The epidemic has been difficult for everyone fortunate. And movies are the one thing that has provided us comfort and reassurance. 2020 may go down in history as the year that taught us the importance of show business. This article revisits some of the better films from an otherwise disappointing year in cinema. It would be difficult to express how 2020 was for Indian films. With practically every theatre closed, the cinematic experience that a cinephile seeks was devoid of thrill. Simultaneously, several tiny, independent movies that had never seen the light of day in the previous two years found a home on the big streaming platforms. Malayalam film, among regional industries, continues to stand out with its diverse storey options. It was also astonishing to me that so many Hindi films cut, even though Hindi cinema, in general, had a dismal year.
We will now quickly dive into seeing a list of the best movies in 2020 in India. Go ahead, grab a tub of popcorn and start binge-watching these movies.
11. Soorarai Pottru – Tamil – Drama
Sudha Kongara’s new Diwali release, Soorarai Pottru, based on the life of renowned air captain GR Gopinath, appeared to be just another holiday vehicle for a famous actor. However, Suriya’s leading performance as the superstar’s was refreshing. It was complemented with naturally endearing body language, an emotional compass that seldom falters, and wrath that felt humanistic and real. It crams some enjoyable, shiny mass moments into an intriguing biographical drama-style plot and a particularly heinous antagonist – both of which are flawed.
However, the screenplay’s empathy and feminine gaze are so intentionally placed that the film seems anything but comfortable. The video pushes the buttons efficiently and in a highly driven manner throughout. As a consequence, the film is a fun masala film designed for both theatres and OTT. Also, keep an eye out for Aparna Balamurali’s outstanding performance, which not only deviates from the typical love-interest character but also brings the film’s feminine viewpoint to life.
Watch Soorarai Pottru on Prime Video
10. Bulbbul – Hindi – Gothic Period Drama
Two small feet are dangling through a mango tree in the opening image of Anvita Dutt’s tale Bulbbul as a small child-bride observes the bridal procession coming to gather her into a realm of repressive patriarchy. 20 years later, the crimson hue awakens and rises into the sky, as the frightening narrative of a churail (witch) transforms into one of a bloodthirsty Goddess. Death, however, is not what hangs over the crimson-colored, grandly constructed historical fantasy set in the late-eighteenth-century Bengal presidency.
Instead, this poetic, charming directorial debut revels in feminism. The swirling hair, sweeping clothing, and melodramatic performances all refer to the film’s artistic retelling of a cult legend and a lost lineage. The film has an unimaginative climax that doesn’t work at all, but the overall effect is amplified by Tripti Dimri’s riveting performance as the injured, winning protagonist Bulbbul.
Watch Bulbbul on Netflix
9. Raat Akeli Hai – Hindi – Whodunit Triller
Honey Trehan, best known as the casting director for indie films such as A Death in the Gunj, makes a successful directorial debut with Raat Akeli Hai, an Agatha Christie-style thriller. The picture, set in the badlands of Central India and starring a great ensemble cast lead by a superb Nawazuddin Siddiqui, was not a breakthrough achievement as one might assume. Instead, the film overpowered the audience’s familiarity with its craft’s novelty and expertise.
It isn’t one of Indian cinema’s best genre pieces, and it lacks the complexity and complexity of other films, but as a tribute to the badland criminal story, it succeeds more than it should since it flawlessly fulfills the austere bounds of its potential. In several situations, the film’s social ideology is quite uninteresting. It also fails badly as a social drama. What it does do, though, is considerably more distinctive and intriguing than what it does not. The film deconstructs the poisonous patriarchy of a male-dominated haveli, thanks to a watertight script written by Smita Singh. In the film, a guy named Jatil Yadav, a constable is thrust into the heart of events. But the intelligent, brazen women are the real protagonists.
Watch Raat Akeli Hai on Netflix
8. Nirontor – Bengali – Drama
Mountains and towns are a continual contrast in Chandrasish Ray’s Nirontor. The themes of a peaceful atmosphere and a hectic world appear more frequently than you may imagine. The mystery, a thrill, emphasizes the overall tone of the picture. In reality, based on the picture (and nothing else, not even a theatrical trailer), I was expecting a fast-paced thriller. However, it turns out to be a thoughtful, beautiful play about the obvious age divide that two individuals frequently face.
It’s a film that extracts surprising complexity from a basic framework of dialogues. The picture lacks substantial production elements and is relatively forgettable, yet its calmness and wonderfully composed starring performances contribute to its popularity. It also says a lot about a film when a famous Indian superstar stars in a small film like this.
Watch Nirontor on Zee5
7. Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya – Telugu – Thriller
Venkatesh Maha returns with his sophomore movie, a mainstream Telugu adaptation of Dileesh Pothan’s Maheshinte Prathikaaram, after delivering a superb original offering in the shape of Care of Kancharapalem in 2018. While it isn’t as fulfilling as his debut and is a frame-by-frame reconstruction of the original material, it might be the greatest Indian remake picture in a long time. The Dileesh Pothan touches are complemented by the brilliant directorial choices of Venkatesh Maha, an unabashedly basic storyteller.
