As the curtain came down on 2015, one more year became part of cinematic history.
2015 was an extraordinary year in many respects and viewed from different perspectives it presents a kaleidoscope of several important achievements.
Year of Big Blockbusters
Bajrangi Bhaijan, Baahubali- the beginning, Bajirao Mastani, Baby, Piku, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, ABCD 2, Dilwale, Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo– all crossed the coveted 100 crore mark. In fact the year will be remembered for two of the biggest blockbusters of Indian cinema- Bajrangi Bhaijan and Baahubali- the Beginning. Ironically the writer of both these films was the same man- K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, father of SS Rajamouli, the director of Baahubali-the Beginning.
Year of Gutsy Directors:
Neeraj Ghaywan – Masaan
Set against the backdrop of the cremation Ghats of the holy city Varanasi, the film’s unique story takes us through the events happening in the lives of two families who earn their livelihood by burning bodies in the funeral pyre.
Pan Nalin -Angry Indian Goddesses
Angry Indian Godessess , directed by Pan Nalin, has the unique distinction of being our industry’s first full-fletched ‘female buddy’ film. He manages to extract brilliant performances from seven relatively unknown actresses and turns that into the USP of the film. The film deals on the gender inequality of the society as all women irrespective of whether they are at home or workplace are victims of the lecherous gaze, harassment and narrow-mindedness of men-folk thereby robbing them of a sense of freedom and chaining them to a set image.
Kabir Khan -Bajrangi Bhaijan
To present superstar Salman Khan in the role of a soft-spoken golden-hearted man with literally no action scenes was in itself a challenge but director Kabir Khan went a step further by casting a mute six-year old girl as the main protagonist of the film and also incorporated a sensitive Indo-Pak angle to the story.
Meghna Gulzar- Talvar
Based on the real-life double murder of 14-year old Aarushi Talvar and the domestic help Hemraj , which rocked the Delhi crime scene a few years back, Talvar turned out to be a riveting thriller and unabashedly exposed the truth behind the messed up investigation procedure and the callousness of the officers involved.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali- Bajirao Mastani
It took Sanjay Leela Bhansali eleven years to put across his dream into celluloid but when he did, it turned out to be a masterpiece. Daring to make a historical romance without distorting any of the facts and yet cleverly incorporating cinematic creativity of the highest order on the lines of Mughal-e-Azam, watching Bajirao Mastani is a visually stunning experience with strongly etched out characters and outstanding music.
Year of Action Heroines
This year many heroines attempted roles which demanded a lot of action scenes to be performed by their characters.
The felicity with which Deepika Padukone wielded the sword in Bajirao Mastani was superb especially in the scene where she defends herself and her child and fights a dozen masked men. She also looked at ease in the battle scenes where she had to wear some heavy duty armoured clothes of a warrior.
The dexterity and rapidity with which Amy Jackson finishes off the goons in Singh is Bling was unbelievable and a real treat to watch. Surprisingly Akshay Kumar is a mute spectator in the film and director Prabhudeva has given all fight sequences to Amy Jackson.
Taapsee Pannu has a very brief role in Baby but leaves a mark because of the superb fight sequence picturized on her as she depicts how a lady police officer can overpower her enemy.
Similarly Tamannah Bhatia also has a very brief sequence in the beginning of Baahubali and it was awesome watching her kill her enemies using weapons like bow and arrow and knives.
After some stunning action scenes in Ek Tha Tiger, director Kabir Khan once again gives his heroine Katirna Kaif a well-defined, full-fletched role with a lot of action scenes in Phantom and she looked super-confident performing all those cool stunts.
The gutsy youngster Anushka Sharma decided to turn producer and gave herself some nail-biting action scenes in her own production NH 10.
Year of rocking performances
We had some brilliant performances from our artistes in several films:
Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irfaan Khan- Piku
Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Tanvi Azmi- Bajirao Mastani
Harshaali Malhotra, Salman Khan, Nawazuddin Siddique- Bajrangi Bhaijan
Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Shefali Shah- Dil Dhadakne Do
Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Rana Daggubatti, Tamannah Bhatia, Sathyaraj- Baahubali -the Beginning
Varun Dhawan, Nawazuddin Siddique- Badlapur
Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher- Baby
Nawazuddin Siddique- Maanjhi-the Mountain Man
Kangna Ranaut- Tanu Weds Manu Returns
Irfaan Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Shabana Azmi-Jazbaa
Anushka Sharma- NH10
Rise of a new Khan
With the three ageing Khans -Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir-enjoying the last leg of their super-stardom, a new Khan is on his way to the top slowly but surely taking long strides and making a brilliant mark in the national as well as international arena with some outstanding films. This year saw the talented Irfaan Khan come up with several terrific performances. Each of the films – Talvar, Jazbaa and Piku (Hindi), Qissa (Punjabi) and Jurassic World (Hollywood) had him attempt a unique character and give it a special touch in his own inimitable way…
Musically a good year
2015 was an excellent year with some outstanding tracks from many of the films released. Starting from Badlapur and Roy in the beginning of the year up to the recently released Baajirao Mastani and Dilwale, many songs went on to become chartbusters irrespective of whether the films ran or not. ABCD 2, Roy, Bajrangi Bhaijan, Phantom, and Bajirao Mastani were films where all the songs were enjoyable and became super-hits.’ Banno Tera Swaagger…’, ‘Afghan Jalebi…’, ‘Chitthiyan Kalaayian….’, ‘Chowk Chandni…’, ‘Selfie Le Le re…’, ‘Tukur Tukur …’, ‘Malhari…’, ‘Sooraj Dooba Hai Yaaron…’ were some of the foot-tapping hits which became very popular.