the scene where she stuffs her face with cake are among the movie’s highlights. The movie earned around Rs 77 cr gross.
Imtiaz Ali’s second outing with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone was a different attempt at exploring love, life, relationships with a beautiful message. The underlying theme of the movie was that modern life is routine and mechanical and we go perform our daily duties like a robot. There was sizzling chemistry between Ranbir and Deepika along with scenic beauty of Corsica where a part of the movie was shot. The dialogues are peppered with background songs and songs by AR Rahman with lyrics by Irshad Kamil in such a way that they weave in with the storyline. Ranbir’s character is fascinated and obsessed with stories and theatre but is torn between it and earning a living and pursuing a typical 9-5 job. Deepika re-asserts her acting capabilities in the movie while Ranbir shows off yet again why is he so brilliant. Some of the sequences in the movie were outstanding like the one where Ranbir talks to his family about himself or be it the sequence at the club where Deepika apologizes profusely and pleads Ranbir not to leave her and go. The first half until the interval could seem dragging in places but the movie picks up pace in the second half. This complex story is among Imitaz Ali’s best work till date.
Director Kabir Khan's second movie outing in 2015 explored the familiar theme of India-Pakistan bilateral relations. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif this movie was a decent thriller which did not find much favor with critics and box office. The plot revolves around a man’s mission to eliminate the four perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The movie featured some slick action scenes with great sets resembling Syria and Pakistan. However the Titanic-inspired ending was a dampener to the proceedings. The lead pair of Saif and Katrina were termed as the weakest link of the movie with both of them lacking emotional energy. However the film had a good message - India should not bow down to terrorism in the name of diplomatic relations.
Box Office Figures Source: