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The BEST 200 Indian Films of the Decade

By ASEEM CHHABRA
November 13, 2019 19:31 IST

Aseem Chhabra picks the finest Indian films in the 2010-2019 decade.

IMAGE: A scene from Bulbul Can Sing.

As the second decade of the young century comes to an end, it is time to look at how Indian cinema fared in the last 10 years.

The good news is there has been an explosion of fresh new voices working with different narratives and cinema techniques.

And these films are finding audiences across the country.

So it is quite possible now to watch Rima Das's Assamese film Bulbul Can Sing in a theatre in Delhi or Mumbai, showing on a prime time slot.

The range of streaming platforms have also created space for indie films to be reach the audience.

A couple of months ago, IndieWire came up a list of 100 Best Films of the Decade.

Unfortunately, the list did not include any Indian film, not even an obvious choice like Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox, which performed well at film festivals and also had an impressive theatrical life outside India.

I protested against the IndieWire list on Twitter saying it was unfair to ignore Indian cinema.

A friend Lorna Tee, who heads festival management at the International Film Festival and Awards, Macao, suggested that I should draw up a list of my favourite Indian films of the decade.

And this is it.

Since India produces films in many languages, I decided to cap the list at 200.

The list does not include some obvious big-ticket items that broke Indian box office records and theatrical successes outside the country as well.

But it does include popular mainstream films as well the real indies.

Nearly half of them are in the Hindi language.

But the list also covers films in other Indian languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Haryanvi, Konkani, Kashmiri, Tibetan, Manipuri, Sherdukpen, Garo, Tulu and Gaddi.

For each year, I have selected what I believe to one best film, and it is highlighted in bold.

# Title Language Director
1 Aadhukalam (Playground) Tamil Vetrimaaran
2 Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story) Bengali Kaushik Ganguly
3 Band Baaja Baaraat Hindi Maneesh Sharma
4 Daayen Ya Baayen Hindi Bela Negi
5 Dhobi Ghat Hindi Kiran Rao
6 Do Dooni Chaar Hindi Habib Faisal
7 Harud Hindi Aamir Bashir
8 Ishqiya Hindi Abhishek Chaubey
9 LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dhokha Hindi Dibakar Banerjee
10 Memories in March English Sanjoy Nag
11 Peepli (Live) Hindi Anusha Rizvi
12 Shemshook Hindi/ Tibetan Siddhartha Anand Kumar
13 Shor In The City Hindi Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru
14 The Japanese Wife Bengali Aparna Sen
15 Udaan Hindi Vikramditya Motawane

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Aaranya Kaandam Tamil Thiagarajan Kumararaja
2 Anhey Gorhey Da Daan (Alms For a Blind Horse) Punjabi Gurvinder Singh
3 Delhi Belly Hindi Abinay Deo, Akshat Verma
4 Deool Marathi Umesh Kulkarni
5 Gattu Hindi Rajan Khosa
6 I Am Hindi Onir
7 Inshallah Football Kashmiri/ Hindi Ashvin Kumar
8 Kshay Hindi Karan Gour
9 No One Killed Jessica Hindi Raj Kumar Gupta
10 Noukadubi Bengali Rituparno Ghosh
11 Shala Marathi Sujay Dahake
12 Sound of Heaven: The Story of Bal Gandharva Marathi Ravi Jadhav
13 You Don't Belong Bengali Spandan Banerjee

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 B.A. Pass Hindi Ajay Bahal
2 Chittagong Hindi Bedabrata Pain
3 Filmistan Hindi Nitin Kakkar
4 Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 Hindi Anurag Kashyap
5 Gulabi Gang Hindi Nishtha Jain
6 Hansa Hindi Manav Kaul
7 I.D. Hindi Kamal K.M.
8 Investment Marathi Ratnakar Matkari
9 Kahaani Hindi Sujoy Ghosh
10 Miss Lovely Hindi Ashim Ahluwalia
11 Paan Singh Tomar Hindi Tigmanshu Dhulia
12 Patang Hindi Prashant Bhargava
13 Peddlers Hindi Vasan Bala
14 Shahid Hindi Hansal Mehta
15 Shanghai Hindi Dibakar Banerjee
16 Ship of Theasus Hindi Anand Gandhi
17 Talaash Hindi Reema Kadgti

