There have been considerable numbers of good films that defined the class of Bollywood in the last decade. Many can argue over the topic that Bollywood mainly recreated some of the best action films from the South Indian industry, but that is not entirely true on a larger scale. Let’s look back on the time when Bollywood produced masterpieces like The Lunchbox or October. It is undeniable that mainstream Bollywood has succumbed to money and glory, which has affected the freedom of the narratives that the directors used to deliver, but there are still some films that gave us a moment of distinctive pleasure.
Let’s talk about some of the great films from the last decade when the 90s kids were mostly in serious relationships or going through hardcore breakups. From 2010 to 2020, the whole industry has seen the arrival of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and lots of other OTTs. 2010 can only smirk at the end of the decade when films are released not with a bang, but with a whisper, in these OTTs. The last decade brought together a lot of good Hindi films. Picking the best 10 out of them is a really hard task. We tried to mix up as many genres as possible.
Madras Café (2013)
One of the most prolific and thrilling films of all time made in Bollywood is “Madras Café.” Without any hesitation, this masterpiece from Shoojit Sircar has all the intensity a good thriller requires. John Abraham, through his limited acting skills, puts on a grand show that the audience can never forget. Inspired by real events, this film was a shred of substantial evidence that even Bollywood can bring a Korean-level thriller, which made the audience wonder.
Anurag Basu is known for being the perfect neighborhood storyteller who enjoys bringing out the exact sentiments, and that too, in a fascinating way. “Barfi,” in every aspect, is the one-of-a-kind movie of the last decade. The performance Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra put together was somewhat remarkable in the sense of melancholy in motion.
Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
One of the most discussed films from Bollywood to date is Anurag Kashyap’s “Gangs of Wasseypur.” This was a film made with the intention of hurting Bollywood and its heritage. From one maestro to another, this sequel is also known for some of its historic performances. Who wasn’t there? Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rajkumar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Pankaj Tripathi, and everyone put together a performance of the decade.
Vikramaditya Motwane is exceptionally well known for his talent for bringing an unorthodox story to its glory. “Lootera” was created out of deep love, and, at its core, there was the vibe of innate luster that helped it connect with a certain group of people. “Lootera” is probably the only film that puts everything so Indian in cultural prospect, yet has a sense of universal mindfulness. In many ways, it is one of those films that will always remain close to your heart.
“Highway,” directed by Imtiaz Ali, is a film that showcases the skills that Alia Bhatt possesses in the terms of method acting. The performance she put together made this narrative one of the top films of the last decade. The subtlety of the film is to take on the highway as the journey of our own existence. This film will help you motivate yourself in the dark times of your life. There are so many negative prospects, just like any normal day in our lives, yet the joy of being found by our most authentic selves is somewhat fascinating in the end.
Delhi Belly (2011)
Just like “Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Delhi Belly” turned out to be one of those films that put itself in a position of utmost influence on the audience. One of the songs from this film is already in the history books. This film tried to escape a lot of controversies, but failed to leave a mark due to its flawed screenplay. “Delhi Belly” followed and showcased some important political themes through its narrative style and technique. This film was an example of a perfectly imperfect film that everyone needs to see again and again to escape the havoc and submit to the chaos of a completely different kind.
Another masterpiece from the house of Imtiaz Ali was “Rockstar.” It was a performance of the decade by A.R. Rahman and Ranbir Kapoor. This film has a huge fan base. The narrative itself stands out the most. The way Imtiaz introduces “pain” to the audience is nothing but a pure escape from the suffocating social paradigm. Everyone can feel and understand the essence of the story as it speaks the uninterrupted truth all the way.
There are films that just happen once in a lifetime. “Masaan” is one of those kinds of films. This film, directed by Neeraj Ghyawan, brought justice to the newcomers to Bollywood. The film thematically searches for an eternal truth through its central protagonist who finally realizes the entire journey of a man amounts to nothing at all. It’s just ashes that are left after a man. However, what he or she does while he or she is still alive is what matters the most and the lives we touch through your actions is our only achievement as human beings. “Masaan,” in short, is a story of life and death in a way that was never experienced before.
Anurag Kashyap is always praised for “Gangs of Wasseypur” mostly. “Ugly” is one of those films that will give you all the negative vibes of society. This film denotes the existential crisis in us. Anurag Kashyap always brings out the worst in society and in us. This film, without a glimpse of doubt, is a mirror to the audience from which we can learn how pathetic we are, living in this society, proclaiming how good we are on the outside, yet mostly selfish and rotten on the inside.
Vishal Bharadwaj’s “Haider” is a mystery in terms of filmmaking. This film is poetry that travels through the layers of politics. Shahid Kapoor and Tabu brought together their best performances to date. There are stories that can make you cry, stories that can make you feel threatened, but then come out a few stories that speak to you. Stories that help you get comfortable with themselves and then punish you with the perfect flaw that you carry with you. Some stories haunt. “Haider” is one of them.
Apart from these, there are films like “Piku (2015),” “Aankhon Dekhi (2013),” “Udaan (2010),” “Newton (2017),” “Aligarh (2015),” “Shahid (2012),” “Kai Po Che (2013),” “Raazi (2018),” “Andhadhun (2018),” “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011),” “Dear Zindagi (2016),” “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013),” “Talvar (2015),” etc.