Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Shubhra Gupta's list of the best films of 2022, and why this year will be remembered as the year Bollywood lost its mind


The year 2022 will go down in Indian film history as the year we were forced to repeatedly ask ourselves: Is Bollywood no longer relevant?

We're back to making lists of successes and failures. Also, I have to admit that I have had a hard time choosing my favorite Bollywood 2022 films. This, the year of our lord 2022, has been even worse than 2021's annus horribilis.

In contrast to the two previous years in which films were lost due to the pandemic, there were not insufficient films. By the middle of the year, there was a steady stream of movies as Covid began to recede and theaters began to open. However, starry vehicles began to fail at the box office one by one. The year 2022 will go down in Indian film history as the year we were forced to repeatedly ask ourselves: Is Bollywood no longer relevant?

The unthinkable happened in this year. RRR (Telugu) roared across India and continues to do so worldwide. The Kannada channel KGF 2 threw its net wide. Furthermore, Kantara (additionally Kannada), developed so huge that even its most grounded votaries are astounded. Until just three years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a non-Hindi movie in the North's multiplexes. If they were able to last that long, dubbed or subtitled films would come out on Friday and be thrown out by the following week, with a Bollywood star squeezed into that valuable space.

In 2022, the situation has completely changed. The Southern behemoths have taken over the box office; SS Rajamouli was already a well-known name due to the enormous success of "Bahubali" and its sequel; Yash and Rishab Shetty are now well-known to the general public. While this circle back has been in progress, large financial plan Bollywood films featuring the greatest Superstars, from the greatest studios, have in a real sense failed miserably.

The period drama Shamshera, directed by Yashraj and starring Ranbir Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt, is right up there with the worst films of 2022. On its opening Friday, the theaters were empty. On Day 1! A film by YRF! Unbelievable. "Samrat Prithviraj," starring Akshay Kumar, was an unsuccessful Yashraj production. The social drama "Raksha Bandhan," which has been shelved, and the beyond ghastly "Bachchan Pandey" were two more Akshay films that were categorically rejected. Three years in the making, the much-anticipated Aamir Khan film "Laal Singh Chaddha" was a major letdown. Additionally, a large portion of the audience dispersed.

There are numerous explanations for the absence. The #BoycottBollywood gang, who are constantly working to spread hatred, the general junta, who are still a little concerned about going to movies because they don't know if the virus is still there, the abundance of "content," including the much more interesting OTT shows that are available on streaming platforms: Yes, all of these were factors. But here's the thing: these big Bollywood movies were expensive duds that were terrible, just bad, or just not good enough. They were buried under star egos and dangerous complacency.

During the pandemic, the audience, huddled around their devices, had realized what choice meant: excellent films in both foreign and Indian languages. What was once foreign became something to try and enjoy. Storytelling dominated in the best films across languages and continents. The message was loud and clear to big, bloated Bollywood, which still expected viewers to accept wine from older bottles: regret, but not regret.

It's not like all of the "South films" that moved to the North had the same amount of success. The powerful tentpoles that have brought in a lot of money this year, like "Pushpa" from last year, were very formulaic, focusing on bristling brothers and a level of disconcerting misogyny that refuses to leave mainstream cinema, especially movies that target more conservative areas in the South. Anything outside of this range was brushed aside. Prabhas, for example, was a huge draw in his double bill of "Bahubali," but no one showed up for his soggy romantic comedy "Radhe Shyam." Additionally, maybe all Bollywood films were too awful to even speak of, yet they were not what the crowd, kept from diversion for north of two years, needed: event films, in which everything seemed to be bigger than life.

It is evident that Bollywood in 2022 has been caught between a rock and a hard place: Almost none of the films mounted on such a massive scale as RRR or KGF2 have the mark of a blockbuster; as well as not much in the smaller, smarter area, which was mostly occupied by a series of excellent Malayalam films. You could contend that Dharma Creation's luxuriously mounted 'Brahmastra' was intended to be definitively that first sort of film, and it might have scratched into the year's greater film industry victories list since a portion of its comic book components installed in the overall subject of good 'devs' and evil 'asuras' spoke to a part of the crowd, yet the way in which I wished it was a superior film. We didn't need an Israeli filmmaker to tell us that "The Kashmir Files" was vulgar and propagandistic; the film's strong box office performance was clearly due to its genre.

