Oh man 2018! What an year at the movies! While I missed out on a few major ones towards the end of the year, I hope to see them on streaming sites soon! (Most likely they will be in next years list!).
Counting down the 47 movies I saw in 2018:
47. What a colossal disappointment this one was. A good premise but frustratingly slow with a climax that should have been intriguing – but is not. This was a Netflix release and I’ll be honest – I forwarded some portions, but the story still does not move forward!! This could have been Natalie Portman’s big Netflix moment. Unfortunately she is let down by a poor screenplay and bad pacing. By the end of it you don’t fear anything – just wait for the creatures to end it all.
46. Bhaijaan ye kya kar diya! This was so bad, that it was good! 😀 I mean it was going to be bad, you could see that from the trailer itself. But Bhai outdid himself with this one. Silly plot, Silly acting, Silly dialogs, Silly Sequences. And then there was Bobby Deol. Unfortunately, saw this one in the theatre – so could not even forward or skip the 100 songs in the movie. I never thought I could miss Saif as much as I did while seeing this one. They hinted at a sequel. I hope Bhai spares us the next Race. Because we know ki iss Race ke Sikandar aap hi ho!
45. Come on Neeraj Pandey. You can do much better than this! A rogue intelligence agent, a mentor who vows to catch the rogue agent – all set against the backdrop of the army, illegal weapons market etc. And an awesome supporting cast – Just have a look at the (small) faces above. The recipe was all set but very strangely, the final product turns out to be super flat. There were no expected thrills and things were just carrying on like normal. Maybe the treatment was wrong. This needed to be more A Wednesday than MS Dhoni. Siddharth Malhotra tries hard. But in the end he contributes to the movie being flat. Manoj Bajpayee stands out. Only if he mentors Siddharth Malhotra in real life!
44. Another decent story gets lost in execution. I shudder to think how this movie would have been if it weren’t for Anil Kapoor. In all his scenes, he elevates the movie to another level. Then as soon as he is off screen, the movie seems below par. Aishwarya and Rajkumar Rao play extended cameos to try and keep the movie ticking – but eventually the movie was about a father daughter relationship. Which I felt was the least focused part. Towards the end of it all, the slice of life movie becomes a fairytale and while the daughter eventually comes into her own – its too late to salvage the movie.
43. What a missed opportunity this one! Our new age Mr. Bharat, coaching a great Hockey team for India’s first gold as an independent country. But too many supporting actors, an extremely predictable script and the worst of it all – average Hockey scenes, totally let down this one. Akshay is good – giving suitable space to the other actors to perform. Maybe that should not have been the case. The period detailing is also quite good. But the movie ended up saying too many things. I have seen something similar happening to another classic – Goal! This is not as bad but comes pretty close! 😀
42. Let me put this out there. Loveyatri wasn’t that bad a movie and Ayush Sharma knows his stuff. Of course – he is not the finished article (horribly goes wrong in the emotional scenes) or the next best thing but he seems to have prepared and worked hard for this one. He does the right things, plays to the gallery, gives the right angles, has the right fluffy hair – for an 80s/90s launch maybe. Also – slightly weak in screen presence and definitely over trained and lean (needs to put on some weight!) If only the movie wasn’t hyped this much – maybe it would have worked better. Also – what’s with the morals and good people in Salman Khan productions. Even Sooraj Barjatya has moved on!! Maybe its overcompensation on Bhai’s part! 😀
41. We all know the inspirational story of Sandeep Singh. And hats off to the producers for bringing this to screen. But the thing with these stories is that they are linear and end up glorifying the subject. And for it to really stand out – the actor and the director combo needs to hit the ball out of the park. Diljit Dosanjh is sincere and puts his best foot forward but I felt the direction was just above average. Again – the hockey scenes were not that great. In fact they were quite less in number as well! Everyone attempting the sports genre – please watch Chak De, Lagaan or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag again!
40. Nice breezy fun. Something about the movies set in the south. Maybe its the greenery, the local talent and setting or maybe its just Irfan who makes road trips work. It’s a crazy premise but still the road trip angle did seem a bit forced. Dulquer Salman (who is Mamooty’s son just in case you didn’t know) turns in a good performance and while his character is slightly uni-dimensional – he matches Irfan scene for scene. I also felt this one was a tad predictable but the acting was top notch and by the end of it, you are wishing for some more adventures from the trio. We need you back soon Irfan. Lots more to do for you!
