10 ) Rajneeti :-
I still vividly remember the sense of anticipation and excitement Rajneeti left me with at the interval. But by the time movie had veered towards it culmination , I had well realised that that feeling was not to some directorial brilliance or some moving acting skill. It was because the first half was primarily based on two of the most dramatic and stirring books I have come across –Godfather and The Mahabharata. It just was the book which was rubbing off on the movie. Nevertheless, it still could have ended up quite poorly. For the fact that it ended up being palatable , it makes my top 10.
9 ) Peepli Live :-
In a lot of lists , this flick figures way up. Not in mine though. May be I have not watched as much “world cinema” to earn my stripes. Or, just because this is India’s Oscar entry, it should figure way up. May be to my non-intellectual mind , some metaphors still seem more like jargons. Whatever, but for me its humour originated from some crass abusive lines, which somehow did not go well for me. It somehow seemed an extension of Slumdog Millionaire to me. And I did not have a very good opinion about Slumdog either. But Peepli scored because it projected that message well which it set out to. That of a farming not being a lucrative livelihood option for many in several parts of India. Add to that some believable performance coupled with some really good characters, made Peepli a decent watch.
8) Rann :-
By now, I have glossed over around 6-7 lists on the net similar to mine and nowhere I could find a mention of Rann. Don’t know why, coz it was released in 2010. 29th January, to be precise. Some called it ill-researched. Wonder what they had to say about Slumdog Millionaire. Well, ill researched in my book is as bad as half-baked research. Rann was irritating at points but all RGV movies are irritating at points. But, at points it was brilliant too, as again all RGV movies are . But what puts it into 8th position for me was that the brilliant points comfortably outnumbered the irritating points.
Kamal Karte ho Sir jee. Dabangg ko hi bhool gaye ??
Dabangg and Wanted have been probably the least pretentious movies of the Bollywood so far. What you see is what you get. You can love it or hate it . But then there are millions of Salman fans out there who can only love a movie which is full of Salman. It was polar opposite of something like Tere Bin Laden (yes, I am classifying Dabangg as comedy), but still quite a joy ride. And then there was Sonakshi. Well, I repeat that I am still wondering that how do these macho men of yesteryears like Shatrughan Sinha and Anil Kapoor keep producing such beautiful daughters.
6) Ishqiya :-
After I came out of the theatre, if somebody had told me that it would find 6th place in my year end list, I would have gone , “Naah… 9th or 10th may be, if we are unlucky for the rest of the year.” That it comes at No.6 is a proof of the absolute drivel Bollywood has served us all year. But let that not take anything away from the movie Ishqiya was. Three things pulled it into top 10. Dialogues which were both crackling and cracking as if written after having smoked Charas, Vidya Balan and Dil To Bachha Hai Ji. Add to that an opening disclaimer which actually claimed that the movie is “almost” fictitious. All that was enough to make Ishqiya pull its weight in what has been a largely barren year for Hindi Cinema.
5) Phas Gaye Re Obama :-
The only thing I did not understand about this movie was what Obama was doing in its title. Some sort of metaphor , may be. Or it was just destined for me that Obama and Osama will rule this year’s comedy scene. Farah Khan , please watch this. This is how you pull of a heist. Akshay Kumar, please watch this. This is how you make people laugh. And everybody, please watch this. Because, it deserves to be watched. And yes , please ignore Neha Dhupiya. She is just there to reiterate the fact that nothing can be perfect.
4) Udaan :-
A father like Ronit Roy was not the only thing unbelievable about this. Add to that a plot set in Jamshedpur which has only two things- TATA and XLRI, the younger cast all of which were completely unknown except Manjot Singh (Young Lucky In Oye Lucky Lucky Oye) who got all together a screen space of 10 minutes. And a screenplay if called rebellious will probably be the understatement of the decade. To put it in perspective , one senior person I know termed the movie malicious , misguiding, disrespectful and a stigma to our culture if viewed widely. But at the end of the day Udaan emphatically proved that any movie which is made with its heart in the right place, strikes the right chords. One thing which struck me throughout the movie was its innocence. Be it the protagonist Rohan, his cute younger brother, his Uncle when he is accused by his father to be a “fat loser”, even the scene where Ronit Roy asks his son to smoke in front of him and to top it all the scene where a drunk father explains to his son that he actually did visit him once only to back off because without him he looked happy. Precious.
3) Tere Bin Laden:-
Set in Karachi, Pakistan . Isn’t that is the country which perpetuated 26/11 ?? Starring Ali Zafar , again from Pakistan. Sorry, but Ali Zafar, WHO??? And with the theme as the world’s most wanted terrorist , Osama. A Bollywood movie made on these!!! Chances it being liked ?? Hahahaha!!!! But not quite sir, and thanks heavens that movie making is not quite politics. I liked Main Hoon Na, Heyy Baby and Golmaal 1 . But this movie and Phas gaya re Obama proved that subtlety lasts and only subtlety lasts. In a year when some “comedies”, if you can call them that, almost wanted to smack your head , pierce open your eyes and tear open your jaw while employing these very antics in order to “ order” you two laugh, these two almost gave you democratic choices . Not that it mattered anyway. Armed with a super script and brilliant acting, this movie showcased that Osama can be adorable , cute and amazingly funny.
