2022: The year that came with hope and fear. The hope of normalization post the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear of the disease spreading further.
It also brought along a plethora of films alongside the #BoycottBollywood campaigns. Well, honestly, I feel 2022 was a lot better in terms of content-oriented Hindi films than 2021.
Also, several exciting and high on VFX movies became the talk of the town. In the debate over the best films of 2022, I also thought of putting my opinion on the table.
After all, the time and money I spent on entertainment should be utilized till the last penny. And when the product turns out to be worth your bucks, you should keep a taste of it for a long time.
I know we are two different people, and it is likely that you may not agree with my top ten Hindi films of the year.
And I totally understand that you are a much better movie buff than me, with a sharper eye for details. So, don’t hesitate to leave your list of top Hindi films in the comments section.
As curtains fall on another year, let’s welcome different opinions and further our respect for each other.
How have I crafted this list?
The most trivial yet essential factor is that I must have watched the film. I haven’t done a Google search or paraphrased any other article on similar lines just for the sake of it.
Secondly, original ideas are given priority. So, you will find remakes ranking lower.
Third, the theatrical ambiance has been kept in mind.
And fourth, it is based on my overall understanding of cinema, which can be poles apart from yours.
Never judge a film by the stars it receives, specifically on IMDb.Yours Truly
10. Drishyam 2
Director: Abhishek Pathak
Lead Actors: Ajay Devgn and Tabu
This might surprise many, and I completely get your rising aggression. However, since it is based on another film, the factor of originality has made an impact.
Coming to the movie, Drishyam 2 was arguably among the best mystery thrillers of 2022, according to popular opinion.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t catch its first-day-first-show, and hence, I didn’t review it. But, just like you, my connection with Drishyam goes all the way back to its first part.
As far as I remember, I watched it in Delhi’s Rohini with two of my college friends. Six years later, when the second part came in the original language, one of them called and insisted I watch the Telugu version.
“Why?” I asked to which she excitingly said, “the last fifteen minutes of the film are mind-boggling.”
Still, I didn’t watch it. I waited for Ajay Devgn’s Hindi version to shower me with surprises. And, while in the theater, I had high hopes from the movie, precisely the last fifteen minutes.
And as they say, expectations hurt.
Drishyam 2 had the suspense, mystery, slow-burning plot, and, most importantly, climax in its favor to push it to the tenth position.
However, I couldn’t digest the treatment meted out to Akshaye Khanna’s character, among a couple of other things.
Maybe, I should have listened to my friend and watched the Telugu version instead. Nevertheless, Drishyam 2 (Hindi) is number ten on my list of 2022’s best Hindi flicks because it was unoriginal and a tad short on expectations.
9. Monica, O My Darling
Director: Vasan Bala
Lead Actors: Huma Qureshi and Rajkummar Rao
A dark comedy settles at the ninth position. The genre is not very popular in India, and I can only remember last year’s LUDO when thinking of recent Hindi dark comedies.
Halfway through Monica, O My Darling, I thought, why would Vasan Bala make a predictable film? And that’s when he barraged me with some unexpected twists and turns.
Monica, O My Darling was an adaptation of the Japanese novel Burutasu No Shinzou by Keigo Higashino.
Also Read: Monica, O My Darling Movie Review
It had suspense, mystery, and, above all, humor, taken forward by its astounding cast, including Rajkummar Rao and Huma Qureshi.
The film’s screenplay was a little shabby but was balanced by the intriguing plot. It made me laugh and raise my eyebrows at the same time.
And what about that introductory scene of Radhika Apte’s character? She was sublime, and I am sure you would agree.
The movie is available to stream on Netflix.
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Lead Actors: Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati
Had Dobaaraa been an original Hindi film, I wouldn’t have thought twice before putting it on top of my list. The movie had me sing its praises in my tiny friend circle.
I was so amused after walking out of the cinema hall that I, literally, asked people to watch Dobaaraa if they had money to spend on entertainment.
Based on the Spanish movie Mirage, Dobaaraa was India’s first cinematic time-travel film with a layered screenplay.
A pacy plot, several hair-raising moments, and thrill in ample quantity were some of the notable features of the Anurag Kashyap directorial.