39. Ok so this wasn’t thaaaaat bad a movie you know. Hear me out before closing the page please!! 😀 The sets, clothes etc were bang on. The interaction between AK and AB was good. The action set pieces were quite good and overall I would say 3/5. That’s not thaaaat bad right? Where I did think they went wrong was the length of the movie and the horrible opening sequence – where these characters are introduced. They were so disjointed and flat – that I’m sure people would have stopped caring for the movie there and then itself. And to add to that – there was hardly any story. The twists and turns were predictable and there was a massive Pirates of the Caribbean hangover. Nice try but not there yet. If they are brave, maybe they will attempt a sequel. The idea has merit I say.
38. Over in Hollywood, studios are rebooting their past blockbusters again. But that does not mean you make a sequel that is really not needed. This one, I felt, was not needed. Nothing wrong with the movie, it was fun while it lasted. Our hero is kickass as usual. Big and thrilling action. Great VFX. Dinos in the city. Smart kid thrown in as well. But there was actually nothing new. Dinosaur in park – done. Dinosaur destroys park – done. Dinosaur flying, swimming, running – done. Dinosaur kidnapped from island – done. Dinosaur in city – done. Dinosaur being killed – done. Dinosaur surviving – done. I had a huge sense of Dejavu while seeing this one. I don’t think we need a part 3 here – but with 1.3bn earnings – I think we will have a part 3 soon. Dinosaur in space maybe?
37. Undoubtedly the biggest star in Hollywood today – The Rock is churning out some serious popcorn entertainment. This one is loosely based on a video game and unfortunately – not really up there. I mean it was nice, but with such a big Gorilla part of the mix, along with a few other large animals thrown in – there was not a lot to do for the Rock. And you want him to be firing on all cylinders right? Not to be a side show. I think that’s where this movie lost me. Also – the VFX was OK kinds, could have been slightly better. Possibly the budget gets skewed when The Rock is in the mix. Still – the movie delivers on the popcorn entertainment. Only next time, we need a Bucket Size Popcorn. Not the small size.
36. Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. I have been a fan for sometime and here too, Tiger does not disappoint. Great dance and Incredible, Incredible action. Is there any better action star in Bollywood today? The story is nothing much to write home about but has decent twists to keep you engaged. Pratiek Babbar shows up in a cameo that he seems to be making his own (zoned out, young, bad guy) along with Manoj Bajpayee and Randeep Hooda – who bring on the acting chops. Disha Patani tries hard but for me the show belonged to Tiger. He really needs a good director and better scripts. I think a blockbuster is waiting to happen. He has a movie coming up with Hrithik. Right? Can’t wait!
35. A large Mega Shark is discovered in the depths of the ocean and predictably – gets set loose on the world. Who do you call? Jason Statham! The only other person I could think in this role was the Rock. But he was busy playing with a large Gorilla – So Jason steps up. And does well! There are deep sea divers, scientists, character actors (who get killed off) – you know the drill. And of course – No points for guessing who wins in the end. Movies like these, you forget once you leave the theatre. But you don’t get bored while seeing them. Think of it as Jaws meets The Fast and Furious. Blasphemy you say! Another Popcorn entertainer I say.
34. If this were to be a ranking of earnest and most sincere performances of 2018 – Then this one would possibly be at the top of this list. Unfortunately – somewhere the movie gets stuck in its own world. I think the conflict and the situations were setup really well. Both Anushka and Varun Dhawan act brilliantly to make us believe in them and they have a stellar supporting cast to add on to the brilliance. Where I felt the movie went flat was the resolution of the conflicts. It was too linear, too predictable and too easy for the protagonists. Maybe instead of winning a competition, they could have thought of something else. But then you would need an entrepreneur to write this script. Maybe someday! 😉
33. Ok so its cool to be R Rated and irreverent and funny at the same time. But stretching out the same tone over two movies – I felt was a bit too much. To make things interesting, this time around you have a lot more mutants in the mix and Josh Brolin as Cable (What an year he had! Imagine playing Thanos and Cable in the same year!). And things do get interesting for a while – but after sometime, the same kind of jokes got a bit repetitive for me. I think what Deadpool 3 needs is something like a Thor: Ragnarok. Or for Deadpool to enter the MCU soon. Imagine the R rated Deadpool, in a disney movie – with a lot of references to how he needs to be not R Rated. Now that sounds like fun!
