The 15 Best Indian Films of 2016
4. Thithi | Kannada | Drama
Reddy has microscopic views of his characters which are originated from the roots of South Indian villages , and they fill up the screen with such honest performances in spite of the cast being comprised of non-professional actors(except for two), that the lack of a more complex resolution to the story’s conflicts seems less of an offence. They are real, and they seem to not follow any script, rather real characters reacting and following their head and mind (if any).
Thithi packs a ton of amusing characters embroiled in a volcanic familial turmoil which shares the same gene as Anurag Kashyap’s style characters minus the violent urges. The narration is funny, whimsical, and flows effortlessly out the screen.
3. Kapoor & Sons | Hindi | Drama
Kapoor and Sons takes a microscopic look at the foible of individuals and inter-personal issues with the dash of intrinsic humor. Recognizable characters and familial issues straight out of your own family or neighborhood render believability to the film. Kapoor and Sons is unlike many family dramas that have been shoved down our throat in the past.Kapoor and Sons’ strength lies in its very relatable characters, familial problems that actually exist in society & perhaps our own families, and the fact that it never tries to rectify the flaws. The film quite strongly conveys that there is no solution to problems that can bring a flawed family together; instead, we have to accept them with their unsettling flaws.
Director Shakun Batra deftly carves out multiple conflicts without being melodramatic, or manipulating the character, sprinkling it with the right amount of humor to ease the impending tensions in the third act. The film does not rush into establishing the characters; instead, it gives the center stage to multiple characters and lets them flourish in their own space, like the pieces of a puzzle which, when assembled together, will make the imperfect family jigsaw perfectly complete.
2. Kaul- A Calling | Marathi | Drama
‘Kaul- A calling’ is an aggressive divergent thinking film that has nihilism & existentialism at its core done in highly unconventional manner. Kaul is a meditation on losing the sanity or attaining the moksha. A visceral philosophical experience that is haunting & horrific in equal measure which leaves you with spiritual ambiguity. He takes the audience for an adventurous ride that is nothing less than a nightmare in itself. This is a kind of a nightmare where complete submission to ‘Kaul’ will definitely invigorate metaphysical thinking. It will just give you an alternate perspective about how society has created the existential conundrum and seek social acknowledgment for being sane.
Aadish Keluskar’s writing is flawless, cerebral and thought provoking. Aadish intelligently stitches mundane but evocative montages to create an eerie atmosphere that adds an extra challenging dimension to an exploratory audio-visual storytelling.Kaul will be celebrated as an unconventional film done right. It is a milestone film in Indian cinema which will have a cult status in the near future.
1. Visaranai | Tamil | Thriller Drama
There is a scene in the film, where one of the police officers hit on the elbow of a dead body to straighten his stiff hand. You could hear the bone crunching sound. It’s a trivial scene shown in the background. But that is the kind of a realistic detailing the film has. Visaranai is a powerful drama devoid of overdramatic moments. It’s an example of poetic injustice done to human from within the system. Visaranai seems like a distant cousin of brilliant film ‘Court’. Such films redefine cinema and reassure why we love cinema so much in the first place. It is shocking, brutal, and a very honest attempt at filmmaking that needs to be seen & applauded. One of the finest script that has been deftly handled, a plethora of ironical & metaphors thrown that will disturb you & shock you. By the end, “Police are for the protection of common-man” will sound like a fairy tale.
I am hoping to watch these promising 2016 movies in the following year: Island City, Chauthi Koot, Aandavan Kattalai,Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru.