Top 10 Hindi Films of 2016

Best Bollywood Releases of 2016

Here is our pick for the top 10 films offered by Bollywood in the year 2016. Various criteria have been taken into consideration before closing in on these these 10 films. First and foremost, considerable importance is given to films which offer some food for thought and have cinematic flair in addition to being socially relevant. Apart from these, various other aspects like direction, screenplay, editing, cinematography, music, and the quality of acting have also been taken into consideration.
10. Nil Battey Sannata

Nil Battey Sannata, Movie Poster, Swara Bhaskar

Nil Battey Sannata is a simple film with a lot of heart that serves a powerful lesson about life. How with passion and determination we can overcome all odds to realize not only our dreams but also the dreams of those we love. Embellished by panoply of colorful characters, Nil Battey Sannata is a kind of cinema that inspires and uplifts. The film marked the directorial debut of Ashwini Iyer Tiwari who also co-wrote the screenplay. Nil Battey Sannata is a good example of how well-made small budget films can actually prove to be profitable ventures.

9. Airlift

Airlift, movie poster, starring akshay kumar, nimrat kaur

Airlift, inspired by real events, presents the tale of a gritty Kuwait-based Indian businessman named Ranjit Katyal who against all odds orchestrates the evacuation of Indian citizens stuck in Kuwait during the 1990 Iraq-Kuwait war. Till date, it remains the biggest civil evacuation operation in history—Air India holds the Guinness world record for the most people evacuated by a civil airline. With its anti-war motifs, socio-political commentary, swipes at politicians and bureaucracy, and a strong sense of nationalism, Airlift proves to be a lot more than a run-of-the-mill Bollywood production. The film serves as a powerful reminder of one of the most tumultuous phases in modern history. The movie is extremely well shot and has a sort of international feel to it. Just like all good rescue films, the emotional quotient is rather on the higher side but barring a few overdramatic moments the element of realism is quite commendable. Airlift is a well-made thriller that has something for everyone. The pacing is brilliant without a single dull moment. All Indians, resident as well as non-resident, ought to check it out!

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8. Ki & Ka

Ki & Ka, Movie Poster, starring Arjun and Kareena Kapoor, directed by R. Balki

Ki & Ka, directed by R. Balki, is a romantic comedy tries to break the gender-related stereotypes prevalent in our society. The movie makes us realize that both men and women are equally responsible for embracing the stereotypes imposed upon them by the society. The movie transcends the gender divide by acknowledging that the tussle between a breadwinner and a homemaker exists regardless of the gender and is often triggered by a lack of understanding. Ki & Ka can also be seen an attempt on the part of R. Balki to redefine the established conventions associated with marriage. The film offers valuable lessons for young, old as well as soon-to-be couples such as emphasizing upon the importance of giving space to one’s partner in a relationship. The movie has its share of flaws, but the execution more or less compensates for it. The cinematic flair seen in Balki’s earlier films is definitely missing here but there is no dearth of entertaining content that simultaneously makes us think.

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7. Pink

Pink is easily one of the best court room dramas to have come out of Bollywood in recent times. It is a story of three modern independent women, sharing an apartment in Delhi, whose lives turn upside down when one of them is wrongly accused of trying to murder a man belonging to a powerful political family. Directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, the film is a smack in the face of those who question the way modern women choose to live and the way they dress. While Pink has its share of flaws, the movie’s greatest strength is its strong stand against gender inequality and sexual violence. Here is a film that just cannot be ignored.

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6. Kapoor & Sons

Kapoor & Sons, Movie Poster, Alia Bhatt, Fawad Khan, Sidharth Kapoor

Kapoor & Sons, co-written and directed by Shakun Batra, revolves around a dysfunctional upper class Punjabi family residing in the hill station town of Coonoor situated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The movie teaches us to enjoy the little moments in life, for nothing lasts forever. It also reminds us of the importance of family in our lives—something which most of us seem to take for granted. Kapoor & Sons is essentially a film about human relationships and shows how severely our lives can get impacted if they ever turned sour. Here is a powerful lesson for one and all on the importance of relationships in our lives.

