New Writer-Director Duo
According to Meghna Gulzar, it is Vishal Bhardwaj who made her end her sabbatical. We can compliment Vishal Bhardwaj for doing so. Together, they researched for over a year on the Aarushi Talwar murder case and how its investigation was botched up. Bhardwaj wrote the script of Talvar, which is the third feature film that Meghna Gulzar has directed. With some terrific performances, tight script and mature storytelling, Talvar is one of those 2015-releases which ticked all the boxes.
Young and Experimental
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Some of the top-rung young actors took risks and won appreciation. In Badlapur, Varun Dhawan played a doting husband and father who has made revenge his mission. Ranbir Kapoor appeared in two very different films and roles, with Bombay Velvet and Tamasha. However, it was Ranveer Singh who stole the show with his risky moves, appearing as a Maratha warrior in Bajirao Mastani, and as a confused rich boy in Dil Dhadakne Do. (Year 2015: When the web series formula arrived in India)
With the 2012-release Makkhi (Eega in Tamil), SS Rajamouli had cemented his reputation as a whiz kid of Indian cinema. This year, with the help of special effects and the highest-ever budget for an India movie, at Rs 175 crore, Rajamouli created an epic saga called Baahubali (pictured). This bilingual historic drama reportedly grossed Rs 600 crore apart from showcasing never-seen-before grand spectacle, also triggering widespread speculation about its sequel, thanks to its gasp-inducing climax.
The power of female actors was once again established this year. Anushka Sharma headlined NH10, a thriller she produced. While essaying the tailor-made title role of Piku, Deepika Padukone showed the depth of her emotions and range of her craft. In Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani, her roles were not brilliantly written. Yet, she delivered captivating performances. Kangana Ranaut — who had sealed her place in the top league with 2014 Queen — set the box office ringing with Tanu Weds Manu Returns, impressing as the de-glamed Datto.
For years, people have debated his innocence. They have also questioned his acting prowess. Yet, Salman Khan walked free after the Bombay High Court on December 10 acquitted him in a 13-year-old hit-and-run case that killed one and injured four. The HC overturned the order of a lower court, which had, in May, sentenced him to jail for five years. The cherry on the cake for Khan was the box-office collection of his two releases — Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo — which have amassed enough crores to create new Bollywood records.
After the funds crunch that threatened to make the organisers discontinue Mumbai Film Festival in 2014, many of the industry’s A-listers stepped in to lend their support as well as make its opening and closing ceremony a starry affair. Meanwhile, the International Film Festival of India, Goa, remained lacklustre.
Priyanka Chopra emerged as one of the success stories of 2015. In spite of mixed reaction to the American series Quantico, she generated a lot of interest in India and abroad as Alex Parrish, an FBI recruit suspected of committing a terrorist attack. A big boost to Indian indie movies came with the success of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan, which picked up two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Thithi and Umrika also brought international accolades.