2019 so far has been a lucrative year for film business as the films released have largely appealed to the audience. A maximum number of films have minted money at the box office and only a few handfull have come a cropper. There have been more hits than debacles this year which is a profoundly huge thing for the film industry and the money making business that they are in.
The fight for the Best Film this year is going to be a tough one as there are several films vying for the numero uno position, that too when only half the year is gone by.
Here’s looking at some of the Best Films of 2019 released so far based on reviews received from film critics as well as their domestic box office success:
URI: The Surgical Strike
Vicky Kaushal, Yami Gautam, Mohit Raina, Kirti Kulhari and Paresh Rawal started the year with a bang through their film URI: The Surgical Strike. The film was an unprecedented success and the year’s first super hit. The film ran in the theatres for months and received rave reviews as well as broke quite a few box office records. Directed by debutant director Aditya Dhar the film garnered a whopping Rs 245.36 crores. The film is based on the Indian retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack. The film is among the top ten in the list of Hindi films with the highest domestic net collection.
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif starrer broke a couple of box-office records: left, right and centre. The film fetched the year’s biggest opening and has managed to gross Rs 210 crore at the theatres. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar the film received a thumbs up from the critics as well who applauded Salman’s, Katrina’s and Sunil Grover’s performance in the Bharat. The film is based on the South Korean film Ode To My Father and also stars Jackie Shroff, Sonali Kulkarni, Tabu, Disha Patani, Aasif Sheikh and Nora Fatehi in pivotal roles. The film traces India’s post-independence history from the perspective of a common man and follows his life from the age of 18 to 70.
Kabir Singh became Shahid Kapoor’s first film to cross the Rs 100 crore mark. The film might have been panned for its misogynistic and violent content but Shahid’s performance has been highly appreciated. The film released on June 21 and is still going strong at the theatres. It has garnered Rs 213.20 crore till now and will certainly rake in more before leaving the theatres. Kabir Singh is the official Hindi remake of Telugu hit Arjun Reddy and is directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga who also helmed the original.
Ranveer Singh’s and Alia Bhatt’s Gully Boy brought in lots of accolades for them. Ranveer was especially applauded for his performance of a struggling rapper. Directed by Zoya Akhtar the film fetched around Rs 140.25 crore. It also stars Siddhant Chaturvedi in an integral role, the debutante who caused a storm in the film gullies with his stellar act. Gully Boy is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under their production banner Excel Entertainment. The film is inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers Divine and Naezy.
Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Arshad Warsi, and Riteish Deshmukh starrer was hugely successful at the box-office. The comedy film received positive reviews from the critics and was well received by the audience as well. Total Dhamaal fetched Rs 154.23 crore at the domestic box-office. It is the third installment of the Dhamaal film series, and a reboot to Dhamaal (2007) and Double Dhamaal (2011). The film also stars Jaaved Jafferi, Esha Gupta, Pitobash Tripathy, Sanjay Mishra, Boman Irani, and Manoj Pahwa. Total Dhamaal was directed by Indra Kumar.
Akshay Kumar led from the front literally in this brave saga Kesari that was based on the historic Battle of Saragarhi where 21 soldiers of the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army fights against 6,000–10,000 Afridi and Orakzai Pashtun tribesmen in 1897. Also starring Parineeti Chopra the film got a huge shout out from everyone concerned for bringing to celluloid a forgotten piece of Indian history that should have been the cause of huge pride. Kesari garnered Rs 154.51 crore at the box office and was declared a hit. It was jointly produced by Karan Johar, Aruna Bhatia, Hiroo Yash Johar, Apoorva Mehta and Sunir Khetarpal under the banners of Dharma Productions, Cape of Good Films, Azure Entertainment and Zee Studios.
De De Pyaar De
Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rakul Preet Singh and Jimmy Sheirgill starred in this romantic comedy. De De Pyaar De received mixed reviews from the critics as majority of them panned the film. However, the audience liked the film and managed to rake in Rs 103.35 crore till now. The film is written by Luv Ranjan and directed by Akiv Ali in his directorial debut. The film revolves around a middle-aged divorcé who decides to marry a woman half his age. Chaos occurs when he introduces his girlfriend to his family including his ex-wife. Tabu especially got thumbs up for her performance from all quarters.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi was embroiled in a lot of controversies, the major being director Krish Jagarlamudi sharing director’s credit with actress Kangana Ranaut. However, the film became a stupendous hit at the box office and earned Kangana some rave reviews as well. She not only shouldered the film as the biggest star but also directed a part of the film earning accolades and applause for her dedication. The film fetched a cool Rs 92.5 crore at the box office. Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi became the third highest grossing female-centric film of all time.
Badla starred Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The two ace actors teamed up again after giving a fabulous performance in Pink. The film was a suspense thriller and made the right noise at the box-office. The critics appreciated the film and so did the audience. Badla raked in Rs 103.88 crore. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh the film also featured Amrita Singh in a pivotal role. It is an official adaptation of the 2017 Spanish film The Invisible Guest.
