Best Bollywood Movies of 2024 So Far

Even without the release of Bollywood biggies like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh, Bollywood had an interesting star in 2024 with Merry Christmas and Fighter. What followed was a checkered series of films. But what has become clear over the past four months is that it’s the content, not the stars, that drives audiences to theaters today. Here are some of the interesting films we’ve watched so far this year:

Laapataa Ladies

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Directed by Kiran Rao

Set in rural India in 2001, this comedy of errors begins with a newlywed man finding himself in a soup when his veiled new bride is swapped with another bride while they were on a train journey to his village. What happens next in this tale of mistaken identity is at the heart of this punchy yet layered social satire that subtly but with the writer’s confident hands lifts the veil of patriarchy to reveal the ugly face of a society that treats its women as invisible entities. robbing them of agency and often even identity. Armed with a fresh cast, the film not only entertains you while you’re at it, but also leaves you with the rather unsettling realization that even though the film is set in the backwoods and in the era of early cell phones, today , as we wait for the iPhone 16 to drop while sitting in our cozy cosmopolitan high-rise, things haven’t changed much.

Crew

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Directed by Rajesh Krishnan

Crew starts with three hard-working women, Geeta Sethi (Tabu), Jasmine Rana (Kareena Kapoor Khan) and Divya Bajwa (Kriti Sanon), who lead a rather glamorous life as air hostesses. But soon the dark realities are revealed. And the trio ends up in the middle of a smuggling racket.

Crew is a well-made, well-written, and well-acted film that works so well because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. What’s refreshing, apart from the unusual leads and the crackling on-screen chemistry between the trio, is that it’s a racy film where the leading ladies aren’t constantly seeking ‘sexual freedom’, bashing men and swearing their way. to glory – things that have become an intrinsic part of Bollywood’s carefully cultivated ‘independent woman’ trope. Instead, they are given real responsibilities that working, middle-class women can identify with and struggle with.

Maidan

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Directed by Amit Sharma

The film pays tribute to the golden era of Indian football (1951 to 1962) and focuses on the awe-inspiring journey of its chief architect, Syed Abdul Rahim, the coach of the Indian football team whose ten-year career ended with two gold medals at the Asian Games. . Ajay Devgn gives one of the best performances of his career, playing Rahim with a quiet confidence and understated swagger.

While Sharma and his extensive list of writers take wide creative liberties, it’s refreshing to watch a sports drama from Bollywood that steers clear of chauvinism, melodrama and stilted dialogue. Maidaan is a captivating and entertaining film that will keep you engrossed and hooked even if you are not a sports fan.

Merry christmas

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Directed by Sriram Raghavan

Based on the 1961 French novel Le Monte-Charge by Frédéric Dard, it is a story of two strangers who meet in a pub one evening; a story of two unreliable narrators; a story about a murder that reveals the entirety of lies; and a story that goes beyond just a murder mystery and becomes a brooding tale of urban loneliness. Impeccably made, it is Sriram Raghavan’s best, if unintentional, attempt at an intimate love story where even the bleakest scenes are laced with light-hearted situational humor. Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi may seem like the most unlikely romantic duo to ever grace the history of cinema, but their crackling on-screen chemistry will make you root for this charming couple.

Fairy folk

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Directed by Karan Gour

This is a strange one! Ritika (Rasika Dugal) and Mohit (Mukul Chadda) are a married couple. One night their car breaks down while they are crossing a forest. While stranded, they become involved in a heated altercation. Suddenly they notice a stranger staring at them (Nikhil Desai). The duo, a little scared, hail a taxi and return home leaving their car in the woods hoping to escape the madman, but soon they realize that they can run but they can’t hide for this creature of the forest: the hairless, sexless mythical creature that seems to have come straight out of folklore. What unfolds is a bizarre and trippy ride that oscillates between the real and the absurd. Watch this poignant yet crazy look at marital burnout and the complexities of romantic love for its original concept, powerful performances, and clever writing that deftly uses magical realism to blend fact with fantastical.

Madgaon Express

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Directed by Kunal Kemmu

The Go Goa Gone actor and co-writer makes an impressive and confident debut as a director with this crazy comedy. Madgaon Express is Dil Chahta Hai on a budget, and by design! This is a boys’ journey that is relatable and affordable, and not ambitious like the Farhan Akhtar classic.

Three college friends, Dodo (Divyenndu), Pinku (Pratik Gandhi) and Ayush (Avinash Tiwari), go on a trip to Goa. But instead of a fancy convertible, they board the Madgaon Express – it’s as mid-range as it gets! Along the way there is a bag swap a la 80s Bollywood and the trio is chased and chased through Goa by two warring gangs. As a hat-tip to Go Goa Gone, Kemmu also adds some crack to the mix. The end result is an absolute laugh riot. The writing is tight and funny, and all three actors are hilarious and their chemistry and comedic timing are perfect.

Amar Singh Chamkila

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Directed by Imtiaz Ali

Diljit Dosanjh is perfect as Amar Singh Chamkila, the best-selling Punjabi artist of the ’80s who was gunned down at the age of 27, along with his wife and fellow singer Amarjot Kaur (Parineeti Chopra gives a remarkable performance).

If Chamkila was all about his music, and Imtiaz’s Chamkila is even more so. Besides using the original songs from Chamkila, the filmmaker brings back his Rockstar team of Mohit Chauhan, Irshad Kamil and of course the legendary AR Rahman to create the throbbing soundscape that becomes the beating heart of this tragic saga. Through this musical biopic, Ali reinvents himself as a filmmaker and we see him experiment with newer storytelling styles.

Murder of Mubarak

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Directed by Homi Adajania

Set in the luxurious Royal Delhi Club, this adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s ‘Club You to Death’ begins with the murder of handsome gym teacher Leo (Aashim Gulati). But as the mystery deepens, the Rashomonesque whodunit quickly becomes a self-aware satire that delves deeply into the superficiality and moral bankruptcy of pretentious chic and the class divides inherent even in our modern society. In addition to a motley crew of eccentric characters, something Adajania works well with, we have two outsiders – ACP Bhavani Singh (an affable Pankaj Tripathi) and the Dogras’ prodigal son, Aakash (an endearing Vijay Varma) – who mix and place the chaotic puppet show in perspective. It is a tight thriller that has several twists and turns but makes it a fun ride.

Fighter

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Directed by Siddharth Anand

The Indian Air Force’s top fighter pilots, Patty (Hrithik Roshan), Minni (Deepika Padukone), Rocky (Anil Kapoor), Taj (Karan Singh Grover) and Bash (Akshay Oberoi), are all part of the elite Air Dragons. As extremists blow up a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, this team leads the attack on the terrorist camp in Pakistan.

While not in the same category as Top Gun, a film it is being compared to, there is no denying that Siddharth Anand’s Indian Air Force drama has some of the best aerial action sequences India has seen to date. The next stunner is Hrithik Roshan – as Patty, he is the perfect amalgamation of a bona fide Bollywood star and a powerhouse.

Although let down by lazy writing and excessive chauvinism, Fighter is a visual stunner that contains plenty of stuff to drool over.