To read the first part of my year end post series, go here.
Inside Out – There was so much intelligence in the story and so much heart in the execution that it would be an understatement to say I loved this movie. The best animated English movie of the year for me. Also, who else was obsessed with the “Lava” short that aired before the movie? The Lava song has been playing in our house for a while now and occasionally I catch Sid humming along – that is always a good sign!
Ex-Machina – I was very sceptical before we saw the movie primarily because the whole “robots + AI = End of Humans” plot has been rehashed so many times that finding novelty in these movies is not easy. However, not only did Ex-Machina break new ground, it also featured possibly my most favourite dance of the year (Ok, tied jointly with Drake’s Hotline Bling). Alicia Vikander was brilliant in her portrayal and the movie left me feeling slightly scary about the amount of technology we have surrounded ourselves with.
Jurassic World – An actress who could rival Bolt whilst running in heels , dinosaurs you can root for and Chris Pratt. Enough said!
Spy – I just realized that there are very few good comedies I have seen over the past few years. And I can watch anything from Woody Allen to Kevin Hart. So, imagine my joy when I saw Spy. I laughed so hard during some scenes that Sid had to literally hold me from falling off the seat. Melissa McCarthy’s Susan Cooper was funny yet endearing and her chemistry, especially with Rose Byrne produced some of the most laugh out loud moments of the movie.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – I have developed a bit of a soft spot for Tom Cruise movies recently. Partly, thanks to my action movie loving husband and partly because his movies are actually quite good even if you discount the daredevilry and stunts.
(Movies that I also liked but not as much as some others did)
Bridge of Spies – Now, I need to throw it out there that I love Tom Hanks as much as everybody else – he is niceness personified, but excuse me for leaving the theatre a bit disappointed after watching the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. This was a Spielberg movie and had potential to be so much more. Yet, it became a really good (but not great) spy drama. I wanted a bit more depth and a little less simplification.
The Martian – All the reviews I had read were praising this movie to the nines and it deserves most of that praise. However, I love science and a bit more of that would have elevated the movie for me. I understand that Interstellar suffered some backlash for having “too much physics” but this one had too little for me. I later read online that the movie stayed quite true to the book and hence some of the audience reactions were unfair, so I take some of my criticism back. Matt Damon was awesome though!
Black Mass – The best Johnny Depp movie I have seen in a very very very long time. Engaging and very Scorcese-like in some parts, I found myself invested in all the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – I really like all the actors in the cast – especially Mark Ruffalo and RDJ. The movie was a bit meh but the acting, as always, elevated the movie.
Baahubali – I have long maintained that S.S. Rajamouli is too talented for his movies to not have a wider audience. So I was very excited, yet nervous when Baahubali became this beast of a movie with nationwide release. I am glad that it was received so well because we need more movies with historical context that delve into our culture’s rich legacy. I am also glad I saw the movie in Telugu because it felt more authentic. I later saw the movie in Hindi when it was aired on TV and it did not feel the same. The dialogues were too contrived for my liking, so if you have the patience I would recommend watching it in Telugu (with subtitles).
Talvar – My favourite Hindi movie of the year. A tough story to tell, considering how recent it is in everyone’s memory. Props to the director for being unapologetic in taking the parents’ side because otherwise the movie would have no moral ground to centre itself on and would have played out more like a fact narrating session. Bollywood, please give Irrfan Khan more opportunities – he can single-handedly make a scene hundred times better.
Piku – When I first saw the movie, I loved it. Except for Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of a hypochondriac Bengali father. His accent felt off to me and his acting a bit forced at times. But, that was a minor gripe. On re watching the movie a couple of more times his performance did not grate on me so much. Deepika was the star of the movie with a brilliant performance to add to her already overflowing kitty of achievements. Her chemistry with Irrfan was another pleasant surprise.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan – I have a tough time with Salman Khan – both the actor and the person. For the most part, I do not enjoy his movies or acting but Bajrangi Bhaijaan was an exception. I liked the movie more for the novelty of its story, the wonderful child-actor Harshali and its broader message of niceness and kindness. I cringed at the climax but given the overall enjoyability of the film, I am going to let that pass. On a side note, why is Kareena not doing more films with better parts? She is way too talented to relegate herself to parts that do not do justice to her acting prowess.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha – While I could dwell on how refreshing it was to see a movie that celebrated its female protagonist’s weight in a realistic way, that would be diminishing the other important themes running parallel in this gem of a movie. From depicting a son’s struggle to stand up to his overbearing father to sportingly mocking the entire arranged marriage process, Dum Laga Ke Haisha stayed true to its roots – even when it broke into song by channelling the 90’s.
Tanu Weds Manu Returns – Imperfect yet entertaining, the second instalment of TMR introduced us to one of the most charming and lovable female characters in a while – Datto. I don’t think the movie would have been as good without her. Be prepared to be frustrated with unanswered questions as to the character’s actions and choices throughout the movie, but it is a good sign because it shows you are invested in the characters. Kangana Ranaut is unbelievably good.
Note: Lots of highly buzzed about movies such as Joy, Concussion, Room, Spotlight, The Danish Girl release in January in Singapore so this list is due for some editing in the near future. I have also not seen Court which is India’s official entry to the Oscars and Masaan.
This is going to be a very long list. Pardon me for not being decisive enough to narrow this down but I listen to music quite a bit – usually the more popular and mainstream music anyway, so I needed to give myself a free reign. The list is in no particular order.
- Hotline Bling – Drake
- Adele (no explanation needed)
- Let It Go and Hold Back The River – James Bay ( We i.e. Sid and I accidentally stumbled upon this artist and he quickly became a favourite)
- Want To Want Me – Jason Derulo
- Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
- Sugar – Maroon 5 (My love for Adam Levine just grows)
- Stitches – Shawn Mendes
- Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon (I can’t help but dance while listening to this song)
- Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor ft. John Legend
- Runnin’ – Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce (I am surprised this song and video did not become more popular)
- Worth It – Fifth Harmony ft. Kid Ink
- Biscuits and Dime Store Cowgirl- Kacey Musgraves (I had written in my Year End Post -2013, how much I liked Kacey Musgraves’ music.)
- Soundtrack of Piku
- Soundtrack of Tamasha (I especially loved the song Wat Wat Wat. The movie was a royal mess though)
- Chains and Jealous- Nick Jonas
- Photograph – Ed Sheeran
- On My Mind and Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
- Style and Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
- Lean On – Major Lazer and DJ Snake
In summation, I thought 2015 was a meh year for movies while the music was more entertaining. Let me know if there are any good movies or songs I missed out on watching.
Hope you are all getting on with your year end party planning and secret santa gift exchanges. I am off now to start writing about what made the headlines in 2015 and my three cents on it. Should be interesting.