Best/Worst Film of 2018: I Pick, and Then You Pick!

Fun times! We all get to try to convince each other which film was the absolute best and which was the absolute worst. And if there is a concensus in the comments, that film will get the great honor of being the DCIB Worst or Best of the year!

Best film of the year for me (limiting myself to Hindi so I don’t have to worry about leaving anything out): Raid

I picked Raid back in January when it first came out and I have measured every film since against it, and nothing measured up. Tight and fast paced, but still with enough time to sprinkle in a little romance and a few songs. Every performance is perfect, every shot is interesting. And the script is totally original and unexpected. It’s just a good movie, top to bottom. And bonus, it even has a nice message, about following rules and doing the best you can for the greater good.

Worst film of the year for me (again, limiting myself to Hindi so I don’t have to worry about leaving anything out): Sanju

I picked Sanju back in June, and yes, 6 months later, nothing has been that bad. The performances were caricatures, the plot had no overarching structure, even the camera work was just dull dull dull. Not to mention the saccharine thoughtless sappiness of it all, completely expected and thought-free. And the ultimate message that the past can always be rewritten, and “facts” and “truth” have no meaning.

How about you? What are your Best and Worst of the year and why?

(Oh, and again I will be pinning this post to the home page so you can find it easily and keep giving your votes)

99 thoughts on “Best/Worst Film of 2018: I Pick, and Then You Pick!

  1. My best film of the year, Bollywood goes to Andhadhun and Tumbaad.TGF takes the credit for being the worst.(ps.my F***in choice)
    Best Malyalam movie must be for me Sudani from Nigeria and Ente peru ummante.Worst movie of the year should go to Drama or Neerali.

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    • I have seen almost no 2018 Malayalam films, but now that you remind me of it, I am pretty sure even if I had, I would still think Sudani from Nigeria was one of the best. Does that make sense? It was so good, it is hard to imagine something better out there.

      And I probably have sick-brain, but what is TGF short for?

      On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 8:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I haven’t seen that many movies this year. Just couldn’t force any interest. I liked Andhadhun but even there I felt the second half was too stretched out and I started losing interest. It was still a well crafted movie and Tabu was fabulous.

    Also saw Badhaai Ho since people were raving about it but I thought it was quite mawkish and not to my taste. It was supposedly a comedy but it seemed like everyone was crying half the time. Bollywood comedies never translate for me anyway so not that surprised. I saw this one with my parents and they didn’t like it either.

    I guess Raid was good now that you mention it but I honestly didn’t even remember it so I don’t think it made that much of an impact on me.

    Least liked was Padmavat. This is what boredom looks like. If I ever have to see another Bhansali costume drama with Deepika and Ranveer, it will be too soon.

    All in all, a pretty bad year from BW. For me at least.

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    • Sanju neatly beats out Padmavat for me, at least Padmavat had some semblance of a plot and consistent characters. But it was a close thing.

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  3. I haven’t watched Raid yet
    My best movie would be Badhaai Ho. It was just such a feel-good, satisfying movie. Great performance and writing.

    Agree with Sanju for the worst.
    It was just a badly made movie and i just didn’t connect with any of the characters.
    I didn’t even like the concept of the story to begin with, but Anushka’s accent was ridiculous, the story was all over the place and the background music (which Should be seamless in a good movie) was really jarring and annoying. Vicky Kaushal was the best thing about it.

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    • Yes! The music!!!!! The background music and the actual song sequences were both like really aggressive, felt like they were yelling at me “appreciate this music!!!! Feel the beauty!!!!! Aren’t we awesome!!!!”

      On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 11:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Your list made me realize I haven’t seen many films in theaters this year. My favorite of what I have seen is Stree. I couldn’t stop thinking about the film for days after and I kept finding new things to appreciate about it. I haven’t seen it on anyone else’s favorites list which makes me think that the genre (comedy/horror) may be keeping people from appreciating just how good and subversive it is.

    In a year with Race 3 and ToH, picking Sanju for worst film is really saying something.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Talking about bad movies – I impatiently wait for Namaste England to come in streaming, but I can’t find it . Given bad reviews it had, and very short time it was in cinemas, shouldn’t it be available somewhere? Or it’s so bad nobody wants to buy it?

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  6. Best: tied between Pari and Raid. They’re so different and each really good for what they are. Pari is a dark, scary, poignant feminist fable, and Raid is a solid procedural with great characters, humor, heart, and a social message.

