2017 has been a year of subtle and groundbreaking art, as far as Hindi cinema is concerned. Be it Rajkummar Rao’s Trapped, Konkana Sen Sharma’s A Death in the Gunj or the Adil Hussain starrer Mukti Bhawan; Indian cinema has bloomed and blossomed these past 12 months, and how!
But not all these wonderful movies received the kind of spotlight they deserved. Here are 10 such Bollywood films that deserve more accolades:
Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi in the lead, and directed by Shlok Sharma, Haraamkhor was a drama that was told with unfamiliar firmness and authenticity. A story at once moving and devastating, Haraamkhor was a tale that needed to be told. In the movie, Nawazuddin plays a school teacher called Shyam who falls for his underage student Sandhya, played to perfection by Shweta Tripathi. The movie is about child molestation, consent and love. Criminally under-rated.
Anaarkali of Arrah
What do you get when you put Swara Bhaskar, Sanjay Mishra and Pankaj Tripathi together in a movie? Sheer brilliance is the answer. Anaarkali of Arrah is rough around the edges, it is raw, it is lovely. Swara plays the titular character whose consent in the movie doesn’t matter to Sanjay Mishra’s character.
Anaarkali of Arrah is predominantly about a woman and her choices. Anaarkali is an erotic dancer, who always wanted to be an erotic dancer, and she doesn’t let you feel sorry for her for even a fraction of a second throughout the movie. She speaks her mind, and needs no helper, yet finds a support in Pankaj Tripathi’s aptly-named character Rangeela. A complete joy to watch.
Poorna: Courage has no limit
Rahul Bose and Aditi Inamdar are a treat to watch in the biographical drama Poorna: Courage has no limit. Aditi stars as Poorna Malavath, who hails from a tribal family in Telangana, and who eventually becomes the youngest girl to scale Mount Everest. Directed by Rahul Bose, Poorna is a story of courage, hardships and hope that hits you right in the feels.
Meri Pyaari Bindu
Yes, the movie didn’t fare well at the box office. And to be honest, it is not that surprising. Subtlety and Bollywood are not the best of friends after all. Meri Pyaari Bindu features Ayushmann Khurrana and Parineeti Chopra as a couple of fast friends who fall in and out of love with each other. Parineeti’s character might not have been fleshed out well enough, but it still managed to light up the screen, thanks to her chemistry with Ayushmann. Worth a watch. Also, good songs.
Tu Hai Mera Sunday
Sundays are for relaxing, for taking a break, for indulging yourself. Milind Dhaimade’s Tu Hai Mera Sunday is a light-hearted romantic comedy that aims to push the boundaries of the genre by trying to portray the daily struggles of the main cast–Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Avinash Tiwari, Rasika Dugal, Maanvi Gagroo, and Vishal Malhotra–as authentically as possible. Sweet, endearing and just the kind of Sunday film you would want to catch on that one off day.
A Death in the Gunj
Konkana Sen Sharma’s directorial debut boasts of names like Ranvir Shorey, Om Puri, Tanuja, Kalki Koechlin, and Tillotama Shome. But the star of this moving drama is Vikrant Massey, who plays the protagonist Shutu with wonderful vulnerability. A Death in the Gunj is a dark drama about love, loss and depression. This one will make you introspect long and hard about all of the three, and more.
An official Hindi remake of the Hollywood flick of the same name, Chef stars Saif Ali Khan, Padmapriya Janakiraman and Svar Kamble. Though the plot of the movie is similar to that of the American movie, the Saif Ali-starrer also manages to bring in the father-son relationship angle to the story, thus giving it an almost new lease of life. Chef is for anyone who gives two cents about food and relationships.
Directed and co-written by Shubhashish Bhutiani and starring Adil Hussain and Lalit Behl, Mukti Bhawan is about an old man who believes his time has come and wants to breathe his last in the holy city of Varanasi. He asks his son to take him there, but the whole journey takes a new tone when the son decides to accompany his father on this interesting trip. Does the son leave behind his job and other responsibilities and gives all of his time to his old man? A poignant tale that deserves more audience.
Rajkummar Rao shines in Vikramaditya Motwane’s gritty flick about survival and hope. A man is almost driven to madness after he gets trapped in a high-rise. Rajkummar as the trapped man leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling, as if you are the one experiencing all the discomfort, and mind you, the word ‘discomfort’ is used mildly here.
Qarib Qarib Singlle
Malayalam star Parvathy made her Bollywood debut recently with the capable Tanuja Chandra as her director, and the talented Irrfan Khan as her leading man. The actors are well cast; the story is that of a couple who discover love through a dating site, but in a manner that is mostly unconventional and sweet. The movie is a memorable romantic drama that leaves you with a feeling equal to that of warmth of blanket on a cold night.