As times goes by, Indian viewers are having a deeper knowledge on the content of movies, and a much demanding taste on what they would love to see. Hence, it's much harder to attract viewers with half-half projects, so creators have to take certain risks with their approach to make their films standing out.
People are no longer into the casual elements that make movies more sellable any more, and they want to pay money on what can give them special messages about their daily lives. Indians can separate good movies from bad movies, and I must say, movie makers have done quite a good job of bringing special things into their scripts.
2019 sees a great period for Bollywood movies, as there are a lot of successful ones that brought not only reputation but also hundreds of crores of INR to its makers. But today, we're not going to talk about this topic, but about the 10 best movies that bravely delivered India's hot issues through the big scenes that make us believe in good cinemas again!
The holiday is coming very close to us, so if you haven't watched any ones in the following list, you still got enough time to get over them all. Let's get right into the first one:
1. Gully Boy
Producers: Zoya Akhtar (director), Farhan Akhar, Ritesh Sidhwani
The musical drama Gully Boy from the director Zoya Akhtar is regarded as one of the best Hindi films in 2019. It evens become India's official contestant for the Oscars Award of Best Foreign Language Film category. Even though it couldn't make its way to the shortlist of the award, Gully Boy is still the masterpiece that the filming crew has made.
You can see the trailer of the movie below:
Taking inspiration from the two famous street rappers Divine and Naezy, Gully Boy tells the story of a coming-of-age Murad Ahmed a.k.a. Gully Boy (starred by Ranveer Singh). Alia Bhatt stepped in the role of the main female character Safeena Firdausi - the bad-ass Gully Girl that Murad can't help falling in love with.
Murad doesn't express his attitude toward societal issues and his love in Dharavi through normal wordings but through the power of rap's punchlines. With the budget of 40 crores INR, the different take in its storytelling have helped Gully Boy to bring back over 238 crores INR - almost 6 times the money they've spent.
2. The Sky Is Pink
Producers: Shonali Bose (director), Madhu Chopra, Priyanka Chopra, Sidharth Roy Kapur, Kilian Kerwin, Ronnie Screwvala
Even though The Sky Is Pink did not the bomb the box-office as hard as Gully Boy did, it still won the heart of viewers and critics with its heart-wrenching story. Shonali Bose-directed movies mark the come back of Priyanka Chopra Jonas to Bollywood after a three-year-break. You can find out the reason why The Sky Is Pink through the trailer below:
The Sky Is Pink tells the story of a loving couple through the conservation of their fearless teenage daughter that takes inspiration from the real-life figure with the same name Aisha Chaudhary. She was diagnosed with a deadly disease that affects her immune system and doesn't have much time to live anymore. Even so, Aisha still keeps her positive mind and brings audiences through various stages of emotions: from cuteness-overload to heart-breaking sorrow.
Starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas as the mother Aditi Chaudhary, Farhan Akhtar as the father Niren Chaudhary and Rohit Suresh Saraf as the brother, this Hindi love story definitely worth a spot in any of the viewers' hearts in 2019.
3. Article 15
Producers: Anubhav Sinha (director), Zee Studios
Content-wise, Article 15 deserves the highest spot in this list, since its deal with the introduction of Article 15 in India's laws, which prohibit any type of discrimination in sex, religion, race, caste or place of birth aspects. You can see the trailer of the movie below to see the cruelty of some Indian groups before the Article came to force:
Bringing out the heinous 2014's Badaun rape case where two young girls were raped by a gang and ruthlessly hanged to death afterward, and the Una murder incident in 2016, the creator has made a daring step to deliver the best and most realistic content to the viewers. Even though Anubhav Sinha didn't directly refer to those cases, we all know what the movie talks about.
Considering how bold and brave the movie is, especially in a country with strict rules like India, it's reasonable that Article 15 has received a whole lot of critically positive feedbacks from viewers, but obstruction from authorities. India's Brahman Samaj has filed documents forcing cinemas to stop screening this movie. However, The Supreme Court has made a right decision of turning it down.
That's how we're still able to admire the braveness of the director, as well as having a look directly into the shadows of our society!
4. Game Over
Producers: Ashwin Saravanan (director), S. Sashikanth, Chakravarthy Ramachandra
Women's rights are the topic that the whole world is concerning about, and in a society where women's values are not totally recognized like India, this issue is even more pressing. Rape, murder, and discrimination - that was Indian women have to suffer from for the last decades, and the problems don't seem to grow less serious.
So, here's Game Over - a thrilling movie to show you how the consequences of those crimes can do to one person. You can see its trailer below:
Game Over rotates around a disabled woman namely Swapna, who has to spend her life on a wheelchair but own a talented mind of a game designer. However, she has suffered from a rape event that took place in one New Year's Eve events, which left her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The dark frightened Swapna and triggers her unceasing feelings, and she can only find her happy and peaceful time by enjoying her favorite video games. Nevertheless, creepy events starts to appear more and more frequently, torturing Swapna with the traumatic memories from the past.
Even worse, as she started to find that she's the target of a masked serial killer, and will have to escape from this danger with her wheelchair. With the splendid acting from the main actress Taapsee Pannu showing how miserable a woman can be with the saddening events in the past, Game Over will tell the whole Indian society to pay more respect toward the Eves.
5. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Producers: Kangana Ranaut (director), Radha Krishna (director), Jagarlamudi (director), Zee Studios, Nishant Pitti, Kamal Jain
2019 seems to be the most successful year for Zee Studios, they've not only one but two movies to star in this list (and many other lists as well). The casts of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi were even commended by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind for its goods. You can see its trailer below to see why:
Manikarnika tells the tales of the brave and fierce queen that last from 1828 to 1858. It portrays how Indians have fought to protect their sovereign under the threat of Britain's armies, and how the spiritual queen has thrown herself into the battle to encourage her troops.
