Around this time each year we look back over the previous 12 months to identify which Bollywood films we enjoyed watching the most.
- Best of 2016: 5 Fun Films That Entertained
- Best of 2016: Top 5 Bollywood Based-On-A-True-Story Films of the Year
- Best of 2015: Top 5 Bollywood Films of the Year
This year we once again selected the Hindi films we want to watch multiple times and share with our family and friends.
Some of these Hindi films earned blockbuster status at the box office, while others entertained smaller audiences. These do not include films from Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam film industries, such as Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which was perhaps the biggest Indian blockbuster ever.
Description: Crime thriller. When voice-over artist Rohan Bhatnagar (Hrithik Roshan) meets Supriya Sharma (Yami Gautam), they instantly sense a connection. Though they are both blind, they embark on their life together with joy and confidence. But soon their lives are shattered, sending Rohan on a mission to seek revenge against corrupt politician Amit Shellar (Rohit Roy) and his brother Madhavrao (Ronit Roy) after Supriya is raped and killed.
Why I Love This Film: This tale of vengeance first draws you in by creating lovable characters in Rohan and Surpiya embrace all that life has to offer despite the challenges of being blind. When those with evil intentions take advantage of them, In eye-for-an-eye fashion, Rohan leverages his skills and talents against those who got away with murder. His plans are implemented in ways that leave& no evidence behind - turning this revenge drama into a fascinating story that challenges any preconceived notions about people who are disabled.
Description: Drama. During World War II, India is struggling with fighting for the British Empire while also trying to break free from the British Raj. Against this backdrop, film producer and former action star Rustom "Rusi" Billimoria (Saif Ali Khan) sends his paramour, film star Julia (Kangana Ranaut), to the Indo-Burma border to entertain the troops. But soon a love triangle forms as Julia falls in love with Captain Jamadar Nawab Malik (Shahid Kapoor), a soldier assigned to protect Miss Julia during her tour.
Why I Love This Film: This epic love story highlights a time in history which is often told through a western lens. This story offers a different approach by highlighting the tensions between India, Britain, and Japan in a war-ravaged region. The tension is further highlighted by the representation of Rusi Billimoria as someone who embraces British culture and Captain Malik, who wants to see a free India. The spirited Miss Julia becomes a metaphor for India as she finds herself caught in a personal struggle between her love and loyalty to Rusi and Malik. With big production numbers and a story that brings together players from many nations, this fictional account of a very real time in history will leave you cheering.
3. Naam Shabana
Description: Action spy-thriller. A prequel to the 2015 film Baby, Naam Shabana provides the back-story of Indian intelligence agent Shabana Khan (Taapsee Pannu), chronicling how she becomes a spy.
Why I Love This Film: Whether Bollywood or Hollywood, film industries around the world are beginning to recognize the importance of stories featuring strong women as main characters. While we were introduced to Shabana in Baby, it was clear that there was more to her than what we saw in her brief time on the screen. Showing her backstory gave us an opportunity to see a character who is as vulnerable and flawed as the rest of us but finds the strength to do what needs to be done.
- Naam Shabana: A Prequel Worthy of Its Sequel
- The Changing Face of Hindi Cinema: 5 Reasons to Watch The Film BABY #BabyTheFilm
Description: Romantic comedy. Tour guide Harinder "Harry" Singh Nehra (Shah Rukh Khan) is forced to help Sejal Zhaveri (Anushka Sharma) retrace her steps to find the engagement ring she lost during their recent European tour.
Why I Love This Film: Shah Rukh Khan. Okay, I liked this more than Raees, because it ends on a much more positive note and because it is just a fun film that accomplishes everything you want in a romantic comedy. Harry is a wolf in sheep's clothing who finds in Sejal someone who openly recognizes his flaws but doesn't fault him for them. Meanwhile, Sejal discovers freedom, security, and contentment in Harry's company.
