Milind’s Top Ten Movies of the Last Decade!!

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10. Company [2002]

Reason for inclusion:

Some terrific screenplay by Jaideep Sahni and an equally emphatic direction by Verma combined to produce the second part of the underworld trilogy that culminated in ‘D’. Verma delivers a masterstroke in the way he sketches out his characters,placing Ajay and Vivek on two poles of the spectrum of expression. He brings out the restless Vivek to stand as an antagonist in many senses to the introverted yet expressive Ajay.The gravity he imparted to Ajay’s character vis-a-vis the real characters in real world was exemplary.The film did falter at places post interval in pace,but still held brilliantly enough to become a formidable and respectable piece of cinema.

9. Cheeni Kum:

Many may sue me for including this but the sole reason for inclusion is the effortless acting put in by the three great acting stalwarts of Hindi Cinema– Amitabh,Paresh and Tabu. The camaraderie between Amitabh and Tabu is something that is totally missing in recent movies based on between the “pairs”. A chemistry driven film with average execution is much acceptable to me rather than a movie with great execution but the chemistry missing. Cheeni Kum is a movie that deals with the unusual plotline with aesthetic sense and operates in a space where the ease of expression coming from Amitabh and Tabu is really admirable . They say natural actors have stopped emerging as of now.If ever one feels a dearth of natural actors,just behold Amitabh in the scene in his restaurant where Tabu comes and sit and he reacts to it. Subtle,Expressive,Sublime and Candid–all in flashes–no other actor in recent memory can manage such range of expressions with that much ease.Included solely on the basis of acting credentials of the movie that remains a decent effort altogether.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Iyer– 2002[Although an English movie predominantly,but am including it]

Unusually set in a closed space[read: bus] that is deliberately filled with members derived from various religious groups,the movie does raise some negative concerns initially.But as the tempo sets in,the carving of an unblososmed romance between two characters who not only belong to different religion but also to different school of thought,by Aparna Sen is a journey less traveled by present crop of directors who choose to compromise on the etching of characters with sharp and defined boundaries.Konkona as Mrs.Iyer is a treat to behold,probably one of the most effective actress on cinematic canvas that can share screen space with likes of Nandita Das and Tabu amongst the contemporary ones. The movie is also a very useful exercise to challenge the fanatic religious beliefs and theorems by proving their worthlessness in times of chaos. Faith is what is important,not religion–the movie sums up the essence of it beautifully. Rahul Bose did leave me a bit underwhelmed but guess Konkona made up for the lacuna.Tight Script,controlled direction and effective acting!!

7. Black Friday:

Kashyap has deteriorated from such a fabulous start.I say this because this piece is seminal on all accounts.It clearly is the epitome of a script that has almost no lacuna and also never shifts its attention from the prime focus. A very engaging and near to reality description of Bombay ’93 blats where the focus was on the modus operandi used for making the blats happen.Not much preaching was done,no obvious message was intended to be passed,just a very factual depiction. An effort very similar to ” All The President’s Men”. Pawan Malhotra and Aditya Srivastava pitch in with memorable performances,infact gritty ones. Kashyap executes scenes with precision– a trait that is almost nowhere to be seen in his latest TGIYB. Masterpiece for its cinematic adaptation with some accurate directorial skills and terrific acting on vivid display!!

6. Rang De Basanti:2006

A movie that needs to be applauded for vision..a story that needs to be given standing ovation for being able to combine two eras and compare them,allowing one to be the stimulant for the other and an editing that has been one of the best seen in recent times.Although i have serious issues with the modus operandi used by the protagonists and its relevance or rationale but still one cannot deny that this movie is one of those rare cinematic pearls where the director is able to bring two timelines on parallel tracks and allow equal time for both of them and in the whole process allowing for a comparison. The film is unique in its approach,too faulty in its intended methodology to bring about a revolution vis-a-vis the social structure but undoubtedly a product that one can be proud of. Impressed with Atul Kulkarni and Sidhharth’s acting the most.Aamir steals the show in some scenes,so does Sharman,especially when he is afraid and nervous. ROM deserves an applause, Can Sup arrange for that “applause” video please??

