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MY BOLLYWOOD’S BEST OF 2020

Welcome to my world where Sami Naik presents you his annual report about the best things that happened in Bollywood that year. It has been declared that the quality of Hindi-language films has declined due to mainstream commercialism and entertainment which is unfortunately true but believing that quality films in India are extremely less in production, I beg to differ. The prime reason is that the sensible audience has to discover such projects and in the times of streaming services, more chances have increased that a lot of writers and directors, who were not getting the platform, will get offers and earn recognitions from the audience when they release their work. Audience or film critic like me make efforts here by blogging and do justice for people who deserve to be recognized for their quality work.

Since 2014, I have been publishing an annual report into my blog about the Hindi-language film industry of India. The purpose of this report/blog is to inform my fellow cinephiles about the better prospects of filmmaking in the film industry and making them aware of the rich quality of films that either caught the viewer’s attraction and received the deserving praise or unluckily went unnoticed and unrecognized. Following are my previous reports about the best of Bollywood:

2014  2015  2016  2017  2018  2019

My judgments are based on the realistic measures fetched from the films whether those are big or small budgeted, comprised of the ensemble or lesser-known cast. No compromise on quality. Every year, I dig around three dozen potential Hindi films, watch, and judge, pass the reviews and note down the artistic and technical excellence. For 2020, the following 38 films were selected:

Bulbbul, Halahal, Love Aaj Kal, Taish, Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa, Chhapaak, Chintu Ka Birthday, Maska, Choked, Bhonsle, Kadakh, Thappad, AK vs AK, Ram Singh Charlie, What Are The Odds, Panga, Dil Bechara, Sir, Gunjan Saxena, Axone, Yeh Ballet, Pareeksha, Shikara, Kaamyaab, Mee Raqsam, Ludo, Gulabo Sitabo, Chippa, Ghoomketu, Kaali Khuhi, Serious Men, London Confidential, Cargo, Atkan Chatkan, Dolly Kitty Aur Wo Chamakte Sitare, Yaara, Operation Parindey, and Shakuntala Devi.

In addition, I have checked the soundtracks of Ginny Weds Sunny, Baaaghi 3, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, Angrezi Medium, and Malang to observe the music department.

Once I am done with all the selected films, I decide by finalizing the works and pick the winner.

SO HOW THIS ALL WORKS??
  1. There are 21 categories that are segregated into three different sections which are musical (5), technical (10), and major (6) sections.
  2. Each category has a winner and ‘maximum’ 5 honorable mentions which are unranked and labeled as ‘Other Notable Works’.
  3. If I require, I will provide short detail in each category.
  4. After finishing with 21 categories, I will write down the total number of nominations and wins submitted in my report as stat fun.

The wait is over…

Allow me to honor Bollywood’s artistic and technical excellence of 2020 according to Sami Naik.


MUSICAL SECTION

BEST BACKGROUND SCORE

AMIT TRIVEDI (BULBBUL)

Other Notable Works:

Karsh Kale (Choked)

Siddharth Mahadevan, Soumil Shringarpure, Qaran Mehta (Ram Singh Charlie)

Gaurav Godkhindi & Govind Vasantha (Taish)

Cyrille de Haes (Chippa)

A.R.Rahman & Qutub-E-Kripa (Shikara)

 

BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER

JUBIN NAUTIYAL (PHIR CHALA – GINNY WEDS SUNNY)

Other Notable Works:

Sachet Tandon (Faaslon Mein – Baaghi 3)

Arijit Singh (Hardum Humdum – Ludo)

Darshan Raval (Mehrama – Love Aaj Kal)

Ayushmann Khurrana (Mere Liye Tum Kafi Ho – Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan)

 

 

BEST FEMALE PLAYBACK SINGER

RACHITA ARORA (SUNN SUR JO – CHOKED)

Other Notable Works:

Monali Thakur (Muskurah – Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa)

Suchismita Das (Ratiya – Ram Singh Charlie)

Rekha Bhardwaj (Dori Tutt Gaiyaan – Gunjan Saxena)

Jyotica Tangri (Kol Kol – Taish)

 

 

