2015 was one of the best years for Bollywood fans. The number of well-thought-out, flawlessly executed, out-of-the-box movies released in 2015 was greater than the industry’s tally for the entire decade. Something about being midway through the 2010s really worked for the Hindi film industry. There were the commercial successes and then there were the underrated classics: films like Dil Dhadakne Do which made the problems of the first world relatable, and films like Nil Battey Sannata which was about the motivation linked to poverty.
In making a list of the year’s great movies, we’ve no doubt come to the conclusion that we should all try to be like 2015: fulfilling, wholesome, and full of good surprises.
Directed by Imtiaz Ali and starring former lovers Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, this film has many layers. It takes you into the complex lives of Ved and Tara, two individuals in their twenties who meet on a trip to Corsica and find an indomitable connection.
Featuring two of the best actors of recent times, Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, Aligarh is the moving story of a language teacher suspended because of his sexual orientation. Both actors deliver powerful performances. This film was also applauded for highlighting LGBTQIA+ issues in a very sensitive and knowledgeable way.
3. “Dil Dhadakne Do”
DDD has proven that even the rich have real issues – fighting for their passion, battling patriarchal conditioning, toxic parenting advice, and so much more. Zoya Akhtar, while telling the story of the Mehra betalso taught us a few things about ourselves.
4. “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!”
2015 was also the year we saw Sushant Singh Rajput as Detective Byomkesh. Although the film was not a big hit at the box office, the film was praised by critics for being a compelling thriller from start to finish.
Directed by Meghna Gulzar, this film is based on the 2008 Arushi Talwar and Hemraj double homicide case. Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi as the parents and Irrfan Khan as the chief investigator deliver compelling performances. Although the film ends on an open note, there’s a lot to process at the end.
With Richa Chaddha, Vicky Kaushal and Sweta Tripathi, Massaan captures two bittersweet stories from the ghats of Benaras. The film squeezes your heart and leaves you feeling heavy.
7. ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’
For the first time, we saw someone like Sandhya, a 20-year-old girl struggling with her weight and subsequent marriage, as Yash Raj’s traditional heroine. Starring then-newcomer Bhumi Pednekar and our favorite eccentric lad Ayushmann Khurrana, this film is Bollywood at its best with some much-needed throwbacks to sexism and body-shaming.
8. “Bajirao Mastani”
This was the year we were blessed with the greatness of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Bajirao Mastani. With Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh returning to SLB sets as the protagonists, Priyanka Chopra has joined them as an ensemble cast member. The historical epic garnered strong reviews as well as a box office killer collection.
1 credit: Giphy/ByPriyaShah
9. ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’
One of Salman Khan‘s most logical films, BB managed to bring audiences to tears at the end. The film takes you on Bajrangi’s journey to Pakistan on a mission to return 6-year-old Munni to her parents. The film has several scenic locations that are sure to distract you at some point.
Credit: Giphy/Eros International
10. ‘Bahubali: the beginning‘
That year, we even got the first installment of the greatest film ever made in India. The big movie was one of the biggest hits of 2015 and chronicles the rise of Mahendra Bahubaali, the true leader of Mahishmati.
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The thriller starring Ajay Devgn as Goa police constable Vijay Salgaonkar was an underrated release of the year. The film also stars Shriya Saran as Salgaonkar’s wife. The film was the remake of a Malayalam hit of the same name.
12. “Tanu marries Manu returns”
The sequel starring Kangana Ranaut, Jimmy Shergill and Madhavan was an instant hit with audiences and Ranaut won everyone over with his dual role.
A gem of a movie starring Deepika and Amitabh Bachchan, Piku was beautiful because it was simple, cute, and argued what it was trying to prove. There is no doubt that we would adopt Uncle Bhashkor as our father if the opportunity ever arose!
With Akshay Kumar in a lead role, Babe was a great action movie and very well executed at that. The movie manages to keep you hooked until the very end.
Filled with twists, Badlapur is a quintessential revenge story. This is perhaps one of Varun Dhawan’s finest performances.
Starring and produced by Anushka Sharma, this film is a gripping story about a young couple who witness an honor killing somewhere in the heart of Haryana and then become the target of the killers.
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17. ‘Margarita with a Straw’
Kalki Koechlin is a one-woman show in this film. Shedding light on the struggles of being disabled while finding love, sexuality, and self, this film is a great watch for anyone looking to understand community.
With Shashank Arora in the lead role, Title is the story of a young car-jacker who wants to leave the family business and start a new life with his wife.
19. “Angry Indian Goddesses”
Capturing female angst is no easy task, but this film managed to do 80% of its job. Featuring an ensemble cast of Sandhya Mridul, Sarah Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda among others, the film is a great one-off watch.
20. “Nile Battey Sannata”
Swara Bhaskar as Chanda, a single parent with an academically unmotivated daughter, delivers an empowering performance. It’s a feel-good movie that really leaves you feeling inspired.
Main image credit: Yash Raj Films + Drishyam Films