A tangential walk down Bollywood: on the best cinematic moments of 2018

The best and the worst: (Clockwise from left) Gold, Welcome to New York, Andhadhun, Stree and Mukkabaaz were the source of some the most memorable moments and performances of the year.

The best and the worst: (Clockwise from left) Gold, Welcome to New York, Andhadhun, Stree and Mukkabaaz were the source of some the most memorable moments and performances of the year.  


In a year marked by the success of films with strong stories and actors and not just star power, film critic Namrata Joshi highlights the best cinematic moments of 2018

The new contenders

The down-to-earth stars who should ideally be speaking the popular Zero line—“Le aa apne teeno Khan, yaheen khada hoon meri Jaan (Get your three Khans, I am here to take them on)” — for real: Vineet Singh in Mukkabaaz, Vicky Kaushal in Sanju and Raazi, Ayushmann Khurrana in Badhaai Ho and Andhadhun and Rajkummar Rao in Stree rose above the three Khans.

Bravura turns

Pankaj Tripathi in insane comic form in Stree. The deliciously wicked Tabu in Andhadhun. The made-for-each-other trinity of Surekha Sikri, Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao in Badhaai Ho. Abrasive yet acutely vulnerable Sanjay Kapoor in Lust Stories. The rebellious domestic help Bhumi Pednekar in Lust Stories. Heartbreaking Manoj Pahwa as the wronged Muslim Bilal in Mulk. Sharp-talking but well-meaning homemaker Sakshi Tanwar in Mohalla Assi. Rasika Dugal as sublime Safiya in Manto.

Small but significant

Rajesh Tailang as the exasperated father in Mukkabaaz. Nimmi Raphael as the hospital nurse in October. Ekavali Khanna in Bioscopewala and Veere Di Wedding. Ashish Verma and Priyanshu Painyuli in Bhavesh Joshi Superhero.

Moms who mattered

Luminous Gitanjali Rao and affecting Rachica Oswal in October. Spunky Mona Ambegaonkar in Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz. Funny Ayesha Raza Mishra in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.

Neo Mr. Bharat

It’s not as if there was any doubt about this one. Akshay Kumar from Padman to Gold via the No Smoking ad that played before every film, got confirmed as Bollywood’s bona fide face of the patriotic shining new India.

Scintillating sequences

The seven-minute classic cliffhangar early on in Andhadhun about which we still refuse to say anything more; cause spoiler. The lovely tribute to the piano songs in the end credits of Andhadhun. The flare-up scenes between Shravan (Vineet Singh) and his father (Rajesh Tailang) in Mukkabaaz. Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) in the bathtub with his ghulam (slave) Malik Kafur (Jim Sarbh). Male bonding got a homoerotic touch. Three wives and 15 daughters of a politician shielding him in Daas Dev. There couldn’t have been a more eloquent evocation of patriarchy and male order.

Pathbreaking bromance

In Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, the grandfather (Alok Nath) is almost joined at the hip with his bachelor buddy (Virendra Saxena) while the grandmother just couldn’t be bothered.

The real-life bro code…

While Vicky Kaushal savoured success, his brother Sunny impressed in Gold. Ditto for Ayushmann Khurrana and his sibling Aparshakti in Stree.

Dialogue on loop

If “Baap shunya to hum kahan se Aryabhatta ho jaayenge (If father is a zero how can we become Aryabhatta)” in Mukkabaaz was the best line then “High fashion ki kasam, designer jooton ka paap lagega (Swear by high fashion else you will be cursed by designer shoes)” in Welcome to New York could well be the worst.

Chanderi ka Manish Malhotra”, “Bhagwan ka darzi roopi avtaar” (God’s own incarnation of a tailor), “Naye Bharat Ki Chudail” (the witch of New India) — Stree offered many delectable phrases.

In Happy Phirr Bhaag Jaayegi, a Pakistani jokes about the lack of queue for visa in their own embassy: “Hamare mulk mein aata hi kaun hai (Our country doesn’t get tourists)”. Then there is the catchphrase of Bagga (Jimmy Sheirgill) who keeps riding the white mare without getting married “Ghodi chadh gaya tha main”.

Thook kar maathe pe chhed kar denge (can drill a hole on someone’s forehead by spitting on it)”: Vijay Raaz in Soorma. And where did I hear “Kachre ko insaaf nahin milta, kachra sirf saaf hota hai” (Garbage doesn’t get justice, it only gets mopped clean)? It was the vigilante drama, Satyamev Jayate.

Odd jobs

Sonam Kapoor playing tabla, off beam at that, in Padman. Geetanjali Thapa as a meme creator in Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz

Welcome back

Anil Dhawan, the ’70s star who came riding on his own songs ‘Mere pyaase mann ki bahaar’, ‘Ye jeevan hai’, ‘Guzar jaayein din din din’, ‘Teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam’, ‘Jai bholenath jai ho prabhu’ in Andhadhun.

Unusual debut

Banita Sandhu in October

Already forgotten newcomers

Debutantes Aayush Sharma, Warina Hussain in Loveyatri, Rohan Mehra in Bazaar

Forgotten films

Dil Juungle, Welcome to New York, Nanu Ki Jaanu, For Here Or To Go

… What were they about?

The kids are not quite alright

In potty porn Halkaa and exploitative desi home alone Pihu

Eerie endorsements

Sofit soya milk as a post-coital drink in Blackmail. Baba Ramdev, Patanjali and Ministry of Ayush in Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se. Shiv Nadar Foundation in Halkaa. Sa Re Ga Ma Carvaan featured in a number of films, from Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se to Simmba

Patronising patriarchy

Forget Simmba, in Padman “male” virtue is made out of a man coming to a “woman’s” aid: “Ek aurat ki hifaazat mein naakaamyab insaan apne ko mard kaise kah sakta hai? (A person who is unable to protect a woman can’t call himself a man)”.

In Baaghi 2 a character refers to his wife as the “Russian cutlet’ who cooks and rears his kids.

New found friendships

Bollywood found new a bestie in Israel in the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s selfie with the Hindi film stars at the Shalom Bollywood event.

Foreign filmi dignitaries

They came visiting to Mumbai and landed straight on our pages: Christopher Nolan, Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Christian Bale, Andy Serkis, Darren Aronofsky, Sean Baker, Lucrecia Martel, Aroonpheng Phuttiphong, Marcelo Martinessi, Diego Luna, Michael Pena, Ted Sarandos, Majid Majidi…

Inventive ending

Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (with a big dose of sarcasm) instead of “The End” plate in Mukkabaaz


We bid adieu to actors Sridevi, Shammi Aunty, lyricist Neeraj and filmmakers Kalpana Lajmi, Tulsi Ramsay, Bhimsain, Mrinal Sen…

My best moment in a theatre

Just as a ghost put off a flickering candle in 1921, there were offers of matchboxes and lighters from audiences in single screen cinemas

And… Going mainstream award of 2018 goes to…

The dildo… Thanks to Veere Di Wedding and Lust Stories

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:00:29 PM |

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