Year-ender 2017: Ten content-driven films that surprisingly ruled the year

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Mumbai: 2017 might have had mindless hits in ‘Judwaa 2’ and ‘Golmaal Again,’ but it has also seen content-driven films gaining momentum and garnering critical acclaim. Here are ten of the films, that managed to catch the audience’s fancy.
Shubh Mangal Savdhan:
‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan,’ which had been R. Prasanna’s remake of his Tamil film ‘Kalyana Samayal Saadham,’ had surprised audiences with its simplistic take on a tabooed sexual condition, without resorting to sleeze. Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar’s believable acts were as effective as their performances in ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’.
Lipstick Under My Burkha:
Mired in controversy for the longest time, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ was the unabashed celebration of feminist glory that we desperately needed. Helmed by Alankrita Shrivastava, the film starred a terrific ensemble in Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur among others.
Tumhari Sulu:
Vidya Balan might have had flops in ‘Kahaani: Durga Rani Singh’ and ‘Begum Jaan,’ but the actress bounced back with Suresh Triveni’s ‘Tumhari Sulu,’ big time. Playing an affable housewife, who serendipitously ends up being a night time radio jockey, Vidya charmed her way into people’s hearts, with one of her career best portrayals.
Qarib Qarib Singlle:
Qarib Qarib Singlle, Malayalam actress Parvathy’s foray into Bollywood was celebrated for being one of the most realistic Bollywood romances in recent times. With her crackling chemistry with Irrfan Khan, who himself had one of the best written romantic roles in recent memory being adequately exploited, the film was bound to be greeted with open arms.
Newton:
If 2017 were to be called a solitary actor’s year, it would have to be Rajkummar Rao’s. With as many as six diametrically different films releasing, his ‘Newton’ was among the most talked about film’s of the year. Shedding light on India’s questionable electoral procedures, the film couldn’t have released at a more opportune juncture. The Amit V. Masurkar directorial, was also India’s official entry to the Oscars this year. Though it didn’t make the cut eventually, the film has nothing to lose heart over.
Mukti Bhawan:
‘Mukti Bhawan’ has to be among the most grossly underappreciated films of the year. The unanimously acclaimed tale on the complexities of life, was as much an allegorical epiphany of life as it was a euphemism for death. With Adil Hussain to lead the cast, the film drives home a point without trying too hard.
Kadvi Hawa:
‘Kadvi Hawa’ was in no way a pleasant watch, but the issues raised were once that needed to be told. Sanjay Mishra, who’s delivered many an acclaimed performance throughout his career, has probably yet to come in a turn as deeply disturbing as this one. Playing a blind man in a drought-ridden land, Sanjay forced the audience to empathies with his plight. He had able company in Ranvir Shorey.
A Death in the Gunj:
Arguably the best film of the year, ‘A Death in the Gunj’ was a stunningly poetic study of a human’s psychological descent into self-destruction. Konkona Sen Sharma’s debut directorial didn’t star her but had all the right actors in the right roles. With a career defining performance by protagonist Vikrant Massey, the film was unlike anything the industry had seen.
Trapped:
Vikramaditya Motwane’s stirring thriller released a year too late, but with a Hitchcockian treatment and a nerve-wreckingly brutal performance by Rajkummar Rao, the film delved into a genre of survivalism that had been hitherto unexplored in the industry. Trapped could very well be the thriller that ages well, to be counted among the best thrillers the country has seen yet.
Anaarkali of Aarah:
‘Anaarkali of Aarah,’ one of the most striking Bollywood movies of the year with a female protagonist, gave Swara Bhaskar the best role of her career and the actress did not disappoint. With an able antagonist in Sanjay Mishra, her moving portrayal of a wronged erotic dancer won her accolades galore.

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