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Best of 2020

Best that Films and Series had to offer in 2020 – the index. Will be updated as new posts keep getting added.

15 Best Performances from Hindi Web Series of 2020

10 Best Hindi Films of 2020

10 Best Performances (Female) from Hindi Films of 2020

10 Best Performances (Male) from Hindi Films of 2020

10 Best Hindi Film Songs of 2020

Sahir Ludhianvi : When every Verse was Magic – 10 Gems

Enough and more has been said about the depth, passion and finnesse of Sahir Ludhianvi and his poetry, and how he weaved magic into every word of his verses. Arguably the finest lyricist of hindi films ever, Sahir wrote for every mood, and every beat; and worked for a multitude of composers to create gems across decades. His collaboration with Sachin Dev Burman though stands out, especially the soulful melancholic songs they created together, most of which still echo as evergreen classics.

As the world gets ready to celebrate the centenary birth anniversary of Sahir Saab, here’s celebrating the terrific poet by remembering 10 of his best songs across films over years. There are of course multiple bunches of such tens that one can easily pick up from his amazing treasure of songs, but we restricted ourselves to ten and picked a max of one per film though it goes without saying that a Pyaasa or a Hum Dono or a Kabhi Kabhie would potentially feature all their songs in the Best of Sahir Ludhianvi list.

Too much to love. Too much to celebrate. Happy 100 years Sahir Ludhianvi! You are fondly remembered everyday through your ever relevant gems!

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15 Best Performances from Hindi Web Series of 2020

2020 is the year that will be possibly remembered more for its web series content than films. As the world shrinked to the confines of home, people found comfort and engagement in long format story telling, a format that helps the characters to take it slow, breathe and show their complete character arcs. The content creators also upped the game, and created shows with some very interesting characters, and soms excellent performances. The year will be remembered also as a breakout for many industry veterans, who have been here for long, but perhaps were waiting for a 2020 to happen to truly win global hearts. Hope they are here to stay.

Here we look at 15 Best Performances from the Hindi Web Series of 2020. We look at it differently from films, because the scope and span of the two formats makes them distinct with very different arcs of individual or ensemble performances. Also, though we talk about 15 top performances, we list the performances from male and female actors separately. Lastly, we do consider some of the series like A Suitable Boy or Churails whose primary language was not Hindi, but the spirit of the characters or their milieu was very comparable to the rest of the content considered.

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10 Best Hindi Films of 2020

2020 can easily be called the year of the Digital. As the pandemic brought the world to a lockdown state by the end of the first quarter, it was only the content on digital that kept the world sane and going one day at a time. With time, more and more completed films found their direct release on digital, with time new digital content started getting developed with the constraints of social distancing, and the audience were treated with a rather diversified platter of engaging content – human stories of hope, heartbreak, struggles and agency. 2020 was also a very brutal year in the way in which it took away so many artists from the field of Performing Arts and Entertainment, and some of these losses were beyond our comprehension. The films featuring those departed souls also left us teary eyed in their own ways.

So here is our pick of the 10 Best Hindi Films of 2020, films that worked in totality, some of them making a part of our repeat watchlists, and many of them going bold and experimental with themes, narration styles, and challenging the status quo without inhobitions. In spite of many big films pushed out to 2021 as they continue to wait for theatrical releases, 2020 didn’t leave us empty handed and gave us some pretty good films to cherish and celebrate. Here’s to more of that in 2021 and beyond.

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10 Best Performances (Female) from Hindi Films of 2020

2020 wasn’t a very easy year for anyone. But one of the biggest pluses of the year as far as cinema was considered is that as films moved to OTT platforms, it became a sort of level playing field for all kinds of cinema, as all content had equal reach in digital, and audience paused to consume the rich variety of themes in offer. The good news was that women were at the center of some of the strongest hindi films of the year, and gave great opportunities to our leading ladies to rise and shine. And they shined across genres, age groups and character arcs through and through.

Here, we pick the 10 Best Performances from Female Actors from Hindi Films of 2020, and we consider all performances irrespective of the length of the roles. These are performances in films only, and we will consider Web Series separately because the scope available for character development is vastly different in both. But there are some really great performances here, some of them the career-best by the actresses, and we can only hope that they continue to evolve from strength to strength in the coming years as well.

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10 Best Performances (Male) from Hindi Films of 2020

In a very unlikely year for cinemas like many other things, where there weren’t too many releases of films at the theatres past the first quarter, enough and more films found releases through the digital platforms – right from films starring the biggest movie stars, to the really small films, to films trying to find a release for years. In a way, due to the special circumstances, the year also provided a level playing field to all kinds of films, all kinds of performances, with them reaching a wider audience in their homes than any other year. Not that 2020 will be remembered as an extremely strong year for Hindi Films, but there were quite a few performances from these films that left a strong impression, some a lot more than the others.

Here, we pick the 10 Best Performances from Male Actors from Hindi Films of 2020, and we consider all performances irrespective of the length of the roles. They came from actors young and old, playing varried shades of characters, and they all made traversing through 2020 a little more easier. We will consider Web Series separately because it is not fair to compare film performances with series as the scope available is vastly different in both. But here’s wishing that these talented actors continue to give us stronger performances in the days to come.

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AK vs AK : Meta Musings of Life

There is a reason why I think Vikramaditya Motwane is the most versatile, most fearless and most creative filmmaker currently working in Mumbai! The man doesn’t care whether his art will trigger the ringing of cash registers at the box office, but he will go to any length to make the most impressive films in the genres he will pick up, and challenge both art and life through it! And he will control his indulgence too. And then keep it accessible for all without trying to go too tangential. AK vs AK is another bold step towards establishing it!

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10 Best Hindi Film Songs of 2020

2020 has been an year unlike any previous year, for us, and for our movies too. In an year when the theatrical releases dried up within the first two months of the year and the pandemic stole all music from our lives, it was unlikely that the year will close down with a lot of musical memories. But as I sit down to list the 10 best hindi film songs of the year, must say that the list ended up being a pretty good playlist with a good mix of various kinds of songs, of so many reflecting moods.

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TASHER GHAWR : Intriguing. Intimate. Ingenious.

Meet Sujata. She is just another next door woman whose life has become stuck in a time capsule because of the ongoing pandemic. The lockdown has pretty much locked her existence down in an enclosed space she calls home, but one that subjects her to various levels of unbearable trauma because of her spouse who physically and mentally abuses her, cheats on her, and doesn’t bother to acknowledge her agency as an individual. Their relationship is purely transactional and Sujata is just there to render her services, right from the breakfast in the morning to routine sex in the night. All this isn’t new in her life though, but the pandemic has ensured that this torture now happens round the clock, twenty four by seven. There is a Sujata living in all our neighborhoods, and we get to see their linen drying up from our terrace everyday, just that we are not bothered to find out the dirty stories behind them.

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C U SOON: See It Soon!

Mahesh Narayanan‘s new Malayalam film ‘C U Soon‘ perhaps wants you to see the film soon through its wordplay on the title. Backed up by Fahadh Faasil and Friends, Nazaria Nazim and Fahadh Faasil produce one of the better films of the lot that was shot and processed entirely during the lockdown, and thankfully they don’t tell a pandemic laden lockdown story, like many other efforts during the period attempt to.

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