2018 has been an eventful year in Indian Cinema. Starting with the huge success of Padmaavat to the big bang in the year-end in the form of Simmba, we have seen everything. Success. Failure. And the in-between. Regional cinemas have shown their might in both storytelling and grandeur and gave Bollywood an unprecedented competition. It is a Tamil film, 2.0, that remains the highest grossing Indian movie in 2018 is the testament for this.
Tamil Cinema turned out to be a potent force with some of the gems of movies we have ever seen. At one time, four successive weeks had seen the release of top-class films like 96 and Ratsasan. Telugu Cinema had seen several mighty successes like Rangasthalam, Mahanati, and Geetha Govindam which became raging hits and talked about for a long time. Malayalam Cinema has come of age when it comes to the big-budget movies like Kayamkulam Kochunni and the streak of several story-based films continued as with every year. With films like Byomkesh Gwotro and Ek Je Chhilo Raja Bengali Cinema had tasted notable success.
Here, our aim is to show the might of Indian Cinema and present 5 gems of Indian Cinema in 2018. To give a proper representation for all the major film industries we cover in Pycker, we list out a film from each language which is the epitome of cinema from that language. The film which the movie buffs of a language want to proudly showcase to others. And there is a surprise bonus too. Come on! Let's plunge into the list and enjoy reading about the movies which you should have in your movie library.
5 Gems of Indian Cinema in 2018
1. Ek Je Chhilo Raja from Bengali
The arrival of the mysterious Naga Sadhu who claims himself to be Raja Mahendra Kumar Chowdhury (the second prince of Bikrampur Estate) creates a whirlpool court cases which ran for decades. It has been twelve years since his disappearance. Is he, the man who arrived, the real prince? The spellbinding tale of this mysterious prince is hailed as one of the best Bengali movies in recent memory.
Sreejit Mukherjee directorial has well etched out characters, mesmerizing music which includes some of the best from Rabindra Sangeet, and stellar performances. It is a complete package. Jisshu Sengupta's performance as Bhawal Sanyasi surpassed greatness and Rudranil Ghosh had shown the peak of his acting prowess. The track Maharajo soulfully rendered by Sahana Bajpaie takes you to a bygone era. A must in your movie collection is Ek Je Chhilo Raja.
Byomkesh Gwotro (starring Abir Chatterjee and Sohini Sarkar and Rahul Banerjee), Ahare Mon (Anjan Dutt, Adil Hussain, and Mamta Shankar), and Adventures of Jojo (starring Saimul Alam and Rudranil Ghosh) and the other unmissable Bengali movies in 2018.
2. Andhadhun from Hindi
What a movie it is! It has more turns than a rollercoaster and more wow moments than the seconds in a minute. Akash is a blind pianist who wants to create that one melody which brings him lasting fame. But he is caught up in a web of deceit and intrigue. His journey from a high society diner to the den of a doctor who involves in organ trade via the house of a murdered yesteryear superstar is as fascinating as it gets. The filmmakers constantly out-guessed the audience and delivered a breathtaking experience.
World-class is a small word for describing Sriram Raghavan's Andhadhun. As several reviewers wrote this movie is the pinnacle of thriller genre in Indian Cinema. Many times the audience wonder and then what happened? Ayushmann Khurrana reached the next level of stardom and Tabu proved once again why she is such a highly rated actress of the modern times.
The screenplay by the quintet Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti, Yogesh Chandekar, and Hemanth Rao is a textbook example of writing pulp fiction. Hindi Cinema at its best and had witnessed one of the great films ever made. If you have not watched it, we recommend you to do it as quickly as possible. Head over to watch Andhadhun full movie and bookmark it. Better than a masterpiece.
Stree (starring Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao), Pad Man (starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, and Sonam Kapoor), and Anurag Kashyap directorial Manmarziyaan (starring Tapsee Pannu, Abhishek Bachchan, and Vicky Kaushal) are the other must watch Hindi films from 2018.
3. Varathan from Malayalam
Of course! It is the reaction of this writer when he watched this film. The movie dangerously resembles Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs and even follows its narrative structure. But there is no denying that it is the best Malayalam Cinema has to offer in 2018. A tautly made thriller with some stunning performances and intriguing music, Varathan is a modern-day masterclass.
A couple goes to their rural estate from the hustle and bustle of city life after they lost jobs in the Gulf. What follows is a traumatic experience for both of them with the terrifying stares of the villagers and the rough looking young workers. After a slow but steady setup, the final 30 minutes keeps the audience on the edge of the seat. Fahaadh Faasil rocks as the eponymous Varathan and Aishwarya Lekshmi ably supported him. Sharaf U Dheen as Josey showed his peak performance. Find out where you can stream this film by heading to Varathan full movie. We recommend to give it a sure try.
Kayamkulam Kochunni (starring Nivin Pauly with an electrifying cameo by Mohanlal), Abrahaminte Santhathikal (starring Mammootty and Ansan Paul) are the other Malayalam movies from 2018 not to be missed.
4. Pariyerum Perumal from Tamil
Calling Pariyerum Perumal a Dalit Film is a great injustice. Calling it an ideology-based movie is undermining it. It has a subject which can happen anywhere in the world and a message so powerful that you can think even several days after watching it. The movie starts with the death of the beloved dog of the protagonist and ends on an uncharacteristically optimistic note for these films. It follows the journey of Pariyerum Perumal aka Pariyan who wants to become a lawyer like Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and stand up for his people.
Honor killings and plight of the people from the lower rungs of the society. The imagery created by Mari Selvaraj and the brilliant music scored by Santhosh Narayanan is aptly supported by the strong performances of the lead cast makes Pariyerum Perumal, not a niche film as claimed by many, it is a universal art. Certain scenes remain with you long after watching it. Head over to Pariyerum Perumal full movie and enjoy this unmissable film.
One of the finest psycho thrillers Ratsasan (starring Vishnu Vishal and Amala Paul), the nostalgia-inducing pure romance film 96 (starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha), and the epic gangster drama Vada Chennai (starring Dhanush, Aishwarya Rajesh, and Andrea Jeremiah) are the other Tamil movies which deserve to be in your movie library.
5. Rangasthalam from Telugu
A true blockbuster in Telugu Cinema since the Baahubali films. This Sukumar directorial has become a textbook example for the phrase all-round success. The fight of the irresistible force of two brothers with the immovable village president who rules the village with an iron fist. Yes. The story of this film is nothing new. It can be a typical R. Narayanamurthy movie. But in the hands of creative director Sukumar, Rangasthalam transcended the boundaries and reached each and every corner of Teluguland riding on the star power.
Performances are top-notch. Ram Charan is a revelation. The music is brilliant. Each of the songs is a chartbuster. The art department outdid itself. The direction is pure gold. Everyone involved with this Mythri Movie Makers production received greater accolades and deservedly Rangasthalam is the highest grossing Telugu film of the year. A rare case of a classic turning out to be a commercial success. Watch Rangasthalam full movie which is a definition of a masterpiece.
The biopic of the legendary actress Savitri, Mahanati (starring Keerthy Suresh and Dulquer Salmaan), the brilliant Needi Naadi Oke Katha (starring Sree Vishnu and Satna Titus), and the much talked about psychological thriller with an ensemble cast Awe are the Tollywood movies not to be missed in 2018.
PS: Don't fret if your favorite movie is missed in this list. You may find it in the Underrated Gems of India 2018 list.