I love Bollywood. I love everything about Bollywood. I grew up on it, in a family full of movie buffs. My grandfather, who is a self-proclaimed (and rightly so) a couch potato, loves sitting in his huge armchair and watching some of those silly hindi dubbed south movies – Indra The Tiger, Meri Jung – One man army, Sivaji The boss, Mere badle ki aag etc etc. Another one of his favorite films is Sooryavansham, Now I, for the love of god, can’t understand what’s so amazing about watching an almost old Amitabh Bachhan dying his hair black (and desperately trying to hide those wrinkles) and playing a character half his age, but whatever, he enjoys it immensely.
Anyway, coming back to the topic, I’m a bollywood junkie and I watch a film every weekend. So here is my list of the best and worst films of 2012. It was a great year for bollywood. We saw some of the best mainstream films this year. So here we go.
1) English Vinglish – As you all already know, I love this film. This film was like a breath of fresh air (cheesy, I know) but really, it was. It was simple, sweet and completely unpretentious. It didn’t try to ape hollywood inspite of having been filmed almost completely in the US, it stuck to it’s roots. It was a film made right from the director’s heart. Sridevi’s dazzling performance was the cherry on the cake.
2) Barfi – Oh, how I love this movie. This film was brilliant on so many different levels. Everything about it was poetic and pure. The fact that Basu managed to create a supremely engaging film without the crutch of dialogue for the most part, is a feat in itself. The story was a simple one about love, and how we find in the strangest of people. The film, despite having two disabled protagonists, does not seek sympathy or pity which was another plus point. The performances were top notch. If Ranbir doesn’t win an award for this I’m going to throw a massive fit. Priyanka has been a favorite since Kaminey days and she proved her metal once again in this film. Illeana was the surprise here. In short, a brilliant and heart-touching film!
3) Kahaani – A thriller in the real sense after a long, long while! Kahaani was arguably a flawless film. It had everything right – a good story, a good cast and a good screenplay. It kept the viewers on the edge of their seats with a consistently paced storyline and gripping screenplay. I watched it twice in the theatres and wasn’t bored either times. Vidya Balan puts in another brilliant performance as the pregnant yet determined woman looking for her lost husband. I usually figure thrillers out quickly but this one was genuinely a surprise. For that alone, it deserves a huge applause!
4) Gangs of Wasseypur (I and II) – I have never watched a film, ever since the Mahabharata series, on such a large canvas with so many varied characters. Unlike other films in this list, I wasn’t excited about this film before, but when I finally watched it I admittedly became a huge fangirl. I love a well made unapologetic violent film. GoW was that film. It’s gritty, it’s violent, it’s bloody, it’s ruthless and it’s completely in-your-face. I love that! But apart from the action, it has a very well written storyline and screenplay, and a very authentic and real adaptation of the same. The characters and the situations seem real and not fabricated, which is one of the reasons why the violence works too. Anurag Kashyap is undoubtedly one of the best directors in the country today. He literally put together a Mahabharata-size story on the silver screen. Take a bow.
5) Shanghai – This film was dark and understated, yet engaging in it’s own way. A tale about corruption at the lowest tier in our country, and how it affects multiple lives. Dibakar Banerjee is an edgy filmmaker, he doesn’t shy away from putting the truth on the table the way it is. The film is elevated to a different level by the performances. I’m not a huge Kalki Koechlin fan but she was at her natural best in this. Emraan Hashmi is an actor I’ve always liked despite his serial kisser image. All he needed was a life saving haul from the Bhatt camp. In this film he shed all his inhibitions and sunk his teeth into a character that is possibly the toughest one in his career so far. Abhay Deol is a consistent performer, and this performance is no different. His character really dominated the climax, which according to me was one of the best climax scenes in recent times.
Now, to the Pits of 2012. There were quite a few.
1) Heroine – Yeh film keval teen cheezon ki wajah se flop hui – boring, boring aur boring. The audiences are so fed up of watching Madhur’s same old saga presented in a different packaging over and over again, that this time no one even attempted to stop themselves from dozing off while watching the film. Everyone already knew what was going to happen next. Even Kareena’s talent and skills couldn’t save this horrendous khichdi of a film from getting burnt. Madhur tried to pack every possible tragedy that can happen with a Hindi film heroine, but instead of having a hard hitting impact (as was intended) it ended up confusing the audience. From drugs to alcohol to smoking to adoption to break ups to link ups to financial crisis to homosexuality to loneliness to Bipolar 😯 It’s sadder than Devdas, which is arguably the most depressing tale in Indian literature. Plus it had some of the most unintentionally hilarious lines ever. In short, boring screenplay + choppy dialogue = disaster. You’re going to have to come up with a more entertaining version of your ‘reality’, Madhur.
P.S – Kareena can’t dance sala! What a phus item number 😕
2) Khiladi 786 – Himesh Reshammiya. Producer. Actor. Story writer. Need I say more? The masala trend is really beginning to fade away. I want to thank every official god out there for putting an end this torture. The trailer itself chew away quite a few of my brain cells. If I had to watch a hero smashing a jeep with one kick, I would go watch The Incredible Hulk. Himesh, you need to buy a one way ticket to Timbaktoo and get lost from Bollywood forever. You aren’t contributing in any field whatsoever. Take Katrina with you.
Here is Akshay making a fool of himself:
3) Rowdy Rathore – What a bad year for Akshay. This man has a lot of potential and he’s a genuinely good looking as well. If only he wasn’t swayed by the extremely horrific trend of masala movies that leave the audiences brain dead in every sense of the term. This film was a cheap imitation of it’s South Indian counterpart at best. Sonakshi loves to play useless roles and she has said that on record. Akshay couldn’t save the film either. I would rather sit at home and watch random South Indian fight sequences on Youtube than waste 200 bucks on this film in the theater.
4) Jism 2 – Now, I haven’t exactly watched this film but I don’t think I need to. It’s legit porn on the silver screen and it’s not even erotic :l Sunny Leone is pretty much a gold mine for the Bhatt camp because they believe they’re the pioneers in making erotic thrillers in India 😕 But of course, outside their schizophrenic world the audience knows that their films are neither thrilling nor erotic. They’re stale duds that don’t even cater to the Rickshaw walas and cycle walas as they have the C-grade bhojpuri films to satisfy themselves. This film was pure unintentional comedy. Sunny Leone’s dubbed voice only contributed to that.
5) Players – Oh, the horror! The Italian Job, one of the most acclaimed heist films of hollywood, was converted into a film that even kids under 12 would laugh at. It looked more like a spoof than a remake. Actually, I’m laughing while typing this. Even the memory of this film makes me laugh. This wannabe film had nothing going for it. The funniest thing was Neil Nitin Mukesh’s character. He was normal at first, but his transformation from that to Mr. Spidey was the ultimate punch. Or wait, Perhaps Sonam Kapoor’s character seducing Mr. Spidey was better. Abbas Mustan, I’m going to offer you more gold than your Players set out to rob to stop making films anymore. You, along with Ram Gopal Verma, need to walk towards the nearest exit.