Bollywood’s best of 2016 – By Kamal Sharma

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Kamal Sharma
Kamal Sharma

wazirAs we approach the end of 2016, critics and experts are coming out with various lists of bollywood films, however, I’ve compiled a list of such films which have impacted us throughout the year and irrespective of their success or failure at the box-office, these films deserve to be seen and surely, I’ll recommend them as some of the best of 2016!

  1. Wazir: Producer Vinod Chopra chose director Bejoy Nambiar of Shaitaan & David fame and with a stellar cast of Amitabh Bachchan (He’ll surely be nominated for acting honors), Farhan Akhtar, Neil Nitin Mukesh & Aditi Rao Hydari, the film carried good reports, however, it was moderate success only.
  1. Chalk N Duster: Jayant Gilatar directed the powerful women cast of Shabana Azmi, Juhi Chawla, Divya Dutta, Zarina Wahab & Richa Chaddha in this school classroom film which was gripping enough for critics but failed to draw the audiences.
  1. airliftAirlift: Based on a true incident, Raja Krishna Menon’s inspiring film released on India’s Republic Day holiday weekend, motivated enough Indians to become the first bollywood film of 2016 to cross Rs.100 at the box-office and Akshay Kumar – Nimrat Kaur’s starrer is one of the biggest hit of this year.
  1. Neerja: Ram Madhvani’s film was based on the tragic hijacking of Panam flight in Karachi, Pakistan and the grim but heroic tale resonated well with strong performances of Sonam Kapoor (She’s already won several awards this year), Shabana Azmi & Shekhar Ravjani and became a huge hit of 2016.
  1. Aligarh: Hansal Mehta’s film was opposed by various sections of the society for its gay sex theme and yet, the critics gave it a thumbs up and especially the superb performances of Manoj Bajpayee (would be a strong contender for acting honors in 2016) & Rajkumar Rao.
  1. neerjaBollywood Diaries: Lot of us have bollywood dreams and K.D. Satyan’s Bollywood Diaries is a tale of some of those like Ashish Vidyarthi, Raima Sen & Salim Dewan and their struggles to make it in Bollywood.
  1. Kapoor & Sons: Karan Johar’s production under Shakun Batra’s direction is about the dysfunctional Kapoor family comprising of Rishi Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra, Fawad Khan, Rajat Kapoor & Ratna Pathak Shah and it sure touched many as it became a reasonable success at the box-office.
  1. Ki & Ka: What happens when the traditional roles are reversed and R. Balki of Cheeni Kum & Paa fame, nailed it beautifully with Kareena Kapoor & Arjun Kapoor to make Ki & Ka, a moderate success of 2016.
  1. Nil Battey Sannata: Ashwinie Iyer Tiwari’s powerful film about the education values is one of the most powerful films of 2016 and Swara Bhaskar will sure be a contender for acting honors at the end of the year.
  1. Traffic: Director Rajesh Pillai died before the release of the film, however, Traffic had some strong performances by Manoj Bajpayee, Jimmy Shergill, Divya Dutta & Kitu Gidwani amongst others to make it worthwhile.
  1. Buddha In A Traffic Jam: Vivek Agnihotri’s film became the hottest movie of discussion at various universities and while Anti-Modi students asked for a ban on the release, the Pro-Modi campers led by actor Anupam Kher demonstrated for the screening and sadly, the movie became a political football but without doubt, the film is worth the screening.
  1. sarbjitSarbjit: Omung Kumar’s grim tale of Sarbjit, the Indian prisoner who was accused as a military spy and died at Pakistani prison, is the story of his sister’s brave attempts to have him released and inspite of superb performances by Randeep Hooda, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan & Richa Chaddha, the film failed to perform at the box-office.
  1. Veerappan: Ram Gopal Varma’s tale of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who killed hundreds of policemen & innocents by eluding the police of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh for many years, may have many faults but it still is good enough for doing justice to the biggest manhunt in Indian police history.
  1. Dhanak: Nagesh Kukunoor, the maker of classics like Hyderabad Blues, Iqbal, Dor & Laxmi, delivered once again with a powerful story of a brother & sister and needdless to say, the film has won many awards at various international film festivals and will be a strong contender at the year end.
  1. Udta Punjab: Anurag Kashyap’s production became the most controversial film of the year for its abusive language & rampant drug use and Abhishek Chaubey’s directed film was refused the censor clearance, however, the entire bollywood fraternity strongly objected and finally the censor relented and cleared the Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt & Dilijit Dosanjh starrer film.
  1. Madaari: Irfan Khan’s maiden venture directed by Nishikant Kamat may not have reached the masses but Irfan Khan & Jimmy Shergill starrer Madaari did have powerful message and surprisingly did well at the box-office as well.
  1. happy-bhaag-jaayegiHappy Bhaag Jaayegi: Mudassar Aziz’s simple tale of running away from India to land in Pakistan was well directed and well acted by Diana Penty, Abhay Deol, Ali Fazal & Jimmy Shergill and there’s a talk of a sequel as well.
  1. Pink: Shoojit Sircar’s production and directed by first timer Anniruddha Roy Chowdhury is perhaps one of the strongest film on women empowerment and with strong performances by Amitabh Bachchan (one of the best Amitabh performance in recent years), Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari & Andrea Tariang, Pink is a must for all.
  1. Parched: Ajay Devgun’s production was the talk of Toronto International Film Festival last year and powerful performances by Tanisha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte & Surveen Chawla in this woman-centric film make it another must see film of 2016.
  1. M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story… After Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Neeraj Pandey’s biopic of India’s cricket captain M.S.Dhoni, is perhaps another well directed tale of a sports hero and it certainly connected with everyone as Sushant Singh, Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani & Disha Patani starrer film became one of the big hits of 2016.
  1. 31st October: KVP Entertainers screened this film at 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival and yet the Indian censors only cleared it this year as Shivaji Lotal Patil’s 31st October, the grim reminder of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots in Delhi after the assasination of India’s then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, was well received by the critics but Vir Das & Soha Ali Khan starrer film failed to make any impact at the box-office.
  1. Dear Zindagi: Gauri Shinde, the talented wife of producer-director R.Balki and director of acclaimed film English Vinglish, came up with another beauty as Shahrukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Kunaal Kapoor & Aditya Roy Kapur won the hearts in this simple and yet one with powerful message film which connected with all ages.
  1. Kahaani 2: Sujoy Ghosh weaved his magic again with Vidya Balan and Arjun Rampal in this thriller to come up with another winner and we sure hope to see Kahaani 3 now.
  1. dangalDankahaani-2gal: The very fact that Nitesh Tiwari is directing Aamir Khan, Sakshi Tanwar, Fatima Sana Shaikh & Rajkumar Rao in Aamir Khan’s production second sports based film after Lagaan is good enough to make it as a must see film of 2016.
  1. Chauranga: Indian rockets may’ve reached the Mars but deep rooted caste based issues are still plaguing many regions and Bikas Ranjan Mishra’s Chauranga, which was produced by Onir & Sanjay Suri and has won many National & International awards already, is about the Brahmin-Dalit issue in one such region and Sanjay Suri, Tanisha Chatterjee, Riddhi Sen & Soham Maira’s powerful acting make it a must for all!

Ali Abbas Zafar’s super hit Sultan, Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Neeraj Pandey’s Rustom & Maneesh Sharma’s Fan did not make the cut because most of you’ve already seen them and frankly, in my personal opinion, they’re just ok but surely these are some of the bollywood’s best and I strongly recommend them if you’re missing any.