The ten best films of 2021
With the emergence of OTT platforms, the way we consume cinema and entertainment has fundamentally changed. Today, more and more people have access to world cinema at their fingertips. This change in the way cinema is consumed has impacted both the world’s major production houses and small independent filmmakers. The global Covid-19 pandemic has also altered cinema consumption and has actually helped OTT platforms reach large populations.
Sub-editor of Rising Kashmir Irfan Mehraj lists the best films of the year. The films featured in this list come from all genres and mediums and include films from all over the world, from the biggest grossers of the year to those that didn’t make a lot of money at the box office. The movies are accessible on various OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, etc.
1. Dune (Directed by Denis Villeneuve)
The most anticipated film of the year caused a sensation. Based on the popular novel of the same name by American novelist Frank Herbert published in 1965, the film directed by Denis Villeneuve caused a sensation and is a box office success. At the time of writing, the film continues to gain viewers and followers. Herbert’s book has already been adapted for the big screen, but given the reviews and audience for Villeneuve’s adaptation, this one is the best of all.
Dune is a science fiction film masterpiece telling the story of Duke Atreides (Oscar Isaac), Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and their son Paul Atreides (a perfect cast Timothée Chalamet), who are set to move to the desert planet Arrakis at the order of the emperor. On the planet, the characters face danger and hostility and this is where Dune gets interesting with Villeneuve directing at its best. For all movie lovers, especially those who enjoy science fiction, Dune is a must-see.
2. No Time to Die (directed by Cari Joji Fukunaga)
No list of the best films is complete without the proverbial James Bond. No Time to Die is the 25th installment of the most popular Bond film brand and actor Daniel Craig’s fifth and final appearance as British MI6 James Bond spy. Directed by Cari Joji Fukunaga, the film – in my opinion, is one of the best Bond films of recent years. Given its box office success, the film is going to be a big hit in the coming months. The film grossed $ 160.8 million in the United States and Canada and $ 610.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $ 771.3 million as of December 2021. The film received awards. positive and rave reviews from most reviewers. For great cinema and for a thrilling experience, I would recommend that you don’t miss the latest Bond film at any cost.
3. Beanpole (Directed by Kantemir Balagov)
Originally released in 2019 in theaters, but the film became available on Mubi (a global movie streaming platform, production company, and film distributor) in 2021. Making the film on Mubi was a good decision on the part of the directors because the film is brilliant in all its glory. Historical drama, the film tells the story of Iya Sergueeva, a tall woman nicknamed “Beanpole” who worked as a nurse in a hospital in Leningrad after the end of World War II. Iya is suffering from a seizure she had from the war. The way the grande dame portrayed the character and the direction of the film is spellbinding. Considering its disturbing portrayal of the main character and another woman, I suggest watching this film with discretion. Cinematographically speaking, the film is authentic and brilliant.
4. The Green Knight (directed by Dawid Lowery)
Released in July 2021, The Green Knight is an epic fantasy film telling the story of the 14th century knight. Adapted from the 14th century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, the film stars Dev Patel of the famous Slumdog Millionaire as Gauvain, a nephew of King Arthur. The film traces the journey of Gauvain, the knight who tests his courage and faces the green knight. The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris and Ralph Ineson. The reason I love this movie is because it shows how much more important the importance of living your life with integrity, courage and courage is than caring about your heritage. That’s what Patel’s character is all about.
5. King Richard (Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green)
No athletic sister is as famous as Venus and Serena Williams. But what we know less about the two tennis stars is the role played by their father Richard Williams. The film is a biographical drama film telling the story of Richard Williams, the father and trainer of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Played by Will Smith, the film is a tour de force of cinema and will keep the viewer glued to the screen. The film received positive reviews and will go down as an outstanding sports film of this era.
6. La Dépêche française (Directed by Wes Anderson)
One of the most anticipated films of 2021, The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson meets its expectations remarkably well. An anthology of four segments, the film is gripping and funny. When the editor of the fiction The French Freedom Expedition, Kansas Evening Sun dies suddenly of a heart attack – his team rushes to comply with their last wish: the suspension of the newspaper with a final farewell issue. The latest issue is intended to honor the memory of the publisher. What follows during the segments is a nice tribute to journalism. The performance of the movie is peculiar and fun and by the end you finish it, you feel light and warm. The film will be seen as director Was Anderson’s symbolic piece representing his distinctive narrative style and eccentric cinematic achievement. If you plan to watch The French dispatch, don’t miss The Grand Hotel Budapest by the same director. It is an excellent cinema.
seven. The Power of the Dog (directed by Jane Campion)
Watching a western is a journey. The Power of the Dog directed by Jane Campion is a journey every movie buff should take this year. This Western drama film is based on the novel of the same name by American author Thomas Savage. The film has strong roles played by Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
The film is set in 1925 in Montana and traces the story of two brothers played by Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons. The two brothers are opposite to each other and this is strongly reflected in their take on the character played by Kirsten Dunst, who is a widow and owner of an inn. The film has a subtle sense of tension and creates it in every scene. This is what we see when the character played by Cumberbatch mocks Dunst’s son at a dinner party. The scene opens the world of The Power of the Dog as a film trying out the story of tough stakes.
8. The Lost Girl (directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal)
Based on a novel by Elena Ferrante, The Lost Daughter is an outstanding debut album by Maggie Gyllenhall – whom we’ve seen as a powerful actress in films like Donnie Darko and The Dark Knight. A dramatic film, it tells the story of Leda (played by Olivia Colman), a middle-aged comparative literature professor who is on a working holiday in Greece. In Greece, she meets Nina (played by Dakota Johnson), who is a mother in love with her daughter but who finds the demands of parenthood intimidating. For lovers of powerful performances, the film is a must-see.
9. Bergman Island (directed by Mia Hansen-Løve)
If you want to watch a solid love movie of the year, Bergman Island is for you. The film traces the story of a couple Chris and Tony Sanders, who are filmmakers. On their trip to a Faro Island, which is called Bergeman Island because the famous Swedish director once lived there. What follows is an aesthetic adventure. The film is art on wheels because it delves into the fundamental tensions of our lives – the struggle between passion and livelihood. Any cinephile would love this film for its beauty and its essence.
ten. A Hero (directed by Asghar Farhadi)
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s films deal with mundane subjects, but they make cinema so powerful. This is the case with his latest film A Hero. The film has a simple but compelling storyline – a man in debt prison tries to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint while on two days’ leave. Things, however, like all of Farhadi’s films, don’t go as planned. The film is a social commentary on such a fundamental theme of Iranian society and a topic carried by Farhadi, who received two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film for his films A Separation (2011) and The Seller (2016). I have no doubt that this beautiful little film will appeal to lovers of good cinema.