10 Best Bollywood Films of 2017 : Which is your favourite?

1. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion :

I will keep this at No1, solely because of the landmark it created for Indian Cinema, which was no less than a fantasy. The worthy sequel to the hype of Baahubali, this one is straight out from fairytale stuff. S.S.Rajamouli takes off with Prabhas and Anushka Shetty as he tells you the story of “Katappa ne Baahubali ko kyun mara?” in the most spectacular way, ever done on Indian screens. Though, some actions very illogical, but you won’t need logic here. Read my full review of it : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/baahubali-2-indian-cinemas-landmark/

2. Jolly LLB : 2
Akshay Kumar is on a golden touch, and he can never go wrong. Thus the sequel to a wonderful Jolly LLB, is well worth a watch. It is funny, satirical, serious and asks pertinent questions about socio-political conditions of the country. Doing both well in the box office (197cr) and in the critique department, LLB2 is all about a serious court room drama built up through fun-filled sequences.

3. Jagga Jasoos :
Personally, I loved this film. Anurag Basu in his typical best. Set in a Bengal locale and casting some brilliant actors (Except Kaif), the movie is a gem. It is a musical – and the best part is, it has a reason for being so. Though, the 2nd half drags and becomes boring, but again – Jagga takes you on a fun adventure. Saswata Chatterjee – a delight. Read my full review of it : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/jagga-jasoos-review-anurag-basus-treat-to-indian-cinema/

4. A Death in the Gunj :
A not so famous film, lost in between few heavyweights – but pretty well made. Konkona Sen Sharma goes behind the camera and brings out the best cat from her bag. It is a coming of age story, about a shy student Shyamal Chatterjee. The holiday and the family trip that the film starts with turns out into something very messy and suspicious. Read my fellow blogger Srobona’s review on it : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/a-death-in-the-gunj-as-an-anxious-calm/

5. Newton :
Rajkummar Rao is the finest product of Bollywood of recent times and he takes up this satire in a motif to put a mirror on society, on conducting a vote in a maoist region. It contains all the farce of the so called largest democracy of India. Pankaj Tripathi is a delight, again. Though it is slow and much of nothingness happens, it creates a stir. Lost in the crowd of Judwaa 2. Read my full review of it : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/newton-review-break-away-into-reality-from-the-reels-of-cinema/

6. Bareilly Ki Barfi :
Perhaps the sweetest film of the year, and again Rajkummar Rao at the head of it. A very simple plot and a delicately built climax. Though predictable, but enjoyable throughout. Ayushman Khuranna and Kriti Sanon at their best and Pankaj Tripathi again doing wonders. A very Indian locale and brilliant narration by Javed Akhtar. Read my full review of it : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/bareilly-ki-barfi-sweetest-cuisine-of-the-year/

7. Toilet : Ek Prem Katha :
You see Akshay Kumar, you know it is a good film. And in this social fable like movie – Kumar delivers a message more than a movie. Bhumi Pednekar, co-operating very ably and though the message is strong, but the movie is futile and parts and falter in its main motif. A very different type of film, and definitely a brave attempt. This is perhaps more of a government initiative than a entertainment process.

8. Subh Mangal Sabdhan :
A film about erectile dysfunction – yes, you heard it right, and this is an Indian film. 2017, already a brave year for cinema in this nation, this alone defies all odds. The old cliched rom-com given a new stage of scientific setback – again an awareness process. Ayushman’s second of the year, and that too for Bhumi – both are fantastic, combined by a brilliant cast.

9. Ittefaq :
Bollywood sees very less of suspense thrillers – and this is one of them. It includes all. The twist in the end, is one of the best, seen in recent times and for sure it will leave you stunned and very less of you can predict the end. Akshaye Khanna steals the show as the cop. Siddharth Malhotra does not though achieve full potential (except when he breaks down in the prison). Sonakshi Sinha is very under-utilised and seems unsuitable.

10. Raees & Tiger Zinda Hai :
Yes, you will need a bit of commercial stuff, to round it off, and ShahRukh Khan and Salman Khan packs punches in both of them, respectively. They both have seen setbacks in the fates of Jab Harry Met Sejal and Tubelight, but have earned box office collections with the show of muscles. SRK in Raees is fantastic. Salman Khan in Tiger Zinda Hai is in his comfortable pair of shoes. Read my review of Tiger Zinda Hai here : https://critiquesqueblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/tiger-zinda-hai-review-not-at-all-endangered/

Let us know your pick. Happy New Year.

