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Top 10 Movies Of 2014 That You Just Can’t Miss!

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By Zehra Kazmi:

2014 was an important year for cinema. Hollywood churned out some films that left us gasping for breath and searching for words. Here in India, though, it was a different story. Humshakals caused most of us to lose a huge amount of respect for Saif Ali Khan as an actor, Yaariyaan was a blockbuster, and Himesh Bhai continued to try his luck in acting with films like The Xpose. However, there were a few silver linings and some wonderful, internationally acclaimed cinematic works did come out of our country this year. (Also, Fawad Khan joined Bollywood, so obviously 2014 has been an amazing year for us, duh!)

I have made a list of films that I think every movie buff should see this year – films that made the year worth it, at least for me.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

This was definitely the most likeable film 2014 had to offer. Guardians of the Galaxy was smart, funny, had some amazing use of 3D, and wins the award for best soundtrack ever, hands down. What distinguished it from a generic and forgettable summer blockbuster was that it had all the makings of a classic. The characters won everyone’s hearts and stayed on with us long after the film was over. The humour was spot on and so were the performances. Full marks to Chris Pratt as Peter Quill and Bradley Cooper’s memorable turn as Rocket, the fast-talking genetically engineered raccoon who stole the show.

2. Haider

With Haider, an adaptation of Hamlet, Vishal Bharadwaj completed his Shakespeare trilogy and did not leave us disappointed. The film – a dark, twisted tale of revenge unfolds in the pristine and snow capped Kashmir Valley. Shahid Kapoor excels as the tormented and bewildered Haider – a poet who finds himself drawn into the lethal game of politics and terrorism. Tabu is magnificent as Haider’s mother, a mysterious and tragic figure who sees her whole world come crashing down in front of her. There were apprehensions regarding the film’s box office success. However, it managed to become not just a critical masterpiece but also rake in solid collections. Bold and unflinching, Haider makes an artistic statement, especially in a year which also saw terrible films like Jai Ho and Humshakals.

3. Gone Girl

Rosamund Pike as the gorgeous, ruthless and calculating blonde – Amy Dunne, is what classic Hitchcock thrillers are made of. She is utterly terrifying yet fascinating in Gone Girl. Ben Affleck as the neglectful and unfaithful Nick leaves the viewer conflicted and constantly questioning his motives. Has he done it? Or is he just a man caught in circumstances? This, ladies and gentlemen, is what they call the perfect casting. The minimalist design of the film, its haunting background score, the representation of American suburban horrors and media hypocrisy are all excellent. It suffers a bit due to Neil Patrick Harris being somewhat miscast as Desi Collings. Also, the misogynistic undertones of the film are worrisome. Despite that, Gone Girl is highly recommended – a thrilling game of cat and mouse, that you won’t forget for quite sometime.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel takes us on an enthralling journey with two unlikely friends – M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), the concierge of the Grand Budapest, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the trainee lobby boy. The concierge has been framed for murder and enlists the help of young Moustafa to clear his name. The film’s black comedic charm, period setting, Anderson’s colourful composition and attention to detail as well as the gorgeous locations make the film a modern classic. The impeccable acting by the cast comprising of Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, and the debutant Tony Revolori makes loving the movie easier. Its humour and warmth coupled with the sheer scale and beauty of Anderson’s vision makes it a rare gem of a movie.

5. Boyhood

Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s latest release, has proven to be a favourite among the critics for the year 2014. The technical masterpiece, shot over a time frame of 12 years, is also an emotionally revealing journey into what growing up really means for us. Boyhood tells us that we don’t need something completely theatrical to make our lives into tales which are worth being told, in fact the experiences that all of us have can make a great story. Starring Ellar Coltrane, Lorelai Linklater, Patricia Arquette (watch out for her amazing last scene in the film) and my personal favourite Ethan Hawke, the film is an awe-inspiring work of art. I don’t think that any other film can make you revisit growing up in such a way again – all in a span of 165 minutes.

6. Dedh Ishqiya

This is the second Vishal Bharadwaj film to make it to this list, and though he has not directed this one, he has written the screenplay and produced it under his banner. Directed by Abhishek Chaubey, the sequel to the much acclaimed Ishqiya, the film managed to surpass the original. It marked the return of Madhuri Dixit to the silver screen after a long hiatus. She plays Begum Para, the gorgeous Rani of Mahmudabad and is joined by Huma Qureishi as Muniya, her assistant, while Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi as Khalujaan and Babban reprise their roles from the prequel. The film’s elegant Urdu dialogues, stunning locations, the wicked chemistry between Khalujaan and Babban along with the magic of Madhuri resulted in the film becoming the critics’ darling in 2014. Though it does make you question the taste of the audience when you realize that something like Yaariyaan raked in more money than this.

7. Queen

Queen is a film that everyone should watch. It is honest, beautiful, warm and utterly delightful. Oh yeah, it’s also proudly feminist (making it all the more likeable). We watch Kangana Ranaut as Rani, brimming with innocent, wide-eyed wonder, following her journey of self-discovery as she nurses a broken heart, ventures out in the world, struggles with French food, sex shops and a mugging attempt, makes new friends, learns to value her own worth and finally stands up for herself. If you still haven’t seen it, go ahead and watch it already!

8. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhall is downright creepy in Nightcrawler. Why? Because even though you know he is a diabolical sociopath, you cannot come to terms with accepting that he is a monster. In this swift, pulsating thriller, Dan Gilroy reveals the murky underbelly of television journalism, where the only thing that matters is creating a sensation. The pace of the film is insanely fast and engaging, making the viewer feel like they’ll miss out on some important detail if they even blink, keeping one glued to the screen. Aided by and able supporting cast of Riz Ahmed and Rene Russo, Nightcrawler is a must-watch.

9. The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is Morten Tyldum’s homage to the great mathematician and cryptanalyst – Allen Turing, the man who helped create the modern-day computer and broke the Nazi Enigma code to help the Allies win World War II, only to be later driven to suicide for his homosexuality. Benedict Cumberbatch, extremely popular for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock, gives an explosive, nuanced and complex performance as Turing. He is joined by a stellar supporting cast comprising of Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Stewart Menzies and Allen Leech in the film. The film tells a story that deserved to be told – of how cruel society can be to those who chafe at its established norms.

10. Interstellar

After last year’s Gravity, comes another science fiction film to sweep you off your feet. Interstellar is epic-in scale, proportion, casting, effects and everything else. The film is thrilling yet thought provoking and its dreamlike visuals inspire awe and admiration for the class act that is Christopher Nolan. Though not his best work as a director, it is clearly one of the best films of the year.

Honourable Mentions: Aankhon Dekhi, Ida, Gloria, The LEGO Movie, Selma, Birdman, Highway, The Fault In Our Stars and Whiplash.

I know there are works of international directors that should ideally be included in the list and ten is a small number considering how many fabulous films have come out this year, but do go ahead and watch these ten, at least.

Also Read: Why Has A Film That Questions Religion Made The ‘Hindutvawadis’ So Uncomfortable?

You must be to comment.
  1. Babar

    Top ten films of all time:

    1. A Mother’s NIghtmare
    2. Cyberbully
    3. Pyar Ka Panchnama
    4. Body Of Innocence
    5. Mean Girls
    6. Wild Things
    7. Basic Instinct
    8. Aitraaz
    9. Bad Teacher
    10. Movies Inspired from real life incidents which show how a woman stabbed her love in the back – Gangster and Shootout At Wadala.

  2. Ankit

    LIKED all except Shahid Kapoor in Haider, as every thing was in place except Shahid….. Now waiting for the interview.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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