It has been a great year at the movies – we have seen fresh, interesting, entertaining, exciting cinema that has offered something new in terms of story, treatment, music and characters. We’ve had big budget films with big stars and we have also had small budget films featuring relative unknowns that have done very well or which have succeeded simply because they told us a good story.
According to the trade pundits, there have been four films this year that made it to the Blockbuster category: Chennai Express, Krrish 3, Dhoom 3 and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Among the other top ten Hindi films of 2013 that were considered to be hits or super-hits are Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Grand Masti, Race 2, Aashiqui 2 and Special 26.
As a movie buff myself, I wanted to pay my own tribute to the men and women who make these marvelous movies for us – making us laugh, cry and think. So here’s my list of the best films of the year – in order of release date not awesomeness, I must clarify. These are films that I enjoyed because they were new, told a great story or had great music; movies that I enjoyed simply because!
- Special 26 – Apart from Akshay Kumar, this film had no real stars as such, but it is was just a great story. It was a film that made us sympathise with the bad guys, made us laugh and surprised us.
- ABCD – Any Body Can Dance – Apart from Prabhu Deva, there was no one in the film that one could even readily name. Also the plot was a predictable and unexceptional one. But this one worked because of great music and dances.
- Kai Po Chhe! – This again was a movie with little known young actors who made a startlingly impressive debut. The story restored our faith in storytelling itself and the music was some of the best of this year.
- Jolly LLB – Character actors are alive and well in Bollywood! This was a good story that was made great by terrific performances by some of the Hindi film fraternity’s finest actors: the underrated Arshad Warsi, the hugely versatile Boman Irani and redoubtable Saurabh Shukla. After the movie was done and dusted, it was these well-etched characters that lingered in our collective cinematic memory.
- Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – I am not sure why this movie appealed so much. It was formulaic, had a predictable story and a slick, glossy, look. But within its genre it was fun, enjoyable and entertaining; had good music and had good-looking people doing a more than competent job. In short it was a good Hindi movie!
- Lootera – People thought it was slow; I thought this was an utterly charming movie that told a pathos laden story of love, passion, betrayal, loyalty and the ultimate triumph of the intrinsic goodness of human kind. According to me this was Ranveer Singh’s defining film this year and not Ram-Leela; though the latter was a far bigger hit.
- Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Hindi cinema is not known for doing biopics, yet this was one that was beautifully made, brilliantly acted and which simply told a cracking great story. The movie belonged to Farhan Akhtar, one of the most talented and versatile people in Bollywood today.
- Shuddh Desi Romance – This was a very here and now kind of film – it spoke to and spoke of the current generation, their emotional trials and tribulations. It was fun and frothy.
- Lunch Box – One of the surprise hits of the year, this one was certainly a non-formulaic, ‘hat ke’ film. It was triumph of solid good acting and a unusual plot.
- Dhoom 3 – This movie finds a place on this list not because it was surpassed records set by Chennai Express or because it proved that Bollywood can make a slick, entertaining thriller. It’s simply because one is a huge Aamir Khan fan! Also within its genre, it was a well made film: great stunts and spectacle, good music, good Hindi cinema!
Some of the films we can now look forward to in the coming year will be – Dedh Ishqiya, Gunday, Shaadi Ke Side Effects, Jai Ho, Ragini MMS and many others. More reasons to go to the movies!
By – Reena Daruwalla
Image Courtesy – Wikipedia Special 26 Poster