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Best and worst Hindi films of 2021 so far: Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, Radhe on the list

As we enter the second half of 2021, we look back at the best and worst Hindi films which released in the first six months of the year.

sherni radhe sandeep pinky best worst filmsHere's our list of best and worst Hindi films of 2021 so far.

2021 arrived with a short window where cinema halls opened up and a few films finally released on the big screen. Cinemas, however, were shuttered up again as the devastating second wave of the coronavirus hit India. Many big films released on small screens while many small films entranced the audience. The debate over content and the medium it comes out on continues.

As we enter the second half of 2021, we look back at the Bollywood films that premiered on either of the two platforms, giving audience a field day with options across genres, languages and newfound talent. To borrow Vidya Balan’s phrase, it is all about entertainment, entertainment and entertainment after all.

Here’s our pick of the best and worst Hindi films we saw on our screens in the first half of 2021.


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vidya balan in sherni photos Vidya Balan plays a Forest Officer caught in the conflict of man-animal while also surviving in a hostile environment​.

This Vidya Balan starrer has two tigresses, to say the least. A topical subject handled in a unique manner, Sherni is about primacy of nature and human greed, with the stamp of Amit Masurkar. In fact it seems to take off right after Amit’s previous Newton. There’s forest, four-legged beasts and a roaring Vidya. This is Bollywood and not National Geographic.

Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar

parineeti chopra arjun kapoor sandeep aur pinky faraar Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar also starred Neena Gupta and Raghubir Yadav.

This one had Dibakar Banerjee written all over it. The dark comedy drama follows Pinky who saves Sandeep from the clout of assailants, but only on the surface. Its layers soon begin to peel off, unraveling a story of class divide, corporate greed, misogyny and privilege, with the protagonists belonging to opposite worlds, fighting for co-existence. We just cannot forget the opening sequence, and how the film speeds off right from the word go.


Tribhanga kajol tanvi azmi mithila Tanvi Azmi and Kajol played mother-daughter caught in misunderstandings in Tribhanga.

Renuka Shahane’s directorial debut had a noteworthy cast of Tanvi Azmi, Kajol and Mithila Palkar playing three generations of flawed women in a dysfunctional family. It explores their quest to be the perfect parent, despite their individual unconventional life choices. The Netflix film received praise mainly for Shahane’s direction and performances.

Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi

Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi stills Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi first released in theatres and later, on Netflix.

Seema Pahwa turned director with this social drama revolving around an extended family that gathers upon the demise of its patriarch and how the dynamics change due to petty politics and insecurities. With a brilliant ensemble cast, the film touched upon several regressive social stigmas and virtues, and the customs of mourning, as tragedy soon takes a back seat and misgivings coming to fore.

Nail Polish

nail polish film arjun rampal manav kaul Arjun Rampal plays a lawyer fighting for Manav Kaul, who’s accused of a murder in Nail Polish.

This intriguing crime-legal thriller manages to sustain its gripping edgy narration till the end. A murder mystery with shocking twists, it explores the human mind like never before. A lawyer and his client are entangled in a murder mystery that slips into the territory of past trauma, split personalities, and questionable redemption smoothly. Manav Kaul delivers a brilliant performance. There’s already a demand for its sequel due to its cliffhanger end.

SPECIAL MENTION: Silence… Can You Hear It

If you thought Manoj Bajpayee became the flavour of the season recently, go back to this film which revolved around his cop character investigating a case of a woman who goes missing mysteriously. A sleeper hit, it grabbed eyeballs for its tight-knit plot and thrill factor. Watch it, incase you haven’t yet.



salman khan radhe movie stills Salman Khan starrer Radhe released on the festival of Eid this year.

How many times can you ride a film solely on Salman Khan’s shoulders (and six-packs)? The actor’s Eid gift failed so miserably, that IMDb gave it one-star, which placed it among Salman’s worst-rated films. That’s not all. Salman’s version of “Seeti Maar” left several Allu Arjun fans underwhelmed. Mixing Dabangg and Wanted won’t give you a hit every time.

The Girl on the Train

parineeti chopra stills the girl on the train Parineeti Chopra’s character Mira is embroiled in a murder investigation in The Girl on the Train.

Parineeti Chopra tried hard to get into the skin of Emily Blunt. But the Indian janta wasn’t convinced. This one was half-baked and lacked impact, and no one remained invested to know the real killer. For now, it’s better to stay way from remaking Hollywood hits, that too, frame-by-frame.

Sardar Ka Grandson

sardar ka grandson cast neena gupta arjun kapoor rakul preet Sardar Ka Grandson revolved around the Partition and India-Pakistan relationship.

The film looked promising from its trailer, but fell prey to poor screenplay and execution. Arjun Kapoor wanted to be the best grandson but failed because the film lacked an emotional connect. Neena Gupta can probably be called the only little thing to watch out for (incase you are watching it, in the first place!)

The Big Bull

the big bull trailer, the big bull, abhishek bachchan the big bull Abhishek Bachchan’s character is named Hemant Shah in The Big Bull, which released on Disney Plus Hotstar.

If you think Pratik Gandhi’s act in Scam 1992 cast a shadow on this film, the bigger reason is its bad direction. While Scam 1992’s strength was its authenticity, The Big Bull took such creative liberties, it ended up as a melodrama.


Roohi janhvi rajkummar varun Roohi is the second film in Dinesh Vijan’s horror-comedy universe, that began with Stree.

It was an absolute snooze-fest. Who knew Janhvi Kapoor as the ghost can be such a torture. But it wasn’t her fault when the writing is bad. Those who expected a sharp and witty take like Stree were left disappointed. The only saving grace was Varun Sharma’s love-story with the ghost, but not enough to keep the film running. Audience is still struggling with its loose ends.

Do you agree with our list?

First published on: 01-07-2021 at 08:18 IST
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