32. I always look forward to Vishal Bharadwaj movies – just for the pure pleasure of seeing his stories unfold on screen. Non Urban setting with the characters taking hold of you lazily, with unexpected twists, while hurtling towards a solid climax. This one is no different. Brilliant casting, super attention to detail, great acting but where it falters is the situations. It comes across as a short story which has been stretched into a movie and things tend to get repetitive after a point in time. But what saves the movie, is the realisation about where the story is heading. And that is brilliant. Good overall – but could have been much better. Maybe VB is just finding his feet after a Shakespeare overdose.
31. I really did not have a lot of expectations from this one. Why? Maybe because I thought Delhi Belly worked because of Aamir Khan’s brilliant marketing and not because of Abhinay Deo – the director. But I was wrong. This one was equally good! Irfan is the heart and soul of this black comedy and brings in the right kind of vulnerability and humour to the role. Good supporting cast as well. Especially the guy who plays his friend and Arunoday Singh. But somewhere in the circle of blackmails and people dying – the payoff isn’t as funny as it could have been. That’s where I felt Delhi Belly was better. But this was a role tailor made for Irfan. And he nails it.
30. I like this trend of star kids doing something nice and alternative so early in their careers. I mean they are de-risked and safe in any case, so they might as well make some unconventional choices and help push Bollywood to the next level. From that point of view, I think Bhavesh Joshi was great! Harshvardhan Kapoor still needs some work – but turns in an honest and understated performance. I found some shades of “Kickass” in the movie and Priyanshu as Bhavesh Joshi was brilliant. Assured direction by Vikramaditya Motwane and we got a movie that was a genuine origin story. I could definitely see a sequel. But only if Harshvardhan Kapoor ups his game as well.
29. If Harshvardhan Kapoor is taking risks, then how will the Kapoor sisters get left behind? Rhea Kapoor produces and Sonam Kapoor acts in this desi Sex and the city remake. There are definitely shades of SATC in the key characters and while the premise is a wedding – this is all about the women and their friendship. There were controversies galore around this movie, but I liked the movie. It was nice and breezy and had some good songs as well! Very well cast and well acted, this one will be a template for girl bonding movies in the future. Not there in the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara league, but comes close. Next we need something of Dil Chahta Hai level.
28. I generally don’t watch Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films. In fact I think this is the first I have seen after Black. Why? Because he is so Over the top! Everything is just too over for me. But after Bajirao Mastani, lot of folks told me to watch this one. So I did. And once I got over how “over” everything was (everything was over choreographed, every frame was lit up beautifully and over symmetrical) it was quite a good watch. I did feel Shahid Kapoor got a raw deal. But more than that, I felt that this movie should have been named Khilji. Not only was Ranveer Singh electrifying, SLB seemed to be more in love with him than Deepika. And I could see why this movie worked. Ranveer himself is so over the top – it had to be a perfect fit!
27. Ah the 90’s. The corniest decade of Hindi cinema. And this one took me right back to the 90s. What is it about heroes playing vigilantes that we like so much? Maybe it makes the audience feel empowered and happy. But in this case – he is killings corrupt cops! A bit too much. But then its the 90s right? Every other movie was the same. Only – that this one was shot and executed with quite a modern sensibility. So much so that I enjoyed watching most of the movie. Predictable twists but the end is not what you would expect from such a movie. John Abraham has finally had a good year with multiple hits! Up next? More cop roles for him. I think it suits him.
26. Ah Irfan. There you are again. In another South and North crossover. In another role which you can sleepwalk through. And still you come across slightly different from what you were in your previous role. I mean how?! This one is in the same space as Karwaan, only that this one is about relationships and finding love. Parvathy matches him scene for scene but once again, this one belongs to Irfan. The end seems a little rushed and the overall feel of the movie seems quite familiar. As in you would have definitely seen a movie like this earlier as well. But it really does not matter. Our connect with Irfan is so good that he can do another 10 movies like this and at least I will watch them. Get well soon Irfan!!