Description: Period heist action thriller. Rajasthani queen Rani Gitanjali Devi (Ileana D'Cruz) asks her bodyguard Bhavani Singh (Ajay Devgn) to steal back gold taken from her by the Indian government during The Emergency period in 1975.
Why I Love This Film: Instead of Oceans 11 think Oceans 4. And in the desert of Rajasthan. The team of Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Esha Gupta, and Sanjay Mishra is just the right mixture of personalities to carry off the heist in an entertaining fashion. With Army Officer Major Seher Singh (Vidyut Jammwal) in hot pursuit, this is a buddy film that leaves you eager to see a "Baadshaho 2."
Description: Prison drama. Set in a jail in Lucknow, a group of prisoners forms a music band as a pretense for a prison break.
Why I Love This Film: Prison dramas are necessarily dark and dismal. But this story of Kishen Mohan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar) - a young man jailed for a murder he didn't commit - has a hopeful message. The story is made more interesting by bringing together an unusual team of men (Farhan Akhtar, Gippy Grewal, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Sharma and Inaamulhaq) who have different levels of musical ability. As they prepare for the competition/jailbreak, Jailer Raja Shrivastava (Ronit Roy) watches their every move and prison kingpin Tilakdhari (Manav Vij) threatens them at every opportunity. Given that music features prominently in this story, the entertaining soundtrack lives up to expectations.
Description: Comedy-drama. Three-star Michelin chef Roshan Kalra (Saif Ali Khan) is fired from his job at a prestigious restaurant in New York. He returns to Kochi, Kerala where his ex-wife and son live and soon embarks on a food truck business.
Why I Love This Film: Any fan of Jon Favreau's 2014 film Chef will recognize this as a Hindi remake - and this Indian adaptation is just as entertaining as the original, albeit a little kinder and gentler, particularly in terms of language. Just like in the original, Roshan Kalra's relationship with his son Armaan (Svar Kamble) is the centerpiece of the film.
Description: Musical drama.14-year-old Insia Malik (Zaira Wasim) aspires to become a singer but faces restrictions from her conservative father. Wanting to be heard, she records herself singing and playing the guitar while wearing a niqab. Music director Shakti Kumar (Aamir Khan) sees the video on youtube and requests Insia to come to Mumbai to record a song.
Why I Love This Film: Zaira Wasim carries this Cinderella story on her young shoulders like a pro, even while dealing with rough issues like domestic violence. As her doting friend Chintan Parekh, Tirth Sharma wins our hearts as he helps Insia achieve her dreams. With vocals by 15-year-old Meghna Mishra, this film hits all the right notes.
9. Tumhari Sulu
English: "Your Sulu"
Release Date: 17 November 2017
Director: Suresh Triveni
Music by: Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Tanishk Bagchi, Amartya Rahut, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Santanu Ghatak, Karan Kulkarni
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Tanuj Garg, Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini
Description: Comedy-drama. Happy-go-lucky suburban housewife Sulochana "Sulu" Dubey (Vidya Balan) lives with her husband Ashok (Manav Kaul) and their 11-year-old son Pranav. In an unexpected turn of events, she lands a job at a radio station where she anchors a night show which involves chatting with strangers and lonely souls.
Why I Love This Film: Sulu an eternal optimist and this optimism is carried throughout the film. There are many laugh-out-loud moments as Sulu learns the ropes of becoming a radio personality. Sulu's relationship with her husband Ashok gives us relationship goals - even as he faces his own workplace struggles. The story is told with a refreshing realism that makes this a delightful film.
10. Tiger Zinda Hai
Description: Action thriller. Indian agent Tiger joins forces with Pakistani agent Zoya to battle a ruthless militant.
Why I Love This Film: A sequel to the 2012 film Ek Tha Tiger and inspired by true events, this story focuses on our common humanity over nationalism and religion. While several scenes are difficult to watch because they too closely reflect real-world events, by the end of the film you are rooting for our heroes.
The following playlist features the trailers for each of these films.
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