filmaniac

Visaranai/2015/Tamil

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Vetrimaaran
Setting: Town/Suburban

Why FiC recommends?
1) Most of the films dealing with ‘abuse of power’ end up telling stories of some ‘larger than life’ characters or some magical turning points. Visaranai is not like that.
2) One of the best crime thrillers coming from India. It’s brutal, retains authenticity and plot twists are deep and disturbing.

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Gandu/2010/Bengali

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Qaushiq Mukherjee
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) It’s a quite daring take on the lonliness of a lost (not literally) young man. The biggest plus point is the film doesn’t hide any thoughts of the protagonist.
2) It dares not to sugarcoat the qualities of its protagonist – which is inherently common in most of the films. We see Gandu as he is.
3) The relationship (friendship?) between Gandu and Rickshaw is fascinating to watch.

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Udaan/2012/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Vikramaditya Motwane
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) Films about adolescence are always fascinating and some of them are equally melancholic. You tend to slip back in memories recalling those gone days.
2) This film has a magical pace and successfully brings in all type of right emotions. As it moves it starts adding more layers to it in terms of treatment of both story-line and characters. Any comment on its climax would be a spoiler.

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Miss Lovely/2012/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Ashim Ahluwalia
Setting: Urban/Suburban
Why FiC recommends?
1) It has style. It has to have because the movie is about a 70s/80s Indian C-grade filmmaker. Without style and that differentiating confidence they couldn’t have run that industry.
2) It has that haunting pace which constantly grabs you in and pushes you out at times, still you’ll tend to stick to it. The costume design and setting of filmsetting look very authentic.
3) Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Anil George’s hard hitting performance in this film is a treat to watch!

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Aligarh/2015/Hindi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Hansal Mehta
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) I don’t know why but most of the LGBT related films are made poetic. And Aligarh is not an exception. Yet this is an important movie considering it is made in India.
2) There is this constant tenderness throughout this film and it keeps on injecting a kind of sorrow into the viewers. If this is not a win, what else is?
Trivia: Lead actor Manoj Bajpayee told in a podcast (Audible Suno): “Yes I didn’t win any award for the film, but if award functions- including national awards, don’t care about their reputations, I won’t mind if I don’t win any award in my lifetime”

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Haraamkhor/2017/Hindi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Shlok Sharma
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) Very very hard-hitting film which revolves around a secret relationship between a school teacher and his student. It’s not an easy watch as the story starts taking creepy twists as it moves forward. (and what a climax!)
2) Intense performance by both Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shweta Tripathi.

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Gantumoote/2019/Kannada

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Roopa Rao
Setting: Town/School
Why FiC recommends?
1) High-school love stories are always fascinating for the purity it holds and those curious minds of that age bracket.
2) This film is very calm, soothing and not very easy throughout. Where there is love there’s pain too!
Note: ‘Gantumoote’ means ‘Baggage’

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S*** Durga/2017/ Malayalam

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan
Setting: Road/Moving Vehicle/Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) This film gives a tight slap to the patriarchal society which claims to worship Goddesses.
2) The making is one of its kind and as the movie progresses it becomes hard to digest because it’s so hard-hitting in what it tries to convey!
3) The whole movie was shot in one night and without a written script.
Note: The movie isn’t released in India because the Govt has put a ban on it.

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Kanasembo Kudureyaneri/2010/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Girish Kasaravalli
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) It’s a very diligent adaptation of on one of the highly acclaimed story by Amaresh Nudgoni.
2) The story set up in a village is mysterious and revolves around a gravedigger.
3) It challenges the audience to question regarding the connection between ‘faith’ and ‘life’.
Note: ‘Kanasembo Kudureyaneri’ means ‘Riding a Stallion of a Dream’

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Photograph/2019/Hindi

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Ritesh Batra
Setting: Urban
Why FiC recommends?
1) A love story that will remain with for a long time.
2) This movie has the ability to grow on you as it progresses. Slow, steady and poetic.
3) Extra-ordinary climax.