5. Johnny Gaddar: 2007

A personal favourite. Consider it a kind of mix of the noir cinema that HW specializes in with elements of Vijay Anand and Hadle Chase thrown in. What makes this movie a masterpiece for me is the command that Raghvan shows over the script..he infact delivers a stellar while giving life to the script. Raaghvan is a gem at handling such scripts with tonnes of nuances and also never fails to allow the script to grow.The characters themselves get drawn in and fit into the place. The movie never loses tempo and finally when it enters the nitro mode ,it breaks all barriers of a well-made film with virtues outclassing the infirmities by a long distance. In my opinion,there are two hero of this movie: One is the script..the other is the director. At present,in current crop of directors Raaghvan excites me a lot!

4. Paheli : 2005

One of the most visually brilliant movies –seldom are movies made that capture the terrain so beautifully.Seldom are movies made that live a fairy tale and allow for the subject of female independence with respect to the choices they can make in it.Seldom are movies made that serve a poetic justice to the whole theme that also is garnished with some soulful music.The inclusion is for being able to live a folklore in a very pure and aesthetic manner with some beautiful frames that set this movie quite apart from the routine ventures of BW. Dheere Jalna is a song that burns the night with its sheer romantic undertone!Ever wondered that the riddle the film handles is actually a very realistic approach to the least discussed topics in our society–the rights of a woman in various circumstances.

3. Swades: 2004

An over obsession of a director with his script may lead to a lengthy feature where every detailing is done to the core but it also allows for boredom to creep in at places.Thematically Brilliant…this movie is not only a journey of a man from a more developed land to an Indian Village but also is the journey of a mind which achieves direction and purpose.Knowledge and its real usage without being pursuant for luxury envelopes the movie. Script falters at places where it tends to accommodate a lot more than needed but the brilliant acting by Shahrukh fills in for all lacunae.Ashutosh sends out the message in a heartfelt tone and an endevaour that is pure and rich,flavoured with the finesse of a director who understands what he is working with at hand. Screenplay and script are brilliant in most of the parts…some scenes leave ever-lasting impact and on a whole the movie leaves a lot of food for thought. Swades—Is that the call of modern times!!

2. Lagaan: 2001

The last movie where the pantheon called Aamir was in supreme form..where the actor was alive.I say this because Lagaan on any other day with that script would have bombed badly.But thanks to the spirited performance of Aamir that the movie rises beyond mental barriers and creates a platform where the clash for survival is not only the subject for discussion but also the spirit of a human mind is on display. Effective direction..mediocre script..splendid screenplay and some beautiful acting–the saga of the oppressed winning against the oppressor reprises itself entwined in the story of human virtues ready to take on a challenge that if not won could break their backs. Ashutosh delivers yet another stellar.

1.Munnabhai M.B.B.S:

The film that is the most pure entertainer of the decade.Hirani is a director who knows how to carve a beautiful figure from a coconut shell.From a topic that many would hesitate to touch,he builds a movie that created the most loved character of the last decade.Munnabhai reflects all infirmities that a common man has and comments on it in a manner that not only allows for a simple smile on the lips but also provokes for various thought processes. Hirani’s direction is flawless and he knows how to create sequences that immediately appeal to the heart.Hirani is well conversed with the art of interacting with his audience. After every sequence he seems like asking–”Majaa aaya na”!! Amazing control over edition of scenes,fine tuning dialogues for immediate attachment[jadoo ki jahppi] and attaching it to the daily routines of life–Hirani makes movies that remind me of Mehra and Hrishikesh Mukherjee at the same time in the same frame. With electrifying acting by Sanju and Arshad..this movie is a classic right from its inception!!