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 A Death in the Gunj Hindi Konkana Sen Sharma
2 An American in Madras Tamil/ English Karan Bali
3 Ankhon Dekhi Hindi Rajat Kapoor
4 Anumati Marathi Gajendra Ahire
5 Astu (So Be It) Marathi Sumitra Bhave, Sunil Sukthankar
6 D-Day Hindi Nikkhil Advani
7 Goynar Baksho Bengali Aparna Sen
8 Kai Po Che Hindi Abhishek Kapoor
9 Kanyaka Talkies (Virgin Talkies) Malayalam K.R. Manoj
10 Katiyabaaz Hindi Deepti Kakkar, Fahad Mustafa
11 Lootera Hindi Vikramditya Motawane
12 Monsoon Shootout Hindi Amit Kumar
13 Pune 52 Marathi Nikhil Mahajan
14 Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost Punjabi Anup Singh
15 Rangbhoomi Hindi Kamal Swaroop
16 Sulemani Keeda Hindi Amit Masurkar
17 The Lunchbox Hindi Ritesh Batra

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Asha Jaoar Majhe (Labour of Love) Bengali Aditya Vikram Sengupta
2 Chotoder Chobi (A Short Story) Bengali Kaushik Ganguly
3 Court Marathi Chaitanya Tamhane
4 Crossing Bridges Shertukpen Sange Dorjee Thongdok
5 Dedh Ishqiya Hindi Abhishek Chaubey
6 Fandry Marathi Nagraj Manjule
7 Haider Hindi Vishal Bhardwaj
8 Jigarthanda Tamil Karthik Subbaraj
9 Kaaka Muttai Tamil M.Manikandan
10 Killa Marathi Avinash Arun
11 Liar's Dice Hindi Geethu Mohandas
12 Placebo Hindi/ English Abhay Kumar
13 The Last Adieu Hindi Shabnam Sukhdev
14 Titli Hindi Kanu Behl
15 Ugly Hindi Anurag Kashyap

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 A Far Afternoon English Sruti Harihara Subramanian
2 Aligarh Hindi Hansal Mehta
3 Badlapur Hindi Shriram Raghavan
4 Bajirao Mastani Hindi Sanjay Leela Bhansali
5 Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) Punjabi Gurvinder Singh
6 Cities of Sleep Hindi Shaunak Sen
7 Detective Byomkesh Bakshy Hindi Dibakar Banerjee
8 Dil Dhadakne Do Hindi Zoya Akhtar
9 Dum Lagake Haisha Hindi Sharat Katariya
10 Elizabeth Ekadashi Marathi Paresh Mokashi
11 For The Love Of A Man Tamil Rinku Kalsy
12 G Kutta Se Haryanvi Rahul Dhaiya
13 Highway Ek Selfie Aarpar Marathi/ Hindi Umesh Kulkarni
14 Island City Hindi Ruchika Oberoi
15 Kadambari Bengali Suman Ghosh
16 Kothanodi Assamese Bhaskar Hazarika
17 Life in Metaphors: A Portrait of Girish Kasaravalli English O.P. Srivastava
18 Loev Hindi Sudhanshu Saria
19 Margarita, With a Straw Hindi Shonali Bose
20 Masaan Hindi Neeraj Ghaywan
21 Nachom-ia-Kompasar Konkani Bardroy Baretto
22 NH 10 Hindi Navdeep Singh
23 O Kadal Kanmani Tamil Mani Ratnam
24 Ozhivudivasate Kali (An Off-Day Game) Malayalam Sanal Sasidharan
25 Piku Hindi Shoojit Sircar
26 Talvar Hindi Meghna Gulzar
27 The Silence Marathi Gajendra Ahire
28 Thithi Kannada Raam Reddy
29 Visaaranai Tamil Vetrimaaran
30 White Nights Malayalam Razi Muhammed

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Hindi Karan Johar
2 An Insignificant Man Hindi Kushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla
3 Cinemawala Bengali Kaushik Ganguly
4 Colours of Innocence Bengali Manas Mukul Pal
5 Feluda 50 Years of Ray's Detective Bengali/ English Sagnik Chatterjee
6 Gurgaon Hindi Shanker Raman
7 Kaasav Marathi Sumitra Bhave, Sunil Sukthankar
8 Kaadu Oiikkunna Neram Malayalam Bijukumar Damodaran
9 Kammattipaadam Malayalam Rajeev Ravi
10 Kapoor & Sons Hindi Shakun Batra
11 Kuttrame Thandanai (Crime is Punishment) Tamil M. Manikandan
12 Lady of the Lake Manipuri Haobam Paban Kumar
13 Lathe Joshi Marathi Mangesh Joshi
14 Lipstick Under My Burkha Hindi Alankrita Shrivastava
15 Machines Hindi/ English Rahul Jain
16 Moh Maya Money Hindi Munish Bhardwaj
17 Mukti Bhawan Hindi Shubhashish Bhutiani
18 Ottayaal Paatha (The Narrow Path) Malayalam Satish & Santosh Babusenan
19 Pink Hindi Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
20 Sairat Marathi Nagraj Manjule
21 Shaheb Bibi Golaam Bengali Pratim Dasgupta
22 The Threshold Hindi Pushan Kriplani
23 Tope Bengali Budhadev Dasgupta
24 Trapped Hindi Vikramditya Motawane
25 Tu Hai Mera Sunday (You Are My Sunday) Hindi Milind Dhaimade
26 Udta Punjab Hindi Abhishek Chaubey
27 Wrong Side Raju Gujarati Mikhil Musale