25. When I first heard the name of this movie, I was like what are they smoking! And then the same actors again! I mean how many same movies will Luv Ranjan make? But then I saw the movie and it was super fun! These guys have figured out the bromance angle so well, that each one of their movies has connected with me. This one did as well. The first half is hilarious. All the leads are great. I felt Sunny (Titu) could have been given some more screen time. Alok Nath in a non Babuji role nails it (Too bad he does not seem to be a nice person in real life!) It does get repetitive halfway through the second half, but the conclusion lifts the movie again. Will there be another one? After this one did 100Cr – possibly yes.
24. And Anurag Kashyap makes a sentimental love story. Wow. That line in itself will make you look twice. Of course the characters are all messed up. Its an Anurag Kashyap movie guys! But its not like they are killing other people or themselves. This has to be the most non Anurag Kashyap movie ever – and it is fun. My only complain is that AB’s character is just too goody good. There are hints that he is not as seedha as he seems, but they remain hints. Tapsee Pannu is great and brings out the Manmarziyaan in her character quite well. But the stand out performance once again has been Vicky Kaushal. Edgy, Vulnerable, Over the top, Crazy, Sad, Helpless, Happy. You name it – he nails it. Well done AK. It was nice seeing them not shoot each other!!
23. Deadpan. That’s the word that comes to mind whenever I see Ajay Devgun. Even in the Golmaal series – Deadpan. This one needed him to dial it up a bit for the Income Tax raid and he does so suitably. Inspired by true events, the movie remains true to its promise and gives us a tight thriller with Saurabh Shukla performing admirably as Rameshwar Singh. There is just the right amount of menace and humour to keep you unsettled. Of course Ajay Devgun does not get unsettled. The key question here was that how will they make a predictable Raid engaging, and they nearly pull it off. I say nearly – because the romantic track with Ileana was totally not needed and slows down the proceedings considerably. I wish filmmakers stop casting heroines just for the heck of it. Had they been brave – This one would have been much higher in my list!
22. Go DC goooo! After the colossal success of Wonder Woman, DC gets another big one under its belt in Aquaman. This one is even bigger with the movie grossing 1Billion USD, and counting! How was the movie? This was another homage to the 90s, linear and predictable. But Jason Momoa makes it work – and how. He has no suit, his powers are amazing and he looks superhuman. He needs to possess a trident to be all powerful. But he was already so rocking that it did not matter if he had the trident in his possession or not. It is supposed to make him all powerful – they said. But he already is – I say! He rocks the look and the action and gets Aquaman right. Move over Marvel. The men are here. Next up from DC – The Joker!
21. What a delightful small movie this one. I really like Jackky Bhagnani. He is like a poor mans Ritesh Deshmukh! 😀 Extremely relatable and comes across as very sincere and genuine. Looks like he has found his space with quirky movies like this one – and that makes me like him even more. Remember FALTU? This one is sort of cut from the same cloth – but is based in Gujarat. In fact thats one of the high points of the movie – the setting. They get it so right. In many cases there is no translation and whole dialogs are in Gujarati. And the songs. Simply outstanding. This was a small budget movie and while it could have been tighter – the chemistry and the overall feel good nature of the movie make it a nice sweet watch.
20. I couldn’t exactly say what I was excitedly waiting for in this one. Chitti, Rajnikanth, Akshay Kumar or the promised VFX. Once I saw it, I still couldn’t figure it out! I think standalone nothing was off the charts, but all of the above put together made for a pretty engaging watch. The much talked about VFX was pretty good in parts – and pretty average in some. But the good news was that they got the important parts correct. Rajni looked slightly old and tired in parts but his 2.0 avatar was good fun. Wish that had more screen time. But what really gave the movie depth was Akshay Kumar’s backstory. Well shot and executed with AK turning in a solid performance. Another North, South combo delivering the good at the Box Office. Brilliant! Bring on 3.0 I say.
