Continuing the yearly post from last year ( LINK ) here’s my take on Bollywood in 2012.
What I liked in 2012:
1) Hrithik in Agneepath- Agneepath was a tough one to be remade and Karan Malhotra did good by having a fresh take towards it. The best thing about this movie was Hrithik as Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. Hrithik did really well by portraying a famous character in his own way and not trying to repeat anything Big B had done in the original. He excelled in the fight sequences, as well as in the emotional family scenes. The best thing about Hrithik’s performance was that since it was distinct and dedicated, it took all scope of comparison out of the frame. A very good performance.
2) Irrfan in Paan Singh Tomar- I found Paan Singh Tomar a really average film. I thought the direction was average and so was cinematography and background score. However despite some noteworthy flaws, Paan Singh Tomar became a legendary film, due to a tour de force performance by Irrfan. He was the Paan Singh Tomar right from the first till the last frame. It was one of those once in career kind of performances. Fortunately, with an actor like Irrfan, we may be able to see many more of these.
3) Sujoy Ghosh for the original screenplay in Kahaani- Everyone like Vidya Balan in Kahaani, and so did I. She was fantastic; but what stood for me, and stayed with me for a long time was the screenplay of Kahaani. A rare edgy thriller from Bollywood that surpassed all other in its genre. Some argued that its climax was inspired from the Angelina Jolie film, but again, it was only that part that resembled that film, the real twist was the one that stumped everyone. This is THE bollywood thriller to be remembered.
4) Some Comedy bits in Chaar Din Ki Chandni - CCKC was your one more comedy film, however there were some genuinely hilarious scenes, involving, Tushaar Kapoor, Mukul Dev, Sushant Singh and Chandrachur Singh. I couldn’t help myself laughing non-stop during those scenes. I wouldn’t recommend the film but would recommend some scenes from it.
5) The simplicity of Vicky Donor- To be honest, I found Vicky donor, a decent to good film with some light moments. However, what I really appreciate about VD is its simplicity and how it said a lot without saying it put loudly or repetitively. Everyone from Ayushman to Bebe to Anu Kapoor to Yamini and to the director Shootjit Sarkar kept it very simple and extremely down to earth. That’s where Vicky Donor found its connection with the audience.
6) The Rathore in Rowdy Rathore: Akshay Kumar played a double role in RR. While many would have like the Rowdy comedian , I preferred the Rathore. In fact, Akshay’s role as Vikram rathore is what he has been missing in the last 10 years or so- an out and out action role of a tough guy.
7) Aditi Rao’s looks in London, Paris, New York. – The film was poorly inspired from Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, with hardly any memorable moments, except Aditi Rao’s looks in the film. She looked better than any actress in the past year. Her french look was the most delightful part of the film and she carried it off with élan. Very beautiful actress. Looking forward to seeing more of her films.
8) Zeishan Quadri, Akhilesh,Sachin Ladia,Anurag Kashyap for the screenplay of GOW-2 – I hated GOW-1 for what it was. GOW-2 however, was “kick ass” in its truest meaning. A screenplay so crisp and so inviting for a mind orgasm that you can’t get enough of it. I know the performances by Nawaaz and the gang were superlative but it was the narrative and the lines and the language that made GOW-2 what it was. Hats off to the writers.
8) Ranbir in Barfi- What was it about Barfi that made a relatively small , in a way offbeat film to achieve the success. Well the reasons could be many but the one that holds the most significance is “Ranbir Kapoor”. A ton of scenes from this movie was copied inspired from a ton of movies and even knowing all that I couldn’t hate Barfi and the reason- again Ranbir Kapoor. A performance so honest and splendid that I can sit for 3 hours and watch a movie where the lead character is a deaf mute again. Ranbir Kapoor deserves a big applause for doing something different and doing it the way it should be – honestly.