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Anarkali of Aarah Hindi Avinash Das
2 Angamaly Diaries Malayalam Lijo Jose Pellissery
3 Bhasmasur Hindi Nishil Sheth
4 Juze Konkani Miransha Naik
5 Newton Hindi Amit Masurkar
6 Ottamuri Velicham Malayalam Rahul Riji Nair
7 Rukh Hindi Atanu Mukherjee
8 Sexy Durga Malayalam Sanal Sasidharan
9 Shreelancer Hindi Sandeep Mohan
10 Take Off Malayalam Mahesh Narayan
11 The Argumentative Indian Bengali/ English Suman Ghosh
12 The Summer of Miracles (Athisayangalude) Malayalam Prasanth Vijay
13 The Sound Man Mangesh Desai English/ Hindi Subash Sahoo
14 Thondimuthalum Driksakshuyum Malayalam Dileesh Pothan
15 Village Rockstars Assamese Rima Das

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Andhadhun Hindi Shriram Raghavan
2 Badhaai Ho Hindi Amit Sharma
3 Balekempa (The Bangle Seller) Kannada Ere Gowda
4 Bhavesh Joshi Superhero Hindi Vikramditya Motawane
5 Bhoga Khidkee (Broken Window) Assamese Jahnu Barua
6 Bhonsle Hindi Devashish Makhija
7 Bulbul Can Sing Assamese Rima Das
8 c/o Kancharapalem Telugu Maha Venkatesh
9 Dithee Marathi Sumitra Bhave
10 Ee. Ma. Yau Malayalam Lijo Jose Pellissery
11 Gali Gulieyan Hindi Dipesh Jain
12 Hamid Hindi Aijaz Khan
13 Kadakh Hindi Rajat Kapoor
14 KD Tamil Madhumita Sundararaman
15 Ma.Ama Garo Dominic Megam Sangma
16 Mahanati Telugu Nag Ashwin
17 Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Hindi Vasan Bala
18 Mayurakshi Bengali Atanu Ghosh
19 Mehsampur   Punjabi/ Hindi/ English Kabir Singh Chowdhry
20 Merku Thodarchi Malai (Western Ghats) Tamil Lenin Bharathi
21 Mulk Hindi Anubhav Sinha
22 Nude Marathi Ravi Jadhav
23 October Hindi Shoojit Sircar
24 Paddayi Tulu Abhaya Simha
25 Pariyerum Perumal Tamil Mari Selvaraj
26 Raazi Hindi Meghna Gulzar
27 Sir Hindi Rohena Gera
28 Sivaranjani and Two Other Women Tamil Vasanth S. Sai
29 The Gold-Laden Sheep & The Sacred Mountain Gaddi Ridham Janve
30 The Sweet Requiem Tibetan Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
31 To-Let Tamil Chezhiyan
32 Tumbaad Hindi Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad
33 Urojahaj Bengali Budhadev Dasgupta
34 Vada Chennai Tamil Vetrimaaran

 

 

# Title Language Director
1 Aamis Assamese Bhaskar Hazarika
2 Article 15 Hindi Anubhav Sinha
3 Bombay Rose Hindi Gijantali Rao
4 Cat Sticks Bengali Ronny Sen
5 Chippa Bengali Safdar Rahman
6 Chola (Shadow of Water) Malayalam Sanal Sasidharan
7 Gully Boy Hindi Zoya Akhtar
8 Jallikattu Malayalam Lijo Jose Pellissery
9 Kattumaram Tamil Swarnavel Eswaran
10 Kumbalangi Nights Malayalam Madhu C. Narayanan
11 Moothon Mala/ Hindi Geetu Mohandas
12 Noblemen English Vndana Kataria
13 Paani Marathi Adinath Kothare
14 Sonchiiriya Hindi Abhishek Chaubey
15 Soni Hindi Ivan Ayr
16 Super Deluxe Tamil Thiagarajan Kumararaja
17 Virus Malayalam Aashiq Abu
ASEEM CHHABRA
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