tv & movies

10 TERRIFIC Ensemble Movies

When actors and characters of various skills and styles combine under a keen director’s supervision, ensemble casts unfold like a treat before the cinephile.

Think Padosan, Kalyug, Mandi, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Khamosh, Party, Satte Pe Satta, Andaz Apna Apna, Monsoon Wedding or Bhoot and rejoice.

One of the reasons why we are all fired up at the prospect of Aasman Bhardwaj’s directorial debut Kuttey is that it stars Tabu, Arjun Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Radhika Madan, Naseeruddin Shah, Shardul Bhardwaj and Kumud Mishra. The eclectic casting roster alone is worth the price of admission.

As the crime caper hits the screens this Friday, Sukanya Verma looks at the 10 best ensemble Hindi movies in recent times.

 

Monica, O My Darling

Vasan Bala’s suspenseful smorgasbord of pop culture references has quite a line-up with Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Akanksha Ranjan, Sikandar Kher, Zayn Marie Khan and Sukant Goel.

A man juggles between blackmail, murder, conspiracies, cover-ups and investigation as personal and professional life collide, paving the way for a series of characters like the boss’ daughter, her disgruntled brother, a motley bunch of colleagues and a curious cop to take on the case.

Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi

Seema Pahwa makes her directorial debut examining the emotions of sprawling joint family against the backdrop of a funeral with the likes of Surpriya Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Vinay Pathak, Ninad Kamat, Vikrant Massey, Sadiya Siddiqui, Deepika Amin, Brijendra Kala and Naseeruddin Shah slipping believably into the roles of the bittersweet relatives.

 

Gangs of Wasseypur

Anurag Kashyap’s two-part gangster epic spanning generations of a mafia family seeking revenge while life goes by in all its guns and glory wouldn’t be the same in the absence of its vibrant, versatile cast of stellar performers like Manoj Bajpayee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Richa Chaddha, Huma Qureshi, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Reema Sen, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Jaideep Ahlawat and many, many more.

 

Sonchiriya

Mediative and melancholic, Abhishek Chaubey’s dacoit drama looks at the life and ideologies of a rebel group in a manner so haunting, it remains etched in our memory as so do the rock solid performances of its rock solid cast led by Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranvir Shorey, Ashutosh Rana, Bhumi Pednekar and Manoj Bajpayee.

 

Andhadhun

Things get deliciously dark and out of control in Sriram Raghavan’s sinister worldview when a blind pianist’s presence at the site of murder involving a faded movie star, his trophy wife and her lover lead to a black comedy of chaos starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, Anil Dhawan, Manav Vij, Radhika Apte, Zakir Hussian and Ashwini Kalsekar.

 

Kapoor & Sons

Shakun Batra deep dives into a dysfunctional family’s messy state of affairs and long harboured secrets yet finds enough humanity to make it personable across their many highs and lows, which come alive in Rishi Kapoor’s racy grandfather, Rajat Kapoor’s anxious father, Ratna Pathak Shah’s exasperated mum, Sidharth Malhotra and Fawad Khan’s estranged siblings and Alia Bhatt’s charming catalyst.

 

A Death in the Gunj

Nothing is quite as it seems in ensemble expert Konkona’s directorial debut based on her journalist father Mukul Sharma’s story as she looks at a lopsided equations of a family during a disquieting vacation with the help of a marvelous bunch of actors, including Tanuja, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, Ranvir Shorey, Jim Sarbh, Tillotama Shome, Om Puri, Vikrant Massey and herself.

 

Finding Fanny

Homi Adajania puts together quite an odd bunch for his quirky Goa comedy about lost loves and breaking free over the course of a whimsical journey inspiring its title. Luckily for him, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Pankaj Kapur, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh in a cameo turn out to be quite a team.

 

Rang De Basanti

No-good college mates and crones come of age while helping out a foreigner in her documentary about a chapter in India’s independence as well the loss of their dear friend, learning the consequences of apathy in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s revolutionising drama, high on the intensity of perfectly cast actors like Aamir Khan, Siddharth, Kunal Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni, Alice Patten, R Madhavan, Anupam Kher, Soha Ali Khan and Waheeda Rehman.

 

Maqbool

Vishal Bhardwaj is the god of ensemble casting, and Maqbool‘s opening credits confirm this gift to unforgettable results in the director’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the context of Mumbai underworld.

As expected Irrfan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapur, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Piyush Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal and Ankur Vikal explode in their respective roles and give the audiences much to cheer about.

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