2019 Mid-Year Checkpoint – Hindi Films


As the first half of 2019 is over now, it is a good time to take a pause and retrospect at what Hindi cinema had to offer so far for us this year. Overall, it has been a mixed bag year of a few brilliant films and a huge bunch of average and poor films so far.

The year started with a promising note in the first quarter, but kind of turned flat over the last few months with good releases practically drying up. The year so far also saw a very strong trend of extremely strong social media sentiments on both sides for films that had a divided critical verdict (and should not be confused with commercial verdict at all) , which is rather distracting and uncomfortable as far as movie watching experience is concerned. Also, web platforms is becoming the new normal for multiple strong niche films, which is a welcome trend as they don’t get lost due to a lack of infrastructural support to promote and run their films in theatres.

The next part of the year has some interesting films lined up, and we hope that we will have much to add as we look back at the year in December end. Meanwhile, here is a high-level listing what stood out for the year so far, based on the films I watched (and I do not watch all films, so there is an auto filter of sorts for most of the bottom half anyway). As always, the detailed analysis will happen in the year end retrospectives.


  1. Gully Boy
  2. Soni
  3. Article 15
  4. Photograph
  5. Hamid

Honorable Mentions: Sonchiriya, Yours Truly, Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

Disappointments: Manikarnika, Kalank, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga



  1. Zoya AkhtarGully Boy
  2. Ritesh BatraPhotograph
  3. Anubhav SinhaArticle 15
  4. Ivan Iyer Soni
  5. Vasan BalaMard ko Dard Nahi Hota

Honorable Mentions: Aijaz Khan (Hamid)

Disappointments: Kangana Ranaut and Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Manikarnika), Abhishek Verman (Kalank)



  1. Ranveer SinghGully Boy
  2. Ayushmann Khurrana Article 15
  3. Sushant Singh Rajput Sonchiriya
  4. Talha Arshad ReshiHamid
  5. Nawazuddin SiddiquiPhotograph

Honorable Mentions: Om Kanojiya (Mere Pyaare Prime Minister), Jim Sarbh (Teen Aur Aadha)

Disappointments: Amitabh Bachchan (Badla), Manav Kaul (Music Teacher)



  1. Sanya MalhotraPhotograph
  2. Saloni Batra Soni
  3. Geetika Vidya Ohlyan Soni
  4. Bhumi PednekarSonchiriya
  5. Alia BhattGully Boy

Honorable Mentions: Soni Razdan (Yours Truly), Radhika Madan (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota), Zoya Hussain (Teen Aur Aadha)

Disappointments: Kangana Ranaut (Manikarnika), Sonam Kapoor (Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga), Alia Bhatt (Kalank), Taapsee Pannu (Badla)



  1. Vijay VermaGully Boy
  2. Ranveer Shorey Sonchiriya
  3. Kumud Mishra Article 15
  4. Siddhant Chaturverdi Gully Boy
  5. Mahesh ManjrekarMard Ko Dard Nahi Hota
  6. Vijay RaazGully Boy

Honorable Mentions: Gulshan Devaiah (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota), Pankaj Tripathi (Yours Truly), Manoj Pahwa (Article 15), Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub (Article 15), Manoj Bajpayee (Sonchiriya), Aditya Roy Kapur (Kalank)

Disappointments: Sanjay Dutt (Kalank), Tony Luke (Badla), Paresh Rawal (Uri: The Surgical Strike)



  1. Rasika DugalHamid
  2. Amruta Subhash Gully Boy
  3. Sumbul Touqeer Article 15
  4. Sayani Gupta Article 15
  5. Farrukh JafferPhotograph

Honorable Mentions: Amrita Singh (Badla), Geetanjali Kulkarni (Photograph), Ahana Kumra (Yours Truly), Divya Dutta (Music Teacher)

Disappointments: Madhuri Dixit (Kalank), Yami Gautam (Uri: The Surgical Strike), Kirti Kulhari (Uri: The Surgical Strike), Ankita Lokhande (Manikarnika)



  1. Gully Boy
  2. Kabir Singh

Honorable Mentions: Kalank, Manikarnika, Music Teacher

Disappointments: Most of the films in terms of songs



  1. The Train SongGully Boy
  2. Yeh Aaina Kabir Singh
  3. Apna Time Aayega Gully Boy
  4. Doori Gully Boy
  5. Bekhayali Kabir Singh
  6. Ghar More PardesiaKalank
  7. Rajaji – Manikarnika
  8. Kaise HuyaKabir Singh
  9. Sambhal RakhiyaanMusic Teacher
  10. Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga – Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga

Honorable Mentions: Vijayi Bhava (Manikarnika), Jeene Me Aaye Maza (Gully Boy), Asli Hip Hop (Gully Boy), Jingostaan (Gully Boy), Pehla Pyaar (Kabir Singh), Sonchiraiyya (Sonchiriya)

Disappointments: Mostly forgettable


Next, we will look at Bangla Films of the year so far in another post soon. Till then, happy watching good cinema! And do share your thoughts on the year so far.


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Copyright ©2019 Jayashree Chakravarti. This article cannot be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL can be used instead.


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