It is also abundantly clear that Bollywood will face a challenging road to resurgence. First, it does not appear to be learning sufficiently quickly. You would have thought 'Govinda Naam Mera', likewise from Dharma, featuring the New Gen triplet of Vicky Kaushal-Kiara Advani-Bhumi Pednekar, would be a course rectification. However, ugh, what a stifling bore.

The best of Bollywood in 2022: What exactly is Bollywood waiting for? Here is a list of the Bollywood 2022 offerings in order of release from January to December, which caught my attention while we wait for answers to this crucial question. Although none of these films is without flaws or faults, at the very least, they all attempted to invent something new, reimagine familiar themes, or present characters that convinced us of their worth.

Hostel Love: Shanker Raman's dystopian world is similar to his debut film "Gurgaon," but this companion piece about two lovers who have run away from home in Haryana is darker and more difficult, making you want to watch it regardless. Did I wish I could take it easier as I watched the movie? Did I want a final ray of light? Yes, indeed. But is this the fate of young people in this part of India who want to follow their hearts? Yes, in general.

Do Badhaai: In terms of the theme, one of the bravest this year. What do men and women who are attracted to one another do? That's what getting into the mutual comfort of a lavender wedding is all about: figuring out how to live a full life while remaining true to who they are. The movie would have been much better if it hadn't turned into the same old joint-family-comedy-central in the second half. In any case, props to Rajkummar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, and chief Harshavardhan Kulkarni for going down a way so seldom voyaged.

Kathiawadi Gangubai: Without a doubt, the beauteous Alia Bhatt looks excessively youthful and immaculate to be the incredible harsh lady of a house of ill-repute. Be that as it may, on the off chance that you give up to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's universe, where each piece of grit is lovely, you see Bhatt possessing each beat of her job. A classic is that first scene, which is a stunning chiaroscuro with the camera pulling back as Gangubai, a newbie, learns to call out to potential punters.

Darlings: "Nahin chalega" means domestic violence. Furthermore, no truly implies no, regardless of whether it comes from a young lady who lives under the thumb of an overbearing spouse. In Jasmeet K Reen's striking debut film, Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah tackle misogyny well. Vijay Varma excels as a man who has learned how to show hatred to others.

Saikil Matto: Prakash Jha is fantastic in and as Matto, the man who has a close relationship with his old, rusty, but reliable cycle that takes him from his back-breaking job as a daily wager. In M Gani's assured debut feature, the set-in-a-village hardscrabble story that has almost vanished from our screens gets a boost.

Goodbye: In Vikas Bahl's film, which attempts to refresh the tropes of cementing cracks, coming together, and learning life lessons, a Chandigarh-based family dealing with the death of a beloved member finds solace in clunky humor. The biggest benefit is that it gives Amitabh Bachchan a role he can be proud of after a long absence; His scenes with Neena Gupta are warm and encouraging to life.

G Doctor: Could your ordinary standard-issue at any point fellow entitled momma's kid, neglectful of the significant things in life-grow up and turn into a delicate gynecologist, complete with the imperative 'female touch'- over the span of a two hour film? Under the direction of first-time director Anubhuti Kashyap, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rakul Preet Singh get in some nice strokes, even though the premise is a stretch.

Monica, my beloved: In the hands of Bollywood fanboy director Vasan Bala, this cocktail of murder, femme fatales, twisted motives, and crooked people is quite a lot of fun. There are flaws, but the movie gives Rajkummar Rao a chance to step outside of his role as a hero and gives him a fun ensemble to slither around in.

Bhediya: To totally focus on unreasonableness requires conviction, and it is on adequate showcase in this Varun Dhawan-Abhisek Banerjee starrer, coordinated by Amar Kaushik. A picturesque region of the North East, colorful myths, swift werewolves, and a bunch of bumblers mimicking an ensemble cast that seems to belong there? Yes, I will accept it.

A Hero in Action: Who exactly is a hero? Who is the guy who shows off his abs on camera and acts like an entitled brat off camera? Or the person who learns to let go of his starry demeanor while running for his life? This sharp two-hander directed by Anirudh Iyer mocks Bollywood trolls and stars a self-aware Ayushmann Khurrana and a fun-loving Jaideep Ahlawat.

Still awaiting the release of Ranveer Singh's "Cirkus" later this week. Will it be added to the list? Let's check.

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