The best Hindi films of 2020 that may be worth your while. Go streaming.


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Being the year of coronavirus, the Hindi film industry has gone through an upheaval in 2020. While many films were pushed to 2021 to wait their turn at the box office, others found their way to us through streaming platforms. Granted, a few of these would have released via OTT platforms in the first place as their original productions.

Amongst the ones that have made it to us, there was some worthy cinema to keep us entertained and convert our boredom into languor. It is interesting to note that what Netflix did not give to us in Hindi language web series, it made up for with movies. Here is the list of my best of 2020, in no particular order, along with the trailer of each film and where to go streaming.
For my list of best web series of 2020, please go here.

Thappad by Anubhav Sinha
Where – Amazon Prime Video
Amrita, a young woman, leads a content life with her husband, Vikram. However, their happiness is shattered when he slaps her at an office party causing her to file for a divorce. But is one slap enough to question what a relationship stands for? Possibly, when that one slap makes her realise it isn’t an isolated incident. It reflects how her husband never really thought of her as an equal.
Cast: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Kumud Mishra, Ratna Pathak Shah, Geetika Vidya Ohlyan, Tanvi Azmi, Dia Mirza

Bulbbul by Anvita Dutt
Where – Netflix
A story set in the late 19th Century Bengal, Bulbbul is the haunting tale of a young, innocent child bride who grows up to be a strong, mysterious lady presiding over a household of many ominous secrets. At the same time, the village they live in has its own menace to cope with, with several men having been murdered, leading to the legend of a chudail (witch) killing them all. How are they connected? Bulbbul is a beautifully revisionist retelling of a fable.
Cast: Tripti Dimri, Avinash Tiwary, Rahul Bose

Sir by Rohena Gera
Where –
Awaiting streaming release. In theatres.
Ratna, works as a maidservant for Ashwin, the wealthy son of a builder and her boss. They come from opposite sides of the world and perspective. She is full of hope with nothing, and he’s lost his dreams while seeming to have it all. An unlikely romance comes to fore as worlds collide and people connect.
Cast: Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber

Chintu Ka Birthday by Devanshu Singh & Satyanshu Singh
Where – Zee5

In a war-torn Iraq, an Indian family awaiting their turn to return India decides to celebrate their youngest son Chintu’s birthday. Amidst all the chaos and danger, the family struggles to celebrate and make the day memorable for Chintu.
Cast: Vinay Pathak, Tillotama Shome, Seema Pahwa, Vedant Raj Chibber and Khalid Massou

Ludo by Anurag Basu
Where – Netflix

Set in Ranchi, Ludo disguises itself as a dark comedy, which is about one connected story of chance. But it really is an anthology of five love stories, which all conveniently culminate at the same time for all relevant couples. These range from a resurfaced sex tape to a rogue suitcase of money to a cheating husband accused of murder and another man’s quest to get his family back. The board game itself is alluded to due to the roll of dice of fat by an eccentric criminal (Pankaj Tripathi) connecting them all, representing the fifth love story.
Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanya Malhotra, Abhishek Bachchan, Rohit Saraf, Pearle Maaney, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Sana Shaikh

Cargo by Arati Kadav
Where – Netflix

Featuring Vikrant Massey as a rakshasa, Cargo is a sci-fi film which imagines ancient Indian demons running afterlife through a spaceship, Pushpak 634A. The story revolves around Prahastha, Massey as the lonely demon astronaut, who has been working alone in a spaceship for centuries and responsible for millions of reincarnations. His spaceship comes close to Earth every morning to receive the Cargo, being people who have just died on Earth. Then, a new popular astronaut Yuvishka, trained in cutting edge technology, is sent to join him on board.
Cast: Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi

Serious Men by Sudhir Mishra
Where – Netflix

Tormented with his ‘under-privileged’ societal status, a father capitalizes on his son’s newfound fame as a boy-genius. Little does he realize that the secret he harbours will destroy the very thing he loves the most.
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Indira Tiwari, Nassar, Aakshath Das, Sanjay Narvekar

Yeh Ballet by Sooni Taraporevala
Where – Netflix

The film is based on the true story of two boys from humble backgrounds in Mumbai, who were given a scholarship via The Going Home Project by Ashley Lobo to train under Israeli ballet master Yehuda Ma’or at The Danceworx. Manish Chauhan, the 18-year-old son of a taxi driver and 12-year-old Amiruddin Shah had talent Ma’or could not ignore. He trained them and helped them to dream of becoming principal ballet dancers in big American companies.
Cast: Achintya Bose, Manish Chauhan, Julian Sands, Jim Sarbh

AK vs AK by Vikramaditya Motwane
Where – Netflix

A filmmaker kidnaps the daughter of a movie star, and while the star searches for his daughter the director films the desperate search in real-time for his next blockbuster movie. This meta film is a brave experiment with both lead actors knowing how to take a joke on all the real-life cliches they are known for and fictionalizing them for the sake of cinema.
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap

Panga by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Where – Disney+ Hotstar

Jaya, a former Kabaddi world champion, is pushed into making a comeback into the sport by her family. However, she first has to battle her internal conflicts and the expectations society has of her.
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Jassie Gill, Richa Chadha, Neena Gupta, Yagya Bhasin

Jawaani Jaaneman by Nitin Kakkar
Where – Amazon Prime Video

Jazz, a 40-year-old man, leads a casual lifestyle in London. However, when Tia, a young woman claiming to be his daughter, enters his life, he has a choice to make. Will he finally be coming of age?
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Alaya Furniturewala, Kubbra Sait, Chunky Pandey, Kumud Mishra, Tabu

Special mentions to Guilty by Ruchi Narain for the wonderful performance by both Kiara Advani and Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Kaamyaab by Hardik Mehta for the meta cinema that it is, and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan by Hitesh Kewalya, Rohit Sharma for going as big as it did for gay/ LGBTQ romance.

Have you watched them all? If not, go find them now!

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Deepa Bajaj
Deepa is the founder of FilmTribe, who discovered her love for Indian cinema when she moved to New York, and the world of indie film living and working in the arts and film industry in Mumbai. Alice fell down a rabbit hole she didn't climb out of, even as she moved to London.


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