Article by :- Anish Banerjee.


‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ Review : Not at all endangered!

Salman Khan, finally, gets into his comfortable pair of shoes, and the “bhai-dom” immediately follows. From the dreadful downfall of a Tubelight, just when people were doubting, whether ‘Bhai’ has taken other routes – he brings the Tiger back – this time not from the faithful hands of Kabir Khan, but from the raw hands of Ali Abbas Zafar. Salman Khan has turned into a (super)hero cult for a majority of the Indian Audience, and on his birthday, Bhai has a return gift for the “Bhai-tards” (No offence meant).
Tiger Zinda Hai, doesn’t pick up from its prequel – rather this turns out a socio-religious fable, with an exaggerated amount of hypothetical fantasies, which perhaps looks and sounds good on the screen but not on practical grounds. Did I mention Practical? Oops, all those practicalities, logics, reasonings don’t have footage and don’t bring TRP, for Bhai – here Bhai decides what you see, and boy, he makes sure that the Tiger is still alive and kicking. No-one in this huge industry can ever look so effortless when it comes to action sequences (except Physics), and he gets his old chemistry back (I mean, on screen) with Katrina Kaif as Zoya. Nothing could have gone wrong for an injured Tiger (read : Salman Khan), returning for prey (read : Box office collections) and its very much will take away Bollywood’s Christmas monetary grief over Padmavati.
This is Salman Khan, returning for the masses – and this is where his space is. Tiger Zinda Hai is more about Khan, than about Zafar and at times you feel that Zafar was just catering to the delicacies, Khan was ordering for at the YRF Restuarant. What needs appraisal is, this movie contains a lot of religious overtones and undertones – and it was essential that the sentiments were not hurt, so what Ali did was, he played safe – thus you can see the green of the Indian Flag is not so different to the green of the Pakistani one – he brings together two nations in his script and gives Salman and Katrina the responsibilty to balance them together.
Ali takes up an original base – the story of the nurses captured by terrorist organizations, in Mosul, Iraq and gives his Tiger a platform for his own show of muscle power. He gives a very recognizable fictional name to the Terrorist Organisation and the story already had substance in it, the manner in which it was enacted is debatable.
Salman enters the scene fighting the wolves, saving his son, somewhere in Austria, where he is married to Zoya (Kaif), the ex ISI agent. Just when you were longing to see Kaif, she is introduced with a similar action sequence, but this time with burglars – just that you know that both the Tiger and his Tigress are still as able as they were, 8 years back. RAW needs Tiger to rescue the nurses and ISI needs Zoya to rescue them too – so for the first time in Indian Cinema – RAW and ISI works hand in hand to save the nurses from Iraq – nostalgia, huh? No space for that – full of jaw-dropping and crowd-pulling action sequences with a terrific use of slo-mo makes you go for a “whistle” here and there maybe, even if believe yourself to be far away from his fanbase. Use of guns, grenades and brains (very less) continues as you are stunned by Katrina Kaif’s body fitness. No other actress in this country can pack a punch as she does and thus, it is a happy return for both of them.
Plot movement is quick, scenes change very swifty and very fine amount of music. He never allows you to shift focus from the main event. We all know the end, but the process towards it, may be not classy, but definitely is enough to keep movie halls packed.
RAW, ISI – all these you hear, and you start thinking about Neeraj Pandey, and you start missing a character like Anupam Kher. Hence, Ali gives you Paresh Rawal. A man, very much away from his genre, tries to bring the same sense of comic relief, but at the end, you don’t go to watch Tiger Zinda Hai for Paresh Rawal. Kumud Mishra is under-utlisied and Girish Karnad is the same as you left him in Ek Tha Tiger. Sajjad Delafrooz as Abu Usman is terrific and can send a chill down your spine. Lots of familiar faces amongst the nurses and Angad Bedi as Namit makes his own space, easily.
At the end of all of these, its important, we don’t miss out on the seriousness of what is happening in these countries and what wastelands have we created for ourselves. This is cinema, so there will be happy endings – which will definitely bring in you a craving that how good it would have been if these endings were real ends and not reel ends.
Salman Khan is in his own here – he needs no help. He has built his body back (Am I hearing VFX?), and he will show you his abs, don’t worry. He gets in his grove and he is in a brilliant mood on his prowl.
Tiger Zinda Hai, is one of those movies which Bollywood needs, more than anything, at the end of the year – to make people crazy, to hang “Houseful” boards on single screen cinema halls and make and break records in the financial department. How shy you may feel about watching movies where huge machine guns can be hand held and used, without moving your body – but the bottom-line is, Bollywood still feeds on these, and you may not love them, but you have to respect them, just for what Salman Khan adds to the industry, just with his muscle power and Ali makes sure to keep a space for this Tiger, for future prowls, and as many times this tiger is out, in future jungles, that many times will he add to his cult image, those final pieces, before he moves out, forever. This tiger is definitely not, endangered, but frightening at parts.