    Worst: tied between Padmaavat and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Padmaavat has some really ugly messages and lies tied up in a beautiful package (even though it had the best choreographed sword fight I’ve seen since The Princess Bride). SKTKS is the type of regressive man-baby bros before hos stuff that I (mostly) stopped watching American movies over.

    Enjoyed but see how they could’ve been better: Sanju and Zero. I may remove Zero from this list after I see the version with the edited down second half with joyomama tomorrow. (yay!)

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    • Wait, what is the version with the edited down second half? How have I not heard of this? I am completely perplexed and intrigued!

      On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 4:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • So joyomama saw Zero again last night, and my daughter did come along. Her review was, “so many plot twists”. Kind of like the beginning of your first review. 🙂

        We didn’t notice any cuts in the second half, so either that was a rumor made up on Twitter, or was just done for the domestic market. I’m guessing a rumor.

        I loved the movie as much the second time. There were still some WTF moments in the second half, but I got where Bauua and Aafia were coming from a bit more. Babita came through loud and clear on the first watch and remained so on the second. I still wish they would have ended with the screen going dark after the rocket launch and Aafia’s voice over, ending with “we love anyway”.

        I appreciated Tanha Hua much more the second time, not being so worried about what was going to happen to Bauua. How bold to do the “sometimes you have to die to yourself to live; lose everything to grow” journey in one song. I found Shah Rukh outrageous, annoying, charming, poignant, and incredibly sexy as Bauua. As long as he’s got that expressiveness, that smile, and those eyes, he’s got it for me.

        Reflecting on the different types of reviews there have been (not responding specifically to your reviews, but to the many I’ve read or watched–all in English except Sucharita’s), I’m the most annoyed with those saying that Bauua represents unexamined male privilege, “even if he’s a dwarf” which is in itself an offensive take. Bauua’s privilege is not unexamined at all, indeed it’s clearly stated several times–he’s a poor little rich boy who deals in toxic masculinity to make up for his perceived (by himself and his family) shortcomings (pun intended). Just as Aafia’s privilege as a well-off, well-educated American woman who has been able to pursue her wildest scientific dreams is clearly stated. I’m so relieved to see a story where all the prominent characters have strengths and weaknesses, and characters with physical disabilities are not presented as saints or to give currently abled people some inspiration porn. Bauua and Aafia are complicated people with needs, wants, and faults. The one exception here is Guddu–he’s kind of a saint. I’d love to see M. Zeeshan Ayyub in a role where he’s not the best friend.

        Sorry, this turned into a long rant. One more thing about reviewers. The opening scene declares so strongly that this movie will be telling a story through a magical-realism lens, that I just don’t see how reviewers didn’t get that. I mean if the opening isn’t clear enough, then the scene on the roof of Bauua’s family’s house where he “knocks down 200 stars” till his dad wakes up and tells him to quit it should have been. Reviewers who acknowledge that but still find fault with the execution of the ideas make more sense to me than those who are criticizing logic and science in the movie. For reals? Of course a random guy from Meerut is not going to end up on a US funded Mission to Mars. The film makers are asking us to revel in that absurdity with them, and root for Bauua anyway.

        Ok, last thing. I was really angry with the makers of Dilwale–feeling that the script/dialogues were a complete afterthought and that many scenes insulted viewers’ intelligence. Especially the scenes involving King’s wildly incompetent drug gang. But I have loved FAN, Raees, JHMS, and Zero, because I find that they are flirting with viewers’ intelligence and imagination, engaging them, challenging them, subverting expectations and telling interesting stories. But, I guess Shah Rukh and his partners better stop making movies that I like, because it certainly isn’t making them much money.

        Thanks for reading/listening!

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        • There’s also Dear Zindagi and Ittefaq, which fall perfectly within the Venn diagram of “movies I like” and “movies that made a profit for Red Chillies”. They should just make a bunch more like that.

          I’m surprised that reviews don’t get the questioning of toxic masculinity. I didn’t like a lot with the characters, but that particular criticism doesn’t make sense to me. Anushka’s character (I thought) was made too illogical and extreme, and I disagreed with the decision to make Shahrukh walking out of the wedding into a terrible thing (whereas at the interval point it seemed brave and correct after his last conversation with Anushka). And I thought Shahrukh’s redemption arc went on way way too long just in terms of narrative pacing. But none of that is related to male privilege or masculinity. In that area, Shahrukh’s character was perfect. The layabout rich man’s son who is offered this perfect bride with almost no work on his part is a very clear statement of masculinity. He assumes he is “owed” everything and never stops to consider what he actually wants. It’s only when he discovers a world outside of his superficial concept of male identity (prettiest girl, lots of money, tough talk) that he is able to realize his true love for Anushka, a love beyond societal expectations for men and women, and try to earn her love back instead of assuming it as his due. In a way, making him a Little Person and giving him such ridiculous dialogue helped to show the ridiculousness of all men of this type, the ones who think they are always in competition with the rest of the world.

