My Top 10 Favorite Indian Movies of 2022
Too many pleasant surprises this year
I made a list of my top 10 favorite Bollywood movies in 2018 when I thought that was a landmark year for Bollywood. Every subsequent year kept getting worse and 2022 was probably the worst year in the last decade. This has made me watch more South Indian movies and I only get more and more impressed by their creativity and appetite for taking risks with new and fresh concepts.
Hence this year I’m sharing a list of the top 10 of my favorite Indian movies, not just Bollywood movies. This list includes only one Bollywood movie. I haven’t watched some highly acclaimed movies like Sita Ramam, Charlie 777, and Runway 34 so they won’t be on the list.
I was quite impressed when the mystery was revealed in this movie. The build-up to it is well done and the revelation makes sense. Everything else in the movie is predictable and something we have already seen before. This movie does give a feeling of a dystopic future so I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go but I’m glad about the route they took. The action scenes were good, and Samantha did well in her role. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.
This was an interesting and fun watch and tries to emphasize the importance of education. Abhishek Bachchan was at his best. You can watch it on Netflix.
I liked staying in the world created in this movie. It was dark, eerie, and mysterious. The visuals are fantastic, and the background score is good. The final revelation about the case of missing girls was interesting and not easy to predict. But the rest of the movie and the twists and turns were easily predictable. Kiccha Sudeepa fit the role of Vikrant Rona perfectly. You can watch this movie on Disney+ Hotstar.
This is a story that should have been told much earlier, but I’m glad it was told this year. This is perhaps the most ambitious project by R. Madhavan as he was the actor, writer, and director. Yet he didn’t abandon the project despite many obstacles and challenges in the production of the movie. The movie shows many aspects of the scientist’s life and not just his controversial imprisonment which makes it a complete biopic. I hope this movie encourages other filmmakers to make movies about scientists and unsung heroes of our nation, especially those wronged by the system and their own government.
You can check out my interesting perspective on it here.
You must watch this movie on Amazon Prime.
10. Nna Thaan Case Kodu
I watched this movie since it was highly recommended by the YouTube channel, Tried and Refused Productions. The premise of the movie is very interesting (about potholes and public safety), and the way the court case proceeds throughout the movie is also fun to watch. I was impressed by how they managed to add genuine humor to a serious court case. It was obvious that the hero would win the court case, yet the movie makes him struggle for it, which makes his victory satisfying. It was, however, the final scene in the movie that made me laugh the most, and was perhaps a perfect ending to what the movie was all about.
My favorite scene: The ending scene
You can watch this movie on Disney+ Hotstar.
9. Ponniyin Selvan 1
My wife became a Karthi fan after watching Kaithi. Not surprisingly she loved his role the most in the movie as he keeps the audience entertained. We also liked Trisha’s performance (who we also liked in the movie ’96). Aishwarya’s role is still mysterious and would be fun to watch what she does in the second part. The first part sets up the conflict and the threats very well. The movie is everything the trailer promises, yet somehow people expected to watch something like Baahubali and were disappointed. The action scenes, in particular, have been criticized but it is good that they were not stylized or exaggerated. They look real and that makes the movie feel authentic. I liked the music also, and my favorite song is Chola Chola although I enjoyed the scenes of the song Rakshasa Maamane a lot. The traditional dance sequences and the banter between the two characters were interesting to watch. Mani Ratnam does great world-building and his movies have always felt authentic and grounded in reality, so this one made me feel like I was living in the times of Cholas and Pandyas.
My favorite scene: Most scenes were good, but no standout scene for me.
You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime.
8. Karthikeya 2
Krishna isn’t just our God, but also our ancestor. This tall claim by the movie and its adventure-style storytelling makes it a compelling watch. My favorite scenes are the ones with snakes in them, and the effect is elevated by fantastic music in those scenes. The way the mystery builds and interesting revelations happen during the treasure hunt in the movie are interesting to watch. The ending promises a sequel that might be even more exciting to watch. You can read my complete review here.
My favorite scene: The cave scene at the end.
You can watch this movie on Zee5.
7. The Kashmir Files
This was a difficult movie to watch, and the director sets the mood from the first scene itself. Yet in his interviews and other discussions about the movie, I was surprised that the director had held back from showing all the cruelties and brutalities that had actually happened. The best part about the movie was its attempt to show some aspects of the culture of Kashmiri Pandits, and also to show some key incidents during that time without sugar-coating anything. This movie was better than the director’s previous one, Tashkent Files, which made me like this movie even more. Some scenes are bone-chilling. The highlight of the movie for me was Krishna’s speech on his college campus before the ending scene of the movie.
In the cinema hall where I watched this movie when the end credits rolled, the audience gave this movie a standing ovation.
Many have tried to dismiss this movie as a vehicle to spread hate, yet couldn’t point out a single inaccuracy in any of the incidents shown in the movie, because each one of them has been documented and even today there are eye-witnesses for such incidents.
