Best Bollywood Movies In 2023

Best Bollywood Movies In 2023

1. SHEHZADA

 

 The film, which is a remake of a Telugu film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, starts on a promising note, as a nurse and an office clerk, Valmiki (Paresh Rawal), exchange the latter’s son with a business magnate Randeep Jindal’s (Ronit Bose Roy). Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. For 25 years, Valmiki’s son Bantu is trapped in a middle-class household with his spiteful father. The film follows the young guy as he discovers who he really is and vows to protect his real family from a villainous drug mafioso, Sarang (Sunny Hinduja).

With too many tracks — such as Bantu’s hotshot lawyer girlfriend Samara (Kriti Sanon) being set to marry a mollycoddled Raj Jindal (Ankur Rathee), family members embezzling money, Randeep and his wife Yashu’s (Manisha Koirala) strained marriage, and above all, dreaded criminals insistent on using Jindals’ business to peddle drugs, the central theme of what fate holds for the two exchanged boys gets sidelined. These are also incoherently stitched together, as are many other sequences, such as Bantu bravely taking on goons who harass his younger sister, rescuing Samara from a client who cannot take no for an answer, to smashing Sarang’s men.

Kartik is effortless as the incorrigible, brave and good-hearted Bantu and does well in the action sequences, but there’s nothing fresh about his performance here. Kriti Sanon looks stunning in every frame but has little to do. Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. Paresh Rawal and Ronit perform exceedingly well, and one wishes the latter had a more extended screen-time. Rajpal Yadav makes a cameo and does his regular goofy act that elicits laughter, but the sequence does not take the story forward.

The fight choreography deserves a special mention, with its slow-motion and macro videography, and also Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography is also good. While the title track sung by Sonu Nigam, ‘Shehzada’, stands out, the others are just average.

Shehzada is meant to be enjoyed for its campy humour, irreverent hero, and action sequences. If watching a mass entertainer with a gang of friends is your jam, you could make a trip to the theatre for this one.

2. THE KERALA STORY (Best Bollywood Movies In 2023)

 

God’s Own Country is about to be decimated, bacha lijiye, the battered and bruised protagonist of The Kerala Story implores. But saving Kerala is certainly not the purpose of this shoddy film aimed at telling the world that the state is sitting on a ticking time bomb. Islamist terrorists scout for female suicide bombers in the state, the film asserts without a modicum of moderation and proceeds to demonise a people. Professedly based on “many true stories”, The Kerala Story, directed by Sudipto Sen, isn’t really interested in the truth as a whole. Taking the cases of a handful of missing girls, it spins a yarn that would have us believe that Kerala has contributed thousands of foot soldiers to ISIS over the years. Needless to say, that claim isn’t backed up with either evidence or genuine concern.

No more than a lengthy WhatsApp forward in the guise of a movie, The Kerala Story would have been deemed a passable vehicle for a half-baked conspiracy theory had the film not been as laughably inept, both in terms of its making and its tonalities. Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. It cannot by any stretch of the imagination be accused of being a balanced investigation.

It is easy to see that the screenplay written by Suryapal Singh, producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah (who is also credited as creative director) and Sudipto Sen is the handiwork of gentlemen who do not so much as have a working knowledge of the state and the people that it is about.

Never does the film that claims to tell the story of Kerala look like it has been shot in that part of the world. Nor do the actors – their accents are as horrid as the film – look remotely like people who were born and raised in Kerala.

A stray shot late in the film is enough to sum up what is wrong with The Kerala Story apart from its lopsided, selective and alarmist theorising about the state’s global terror links. On a beach stands a dried-up tree that looks like a prop put there for no particular reason.

The beach does not resemble any of the beaches of Kasaragod, where large parts of the film are set. The tree, too, is completely out place – it bears testimony to how utterly clueless and ham-fisted the makers of The Kerala Story are.

Now to the story for whatever it is worth. Fathima Ba (Adah Sharma), formerly Shalini Unnikrishnan, is questioned in a UN incarceration centre by a panel of stone-faced officials. The girl narrates her ordeal. Singled out by a Salafi centre in Kerala and led to a point of no return, she ends up among terrorists who have no patience for women who cross the line.