Kartik Aaryan’s and Kriti Sanon’s romantic comedy became a runaway hit. Directed by Laxman Utekar Luka Chuppi collected Rs 111.87 crore at the ticket window. The film tells the story of a television reporter who cohabits with a headstrong woman. Their life goes topsy-turvy when their traditional families come into the picture and assume them to be married. The film also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Aparshakti Khurana and Vinay Pathak in pivotal roles.
Ayushmann Khurrana starrer Article 15 is going strong at the box office currently. The film has received good reviews as well as good word-of-mouth from the public. It has fetched Rs 34.15 crores till now and will definitely garner more in the days to come. Besides Ayushmann, the film also stars Isha Talwar, Isha Talwar, Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Veen, and Sumbul Touqeer. Directed by Anubhav Sinha the film was embroiled in controversy before its release as the Brahmin community felt Article 15 showed them in a bad light. However, the film was passed by CBFC with a U/A certificate and only five negligible cuts. On the other hand, Sinha also issued a statement regarding the same stating that his film does not portray Brahmins in a negative light.
Student of the Year 2
Student of the Year 2 starring Tiger Shroff and debutantes Tara Sutaria and Ananya Panday did not receive a lot of critical acclaims as most critics trashed the film. In fact, even the public did not come up with great reviews for the film. However, the film raked in good amount of money and garnered Rs 82.27 crore. SOTY2 was the sequel to hugely successful Student of the Year released in 2012 that launched the Bollywood careers of Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra. The film was directed by Karan Johar whereas SOTY 2 was directed by Punit Malhotra.
Apart from these, there were quite a few films whose box office business was average but they were critically acclaimed:
The Taskent Files
The Tashkent Files stars Shweta Basu Prasad, Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty in lead roles. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri the film garnered Rs 16.75 crore at the box office. The film also stars Pallavi Joshi, Mandira Bedi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Pankaj Tripathi, Achint Kaur and others in pivotal roles. The film is based on the mysterious death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Thackeray which is a biopic on Shiv Sena supremo late Balasaheb Thackeray fetched Rs 31.60 crore. The film was made in Hindi and Marathi simultaneously. Amrita Rao plays the role of Balasaheb Thackeray’s wife in the film. Although Nawazuddin’s and Amrita’s performance was appreciated the film failed to create an impact at the box office.
Hamid stars Rasika Dugal, Vikas Kumar, Sumit Kaul and Talha Arshad Reshi in major roles. The film managed to fetch only Rs 7 lakhs. The film is an adaptation of the play Phone No 786 by Mohd. Amin Bhat. The film is a story of an eight-year-old Hamid who learns that 786 is God’s number and hence decides to reach out to God by dialing his number. He wants to talk to his father, who his mother tells him has gone to Allah. Hamid won two awards at Rajasthan International Film Festival (RIFF), Aijaz Khan as the Best Director and Rasika Dugal as the Best Actor.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla and Anil Kapoor starrer Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga received rave reviews from the critics. However, the film could not fetch much moolah at the box office. It garnered Rs 20.01 crore at the theatres. ELKDTAL is considered a breakthrough film as it normalizes homosexuality and is the first mainstream film with A-list star cast spearheading it. Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar the film received tremendously positive reviews but due to the niche subject it failed to light up the box office.
Mard Ko Dard Hota Nahi Hota
Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota stars Abhimanyu Dassani and Radhika Madan in the lead role. The film received good reviews from the critics and was screened at some of the International Film Festivals as well. The film fetched only Rs 2 crore at the box office. It is an action-comedy written and directed by Vasan Bala. It also stars Gulshan Devaiah, Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi. The film premiered in the Midnight Madness section of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award: Midnight Madness. Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota was also screened at the 2018 MAMI Film Festival where it received a standing ovation. The film's story follows a young man who has a rare condition called Congenital insensitivity to pain and strikes out on a quest to vanquish his foes.
Game Over starring Taapsee Pannu did decent business at the box office. However, Taapsee’s performance and the film were appreciated by the critics. Game Over collected only Rs 4.52 crore at the box office. The tri-lingual film is written by Ashwin Saravanan and Kaavya Ramkumar and directed by Ashwin Saravanan. It sees Taapsee fighting the game of her life in the metaphorical gaming scenario. The film is produced jointly by Y NOT Studios and Reliance Entertainment and presented by Anurag Kashyap.
Gone Kesh is a comedy-drama film written and directed by debutant Qasim Khallow. It stars Shweta Tripathi and Jitendra Kumar in the lead roles, while Vipin Sharma, Deepika Amin, and Brijendra Kala appear in supporting roles. The film received positive reviews from the critics for an unusual subject about a girl losing her kesh (hair) but performed dismally at the box office. It could fetch only Rs 13 lakhs at the box office.
(Source: Twitter/BoxOfficeIndia/IMDb/BoxOfficeMoveReviewz and PeepingMoon)