My rating 2.5/5.

Article by :- Anish Banerjee.

Jagga Jasoos Review : Anurag Basu’s treat to Indian Cinema!

Jagga Jasoos is one of those once in a blue moon occasions when something occurs for a period of time, which is beautiful and takes us in a transient journey to an unknown land full of all kind of emotions but all differently felt through. And when this ends, you are again back to your daily drabbing routine, longing for another such break. This is a breath of fresh air into the industry. This is daring. This is out of the age. This is unique. This is a basket of freshly picked out apples. Yet, this is too early. Indian Audience is still not ready to accept this genre, whose burden is enough to pull the movie down. The success lies in the attempt. And the attempt is glorious. Jagga Jasoos is a audio-visual treat in the age of some brilliant movie-making.
If you still haven’t figured it out, Yes! This is a “musical” – and hence don’t complain about too many songs. India has not seen many such films, hence this is something new in the market, which the customers will take time to get accustomed to. But where the movie ticks the right box is, this musical is totally logical. For, perhaps, the first time here, we see a musical where the characters have a reason to sing phrases, instead of delivering dialogues – and that is a masterstroke which wins over you right from start. The next aspect of this being a musical, yet so beautiful is, each of the songs (in dialogue form) are so well composed, that no line ever feels out of place. The music is infectious and you can’t help but sing along. Then again, in the 2nd half, this too drags a bit. By then, you have heard a song too many. Anyway, you will groove along to the end.
The non linear progression used, is, in place, but somewhere you struggle to catch up. A little bit scattered. Coming to acting, Saswata wins the scenes, our hearts. He totally bosses around showing India, what Bengal boasts about – accompanying him is Rajatava – a gust of cool wind blown into the movie, which you enjoy, you cherish. Ranbir Kapoor is going through that phase of life where he does everything right, yet fails to win fame in the box-office. Its a pity. He is amazing throughout. Donning the most difficult role, he out performs himself. He carries on from where he left at Barfi, but for that you cannot blame him. Anurag Basu has clung to Barfi tightly, and that carries the after effect here too. Its all so easy for RK here, it seemed, where many “legendary” actors would have failed. Katrina Kaif is the weak link, unfortunately. She feels as a fish out of water. How many times can “tum toh pada likha London se kiye ho” save Kaif’s hindi diction in a movie? She tries her best, and looks wonderful, but there were many others in the industry who could have been a better fit.
Saurabh Shukla is one of those artists, whom Bollywood found out a bit late. But as cliche goes, better late than never – beacause this man is a gem. Overall, the cast is the heart of the film, and this heart is very strong.
Coming to the one of the best things about the film – its cinematography. Out of the world visuals, delightful backdrops, jawdopping locations and some magnificent framing – some excellent eyes and hands behind the camera.
There are two major flaws here in this one – firstly, this could have have been well 20 minutes short. At the later stages of 2nd half, you are on the brink of giving up and it is tedious. Many chase sequences could have been cut short, or totally deleted. The second flaw is not at all countable from my side – that is, you may ask questions like “How can this happen? This never happens in reality. Why did he do that? How did it end like that?” – all these questions are unnecessary here. Because this film is far away from the realms of reality, and thankfully so. You have to let go of your “jasoosi” feelings, before you enter the hall. Fairly-tales are beautiful only in dreams. Let these 161 minutes of your life be a dream.
On the whole, this is not one of those films you get to see 365 days a year. This falls under a ‘Special’ category in the hall of fame. So, savour this feeling, give your ears a treat, your eyes a delightful visual and your over-working brains, a much needed rest. Let go of all that has been happening outside the doors of your cinema halls and drown into this. You will come out, soaked, totally, in a mixed feeling of joy, satisfaction, childish delight and a sense of curiosity too (for a very special appearance at the end). Go watch this ‘once in a while’ happening, Anurag Basu has prepared a musical treat for you – and its delicious, the taste will linger.
My rating – 4/5.

Article by :- Anish Banerjee.