Acceptance of well scripted and unexplored genres from low to medium budget movies and back to back rejection of ‘super star ‘ movies at the box office marks 2018 as the year of ‘evolution’ in Cinema.
Here are the 10 movies of 2018 that make it to the ‘paisa wasool’ list.
A school teacher with Tourette’s Syndrome struggles to first find a job and then to stay at it. The challenge is to tame a bunch of slum children who are perpetually rebellious against an uptight school. What could be border line annoying with the constant vocal tics and wrist movements, Rani Mukerji manages to make the condition look natural and non-distracting. What adds to the charm of the story are some brilliant actors in the role of the students and absolutely believable characters. This one was a good 2nd come back for Rani Mukerji and is worth a one time watch.
Less is more. Only Shoojit Sircar could have made a movie about love, without an active female protagonist, with a supremely toned down male lead, in absence of cliches and yet pull all the right chords. It is much more than a love story, it is about the small moments in a mundane life that leave you resilient and introspecting, the moments that define you. October for Varun Dhawan is what Lootera was for Ranveer Singh. Not a commercial entertainer, but has its own paisa wasool moments.
‘All Muslims are not terrorists’, the subject is not unexplored. The treatment although is much raw, real and dark. The courtroom drama is ofcourse exaggerated to suit Indian audience but is far from flimsy. Brilliant actor pair of Rishi Kapoor and Tapsee Pannu work best for breaking the presumptions of terrorism and religion. This one went unnoticed at the box office but makes a decent TV watch.
It is Hansal Mehta’s unusual biography of a dreaded terrorist Omar Sheikh with his 4th time partner Rajkumar Rao. The conventional course of a biography – backstory and building up to the climax is knocked out of the door. Rao slips into the skin of the character in this fast paced drama with a terrifying conviction and dives straight to the cruelties . It’s a slightly complex thriller for a 1 and half hour runtime with intercuts of documented facts and a lot left unanswered. Yet a brave and brilliant attempt by the director -actor duo.
Another one of Nawazuddin’s phenomenal performances which is difficult to review or comment upon. Nandita Das’s direction is close to flawless for a period drama. The beautiful amalgamation of Manto’s writing and his own life incidents bring out the conflict the writer goes through between his imagination and reality, where he finds more truth in imagination and disgrace in reality.
A tricky theme which is inherently humorous., a middle class Delhi family full of odbolls and a bunch of phenomenal actors at their best. A slice of life storytelling that is full of wit and warmth makes for another ‘genre-bending’ release for 2018. Watch it if you haven’t already.
Sport-centric movies had there phase in Bollywood with hits like Sultan and Dangal. The glamorised bollywood version which made for good cinematic experience. Mukkabaaz is ripped of the nationalism and ‘race-to-victory’ storytelling that have proven to guarantee applause. Anurag Kashyap like his usual self explores the gruesome and corrupt realities of sports and politics in UP. Vineet Kumar Singh puts his heart and soul in Mukkabaz and Jimmy Shergill tops his own performances another time. It’s a shame that all of this went unnoticed.
The coming together of Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar is hardly ever short of melodrama. Place this in a patriotic Indo-Pak spy story and you can certainly expect Bollywood bravado. But despite all the temptations of jingoism, Raazi remains subtle and heartfelt, all thanks to the sensibilities of Director Meghna Gulzar. Raazi is simplistic, crisply edited with some nuanced performances. Not extraordinary, but certainly in that direction
Kudos to Sriram Raghavan to have created something that falls out of the bounds of any genre. Andhadhun is dizzying series of plot twirls that reveal one after the other with no fuss, only with clever camera movement and flattering piano chords. Tabu is impeccable as a delusive housewife and Ayushman steps out of his comfort to deliver what might be his career best so far.
Elements of horror, comedy and satire, all in one go, that didn’t even seem plausible. But then as you watch Stree, you are dunked in moments of laughs and thrills and you walk out thoroughly entertained, top that with a social message and an intriguing end. There are already speculation about its sequel and we can’t wait to see these crazy bunch of actors come together again.
Tumbad and Manmarziyaan is yet to be watched, hence not in the list. What were your favourites for 2018? Leave in the comments below.