Even though this movie is on a disturbing subject, we must watch it and introspect how can we prevent such atrocities from happening where five lakh people are forced to vacate their homes and live as refugees in their own country, in deplorable conditions.
My favorite scene: Krishna’s speech at the end
Fun fact: This was the highest-grossing Bollywood movie in 2022. Purely on the basis of word-of-mouth publicity.
You can watch this movie on Zee5.
6. Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey
When I recommended Love Today in my friend’s group, my Malayali friend recommended this movie to me. This movie had been on my list for some time because it has a 9.2/10 rating on bookmyshow.com (I consider this website the most authentic one to gauge the public’s interest in a movie). Also many were comparing it with The Great Indian Kitchen, the movie I had enjoyed watching. Yet this movie turned out to be a different experience and much more fun. This movie contains some power-packed surreal moments, yet is firmly grounded in reality. This movie shows how a woman can and should empower herself in today’s digital age when she can learn anything and everything she wants from YouTube and other free resources.
My favorite scene: The first fightback scene
You can watch this movie on Disney+ Hotstar in all languages.
5. Love Today
I got curious when this movie maintained its 9.6/10 rating on bookmyshow.com. By the time I came to know about this movie, it was already on its way out of the cinema halls. I put it on my to-watch list and waited for a month or so. Then on one Saturday afternoon, my wife and I watched it on Netflix, on TV. Good that we were done with our lunch in the first 10 minutes or so because soon after that the movie becomes a laugh riot. The situation between the boy and the girl keeps getting worse, and more hilarious. Yet, the movie manages to provide a satisfying conclusion and give a strong social message. You can read my full review here.
My favorite scene: The Mamakutty scene
The most awaited sequel in the history of Indian cinema. Komal Nahta, a movie critic and trade analyst, had correctly predicted the craze for this movie. He had said in an interview that this movie would earn more than RRR. After watching RRR I felt he had exaggerated but I was wrong. Even today, after RRR has been released in many more countries, and set a record for the highest collections of an Indian movie in Japan, it has still not crossed the worldwide box office collection of KGF-2.
Even today when I hear the soundtrack of this movie (and its first part), I get goosebumps. This movie is a masterclass in how to elevate the storytelling of a mediocre, too-familiar storyline. The whole cinema hall erupted in cheers and hooting on multiple occasions, be it the entry scene of the rocking star Yash, or the final scene that reveals KGF: Chapter 3. This movie is for the cinematic experience in a packed cinema hall. I wish they release a version on OTT with all the hooting and cheering by the audience in the background, for those who missed this spectacle on the big screen.
My favorite scene: The Kalashnikov scene
You can watch this movie in all languages on Amazon Prime.
One of my big regrets this year was not getting to watch this movie on the big screen. My wife and I watched Kaithi (and loved it) before watching this movie, to enjoy it to its fullest. On our laptops also the movie experience was phenomenal, courtesy of the music, the performances, the storytelling, the editing, and much more. My wife wasn’t interested in watching this movie after watching the trailer, she thought it would be a gang war movie. But after she heard the title song of the movie (and watched Kaithi), she was all in. I was excited to watch three of the biggest superstars of Indian cinema in the same movie (and the fourth one in a cameo). Each of the actors is in fine form and the role suited them perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised at how smartly the action scenes had been designed, suiting the personality, age, and body type of each actor.
My favorite scene: The big revelation before the intermission.
You can watch it on Disney+ Hotstar.
I was curious to watch this movie because its Kannada version had a 9.9/10 rating on bookmyshow.com. When the Hindi version was released ten days later, its rating was more than 9 and continues to stay there. The hype around this movie is every bit justified. In the first 10 minutes, the movie shows you something that compels you to stay and watch, and the last 10 minutes are just as rewarding. It was the most unique cinematic experience. The blend of mythology with reality felt natural. Those who missed it, tough luck. Maybe watch the sequel on the big screen when it releases.
My favorite scene: The climax.
You can watch it on Netflix.
This movie needs no introduction. It has already been nominated for international awards like Golden Globe and The Academy Awards. This movie has done for Indian cinema what the Apu trilogy did many decades earlier, only this time India’s global image has improved due to this. This movie is a perfect example of how a nation should use its soft power to spread awareness about its culture to the world. Even today, almost 9 months after its release, some American YouTuber releases a review video of this movie. Surprisingly, Americans have embraced and celebrated this movie much more than Indians.
My biggest achievement in 2022 has been to watch this movie on the big screen. I was so smitten by this movie that I made my parents go for this movie even though I knew my father won’t enjoy it much. I took help from my sister to convince them, who was equally smitten by this movie. This was our birthday gift to our mother.
My favorite scene: The prison break
You can watch it on Netflix in the Hindi language, and Zee5 in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada languages.