The movie doesn't only emphasize that women can be great leaders too, but also the true eye-candies with glorious fighting scenes, detailed CGIs with vast battlefields and the severe level of battles for peace.
The only things that obstructs Kangana Ranaut's movie are the reports pointing at the main actress for falsely portraying Queen Laxmibai dancing to a special number, which goes against India's tradition. Regarding this topic, Kangana only returned with humor: "I am a Rajput and I will destroy them!"
6. Saand Ki Aankh
Producers: Tushar Hiranandani (director), Anurag Kashyap, Nidhi Parmar, Reliance Entertainment
A great movie that every feminist has to watch - Saand Ki Aankh used to have another name - Womaniya. However, to avoid the controversy with the legal rights of the name in the hands of Pritish Nandy Communications, Tushar Hiranandani has renamed it to Saand ki Aankh. You can see the trailer of the movie below:
Another movie that speaks for women, but Saan Ki Aankh mainly focuses on the gender inequality that India has experienced since its first days. It tells the story of two old courageous sharpshooters (the one that can shoot very precisely) Chandro and Prakashi that is based on a true story, wielding their guns to take what they deserve in the first place.
Even though it's only in a movie, the Tomar sisters portray the effort to fight for gender equality, and even though they can't gather the fruits of their acts, their daughters and granddaughters will. It's not only the fight for the present, but also the fight for the future. That moral message has brought the movie tons of positive reviews from media outlets, like CNN-News18.
Producers: Abhishek Chaubey (director), Ronnie Screwvala
Sonchiriya ('the golden bird' in English) takes the settings of the 1970s in a little town reigned by a group of dacoits, where different sides fight each other to gain control. With nearly a thousand scenes captured both inside India and overseas, the gunfights in this movie look very realistic, which successfully portrays the severity of surviving in a chaotic land.
However, the most special thing about this movie is that the director Abhishek Chaubey (the one behind the notorious Ishqiya series) has chosen the Chambal dialect for his movie. He received a lot of criticism for this decision, regarding that not anyone can easily understand the accent.
However, he still wants to follow this approach, since he wants to pay respect to the language diversity that the land of India is having, and also remind people who are ignorant toward this subject.
8. Mardaani 2
Rape has always been the pressing issue in India that the government hasn't found an effective method to deal with yet. It requires not only laws and legislations from the authorities, but also the awareness of people about women's rights as well. So, when there is still saddening cases in real life, there will be more movie drilling into this issue.
And among them, Mardaani 2 is one of the best ones that we've got in 2019. You can watch the trailer below for impressions:
Mardaani 2 is the sequel of the 2014's movie, and we'll see Rani Mukerji back to star in the role of the beautiful and responsible policewoman Shivani Shivaji Roy. The authority has given her a very tough case: follow and catch the serial rapist with no longer than two days. The director of this movie is Aditya Chopra - the husband of Rani.
Starting strong with the statistics showing over 2000 rape cases are conducted by boys that are under 18 years old every year in India, the movie has pressed onto the itching issue of India since the moment we were born. The thrilling of the chase was perfectly shown by the splendid acting of the casts, which has somewhat raise the awareness of Indians.
A lot of female police officers has watched this movie, and give the lead actresses a lot of positive responses, which gives her tons of inspiration. Hopefully, through this movie, people will have the courage to stand against such horrible crimes in the real-life that this movie has taken references from.
Producers: Sujoy Ghosh (director), Gaurav Verma, Gauri Khan, Aksshai Puri, Shah Rukh Khan, Sunir Khetarpal
Badla is doesn't have much of sensitive content, but it's considered as an Indian superhit that has surprised the whole movie scenes with its Scotland concept and intriguing thriller story. Staring the biggest star in the B-town right now - Amitabh Bachchan, the movie has gained a lot of love and brought back to the creators over 85 crores of INR.
Below is the trailer of the movie, which you can have a look:
Badla follows the story of a young and successful businesswoman namely Naima Sethi (Taapsee Pannu) stuck in a murder case that her secret lover Arjun is the victim, and she is the accused. However, the truth is that the couple was blackmailed by a mysterious person, and on their way to meet him, they are attacked. Once Naina wakes up, her lover is already dead, and no there is a witness standing up for the case.
Of course, she has to find a way to prove herself innocent, and the defense attorney Badal Gupta (Amitabh Bachchan) will help her with this case. I'm not going to spoil everything for you, but you can expect a deep plot with numerous twisting details portrayed in the beautiful landscape with the cold atmosphere in Scotland. And with the acting of Big B, the quality of this movie is yet unprecedented.
Chhichhore is the movie that brought to the big screens the problems that not only the youth in India has to experience, but the youth all over the world as well. It's the story of a group of college friends that have encountered every up and down that a youngster could: laugh, stress, competition, fight and even heart-break. You can find them in the trailer below:
The movies tells the story of the seven college friends from their times at school to the present. Times of India gives Chhichhore 3.5/5 star, commending on the expressive actings of the casts. It also specified that the special thing about this movie is not from its visual, but from the educative aspects, regarding its success to connect the youngsters and their parents.
That's also what modern society is experiencing, with the academic name of "age gaps". The movie is perfect for a family outing, and hopefully, it might help families members get closer to each other, and appreciate all of the things that happened in their past.