Now that all major releases of 2016 are out, it’s time to take a look at some of the best hindi and telugu movies made in the past 12 months. Also I tried to mention few brilliant marathi and tamil films which I felt are pushing the regional cinema.
5. Dear Zindagi
This slice-of-life film directed by Gauri Shinde gave a refreshing take on life. It had beautiful performances by Alia and Shahrukh. After all, we all wanted a therapist like Jehangir!
4. Udta Punjab
The most talked film of 2016 with innumerable controversies. The film gave a tight slap to all those who slammed it and wanted it to fail and not even reach the public.It’s a victory on the Sanskaari Board and the man heading it. With a very disturbing yet relevant story & Alia’s career-best performance supported brilliantly by Shahid and Diljit, Udta Punjab remained with us for a longer time.
3. Kapoor & Sons
This modern age “Kabhi Kushie Kabhi Gham” showed the evolution of Dharma Productions. It had no big havelis, no private jet rich people and yeah… no Jaya Bachchan’s aarti ki thali.. But it had beautiful emotions and characters which are so real that you instantly connect with the family and you feel their issues. Beautiful writing by Shakun and others managed to bring tears at many places.
One of the most inspiring films I’ve seen in recent times. The story of a 23-year old Pan America flight attendant, a Rajesh Khanna fan and a normal girl who went through abused marriage who eventually ended up saving hundreds of people. With Sonam Kapoor’s career-best performance and Shabana Azmi’s emotional monologue in the end, Neerja is a genuine weeper.
Easily the most hard-hitting film of 2016. Nothing is told in Pink with sweet and soft words. It just gives you tight slaps with the harsh reality out there. One of the best things about this film is that it never tried to be a cliched feminist film. It didn’t hesitate to show the imperfections of the characters. Ritesh Shah’s terrific writing, three girls’ and Mr. Bachchan’s brilliant performances made Pink the hindi film of 2016.
No discussion on hindi films ends without mentioning a film featuring Aamir Khan. Dangal is no exception. I don’t think I need to explain in detail, why Dangal is the film of 2016. It stands along with Pink in terms of its excellence in many things. To add one thing regarding box office – With just one blockbuster (Sultan) this year and many good films not making huge money, Dangal gave a huge relief for the industry despite current cash crunch.
Special Mention :
With Vidya’s terrific performance and a sensitive issue, Kahaani 2 deserves the special mention.
I know some of you won’t agree with this. But can’t help! When it’s Shahrukh trying to do something this radical and he just did it with perfection despite the flaws in the narrative, he alone deserves a special mention.
The first good film of 2016. In a way, Akshay paved the way for others to do these kind of films which are based on true events. When it’s coming from a star like him and in this scale, it surely has bigger reach and encouraged others to take these decisions.
5. Ekkadiki pothavu Chinnavada
Honestly speaking, I walked in to this film reluctantly, but came out with so much joy because of the entertainment it provided along with the thrilling moments.
4. Krishna Gadi veera prema gadha
This one is like a ghat road journey. Full of twists and turns but a complete laughter riot. Positives are – Nani of course and that little girl who literally steals the show. It’s amusing to believe that the man who made “Andala Rakshasi” had an almost 180 degree shift to this. It’d be interesting to see what he does next.
One of those few remakes which doesn’t spoil the original and gets its local adaptation perfectly right. With Nagarjuna’s award deserving performance, Karthi’s humorous act, racy screenplay and breath-taking visuals by P.S. Vinod, Oopiri, just as its name, gave fresh air to the telugu industry.
Very rarely you come across a film as sweet and as real as Manamantha. Chandra Sekhar Yeleti masterfully weaved the four stories and gave those four memorable characters. From Mohanlal to that little girl, each character is very well-written and takes the narrative forward. The way he ended the film bringing everyone at one place is excellence redefined. One of the best screenplays in the recent times.
Kshanam is a trend-setter in many ways. It served not just as a tight suspense-thriller but a text-book kinda film for aspiring film-makers who want to make it big with a limited budget but some great thoughts. Co-writer & lead actor Adivi Sesh, director Ravikanth & music composer Sricharan must be given major credit for Kshanam’s success.
1. Pelli Choopulu
Easily the most loved telugu film of 2016. Complete fresh taking by debutant Tharun, natural and impressive performances of lead pair, refreshing soundtrack by Vivek Sagar and of course that dialogue- “Naa saavu nen sastha. .. neekenduku?” made Pelli Choopulu the telugu film of 2016.
Very special mention :
Mana oori Ramayanam
I just want to quote what I wrote about this film – “Every man has a Ram/Raavan inside him. Similarly every woman has a Sita/Surpanakha. The war between the good and evil inside us, what we’re inside actually and what we’re projecting to the world – this is life and this is “Mana Oori Ramayanam”.
Soggade Chinni naayana
With Nagarjuna playing double role, Soggade.. provides a laughter riot. It’s entertaining throughout and a perfect Sankranthi release.
This is definitely not Trivikram’s best. But with A Aa.. trivikram tried to go back to his vintage way of story-telling. With Samantha leading the front, actors gave their best to make this one special.
Few marathi films I watched which were truly brilliant:
This one’s my absolute favourite. The slow motion sequences in “Yad Lagla”, that crazy dancing in “Zingaat” and of course that last shot – Sairat truly felt like a journey. I’m always surprised with how the director Nagraj Manjule got everything in place – Comedy, Love and importantly Honor killings (casteism) and still made such an entertaining film which just left us blank with that final shot.
I might not be the right one to even discuss about this film. But the brilliance of Nana Patekar just kept me hooked to this story of a theatre artist for 160-odd minutes.
I watched this at Mami before its release. The subtle humor, emotional climax and Ashutosh’s impressive acting are the working factors in Ventilator for me. Just with subtitles and my almost zero marathi knowledge, I still enjoyed Ventilator thoroughly.
Tamil movies which were impressive and pushing the boundaries :
The most disturbing film I’ve seen in recent times. After his national award for direction in Aadukalam, it took 4 years for Vetrimaran to come up with his next directorial venture. But just like Raju Hirani and Rajamouli, his films are worth waiting. I remember having goosebumps in many scenes while watching Visaranai. People with weak hearts, I don’t think this one’s a right movie for you!
This sci-fi thriller just blew my mind. Thanks to Suriya for his powerful performance as “Athreya” & a brilliant script and direction by Vikram Kumar, 24 stands really close to my favourites in other languages.
Disclaimer : I missed watching few movies and hence I didn’t take them into consideration. If you feel they should have a place in top 5 or special mention, please don’t forget to mention them in the comments 🙂
Some of the significant ones I couldn’t watch :
Nil Battey Sannata
Sahasam Swasaga Saagipo
I will watch them soon and edit this post if I feel like adding them.