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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RITUPARNO GHOSH – The RENNAISANCE man of Bengali Cinema

Rituparno Ghosh – I call him the RENNAISANCE man of Bengali Cinema.The world of Bangla cinema was almost on ventilation with Mrinal Sen and Ritwick Ghatak already taken a long hiatus; and even the mighty Ray had significantly reducing his work and finally left everyone bleak and dry in the year 1992. It had gotten marred by the meaningless ramblings of a certain P-C-TP trio of leading men, and equally disappointing Roys – D or S as the leading women. Content had died its natural death, the cinelovers had gone completely blank on anything positive in Bengali cinema, and the urban middle class had stopped going to the theatres to watch bangla films. It was at this time that Ritu’da (as he was lovingly called by all) brought in a fresh lease of life to the perishing industry.

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MASABA MASABA: Cool and Confident

Masaba Masaba is that chilled out show that Netflix had always promised through its tag line!

Experimental and edgy, lighthearted and liberated, funny and fresh, the show never thinks twice to make fun of the pompous and pretty world it sets itself in, and yet lends itself authenticity in the way it draws from such genuine moments of affection and care between the mother and the daughter.

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CHURAILS: Where Sassy Witches Dare

Subah ki kirnon ko roke jo salaakhein hain kahaan…
Jo khayalon pe pehre daale.. Woh aankhein hain kahaan…
Par khulne ki deri hain.. Parinde udd ke jhoomenge…
Aasman aasman aasman…..

It is fascinating how filmmaker Asim Abbasi‘s new ten part Pakistani web series on Zee5 called Churails borrows seamlessly from Amitabh Bhattacharya’s poetry to string together a montage of courage for a group of fearless women in Karachi; each of whom have lost so much in a journey to discover treacherous personal truths, unearth the ugliest secrets of their existence; but have eventually found peace with themselves. It is the common annhilating pain that has worked like a invincible bond between them to stand for each other, and give them the courage to fight for themselves and for a world of other suffering women around them brutalized systemically by a glitteringly perfect world of class, aristocracy and elegance.

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GUNJAN SAXENA: THE KARGIL GIRL – Soars High in the Sky

Early on in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl when young Gunjan tells her folks for the first time that she wants to be a pilot, Anup Saxena, an army officer by himself, and Gunjan’s father very subtly tells his condescending elder son Anshuman “Jab plane ko faraq nahi padta ki use kaun udaa raha hai, to tumhe kyon padta hai barkhurdar..”. It is one heck of a statement delivered with the sweetest calmness, and immediately sets the tone of writer director Sharan Sharma‘s debut film. Full credit to him that he maintains that even tonality and pace throughout the film, and delivers a highly satisfying cinematic experience with a beautiful emotional core and a strong message, that challenges the ingrained patriarchy of our homes, our societies and our workplaces on one hand, and strongly rebukes the generic template of jingoistic patriotism on the other.

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RAAT AKELI HAI : Solitary Shades of Darkness

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In Honey Trehan‘s debut feature film Raat Akeli Hai, a dysfunctional family, with a rich socio-political backing, is facing the mysterious murder of its patriarch on his wedding night. But that is not the only mystery that inspector Jatil Yadav, in charge of solving this case, is dealing with. There are at least five other deaths that we encounter as a part of the unfolding narrative over two timelines, that have their own flavors of murder, revenge or redemption; and there are more lives on the line who have been used, abused and exploited in their own ways.

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