Here is the list of movies I felt worthy of my time and money in 2019. I have included only those I watched, and there might be many good ones left out. The list is in the order of their release dates and this doesn’t mean the ranking. I am not a movie critique.
Petta(Tamil): Rajinikanth, Vijay Sethupathi and Nawazuddin Siddique. That looked like a deadly combination, but disappointing to the arthouse lovers of Karthik Subbaraj. Nonetheless, we got Ranjinified after a long time.
Uri: The surgical strike(Hindi): How to cash in the sentiment? Patriotism and business go hand in hand in today’s world. However, the Indian in me was satisfied after watching this movie. The josh was too high to handle.
Peranbu(Tamil/Malayalam): A sincere attempt to define the relationships between people. The defining moment of the movie is where the father(Mammotty), getting cheated, pardons the lady(Anjali) and her husband for their betrayal of trust, when he realized they did this for the benefit of their child. With a transgender partner to take care of a mentally disturbed child, the movie slaps us with the harsh truth that only misfits in the society have to take care of each other, while ordinary people ignore them. The resurrection in the end indeed is the sign of the dawning purpose of life in the minds after realizing the true self.
Gully boy(Hindi): I didn’t understand a bit of Hindi in its rap lyrics. But I felt the movie.
Super Deluxe(Tamil): Cruel film making to reach perfection. Vijay Sethupathi, Samantha, Ramya Krishnan, and the kid. This movie is the definition of perfection. Though I was confused about what the director tried to convey through this anthology, it was so lovely to watch the performances of everyone competing to outperform each other. A spectacular movie to remember for a long time.
The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises: I was lucky to witness Nolan’s magic again during the special screenings in IMAX theaters in Chennai. Much is already said about these movies.
Jersey(Telugu): A decent movie depicting the emotional conflicts faced by a father. All the struggles in life are for only a few particular moments, and Jersey portrayed it sincerely and emotionally.
John Wick 3 (English): Fight, gun, horse, pencil, knife and lots of blood. Do not dare to touch the dog of Baba Yaga.
Virus(Malayalam): Felt like a documentary, although authentic in the depiction of facts as such. There were excellent performances without overdramatization.
Jiivi(Tamil): This kind of moviemakers should be given more PR to honour their talent, honesty and sincerity in film making. The concept of Karma, what goes around comes around, is flawlessly narrated with an extraordinary story.
Once upon a time in Hollywood(English): It is Leonardo Di Caprio, and I will include all of his movies in my list, and don’t care whether they are good or bad. Whether it is an obsession for Quentin Tarantino’s type of film making or something else, this movie is not close to the levels of my favourite, Inglorious Bastards.
Otha Seruppu, Size 7: It’s magic. No words.
Joker(English): Movie of the year for world cinema.
Asuran(Tamil): Movie of the year for (commercial) Tamil cinema.
Jallikattu(Malayalam): Not sure whether to appreciate the intent of the movie makers. What did they try to say? There is no difference between a human and an animal, especially when it comes to hunger and money. The message is not clear. But I have to include this on the list only because it gave me fantastic experience in the theatre with Dolby Atmos.
Kaithi(Tamil): A script will make or break a movie, as well as the experience of the audience. This movie is a lesson to future filmmakers on how to make a movie on a single plotline. The Biriyani scene is wow. Was he having an orgasm while eating Biriyani? Who knows?
Game of Thrones(English, HBO-Hotstar): The winter never came. My stupidity had no bounds this summer when I forced myself to work from home on Mondays to watch this stupid finale of an otherwise grand series. My review
Fleabag(S2, English, BBC – Amazon Prime): Outrageously funny woman with misunderstood friends and family falls in love with a hot priest. In the context of relationships and women’s choice of independent living, it strikes the chord with today’s modern metropolitan women. Enjoyable watch.
The Irishman(English-Netflix): Wine tastes good as it gets old. Everything we expect from a gangster movie, especially when the director is Martin Scorsese, is guaranteed. It seriously makes us ponder over the things we might leave after our death. Although art sans through cultures, I would have appreciated this movie much if I had brought up in American culture, because of the several cultural and social references to US.
Other notable mentions: Thadam, Avengers End Game, Magamuni, Ready or Not, Young Sheldon (Season 3), Frozen 2 and Kaalidas.
Movies which made me think that I wasted my time and money watching them are Bigil(Tamil), Lucifer(Malayalam), Maharshi(Telugu), and Captain Marvel.