Binge List: Best Bollywood Films of 2024 So Far
Binge List: Best Bollywood Films of 2024 So Far

2024's first third gave us a ton of diverse options to add to our ever-growing watchlists

Even with no release of Bollywood biggies like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh, Bollywood had an interesting star to 2024 with Merry Christmas and Fighter. What followed was a chequered slate of movies. But what has become obvious in the last four months that it is the content and not the stars that are today driving the audience to the theatres. Here are some of the interesting movies that we have watched this year so far:


Laapataa Ladies


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Directed by Kiran Rao 

Set in 2001 rural India, this comedy of errors begins with a newly-married man who lands in a soup when his veiled new bride gets swapped with another bride while they were on a train ride to his village. What happens next in this story of mistaken identity forms the core of this spunky but layered social satire that subtly but with assured hands of its writer lifts the veil of patriarchy to reveal its ugly face of a society that treats its women like invisible non-entities robbing them of agency and often even identity. Armed with a fresh ensemble cast the movie not only entertains you while you are at it but also leaves you with the rather distressing realisation that although the movie unfolds in the hinterlands and in the age of early mobile phones, today, while we wait for the iPhone 16 to drop sitting inside our cosy cosmopolitan high-rise, things have not changed much. 






Directed by Rajesh Krishnan

Crew starts with three hardworking women, Geeta Sethi (Tabu), Jasmine Rana (Kareena Kapoor Khan), and Divya Bajwa (Kriti Sanon), living what seems to be a rather glamourous life as air hostesses. But soon the dark realities are revealed. And the trio find themselves in the middle of a smuggling racket. 

Crew is a well-made, well-written, and well-acted film that works so well because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. What is refreshing, apart from the unusual lead cast and the crackling on-screen chemistry among the trio, is that it is a spunky film where the leading ladies aren’t forever looking for ‘sexual freedom’, bashing men, and cussing their way to glory—things that have become an intrinsic part of the Bollywood’s carefully cultivated ‘independent woman’ trope. Instead, they are given real responsibilities that middle-class, working women can relate to and struggle with.






Directed by Amit Sharma

Paying a tribute to the golden era of Indian football (1951 to 1962) the movie focuses on the awe-inspiring journey of its chief architect, Syed Abdul Rahim, the Indian football team coach whose decade-long career was bookended with 2 Asian Games golds. Ajay Devgn gives one of his career-best performances and plays Rahim with a quiet confidence and subdued swagger. 

Although Sharma and his elaborate list of writers take ample creative liberties, it is refreshing to watch a sports drama from Bollywood that steers clear of jingoism, melodrama, and stilted dialogues. Maidaan is an engrossing and entertaining movie that sucks you in and keeps you hooked even if you are not a sports enthusiast.


Merry Christmas 


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Directed by Sriram Raghavan

Based on Frédéric Dard’s 1961 French novel Le Monte-Charge, it is a story of two strangers meeting at a pub one night; a story of two unreliable narrators; a story of a murder that reveals the body of lies; and a story that goes beyond just being a murder mystery and becomes a brooding tale of urban loneliness. Immaculately crafted, it is Sriram Raghavan’s best if unintentional attempt at an intimate love story where even the bleakest scenes are laced with breezy situational humour. Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi’s might seem like the unlikeliest romantic pairing ever envisioned in the history of cinema, but their crackling on-screen chemistry makes you root for this charming couple.


Fairy Folk


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Directed by Karan Gour

This is an odd one! Ritika (Rasika Dugal) and Mohit (Mukul Chadda) are married couple. One night, their car breaks down while crossing a forest. While stranded, they get into a heated altercation. Suddenly they notice a stranger being staring at them (Nikhil Desai). The duo, a bit scared, hail a cab and get back home leaving their car in the forest hoping to escape the weirdo, but soon they realise that they can run but they can’t hide from this creature of the woods—the hairless, genderless mythical being who seem to have popped straight of a folklore. What unfolds is a bizarre and trippy ride that oscillates between the real and the absurd. Watch this poignant yet whacky take on marital burnout and the complexities of romantic love for its original concept, powerful performances and smart writing that deftly uses magic realism to blend facts with fantastical.