          I don’t think the message of “this is magical realism” came through clearly enough, especially within a Hindi film context (as Reflects on Life described so well in her comment). But I do think it was the maker’s intentions to make it magical realism. I don’t know, there is a criticism based on the internal logic of the film, that you can’t mix and match magical realism and detailed accurate astronaut training sequences, and a criticism based on picking and choosing elements of the film out of context.

          On Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 8:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Haha–yes–I agree Red Chillies should consult with you–especially for positioning and marketing! I forgot Dear Zindagi–nice to be reminded that one movie I liked also did well, at least for the size of the budget and promotions.

            I can see your points about the internal inconsistencies between seemingly “hard tech/science” stuff and magical realism; and the fact that Bauua running away from the wedding is at once presented as a reasonable course of action that both he and Aafia contribute to, and a sin for which Bauua must do penance. The first one didn’t seem like such a problem to me because even the techie/scienc-y bits felt dreamy to me–things like Aafia’s zero gravity venting and the rooftop scene where all the stars start falling kept it in the fantasy realm for me. But I agree that narratively most of the training song/montage should have been cut. They could have shown his persistence, slowly convincing Aafia that he has grown, in a much shorter time.

            The second inconsistency is something that would be super fun to talk over in person. I watched the almost marriage scene with different eyes the second time thanks to your reviews, and I felt like I understood it better, so thanks. Maybe the “sin” is not so much that he ran away, but that it took him so long after realizing he did want to be with Aafia to act on that. His weakness in not being able to let go of his dream of Kat or something.

            Maybe Kat’s little story in the car about her parents (I love their interaction in that scene so much) is meant to tell us that his inability to act is the sin? I also like that scene because I think Shah Rukh represents the viewers and Kat represents the filmmakers. He doesn’t really believe her story, but he can’t help but get caught up in it, and he resolves to change course because of it. Throughout my first viewing, I definitely found myself being skeptical, but still thinking, “then what?!?” 🙂

            Aafia is totally illogical at several points. If she didn’t really love him that much but was “settling” for him, why shoot at him (a magical-realistic touch that I found quite funny if over the top) and stay angry for so long? If she truly loves him at the end how can she stand to send him away from their daughter to probable death? But I think she is meant to be self-centered and egotistical (thinking of their first drunk conversation which is all about her achievements) so wounded pride could make her act illogical. I can go back and forth on that.

            Such fun to talk the movie over with you even if you didn’t care for the film. Thanks!

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          • I don’t understand people who don’t want to talk about a movie if they have different opinions. Those are the best discussions! You learn so much more about your own opinions through talking things over with other people, it doesn’t mean you have to change your mind, it just means you understand your own mind that much better.

            One thing you made me suddenly realize is that this is a Devdas story!!!! But with a twist. It’s the same concept though, the love that barely gets started and then “Devdas” becomes scared and weak and runs away, leaving Paro to make a new life somehow. Chandramukhi serves to teach him to see women beyond stereotypes, and gives him an escape from his own regrets and guilt. But then the twist, at the point when Devdas gives away everything and prepares to die, he changes his mind. And instead, he chooses to fight for his Paro. And Paro chooses to take a risk and walk out of the safe marriage. But that doesn’t mean they are just handed a happy ending, because that would not be true to the reality of the characters. They still have to have faith and and accept a less than perfect happy ending.

            I also just realized through our discussions about toxic masculinity that it is the main purpose of Katrina’s character. Showing Shahrukh the result of the kind of cocky confidence and selfishness he has lived by. She is all torn up and broken and Abhay feels no guilt, because he is so confident of his own superiority. And her story is the flipside of that, the pride of a man who does feel guilt and suffers needless pain because he can’t admit it.

            Oh, question since you have seen it twice: I remember that Shahrukh slips a couple times and says “aarfia” when he isn’t thinking, most notably when he wins the dance contest he calls out her name instead of Babita. Did you notice that at all?

