My Top 10 movies for 2016 are below. These are, from my point of view, the best hindi films of 2016. Do let me know if you disagree 🙂
Wazir should have been rated higher, but this revenge drama owes its measly #10 spot to its dithering climax. Still, patches of brilliance, and actors Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Roy Hydari make it a hard-to-forget film.
Dhanak is the moving story of a brother-sister pair who journey across the sands of Rajasthan to achieve their almost impossible goal. This is written and directed by US-educated-chemical-engineer-turned-passionate-director and creator of remarkable films like Dor, Nagesh Kukunoor. It takes its time along the journey, but succeeds because of its natural portrayal and the charm of its lead child actors Krrish Chabria and Hetal Gada.
8. Dear Zindagi
Protagonist Kaira is unhappy with her life, only she doesn’t know it. This finding-yourself film stars Shahrukh Khan as a mature, all-knowing psychiatrist, which you wouldn’t think would ever work, but it does. Dear Zindagi is Alia’s film though, through and through.
Veteran actor Manoj Bajpayee stars in this sensitive portrayal of a gay professor in disapproving Indian society. Based on real-life, Aligarh depicts the plight of Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a Marathi professor at Aligarh Muslim University, when he is yanked out of the closet forcibly via an intrusive sting operation.
Aamir’s Khan’s supposedly feminist film about female wrestling, and specifically about the wrestling champions Geeta and Babita Phogat, and their determined father Mahavir Singh Phogat is a riveting watch. Dramatized from the real life story, Dangal is told well, although it could have been shorter and held back on the cliche-ridden cheesiness.
Another real-life-based film, Neerja tells the story of brave flight attendant Neerja Bhanot who died trying to save the passengers of her hijacked flight. This is a delicately told tale, and Sonam Kapoor’s and Shabana Azmi’s fabulous portrayal takes this film up several notches.
4. Udta Punjab
Alia Bhatt is in 3 of the Top 10 films for 2016, so she’s had quite a year! In Udta Punjab she plays an unlucky lower class girl who meanders down the wrong alley. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor and Punjabi film star Diljeet Dosanjh also feature in this hard-hitting look at the Punjab drug problem.
This gorgeous film has luminous Swara Bhaskar as Chanda, the uneducated housemaid, who strives hard so that her insouciant daughter can study and make something of her life. In this quest, Chanda has the support of her encouraging employer Dr. Diwan, portrayed by the lovely Ratna Pathak Shah.
This big name starrer has its heart in the right place. Kapoor & Sons has drama, romance, comedy and heartbreak, and spans three generations of the Kapoor clan, whose aging patriarch (played by Rishi Kapoor) is not ready to kick the bucket before bringing together his fractured family.
A pioneering film for Indian cinema, Pink dares to speak the truth and live. In Amitabh Bachchan’s booming voice Pink tells the truth about hypocritical Indian society, which on one hand reveres women as mothers, but then treats them as chattel, when they don’t behave as “good girls” should. Kriti Kulhari, Taapsee Pannu and Andrea Tariang star as the three scared but brave young girls who raise voices against patriarchal attitudes in this magnificent, must-see film.