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Milind’s Top Ten Movies of the Last Decade!!
milind | November 12, 2011, 6:45 AM | 37 comments | 1,599 views


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!!

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37 COMMENTS
  1. milind

    My Top Ten..name a few of yours too :-)

  2. Sahil19

    Dont think Paheli was good film, Im suprised you picked Paheli in the top 10 over so many good movies.

  3. aryan29

    Hmm.. A very good list of films i would Recall films released last decade and the films mentioned above and then later will give my views about it..but as i said the films you have mentioned are really good.

  4. milind

    sahil19..

    I could have chosen a CDI/DCH/3I/IQBAL/BLACK over PAHELI..and no one would have raised questions. The reason for choosing Paheli is the very effective juxtaposition of a folklore/fairytale and a deeper interrogation of questions regarding woman’s choice and desires combined with breath taking visuals.

    Yes it might have not been commercially viable but then classics come in different packages.Else how can you explain a Shawshank Redemption that bombed at BO to be a living classic today.

    Thanks Arayn! :-) Waiting!! :-)

  5. wall-D

    Take out disasters and boring paheli & swadesh. List will look much better.

  6. milind

    Wall-D–i do not reside in cinematic slums as you do-so cannot help!!

    Well if you ask me to add Damadamm,i can consult RKs and add that…

  7. Manish

    I woould keep swades and Paheli out and include
    3 deewarein/khaaki/maqbool/Hera pheri either of these in my personal list

  8. milind

    Good list Shan..would disagree with:

    1. Page 3

    2. DCH

    3. Yuva

    Rest all are good picks!!

  9. milind

    Manish Bhai..thanks for commenting… yahaan CDI chhod diya ;-) SB par to tha :D

  10. milind

    Shan,

    Yuva was good– but it had very uneven screenplay– undulating one!!

    The south version was also not greatly received at BO.

    I liked Guru and Raavan for its cinematography!!

  11. Manish

    @milind i was thinking that i missed out on some movie .. well yes i CDI as well is up there at the top .. i remember the feeling i had when he rub that medal and when he goes back to his home :))

  12. aryan29

    yahaan CDI chhod diya SB par to tha LOL milind .. manish if once said then you can never escape for that film from milind :D

  13. shilac

    good list @milu.
    I have already published my list some time back..I think half of those are common with you.

    Of all the movies in your list, the only one I don’t like is Cheeni Kum..found nothing special about that movie.
    And yes,Pahlei was indeed a beautiful movie and I don’t mind u picking it before a CDI.
    Johnny Gaddar is another excellent pick – most probably the best thriller in recent times.
    I somehow have managed to miss Black Friday. Can you give me a link to a good torrent?
    I had few others like CDI,TZP,Khosla ka Ghosla,Hazaron Khawishein Aisi.

  14. sanket porwal

    1. 3 Idiots

    2. Chak De India

    3. Life in a Metro

    4. Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara

    5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

    6. Jab We Met

    7. Udaan

    8. Race

    9. Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na

    10. Wake Up Sid

  15. shilac

    Sanket, KKHH is not of this decade.

    Oh yes, I too had Jab We Met and Life in a Metro in my list

  16. Doga420

    Good and Refreshing List Milind,

    Some of my favs are(in no order)

    Lagaan
    DCH
    Guru
    Swades
    Yuva
    Ek Hasina Thi

  17. wall-D

    sanket is srk fanboy. proven. kkhh in his list of best of last decade(2000-2009). Haha

  18. sanket porwal

    LOL i didnt knew it was before 2000.

    Here’s my list, i update again.

    1. 3 Idiots

    2. Chak De India

    3. Life In A Metro

    4. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

    5. Jab We Met

    6. Udaan

    7. Race

    8. Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Naa

    9. Wake Up Sid

    10. Lage Raho Munnabhai

  19. wishes

    i like to see flim like wednesday and page 3 in this list , wednesday was superb

  20. Fearlesssoul

    According to order:

    All Time Classic For me – “Happy Days” – Telugu Movie. In a span of 2 years i have seen it more than 25-30 times even though i dont understand telugu. its above all hindi films that i hav seen til date.