BEST SONG & LYRICS

MEHRAMA (DARSHAN RAVAL/ANTARA MITRA/IRSHAD KAMIL/PRITAM – LOVE AAJ KAL)

Other Notable Works:

Phir Chala (Jubin Nautiyal/Kunaal Vermaa/Payal Dev – Ginny Weds Sunny)

Humraah (Sachet Tandon/Kunaal Vermaa/The Fusion Project – Malang)

Hardum Humdum (Arijit Singh/Sayeed Quadri/Pritam – Ludo)

Kudi Nu Nachne De (Vishal Dadlani/Priya Saraiya/Sachin-Jigar – Angrezi Medium)

 

 

BEST MUSIC

PRITAM (LOVE AAJ KAL)

Other Notable Works:

Raghav Sachar/Prashant Pillai/Govind Vasantha/Enbee/Gaurav Godkhindi (Taish)

Pritam (Ludo)

Mithoon/Ankit Tiwari/Ved Sharma/The Fusion Project/Adnan Dhool/Rabi Ahmed (Malang)

 


TECHNICAL SECTION

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

VEERA KAPUR EE (BULBBUL)

Other Notable Works:

Sachin Lovalekar (Shikara)

Edward Lalrempuia & Karan Singh Parmar (Axone)

Payal Ashar (Ram Singh Carlie)

Darshan Jalan & Manish Tiwari (Kaamyaab)

Veera Kapur EE (Gulabo Sitabo)

 

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

MEENAL AGARWAL (BULBBUL)

Other Notable Works:

Sonal Sawant (Shikara)

Shamim Khan & Sikandar Ahmed (Bhonsle)

Mandar D. Nagaonkar (Taish)

Meenal Agarwal (Kadakh)

 

 

BEST SOUND DESIGN

SUSHANT H AMIN (TAISH)

Other Notable Works:

Arun Nambiar (Ram Singh Charlie)

Udit Duseja (Yeh Ballet)

Subash Sahoo (Mee Raqsam)

Sukanta Majumdar (Chippa)

Anish John (Bulbbul)

 

 

BEST EDITING

NITESH BHATIA (HALAHAL)

Other Notable Works:

Antara Lahiri (Yeh Ballet)

Priyank Prem Kumar (Taish)

Manas Mittal (Chippa)

Nitin Baid (Chhapaak)

 

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

JIGMET WANGCHUK (BHONSLE)

There is a scene where Bhonsle is done with the meeting. Bhonsle is fixed in a crowd of 70,000 people during a festival of Anant Chaturdashi. That lengthy scene took six retakes to complete the shot. In all this continuity, Bhonsle becomes a deep muted narration of a revolutionary poet.

The most important consideration for a slow cinema is the camera work which makes the viewers observe the detailing of the smaller portions of the screenwriting. And this is where Bhonsle was very impressive. Visual shots fixing you to the neighborhood like dirty old tableware, a mischief of rats, a loaf of bread near to a street dog, etc are the essentials of adaptable graphics that squeezes you to care this kind of visual bravura.

Other Notable Works:

Avik Mukhopadhyay (Gulabo Sitabo)

Johan Heurlin Aidt (What Are The Odds)

Harshvir Oberai (Taish)

Ramanuj Dutta (Chippa)

Siddharth Diwan (Bulbbul)

 

 

BEST ACTION

IAN VAN TEMPERLEY (TAISH)

 

BEST STORY

DEVANSHU SINGH & SATYANSHU SINGH (CHINTU KA BIRTHDAY)

Axone highlighted the social challenges the Northeast Indian migrants were facing in the capital. Mee Raqsam depicted the fondness of a young girl about a classical dance in a conservative Muslim family and the consequences. Kaamyaab voiced their support for the lesser-known side actors and told an influential story about such an actor who wishes to conclude his career on a memorable note. Ram Singh Charlie gave a painful insider into the circus entertainers and their struggle to survive at an old age after the business is put to halt. AK vs AK was an unusual plot about celebrities taking professional and personal revenge.