19. Now that’s more like the Anurag Kashyap we know. Sports, Caste equations, Underdog Story, Raw Action, Feisty Heroine. This one had all the elements which make AK tick. Tight, Humorous, Real – this was truly AK zone. Jimmy Shergill dials up the menace and is extremely well supported by the debutant Zoya Hussain. (Imagine getting a debut role which does not let you speak. And then crushing it!) But the movie belonged to the MukkaBaaz – Vineet Kumar Singh. His acting, boxing and the overall transformation was incredible. You could not only see it physically, you could also see it in his accent and mannerisms. Thank you AK for giving us a brilliant Uttar Pardes ka Mike Tyson!
18. I like what Paul Rudd brings to the MCU with Ant Man – Solid acting chops! 😀 There is a nice laugh at yourself feel to this series which makes it a fun watch. But I’ll be honest. I rushed to see this only because of Avengers – Infinity War. And even though the villain was weak, the movie will keep you engaged. And the post credits scene (and now the appearance of Ant Man in the End Game trailer) makes it totally worthwhile. This time around we have the Wasp joining in the action. Michelle Pfeiffer comes back from the Quantum Realm and keeps us hooked for the End Game. I just need one more thing now. A spin off for Michael Pena and Luis. Whazzaaaaaa! 😀
17. Why is this movie not higher up in my list? I think this was a wonderful, fun movie with excellent performances. Nothing much wrong in the movie but I just felt there was nothing new for me to watch. Yes the premise was unique and well treated – but I have had an overdose of movies set in the north. And I think Ayushmann Khurana can do these roles in his sleep now. The movie however belongs to Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao. Amazing nuanced performances from both the senior actors – enacting roles which are funny yet makes us care for them. In many scenes, they communicate without saying a word – especially the scene right before the interval. All expressions! We should definitely be seeing much more of them.
16. This one took a long time coming to screen! Not to add the legal battles that the movie went through. And apparently JA took all the risk and released the movie on his own. So glad that he did! JA serves up a nice non-jingoistic movie about India’s nuclear test and the secrecy with which it was carried out. There were some shades of Hollywood thrillers – with an Indian touch of course. The production values could have been slightly better but I guess that would have been more of a budget decision. And while you know how it is going to end – you still are hooked and at the edge of your seats. Supported by a solid bunch of actors – special mention to Boman Irani – this was a nice, solid reminder of what it takes to pull off something like this.
15. Bollywood is getting brave. And Brave is getting mainstream! 5 years back – Who would have thought that a movie like Padman would have been made. Even when you had the Amazing Arunachalam Murugananthan doing all this in real life! But times are changing and Akshay Kumar not only produces – along with Twinke Khanna – but also turns in a stirring performance in Padman. It was not the perfect movie and flags halfway. Radhika Apte was under utilised, but Sonam Kapoor provides strong support and makes this an engaging watch. Kudos to the entire team of Padman and to Bollywood in general for making this important movie. And the Biggest applause for the audiences who turned up to see this.
14. What. A. Transformation. Three words are enough to describe this movie. Ranbir Kapoor gets the mannerisms, the attitude, the body language bang on. That in itself made it a super watch. But aided by stellar acting from Paresh Rawal and a brilliant Vicky Kaushal – this one was a treat. And that too after not too much of a story! I mean Sanjay Dutt’s life is well chronicled and I think everyone knew all about the events that were unfolding on screen. And yes there was whitewashing. But inspite of no surprises in the story – you are hooked. And not to forget the master Raju Hirani. His direction and writing is so amazing – that he gets his point across emotionally – while also making you laugh. How does he keep doing it!!
13. I saw this movie a little late – after all the hype and hoopla over how this movie will define a generation and the deeper meaning around race and colour. And boy was the hype worth it. By taking a black superhero (who by the way is considered the richest MCU character ever) and juxtaposing the fightback of black people against the injustices suffered by them – you get not only a comic book hero, but a social and cultural phenomenon. No wonder the movie made 1.3 Billion Dollars at the global box office. The production was super slick as usual, the soundtrack was amazing and Michael B Jordan as the bad guy was stunningly good. No wonder this one has defined a generation. Eagerly waiting for the sequel!