Watch Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya on Netflix
6. Ayyappanum Koshiyum – Malayalam – Action
The late director Sachy’s final film, Ayyappanum Koshiyum, is an action picture, but what distinguishes it is that, although remaining in mainstream terrain, the film is socio-politically analytical. The complexities of the film’s structure catch your eye even when you watch it for the sake of sheer enjoyment. The film, which lasts three hours, is about a violent battle between two components of law and order. A youthful, conceited ex-military officer and bandit who is now a police officer. The narrative is wonderfully intriguing since both are hilariously criminal in their intensity, and it appears to subtly satirize the situation of our nation with two individuals who would otherwise be real-life villains.
Watch Ayyappanum Koshiyum on Prime Video
5. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl – Hindi – Biographical Drama
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl sets aim to achieve for a female biographical picture what other Indian biopics have failed to achieve: include the whole character of the mysterious twenty-four-year-old girl as she became the first woman pilot of the Indian Air Force and the first woman in India to fly in a conflict zone in less than two hours. This is not an investigative, exciting, or sophisticated picture, but it is meditative and controlled. It’s lovely and subtle because the filming is purposefully bracing throughout.
This is not a flawless mainstream picture, but it is refreshing that a film funded by a major production company confronts casual office sexism without going beyond the storyline. Saying so is always a progressive thing to do. Gunjan Saxena discusses a crucial subject in a not-so-simplistic, humble, yet beautifully simple manner. It is commendable that a film depicts a warrior’s aim sans the top-tier jingoism/patriotism that Bollywood so often spoon-feeds us.
Watch Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl on Netflix
4. Nasir – Tamil – Drama
Arun Karthick’s 16mm marvel Nasir is the most daring Indian cinema in the most conventional sense. Communal prejudice films are not a new phenomenon in Indian cinema. There are a plethora of basic films on Islamophobia and with the disadvantaged as the key protagonist to send a message in the most deceptive (if also necessary) way imaginable. Nasir, too, takes on a story that appears to be simple on paper. However, the structural tension and accomplishments of a bold script allow you to forgive an unforgiving, harsh experience for each of its flaws.
3. Laila our Satt Geet – Haryanvi, Udr – Drama
Laila our Satt Geet by Pushpendra Singh is a work of great beauty. The mystical appeal of Laila bathing in the feeble sunshine finding its way over the hills and reaching the skies, and the thrilling craziness of a lover staring at her beloved who vanishes through the rocks, are both seductive and intense. They elicit great feelings of appreciation for the picture and its creators. The film’s mixture of acute political criticism on the Kashmir issue and the lyrical worlds of a character study of a lady who is as beautiful as a Muradabadi Kaleen and as sturdy as the floor on which it is set out has a lot of flares.
Seven folk tunes compellingly analyze Laila’s emotions. Pushpendra Singh’s beautiful visual grammar, essentially a soundtrack of romance, adultery, and frenzied lunacy, is delivered with an inventive fable: an incisive mixture of Malick Muhammad Jayasi’s Awadhi epic Padmavat and the renowned Urdu love story Laila Majnu. This picture, led by a stunningly attractive and in-form Navjot Randhawa, is guaranteed to divide opinion. Some will find it a little too empty, which is understandable considering that there isn’t much in the text that sticks with you. Nonetheless, I was caught by its mixture of two ardent and passionately beautiful parables of those lovely ladies with thoughts and souls, as well as their rebellious lovers.
2. Thappad – Hindi – Drama
Thappad achieves the unthinkable for a major Bollywood drama. It single-handedly raises fingers at the communal patriarchy that seeps into every family and the men within them in softly imperceptible moments of silence. Anubhav Sinha’s film begins with a single slap, igniting years and months of unmet wrath and tyranny, and then on to methodically unravel the secrets that lurk behind locked doors. The film becomes a plea and a wake-up call for all the wrongs that society has been brushing under the rug for so long, thanks to an ensemble cast that gets behind the notion that floats throughout the story. With a few minor missteps, Thappad becomes one of the most masterful Hindi films of 2020.
Watch Thappad on Prime Video
1. The Disciple – Marathi – Drama
Tamhane’s film is a multi-layered, multi-faceted character study that employs a great feeling of the location to deliver an important story about having to accept one’s mediocrity. The hues of gloom that go through Tamhane’s grandiose vision are astoundingly well-realized and thought of. As a filmmaker with only two films under his belt, the Marathi director demonstrates an incredible ability to weave tales. The grounded realism depicted in the film has been depicted in several subsequent films. However, this film – which spans over three decades of Sharad’s life – revels in the incomprehensible concept that we all ultimately grow out of our self-made bubbles and lofty ideals to confront the realities of life. A life that continues to exist in the face of adversity.
These were some of our favorite and the best movies in 2020 in India. Many other movies have crossed their set expectations and made their fans happy. You can always suggest and watch movies apart from this list as well. Hope this list helps you clear your mind and enjoy your lockdown.