Best of Bollywood 2015

For the Indian diaspora worldwide if there is anything as strong a bond to India as Indian cuisine then it is Indian movies. Sure enough, that is equally important to the resident Indians too but in India other attractions like Politics, religion, debates of tolerance and intolerance, also add to the ‘masala’. Outside India, Indian cinema with its magical world, its music, dances, fashion, emotions- is what makes us root for India, time and again! 


As a hopeless movie buff, I love my dose of Indian cinema and every year, at this time of the year, make a collection of my top ten picks for friends to catch up with and enjoy. The following movies, ranked from 10 to 1 are the ones, that entertained and delighted us in terms of their content, storytelling, performances, direction or their cinematography and grandeur.

So if you have missed watching any of these as yet, grab your DVD and enjoy them today!

There are some like Massan, Baby, Singh is Bliing, Tanu weds Manu returns, Detective Byomkesh Bakshi, which missed the cut narrowly and were greatly entertaining. But friends, with your limited holiday break, go watch the ones below and “Ma Kasam, Aap aur Mogambo, dono khush honge!”

10. Hamari Adhuri Kahani– Director- Mohit Suri. Cast- Emran Haashmi, Vidya Balan, Rajkumar Rao- Great music, engrossing convention breaking story and a great performance from all, especially Rajkumar who is continuing to prove why he is one of the most talented actors amongst the new crop that is sprouting!

9. Dil Dhakane Do– Director- Zoya Akhtar. Cast- Anil Kapoor, Ranvir Singh,Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar – A movie for middle class Indians and the upwardly mobile. Provides wholesome entertainment with again the right Bollywood ‘masala’ mix of style, music, dance, displaying lives of the rich which many aspire to and yes, the emotional content. Fun!

8. Bahubali– Director- S.S. Rajamouli. Cast- Prabhas, Rana Daggubati- Splendour, Storytelling, cinematography, action, emotions- It had it all. What a cinematic experience? Not exactly a Bollywood movie as it has major cast and crew from the Telgu film industry and was dubbed in Hindi. But it created such a magic all over, that the cinema goers are now excitedly looking for the sequel to follow in 2016- Bahubali the Conclusion. ‘Why did Kitappa kill Bhaubali?’, I really am eager to know that and occasionally discuss the same with my son, still!

7. Manjhi-The mountain man– Director- Ketan Mehta. Cast- Nawaazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte- A biopic, a true story of an ordinary man with an extra ordinary dream and his twenty two years journey to make that a reality! An inspiring and exhilarating experience! Brilliant performance by Nawaazuddin. The last sentence of the movie, may change your life !

6. Bombay Velvet-Director- Anurag Kashyap. Cast- Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar. This movie has got class and style written all over it! Don’t go by the reviews or because the massed declared it a flop as this is not a movie for everyone. Wow! What an experience this was and especially the style and the performances of Ranbir and Karan. Great music. Great storytelling. Must watch!

5.Badlapur– Director-S. Raghavan. Cast-Varun Dhawan, Nawaazuddin Siddiqui- Great story telling, great performances and a superb end! It actually plays with your emotions and leaves you at cross roads with your own alter ego and all that you justify in the name of justice or revenge. A great churning indeed! Varun, you’ve got talent!

4. Shamitabh– Director- R Balki. Cast- Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush, Akshara Hasaan- Everything was picture perfect- storytelling, performances, music, direction. The royalty of Southern cinema creates magic with the royalty of Mumbai cinema and actually creates a wonderful ‘Jugalbandhi’, a mix as strong as the name Shamitabh itself. I would make it a must watch even for corporate India and how the ‘Id’ can kill the best of the teams. Dhanush you are the next Amitabh of Indian cinema. Shh…

3. Bajrangi Bhaijaan– Director- Kabir Khan. Cast- Salman Khan, Nawaazuddin Siddiqui, Kareena Kapoor, Harhsali- I could have never imagined in my life that I would rank a Salman movie right up there. But this one provides wholesome entertainment, good content, good music and yes, surprise, surprise, a great performance from Salman. That too with just one fight scene! Loved every moment of it with all the stupid mannerisms Salman brings to his roles. Good direction. Kabir Khan, you really have raised expectations for the future! And yes, even your Phantom was good. Keep walking!

2. Tamasha– Director- Imtiaz Ali. Cast- Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone. Just one word sums it well- Wow! What a movie. A real gem and a typical, ‘Hatke’, a different genre product from Imtiaz. I cannot get over this movie as yet and perhaps will not be, for years! This is what movie making is about! A tamasha of emotions, of dreams, of life! Watch it for your soul!

And the best movie of the year is….

1. Bajirao Mastani– Director- Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Cast-Ranvir Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Tanvi Azmi. Not just the best movie of the year but perhaps one of the best movies of Indian cinema. Everything is a 10 on 10. Everything! Period! Every frame, every scene is a piece of art! Sanjay Leela Bhansali once again proves why he is one of the most gifted talents that Indian cinema has. Oh yes! A super star is born! Ranvir Singh as yet, was known as an accomplished actor, a star, but with this movie, starts his journey to super stardom! He is just Brilliant. The raw emotions, the energy, the power, he displays in all scenes makes him a real live wire! Electric. The way he fights his ghosts in the end, has now become one of the most epic scenes of Indian cinema. Deepika and Priyanka played their parts beautifully and Tanvi’s cold blooded antagonist added to the magic. Wow!

And while the award season will start and many would get rewarded, some based on talent and some based on studio and individual power, here are my picks for you to ponder-

Best movie– Bajirao Mastani

Best director– Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Best Actor– Ranvir Singh (Bajirao)

Best Actress– Deepika Padukone (Tamasha/ Bajirao)

Best supporting Actor– Nawaazuddin Siddiqui (Badlapur, Manjhi, Bajrangi)

Best supporting Actress– Priyanka Chopra (Bajirao, Dil Dhakane do)

Best comic role– Akshay Kumar (Singh is Bliing)

Happy Holidays and here’s wishing Indian cinema an exciting 2016! But just one thing before I go. Can anyone tell me why Kitappa killed Bahubali?

Posted in Times of India on 26th December 2015. Link below-


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