    1. 3 Idiots
    2. Rang De Basanti
    3. Lagaan
    4. Munnabhai MBBS
    5. Chak De India
    6. Tere Naam
    7. Mr. Mrs. Iyer/3Dewaarien
    8. Jab We Met
    9. Dabangg
    10. Namastey London

  21. Truelies

    Liked ur choice of movies except Paheli, there are far better movies in the last decades then Paheli. Here are my top 10 of last decade.
    10. JAB WE MET
    To me best romantic movie of last decade. It is a charming film about a heart-broken and serious guy who meets talkative girl who gradually manages to change his perception of life and love.Screen play is erratic someplace especially in the 2nd half, still kept me engaged for full length. The music was best album of that year.
    9.MAQBOOL
    Became a fan of Bhardwaj after watching this movie.A modern day adaptation of Macbeth, containing a talented bunch of actors like Om Puri Nasseruddin Shah showing great chemistry, Tabu is fantastic , and Irfan Khan is awesome, But it is Pankaj Kapur who steals the show. Maqbool is a class act, best of Bhawadwaj till date( along with Omkara).
    8.JOHNNY GADDARR
    Like U this one is also my personal favorite. Movie gives u no time to think with those twists and turns, with on of the best climaxes u will ever see.
    7.BLACK FRIDAY
    As u already mentioned above best of Anurag Kasyap, the director.
    6.A WEDNESDAY
    With two of the best in Hindi film industry and fantastic twist this one marked a fantastic debut for Neeraj Pandey. The screenplay does not get slack at any point of time and ensures that the tension and drama accumulate. it’s a film you’ll find hard to get out of your head.
    5.COMPANY
    RGV’s 2nd best( after Satya) and one of the best Bollywood gangster movies containing breathtaking performance from Ajay and Vivek Oberai.
    4. HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI
    At the heart of Sudhir Mishra’s political chronicle about three individuals during the India of the 70′s lies an inherent cry for reform, this movie is as real it gets. Kay Kay Menon in full form along with a riveting Shiney Ahuja, but its Chitraganda Singh who stills the show with a terrific performance. This movie sets the standard for ralistic cinema.A true masterpiece.
    3. MUNNABHAI MBBS
    This movie gave us one great director in the form of Hirani, and two ever lovable movie characters Munna and circuit. My favoourite movie of last decade.
    2. TARE ZAMEEN PAR
    Every kid is special, so is the film. Never got so emotional in movie theater before. So heart touching it truly is a movie which everyone can relate to. A must watch for every one especially for parents.
    1. LAAGAN
    A lot of thing already written about this movie, but one thing i want to add never thought i will enjoy a fixed cricket match this much.

  22. Arise_Awake

    Milind……..

    Good list, subjective thou :D

    Thank Heavenly Lord, No ZNMD there, The way you went, what you call Phantasmagorical or What not, and the way you found new Veda’s in them I thought it will Top your list :) :)

  23. right

    Last Decade Top 10 (2001 – 2010):-

    1. Lagaan
    2. Chak De! India
    3. Devdas
    4. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
    5. Munna Bhai M.B.B.S
    6. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
    7. Black
    8. Paa
    9. Dabangg
    10. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

  24. dhaanu

    In no particuler order:

    1 Swades
    2 Lagaan
    3 Manorama 6 feet under/Ek Chaalis ki last local
    4 Kaminey
    5 Dabang
    6 Munnabhai series
    7 3 idiots.
    8 Jodha Akbar
    9 Omkaara
    10 Wednesday

  25. RAJ

    In no particular order….

    1.Lagaan
    2.Swades
    3.CDI
    4.Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
    5.Lakshya
    6.Munnabhai series
    7.Hera Pheri
    8.Company/Sarkar
    9.Guru
    10.3 Idiots

  26. milind

    Thanks All. :-)

    Reasons for not including a few movies in top ten though they are fabulous at their own place.

    1. CDI: It is great as a product,very endearing,very inspiring and has great emotional connect but I look for various attributes of Cinema,like frames,colours,radical thoughts while searching for my best pieces. Thus you find CDI missing and a Paheli there.A theme of woman’s choice via a fairytale is more complex to me than a sport theme where the underdogs excel. Thus the exclusion.

    2. 3Idiots:

    It is again a very great entertainer but lost its place to Munnabhai series.In many senses Rancho was an educated reflection of Munna and 3I was a far more refined version of Munnabhai not only in execution but also in treatment.Inspite of being refined it ,IMO,failed to achieve the impact of a Munnabhai and failed to create a character that stands as an epitome for the whole theme of the movie.

  27. milind

    DHAANU,

    I liked M6Feet Under…but since I love CHINATOWN from which it is inspired,i fail to see the same attributes in it..although in an isolated space it works well.

