2017 Hindi Film Awards: Best Elements of a Film, Character and Soundtrack

We continue to move sideways towards the final awards, the big awards for the films as a whole.  But first, little bits of the films get their awards, soundtrack and character.


Shutu (A Death in the Gunj, Vikrant Massey)-1

Raees (Raees, Shahrukh Khan)-1

Bitti (Bareilly Ki Barfi, Kriti Sonam)-1

Harry (Jab Harry Met Sejal, Shahrukh Khan)-2

Sejal (Jab Harry Met Sejal, Anushka Sharma)-1

Najya (Secret Superstar, Maher Vij)-1

Insiya (Secret Superstar, Zaira Wasim)-1

Pritam Vidrohi (Bareilly Ki Barfi, Rajkummar Rao)-4

Sulu (Tumhari Sulu, Vidya Balan)-2

Sushila Mishra (Bareilly Ki Barfi, Seema Bhargava)-2

Vaidehi Trivedi (Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Alia Bhatt)-1


Do you notice something interesting about this list?  A lot of them are in the same movies!  It’s not just that there were good characters this year, it’s that there were good characters in the same movies as each other, interacting with each other.

The winner, by all counts, is clearly Bareilly Ki Barfi.  Most number of votes for a single character, the indelible Pritam Vidrohi.  But also votes for THREE separate characters!!!!  Our hero, our heroine, and the mother.

But then we also have Secret Superstar and Jab Harry Met Sejal, both of them clearly two lead films, with two fascinating characters at their center, not just one.  Perhaps this is the wave of the future, films not built around one powerful lead character, but rather two or three or more.

Our three that don’t fit the pattern are Tumhari Sulu, A Death in the Gunj, and Raees.  I want to pull Raees away from the other two.  A Death in the Gunj, which I haven’t seen, my impression is that the character stands out not because he is the only lead, but because he is just slightly more interesting than all the others.  The cast alone tells me that, you don’t cast Tanuja (and she doesn’t agree to be in your film), unless you have something pretty darn interesting for her to do.  Tumhari Sulu I have seen, and I can tell you that it was built around a brilliant actress at the center.  Not a Star, but an actress.  The story is limited to “Sulu” because that is the story they wanted to tell, and they cast an actress who could pull off all the complications of one character’s journey.

But Raees, Raees is a problem.  Shahrukh turns in a brilliant performance, and has a complex fascinating character.  But no one else does.  Sure, he has good actors around him, but we don’t learn anything about their backstory, their motivation, anything to build their characters up to be the equal of his.  This is definitely a solo turn.  And not because that is what the story should naturally be, not because it was written to be a small character study, it is supposed to be Epic, and epics have more than one character.

Image result for raees poster




A Gentleman-1



Bareilly Ki Barfi-2


The fun one!  Because I am going to put up all the songs, so you can make an informed decision/get your new playlist.

But first, a little discussion.  Thank goodness JHMS won, I would have been truly shocked if it hadn’t.  Not because it is beloved of my blog readers (which it is), but because it is a truly amazing soundtrack, far beyond anything else that came this year in terms of variety, imagination, and (most importantly to me) being built around the story of the film and the characters.

I’m pretty glad that A Gentleman made the list too, I somehow hadn’t thought of it until Niki reminded me.  But it’s so good!  And again, very much what the film is, fun and silly and catchy with no depth.

And then there’s Raees, a testimony to the ability of a big star film to really get a great soundtrack.  Even if it isn’t a film that really should have a great soundtrack, why would a gangster crime drama have a love song and so on anyway?

And Bareilly Ki Barfi.  Yet another element of a great film!  Great characters, and great songs.  I think you can all guess what will be on the Best and Favorite list tomorrow.


Now, songs!!!!  All of them from all the movies, because after all the vote was for the whole soundtrack.  Except for Jab Harry Met Sejal, because I already posted all those songs on this post when it won Editor’s Choice.


Starting with Raees, just like the year did:

Garba folk sounding song, “Udi Udi Jaye”


Memorable title song


Joyous success song


Item song


And the break out hit, the love song


Bareilly Ki Barfi time!!!!  Tied for second place with Raees.  The songs were unfortunately shortened in the film itself, but even the little bits of them that we got are memorable.

It was almost lost in the more spectacular options, but there is a lovely little love song buried in the middle.


And Ayushmann wrote and sang his own love song for the character too.


And the tiny little character theme that is hardly a whole song, but is perfect for establishing this unique character.


And then the two big joyous dance hits that perfectly captured the rough and ready big joyous feel of the song.



And now, my beloved A Gentleman!!!! That keeps things short and sweet in all ways, including the soundtrack.  Only 5 songs, two of them not played in full during the movie.  First, the happy sunny days song.


Then our club song, which is the first club song in ages I have actually wanted to dance to.


Then our lovely love song, which for once lets the music carry the scene, keeps things simple, just two people making a connection.


And then our end credits song, totally ridiculous and knows it.


And finally, the song that is my most played of 2017 (as my ipod keeps reminding me), the one that would be my favorite if “Radha” hadn’t also come out, “Bandook Meri Laila”


27 thoughts on “2017 Hindi Film Awards: Best Elements of a Film, Character and Soundtrack

      • It must be because I love Jim Sarbh so much, I was blinded to everything else.

        On Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 12:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • Yeah he’s good, and it’s nice to see a non Indian who’s not from India yet who’s
          a good actor make headway in Bollywood in such a meaningful way.

