I have watched many wonderful pieces of art in 2022 and I am listing below what I felt were the best.
While Disney and Marvel are still using the same old formula to churn out popcorn blockbusters, DC successfully managed to retain its dark atmosphere, although this time, it is even darker. DCs villains are as popular as it’s heroes. This Batman by Robert Pattinson served the hardcore dark underworld fans. It’s haunting score is on another level such that it pierces the eardrums of the audience. A different super hero movie, albeit in the philosophy of Nolan’s The Dark Knight.
I will be glued to the screen when there are single long tracking shots in a movie. Northman had such a beautifully choreographed and realistic fight sequences. An exile prince’s life and his struggle to exact revenge is an age-old story, but the twist and the high-quality film making made me to list this movie here. Even though not familiar with the Norse mythology, few cultural practices of Scandinavian people are really intriguing.
Top Gun: Maverik and Avatar – The Way of Water
Tom Cruise and Christopher Nolan are the only two modern blockbuster movie makers who had continuously put the CGI into the dustbin, and rather held the heavier IMAX cameras on their shoulders to show the audience the maximum images from beautiful locations. On the other hand, we have James Cameroon who is a pioneer in using CGI to give us breath taking visual experiences. I must include Top Gun and Avatar 2 here because of the best experiences I had watching them in 70mm real IMAX screens.
All Quiet on the Western Front, Munich: The Edge of War and Operation Mincemeat
War is my favourite genre in movies, and more particularly any movie with world war, cold war and modern war backdrops will pull me towards the theatre. I learned a lot from the history of wars across the world. Diplomacy, International relations and trade, involvement of religion and culture, business interests and a hell lot of things about survival, leadership and human relations. These are the three movies on my favourite list of 2022 in war genre. All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues), was brutal in hitting the conscience of the audience, whereas Munich: The edge of war, and Operation Mincemeat were thrilling in their portrayal of the politics, conspiracies, intentions and strategies of leaders during the times of war.
God’s crooked Lines (Los renglones torcidos de Dios)
This Spanish psychological thriller is best in recent times. The final act is sharp enough to stir up the Hornet’s nest of truth.
Cate Blanchett is one of the finest actresses of her generation. I just went there to watch her, and she didn’t disappoint me. Besides her stellar performance, this movie is equally powerful in its craft by showing the rise and fall of a conductor, how careful should we be with our words in public and how damaging social media can make or break a career of a person.
Peaky Blinders (S6) and House of Dragon (S1)
I can’t afford time to sit and watch any series. But Peaky Blinders is the stylist gangster saga that made me to allocate the precious time. I love British dramas and prefer them at any given day of leisure. Thomas Shelby has had different layers of character being peeled off and exposed every season. Birmingham boys had once again cracked the hegemony in TV. House of Dragon with entire British cast didn’t disappoint the audience this time. Like Game of Thrones, House of Dragon retained the aura, score and brutality of power hunger.
I am curious to wait and watch how Lokesh Kangaraj would shape his career. This gentleman got the secret of a recipe to feed the action movie lovers. The swag of Kamal Haasan as Vikram was whistle worthy at many moments.
Vendhu Thanindhadu Kaadu
Gowtham Menon has unlearnt many of his skills. After Mani Ratnam and Shankar, he is the only director who successfully utilized the potential of AR Rahman. STR on the other hand was terrific in this movie. Although this is a rise of a gangster in the likes of Nayakan, God Father and KGF, it had a Gowtham Menon touch. The Mallipoo song in the movie is the best in recent times.
I am not a big fan of love stories and family dramas, but below four movies were the best. While the first two had me rolling on the floor, the next two had tears rolling down my cheeks.
Love Today and Jaya Jaya Jaya Jayahe
Tamil and Malayalam movies are the best in India when it comes to making a movie with proper mix of entertainment and sensibilities with astounding technical skills. These two movies are the best portrayal of sensibilities in relationships in 2022. While Love Today has the funniest scenarios of modern relationships, JayaJayaJayahe showed the still existing patriarchal ideologies in Indian marriages, much like last year’s The Great Indian Kitchen. And the Mamakutty mix has a special place in my play list.
Virata Parvam and Sita Ramam
A woman who leaves everything behind to be with her man are found rarely today. Relationships are breaking with woman leaving their partners for slightest frictions. Amidst this, Virata Parvam and Sita Ramam stresses how much strong an unconditional love can be. Both the films are poetic in nature, one with revolutionary thoughts and the other with mythological lens. Although Sita Ramam is equally amazing, Virata Parvam stroke my heart more heavily than the former. Like Sita devi followed the footsteps of Lord Ram, Sai Pallavi followed the revolutionary path of Rana, but as our myths say she had to pay a heavy price to prove her loyalty.
Ponniyin Selvan 1, Mahaan, Kalaga Thalaivan and FIR from Tamil, KGF2 from Kannada, Karthikeya 2 and DJ Tillu from Telugu are few notable mentions. Very happy to see the meme master in Naai sekar Returns.
Kashmir Files(Hindi), Kantara(Kannada) and Bheeshma Parvam(Malayalam) made some noise, but I haven’t got the opportunity to watch them.