9) Sridevi in English Vinglish- Ram Gopal Verma said he wants to touch Gauri shinde’s feet for making English vinglish- and I can understand why. Sridevi returned the big screen and how? No shor sharaba, no big lines, no loud melodrama and yet, Sri wins your heart every time she smiles in the movie. It was such a great experience the audience almost swooning over a yester year actress delievering a knock out performance in one of the better films of the year. I know it’s a cliché but I’ll say it anyways- I can’t imagine anyone else playing Shashi and making English Vinglish what it became other than Sridevi.
10) Aamir In Talaash- Yes Zoya Akhtar and Reemi Kagti kind of disappointed with the climax of the film. Yes it did not live upto the hype it created and yes, it wasn’t as good as we all wanted it to be yet Talaash did give us one of the best performances of the year given that we had some pretty good ones this year. Aamir Khan’s portrayal of Surjan Shekhawat, the stressed , emotionally devastated and the restless, insomniac cop was a great performance indeed. Not for a second did Aamir waiver off from the character and one could see the pain and trauma of such a character on Aamir’s face. A great subtle performance, which helped Talaash more than anything else.
11) Chulbul Salman Pandey In Dabangg2 – Yes I know, even a lot of Fans were disappointed and that kind of was expected as people were expecting the story of the “Dabangg” to go forward while actually, it regressed to a point that there was no story per say. However, dispite that major flaw, Dabangg worked for me providing non-stop entertainment without a single dull moment and all of this because of one and one person only- Chulbul Pandey aka Salman Khan. Salman lived the character of the notorious Robinhood Pandey (now also known as Kung fu Pandey) in each frame of the movie. It was almost as if I was watching a documentary of a UP cop called Chulbul Pandey. Hats off to Salman for making this character unforgettable.
12) The story, screenplay, Paresh and intention of Oh My God. – Undoubtedly the best movie of the year and arguably the most important movie of Indian Cinema in the last decade or so. OMG Oh My god’s plot is very simple- Something that a lot of Indians discuss over a coffee table , probably everyday among friends- Unfortunately, most of us make sure, that such conversations stay limited to the coffee table, or the Office Desk or the college Cafeteria. The makers and writers of OMG, did the bravest of things by bringing such voices to the big screen and in their original unadulterated form. The honesty and rawness of OMG is what it makes so damn important and its treatment makes it a must watch. Having said that, the gigantic brave task could not have been accomplished without a brave leader and Paresh Rawal does just that. He delivers a knock out performance and more importantly says each line in the movie in the most believable way possible. You can see that Kanji believes in his words very strongly and that there are very strong reasons behind it. OMG and Paresh Rawal are the undoubtedly the best thing about Bollywood this year.
What I thought was okay to good but could have been better
1) PST- I found Paan Singh Tomar a very average film. It was the performance of Irrfan that stands out but apart from that, it required a tighter screenplay and much better camera work. Something that PST needed badly was a great background score and I think that would have made a whole lot of difference. Tigmanshu Dhulia is an efficient director and he’s proven it many times in the Past but as far as PST is concerned, he could have been better.
2) TEZZ – Won’t say much about it. It was just an okay film which didn’t bore me. Had the writers done their job a tad better, it would have been much better a film.
3) ETT- Watching the first half of ETT, it seemed, Salman Khan has finally moved on from the senseless genre and his performance was really likable. But all the good work of ETT in the first half, was simply ruined by a stupid, idiotic storyline and a rushed mindless second half. It was almost the director/producers said–chalo bht ho gayi story, now let’s bank on salman’s stardom. huh!!
4) Raaz 3- I am a sucker for Horror films and make sure I check them out- good or bad. Raaz 3 was a typical Vikram Bhatt horror flick and it did manage to create some chills and thrills. Although, better visuals and sound could have made this much much better. I liked Vikram’s Haunted 3D a lot and hence was a bit disappointed by this. Nonetheless, watchable for viewers of this genre.
5) Priyanka Chopra in Barfi- I heard a lot of praises of Priyanka for her role in Barfi. I would say no doubt she did a good job but she couldn’t make it memorable the way Ranbir did. She was subtle at some times and quite dramatic at other times. It was like she needed more reharsal and more information about the character she was portraying. A good effort nonetheless, although it could have been a great one.
