Ideally I’d have liked to make 2 lists – favourite Hindi & English movies, but because of the scattered & delayed releases of some Hollywood movies here, have not caught many English ones. So, only Hindi it is.
I have kind of ranked them loosely in descending order but some of these are so close to the other that it’s not a strict ranking as such. On another day I’d gladly pick one over another. And the top 3 are definitely equally good for me!
Now, I am not a fan of this genre at all. Yet I found this movie to be quite breezy, entertaining and subtle overall. And for me it was one of the few movies that overcame the second half syndrome and the story truly began to tread a couple of unique paths in the second half. A very nice effort from the first-time director, Imran acted for the first time and Kareena was terrific.
I must add here, that the experience of seeing this film in a jam-packed single screen (Gaiety) on the first day considerably added to my enjoyment of this movie. Two things I liked about it in particular – the heroine kicked a lot of ass and secondly – really enjoyed the action sequences. Was quite fed up of the hero-hits-goon-goon-goes-flying-through-the-air brand of action. This was fast, furious and fun.
I got extremely positive vibes about this movie right from its first teaser to each of its song promos and when the end product too delivered a nice, feel-good, family film, I didn’t mind its predictability and simple-mindedness at all. Loved the soothing as well as vibrant soundtrack from Amit Trivedi and Sridevi’s power-packed performance, especially in that climatic speech.
Hard-hitting, powerful, disturbing, relevant and extremely engaging, this movie stayed with me for a long time. For me, Dibakar Banerjee is 4 for 4 and with Shanghai, I once again realized that I can like a movie that doesn’t entertain me, as long as it thoroughly engages me. Also loved how actors left indelible marks with small roles – Supriya Pathak and Farook Sheikh and we got a slam dunk from Emran Hashmi!
A movie that almost didn’t get released. Or at least was delayed for such a long time! I wonder why! Pretty much the best biopic in recent times, Paan Singh Tomar was equal parts entertaining, engaging, informative and touching. Irfan Khan pretty much became Paan Singh and made us cheer for him, empathize with him and feel for him at every moment of his incredible journey.
Incorrectly positioned as a suspense thriller, this was an out and out ‘drama’ for me and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it even on second viewing despite knowing the much-hyped and now infamous ‘twist’. Smartly written, well acted by everyone involved and one of my favourite soundtracks of the year made Talaash a movie I’ll be happy to revisit time and again.
This movie was tacky. It was clumsy. It had cheesy special effects. And yet it features in my favourites for the year. Because it had its heart in the right place and gave out a very important message. In as entertaining a way as possible. And it had some witty lines. And it had a controlled Akshay Kumar. And last but not the least, it had Paresh Rawal in a much-deserved lead role delivering a terrific performance. Could there be more reasons to like it?
Suspense thrillers are rare in Bollywood. And superbly made, perfectly paced, engrossing and entertaining ones – even rarer. A rock solid Vidya Balan and a slew of different characters including the now cult Bob Biswas, most of them played by actors I was seeing for the first time, a solid script and razor sharp editing kept me hooked from the first frame to the last. And Kahaani broke stereotypes – a Bollywood movie was super successful without a hero, without songs and only two hours long!
This, for me, was the most original and freshest movie of the year. Be it the script, the cast, the music – fresh fresh fresh! And so much fun! A movie that made me laugh like crazy and touched me as well by the end. And who can forget the wacky bunch of characters – from the gadget-loving biji to the finger-twiddling Dr. Chaddha! And yes… there was Pani Da Rang – one of the most hummed songs of the year! As Dr. Chaddha would have said – Fun sperm!
So this movie was accused of being heavily plagiarized! Who cares! I certainly didn’t! It may have borrowed scenes from here and there but its core was original. I take a movie for what it is and I loved pretty much every aspect of Barfi! Be it my favourite soundtrack of the year, the performance of the year from Ranbir Kapoor, an unbelievable transformation from Priyanka Chopra or the stunningly gorgeous Ileana! Definitely the sweetest movie of the year for me.
And last but not the least – a very special mention for a movie that wasn’t a hindi movie as such:
Stunningly original, creative and imaginative, Eega or Makkhi shows what Indian cinema can do at the mainstream level with the right ideas, budgets and talent. It might be a very basic premise and I saw it in a different language than I understand with subtitles but rarely have I had so much fun watching a movie. It was exciting, exhilarating and super-entertaining.
Looking forward to a great 2013 at the movies! Happy New Year!!