Running is a double-edged sword. While he makes films — varied, complex, and hard to figure out — accessible to the masses, he does so by throwing them all at the wall and waiting to see which one sticks. A less honest analogy might include black holes and trash cans. But such is the state of the modern entertainment landscape, a vast expanse of nothingness that has given filmmakers a mirage-like illusion of redemption.
Because every movie — not just those released online — is at the mercy of streaming platforms. You might look at a poster for Ayushmann Khurrana’s An Action Hero, and make a mental note to yourself about catching it on Netflix. And the promise of easy access online has affected the theatrical market as well.
But enough negativity. Now is the time to celebrate the movies. Isn’t that what lists like this are for? It’s also the perfect time to respond to the frankly disturbing narrative that Bollywood films have been outclassed by South Indian films. This would be an acceptable argument if people were talking about the box office alone, but it isn’t, right? It would also have been a valid note if they had been highlighting films like Pada, Malayankunju or Bahutkalam. But instead, everyone in India seems to have convinced themselves of it $$$$, Kantara and KGF: Chapter 2 are groundbreaking works of art. This is as accurate as saying Indian cinema is creatively bankrupt. it’s not like that. Bollywood has not changed. It still produces the same proportion of amazing and wonderful. Viewing patterns have changed.
And as a reminder of this, here is a list of the top 5 Indian films of 2022:
Love came down
If you’re trying to understand how the Indian streaming scene has changed dramatically in the past half-decade, you need look no further than Love Hostel, the dark, delirious haunting thriller directed by Shanker Raman and produced by Shah Rukh Khan. Red Chillies Entertainment. Banner once had a first-look deal with Netflix, but after three fantastically terrible releases — Bard of Blood, Betaal, and Class of 83 — the partnership has come to a quiet conclusion. All of which is to say that Love Hostel deserves better than being dumped on ZEE5, which is, at best, a third-rate platform (the joke, I realize, is squarely on me, considering that three films on this list could be so. found it).
The movie itself is wildly subversive, politically charged, and deliciously humorous despite its serious themes. It gives Bobby Deol his best role possibly forever, because no matter how many people Prakash Jha says they’ve watched Ashram, it doesn’t make it a good show. Love Hostel is exactly the kind of movie it was made for; It is a pity, then, that it arrived at a time when the landscape was already clouded by the theatrical spill.
Having endured dozens of terrible Hindi films this year, one thing has become incredibly clear to me. There is not much space in the market for films that bear the distinctive stamp of their directors. Audiences tend to prefer films that remind them of other films. And maybe that’s why Jhund – Nagraj Manjule’s excellent sports drama that fills every second with wild personality – failed to perform at the box office.
Like Love Hostel, I eventually landed on ZEE5, where I didn’t get any kind of noticeable vibrations in affection or interest. Offering Amitabh Bachchan’s best performance in years – a scene sandwiched between the two halves of the film is cinema in its purest form – and an accessible examination of truly thorny topics, Jhund also happens to be a slick sports thriller and, ultimately, a suspenseful thriller about passing a security check in Mumbai airport. Daring.
A bland western more on the mind than an empty thriller, director Raj Singh Chaudhary’s film was slick in style, but elevated by the strength of the two lead performances – by father-son duo Anil Kapoor and Harsh Vardhan Kapoor.
The subjects felt at once timeless and timely, and perhaps this is the tragedy at the film’s core. Thar unleashed passion like outbursts of violence – just when you least expected it. And in the end, she turned into a completely different monster, more allegorical, like a tale passed down from generation to generation. They say Hindi films should be more rooted. This is a movie that unfolds entirely on the fringes of society, cutting through the noise to get to the root of what’s wrong with us.
Chop: The Artist’s Revenge
R Balki’s soulful “thriller” might sound like Inside a Baseball game to most; It is, after all, about the love-hate relationship between filmmakers and film critics (and who cares about that other than the filmmakers and film critics themselves?), but once you’ve scratched beyond the surface, you’ll admire its universal themes. Chup is, at its core, also about systemic corruption, art, and the privilege given to some to champion and rebuke it.
But let me let you in on a secret: It’s possible to improve your viewing experience, but for that, you need to make one mental adjustment. You must decide that Chup can’t be taken at face value, and that it’s a parody movie instead.
Speaking of films that play fast and loose with genre, director Vasan Bala delivered the funniest Hindi film of the year with his Quentin Tarantino-esque action comedy Monica, Baby. A deliberately twisted murder mystery with a sense of social and moral responsibility, the film owes a huge debt not only to the parallel cinema of Bollywood of the 1970s, but to its portrayal of film noirs, gangster dramas, and Hollywood bigs of the swinging 1960s.
And like fellow Netflix release Thar, Monica’s gleaming exterior wouldn’t be half as attractive were it not for the slick feminism, and truly lively performances by her cast, notably Rajkumar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, and above all else’, Sikandar Kher.
A few honorable mentions: Good luck JerryAnd the Lal Singh ChaddaAnd the Sharmji Namkin.
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