2013 Bollywood reflections: The year that marked 100 years

No doubt 2013 has been an eventful, eye-opening and an overall record-breaking year for Bollywood. However, in a year that was always going to be iconic in its celebration of 100 years of the Indian film industry, a lot of things have created controversy too. In terms of making mega-bucks, the year has been an extremely profitable one for filmmakers but this makes me think that this is also the year which will be remembered for just that. Did 2013 deliver great, revolutionary content for Indian cinema? Is this is kind of 100th year which makes us an audiences and them as filmmakers proud? I really am not sure whether I’m proud of the achievements of the industry in the last 12 months but nonetheless, there have been some gems that have caught my eye both films-wise and music-wise. I also, as with every year, have my very own set of awards as the end for the absolute stars of the year and my reasoning behind my choices.

Join me as I reflect…

My Top 5 Best Films (from the ones I’ve seen)

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – Where do I start with this one? I was not looking forward to this movie too much this year but I can confirm that from the first trailer onwards, my own excitement for it crept up on me. I am ecstatic that it lived up to my short-lived expectations (it’s a hard thing to do) and it’s become one of my most favourite films of all time. Ranbir Kapoor’s rendition of Bunny made Bunny my ideal man – mostly. Ranbir’s cheeky yet trustworthy self only added to the mix for me. Deepika Padukone (Naina) was also seen in what I thought was a different light as a girl who was a self-confessed wallflower until she falls for Bunny. Overall, the music also gave this one a huge push in my books especially the more mellow tracks of Subhanallah and Kabira – both versions. There is not much more I can say apart from a big thank you to Karan Johar and Ayan Mukerji for the way they packaged the film and treated the story. It’s weird but I feel like this one changed my life… a little bit like ZNMD did. (It was a huge deal that I even met and interviewed Ranbir for this one so it’s all the more special!)

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – Farhan Akhtar, as many will not be able to argue, is a fantastic actor. However, in this movie, he well and truly arrived. I always knew he would do justice to this film but when I was there watching it in the cinema, I actually didn’t realise how good he was until I walked out and felt the impact of what was a portrayal of a true story, a biopic. He gave easily the best performance of the year even though the year was far from over when the movie released. Now that the year is drawing to an end, I can safely say I was right. Sonam Kapoor in her small but pivotal role was also a revelation and their jodi – albeit an odd one – was what provided freshness where it was necessary.

Lootera – This is in no way a biased choice. I understand this film was slammed by certain critics but one cannot deny that both Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Singh – yet another unconventional jodi – gave sterling performances. Set in the 1950s, the story wasn’t your typical dancing-around-trees offering but a more thoughtful, power performance packed, heart-touching one. Director Vikramaditya Motwane, in my book, is one of the best new directors the industry has in it today and it is visionaries like him who will, I am sure, take Indian cinema to a whole new level in the coming years.

Special 26 – This is one even I was surprised to be including in my list. However, having gone through the list of 2013 releases, cutting out the ones I chose not to see to the ones I genuinely haven’t gotten round to watching yet, Special 26 emerged as a movie which was intelligent and definitely worth a mention in my top ones of the year. I confess I went to see this movie with zero expectations from it and when it reached the intermission I was more than pleasantly surprised. I have lost a little faith in the film choices made by Akshay Kumar in recent years and therefore expected Special 26 to be a brain-to-be-left-at-home kind. It was, in fact, the complete opposite. I was hooked from start to finish at its unpredictability and the way it didn’t seek to insult the intelligence of the viewers. If you haven’t seen it yet then please do make sure you put it on your lists as one to watch.

Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela & Krrish 3 – I’ve never really let a joint best come into play in my top list but this year it had to be done. Krrish 3 was a film which was my most anticipated. Knowing that along with the gorgeous Hrithik Roshan, Vivek Oberoi was also a part of this instalment was enough to make me pee in my pants with excitement (!). The film was one I was impressed with even though I’m not an out-and-out sci-fi fan. It was decent enough in comparison to other movies I’ve seen throughout the year and I think it deserved a place in my list. On the same level, Ram-leela was a movie I was just itching to see. With Ranveer as Romeo and Deepika as the beautiful Juliet, my yearning for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s larger than life settings was going to be fulfilled… and fulfilled it was. Of the whole year, Ram-leela definitely was the grandest spectacle on the big screen but apart from that and the chemistry shared by Ranveer-Deepika, it wasn’t really what it could have been. Nonetheless, out of a very mixed bag of films in the year, it deserves a joint place here.