Madgaon Express


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Directed by Kunal Kemmu

The Go Goa Gone actor and co-writer makes an impressive and assured debut as a director with this madcap comedy. Madgaon Express is Dil Chahta Hai on budget, and that’s by design! This is a boy’s trip that is relatable and affordable, and not aspirational like the Farhan Akhtar classic. 

Three college buddies, Dodo (Divyenndu), Pinku (Pratik Gandhi), and Ayush (Avinash Tiwari), embark on a trip to goa. But instead of a swanky convertible, they hop on to Madgaon Express—it is as middle-class as it gets! En-route there is a bag swap a-la ’80s Bollywood and the trio lands up getting chased and counter chased across Goa by two warring gangs. As a hat-tip to Go Goa Gone Kemmu also adds some crack into the mix. The end result is an absolute laugh riot. The writing is tight and funny, and all three actors are hilarious and their chemistry and comic timing is spot on. 


Amar Singh Chamkila




Directed by Imtiaz Ali

Diljit Dosanjh is pitch perfect as Amar Singh Chamkila, the highest record-selling Punjabi artiste of the ’80s who was gunned down at the young age of 27, along with his wife and fellow singer, Amarjot Kaur (Parineeti Chopra gives a noteworthy performance). 

If Chamkila was all about his music, and Imtiaz’s Chamkila is more so. Apart from using Chamkila’s original songs, the filmmaker brings back his Rockstar team of Mohit Chauhan, Irshad Kamil and of course, the legendary AR Rahman to create the throbbing soundscape that becomes the beating heart of this tragic saga. Through this musical biopic, Ali reinvents himself as a filmmaker and we see him experimenting with newer styles of storytelling.


Murder Mubarak




Directed by Homi Adajania

This adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s ‘Club You to Death’, set in the high-end Royal Delhi Club, starts with the murder of the hunky gym instructor Leo (Aashim Gulati). But as the mystery deepens, the Rashomonesque whodunit soon becomes a self-aware satire delving deep into the shallowness and moral bankruptcy of the pretentious posh and the class divide inherent even in our modern society.  Apart from a motley bunch of eccentric characters, something that Adajania excels in working with, we have two outsiders — ACP Bhavani Singh (an affable Pankaj Tripathi) and the prodigal son of the Dogras, Aakash (an engaging Vijay Varma) — who enter the mix putting the chaotic charade in perspective. It is a taut thriller that goes through multiple twists and turns but ensures that it’s a fun ride. 


Do Aur Do Pyaar


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Directed by Shirsha Guha Thakurta

What happens when you are cheating on your girlfriend/’mistress’ with your wife? This is a story of an Inceptionesque adultery! The concept might sound a bit bizarre on paper but might just be more realistic than the usual versions of movies dealing with extra-marital affairs.  Kavya (Vidya Balan) and Ani (Pratik Gandhi) have been married for 12 years. It was a love marriage with Kavya eloping with Ani to her parents’ dismay. But now that romantic love has evaporated quite a bit with the heat of reality, and unbeknownst to each other, both now have steady partners. But what happens when in a sudden turn of events the married couple suddenly find themselves drawn to each other all over again? Brilliantly acted by Pratik Gandhi and Vidya Balan, this is a charming little rom-com with well-written character arcs that add to the plausibility of the goings-on.




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Directed by Siddharth Anand

Indian Air Force’s best combat aviators, Patty (Hrithik Roshan), Minni (Deepika Padukone), Rocky (Anil Kapoor), Taj (Karan Singh Grover), and Bash (Akshay Oberoi), are all part of the elite Air Dragons. As extremists blow up a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, this team leads the attack on the terrorist camp in Pakistan.

Although not in the same league as Top Gun, a movie it’s been compared to, there is no denying the fact Siddharth Anand’s Indian Air Force drama has the best aerial action scenes India has seen so far. The next stunner is Hrithik Roshan – as Patty he is the perfect amalgamation of a bona fide Bollywood star and a powerhouse performer.

Although let down by lazy writing and excessive jingoism, Fighter is a visual stunner that packs in enough stuff to drool over.

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