3.PATHAN (Best Bollywood Movies In 2023)

Best Bollywood Movies In 2023

 

Pathaan,” the new Bollywood espionage action spectacular, opened wide this past weekend in the U.S., where it amassed an impressive tally of $9.5 million. That’s exactly what “RRR” made on its opening weekend in the U.S. close to a year ago — though, of course, that was before “RRR” went on to become a crossover cultural phenomenon, with a visibility and acclaim in the American media that Indian films seldom, if ever, attain.

Nothing like that’s going to happen to “Pathaan.” The new movie is far more typical of Bollywood than the Telegu-language “RRR” was: a sprawling, mountainous tangle of pulp that stacks one genre on top of the next with an arbitrary verve. Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. The film is held together mostly by the glue of its kinetic visual energy and by the iconic quality of its stars: Shah Rukh Khan, who plays a kind of James Bond meets Jason Bourne meets Jason Statham meets Fabio, and John Abraham, who plays the sociopath villain with an aggro creepiness set off by an ’80s Beverly Hills coif.

For decades, Bollywood movies, at least when they were released here, had an undeniable exoticism. They often repackaged Hollywood forms, most notably the musical, but with their own rhythm and flavor and spice. Baz Luhrmann drew upon the rapture of Bollywood when he made “Moulin Rouge!,” and films like “Lagaan” (2001), a transporting three-hour-and-45-minute class-war operetta about a cricket match (it was the last Indian film before “RRR” to be nominated for an Academy Award), and “Dangal” (2016), a wrestling epic rooted in the rising mores of girl power, had inspirational plots that staked out their own nationalistic identity.

In recent years, however, something in Bollywood has shifted. What you’re seeing in “Pathaan” isn’t so much the apotheosis of an Indian action film as the fusion of decades of international styles of mega-powered meta-pulp: the layered double crosses and high-flying daredevilry of the “Mission: Impossible” and “Bourne” franchises, the twirling-in-and-out-of-slow-motion balletics of Hong Kong action cinema, the time-stands-still hypnotics of Sergio Leone, the defiantly over-the-top vehicular madness of the “Fast and Furious” films, and the bodies-bodies-bodies party vibe of a sexy-chic tequila commercial, all poured into a smelting pot and sealed with the who’s the biggest badass? mano-a-mano obsessiveness that’s one of the defining features of the YRF Spy Universe, of which this film is the latest installment.

The characters in “Pathaan” often speak like movie posters (“Be rich. Be powerful. Or be a corpse”). They’re photographed like model-gods, and though “Pathaan” isn’t a musical, the music that plays during the action sequences is an overwhelming constant — that EDM Bollywood throb, revving even routine battles to a maximum rush. Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. Khan, who suggests a sleeker, more ripped Adam Driver in a man-bun, plays the title character, a veteran RAW agent who’s gone undercover and been left for dead, though he shows up in an early scene, bloody and battered, tied to a torturer’s chair. He then frees himself and defeats his captors in the first of what must be the film’s two dozen whirling, crunching, gravity-defying fight scenes. This is the sort of movie in which even Pathaan walking in slo-mo slipping on his aviator sunglasses counts as an action moment.

His mission is to stop Jim (Abraham), an agent who has gone rogue and leads Outfit X, an international terror organization that commits atrocities for profit. I wouldn’t even try to describe the plot of “Pathaan,” which zigs and zags all over the globe, and all over the place, in a way that defies logic. Best Bollywood Movies In 2023. The film’s only real logic is its pop fetishization of power (bullet power, fire power, 12-pack-ab power), along with its enthusiastic mutating of genres — now it’s a heist movie, now it’s a human-superhero-with-machine-wings movie, now it’s a contagion thriller with Jim threatening to unleash the power of Raktjeeb, a killer virus that makes COVID look like the common cold. What’s in it for Jim? From what we can tell, the sheer megalomaniacal pleasure of it all.

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