12. There is something about Rishi Kapoor in his second stint, that is making him stand apart from all the senior actors around. Even, dare I say it, the Big B! This one is possibly his strongest role ever. So topical. So relevant. And so well acted. I was not in the mood to watch something heavy – as many such movies tend to be. But this one was more thriller than heavy. Yes the theme does weigh you down a bit but the movie is a riveting watch and hits you hard. It’s about the prejudices we carry, the state of our country and about what is right and wrong. Tapsee Pannu supports well and Manoj Pahwa turns in a seriously solid performance. We definitely need more movies like this.
11. Ah the joys of owning India’s largest production houses. You get to choose from the best of the scripts and keep them for yourself! 😀 This is probably what happened when the script of Hichki landed on YRF’s desk. Rani had a look at it and said – this one’s mine! Thankfully the execution was consistent with the strong premise and we ended up with one of the most endearing movies from last year. Rani Mukherjee is superb in an author backed role of a teacher with Tourette’s syndrome – trying to teach and tame a wild bunch of kids from the slums. Sounds familiar, but the way the kids bond with their teacher and how they overcome the odds, makes it a refreshing watch. I bet Rani is not done yet. More scripts please!
10. Well technically this was a movie which was split into three episodes – so I will count this as a movie! 😀 I think in 2018, Netflix, by far, was the winner with respect to original content in India. Ghoul was one such thrilling watch. Even though the premise promised horror and gore – the scares and the gore were not that much. Instead, this one was an intelligent, layered tale about demons living in our mind. And on top of that, it was smartly played out against the increasing religious conflict – set in future India (Or even present India!) And it starred the incredible Radhika Apte. With roles like these coming her way – no wonder she is the reigning Netflix favourite.
9. Finally. The big event. The culmination of more than 10 years of the MCU. A movie so big in its scope and execution – that it would be the easiest thing to go wrong. So many characters, so many stars, so many storylines – but the Russo brothers conjure up magic! Not a beat out of place and not a loose end in this mammoth movie. No wonder it set the cash registers ringing. Thanos – the ultimate super villain, played brilliantly by Josh Brolin, takes centre stage and puts in a mind blowing performance. Strangely – after a point in time, you begin to agree with his motives. And that for me was the best part. A movie this big – needed a villain this big. And that cliffhanger ending? Wow. The wait for Avengers – Endgame cant end soon enough!
8. This is a 2017 Thanksgiving movie. Which I saw after 2018 Thanksgiving. And I mentally kicked myself for missing out on this wonderful, wonderful movie last year. What is it about Pixar animation? How do they put in so much life and emotion in animated characters. It’s incredible that art conveys emotion, much better than human beings do. A story which spans life and afterlife – this is a delightful tale of Miguel aspiring to be a singer and going to the afterlife to get his ancestors blessings to be able to do so. Warm, funny, with a surprisingly amazing and unexpected twist and a heart warming ending – this is Pixar at their best. Please don’t miss it, like I did!
7. Oh man. Where do I even begin! So many pop culture references in this one!! Only Spielberg and his team could have pulled this off. And they do this with so much flair! Set in the future, where folks in the real world, prefer to play a virtual game – rather than live in the real world. And being in the virtual world gives the writers much scope to refer animated characters, classic movie props, classic games and most of all – a rocking 80s and 90s soundtrack. This was nostalgia at its finest, strung together by a fast paced story – which had a team of players looking to solve clues, win races and win challenges gain control of the entire virtual reality system. Littered along the way were close to a 100 references to Pop Culture! And every time I spotted them, my heart went wheee! Absolutely brilliant!
6. When I first heard of Venom the movie, I thought about the Venom character in Spiderman 3. That was a bad adaptation and I wondered what they will do with that character. But they turned the character on its head with dark humour and a noble intentions (still cruel methods though) and got on board Tom Hardy to be the perfect human foil to this alien symbiote. Tom Hardy brings a super awareness and depth to the role and makes both Eddie and Venom work and play well with each other. Most of the fun moments in the movie consist of Eddie and Venom talking to each other. Venom makes Eddie stronger and Eddie is needed by Venom to survive. Slowly they begin to understand each other and end up saving the world – while giving us some super furious action and genuinely funny moments. R Rated superhero movies are such a great idea!