    Loved Omkara and Kaminey in your list.. :-)

  28. Sneha M

    In no particular order
    1. 3Idiots
    2. RDB
    3. Lagaan
    4. Taare Zameen Par
    5. Dhobi Ghat
    6. Ghajini
    7. Fanaa
    8. DCH
    9. Mangal Pandey
    10. MELA :-)

  29. dwnpiyush

    Khosla Ka Khosla
    A amazingly simple film about simple film- laced with genuine humor- and boasting of a very engaging screenplay. No big stars- but Khosla and Khurana are as iconic as they get… Such films come once in a blue moon in today’s times

    Band Baaja Baraat
    Crackling film about a crackling couple in a crackling environment of big fat Punjabi weddings- with some crackling music and performances… A start to finish joyride-

    Rocket Singh Salesman of The Year
    The most underrated film ever. As a student of Business Administration, I appreciate the excellent thought and the wonderful execution behind the film. A real film with a larger than life treatment… Amazing performances by everyone… Man I can watch this again and again…

    Munnabhai MBBS
    Aha… this one made it look like that even Sanjay Dutt can act… a role that suited him like a tailored tee… An amazing joyous film about life and everything it brings with it… It is a cathartic watch, a true Jaadu ki Jhappi

    Dabangg
    Aha…the rural superhero… the bonafide Bollywood masala… a screenplay encompassing a series of memorable scenes and witty dialogues… carried off by a larger than life hero in a unrestrained performances… clap traps… and what songs… Simply rocking… (And not to mention tremendous repeat value)

    3 Idiots
    The fun ride… an unconventional story that had limited appeal in print (read 5 point someone)- reworked and rehashed into a fabulous entertaining and engaging movie helmed by the perfectionist Khan… This one made the country chorus ‘All is Well’

    Lagaan
    The only Indian movie to have come inch close to an Oscar… but leaving that aside… The fact that it is one of the longest movie ever… but no one seems to complain… there in lies it winning!! Memorable film

    Swades
    A film that has a serious premise… but is still very engaging… On paper it may have sounded boring… but the treatment is anything but that… metaphors and reflections galore :) This movie is what you call the ultimate back to home story

    Jab We Met
    Hmm… I love this film so much… that I don’t like talking about it… watch it enjoy it… and if possible live it (the message that Geet has to give)

    Guru
    I choose this over Rang De Basanti… simply because it has a better repeat value for me… The best biopic ever made alongside Shaheed and Legend of Bhagat Singh… this one is special… Man this one worked despite being an ABHISHEK BACHCHAN film… kuch toh baat hai!!

    The ones that were tough to exclude- The legend of Bhagat Singh, Rang De Basanti, Jaaneman, Hazaro Khwaishein Aisi, A Wednesday

  30. Dino

    Some of my favs from last decade are
    1) Lagaan
    2) RDB
    3) 3 Idiots
    4) Guru
    5) CDI
    6) Dabang
    7) Hera Pheri
    8) Sarkar
    9) Gangajal
    10) A Wednesday

  31. aryan29

    Milind In your list i DISAGREE with CHEENI KAM PAHELI and JOHNNY GADDAR
    Though i agree that PAHELI and JOHNNY GADAR were good films BUT not good enough to be in top10 and CHEENI KAM it was strictly a AVERAGE FILM.
    I haven’t seen BLACK FRIDAY and MR.AND MRS.IYER so cant say anything about it.

    Also LAGAAN is the film which i have never liked always got BORRED whenever i have watched(4times).Though i have enjoyed watching its shooting in childhood near my HOMETOWN in KUTCH (GUJARAT).

    Rest of the films I completely agree.

    Milind To come up with top10 films of the decade is too difficult and will always remain DEBATABLE..So leaving that i will name top10films that i ENJOYED the MOST in the last DECADE
    (In No Particular Order)
    Munnabhai MBBS
    Dil Chahta Hai
    Tere Naam
    Jab We Met
    Hera Pheri/Bheja Fry
    Dabangg
    A Wednesday
    Khakee
    Company/Kaminey
    Kal Ho Na Ho/The Legend Of Bhagat Singh

    Other films which gave tough competition to above films-

    Khosla Ka Ghosla,Rang De Basanti, Page3, Laskhya ,Ek hasina thi, Ishq Vishq, Dhoom, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Mujse Shadi Karogi, Sarkar, Swades, Chak De India, Jane Tu ya Jane Na, Johnny gadar, 3idiots, Wanted etc

  32. Roy

    in no particular order (2001-2009)
    Lagaan
    Swades
    Taare Zameen Par
    Chak De India
    Munna bhai MBBS
    3 Idiots
    Dil Chahta Hai
    Khosla ka Ghosla
    Lagey Raho Munna bhai
    Rang De Basanti

  33. milind

    Aryan–nice choices..Roy u too..i will elaborate on Johnny Gaddar and paheli during night!!

  34. raj123

    1.Wednesday
    2.Taare Zameen Par
    3.Paa
    4.Lage Rahoo Munnabhai
    5.3 Idiots
    6.lagaan
    7.Black
    8.Black Friday
    9.Gangajaal
    10.Omkara

  35. milind

    Black….hmm nice movie but i was underwhlemed by it–am nt able to explain but it did not hold me well enough!

  36. milind

    I had forgotten this piece of mine.Thanks all who shared their fav movies from past decade.

    :D

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