But my pick is Chintu Ka Birthday which was astonishingly built on innocent hopes between the screaming agonies of political conflicts. A six-year-old boy wants to celebrate his birthday with his Indian family, and friends in war-torn Iraq in the times when the US military has invaded the country. What is more observing about the story is feeling the agony of one of the great political conflicts of this century through the eyes of the kid who is not even a civilian of that country. That said so, the story indirectly takes you to so many millions of stories of Iraqi children into sparing a thought who wished to live free in those times enough to cut a cake on their birthday.

Other Notable Works:

Avinash Sampath (AK vs AK)

Nicholas Kharkongor (Axone)

Nitin Kakkar & Sharib Hashmi (Ram Singh Charlie)

Safdar Mir & Husain Mir (Mee Raqsam)

Hardik Mehta (Kaamyaab)

 

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

RAJAT KAPOOR (KADAKH)

Many of you have noticed about my film reviews that I concentrate and judge more about the film’s screenwriting. Because it is the most essential part along with the editing which keeps the spirit of the film intact and helps in maintaining finesse.

Halahal, Ram Singh Charlie, Thappad, and Bulbbul, all had the best screenwriting to compel the audience and drive into it. But why I feel Kadakh is the best work from all these? All four films have a story interchanging its parallels whereas Kadakh has time to spend in between the lines of an unusual incident to get a hold of the entire story towards the conclusion. Rajat Kapoor’s screenwriting had smartness of continuity by playing a lively party with well-crafted supporting characters giving the couples a helping hand in a limited time. The audience will feel the misery and stay in the party unnoticed and waiting for the couples’ next steps towards the body lying in the box.

Other Notable Works:

Gibran Noorani (Halahal)

Nitin Kakkar & Sharib Hashmi (Ram Singh Charlie)

Mrunmayee Lagoo (Thappad)

Anvita Dutt (Bulbbul)

 

 

BEST DIALOGUES

BUDDHADEB DASGUPTA (ANWAR KA AJAB KISSA)

Other Notable Works:

Juhi Chaturvedi (Gulabo Sitabo)

Anurag Kashyap & Vikramaditya Motwane (AK vs AK)

Gibran Noorani (Halahal)

Nitin Kakkar & Sharib Hashmi (Ram Singh Charlie)

Rajat Kapoor (Kadakh)

 

 

BEST SCENE

THAPPAD

What else can there be the best scene of the year than the slap? Thappad is Anubhav Sinha’s social drama film centering on a slapping culture generally forced by men as a sign of gender dominance over women. Now we as the audience know that Taapsee will be slapped at some time in the film. The excellence of the slapping scene lies in the whole buildup which makes it so special.

Vikram enjoying one of the best evenings of his life, celebrating with his friends until that call which infuriates him and makes him verbally come into a rough argument with his colleague. Enters his wife, Amrita, trying to take her man to avoid the scene until becoming herself a scene and then comes a whacker.

Interestingly, she was nowhere involved in this incident. She became the victim and all the party attendees stared at her. Even after the slap, the scene continues to shoulder her in a slow-motion camera work towards her room with the female members of the family shell-shocked.

This slap scene is the core of the film and that part was directed superbly than any scene I have watched last year.

 


MAJOR SECTION

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

BARUN SOBTI (HALAHAL)

Barun Sobti was one of the driving forces in Halahal’s excellence. Amongst the other best-supporting roles I have noted below, the only genuine competitor to him was Anurag Kashyap. But Anurag’s capacity as a supporting role was misleading and becoming equivalent to Anil’s leading character despite the plot’s thickness demanding the importance of Anurag’s role as secondary. What makes Barun worthier than Anurag to me is his supporting role justifying in the script and becoming a helping hand to Sachin Khedekar’s role. And Barun gave a realistic look to his role. His body language was more precise to work on the screenplay.

Other Notable Works:

Rajkummar Rao (Ludo)

Anurag Kashyap (AK vs AK)

Pankaj Tripathi (Gunjan Saxena)

Javed Jaffrey (Maska)

Deepak Dobriyal (Angrezi Medium)

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

MANISHA KOIRALA (MASKA)

Manisha’s terrific performance was penalized to a shockingly shorter period in the film where the leading roles were given to the amateur actors having a tough time running the film on their own. Manisha’s role had the weight, the charisma of the character who went into the skin and displayed rich body language, accent, and physical performance of a typical Parsi woman.

