Hindi movie industry, aka Bollywood, has churned out a consistent performance over past 4 years. The numbers of good movies has remained almost the same each year. One sad fact is related to the total number of movies produced in an year. 2013, 2015 and 2016 saw around 115 movies released in an year. 2014 however was an exception when 145 movies released that year. The reason I call this an unfortunate development is that there is no growth in the industry in terms of volumes. Yes, the net revenue per movie has increased but that is mainly due to rising tickets cost and growing population. Hindi movie industry has to show year on year increase in number of movies.
But that does not mean we do not have enough good movies this year. There are good ones and then there are those that had a good run at box office. Then there are those which had both. Here is my list of Top 5 Hindi movies of 2016.
Airlift is the Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur starred movie which is based on true events during 1990 evacuation of Indians from Kuwait. This evacuation was witnessed by millions of Indians through TV and Newspaper reports but no one realized it is such an important accomplishment and story worth sharing. Kudos to Director Raja Krishna Menon and Akshay Kumar for investing in such a project. The movie takes us 25 years back and depicts conflict zone in Kuwait with great reality. Yes, it might not be comparable to the great war epics done by Hollywood, but a brave attempt nevertheless in Indian context.
Airlift stands as the best movie of 2016.
Amir Khan was expected to give a major blockbuster, which he did with Dangal (means, wrestling competition). The remarkable aspect of this movie is its selection of subject – wrestling. This is not a sport with pan-Indian acceptance. Only a section of Indians in Northern part of the country take it up. But this is one sport that has produced medals for India in International sports events. Director Nitesh Tiwari (also wrote the screenplay, story and dialogues!) did a commendable job of knitting together a highly inspirational story. Multiple messages were packaged in the movie – care for the girl child, women in wrestling, how hard work is essential in making of a champion and the trauma a sports person goes through. A superb supporting cast makes this a complete movie.
3. MS Dhoni – An untold story
MS Dhoni is a biopic on the Indian cricket captain, directed brilliantly by Neeraj Pandey. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput mimics MS Dhoni’s subtle mannerisms really well. First half of the movie is a complete revelation since not many people in India know about MS Dhoni’s struggles. The movie dramatizes these events very effectively in order to make it a compelling watch. Screenplay deserves a special attention.
The way young Yuvraj Singh is shown in that 10 minutes scene is worth the 150 bucks you spend on the movie. No other cricket movie in India looked this realistic, albeit highly dramatized.
The real life story of an air hostess who helped passengers escape from a hijack plan and who got killed by the terrorists in the process. A heart warming story of a normal person who becomes the savior of hundreds of lives in one sudden twist in fate. Among the 2016 Top 5 movies, Neerja finds its place. This is also a biography like the #2 and #3 movies this year. This is also based on real life incidents, like #1, #2 and #3 movies this year. Only difference is that the weakest link in this movie is its leading actor, unlike the other winners in this year’s list. Sonam Kapoor is not particularly known for her acting skills and her work in Neerja is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb in the midst of a highly skilled ensemble of actors. The movie itself is excellently directed by Ram Madhavan. Chilling intricacies of a hijack are shown very effectively. ThiPs must be the most realistic depiction of a terrorist attack in Hindi movies till date.
The most hyped movie of 2016. A half baked courtroom drama. Pink would have been the best movies of 2016 if we go by the acclaimed movie critiques who wear the other hat of being experts in India’s social evils. Despite its obvious flaws, Pink does have its strengths which propels it to Top 5 Hindi movies of 2016.
This is a story of 3 girls and their difficult encounter wit 3 men at a resort one night. While the dialogues are tacky and story falls short for a courtroom drama, the screenplay makes up for these flaws to a large extent. The real incident of sexual assault is not shown in the movie but various perspectives of those incidents are talked about by different characters. The 3 young ladies, led by Tapsee Pannu, have done a commendable job. Amitabh Bachan is at his usual best. This movie in the category of NH10, Badlapur etc but fails to rise above the rest. Given the type of movies we have had in 2016, Pink just makes to cut to Top 5.
The other good ones
There were other good/decent Hindi movies as well in 2016 – Kapoor & Sons, Baaghi, Sultan, Rustom, Shivaay, Ae dil hai mushkil and Dear zindagi. But the Top 5 deserves a round of applause. Lets hope Bollywood sees some growth in 2017 with more number of movies released.