2012 was a different year for Bollywood. A handful of movies that come under the category of meaningful cinema were released and Bollywood realised that you can make money out of a sensible movie without being preachy (I am adding information about collections to make that point). There were strong female leads this year both in front and behind the screen. While English Vinglish and Talaash were directed by Gauri Shinde and Reema Kagti, Sneha Khanwalkar blew me away by her music score in Gangs of Wasseypur. Barring Pan Singh Tomar and Oh My God, every movie listed below had strong female leads. Yes, we can do without item numbers. With élan.
Here is an alphabetical list of my favourites. If you are searching for Ek Tha Tiger, you will find it at the end of the post.
Barfi – The most heart tugging movie which came out last year. The eternal love story of Barfi and Jhilmil had all of us in tears. The movie sent a strong message that love does not know disabilities and gathered more than 106 crores in the process. If you forget the scenes copied from ‘City Lights’, this movie is nothing less than a masterpiece. I have reviewed it in detail here.
Ek Main Aur ekk Tu – A unique concept for Indian audience where the girl was calling the shots, where all the signals which men equate to commitment were rightly put to place. Commitments and relationships do not happen over assumptions. And yes, the girl can be older. I loved the movie for its theme and the Indian audience were fine with it too. Made on a budget of 36 Crores, the movie made 40 crores and was a moderate success.
English Vinglish – Sridevi’s comeback vehicle and what a comeback! One of the most grounded movies of recent times, it is a story of a woman trying to prove herself and coming out with flying colours. No, she wasn’t just there to make Ladoos and to be abused by her daughter. There was more to her. Made on a budget of 15 crores, the movie earned 85 crores at the box office.
Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 – The rawness of the movie will leave you breathless. The movie was a cinematic brilliance because of the depth of characters and triumph of storytelling. The gore was not everyone’s cup of tea but see beyond that and you will see the stellar performances of Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Huma Qureshi. Both the parts were made at a budget of 20 crores and raked in around 60 crores at the box office.
Kahani– An engaging thriller after such a long time. The movie broke all the clichés of a Bollywood movie – No songs, No male lead and a pregnant woman as the lead protagonist. There wasn’t a single dull moment in this fast paced suspense thriller. Made on a shoestring budget of 8 crores, the movie earned 104 crores at the box office.
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana – A simple feel good story of a boy who returns to his village to get his granddad’s famous chicken recipe to pay his debts. There are problems. His granddad does not remember a thing and the boy is falling in love with his brother’s fiancé. Add to it a crazy family and a servant named ‘Dalidri’. Made on a budget of 3 crores, the movie found its audience and earned 10 crores.
Oh my God – The movie showed us a mirror. It rightly portrayed the commercialisation of God and how common people allow themselves to be fooled by the business. The movie was the surprise hit of the year for me. Made on a budget of 20 crores, the movie earned 83 crores at the box office.
Paan Singh Tomar – The movie depicts the real life story of Paan Sigh Tomar who won numerous medals in national level racing events in India. He was an army man who turns into a dacoit because of the inability of the corrupt Indian law and order system to provide him justice. Watch this for Irrfan Khan. Made on a budget of 8 crores, the movie earned 38 crores at the box office.
Talaash – The most anticipated suspense movie of the year. A lot of people were disappointed by it but it does not take away the fact that the movie was beautifully crafted with some good performances. I loved the way the director left hints all over the movie. The movie earned 90 crores at the box office. It was made on a budget of 40 crores.
Vicky Donor – My favourite movie of the year and the only movie that I saw twice in the theatre. This was a unique concept and I believe had a very good chance at the Oscars. Aayushmann is a very lucky guy to get a dream debut like this movie. Made on a budget of 5 crores, the movie earned 46 crores at the box office.
Of course, these movies were not the top grossers of the year. Except for Barfi and Kahani, none of the movies made it to the 100 crores slot. Here is a list of the Hit Shit Nautanki movies of the year that I wish were never made –
Ek Tha Tiger – Story of a RAW agent and an ISI agent falling in love and jumping from one building to another.
Son of Sardar – Ajay Devgan plays a Sikh who cannot dance. And Sonakshi in that Red sari dancing like Mithun was the last straw.
Dabangg 2 – Kareena looks like an idiot wearing a blouse and petticoat in the Fevicol song. Stupid movie = Big money.
Bol Bachchan – DAFAQ did I just see? My eyes! My eyes!
Rowdy Rathore – Don’t angry me. Exactly.
Agneepath – Mutilation of a classic.
Housefull 2 – Sajid Khan tries to do a Manmohan Desai who then becomes the first soul to bawl in heaven.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan – One movie you wish Yash Chopra never made.
Cocktail – A modern Indian girl with a mind of her own is good for fuc*ing. A traditional Indian cow is good for marrying. Period.
Raaz 3 – The next time you see a decapitated body, try copulation to calm yourself.
Student of the Year – Keep a brick wali wall handy.
Next year is exciting with a lot of good movies lined up. Hopefully, we will have less of those heaving bosoms.