Other Notable Works:

Amruta Subhash (Choked)

Geetika Vidya Ohlyan (Thappad)

Seema Pahwa (Chintu Ka Birthday)

Shradha Kaul (Mee Raqsam)

Sanya Malhotra (Shakuntala Devi)

 

 

BEST ACTOR

KUMUD MISHRA (RAM SINGH CHARLIE)

Surprising, innit? None other than Kumud Mishra. Am I serious? Yes, I am. We have been watching him playing different character roles, most prominently since starring in Rockstar. But expecting to do a leading role? One has to ask the director’s thinking behind considering him for such a physically challenging role. He dropped his weight, he did Chaplin impersonations, he ran driving a rickshaw. And there were moments where Kumud executed so well. That scene where Ram Singh paints his face and gets emotional or when he meets himself and speaks to him, those were the melting points.

There were other actors who did so well like Adil in Pareeksha especially when he confesses his crime, drops my jaws. Sachin surprised me in Halahal. Sanjay did such justice to his role in Kaamyaab. Amitabh with age proved that he still is phenomenal in whatever role he considers to play. Anil Kapoor’s role in AK vs AK was the only tough competitor to Kumud’s as he gave his career’s best performance.

Other Notable Works:

Amitabh Bachchan (Gulabo Sitabo)

Anil Kapoor (AK vs AK)

Adil Hussain (Pareeksha)

Sachin Khedekar (Halahal)

Sanjay Mishra (Kaamyaab)

 

 

BEST ACTRESS

DEEPIKA PADUKONE (CHHAPAAK)

This one was easy for me. No, I am not judging her performance because the makeup was impressive. With this real-life character, Deepika smoked a soul and gave a performance she has rarely given before. She applied a different facial and body language. Notice how she smiles and laughs when she interacts with Amol.

Amongst the best performances I have written below, Deepika’s toughest competitor for me was Taapsee Pannu who had a similar victim card but less severe than an acid-attack which was a face slap. But Taapsee’s most acting minutes in consequences of the incident were gloomy and in despair. More emotional and a little slow.

Other Notable Works:

Kangana Ranaut (Panga)

Saiyami Kher (Choked)

Taapsee Pannu (Thappad)

Sanjana Sanghi (Dil Bechara)

Tillotama Shome (Sir)

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

RANDEEP JHA (HALAHAL)

On his directional debut, I think Randeep Jha has learned a lot of directional techniques straight from Anurag Kashyap for whom he was assistant director in Ugly, Raman Raghav 2.0, and Mukkabaaz. Because you will see some glimpse of Anurag when you watch this Halahal. I am really impressed with the tone of the film on which the story is developed.

Keeping it to hardly 100 minutes, Randeep Jha wastes no time in building the plot and grows it to further implications. And the most important element which the director misses about the film in India, Halahal gets its deserving technical ending, a fitting conclusion.

Other Notable Works:

Vikramaditya Motwane (AK vs AK)

Devashish Makhija (Bhonsle)

Nitin Kakkar (Ram Singh Charlie)

Anubhav Sinha (Thappad)

Safdar Rahman (Chippa)

 

 

BEST FILM

AK vs AK

And now the final winner!!! Six films were in my mind. And after closely observing all of these works, I believe AK vs AK is easily the best film of 2020. AK v AK is about real-life celebrities, director Anurag Kashyap and actor Anil Kapoor, who were not destined to work with each other in the past, and at some event, they throw themselves into a heated argument resulting in a professional enmity. Anurag takes his revenge by kidnapping Anil’s daughter Sonam Kapoor and films his struggle to find her.

This is the funniest kidnapping you will watch in any Indian film. You are watching something you have never experienced. This mockumentary-style cat-and-mouse mystery chase is a blend of suspense, black comedy rich with entertainment.


