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December 30, 2016

7 Best Indian Flick-Picks of 2016

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena

You’ll want to catch up on these, if you haven’t already!

2016 was a year of some great viewings and other dismal offerings. Avoiding the latter (since we don’t want to hurt sentiments in the season of cheer), we list below our favourite movies from the last 12 months.

DANGAL

Top of the list is naturally the year-ending feel-good movie with its exceptional plot, acting and inspirational tone and intent. Having watched Chak De! India several times for its rah-rah factor, we would do the same for Aamir Khan’s Dangal. Interestingly, both movies (unlike the deservedly glorified Lagaan) speak about one man moving heaven and earth to fulfil a thwarted personal dream – it’s another thing that it leads to national sporting glory!

Watch it for: Naturally, the Khan, the girls –Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh — but also for the young sutradhar, their cousin, Omkar (Aparshakti Khurrana) who provides a great foil to the wrestling sisters, spouting some great lines!

Unforgettable scene: Geeta Phogat’s dangal with her father which reeks of unsaid emotions!

NATSAMRAT

Nana Patekar – arguably the king of all performances – played the titular role in the Marathi movie where he showed his true mettle. His moods – ranging from pride and supremacy to vulnerability, frustration and more – touched every chord in our hearts. A towering presence every time he appears on screen, Nana made the human character so commanding at the end… and yet, so frail!

Watch it for: Undoubtedly the stalwart’s performance! But also for the entire ensemble cast that completed the picture.

Unforgettable scene: The one where the money goes missing in his daughter’s home that has the natsamrat and his wife leave in a feeling of deep hurt.

PINK

A must-watch for all daughters, mothers, women – and for all sons, fathers and men! Touching upon several matters that rise from the core issue of a girl’s safety, Pink killed it all. There was raging emotion and convincing histrionics, real-life heroines and realistic villains…. And slices of life that are seen but not spoken about.

Watch it for: Taapsee Pannu – the lead actor – who as Meenal Arora lived the role of the victim who refused to cower in the face of power and terror.

Unforgettable scene: The courtroom sequences are thankfully devoid of melodrama. Amitabh Bachchan clinches the deal with his closing statement – “‘Na’ sirf ek shabd nahi… apne aap mein ek poora vakya hai… isse kisi tarakh, spashtikaran, explanation ya vyakhya ki zaroorat nahi hoti… na ka matlab na hi hota hai.” Most, if not all of us, agree and applaud.

UDTA PUNJAB

Although it mirrors the underbelly – the darker side – of a vibrant state, Udta Punjab is real and riveting. The movie showcases the drug menace that is ripping the state and its society apart, presenting the world where everyone seems to be tripping and flying.

Watch it for: Its main actors Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt…and also Diljit Dosanjh who played the tough cop in the movie.

Unforgettable scene: There are definitely more than one –the moment when Shahid’s Tommy Singh shows his ‘fuddu’ hairstyle on stage, the one that reflects his changing mindset, his jail scene or the time he sings in the hospital.

M.S. DHONI: THE UNTOLD STORY

Every cricket buff worth his/her name would have caught this biopic of India’s much-loved captain M.S. Dhoni.

Watch it for: Sushant Singh Rajput – he metamorphosed into Dhoni and you did not need too much of a willing suspension of disbelief to feel that you were watching the ace player himself on screen.

Unforgettable scene: Sushant Singh Rajput in thoughtful mode at the railway station which was a moment of epiphany for the cricketer.

NEERJA

Sonam Kapoor stepped out of her regular fashionable mode to don the role of the feisty air hostess. Definitely upping her ante from Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo and Khoobsurat, Sonam made us feel, to a great extent, that we were watching the real-life Neerja – with her body language and mannerisms. She did complete justice to the memory of the young woman endowed with great courage.

Watch it for: The pure venom that Jim Sarbh exudes as the hot-headed hijacker Khaleel. The actor spells pure evil and evokes fear.

Unforgettable scene: The tearjerker of a finale where Neerja is shot by the terrorists, trying to protect three innocent children.

DEAR ZINDAGI

Alia Bhatt dazzles onscreen once again, this time in search for life’s answers, in conversation with her psychiatrist-mentor Shah Rukh Khan. Forsaking her bubbly image, Alia as Kaira experiences several highs and lows as she deals with personal and professional successes and frustrations. This leads her to Dr Jehangir Khan, who mentors her through her moods and moments.

Watch it for: Naturally, Shah Rukh Khan, who else! And Gauri Shinde who has made a sensitive movie that looks at the kaleidoscope of life through the eyes of a young woman.

Unforgettable scene: The one at the beach where they play kabaddi with the waves – and the chair scene.

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