6) The climax of Talaash- I would’t have criticized Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar had there not been a Sixth Sense or the others or Stirs of Echoes. But since all those movies exist, I expected something more original from them and what they presented was admirable yet unsatisfying. The climax of Talaash was a big disappointment for me and something that almost ruined a fairly engaging film.
And now the last part- what I did not like in 2012
1)The Shamelessness of Abbas Mastan- Players
Abbas Mastan didn’t just copy The Italian job, they copied it so blindly and shamelessly that the outcome was even more pathetic than the already mediocre movie. The whole story, the steal job was exactly the same. The most surprising part was they even used the same goddamn mini coopers that were used in the Edward Nortan starrer. It was almost like; did they even work on the screenplay, apart from adding stupid songs?
2)Sanjay dutt’s joke of a performance in Agneepath
Sanjay Dutt’s performance of Kaancha cheena in the new age Agneepath was a disaster. Kaancha Cheena was not about muscles (or flab in this case). He was about meanness. Sanjay Dutt looked fat and the bald look just added to the buffoonery. The only place where this worked was while he was bashing Hrithik in the climax.His dialog delivery was his career worst. It was almost like the directory had forcefully pulled Sanjay out of an ‘all you can eat buffet’ and asked him to act.
3)The insult of a story by Shakun Batra for Ek Mai aur Ek tu
Shakun Batra- The protégé of Karan “Ha ha “ Johar came up with a story so sick and regressive that even Kjo’s KKHH started to look substantial in some sense. He basically asked the nerds out there to get used and manipulated by hot chicks and wait for that time to come.- In other words, wait for a drunk party and you may get laid, until then just hold her purse.
4) The mismanagement of himself by Madhavan (Jodi breakers)-
Madhavan looked his career worst, careless and shabby in Jodi Breakers. He was fat (not that fat is a problem, but you should carry it off), uncomfortable and stuffed in those suits. Even his acting was so rushed that, made the brilliant actor look so outright mediocre.
5) Madhur Bhandarkar’s dishonesty in Heroine-
Madhur Bhandarkar wrote his career worst screenplay for Heroine. A screenplay so hollow and narrow, that even David Dhawan seemed considerate in front of it. Heroine was written as if he just wanted one actress to cry and look awfully depressed all the time. No rhyme or reason for her behaving that way- just cry, cry and cry more. The movie’s screenplay deviated from the main topic of the film and just became about one particular case. Opportunity wasted.
6) The Chopras bringing out the worse in them and in Bollywood –
Jab tak hai Jaan proved to be the most pathetic movie of last 10 years or so. A screenplay so absurd, it could have only come out of Aditya chopra’s writing. A movie just harping on love love, jesus jesus , memory memory and lust lust. Un expected pathetic moments, unrequired awfully long length and a stupid narrative. Nothing about this movie seemed right. It was a new low for Bollywood and it came from the biggest moviemakers in Bollywood.
7) Anurag Kashyap’s bore saga of Gangs Of Wasseypur -1
I had huge expectations from the writer of Satya coming up with his own version of Desi Gangs and their lives and boy, I was disappointed and how!! GOW-1 may be exactly what Kashyap wanted to show, but for me it became a sad tale of the lusts of Wasseypur. The first part did not have anything to offer except a painfully long story creafted around continuing moments of Sardar Khan drooling over his wives and mistresses. There was nothing to remember or appreciate as far as story or direction is concerned. It never took off as a Gang story and rather just remained a lust story for maximum of its duration. Excellent performances but just a ridiculously bad story. Sheer Disappointment.
Last but not the least; I have to salute S.S. Rajamouli for writing a superb innovative script and having the talent to brilliantly execute it. Even though it was not technically Bollywood, but I would still like to give it credit as I feel language was not really the factor here. It was a universal script and a must watch film for all. Eega was brilliant.