2017 saw Bollywood experimenting with various genres (‘Newton’, ‘Anaarkali of Aarah’ and ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’) but also delivered masala movies (‘Judwaa 2’ and ‘Golmaal Again’). The shock came when big budget films such as ‘Tubelight’, ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, ‘Jagga Jasoos’, ‘Rangoon’ and ‘Raabta’ failed at the box-office. The rise in female driven movies (‘Secret Superstar’, ‘Tumhari Sulu’ and ‘Simran’) continues to attract the audience.
Here is the list of the best Hindi films of 2017.
1. Jolly LLB 2
‘Jolly LLB 2’ presents some unique instances never before seen in a Hindi film. Akshay Kumar as always is amazing and he allows other actors to make their mark too. Saurabh Shukla yet again wins hearts as the ‘Teddy Bear’ judge. It will be a crime to miss this jolly good or rather great film!
‘Rangoon’ has a shaky start but as it moves ahead, it gets better and better. Vishal Bhardwaj handles the grandiose very well and doesn’t let it overpower the principle plot, although in the beginning portions, he doesn’t seem to be in total control of the narrative at places. There’s more to the film than the love triangle and it keeps the interest going beautifully. The best is reserved for the finale. Kangana Ranaut takes the cake. She is lucky to have got a chance to play such an amazing and kickass character. Shahid Kapoor looks super dashing and as always delivers a smashing performance. Saif Ali Khan too shines, especially in the second half. ‘Rangoon’ is not exactly a conventional entertainer.
‘Trapped’ is a highly engrossing thriller-drama that holds attention despite the fact that 90% of the film involves just one actor (Rajkummar Rao) and that 40-45% of the film has no dialogues. It’s not a dry or so-called art film – it is mainstream and has lot of entertaining moments. Rajkummar Rao delivers the greatest performance of his career – one has to see it to understand the brilliant job that this actor has done! Kudos to director Vikramaditya Motwane for managing to keep the viewers hooked from start to finish. It has some unconvincing moments in the beginning but nevertheless, ‘Trapped’ makes an impact.
4. Hindi Medium
‘Hindi Medium’ is a highly entertaining flick that serves a great message to India’s English-obsessed society. There are loads of funny moments that bring the house down but at the same time, there are some touching moments too which make an equal impact. Sadly, at a few places, the film is highly unconvincing. But the plusses outweigh the minuses. The movie belongs to Irrfan Khan. This is a film that should be savoured by the whole family!
Director Ravi Udyawar relies a lot on melodrama and has overdone it at some places. He doesn’t drag it but he could have worked harder on the climax. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is exceptional, Akshaye Khanna is always reliable, Sridevi is genuine and Sejal Ali is natural. Mom is all about Sridevi right from start to finish. The story is emotional and is definitely a family thriller.
6. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ is a great entertainer and talks about taboo stuff quite easily and wittily. The film belongs to the wonderful ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Piku’ wave of cinema – you are talking about cringeworthy or ‘adult’ stuff but it’s not totally in your face or something that would make one uncomfortable. Ayushmann Khurrana delivers yet another fine performance. Bhumi Pednekar too is a powerhouse of talent. The film is definitely worth watching and it’s a film that won’t let you ‘down’!
‘Newton’ is a hard-hitting, unconventional entertainer that talks about the much-ignored issue in films – Naxalism and elections and what happens when both collide. Rather than taking an overview of the subject, the film actually goes deep and raises several questions about the way the authorities are handling the problems. It is bound to be debated and give rise to different versions of who was right in the film and who wasn’t. Rajkummar Rao as expected rocks the show. What’s praiseworthy is how he ensures that each of his performance looks different from the other. The film is very niche but it turns out to be one of the best films in recent times!
8. Golmaal Again
‘Golmaal Again’ is a great entertainer that delivers loads of laughter. And this time, there’s also horror that’s nicely done – neither too scary, nor amateurish or laughable. But that’s not all – the film is laced with some great emotional and dramatic moments. It works well but those expecting an out and out comic caper might be disappointed. Overall, the film is well put together and has some exhilarating moments. A fairly entertaining ride, in short!
9. Secret Superstar
‘Secret Superstar’ is a brilliant tale that should not be missed at any cost! Zaira Wasim was great in ‘Dangal’ but here, she is extraordinary! Amit Trivedi’s music is not the chartbuster type but it works well in the film. The film thoroughly entertains and is laced with some great songs. But at the same time the makers make a great comment on a lot of issues plaguing the society today and the manner in which it’s handled is praiseworthy.
10. Qarib Qarib Singlle
‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ has come unannounced and with less excitement. The big advantage of the film is that the writing and execution is completely handled by women and they have ensured that the film has certain subtleties that other films don’t. Also, the bond that the principle characters share with each other is beautifully done without making it in your face. And yes, there’s lot of humour and light hearted moments and few scenes are sure to bring the house down! Irrfan Khan steals the show yet again. He has played so many quirky characters and yet each one is different from the other. Parvathy Thiruvoth is a brilliant discovery and such an unusual and yet apt choice for this role. She has the look of the girl-next-door and performance wise, she is first rate. Highly recommended!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.