2014 was a mixed bag for Bollywood. Thanks to the business that never slows down, we witnessed a lot of movies come and go from the box office. Some ruled the big screen, while some fell to the very depth of it. And some of the Bollywood movies that won our hearts. Here are the best films of 2014:
The biggest surprise of the year was VikasBahl’s Queen, which had rare subtlety and quality for a mainstream commercial film. Kangana Ranaut won hearts and also a lot of respect with her incredibly lovable (and honest) performance. Apart from the laughs and the sheer entertainment value, the feminist angle in Queen was an icing on the cake.
Ankhon Dekhi centers on Raje Bauji, played by Sanjay Mishra who, after a dramatic incident, decides that he will only believe what he sees with his eyes. Rajat Kapoor’s tiny film had a big heart and terrific turns by Sanjay Mishra as a man trying to understand the fabric of reality, and Seema Pahwa as his long suffering but good-natured wife. Not being a commercial movie and without any star power to help with publicity, AankhonDekhi suffered a bleak fate at the box office.
Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, “PK” is a story about an alien (played by Aamir Khan), who loses his locket which was his remote to call the spaceship to get back to his planet, in a matter of few minutes right after he lands. Soon he takes us on a journey of laughter, love and letting go. He charms us with his curiosity and attentive nature while wandering in a strange city, seeking answers for his questions that nobody seems to care about. Raju Hirani’s PK is entertaining and thought- provoking. Even with its flaws, PK is still one of the best of the year.
Vishal Bharadwaj’s searing and brutal adaption turned Kashmir into Hamlet, India into the mother and Pakistan into the uncle. It was ballsy, and glorious to behold. Shahid Kapoor delivered his career-best performance, and the fact that he didn’t take any fees to make this film is commendable.
5.Kya Dilli Kya Lahore
Kya Dilli Kya Lahore is a 2014 Hindi, war drama film set in 1948, post-Independence period and deals with the subject of Indo-Pak partition. The movie stars Vijay Raaz, Manu Rishi, Raj Zutshi and Vishwajeet Pradhan in the lead roles, and credits Gulzar as the presenter of the film. The film is produced by Karan Arora and also marks the directorial debut of actor Vijay Raaz. The first look of the movie was released at Wagah Border. The film was released worldwide on 2 May 2014 to extremely positive reviews.
Hawaa Hawaai is another earnest effort by Amol Gupte to cherish the innocence and purity of children. It is a beautiful piece of work that demands respect and appreciation. Hawaa Hawaai narrates the story of a young boy, belonging to a very poor background, who dreams of becoming a skating champion. It is his heroic journey of hard-work and dedication that helps him realize the dream of his life!
This was the film that made everyone take Alia Bhatt seriously. It also made us believe director Imtiaz Ali could make something more than schmaltzy, contrived dard-e-dil filmi dramas and rom-coms. Highway brought Stockholm Syndrome to the mainstream audience, had silences and long takes, and was refreshingly different from what one expected it to be. This one didn’t make much money at the box office either, so don’t hold your breath for Ali attempting something different again.
The India-Pakistan is a favorite with our filmmakers. From war films to romance from across the border (Henna, Veer Zara) all angles have been explored. This one is about two men -- one from each country --bonding over films and becoming friends. The kidnapping of an aspiring Bollywood actor by Pakistani terrorists serves as a springboard for cheeky, bittersweet humor and a plea for cross-border brotherhood in first-time director Nitin Kakkar's 'Filmistaan'. A clever ode to popular Hindi cinema whose fans, as Kakkar reminds us, exist everywhere.
Mardaani is a crime drama, which is packed with action and thrills. Rani Mukerji plays a tough cop who does her job with her heart and mind. She puts in her blood and sweat to bust a human-trafficking racket. The show she puts together on the big screen is applauding.
Director Anurag Kashyap earned critical acclaim two years ago for Gangs of Wasseypur, a movie about greed and violence in small-town India. Ugly is set in Mumbai and if not more powerful than Gangs of Wasseypur it is definitely worthy of featuring somewhere on top of Kashyap's best films' list.