2016 Bollywood Top 10 - Year End Listing

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature 

2016 Bollywood Top 10, Year End Listing, A Potpourri of Vestiges

It is that time of the year when I come up with an year end listing for the top 10 films offered by Bollywood. I have taken various criteria 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, etc. have also been taken into consideration.

Honorable Mention:

10. 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. 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. All Indians, resident as well as non-resident, ought to check it out!

Read 'Airlift' Full Review

9. 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 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.

Read 'Ki & Ka' Full Review

8. Pink

Pink is easily one of the best court room dramas to have come out of Bollywood in recent times. 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.

Read 'Pink' Full Review

7. 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. Here is a powerful lesson for one and all on the importance of relationships in our lives.

Read 'Kapoor & Sons' Full Review

6. 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. 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.

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5. 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 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.

Read 'Shivaay' Full Review

4. 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. 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.

Read 'Fan' Full Review

3. 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. 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.

Read 'Aligarh' Full Review

2. 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. 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. Here is an important film that hopefully would certain gain more traction with the audiences in the times to come.

Read 'Buddha in a Traffic Jam' Full Review

1. Dangal

Dangal, Movie Poster, Aamir Khan, Mahavir Phogat, Geeta Phogat

Dangal, an Indian sports biopic directed by Nitesh Tiwari, stars Aamir Khan as wrestler and Olympic coach Mahavir Singh Phogat. Dangal is a powerhouse of a film that takes the idea of gender equality to a whole new level. It is not only the biggest film of the year but is also the biggest film of Aamir Khan’s illustrious acting career and may go on to tumble all kinds of box-office records. Watching Dangal while sitting in a packed theatre one can easily sense the ever increasing levels of the excitement. When the audience starts clapping even before the actual climax in anticipation of what's to come it is a cinematic triumph. When the actual climax compels the audience to stand on their feet and join the film's characters to pay respect to the Indian tricolor, it is a stroke of cinematic genius. Dangal is daring, devastating and ultimately rewarding. Dangal is one of those films that can uplift a nation and galvanize its people.

Readers, please feel free to share your thoughts/views by leaving your comments in the box below. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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