5. Udta Punjab

Udta Punjab, co-written and directed by Abhishek Chaubey, is an eye-opening account of the ongoing drug crisis in Punjab that is fast engulfing the youth of the state. The film shows how drugs consume the mind, body and soul. The disturbing reality that Punjab has become makes one’s heart boil with anger and eyes wet with tears. Udta Punjab is a historical film in many ways. While it succeeds in tackling a controversial subject like cross border drug trafficking with great conviction, it also serves as a potent case study that dares to question the relevance of adhering to obsolete censorship norms in modern India, perhaps giving a new lease of life to Hindi cinema. Here is a film with powerful socio-political commentary, heavily laced with satire, which needs to be watched by drug addicts and non-addicts alike.

4. Shivaay

Shivaay, directed by Ajay Devgn, revolves around a Himalayan mountaineer who is committed to protecting his family at all costs. Two things are required to make a movie like Shivaay. Vision and the resolve to back that vision. Shivaay has one of the best uses of music (Western as well as Indian), diegetic and non-deigetic sound for a commercial Hindi film with the visual and aural complementing each other brilliantly. Shivaay makes for a rare cinematic experience that may usher in a new age of cinema in the context of Hindi film industry. Finally, there is a film that looks set to challenge Hollywood on the technical frontier thanks to its cutting edge VFX that makes the film a reality.

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3. Fan

Fan, Movie Poster, Directed by Maneesh Sharma, starring Shah Rukh Khan
Fan, directed by Maneesh Sharma, serves as a powerful example of cinema’s influence on society and individuals. It doesn't back down from taking swipes at the established notions of fandom and stardom. The movie is a reminder of the boiling passion that drives a fan. While the movie encourages the fans to be more than just fans by following more meaningful pursuits in life, it also warns the stars to be more responsible to their fans. Fan’s cutting edge VFX is a first for Hindi cinema and perhaps a parallel can be drawn to what the Lord of the Rings proved to be for Hollywood. Fan’s rather grim ending may have marred its prospects at the box-office but about ten years from now it would be remembered not for its ending but for its courage and cinematic vision.

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2. Aligarh

Aligarh, Movie Poster, Directed by Hansal Mehta, starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao

Aligarh is a biographical drama film directed by Hansal Mehta that's based on the life of an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor named Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras who got suspended from his job for being gay even as the Delhi High Court declared homosexuality legal thorough an amendment in Section 377. After successfully challenging his suspension in Allahabad High Court, Prof. Siras was found dead in his house under suspicious circumstances. Aligarh tackles the highly misunderstood subject of homosexuality with considerable subtlety. Movies like Aligarh make us uneasy; force us to think more freely than what we are normally accustomed to. Here, Mehta paints a devastating portrait of human suffering that makes one question the endless hypocrisies of the world we live in. He doesn’t shy away from taking swipes at media, religion, law, politics, and society at large. Wrapped underneath its complexities and hidden subtexts, Aligarh is a simple film about a common man who suffers at the hands of an inconsiderate society. Here is a film that cannot be overlooked.

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1. Buddha in a Traffic Jam

Buddha in a Traffic Jam is powerful film about morality, corruption and social injustice that forces us to think about things which we don’t usually pay heed to. The film was panned by the Indian left-wing lobby at the time of its release. The issue at the heart of Buddha in a Traffic Jam is the Naxalite crisis. But the film dares to show us a different side to the Naxalite movement which is not a struggle in the jungle anymore but is driven as per a sophisticated business model designed by the high thinking masterminds. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, Buddha in a Traffic Jam is well researched and extremely well made. The film presents its ideas, whether one agrees with them or not, in a fluid manner: It is real pity that a film was unjustly censured for leaning towards the right at time of its release when in actuality it is equally critical of both the extremes. Buddha in a Traffic is an important film that hopefully would certain gain more traction with the audiences in the times to come.

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