            On Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 10:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • You are so right about the Devdas parallels, though Bauua is not as despicable a character as (Shah Rukh’s) Devdas. I noticed more of the mentions of how he has helped people in Meerut. He’s a part of a larger community in a nicer way than his father thinks.

            He does say Aafia at first when he wins the competition. That may be the only “slip”, but he does say her name a lot through the second half. It’s clear to us how much he misses her even if not to him.

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  7. Carbon,Kammarasbhavam and ee ma yau were the best malayalam films of the year for me.. I haven’t watched any terrible malayalam film this year but Theevandi was the most disappointing.
    Among Tamil films, Ratsasan was the best and 96 comes second..Haven’t watched any bad tamil film either

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    • See for me, Carbon would be the worst Malayalam film of 2018 of the ones I saw. But again, that’s not an accurate judgement, I only saw a few and it was my least favorite of those.

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  8. For me the best movies were Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho and Pad Man and worst, race 3 and Judwaa 2 (idk if thats 2018 but still want my money back!)

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    • Judwaa 2 was fall of 2017, but I agree, it was pretty bad! Surprised at Padman, for me it was solidly in the middle, neither great nor horrible.

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  9. Worst was Rajma Chawal with Rishi Kapoor. It’s on Netflix. The comic premise is interesting enough–a father whose son won’t talk to him gets him to chat online by creating a fake fb page using pic of a real girl (whom the son later meets). But the actor playing the son is so bland and charmless that the film is sleep inducing. He is so forgettable that I can’t even remember his name. I couldn’t finish it. Best for me was Andhadhun with Padmaavat in 2nd place. I saw it in one of the big multiplexes in Mumbai and the effect of it on the big screen was spectacular. The actors were all great, but especially for me Jim Sarbh.

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    • Glad I’m not missing anything with Rajma Chawl! Netflix keeps pushing it on me and making me feel bad for not seeing it.

      Also, I love Jim Sarbh. Watch Raabta! He plays the villain in that and is wonderfully entertaining.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 1:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. I haven’t had a chance to watch too many movies in the theaters.

    Reading the reviews, I vote for Sudani in Nigeria. I should order this dvd from amazon

    and I saw that your tweet to the review was retweeted by Samuel Robinson
    you managed to make a connection to a Nigerian film star via a movie set in Malappuram

    and thanks for all your Monday Malayalam reviews. We get a wonderful chance to peep thru the window of Malayalam movies.

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    • It’s really a credit to the Malayalam industry, how it manages to reach out to unexpected guest actors. there’s another review that I got a comment from a German actor who played the British colonial character. I’m blanking on the name because sickness has eaten my brain, but it was very cool.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 5:13 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  11. Pariyerum Perumal was the best Indian movie I saw in 2018 & Badhai Ho,Goodachari,Tumbadd were the most entertaining. Sudani from Nigeria was good too.
    I usually rate the bad movies by how soon I quit them. Sanju-45 mins Race3- almost interval,Padmaavat-interval,Sonu Ki Tuttu-interval and then some more. So Sanju wins.
    Found Raazi,96, October & Mahanati to be superbly made but with questionable themes and motives.
    The highpoint in 2018 for me in watching experience was discovering Pakistani series and movies. What a delayed find!

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    • I never quit movies, but I rate them by how often I find myself checking the time. And by that standard, you and I had about the same reaction. Sanju, it was almost immediate. Race 3, pretty entertaining and then started to drag. And so on.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 6:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Using your way to misure bad movies Uncle would be indisputable “winner” for me. I was checking the time every 30 sec. I still don’t know how I managed to finish this bore.

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  12. The best would be Andhadhun and Badhai Ho. Great movies.

    Worst would be Simmba. Rohit Shetty movies and I don’t get along. The questionable messaging, and the offensiveness just ruined it. I went with 5 other people (my parents and sister’s friends), and we found it so dumb (and terribly demeaning). The women’s roles is relegated to the side even though it’s supposed to be a woman’s empowerment movie and some of the ideas are so dumb. Frankly, SKTKS was a fantastic feminist movie compared to this drivel.

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  13. Best = Tumbbad

    Worst = Sanju

    But shout out to Vicky, Jim, and Dia, and honestly, even Sonam, for carrying their roles well. Otherwise it’s this year’s Rangoon for me.

    Tumbbad is world class good. It should be sent to the Oscars and campaigned hard. It’s the kind of movie that makes it to the final 5 but doesn’t win because it’s not feel good enough. But the characters are Indian enough and Poor enough for the Oscars voters to accept it as an “Indian” enough film.