Also Read: Dobaaraa Movie Review
Furthermore, the big screen experience of Dobaaraa was far superior to many of the recently released thrillers.
Though there were many astonishing scenes in the film, the standout for me was the time-lapse of the Hospital construction. It compelled me to the core.
I know it deserves a higher place in my top ten Hindi films of 2022, but the unoriginal idea keeps me from doing so.
Dobaaraa is now streaming on Netflix.
7. Doctor G
Director: Anubhuti Kashyap
Lead Actors: Ayushmann Khurrana and Rakul Preet
Riding on Ayushmann Khurrana’s shoulders, Doctor G released in theaters in October 2022. It received mixed reviews from critics, something not usual for a Khurrana film.
However, in my books, it will go down among the top ten Hindi films of 2022. And I have my reasons. Firstly, Doctor G is about a male Gynecologist, a profession considered taboo for males in India.
Secondly, it has a progressive plot ditching the traditional idea of friendship and romance, which for me, was the stand-out thing in Doctor G.
Also, it was humorous and crisp in duration, ensuring the absence of dullness. Ayushmann’s choice of films has been appreciated by the people at large, mostly.
Also Read: Doctor G Movie Review
If it was this good? Why did it not work as expected at the ticket windows?
I think Doctor G suffered financially because it was not backed by roaring promotions. Many didn’t even know that it had been released in theaters.
Another reason for its laid-back performance was the clash at the ticket windows with two other films. Doctor G released alongside Kantara and Code Name: Tiranga.
Since Kantara’s Kannada version was already a huge success, it trumped both the Hindi films on their turf.
Doctor G is now streaming on Netflix.
Director: Anvitaa Dutt
Lead Actors: Triptii Dimri and Babil Khan
A Netflix film, Qala didn’t have popular names attached to it. I am not sure if it had any pre-release buzz, but I was introduced to the movie by Netflix’s New and Popular tab.
Qala marked the debut of Irrfan Khan’s son, Babil Khan. It was a musical story of passion, guilt, success, and downfall.
The makers executed the psychological hindrances brilliantly, and though I am not a fan of period films, Qala often left me stunned.
Also Read: Qala Movie Review
Moreover, its music was outstanding, helmed by Amit Trivedi. Triptii Dimri and Babil Khan’s display of internal trepidations added fuel to the musical narration.
Qala had a solid conceptual base, and the movie never failed to present mental health issues effectively.
I also liked how Qala’s interactions with Jagan were documented in the film. They were quiet yet engrossing, and don’t forget the ancient Indian setup, especially the music studio.
Director: Suresh Triveni
Lead Actors: Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah
In my review, I called Jalsa a rare class of filmmaking. The setup of the movie was so authentic that it never felt fictional to me. Of course, we can have different opinions on it.
Jalsa was significantly boosted by the presence of actors like Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah. Their splendidly soothing performance was nothing short of a treat for viewers.
Also Read: Jalsa Movie Review
The plot revolved around the accident of an eighteen-year-old girl. However, the makers did not explore the idea in an investigative manner.
Instead, they chose a different perspective, one that is not popular in Indian cinema.
Furthermore, the idea and plot were propelled by invigorating background music. All of them together made Jalsa’s climax one for the ages.
I wonder what impact the film would have had if it had been released in cinema halls.
You can stream Jalsa on Amazon Prime Video.
4. Gangubai Kathiawadi
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Lead Actor: Alia Bhatt
The legend of Ganga Harjeevandas (Kathiawadi) still lives among the people of Kamathipura. Gangubai Kathiawadi was based on a chapter from S Hussain Zaidi’s book, Mafia Queens of Mumbai, and depicted the life of Ganga, famously known as Gangubai Kathiawadi.
The film was released in February 2022, when theaters were running at limited capacities, and still managed to earn over a hundred crores at the Indian box office.
Obviously, that’s not a metric to judge the movie’s efficacy.
Like most of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s creations, Gangubai Kathiawadi was also embroiled in controversies, with several court cases filed against it.
Also Read: Gangubai Kathiawadi Movie Review
However, all the speculations about the film deriding the personality of Gangubai came to a standstill when it was released.
