To wrap up the disappointing 2009…

So I yielded to the yearend madness and here is my list of the top five Bollywood films of the year. Bollywood in 2009 has been largely disappointing for a film buff like me. It both perplexes and pains me to see that the highest grosser of the year are films like Wanted, De Dana Dan, Kambakkhat Ishq and the likes. The problem is that box office success of such films will lead to more pointless cinema in the coming year and therefore, this absurd trend shall continue. Therefore, my 2010 movie resolution is to not give my money to any nonsense churned out by the Bollywood. Coming back to the point, here is the best three films of 2009. I was planning to list top five, but I cannot come up with any more than three. To be fair, I have not seen Paa and 3 Idiots, and you guys have been raving about those two. But from where I stand right now, there were just three mentionable movies in 2009. Tch tch, Bollywood.

Number Three: Kaminey

For most of us, the movie begins with its music release and the OST of this film sold the film to me soon as I heard its title track. Bringing back of retro tunes of the ‘70s in so much style, Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar FTW. The following experience in the movie theater met my high expectations, despite the shaky camera, which I particularly dislike.

Shahid Kapoor was terrific as both the stuttering Guddu and lisping Charlie. Priyanka Chopra was in fact more arresting than her usual self and I loved her Maharashtraian  avatar. However, what really worked for the film was its unusual narrative approach. The attention to details and perfect touches to each character, including the ones with slightest screen time, show that the makers of the film cherished the project.

The dialogues are funny, the story unpredictable, the ends tie, and it is yet a lot more than an average masala film. The film reflects good research on its subject and a marvelous continuity, and these are the little things that make a film memorable, at least for me.

Number Two: Luck By Chance

This film was the breezy film of 2009. You could miss it if you blinked, thanks to the jarring promos of films like Billu Barber (sue me if you want, but that is what you call the guy who cuts hair!), Chandni Chowk to China, and Delhi 6. However, the word of mouth worked for this film and I seriously hope enough people watched it to encourage the industry to make more such films.  People often look for truth in the films, what I look for is the film being true to itself. For me every film is a fantasy, but if your fantasy means something to you, only then you make a good film. Else you make a maudlin New York and get away with fooling half of the country.

But I digress again.

I enjoyed watching Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen though their short journey in which their characters grow beautifully. But almost every other character/actor in this film was a joy to watch, be it the controlling insecure star mom – Dimple Kapadia or the manipulative super star – Hritik Roshan. Even Sanjay Kapoor with his awesome movie posters and cool hat was a laugh riot. Of course, the best of the lot were Mr and Mrs. Romy and Minty Rolly played by Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawala. Their chemistry worked like magic and they were better together than they have been during their hay days in the ‘90s.

Besides the acting and very tight script, the direction of the film was smooth. I especially liked the bold end of the film, something one does not come across in the popular Hindi cinema. What’s more is that I did not hear anyone complaining about it; kudos to the Akhtars for that.

Number One: Dev D

It was huge blank canvas and Anurag Kashyap brought along his best color palette and used sweeping, bold, and accurate strokes to paint this wonderful film for us, the much deprived audience of Hindi cinema. Thanks for that. You saved my year, Mr. Kashyap.

The story is as regular as can get – boy likes girl, but is too self obsessed to realize. Girl likes boy because she is familiar and he is the best in her limited world. They mess up again and again, and in the end, they are still messed up but each meets their fitting messed up other. That sounds like a very happy and yet realistic ending to me. I am still in awe of the Devdas take of the film, and of such convincing characters even though the events and circumstances in the film are mostly extreme.

Abhay Deol reestablishes his already secure spot (in my head, at least) as the best actor in the industry at the moment. All the other actors are convincing as well; there is a specific scene where Chanda is being goaded by her grandparent while she sits and reads her book that is imprinted in my head for no perceivable reason. Except that Kalki is a strong actor who conveyed a lot without uttering a single word in that scene.

The most beautiful thing about this film is the thought that has gone in conceiving it, and the hard work reflects in every shot.  Again, the knowledge of the characters is crystal clear in the director’s mind and it transforms beautifully on the screen. You do not empathize with anyone in particular but you still smile when they end up almost fine together.

With that we come to a sad end of 2009. I am sincerely hoping that I can include an addendum to this post soon as I watch 3 Idiots, but a part of me is scared to think it is all hype that is playing with the audiences’ minds. Guess, one shall find out.

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One Response to “To wrap up the disappointing 2009…”

  1. in addition to the above three…honorable mentions would be
    rocket singh
    Little Zizou

    and have heard firaaq and barah aana are good

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