Other Notable Works:

Halahal

Bhonsle

Ram Singh Charlie

Thappad

Chippa

 


MULTIPLE WINS & NOMINATIONS
WINS NOMS FILMS
3 7 Bulbbul
3 7 Halahal
2 3 Love Aaj Kal
2 9 Taish
1 2 Ginny Weds Sunny
1 2 Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa
1 2 Chhapaak
1 2 Chintu Ka Birthday
1 2 Maska
1 3 Kadakh
1 4 Choked
1 4 Bhonsle
1 6 Thappad
1 7 AK vs AK
1 10 Ram Singh Charlie
1 Shakuntala Devi
1 Baaghi 3
1 Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
1 What Are The Odds
1 Panga
1 Dil Bechara
1 Sir
2 Angrezi Medium
2 Gunjan Saxena
2 Malang
2 Axone
2 Yeh Ballet
2 Pareeksha
3 Shikara
3 Kaamyaab
3 Mee Raqsam
4 Ludo
4 Gulabo Sitabo
6 Chippa

(Most of the images used in this blog are produced from the web sources inserted in the image.)

Thank you for reading my annual Bollywood honors report. I will return with a new report next year. Share your opinion below. Stay safe.

 

My Bollywood’s Best of 2015

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Half a year is done and I forget to write a blog on my picks from different categories of Bollywood films. I did this last year for 2014 edition. I hope I am not that late as time pass swiftly nowadays. 

Like every passing year, Bollywood’s growth increases worldwide but the quality and standard of the film decreases. Recognition nowadays among the actors is star-power and among the leading actresses is the one with useful skin-shows. Above all you insured to be more successful in this industry if you have a strong background and belong to rich people who are industrialists, politicians, businessmen, military or in same cinematic profession. The unlucky ones have to join parallel cinema with more brain and wisdom among the cast and filmmakers.

In recent years, there has been change in atmosphere as the artists of parallel and entertaining cinema are involved in same projects and work together. Some sensible writers and talented directors work with involvement of more production companies. Some of the films from last year have been highly impressive and these were those which were not eye-catching in box-office collections.

What disgust me was pathetic inclusions in nominations for different categories in their recognized FILMFARE awards. Tragedy is that the functions are not worth and are more focused on high-level tcp ratings. If you notice, many many big names of the industry are absent and are disappearing in years. People have lost interest in FILMFARE because the functions are bias and predictable. Awards nowadays are won not by right and deserving candidates. Forget about winning, when the nominations are announced the viewers go insane because of plenty of blunders.

From below the categories, I will try to speak some lines where I see FILMFARE at huge fault. Like last year’s blog, I will divide the categories in three sections i.e., Music, Technical and Major. My selections are purely my honest selections to what I believe was deserving. Some of the categories do not need details because it is unnecessary. With the name of winners from each category, I will mention other names who deserve to be the other bests. So here I go;

MUSICAL SECTION

BEST BACKGROUND SCORE

SANDESH SHANDILYA (MANJHI: THE MOUNTAIN MAN)

manjhi-moviejunoon

Other notable works: Amit Trivedi (Bombay Velvet) & Hitesh Sonik (Hunterrr)

 BEST PLAYBACK SINGERS

PAPON – MOH MOH KE DHAAGE (DUM LAGA KE HAISHA)

NEETI MOHAN – DHADAAM DHADAAM (BOMBAY VELVET)

BEST SONG & LYRICS

AGAR TUM SAATH HO (ALKA YAGNIK/ARIJIT SINGH/IRSHAD KAMIL/A.R.RAHMANTAMASHA)

BEST MUSIC

ANUPAM ROY (PIKU)

Other notable works: Amit Trivedi (Bombay Velvet) & Indian Ocean (Masaan)

TECHNICAL SECTION

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

ANJU MODI & MAXIMA BASU (BAJIRAO MASTANI)

storyimage

Other notable works: Niharika Khan (Bombay Velvet) & Wafisha Rahman (Manjhi)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

ERROL KELLY, SONAL SAWANT & SHAIRA KAPOOR (BOMBAY VELVET)

niharika-anushka-green-gown-cover

Other notable works: Sriram Iyengar, Saloni Dhatrak & Sujeet Sawant (Bajirao Mastani)

