This year, we have had quite a few films that struck gold at the box office and then there were others that did not make much noise at the BO but earned critical acclaim. While there are more to come this month — only time will tell if they will be able to woo the audience or add to the list of bad and blah movies — hitlist catches up with a few directors, who tell us about their favourite films from here and beyond
Kangna Ranaut in 'Queen', which figures on the 'favourite' list of several directors and (inset) Anurag Basu
I liked 'Queen'. Kangna Ranaut was like sunshine in that film and it marked a new beginning in her career — it's rare to see such a performance. In the film fraternity, I think I am Vishal Bhardwaj's biggest fan. So, no doubt that I liked 'Dedh Ishqiya' (music by Bhardwaj) which had this amazing black humour, something that is uncommon in Bollywood. Haider addressed certain issues, which filmmakers ignore most of the time. It was bold but a very nice film.
Shraddha Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor in 'Haider' and (inset) Vikas Bahl
I really liked 'Haider'. Every time I see something that Vishal (Bhardwaj) creates, I think how incapable I am to make a film like that. It transports you to another world and then brings you back. I don't even know how to take Hamlet and place it in Kashmir. It was a beautifully created film.
Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt in 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania' and (inset) David Dhawan
I liked 'Queen' and 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania'. The first one had a fantastic story that showed the power of a woman and Kangna Ranaut seemed like such a natural! In 'Humpty…', there was great chemistry between Alia Bhatt and Varun (Dhawan's son). I enjoyed the film.
Sharib Hashmi in 'Filmistaan' and (inset) Mohit Suri
I loved 'Filmistaan'. I liked the simplicity with which the film has been made. It is a small, sweet film, which made me laugh as well as cry. I also called up Nitin Kakkar (writer-director), Sharib Hashmi (lead actor) and Inaamulhaq (actor-screenwriter) to congratulate them. I didn't know them, but I found out their numbers and called them up because I felt it was a really nice film. It shows the honesty with which the director wanted to make the film and he did it with confidence.
A still from 'Titli' and (inset) Anurag Kashyap
My favourites this year are 'Titli' (yet to be released) and 'Nightcrawler'. I liked them because of the fearlessness they display, the performances, writing and the director's grip on the story. In both cases, the director was the writer, too. But I have not seen a lot of films this year including 'Killa', 'Court' and 'Margarita, With A Straw' which I hear are great.
Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra in 'Hasee Toh Phasee' and (inset) Sujoy Ghosh
I just loved 'Hasee Toh Phasee'. After watching it, I felt really happy.
I haven't seen many Bollywood films in the last year but the one film which stands out is 'Queen'. I liked it because the director has not imposed his ego on the film. He has allowed the joy to come out and the actors to play out the joy.
I was so busy making my film this year that I didn't get time to watch a film. I have heard about a lot of good films and I will catch up on those soon.
The film that stood out for me is 'Killa' by Avinash Arun for its simplicity, honesty and performances. It captured a slice of life with a gentle touch and with great compassion.
A still from 'Gone Girl'
This year I had my own film 'Heropanti' releasing so I couldn't catch as many films as I would have liked to. But the films that stood out for me this year were 'Queen' for its simplicity that touches you, and 'Gone Girl' (Hollywood) for its complexity that rattles you.
I couldn't see many films as I was busy with mine. But I saw 'Gone Girl' and I really liked it. The brutal honesty that has been shown in a relationship made for a good watch. The music and direction were good, too. I saw the film twice and I think it's the winning film of the year.