    Manto = best art film. Honestly this could have done well as a mainstream production and a buzzier cast. It has all the trappings to take advantage of what a big budget offers. And the conceit of interweaving an author’s life with the stories and characters in his works screams big budget production and mainstream actor doing a serious role – ajay, ranbir, or irrfan.

    Shout out to this year’s midyear little engines that could – stree, andhadhun, badhai ho. Raazi and VdW were also commendable. All of these movies had a few marks against them for me, which keeps then from winning.

    Among more massy entertainment, Padmaavat and SkTkS were perfectly made and enacted, in terms of what they were trying to achieve.

    I haven’t seen Raid. Is it on Netflix or Amazon yet?

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    • Raid is on Hotstar. And I love it because of that “perfectly made for what it is trying to achieve” mark you mention. I think it is the best made film overall for the year, even if it is smaller budget and smaller ambition.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 3:28 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I wonder if AL Rai would say the same about Zero, that it was executed fully as per his vision? Or did he simply run out of time to perfect it? It’s a film I want to see again before I pass my final judgement.

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        • Right now, I feel like he didn’t execute it per his vision. It doesn’t feel cohesive to me, like it is the best possible version of what it is supposed to be. Which is different from being the best possible movie in the world, for instance I think Son of Sardaar is the best possible version of what it is, but I also think it is pretty stupid. But like you, I can believe a second viewing will change my opinion on Zero.

          On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 5:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  14. My favourite film of 2018 by FAR was Mukkabaaz. This film connected with me on so many levels about an underdog battling through India’s casteist, sexist, corrupt and bureaucracy riddled society. The film was a love story at heart dressed up as a boxing flick. I appreciated Anurag Kashyap’s previous work, but they never connected with me in such a way as this flick. I like this new Anurag Kashyap that is willing to venture beyond his favourite gritty true crime genre. And Vineet Kumar Singh’s acting as a lower caste uneducated boy is just jaw dropping (Forget Ayushman, Vicky and Raj, I think Vineet pulled off the best performance this year by a male actor). There are very few actors that can without uttering a line just convey emotions just with their eyes and face like Irrfan Khan, an Vineet Kumar Singh effortlessly achieves that. And there was a fantastic performance as a headstrong mute girl by Zoya Hussein as Vineet’s love interest that moved me (Like Vineet, probably the best performance this year by a female lead actress). I have never seen a female romantic lead pull off something this good in quite a while. The supporting cast as with all Anurag Kashyap films was awesome. And Jimmy Shergill as the absolutely vile upper caste elite who plays the villain is absolutely scary and is probably this years best villain.

    Some Other films that I enjoyed are Titli,Andhadhun, Tumbbad and a French/ Indian film starring Dhanush called “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”. I think the films that I most enjoyed this year other than Mukkabaaz were from previous years like “Dil Se” (Which was outstanding) and “Talaash”. All in all was a good year for films, I just didn’t connect with many of them other than Mukkabaaz.

    Mukkabaaz by the way was written by Vineet Kumar Singh (Lead actor in film) and his sister when he was struggling to find work as an actor. Vineet is a doctor who left his field just to pursue acting and found no work for almost a decade or so. Vineet pitched the film to every production house and director and they all refused until he landed up with Anurag who promised Vineet to make the film with him as the lead actor, if he trained as a professional boxer for a few years.

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    • Angie also really loved Mukkabaaz, and had similarly wonderful things to say about it. It’s too bad it didn’t get the kind of press and notice it should have, I remember when it came out, it just slipped in and out of theaters, I didn’t even realize Anurag had directed it, it was so hidden and unnoticed.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 4:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • But mukabaaz got international attention. I think Tarantino even tweeted about it(?).

        The origins story of the script sounds similar to Sylvester Stallone’s with Rocky.

        I’m hearing it’s one of India’s best acting performances period, not just 2018.

        I haven’t seen it yet, is it on Netflix or Amazon?

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    • Mukkabaaz is in my opinion best hindi movie too followed by Manmarziyaan. Anurag Kashyap wins the year for me. And I agree with everything you wrote. Vineet was excelent, and the girl was even better . Jimmy Shergill was super scary, I still have goosebumbs when I think about him.