BEST SOUND DESIGN

BISHWADEEP CHATTERJEE (PIKU)

bishwa-main

BEST SCENE

MASAAN

Imagine a boy from extremely poor background, whose ancestors have history of working in profession of burning corpse and a girl from upper caste begin loving each other. And one day, after exchange of a lovely relationship for weeks, he happen to see her dead body in his working site brought to burn the corpse! We don’t see such tragic moments in young love stories like this. It was an intimate scene and full of intensity. There come this scene and the obvious case is more grieving. Vicky Kaushal‘s presentation of agony is unexplainable here. I could not find a HQ video of the scene. I have no doubt this is the best scene shot in any film of the year.

BEST EDITING

A.SREEKAR PRASAD (TALVAR)

Talvar still 2 (2)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

NIKOS ANDRITSAKIS (DETECTIVE BYOMKESH BAKSHY)

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Other notable works: Avinash Arun (Masaan) & Rajiv Jain (Manjhi)

BEST ACTION

BADLAPUR

badlapur

Other notable works: Titli & Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

BEST SCREENPLAY

JUHI CHATURVEDI (PIKU)

352707-chaturvedi

BEST DIALOGUES

JUHI CHATURVEDI (PIKU)

juhi-thumb_650_091915033053

BEST STORY

KANU BEHL (TITLI)

Titli-Movie-2015

Other notable works: Jeethu Joseph (Drishyam) & Harshavardhan Kulkarni (Hunterrr)

MAJOR SECTION

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

KONKONA SEN SHARMA (TALVAR)

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Konkona don’t need any introduction. Open her filmography and you will find dozens of impressive roles she has played in her acting career. Talvar is another addition in her CV. She along with Neeraj Kabi displayed one of the best supporting performances in recent years and guess what, she wasn’t even nominated in Filmfare for this category.

Other Notable Performances: Shefali Shah (Dil Dhadakne Do), Tabu (Drishyam), Shivani Raghuvanshi (Titli) & Huma Qureshi (Badlapur)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI (BADLAPUR)

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The year 2015 was remarkably a year for best male performances in supporting roles. Title was a trinity of performances between three brothers. Anil Kapoor developed his skills playing role of angry father in Dil Dhadakne Do. Neeraj Kabi brought all his theater experience in Detective Byomkesh Bakshy and Talvar. Vicky Kaushal turned out to be one of the most promising newcomers in Masaan. Karan Johar was the surprise package in Bombay Velvet and Ashraful Haque did superb job as Manjhi’s father in his final film.

But above all it is the actor in his heydays who is building a very strong career making his name in almost every film. Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Badlapur is someone you would like to hit and slap as much as hard you want. He gives a lot of energy to his villainous role and don’t even feel bad for the guy who lost his family. His character has shades and changes color like chameleon. He and Varun, the two leading actors of the film are two sides of the coin begging for mercy.

Other Notable Performances: Karan Johar (Bombay Velvet), Amit Sial/Ranvir Shorey (Titli), Vicky Kaushal (Masaan), Anil Kapoor (Dil Dhadakne Do), Ashraful Haque (Manjhi), Neeraj Kabi (Talvar)

BEST ACTRESS

RICHA CHADDA (MASAAN)

masaan-still-4

It wasn’t a year of extraordinary performance by the leading actresses. Then Richa Chadda happened. She is Devi Pathak in Masaan who was caught with him by the police in the hotel for obvious reason. Then her struggles begin to make a life of herself by switching jobs but cannot afford a payment of hefty bribe the policemen ask her and her father for the video they made in hotel. It was tough to decide the winner but then I decided that Deepika for Piku was the closest and second-best to her.

How rude and disgusting that such performance wasn’t appreciated enough to be nominated in Filmfare for the same category. More to a mockery, Kajol and Sonam Kapoor were gifted places in the category for Dilwale and Dolly Ki Doli whose performances were no where in comparison to this.

