Picking five or ten of the best films annually should not be an easy task in an industry which produces more than 130 films a year. However, this year, just like some recent years, one can finish the task in just a few minutes, for the best of the lot are so memorable and far ahead of the average films..
The process set in motion by a couple of young filmmakers and screenwriters a few years back, injecting new energy, direction and politics into our cinema, continued in the same vein, achieving a few high points too, on the way. Even as they are taking cinema to more humane and human levels, from the stratosphere occupied by the super stars, the old guard is certainly not in a mood to read the writing on the wall. Still in the hangover of the late 1990s, they continued to churn out formulaic masala flicks, with not even an attempt at inducing some novelty.
The new crop though continued to push the envelope, with some nuanced character-driven plots, which had enough meat in them to induce cravings for repeat viewings.
1. Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum
The film that proved that last year’s ‘Maheshinte Prathikaram’ was no flash-in-the-pan. Dileesh Pothan delivers a stunning piece of cinema, aided by some exquisite writing by Sajeev Pazhoor.
2. Angamaly Diaries
Lijo Jose Pellissery puts aside his famed fantasy glasses to give us a realistic tale, an ode to Angamaly town, told through the rivalry between two gangs. The film also introduced 86 promising newcomers.
A late addition to the list, arriving in the last week of the year, but to sure to appear on many year-ender lists. After a few forgettable outings, Aashiq Abu makes a come back with a story of two strugglers and their troubled love story.
4. Take off
A memorable debut from Mahesh Narayanan, portraying the personal and professional struggles of a nurse, with the real-life rescue of 46 Indian nurses from war-torn Iraq in 2014 as the background.
5. S Durga
The most talked about film of the year, which has been prevented from reaching a wider audience, thanks to the interventions of the censors. In his third film, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan brought on screen the travails of a couple who end up with some strangers inside a car. The film won accolades at various film festivals, most notably the Hivos Tiger Award in the International Film Festival Rotterdam.