          Conversely, you could see it as the corporates wanting to dilute Bollywood so that they can bring in outsiders insteadof having to recruit Indian talent within India.

          I’m not saying that is how Jim sarb got there, but I am saying that if I were a corporation, I’d be interested in watching how he’s doing and using it as a litmus test for bringing in more outsiders.


          • Jim Sarbh you mean? He is an interesting one to watch, he’s desi and raised in Bombay, but lived abroad, and got his theater training and experience abroad. So he can bring in the local accent and Hindi and so on, but with the kind of professional training that the corporations would be used to. Sort of, still stage rather than film, but still closer than someone like Varun Dhawan who came up entirely Indian.

            On Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 1:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. This has been an amazing year for that bunch of actors who live in the gray zone between full blown stars and arthouse actor. Most of all, 2017 was R. Rao’s year. And he’s benefiting from this trend toward story over star. But Bhumi, Ayushman, Jim, Vikrant (he had Half GF too), Swara, Meher (she had B.Bhaijan too, forgot how to spell it). The only commercial star who truly benefited with a bump up is Kriti, 2017 really put her on the map.
    And you know who else has always been good at story over star? Akshay kumar. And he had a banner year too.
    I love your observation about characters riffing off each other this year. It gives the characters depth, the actors a chance to elevate each other’s performance, and it breathes life into the story and the film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! The fall of the star films has had the reaction of the rise of the character driven films and character driven actors. I am reminded of the early 90s, when Aamir and Salman were just beginning to experiment and Shahrukh was coming into the industry sidewise from TV and theater.

      Kriti seems to be the only one who straddled both sides, doing both Raabta and Bareilly Ki Barfi, but hopefully 2018 will bring more of that mixing. I want people who can actually act in my big budget films!

      According to their interview with Karan, the reason Akshay switched to story over star is that Twinkle (his wife) told him if she wanted her to give him a daughter, he had to start doing better films. Their daughter is 5 now, and he hasn’t been all substance-over-style for 5 years, but he’s been at least 50%. I love Twinkle, he himself says she is the only reason his career has gone so well, she tells him what to do.

      On Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 5:56 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Twinkle FTW!

        I love his partnership with Neeraj Pandey. Solid films, tight storylines, good pacing, well chosen supporting cast. They aren’t your award winning films or actors showcases, but they are consistent and reliable.


        • He is also really good for the industry. The big films may fail, and the little films may get lost, but the solid Akshay films always make a profit and fill the theater. I wish more of the stars of his level would look for those sort of mid-sized hits instead of the outsize ones.

          On Sat, Jan 20, 2018 at 7:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. love Twist kamariya from Bareilly Ki Barfi..thanks for uploading it ..love the song..hey didn’t get to ask did you finally decide to adopt a dog??


    • I did decide to adopt! I’ve got dog dishes and a crate and everything. But the dog wasn’t there 😦 The one I posted the picture of was still available, but all my friends and family wore me down and convinced me she was illogical. There’s another dog that sounds perfect, but she has heartworm and can’t be adopted until she is fully healthy. I applied to take care of her while she gets better, if I am approved I could take her home later this week. Fingers crossed!

      And thank you for asking!

      On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 9:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • welcome 🙂 ..but the dog that was scared of everyone..i thought you would adopt her..but it’s completely your wish..i mean even an animal that is sick needs much care and attention so i hope you get selected to take care of her and i’ve no doubt in mind you’l take care of her..quick question though even if you don’t have the dog yet you can still visit the dog right?just curious ..


        • I was super tempted by the dog that was scared of everything. But she is a really smart breed, which I like in the abstract, but which is bad since I live alone. Smart dogs like that get depressed and miserable when they are left alone all day, so it would have been a tricky fit. All my dog owner friends warned me away from her. But she is so cute!!!!

          Sick dog is in the doggie hospital and can’t have visitors. Which is why I want to foster her, so I can meet her and get to know her. Here’s a picture of the sick dog, she is also awfully cute:


          On Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 12:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          • Yep! But if she’s not available this week either, I may go back to the first dog just in desperation.

            On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 2:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. Nobody voted for Anaarkali of Aarah as best soundtrack? I have finally finished the movie and I’m in love with music. Drums! A lot of drums, and other classic instruments. And one of the songs is sang by Sonu Nigam. His voice is a gift from God really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have you seen Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam yet? First, you get to see Budapest stand in for Italy, which is always a good time. And second, great music. With drums and classical stuff.


      • Yes, I have seen it last year, but being honest I remember only Nimbooda Nimbooda, and nothing else regarding music. But I do remember a lot of stupid stuff I hated in this movie – like as you said Hungary pretending to be Italy (why not make Salman Hungarian if you are going to film it in Budapest?) and “women are like kites, there is always men who pull ther string”, and Salman being ridiculous and Aish being stupid . I hate this movie.


        • It is a very very stupid movie, you are right. But if you like drums, there is this song: But the songs are so pretty! And I love Ajay. I just wish he could be rescued from these stupid characters around him.

          On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:09 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I don’t like Ajay much , but in this movie he was the only bright spot. I was surprised I liked him so much.


          • This and Once Upon a Time in Bombay are tied for the performances where I have liked him best. And of course, playing a car in Taarzan: The Wonder Car.

            On Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • And Kachche Dhaage! I wasn’t expecting much, because it’s not my genre and not my kind of actors, but I really enjoyed this movie.


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