The year 2017 went down as the year of the underdog in Hindi cinema. It might not have been able to create any major records at the ticket window, but yet became one of the most successful and redefining years for Bollywood in terms of celebrating real and meaningful cinema on screen. It was the year when top-billed actors, actresses, directors were unable to entertain us with their fancy big-budgets, but new age artistes ruled a million hearts with their simple yet impactful tales.
With the first edition of News18 Reel Movie Awards, we are all set to honour these immensely talented artistes and the league of independent cinema- which is essentially driven by great storytelling in the year 2017. Here are some of the Reel Awards nominees who struck the right chord with the audience.
Rajkummar Rao literally became the face of Indian cinema in 2017 and did some marvelous work. He is nominated in the best actor category at the Reel awards for his terrific performance in Trapped, in which he plays a call center guy who gets trapped in his apartment without food. His portrayal of a honest rookie government clerk in Newton also earned him widespread acclaim.
Ayushmann’s acting and screen presence was very well accepted by the audience and the critics alike and the Punjabi boy with his unconventional good looks became the heart throb of the entire nation. He proved his ability to carry offbeat, unique roles beautifully with films like Vicky Donor, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Bareilly Ki Barfi. He has been nominated for the best actor in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan.
RS Prasanna’s innovative handling of erectile dysfunction, a topic that is considered taboo, in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan was applauded by critics and audiences alike.
Konkona Sen Sharma
Critically acclaimed actor Konkona Sen Sharma made her directorial debut with full-length feature, A Death In The Gunj. With a beguiling tart tone and a realistic sting in its tail, Konkona’s directorial evoked a myriad of emotions and stayed long with scores of viewers even after they left the theaters and resumed to the daily grind.
Advait Chandan’s directorial debut Secret Superstar didn’t really seem like his first as it came across as a risky and unusual film which often even experienced directors fail to do justice to. Secret Superstar is an extraordinary story of an ordinary girl who knows she is capable of doing anything.
A popular face on Indian television, Vikrant Massey delivered a breakthrough performance of his career as Shutu in Konkona Sen Sharma’s A Death In The Gunj . A timid, lost boy searching for a little affection in a world that sees him no more than a means, Shutu is the star of the film. His character stays with you long after you leave the theatre and compels you to write his character sketch with your own understanding.
After giving two exemplary performances back-to-back in critically acclaimed films Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Secret Superstar, Meher Vij is one of the few actors who has broken the stereotypical image of the on-screen mothers in Bollywood. With her subtle yet powerful acting skills, Meher made her presence felt in the Hindi cinema. She has been nominated in the BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS category for her portrayal of Najma, a victim of domestic violence and a mother of two, in Secret Superstar.
Shubhashish Bhutiani in his 20s has achieved what others only dream of. He has already earned an Oscar nomination for his short film Kush and is the director of critically acclaimed movie Mukti Bhawan starring Adil Hussain and Lalit Bahl in key roles. His directorial is a rare gem that despite dealing with the grave topic of death manages to make the viewers smile.