Entertainment industries this decade had to adapt to new realities, especially in 2020, to grab the attention of common folks and audiences. Bollywood was no different. The year started with several high budget projects making it to movie theaters and receiving box office success and acceptance.
However, as the pandemic came around, theaters were shut, making blockbusters like Sooryavanshi and ’83’ were delayed, while others streamed on the online platform. Still, we managed to bring you the must-watch films for 2020. So, presenting our recommendations for the best Bollywood movies of the year makes the audience ponder some social norms and beliefs.
Top 7 Bollywood Movies That Made Us Think Twice
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
A modern chemistry sequel of the movie Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan (2017) starred Ayushyaman Khurrana again. The issue at the heart of the movie is homosexuality. This rom-com has a gay couple trying to get the acceptance of their family. Kumar plays Aman Tripathi, a young man from Allahabad, who lives with his lover Kartik Singh in New Delhi. Aman’s conservative and typical parents want to fix his wedding with a family friend’s daughter and ask him to come home. Kartik joins Aman on the trip home. It reflects traditional-minded attitudes towards homosexuality and the approach of society towards such people. It showcases the individuals struggling to get their parents and family over the façade of ‘LOG KYA KAHENGE’ and leaves the audience with very brain-storming insights about homosexuality.
Starring Deepika Padukone in the lead role, Chhapaak is the story of the struggles acid attack survivor Malti all had to face for getting justice. It mainly centers around Malti and displays the plight and pain a woman has to face and their determination to reduce such crimes towards women by enforcement of strict laws for the guilty as charged. The film is created out of a real-life story and struggles faced by Laxmi Agarwal, who, at the tender age of 15, survived the acid attack by Naeem Khan, a 32-year-old man and her family’s friend because Laxmi refused Khan’s intimate advances. Laxmi fought for a new law for acid attack perpetrators and the ban of over-the-counter acids. Chhapaak manages to humanize Malti’s story, and Deepika’s personification of the protagonist does justice to the role.
A slap. Is a slap all it takes to get divorced?. There is a very fine line between making a film on a real story and making one movie that tells a real story. Taapsee Pannu starrer Thappad falls in the 2nd category. A powerful and impactful film managing to make you angry, uncomfortable, and, at the same time, makes you question and see right through the everyday misogyny that women willingly ‘adjust to’ in real life. Amrita’s universe turns upside down when her husband Vikram slaps her during the party they kept to celebrate his promotion. When he realizes that office politics had cost him his promotion, he vents out on his wife in public and tries to justify his behavior as an act in a fit of anger but never apologizes.
At that moment, Amrita realizes it wasn’t ‘just one slap,’ but so many more unfair silent slaps that she kept ignoring for such a long time. Will she place her self-esteem and respect over love? Or will she forgive Vikram and move on like women are expected to in our society? Will she give her marriage another chance? Thappad delves on all of this and more in quite an engaging manner. We are about to find out the traditional upbringing that women are brought up with under the façade of being a good homemaker. At the same time, it is just the implanting acceptance towards misogyny in their minds.
Though Kangana Ranaut is more known for her cold wars on Twitter and her thoughtful comments on Bollywood biggies, She, once-in-a-while, appears on the big screen and makes her statement as a phenomenal actor. Her films are never a dime a dozen, and so is panga. This movie revolves around Jaya Nigam’s life, a former pro kabaddi player, had to give up her kabaddi career for her marriage and family. Being tired of her desk job and wanting to make a comeback in kabaddi, she sharts her training again. Her family went ahead and supported her in her pursuit of being a champion again. People believed her to be on a wild goose chase at the retirement age, and she wanted to come back. Yet, with her sheer determination and constant support from her husband and her son, she enters the kabaddi field again. We won’t provide any spoilers here, but this movie is worth a watch. It contests with the typical and primitive thoughts of women coming back on the field of aggressive physical sports. The end, though, is predictable but is a solid family prime time.
Amitabh Bachchan can’t get enough of the big screen, it seems. Yet, with his performance, we can say that he hasn’t lost his touch. Starring Tapsee Pannu, Kriti Kulhari, and Angad Bedi, This movie is a perfect blend of the ancient thoughts or, say, the guidelines set for women in Indian society and the women of a new era. It depicts the lifestyle and freedom women want and their pursuit, which creates a false impact on men’s minds. This film depicts a lawsuit, and with every hearing, it uncovers layers of traditional upbringings and deduced their righteousness. It gives a voice to the right of every woman’s choice to say ‘NO’ and the need for men to understand it. With strong acting by the cast and very well directed, this film leaves the audience question their idea about an ideal woman.
Nil Battey Sannata
Other than her fights and verbal wars With Kangana Ranaut, Veere Di Wedding fame Swara Bhaskar is known for her strong performances and mind bothering script choices. Her film ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ is thought-provoking and very well written. The story is of a mother (Chanda Sahay) who works hard during the weekdays and harder during weekends to give her not-so-ambitious daughter a good life. Her daughter is a foul-mouthed spoilt girl who is very rebellious and follows her mother’s footsteps and becomes a housemaid. The story revolves around the mother-daughter bond, their ups and downs, and the struggles the mother has to get her daughter to leave the thought of following the much-expected path for her and working hard to have a bright future. From joining her daughter’s school to competing with her on a math test, Chanda does all she can. The movie gives a strong point of ‘Gareeb wo hota hai, jiska koi sapna hi na ho.’ This movie is very inspiring and showcases a mother’s love and her sacrifices for her kids.
Raat Akeli Hai
The murder of an influential man on his wedding night, under suspicious and mysterious circumstances, drives a cop on a dangerous and menacing mission to unravel the truth behind this murder.
Set in UP, Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Jatil Yadav, and an unmarried cop who is assigned a case to investigate the suspected murder of a rich and influential patriarch. The victim belongs to a very dysfunctional family, and every member living in his large sprawling haveli is now a suspect. While every single person has a reason to kill, Jail is up to discover whose motive was strong enough to perpetrate the crime. On the personal front, his mother is too busy bride hunting for her son, who is often rejected by younger girls for his color and age.
Embarrassed by his lack of choices in the matters, being rejected in the marriage market, and his mother’s attempts at landing him a perfect wife at random weddings, he buries himself deep in work. As fate would have it, this vicious case leads him to love. He finds himself drawn to a reclusive and quiet Radha, the bride of the elderly rich man who was killed. Can his attraction for her falter his judgment as a cop and protect her from the minacious motives of others? Can he see through the deep web of lies that are put in his way and uncover the truth?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is indeed a phenomenal actor and makes a statement through this movie. With his intense looks to his smile, all are just too good to ignore. Radhika Apte is indeed another gem to Indian cinema, and this pair rocked. The story is a mystery to the very last and keeps the people entertained.
These movies make the audience ponder upon some primitive thoughts that are installed in our minds by our typical family upbringings. With very strong acting and blunt presentation of their concept, these movies make us question the very root of our fundamentals and bring about a change in our thought process. They are a must watch and leave a moving impact on the minds of the audience and makes us see through the meaningless and hollow mentality of society.