2016 will go down in history as the year in which three of the millennium’s biggest superstars, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan finally came of age. They showed off their paunches and gave us a glimpse of their grey hair. Shah Rukh played an age-appropriate psychologist in Dear Zindagi, Salman an ageing wrestler in Sultan and Aamir was father to young girls in Dangal.
After their major lead debuts in 1988 (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak), 1989 (Maine Pyaar Kiya) and 1992 (Deewana), the trio have more or less ruled the box office for close to three decades now. As of today, nine of their movies feature in the top 10 highest grossing movies of all times: PK, Bajrangi Bhaijan, Sultan, Dhoom 3, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Chennai Express, 3 Idiots, Dilwale and Kick. Dangal should be soon on this list, it has already touched 150 crores in five days. Shah Rukh is going through a rough patch but Fan is still among the top 10 grossers this year.
The other 2016 BO toppers were: Sultan, Dangal, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Airlift, Rustom, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Housefull 3, Shivaay and Baaghi.
While Housefull 3 (Sajid-Farhad), Rustom (Tinu Suresh Desai), Shivaay (Ajay Devgan) and Baaghi (Sabbir Khan) were clearly targeted towards the masses, Maneesh Sharma’s Fan attempted to woo the elite crowd.
Two high profile directors, Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra, whose films released this year promised something different but delivered old wines in new bottles. And clearly suffered monetary consequences. The young, urban and international audience they usually cater to wasn’t impressed. While Ae Dil Hai Mushkil made it to a respectable 112 crores, Befikre barely crawled to 59. 3 crores.
Lesser known directors like Ali Abbas Zafar (Sultan), Nitish Tiwari (Dangal), Raja Krishna Menon (Airlift) and Neeraj Pandey (MS Dhoni: The Untold Story) scored better on that front and managed to bridge the audience divide successfully.
Among the other significant performers were Ram Madhvani’s Neerja (75.1 crores), Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons (73.29 crores), Rohit Dhawan’s Dhishoom (69.99 crores), Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi (67.94 crores), Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Pink (65.39 crores) and Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab (60.30 crores).
Box office success does not necessarily mean a good movie though. And vice versa.
Here are cinemaspotter’s top picks for 2016: The 10 Great Hindi Movies of 2016 list is based on varied factors such as universal appeal, engaging direction, freshness of subject and story, performances, and depth of characters.
After the nauseatingly average Dilwale last year, Shah Rukh Khan promised he will clean up his act. And he has. The superstar gave us two (or three) drastically different roles with Fan and Dear Zindagi. Fan makes this list for its fresh concept and Shah Rukh Khan’s outstanding performance.
Finally a movie that explored the issue of consent and measured the boundaries of rape. Amitabh Bachchan delivered the strong message with his baritone complete with legal jargon and character quirks. Three regular girls in urban surroundings made Pink all the more believable and impactful.
Neerja was well-made and based on an inspirational true tale told with a lot of heart. An ordinary 23-year-old girl from a middle-class family found the courage to faced armed men and successfully save the lives of many passengers. Unfortunately, lost her life in the process.
7. Nil Battey Sannata
The charming story of a mother (Swara Bhaskar) who works as a maid and wants to educate her daughter (Ria Shukla) so she can have a better life. The only problem is she doesn’t like Maths and assumes she will also be a maid.
6. Raman Raghav 2.0
Director Anurag Kashyap gives us a psychological cat-and-mouse thriller between a cop and a serial killer this time round. It is an intense watch. Nawazuddin Siddiqui puts in another maverick performance. Vicky Kaushal is impressive and dives in deep to find his dark side.
Sultan was an all-round commercial masala entertainer with the complete package: big banner, refreshing story, super lead pair and chartbusting music. Leading lady Anushka has an equally strong role even though Salman Khan was in the lead. Salman himself put in a great performance.
Stay tuned for the other 8 Great Movies of 2016!