Best and Worst Hindi Movies of 2021 So Far: Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, Radhe on the to-list
2021 has arrived with a short window where theaters have opened and a few movies finally released on the big screen. Cinemas, however, have been closed again as the devastating second wave of the coronavirus hit India. Many big films released on small screens while many small films have fascinated audiences. The debate on the content and the medium on which it is broadcast continues.
As we move into the second half of 2021, we take a look back at the Bollywood films that premiered on one of two platforms, giving audiences a field day with options across genres, languages and new talents. To use Vidya Balan’s expression, it’s all about entertainment, entertainment and entertainment after all.
Here’s our pick of the best and worst Hindi movies we’ve seen on our screens in the first half of 2021.
BEST FILMS OF JANUARY-JUNE 2021
This Vidya Balan star has at least two tigresses. A topical subject treated in a unique way, Sherni deals with the primacy of nature and human greed, with the stamp of Amit Masurkar. In fact, it seems to take off right after Amit’s previous Newton. There’s the forest, four-legged beasts, and a roaring Vidya. It’s Bollywood and not National Geographic.
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar
He had written Dibakar Banerjee everywhere. The black comedy drama follows Pinky who saves Sandeep from the weight of the attackers, but only on the surface. Its layers soon begin to unravel, unraveling a story of class division, corporate greed, misogyny and privilege, with protagonists from opposing worlds struggling for coexistence. We just can’t forget the opening sequence and how the movie picks up from the start.
Renuka Shahane’s directorial debut had a remarkable cast of Tanvi Azmi, Kajol, and Mithila Palkar playing three generations of imperfect women in a dysfunctional family. He explores their quest to be the perfect parent, despite their unconventional individual life choices. The Netflix movie received praise primarily for Shahane’s direction and performance.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi
Seema Pahwa became a director with this social drama revolving around an extended family coming together when their patriarch dies and how the dynamics change due to petty politics and insecurities. With a brilliant cast, the film touched on several regressive social stigmas and virtues, as well as the customs of mourning, as tragedy soon fades into the background and doubts emerge.
This intriguing criminal and legal thriller manages to keep its storytelling gripping until the end. A murder mystery with shocking twists and turns, it explores the human mind like never before. A lawyer and his client are entangled in a murder mystery that creeps into the territory of past traumas, divided personalities, and smooth dubious redemption. Manav Kaul delivers a brilliant performance. There is already demand for its sequel due to its cliffhanger ending.
SPECIAL MENTION: Silence … can you hear it
If you thought Manoj Bajpayee had recently become the flavor of the season, come back to this movie that revolved around his cop character investigating the case of a woman who mysteriously disappears. A sleeper shot, it caught the eye for its tight plot and thrill factor. Check it out, in case you haven’t already.
THE WORST FILMS OF JANUARY-JUNE 2021
How many times can you ride a movie just on Salman Khan’s shoulders (and the six-packs)? The actor’s Eid giveaway failed so miserably that IMDb awarded it a star, which placed it among Salman’s lowest-rated films. That’s not all. Salman’s version of “Seeti Maar” has left many Allu Arjun fans disappointed. Mixing Dabangg and Wanted won’t give you a hit every time.
The girl on the train
Parineeti Chopra tried hard to step into the shoes of Emily Blunt. But the Indian rudder was not convinced. This one was half-baked and lacked impact, and no one stayed invested in knowing the real killer. For now, it is better to avoid remaking Hollywood hits, too, frame by frame.
Sardar Ka Grandson
The film looked promising from its trailer, but fell prey to poor script and execution. Arjun Kapoor wanted to be the best grandson but failed because the film lacked an emotional connection. Neena Gupta can probably be called the one little thing to watch out for (in case you’re watching her, in the first place!)
The big bull
If you think Pratik Gandhi’s act in Scam 1992 cast a shadow over this movie, the main reason is its wrong direction. While the strength of Scam 1992 lay in its authenticity, The Big Bull took such creative liberties that it ended up being a melodrama.
It was an absolute snooze-fest. Who knew Janhvi Kapoor as a ghost can be such torture. But it wasn’t her fault when the writing was bad. Those who expected a clean, witty take like Stree were disappointed. The only saving grace was Varun Sharma’s love affair with the ghost, but not enough to make the film run. The public is still struggling with their free ends.
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