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Supermen of Malegaon /2008/Hindi,Marathi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Faiza Ahmad Khan
Setting: Small Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) Aspirations don’t have any pre-conditions where it should arise from. A man from a small town wants to make movies and he makes it. He re-creates none other than ‘Superman’! He with his team runs a local movie industry.
2) It starts off as a funny take on the efforts by these amateur filmmakers, but slowly it starts growing on you and by the time it reaches the end you’ll be moved!

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Autohead/2016/Hindi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Rohit Mittal
Setting: Urban/Suburban
Why FiC recommends?
1) Deepak Sampat’s performance in this flick as a ‘disturbed-mind’ is simply incomparable!
2) The trick that movie uses onto audience in it’s format & techniques is brilliant. It’s one of the rare indie masterpiece coming out of India.

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Love And Shukla/2017/Hindi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Siddartha Jatla
Setting: Urban
Why FiC recommends?
1) These cities look so huge. They’re huge, but is it really capable of giving enough space to all its inhabitants to live a dignified life?
2) Stellar performance by all the actors make you feel for the characters.

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Aamis/2019/Assamese

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Bhaskar Hazarika
Setting: Town
Why FiC recommends?
1) To say this is something ‘new’ would be an understatement. Even a single hint would act as a ‘spoiler’!
2) Sometimes we know who we are, deep down. But it dies because there’s nothing for it to cling to. This movie attempts something around it!
Note: Knowingly not tagging the category ‘horror’ to it!

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Court/2014/Marathi,Hindi

FiC Rating: 4.5/5
Dir: Chaitanya Tamhane
Setting: Urban/Suburban
Why FiC recommends?
1) So slow and real that it makes you restless. If you like slow-phased ultra-realistic movies this is your thing!
2) A mirror to the Indian judicial system – almost the way it is, if not exactly!

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Ee.Ma.Yau (R.I.P)/2018/Malayalam

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Lijo Jose Pellissery
Setting: Countryside/Village
Why FiC recommends?
1) This film is about death, and how?! Cinematic, Satirical, Dramatic and Emotional!
2) The whole act and the movie setting is so simple and realistic that you’ll become part of it.

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Nathicharami/2018/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Manso Re
Setting: Urban
Why FiC recommends?
1) A subtle yet solid take on a widow’s sexuality and the way she deals with eyes of the public around her.

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Asha Jaoar Majhe/2014/Bengali

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Setting: Urban/Suburban
Why FiC recommends?
1) This film is a poem without a single word uttered.
2) It’s minimal approach brings in so many thoughts to mind- true love, urban survival, loneliness and much more.

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Varthamana/2018/Kannada

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Umesh Amshi
Setting: Urban/Not-specified
Why FiC recommends?
1) A rare attempt in Indian cinema to bring ‘weirdism’ on the screen. (David) Lynchian style evident at places.
2) Treat for people who enjoy ‘dreamlike’ sequences.

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Kaul 2016

Kaul/2016/Marathi

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Aadish Keluskar
Setting: Countryside/Village
Why FiC recommends?
1) The concept of ‘nihilism’ is explored in this film so mysteriously that it gives you chills every now and then.
2) Poetic, Mysterious, Experimental and what not!

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To Let

To Let/2019/Tamil

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Chezhiyan
Setting: Urban/Suburban
Why FiC recommends?
1) This film is a lesson on how a small cast film & minimalistic can movie can be made.
2) Addresses an important ‘urban trap’ issue in a very believable manner.

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Thithi/2018/Kannada

FiC Rating: 5/5
Dir: Raam Reddy
Setting: Countryside/Village
Why FiC recommends?
(1) Non-actors fill in lot of authenticity
(2) Humor-filled and captivating storyline. By end of the film you’ll be a part of their life and you start feeling for them.

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