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      • @Angie, Yes, Manmarziyaan was also good but I was more In love with the sound track of that film than the actual plot. I don’t speak or understand Hindi, but Amit Trivedi is turning out to be one of my favourite artists not just from India but globally. He also did a song for the Dhanush starrer “The extraordinary journey of a fakir” (Indo/French film), I hate dance numbers(When they are done wrong), but seeing Dhanush groove to a Amit Trivedi song with a Italian actress in the middle of a French film got me off my seat, lol!!

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  15. I can never pick just one. Of the films I’ve seen –
    Best (ie favourite) – Sui Dhaaga, Badhaai Ho, Pataakha, Padman. I also liked 102 Not Out, Bioscopewala and Parmanu. Padmavaat for the costumes and settings – the ending was too drawn out.

    Other honourable mentions – Hichki, Love per Square Foot, Once Again, Soorma, Manto

    Worst – watched about 5 minutes of Sanju so there you go… Also I didn’t see Race 3, have no intention of seeing Race 3, because Race 1 and 2 were awful. Therefore I include Race 3 in the worst list.

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    • I love Race 1 and am awfully fond of Race 2. But they are definitely “the kind of movie you will like if you like that kind of movie” and not otherwise.

      Check out the “by Genre” voting post, maybe that will let you have your cake and eat it too.

      On Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 6:34 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  16. 11 hindi movies + 12 non-hindi = 23 movies and from all of them:
    1. Koode
    2. 96

    then nothing for some time because nothing was as good, and then

    3. Mukkabaaz
    4. Manmarziyaan
    5. Badhai ho
    6. Goodachari
    7. #RX100
    8. Hey Jude

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      • Hard question because all finished movies wasn’t that bad. I suffered the most durning Uncle, but I know it’s not a bad movie. Kannada movie Katheyondu Shuruvagide was pretty boring too. Diya – Sai Pallav’s tamil horror was very uneven. October and The Bucket List weren’t the best movies either. But none of them was terrible. Not even Race 3. I must search in unfinished movies for the worst and the first thing that comes to my mind is Savyasachi! This movie has Madhavan looking sexy and I’m not able to finish it. But there was something even worse – Srinivasa Kalyanam!!!! I don’t have words how bad this movie is. It’s like roulade of worst things telugu in one movie – misogyny, bad acting, wrong messages and all covered with “our telugu traditions are the best in the world” salsa. I’ve watched 20 minutes and I was thinking for days how much crap was in this movie.

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  17. Best (only have seen 20 Hindi films from this year and no non-Hindi films unfortunately)
    This is really tough because I had a lot of favorites from such different genres. I would have to say Badhaai Ho because it was a breath of fresh air in its authentic charm, it had a well-constructed script and all the performances were perfect. A wonderful family comedy. Honorable mentions: Pari – loved Anushka’s performance and the unexpected feminist twist, Raid – a serious drama that made taxes interesting (helped along by Ajay’s performance and how he looked in those pants), Raazi – love spy thrillers and the simple scene of Vicky and Alia listening to the records is one of my favorite scenes of the year, Gold – an almost perfect sports drama for me (who was raised on American underdog sports films), Manmarziyaan – for the three performances, fyaar, and the twins, and finally Simmba – an old-school masala film with fresh blood injected into it

    (Andhadhun was great, Tabu was brilliant, but this is not the kind of film that gets me excited, honestly, but I can see why it’s at the top of many lists)

    Worst
    I avoided most of the worst films of the year and didn’t finish films I had strong negative reactions to such as Sonu Ki Titu Ka Sweety

    I guess I would pick Dhadak then. A completely unnecessary film and Janhvi was not that impressive (though it’s unfair to compare her to Sara at this point who seems to have come fully formed with star qualities to spare into the industry)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janhvi versus Sara is really a lesson in the advantages of waiting until your daughter is 24 and graduated college versus 21 and barely had a life in terms of being able to hit the ground running.

      In my imaginary scenes where Suhana is complaining to her parents about having to finish school before being launched while her friend Ananya is starting right now, I can picture SRK and Gauri pointing to this, that Sara is doing so much better with a college degree and life experience than Janhvi without.

      On Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 12:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  18. Fav movie – Sudani from Nigeria and Andhadhun, and Ayushman for President (or PM based on wherever you live). OMG, I loved the movie!! Nothing comes close. Badhai Ho was good, but I don’t know if it was the best of the year for me. Ditto for Stree – Liked most of the movie, but the climax was all over the place. I tell you watching movies with expectations is the worst.Loved 96 too.
    Worst – Race 3 but it was also the “so bad its good” kind. Sonu-Ki Tweety – I hated this movie
    Not sure: I watched Geeta Govindam, but with totally bizarre subtitles and though the plot was really absurd, Vijay sells it to you. He is such a star. Not sure where I should place this. Again the subtitles were wonky so I don’t know it that would’ve made a difference.