Other Notable Performances: Besides Deepika Padukone for Piku, Anushka Sharma did a terrific job in Bombay Velvet as Rosie the Jazz singer. She performed impressive facial expressions in numbers like Fifi and Dhadaam Dhadaam. Then there is Bhumi Pednekar (Dum Laga Ke Haisha) who gained 30kg for the role of an overweight wife and made a stunning debut, was also ignored by Filmfare in the category. And why should I not count lil’ Harshaali Malhotra! 8-year-old child actress made promising debut as Munni in Bajrangi Bhaijaan and was the only shining moment in the whole ridiculously garbage film. At this tiny age, she showed a character and discipline of emotions on a dolly face.

BEST ACTOR

NAWAZUDDIN SIDDIQUI (MANJHI)

image149

It will be a sin to overlook such astonishing performance. It will be a mockery to consider it only one of the best performances. His star is shining brightly in recent years but this performance need an author to release a book full of praise. I hardly have seen actors reaching closest to the perfection like J.K.Simmons in Whiplash or DiCaprio in The Revenant worldwide but in India, it is hard to bring that so much in the artistry to present a character what Nawaz did in portraying Dashrath Manjhi.

Nawazuddin’s title role of Manjhi is full of life. You want a father or a husband, you want a man of his principles or determination, you want an example of sacrifice and hardship and last but not the least you want to see a man who broke the mountain to honor his wife he loved the most in entire life – there you have all superbly defined.  

When it comes to emotions, this actor has no boundaries to express. A facial performance is very vital in acting and keen learners of theater always win the performances. He easily is the best actor for last year.

In three words – Shandaar! Zabardast! Zindabad!

Some readers may get confused of not picking Manoj Bajpayee for Aligarh. Let me clear, the reason I omitted is because the film is released in India this year in February. The closest to this competitor was hugely/heavily ignored Shashank Arora for Titli.

Omission of Nawaz for Manjhi from the last Filmfare Awards easily is one of the most shocking blunders in their history. How disgusting and utter disappointing is to see the genuine winner not included in the nominations but Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Dilwale respectively! This shows the standard of Filmfare nowadays and ridiculous selections by the judges of these panels.

Other Notable Performances: Shashank Arora (Titli), Sanjay Mishra (Masaan), Amitabh Bachchan (Piku) & Varun Dhawan (Badlapur)

BEST DIRECTOR

SRIRAM RAGHAVAN (BADLAPUR)

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Yes he is and I am not surprised. A silent and dark tale of two characters hanging on different corners eagerly waiting to leave a mark on each other. It is about making an extraordinary film from an ordinary script. We have watched films when the leading actor loses the one he loves and plans to take revenge. Same goes here but with same story, it easily distinguishes from other films of the past thanks to Sriram’s directional artistry. 

What propels you is the building of intensity on Raghu (Varun Dhawan) when he loses his wife and child in very first scene. The rage factor of Raghu is where he work out, the way he beat or hit few characters by hammer is violent and loud to your ears. With time much to offer, Sriram builds the leading character very well. He is excellent on bringing the best of the leading performer as he did with Urmila in ‘Ek Haseena Thi‘ and Neil Nitin Mukesh in ‘Johnny Gaddaar‘. 

Other Notable Performances: The closest competitor to Sriram is Shoojit Sircar for Piku. Meghna Gulzar for Talvar was surprise package. I found Anurag Kashyup‘s direction for Bombay Velvet very very impressive as the film was hugely rejected by the viewers. Neeraj Ghaywan was also fantastic keeping a balance between two different stories in Masaan.

BEST FILM

PIKU

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Piku (Deepika) plans a trip to Kolkata with her dad (Amitabh) but none of Rana’s (Irrfan) cab drivers are available. So Rana decides to serve them and the real fun begins. This is a freshly-baked comedy-drama film with mehfil-loot performances by main actors. Father-daughter chemistry is terrific and the characters development is right on spot. 

Piku is a beautiful slice of life or your favorite cup of coffee, a mind freshener giving your energy an extra-boost because the flow of the film builds on you. A combination of brilliant story, screenplay and dialogues make this very-original film exciting for the viewers and can be repeatedly watched. 

Other Notable Films: Masaan, Talvar, Titli, Manjhi, Bombay Velvet, Hunterrr, Drishyam and Badlapur.

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