From RRR to Gangubai Kathiawadi, best movies of 2022 so far

Halfway through 2022, we’ve seen movies brimming with a variety of rich genres and colorful characters. Films include unconventional badass female narratives, slice-of-life tales, and epic period films. From a few surprise hits to shocking rebuffs, here’s a list of our picks for the best movies of 2022 so far.

Gangubai Khatiawadi

Photo credit: YouTube screenshot

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s hard-hitting crime drama is set in 1960s Mumbai’s red-light district, Gangubai Kathiawadi follows the journey of its main character – a sex worker turned madam turned lawyer and activist Gangu (Alia Bhatt). The film is loosely based on a chapter in the book by Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges Mafia Queens of Mumbai. Cigarettes dangling from her lips, a bottle of alcohol held in her arms and dressed in a white sari with a large red one bindi meaning power, Alia Bhatt’s performance is anything but heroic and magnetic.

Suggested reading: Who was Gangubai Kathiawadi? The woman behind Alia Bhatt’s Next

Gehraiyaan

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Photo credit: Screenshot from the Gehraiyaan trailer

On the surface, Gehraiyaan seems like a disturbing relationship drama, but peel back its layers and it can come across as a power-driven thriller. Starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Pandey and Dhariya Karwa, the film explores the life of the quartet. Director Shakun Batra lays bare their insecurities, flaws and unresolved childhood traumas that result in desperation for a better life.

Padukone plays Alisha, a 30-year-old yoga teacher living with her boyfriend Karan (Karwa) in Mumbai. Feeling stuck in love and life, her six-year relationship with Karan grew rusty. Enter Tia (Pandey), her wealthy cousin, and her fiancé Zain (Chaturvedi), with their fanciful wedding plans and a fancier yacht. And Alisha’s life, already whispered to the breaking point, explodes.

Badhaai Do

Bad girl

Bhumi Pednekar in an image from Badhaai Do

At a time when Bollywood uses the trope of humor to deal with “serious matters”, especially when it comes to the portrayal of queer love in mainstream films, Badhaai Do does the same thing but with so much sensitivity. The humor here stings more than it laughs – a feat achieved mostly by its clever dialogue.

Rajkumaar Rao and Bhumi Pednekar play a couple bound by a lavender marriage, contracted as a marriage of convenience to conceal the socially stigmatized sexual orientation of one or both partners. As they settle into their cocoons of bliss – Suman finds love in Rimjhim (Chum Darang), while Shardul woos a lawyer (Gulshan Devaiah) – as the women in their family inspire them to become parents. Extremely sincere in its attempt to explore queer love in India, Badhaai Ho pulls you in with his gentle intentions even when he falters.

Sharmaji Namkeen

Best Indian Movies on OTT 2022

Still by Sharmaji Namkeen

Sharmaji Namkeen is certainly a tasty swansong for Rishi Kapoor, a sweet and innocent slice of life told in a simple way.

Kapoor, who plays the main character in Sharmaji Namkeendied on April 30, 2020. He shot several scenes for the film, but most remained incomplete, but writer-director Hitesh Bhatia and his team decided to take the film as is and complete it using another actor , Paresh Rawal.

While the film often switches between Kapoor and Rawal, the transition is smooth and never really feels absurd.

RRR

Jr NTR, Ram Charan in a photo by RRR

SS Rajamouli’s grandiose and maximalist epic is certainly the best film of 2022 with praise also pouring in from abroad. Set in 1920s India, the film stars Jr NTR as Bheem, a warrior and protector of the Gond tribe who comes to Delhi to rescue a young girl named Malli (Twinkle Sharma) after she is kidnapped by the Tyrannical British governor Scott Buxton (Ray Stevenson) and his wife Catherine (Alison Doody). When a regional official alerts the British to Bheem’s mission, Buxton enlists a volunteer, Officer A. Rama Raju (Ram Charan), to apprehend him in exchange for promotion within the ranks of the state police. . The two cross paths while rescuing a young boy from a train wreck and quickly develop a friendship not realizing they are actually adversaries.

Jersey

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A picture of Jersey

A remake of the 2019 Telugu film of the same name, Shahid Kapoor plays a cricketer from Chandigarh who makes the difficult decision to try out for the national team ten years after retiring, in hopes of winning a shirt for his son.

Love Hostel

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Sanya Malhotra in Love Hostel

Sanya Malhotra and Vikrant Massey play star-crossed lovers from different religions who run away and marry in secret, only to find themselves pursued by a relentless mercenary (played by Bobby Deol) who is determined to end their marriage.

Suggested reading: ‘Jalsa’ to ‘Cobalt Blue’: The Best OTT Movies You Need to Watch

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