The year that passed was a year of extremities. On the one hand, there was a benchmark number of really bad films that made me want to gouge my eyes out. On the other hand, more and more experimental films were made and with great results. Here is the list of the top five films of the year in reverse, according to me. While many people out there wouldn’t agree with it, we’ll just have to agree to disagree:
One of the first and one of the best films of 2013, this black comedy/political satire was a fine example of what is wrong with our country’s audiences. A superb film that didn’t really get all the appreciation it deserved, it was bolstered by Vishal Bhardwaj’s eye for dark humor and Pankaj Kapoor’s fantastic, fantastic comic timing in a performance that certainly deserves all the awards, but might end up not getting any at all.
A film that was certainly the most suitable candidate for India’s entry to the Oscars, it ended up being embroiled in a controversy instead. Akin to Dhobhi Ghat, another fantastic but even further less commercial film, it left a many people in the audience simply stunned as to the pointlessness of it all and it’s abrupt ending. But for the thinking and discerning film goers, it proved to be a wealth of cinematic joy, providing a peek into what love stories of ordinary people look like. It only helped that it had Irrfan Khan in the lead, a guy who could give a clap-worthy performance as a corpse.
Who would’ve thought Saif Ali Khan could ever be a part of one of the best films of the year? Introducing a completely new genre of films to Indian audiences, zombie-comedies, and merging it with slacker elements and stoner comedy, it was a laugh-a-minute ride without ever resorting to slapstick humor. It left room open for a sequel, which might not come to fruition considering it’s lukewarm commercial success. Sad.
Take Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, multiply the hilarity and awesomeness by 2 and multiply negative audience feedback by 10, and you’ll get Ghanchakkar. Probably the most hilarious and the smartest black comedy to come out of India, it was sufficient proof that Aamir and No One Killed Jessica weren’t a fluke for director Raj Kumar Gupta, who has managed to impress me with every single film he has made. While I was quite disheartened by the poor reception of this film, I find solace in the fact that this is one of those films that would be reevaluated years later and dubbed a cult classic that was “misunderstood” at the time of its release.
It was a close contest between this film and Ghanchakkar, but ultimately Lootera won the race simply due to the effect it had on me. Beautifully filmed, poignant and heart-rending, Vikramaditya Motwane’s follow-up to the now-classic Udaan was every bit as charming as the latter. Partly inspired from the book “The Last Leaf”, it told it’s story with an old-world charm in the first half and portrayed the protagonists’ anguish to perfection in the second half. All those who complained about the slow pace of the film, maybe this film wasn’t for them, and maybe they should stick to crappy “fast-paced” films like Dhoom 3. But all those who really love movies and missed out on this gem of a film, do try to watch the best film of the year one way or another, and with an open mind.
India’s first legal comedy, it mixed patriotic elements very well with the entertainment factor. With excellent performances across the board and Subhash Kapoor firmly in charge as the director, it was one of the most memorable films this year.
Although John Abraham may be a terrible actor and gave a performance with the expressions of a tree trunk in this film, he has balls of steel in the capacity of a producer. An extremely bold film, it was a major step in the right direction for espionage thrillers in Bollywood.
Although initially intentioned to cash in on the popularity of Aashiqui and make easy money, the producers ended up making a very decent film. Great music, good drama and decent performances; that’s at least 2 extra merits than most “blockbusters” out there.
©Piyush Chopra for PosterGully.com