2) Love, Sex aur Dhokha
To put it simply , Dibakar Banarjee is the best director we have in film industry. Because, I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have picked a motley bunch of people and turn them into the most impressive ensemble cast of the year. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have extracted such level of performance from everyone in a cast the names of any of whom have never been heard before. And I refuse to believe that any other director could have made a movie which ends so haphazardly but still leaves not even an iota of inadequacy in viewer’s mind. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could take shock, shock and shock and then term it Love, Sex and Dhokha and all the while make the translation entirely plausible. And I simply refuse to believe that any other director could have made Ekta Kapoor produce a film which has no cruel Saas, but a brutal Sasur. And , to put it simply, I simply refuse to believe that anybody but Dibakar Banarjee could have made this film
1) Band Baaja Baarat:-
There will be people who might take it as a reflection of the poor year that the Bollywood had in 2010 that a flick like Band Baaja Baarat is at the top of the table. But if I am asked to compile a list of best rom-coms of Bollywood in past 25 years, this movie will surely find a place in top 3. A good rom-com should leave you with happiness in your heart and smile on your lips. This surely did that and more. It filled you with hope after TMK and Ravan that good writers are not yet dead in Bollywood. It made you believe that for making an authentic movie on a city , you do not have to be some Danny Boyle descended from wherever to research on our own place to show us that how shitty and bad our own country is . If you want to make a movie on Delhi, having a proper dilli ka dil in the right place will do wonders. It made me wide eyed that Anushka Sharma can actually act. And it made me shrug the notion that only Hugh Grant or Hugh Grant- ish actors can light up a rom com . A Ranveer Singh who at the first glance looked like an ordinary lampat Jatt ready for a fisticuff can prove to be a worthy match , if not better. And it did all that while having and letting us all have some good old fashioned our own Mauj.
Awesome Mention Of the Year:-
Tees Maar Khan:-
It was such an awesome movie that all theatres , awesome or not raised their ticket prices to awesome levels. And I was such an awesome fellow that I spent an awesome amount of money, patience and guts to watch this awesomely awesome film. Just imagine , what can be more awesome to have every character in the movie awesomely copy bonafide awesome antics of awesome Akshay Kumar.
Top 10 Songs :-
10) Lehrein ( Aisha) :- A beautiful song which again emphasised to me that Javed Akhtar , if and when he wants can be a brilliant writer, though that sadly is not always is the case.
9) Des Mera ( Peepli Live) :- Though Mehangayi Dayan garnered more publicity , I could hardly see how it actually fitted in the premise of the movie and ultimately that song seemed to be included for just that , to garner publicity. On the other hand , for a change Indian Ocean came up with an upbeat song. And they were just as good with this as well.
8) Main Jiyoonga (Break Ke Baad) :- A vastly underrated song , it shared the same fate as the whole album did. But the lyrics were apt , music good. A tragedy that the song was not included in the movie as the movie had a plot which was perfect for this song.
7) Tum Jo Aaye ( Once upon a time in Mumbai) :- It was more a case of selecting one song out of the best album of the year than anything else. And I go with this . The Rahat Fateh Ali Khan version to be precise.
6) Jaane Kiske Khwaab (Guzaarish) :- For me , the best song to paint an appropriate picture of what the movie is going to be like.
5) Surili Ankhiyoin Waale (Veer):- The only good thing about Veer was that this song featured thrice in the movie. In full.
4) I am in love (OUATIM) :- One song out of OUATIM was never going to be enough. It was too good an album for that.
3) Naav Chadhti ( Udaan) :- The most inspiring song of the year. Enough said.
2) Dil To Bachha hai Jee (Ishqiya) :- The list could not possibly have been complete without Gulzaar coming into it , isn’t it? This song had the most simple , most striking , and the most identifiable lyrics and was one for the ages.
1) Shaam (Aisha) :- The most soothing, most sweet and the most serene song to come out of Bollywood in may be last 5 years. It was.
Top 5 Albums:-
1) Once upon a time in Mumbai :- Even a song like Baburao made perfect sense in the movie.
2) Aisha :- One song was crap, one was so so , but rest three were so good that the album is right up there.
3) Guzaarish :- It is the best album you can find to listen in a particular mood and in particular setting. To find out which mood and setting I am talking about, you have to listen toi the album.
4) Udaan :- The movie was different . The music was no different.
5) Break ke Baad :- All the songs were similar in mood , even the sad ones. But I am not complaining now.
Special Mention :-
Cinematography in Ravan :-
I was ready to watch this, yes this piece of absolute drivel for a second time just to see the scenes once again. The work of Santosh Sivan and V. Manikandan was cinematographic orgasm unfolding on screen.
Happy New Year to all. And here is just wishing that this New Year is good for Bollywood too. It did not have even an average 2010 which made our year a bit less good in its own way. Cheers…