Gangubai Kathiawadi was an inspiring film that contested the prejudice women from the brothel community are subjected to.
How Alia Bhatt transformed from one stage to the other in the movie had me amazed. She proved everyone wrong who questioned her casting for the role.
Though the film’s music was a setback, it shone brightly because of the extraordinary script at hand, the dialogues, and the grandeur.
You can watch Gangubai Kathiawadi on Netflix.
Director: Shakun Batra
Lead Actors: Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi
The elegance of Deepika Padukone and the cunningness of Siddhant Chaturvedi were the highlights of Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan.
A modern-day take on romance and relationships, Gehraiyaan was a silent storm, thanks to its background score.
The film catered to a niche audience and was set in a posh environment, flashing the use of English and a luxurious lifestyle.
You must be thinking, why is it at number three, ahead of Gangubai Kathiawadi? The reason is simple. Gehraiyaan had several shades in its storyline.
Also Read: Gehraiyaan Review
It was dark, mysterious, and yet, romantic. The film’s music still slays my playlist (although my Amazon and YouTube subscriptions have expired).
Furthermore, the character sketches of Zain and Alisha were intricate, helped by the supreme chemistry between Padukone and Chaturvedi.
Above all, I liked the depth of Gehraiyaan’s tale, and, of course, the climax was well handled. You can watch the film on Amazon Prime Video.
Director: Ayan Mukerji
Lead Actors: Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt
If you have already started doubting my movie analysis abilities, here’s another film that might strengthen your perception.
I agree Brahmastra wasn’t a perfect film; it was far from it. Specifically for two reasons: one, the writing, and two, the ignorance of Alia Bhatt’s acting capabilities.
However, what we expect from any film while walking into the theater is Entertainment and Zero boredom, regardless of the genre.
Also Read: Brahmastra Movie Review
I hadn’t slept for 25 hours, including a five-hour road journey, when I entered the cinema hall for the 9 AM show of Brahmastra. And it didn’t disappoint. There was no dreariness in the plot. Not for a minute did I feel sleepy.
You must be asking why I have put it in the second position? Well, because the VFX of Brahmastra is incomparable to any Indian film to date.
Also, the concept of Astraverse was unique, giving it a plus point in originality. Add to it the thrilling climax of Brahmastra, and you have your answer.
Movies like Brahmastra are meant to be judged based on the experience inside the theater. You cannot pass a verdict after streaming it at home. Why? Because the original 3D setting is gone, hampering the biggest strength of Brahmastra.
1. Badhaai Do
Director: Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Lead Actors: Bhumi Pednekar and Rajkummar Rao
Ideas that question mindsets through a driven plot are my favorite. While Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan dug deeper into same-sex relationships in India, Badhaai Do smartly carried the baton forward.
LGBTQ+ is a topic the majority of Indians tend to avoid. We don’t even let two people of different genders celebrate Valentine’s Day. Why on earth would we allow a same-sex couple to live together?
And then come the creative minds who find a way to serve a vital message draped in entertainment. That’s precisely why Badhaai Do is the best film of 2022, in my opinion.
It doesn’t force you to change your definition of love; the movie simply brings a love story, in fact, two of them, to you. Love is about acceptance and moving ahead from the plaguing distinctions of us versus them.
The “Do” in its title has several meanings, and the popularly understood one is “give.” When read together, the two words in the film’s name might mean “Offer Greetings” or “Congratulate them.”
Some people said that “do” was used in the title because the movie was the second installment of the 2018 film Badhaai Ho.
However, the plot of Badhaai Do puts all speculations to rest. Here, the story doesn’t revolve around a gay couple or a lesbian duo; it revolves around a gay couple and a lesbian duo.
Therefore, my imaginative self tells me that “do” meant “two,” i.e., the story of two couples facing similar hurdles.
A large number of people might have missed watching Badhaai Do in theaters due to Covid-19-related restrictions.
You can stream the film on Netflix at your convenience.
Well, that was about it from my side. You might want to question my choices, but having watched over half of the films released in 2022 in the theater and almost all of them at home, those were my top ten Hindi films.
Feel free to drop your list in the comments section.