5. Does this man ever get old? Tom Cruise returns for the 6th time in Fallout. And this adventure is the best outing so far, for Ethan and the IMF. Studded with non stop thrills, rocking action sequences and a fast paced story – Fallout takes the whole franchise a notch higher. However impossible that sounds!! Henry Cavill joins in the fun – with his now (in)famous moustache and provides a solid wingman for Tom Cruise. The usual suspects are around as well – Benji, Luther and the others. Unfortunately no Jeremy Renner this time around. The stakes are higher than ever, the action is better than ever and the overall movie was the most fun I have had in in a while. I recently read that the same director is returning for MI 7 and MI 8. Oh boy!
4. How old is she again? Just 25??? Unbelievable! Alia Bhatt is giving all the established actresses a serious run for their money and Raazi is another reason to believe in her. Based on a bestseller – this taut, spy thriller takes Alia Bhatt and places her behind enemy lines. How she spies on the enemy and does she manage to make it out or not – makes for most of the story. It’s a solid cat and mouse game and the enemy is not shown as silly. So the stakes are even higher. Extremely well directed by Meghna Gulzar – Alia Bhatt is the cornerstone of this wonderfully crafted movie. Her vulnerability comes to the fore and is exploited well by the director and the script – by repeatedly placing her in dangerous situations. And to top it all – This is based on a true story. Just imagine.
3. O Stree Kal aana! What a total blast I had while watching this one. Now a days RajKumar Rao is reason enough to buy tickets. And same was the case when I booked for this one. But 10 minutes into the movie and you know you are in for a great ride. Not only is the movie extremely funny – the scares are real and keep you on the edge of your seats. There is an extremely fine balance between Horror and Comedy with one not overshadowing the other – not an easy task! Shraddha Kapoor shines as the Stree (or not!) and is supported well by Pankaj Tripathi, AparShakti and Abhishek Bannerjee. The ending is left ambiguous and open ended as the writers said they had planned a sequel only if this part does well. With more than 100Cr at the box office for this one – Part 2 is in the works and will look to answer many of the unanswered questions from this part. O Stree (Part 2) – Jaldi aana!!
2. Ok. Technically not a movie again. But it starred Saif and Nawaz and Radhika Apte – and was directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane! I have no other option but to count it as a movie. And what a watch this was!! Based on the bestselling novel – this was Nawaz and Saif at their finest (being directed by AK and VM respectively) pitted against each other – with the backdrop of Mumbai in an earlier era. Saif revels in the freedom of web series, while Nawaz pitches in a perfect performance as Ganesh Gaitonde. Each and every actor in the series turns in a solid performance. And that really is something. There was suspense, action, violence, romance – and all of it, with the story interminably wounding tighter and tighter, resulting in a cliffhanger climax. I will say it – this was our very own Narcos and it was at the same level of brilliance- if not slightly better! The best original content for Indian streaming. So far. Until season 2 arrives! A total of 4 seasons planned as of now. Something to definitely look forward to!
1. And here is the Numero Uno for 2018. This brilliant, brilliant movie made me fall in love with cinema and movie magic, all over again. While the movie starts with the premise of the hero being blind – it quickly moves into the territory of is he blind or not? – and equally quickly gives us the answer. Unfortunately for our hero, he finds himself in a situation where he needs to keep pretending what he is (and also what he is not!) Tabu, as usual, excels in her role. But the real heavy lifting, as required, is done by Ayushman Khurana. He has not done any other movie like this, but he hardly seems out his comfort zone! The music complements the movie perfectly and with just the right hat-tips to the 70s and the 80s, Sriram Raghavan takes us on a Vijay-Anandesque journey, that grabs hold us and never lets us go. Tight script, masterful suspense, unexpected twists and turns, brilliant acting and an open ending. Take a bow Sriram Raghavan. This was the perfect movie.
So here they are. The 47 movies I saw in 2018 (Ranked). Hope you enjoyed the list! Let me know if you want to discuss any of the movies above or comment on the rankings. Would love to talk about it. It’s been a great year at the movies with some brilliant content and I am sure next year will be even better! Looking forward to 2019!