While it has been a nightmarish year for Bollywood, there are a few films that managed to stand out and create a splash.
Some of these quality films are in contention for being India’s official entry to the Oscars.
The strongest buzz is the one surrounding SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR starring Ram Charan and Jr NTR.
RRR had a theatrical release on March 25 and cruised into the coveted Rs 1,000 crore club, within 16 days of its worldwide release.
It is also the third highest-grossing Indian film of all time.
RRR also became the most watched Indian movie on Netflix, with more than 48 million hours of total viewing time.
It was subtitled in a record 15 other languages.
RR drew global attention for its notable performances, extravagant scale, action sequences and strong plot.
The movie was also being praised by several Hollywood filmmakers including the Russo Brothers.
Two other movies have also been discussed.
Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial The Kashmir Files and R Madhavan’s Rocketry: The Nambi Effect are said to be the other contenders.
However, the latest twist is that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt might also join the shortlist.
The film received a positive response from the audience with critics praising Alia’s performance.
The film, which is based on Hussain Zaidi’s book ‘Mafia Queens of Mumbai’, told the story of a real-life sex worker Gangubai, who rose to be a mafia queen in Mumbai.
The final decision is made by the Film Federation of India (FFI), the apex body of film producers, distributors, exhibitors and studio owners.
Historically, Indian films haven’t done very well at the Oscars.
In 1957, Mehboob Khan’s Mother India lost the Oscars by just a single vote.
Later, Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay (1988) and the Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan (2001) also made it to the Oscar nominations shortlist.