Movie magic: Here’s a closer look at the top 10 Bollywood movies of the year
Many things may have changed across the world, but “going to the movies” remains one of people’s favourite things to do. The bucket of popcorn helps, of course, but it’s the compelling stories we see on the big screen that draw us back every other weekend.
Movies aren’t just a couple of hours of cinematic flair; they hold the power to help us change and transform. Be it by moving us to tears, inducing peals of laughter, or giving us the courage to keep going, movies are magic.
Here’s a list of the top Bollywood movies of 2019. They made us giggle, laugh, sniffle, cry, think, reflect, and contemplate, offering us inspiration aplenty.
Starring: Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam, Kriti Kulhari
In the real story of India's retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack, Vicky Kaushal takes centre stage as Major Vihaan Singh, an officer and a gentleman who leads a covert operation against militants who attacked a base in Uri and killed many soldiers. The “josh”, we have to say, continues to remain high!
Starring: Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi
Based on the life of Divine and Naezy, underground rappers from Mumbai, Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy is at heart a story about dreamers and the right to dream. The coming-of-age story centres on a young Muslim man from Dharavi, who uses rap as an outlet to narrativise his life experiences. Powerful performances ensure that apna time aayega!
THE SKY IS PINK
Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim
Directed by Shonali Bose and co-produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ronnie Screwvala, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, The Sky is Pink is based on the real-life story of Aditi and Niren Chaudhary and their daughter Aisha, who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis at a very young age. A tenacious love story spanning 25 years, the story is told by the spunky teenager posthumously.
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Virendra Saxena, Pankaj Tripathi
Hrithik Roshan stars as mathematician Anand Kumar, and puts the spotlights on his Patna-based educational programme Super 30. The movie traces his path as he works his way through several challenges before finding success with his initiative for IIT aspirants. Inspiration in big doses!
Starring: Vidya Balan, Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Kriti Kulhari
Based on true events, Mission Mangal is the story of the many women at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) who had a hand in the successful launch of India's Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan). The tale of a motley crew who must navigate their personal and professional lives as they launch the least expensive mission to Mars is heartwarming and triumphant.
SAAND KI AANKH
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar, Prakash Jha
Directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Anurag Kashyap, Saand ki Aankh, which literally translates into bull's eye, is based on the lives of sharpshooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. The film may have created controversy over casting, but the real-life story of two women, both grandmothers, above the age of 60, and cracking sharpshooters, can't fail to inspire women that there's nothing they can't do.
Starring: Kangna Ranaut, Atul Kulkarni, Mohammed Zeeshan
The story of the queen who refused to bow down has been told by mothers to daughters over decades. Kangna Ranaut brings the fiery Manikarnika, the wife of the king of Jhansi, alive on screen in this period drama. Rani Lakshmi Bai’s rebellion takes a new life as a revolution against the British, paving the way for future battles and wars. At heart, this is a simple story of patriotism and hope.
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Suvinder Vicky, Vansh Bhardwaj
War dramas have always been popular in India, but this year, Kesari, the cinematic retelling of the Battle of Saragarhi, blazed through with its depiction of bravery and valour. The story of Havildar Ishar Singh, a soldier in the British Indian Army, and how he leads 21 Sikh soldiers in a fight against 10,000 Pashtun invaders reinvents the last stand.
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Nassar, Manoj Pahwa, Kumud Mishra
This though-provoking film spotlights Article 15 of the Constitution of India, which prohibits discrimination “on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth”. Not based on one specific event, it is “inspired” by multiple true events, including the 2014 Badaun gangrape and the 2016 Una flogging.
The film follows Ayushmann's upright city-bred police officer, Ayan Ranjan, as he tackles the aftermath of caste-based discrimination and crimes in rural India.
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Bhumi Pednekar
In one line, Bala is the story of a young man who’s struggling to deal with premature baldness. But the movie’s much more than that. Set in the hustle-bustle of an industrial UP town, Bala blends a lot of humour, quirky flippancy, small-town orthodoxy, and genteel empathy.