To understand how the film industry fared in 2018, we have to first look at what happened in 2017. It was around this time, last year that we rounded up leading producers to evaluate the year gone by. It was quite a sombre gathering. Apart from the stupendous success of Baahubali 2, there was bad news all around. Producer Karan Johar had said, “One has to accept and acknowledge that we are in crisis mode.”

Last week, we invited producers again to huddle up and review the year gone by. This time around it was a decidedly more cheerful conversation. “From possibly the worst year in movies we’ve had probably the best year in decades,” said Johar.

This is the year we got high concept films like StreeBadhaai Ho and AndhaDhun that also performed well at the box office. Shankar’s magnum opus 2.0, starring superstar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, achieved what no other Indian film has in terms of technology, scale and vision. Films like Veere Di WeddingRaazi and Padmaavat challenged the commonly held belief that women can’t open a film to good numbers. Leading actors like Saif Ali Khan and R Madhavan found success in the digital space with Sacred Games and Breathe, respectively. The on-screen love story of the year was that of Gajraj Rao and Neena Gupta’s in Badhaai Ho, and Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu emerged as the actors to watch out for in 2019.

That said, this is also the year Aamir Khan had his first flop in over a decade with Thugs of Hindostan, and we had to watch a bare-bodied Salman Khan and Bobby Deol wrestle in the desert in the ridiculous Race 3.

Starting 10 December, Film Companion will count down to the new year by evaluating the best and worst films of 2018, the performances that stood out, the fresh talent that emerged from the digital space, the top songs that stayed with us, and much more. We will also look back at some of the most enjoyable conversations we’ve had this year. We did an acting masterclass with the very wise Pankaj Tripathi, toured Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty’s studio the night before the 2.0 release, and chatted with young talents like Ishaan Khatter, Jahnvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan about dealing with stardom. Ram Gopal Varma reflected on Satya 20 years after its release, Abhishek Bachchan told us about what he learnt during his break from acting, while Bhuvan Bam gave up tips on how to become a YouTube superstar.

In addition to this, our FC South team will do a deep dive into the hits and misses of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada cinema in 2018. Stay tuned to the ‘Best of 2018’ section on our website to track our coverage!

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