For most of us watching a good film can turn around the worst of days. Whether the silver screen transports you to a land and life away from your reality or widens your perspective of the world, the experience of a story on celluloid holds its own distinct charm. Cinema buffs, if you are reminiscing about the joys of the holiday season past, our personal list of 2018’s best Indian films is what you really need to start looking ahead to the future. This curation ranges from engaging indie films, documentaries that celebrate dissent and mainstream Bollywood picks that are all set to explore social taboos while still promising mindful entertainment. To get rid of the ghost of Padmavat’s release date, explore these 6 Indian films from our list including Anurag Kashyap’s newest venture Mukkabaz and Rani Mukherjee’s comeback film Hitchki. Scroll down and then mark your calendars for these promising films and even book those seats in advance!
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Release Date: 12th January
The film that premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival this year received a standing ovation from the audience. The plot revolves around a small-town boxer who takes on a ruthless local boxing association member that is hell-bent on destroying his career. The film stands apart from it’s Hollywood counterparts like Rocky and Million Dollar Baby because unlike them the plot goes beyond the protagonist’s trials and tribulations in the ring. It uses this broad arc to explore issues that plague the country today; from the corrupt-Indian sporting system, caste hierarchies that dominate rural India, and Hindutva-led cow vigilantism. The movie will see Vineet Kumar Singh (Gangs of Wasseypur, Ugly) who for his role has trained lived and trained with boxers for one year in Punjab along with newcomer Zoya Hussain whose natural presence signals a promising future on the screen. From the director who makes some of the most socially powerful and deeply engaging films in contemporary Indian cinema, this is one we’re all holding our breath for!
Director: R. Balki
Release Date: 26th January
This film is based on the inspiring life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, an innovator obsessed with the idea of creating cost-effective sanitary pads to rural women in India. Also known as ‘India’s Menstrual Man’, his life has already been widely documented and reported about by both the Indian and international media, though this is the first time that the subject of menstruation will be explored in mainstream Bollywood. Known to take on socially charged and rather experimental roles as compared to his contemporaries we are curious to see how Akshay Kumar breaks the stigma around menstruation in India on the silver screen.
III. The Argumentative Indian
Director: Suman Ghosh
Release Date: To be released on Youtube soon
Based on the book of the same name this is a 60-minute documentary in which Nobel laureate Amartya Sen speaks of social choice theory, development economics and the rise of right-wing nationalism across the world. The film is structured as a conversation between Sen, his student and internationally known economist Kaushik Basu. In July 2017 the film was barred from being released by the CBFC, which was then headed by Pahlaj Nihalani who had reportedly asked the director to beep out some words and phrases used by Sen in the film, including “cow”, “Gujarat”, “Hindu India” and “Hindutva view of India”. The decision of the censor board’s reviewing committee to clear the film this year without any cuts is a reassuring sign for Indian democracy. This one should be watched for a celebration of dissent, rarely seen in mainstream media today.
Director: Siddharth P Malhotra
Release Date: 23rd February
The film follows a woman with dreams of becoming a teacher (Rani Mukherjee) who is diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome; a condition that forces an individual to make involuntary repetitive movements or sounds. A reluctant private school hires her to teach underprivileged students who have been admitted to their elite institution under the Right To Education Act. Ridiculed by high society both teacher and students must find a common ground that will unite them to fight the prejudices that belittle them. The film is one of the few ones to open the dialogue around both physical disability and inclusive education in mainstream Indian cinema. Moreover, we are intrigued to see how Mukherjee will play this sensitive role after a four-year-long break from movies.
Director: Reema Kagti
Release Date: 15th August
Set in 1948, the film will bring to life the historic story of India’s first Olympic gold medal on the screen. After the phenomenal success of Chak De India in 2007, the bar for a film on the national game is sure to be a high one but with Reema Kagti who has made critically acclaimed films like Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (2007) and Taalash (2012) we doubt there will be room for disappointment!
Director: Prosit Roy
Release Date: 9th February
A battered and bruised Anushka Sharma with haunting eyes transfixes the viewer from the poster of Pari which is a horror comedy. After her early films like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) and Band Baja Barat (2010) after a long time, Sharma who will play a victim of abuse seems to be attempting a role that is completely deglamourised. Sharma who finds that Bollywood has a dearth of female-centric films began her own production house Clean Slate Films with the mission to bridge that gender gap in the film industry. Pari is Clean Slate Film’s third such venture and we are sure that it is bound to stand apart from Sharma’s regular predictable rom-coms. Watch this one to discover Sharma’s acting diversity and the surrealistic sequences of cinematography.
You can watch the trailer of the film here.
If you have any suggestions that you think should be included in this list do tell us in the comment section below or write to us at email@example.com
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