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The Ten Top Hindi Films Of 2019


Jyothi Venkatesh

Bollywood has come of age. Revenue from Bollywood films jumped more than 300% to cross the 4,000 crore-mark this year, notching up a surprise first in the middle of an economic slowdown that has hit all the other sectors such as automobiles and retail. Trade experts estimate that this is the first time the final net domestic box office collections in the calendar year 2019 have crossed to 4,350 crore-mark for Bollywood, clearly making for a milestone, several notches above the 3,300 crore collected in 2018 and the 3,000 crore in 2017. There was a marked increase in the total number of successes in 2019 thanks to a variety of content, and that also included mindless comedies to patriotic and slice-of-life, realistic films.

A cut in entertainment tax helped boost revenue. Last December, the tax rate for movie tickets priced above Rs 100 was brought down to 18% from 28%. Bollywood’s highest grosser of the year, Uri: The Surgical Strike collected 342.06 cr, followed by Yash Raj Films’ action thriller War (292.71 cr), Kabir Singh (276.34 cr), Gully Boy (238.16 cr) Super 30 (208.93 cr), Mission Mangal (192.67 cr), Kesari (151.87 cr) and Chhichhore (147.32 cr).
It is difficult to pick and choose just ten hits and ten flops from, a list of over 20 films which were released during the year, because how you feel a film is very relative and subjective but here I try to pick up ten hits and the misses. Besides the list of the ten hit films that I have mentioned here, there were hits like Kesari, Article 15, Mardaani 2, Luka Chuppi, Baaghi 2, Satyameva Jayate, Bala and Good Newws too.


This Vicky Kaushal-Yami Gautam- Kriti Kuljari movie directed by Aditya Dhar and produced by Ronny Screwvala won our hearts and was undoubtedly one of the best movies of 2019. Displaying a blend of restraint and rage, Vicky Kaushal — who won the National Award for this role — was in top form in a movie that dramatized a covert operation undertaken by the Indian army in September 2016. It was an espionage thriller that could have easily been reduced to jingoism, pulpy sloganeering and chest-thumping patriotism. Fortunately, it did not go down that exhausting route, presenting a refreshingly clinical approach in the way the men in uniform face their common enemy. In the real story of India’s retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack, Vicky Kaushal takes centre stage as Major Vihaan Singh, an officer and a gentleman who leads a covert operation against militants who attacked a base in Uri and killed many soldiers.


Based on the life of mathematician Anand Kumar, the film produced by Hrithik Roshan, Sajid Nadiadwala and Phantom Films and directed by Vikas Bahl, had an uplifting storyline. Hrithik Roshan was also appreciated for his portrayal of the legendary educator who puts the spotlights on his Patna-based educational programme. Super 30 traces his path as he works his way through several challenges before finding success with his initiative for IIT aspirants. Inspiration in big doses!


This nostalgic movie starring Shraddha Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput and directed by Nitish Tiwari and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala had viewers reuniting with old friends. It was an endearing throwback film that gets the milieu of the Indian college campus on point. About a bunch of underdogs, led by Sushant Singh Rajput, Chhichhore was a quiet tribute to the healing power of stories while also being a silent comment on the complexity of marriage and parenting.


Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh came together with Zoya Akhtar to make this film directed by Zoya Akhtar which resounded with every dreamer in India. It was a rousing rap-to-riches underdog tale, led by the outlandish actor known for his look-at-me persona who seems to have found his groove as the angst-ridden rapper Murad who tries not to be weighed down by the grim reality around him. Every character leaves an indelible impression, whether it was Alia Bhatt as Murad’s whacky girlfriend is a knock out, or debutant Siddant Chaturvedi as Murad’s mentor . Produced by Ritesh Sidhwani, Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akhtar under the banners of Tiger Baby Films and Excel Entertainment productions, It also starred Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Vijay Raaz in supporting roles. Inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers Divine and Naezy, the film was a coming-of-age story about an aspiring street rapper from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai.Based on the life of Divine and Naezy, underground rappers from Mumbai, Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy is at heart a story about dreamers and the right to dream. The story centred on a young Muslim man from Dharavi, who uses rap as an outlet to narrate his life experiences.


This Vidya Balan, Tapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, Kirti Kulhari and Akshay Kumar multi-starrer based on a real-life story ranked 5th on the list of India’s top-grossing Hindi movies. Based on true events and directed by Jagan Shakti and jointly produced by Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions, Fox Star Studios, Aruna Bhatia, and Anil Naidu, the film is loosely based on the life of scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation who had a hand in the successful launch of India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), India’s first interplanetary expedition. The tale of a motley crew who navigated their personal and professional lives as they launched the least expensive mission to Mars was heartwarming and triumphant.


This controversial film which was a remake of the Telugu film, Arjun Reddy was ranked second in the highest-grossing Hindi films list. Directed by Sandeep Vanga, it is a remake of his own Telugu film Arjun Reddy (2017). Jointly produced by Cine1 Studios and T-Series, the film starred Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. Shahid Kapoor played Kabir Singh, a surgeon who spirals into self-destruction when his girlfriend leaves him.


This Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff starrer produced by Aditya Chopra and directed by Siddharth Anand, didn’t receive any brownie points for its storyline. But the action sequences ensured that the film set out to mint a staggering amount of money at the turnstiles.


In Dream Girl which was produced by Ekta Kapoor and directed by debutant Raj Shandilya, Ayushmann Khurrana endeared as a young man who’s hired at an adult call Centre for his unique ability to mimic a woman’s voice. The jokes land and the feel-good entertainer is elevated due to good collective acting on display. Ayushmann Khurrana had three hits to his credit in the year, like Bala, Dream Girl and Article 15 in 2019.


Director Mudassar Aziz borrows the basic premise from Sanjeev Kumar-Vidya Sinha-Ranjeeta’s 1978 film ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ and lends his own contemporary touch to make it palatable for today’s generation. The film produced by Juno Chopra and Bhushan Kumar starred Kartik Aryan with Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Pandey


Directed by Tushar Hiranandani and produced by Anurag Kashyap, Reliance Entertainment and Nidhi Parmar, the biopic film featured Taapsee Pannu, Bhumi Pednekar and Prakash Jha in the lead roles, with Pawan Chopra, Vineet Kumar Singh and Shaad Randhawa and is based on the lives of sharpshooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. Filming was held in Baghpat, Hastinapur and Mawana. Everyone loves a good underdog tale and that adoration shoots up if it’s a story with women taking centre stage, Saanmd Ki Aankkh was a marginalized dramatised story of real-life champion sharpshooters Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar who blossom in their 60s. The film managed to tear your defenses down. The casting of younger women in older roles did jar, and there also was a controversy why in their places older actresses like Neena Gupta and Seema Pahwa were not considered.

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