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    • Boy, Sudani from Nigeria may end up being the surprise crowd pleaser winner!

      On Fri, Jan 4, 2019 at 2:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  19. @Angie
    I read though all that background information on Ananja Banerjee and I am also a crazy white woman interested in classical Indian dance, so I guess I have just proved your theory! 🙂

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    • This bengali movie is on Prime for some reason, and that’s why I watched it, but it’s not good and I don’t recommend it. I only liked dancer’s husband – sweet blind compositor treated very bad by his wife. I would watch a movie about him for sure.

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  20. Best hindi film this year for me was Stree – the subtle feminism was a bonus malai(cream). Followed by Andhadhun.
    Followed by Badhai Ho.
    Followed by Sanju (more on this below) !
    Was pleasantly surprised by Parmanu.
    (Disclaimer: haven’t seen Raid yet)

    To be honest, I didn’t really watch any movies I suspected to be not worth my time. Of the ones I saw, I guess I’ll award it to Vodka Diaries – just couldn’t complete that damned thing.

    Coming back to Sanju, I am shocked by your perspective. I absolutely LOVED the movie. I found it emotionally very touching, and must have cried for – I kid you not – an hour at least. But then again, our tastes do not necessarily match – I was aghast to see you don’t like Anurag Kashyap movies (I love them SOO much – believe Gulaal to be his best work yet – haven’t seen Paanch & Bombay Velvet though). Secondly, based on your reco, I saw “A Gentleman”, and was sourly disappointed. It felt like a dull drab attempt (might’ve liked maybe 2 or 3 scenes in the entire movie).
    So yes, let’s agree to disagree! 🙂

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    • (sorry, this comment got lost in Spam somehow)

      I’m less surprised by you liking Sanju, than by you not liking A Gentleman! Since to me it feels so similar in tone and humor to Stree, Andhadhun, and Badhai Ho.

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  21. I’ve seen so few movies made in 2018 that I really can’t vote, but my favorite was Love Per Square Foot. Really charming movie, both Pathak sisters, all one can ask for. Lust Stories came in second—with an anthology you’re bound to have some weak links. But I’m sure my vote will change when I see Stree or Andhadhun or many others. (Looking forward to a lot of the good ones streaming in Japan next year). Worst was Kucch Beege Alfaaz, which sort of meant well but was a bunch of mainstream tropes in a parallel package. Onir did the right thing with his abusive leading man, though.

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    • Because they are very difficult and time consuming and the viewership was steadily going down. I want to get back to them, but it’s hard, and right now I am far too sick to do it.

      On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 1:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  22. `
    When does the voting end and you make the final announcement?

    I saw RAID two days ago and I enjoyed it, but it was sort of meh. Is that really the best there was for all of 2018?

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    • It ends whenever I feel like ending it. I decided not to lock myself into a date, but instead to just wait until the comments slowed down and it kind of hit a natural stopping point. Which might be soon!

      What I love about Raid is that it is just such a tight movie. Nothing extra, nothing too slow or too fast, just right.

      On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 7:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  23. I watched Loveyatri, so y’all don’t have to, and basically it’s a compilation of all hindi clichés, bad acting and other annoying stuff.
    There was a moment when I stopped reading subtitles and concentrated on Aayush’s face because I wanted to know for how long he can maintain the same facial expression. He won.

    There was a scene, when he falls in love and he starts levitating, and then a pair of dove’s wings grow on him. And the other scene with a white girl – it’s always kind of test for movies how they portrait white woman. Loveyatri fails miserable. The girl was wearing only bra and shorts, outside the campus, in winter, when other people wear jackets. She immediately feels attracted to Aayush and doesn’t hide it (characterless woman!) and we see he wants to ask her for help to find Warina Hussain, and he does, but instead of ask her like a normal person, he sticks a poster on her back and she must come around with this thing while he eats a sandwich with “I’m so clever” face.
    I’m really curious how Namaste England will beat it. As yet Loveyatri is the worst hindi movie of 2018.

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  24. My favourite are tumbad and mukkaabas
    Not are underdog stories and welll exexute.

