2014 – This was a year of hit films, benighted cinematic delights and the poorly crafted lot. As we gush about the year’s releases with the last being Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly, we need to halt and focus on the best of Bollywood’s harvest.
Vishal Bharadwaj’s Shakespearean trilogy comes full circle with the sexually complex and seductively tragic adaptation of Hamlet. Haider takes first place in our list because of the story that unfolds against the political backdrop of Kashmir. Haider’s USP is the acting prowess of an ensemble cast who stay faithful to their characters. It can be coined as the most complete film of 2014, in terms of cinematic excellence. It is an unparalleled visual affair. Bhardwaj’s vision makes Haider ‘the film’ of 2014.
With Highway, Imitiaz Ali gives voice to a story beyond the standard romance of Bollywood. Highway found box office success and the audiences loved it. It opened to mixed responses from viewers but gained momentum. Highway needs to be watched for the unflinching faith of the cast and crew. The film showcased the length and breadth of India. It explored bonding beyond class, status and society. The film’s emotional quotient was pitched against the underutilized beauty of the flora and fauna of India. This turned Highway into a winner!
A quick bite is a delight if the packaging is alluring. Finding Fanny is just such a quick bite. It isn’t overdone nor is it left to simmer. Homi Adajania’s film secures the third position in our list. Finding Fanny, apart from being this year’s surprise, stands tall as the most perfectly edited piece of 2014. The Deepika – Arjun starrer can be watched and enjoyed every single time. This 106 minute feature film teaches lessons about life and love better than B-town’s 3 hour sagas. This feel-good film is quite ahead of its time, when all the nation cares about are box office takings. Finding Fanny deserves an audience in search of beauty within the story and characters.
Director Vikas Bahl’s work wa perfect for both the masses and the elite. Queen was released to cheers from India and beyond. This movie spoke of the spirit of freedom and the joy of finding a voice. Kangana Ranaut claimed the spotlight and melted every heart. Queen entertained the audience and also was a critical success. Queen stole our hearts and therefore it ranks among the best of 2014.
Writers Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi’s brainchild gave us PK. This is Aamir Khan’s most brilliantly performed film. The film is a bumpy ride but reaches the finish line with grace. The story of a naïve PK questioning the ways and practices of a society is one among the most touching scripts of 2014. Of all the films of 2014, PK is that one film enjoyed by audiences across all age groups. This movie surely deserves a position in the list of the top 5 films of the year.
Lets take a moment to mention the films that though didn’t make the list but are undeniably among the best!
Film: Filmistaan, director: Nitin Kakkar
Film: 2 States, director: Abhishek Varman
Film: Mardaani, director: Pradeep Sarkar
Film: Ugly, director: Anurag Kashyap
By Soham Bhattacharyya