    I would be surprised if tumbad doesn’t sweep the technical awards at all award shows

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  25. For my favorite film of the year it’s hard for me to pick between Tumbbad and Andhadhun. Tumbbad is the type of fantasy/horror/fairytale story that I love reading about but seldom see on film and I found this movie to be nearly pitch perfect (minus some pretty bad CGI which I will forgive because lower budget also there were so many epic gorgeous shots that made up for it) but Andhadhun was honestly the most fun I ever had when it came to movie watching this year. Special mentions go to Pari, Raazi, and Manmarziyaan.
    For worst film it’s probably Sanju because I could not finish it. I watched maybe an hour on Netflix, left, came back and saw that the run time was nearly 3 hours and abandoned watching it all together because I realized that I did not have the strength to continue. If we’re doing movies that I completely finished then Padmavaat. I honestly had no idea how I finished it. It feels like it is never ending (among 5 million other problems)! And I had to watch it twice because of my family!

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    • Andhadhun was such fun in theaters! I kept thinking “please don’t end yet! I’m having too much fun!”

      And for Sanju, you can come back on Sunday and read my terrible terrible review! That should cheer you up.

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  26. Best film – though not Hindi – was Mahanati (Tamil/Telugu), I loved the acting and of course the retro story and style. Best Hindi film was Andhadhun – such fun!
    Worst film was Padmaavat. Not so much for it’s ugly view on life and humans – I expected nothing good from it after the trailer – no, the shocking things when watching the film itself were it’s boredom and tediousness and that it made nothing of the actors’ abilities (with the exception of Jim Sarbh, but then the character was awfully written, so not even he was really enjoyable to watch): Shahid Kapoor is not a bad actor apart from being a BW star, but what was he doing as this stupid prince who always made the worst possible choice ? We were supposed to appreciate him as a hero, wtf? Ranveer did what he always does, not the tiniest surprise and nuance here – but then the guy was awfully written as well. Wouldn’t it had been thrilling to sit and watch and ask yourself just how far he would go in pursuing his wish? But no, we know after 5 minutes that he’s a psychopathic piece of shit, always was and always will be. And Deepika? Every once in a while she showes a tiny impulse of real acting, but did SLB tell her not to? (Exactly the same problem as in Bajirao Mastani imo) So she is wearing awesome costumes and jewels, walks up and down and never blinks. She delivers that ugly locker room speech, too. What a chilling scene that could have been, with all it’s newly convert fanatism. But no,
    Oh dear, this was supposed to be a simple best-and-worst-personal-choice-thing – and I rapidly turned it into a Padmaavat rant 😀 Sorry not sorry 🙂

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    • I’m not going to complain about Padmavat bashing!!!! Although I think it was better than Bajirao in terms of characters and stuff happening and so on (which just shows how much I hated Bajirao).

      I agree completely about the new convert chilling speech at the end. That’s the story Bhansali is telling without realizing he is telling it, an outsider who falls in love with this new-to-her tradition and inspires others.

      On Fri, Jan 11, 2019 at 12:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

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  27. Ishqeria (Neil Nitin Mukhesh and Richa Chadda) is on Prime, and I watched the trailer, and it looks like bad b-grade film. I didn’t have the courage to watch the movie so I can’t vote for it as the worst movie 2018, but I thought it should be mentioned here.

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  28. I officialy nominate Srinivasa Kalyanam as the worst indian movie 2018. “A preachy marriage video without any twist”, where “the only ‘villain’ in the tale is a father who doesn’t have time to go wedding shopping in the middle of the afternoon on a work day”

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    • I’m excited! And tempted to watch it so I can weigh in with my own opinion. You know how I like taking down bad movies, about once every 3 months.

      Like

      • You can try. It’s on Prime. I started watching this film because I like, from time to time, to watch some boring movie about tradition, but it’s terrible. Apart tradition directly in your face it’s full of body-shaming, woman-shaming and ridiculous scenes e.g in the first 30 minutes one guy tries to commit suicide, in the office, full of people, just because the girl he likes doesn’t want him. He is saved by the protagonist, who later gives him a lecture, how he could do this and not think about his parents. The girls are not worth it. And then he calls the girl, and she is woried if his “boyfriend” left some letter or something. And she’s right! He is some weak freak, I understand why she didn’t want him, , if he left a letter accusing her, her life would be ruined. But the movie sees it differently – she is the evil one without feelings.
        This was enough for me and I couldn’t watch more.

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  29. Best film: Andhadhun. I was mesmerized the entire time.The cinematography, the acting, the story, everything was fantastic.
    Worst film: Sanju. Ugh!

    Like

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