In another break away from the norm, I’ve got to give a special mention to D-Day. This was a movie I went to see on the big screen purely on the buzz I read about it on Twitter. With a multi starcast and Nikhil Advani as director, I was expecting something different. Undoubtedly, D-Day was gory from start to finish but it was an amazing film to watch in the cinema. Irrfan Khan did wonders in the movie as did the rest of the cast. For a girl who doesn’t usual like this kind of cinema, D-Day was a movie I really liked.

My Top Worst Films

Race 2 – I don’t think I need to explain myself. I spent (wasted) time and breath questioning so much about the stupidity of the plot and the attempt to be ‘hip’ James Bond style of this movie. I am not going to do it again. Least deserving of 100 crores? Err… yes I damned well think so!

Go Goa Gone – I’m not a zombie film fanatic. I went to see this as I was intrigued. First of its kind in Bollywood and I’m hoping it’s the last too!

Ishkq in Paris – Debacle. Enough Said.

My favourite album – YJHD (obvious reasons)

My favourite songs:

Be Intehaan – Race 2
Maanjha & Shubharumbh – Kai Po Che
Saadi Galli – Nautanki Saala
Tum Hi Ho & Sunn Raha Hai Tu (Female) – Aashiqui 2
Subhanallah – YJHD
Sawaar Loon – Lootera
Lungi Dance – Chennai Express
Alvida – D-Day
Title track & Gulaabi – Shuddh Desi Romance
Main Rang Sharbaton & Tu Mera Agal Bagal – Phata Poster Nikla Hero
Title track, Tere Mohalle, Dil Ka Jo Haal Hai – Besharam
Chingam Chabake – Gori Tere Pyaar Mein
Ang Laga De, Ishkiyaoon – Ram Leela
Saree Ke Fall Sa – R… Rajkumar

The Awards…

My Stand-out Star Male – This is another joint one! Based purely on cinematic performance and giving his all to a role, it’s got to be Farhan Akhtar for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Also, I commend him for starting the MARD initiative as an aim to make a man be a man and trying to trigger an attitude change in India – hats off! Also, for being a total soldier in a difficult time, it’s got to be Hrithik Roshan. Surviving brain surgery is no mean feat! Also, all the personal issues right now must not be easy for him or for Sussanne.

My Stand-out Star Female – Another joint one! For yet another year, it’s PC, PC and PC. She’s going from strength to strength. Singer, international collaborations,brilliant films… and Guess girl! Need I say more? (I did have the pleasure of meeting her this year too!) The other one is Deepika Padukone… can this girl better her own self in the coming years? It will remain to be seen. (I had the pleasure of meeting her this year too!)

My ‘Stick to what you know’ award – Ranbir Kapoor. Going from a Rockstar to a Barfi! to a Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani to a… Besharam!? Follow your heart my love, the films you trust with your heart won’t let you down. You’ve shown your prowess for unconventional cinema already so who cares about trying to please the masses? You shouldn’t.

My ‘Please don’t do it again’ award – This one, as many will probably already have guessed, goes to Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan for their respective films Chennai Express and Dhoom 3. CE saw SRK play a 40-year-old… but can someone explain to me in what way he was that age? Fighting the villains as if he was in his 20s and jet black dyed hair was chosen instead of the more distinguished look which may have been more convincing. As die-hard a fan as I am, he needs to step down from such roles. As for Aamir Khan, I think Dhoom 3 was just wrong. He was the wrong choice. He’s another one who needs to start taking on roles according to his age – IMO, of course!

My ‘Get a grip’ award – Although this one could go to a very many people, I think the most deserving person for this award is Preity Zinta. What on earth was she thinking making a film like Ishkq in Paris! I have no words to explain how bad it was. What was she thinking?!

My ‘Shock horror’ award – There is no question about this but rather than to a specific person I think this goes to the moment I learnt of Hrithik and Sussanne’s split. For me, they are genuinely a ‘forever after’ couple and I hope they can sort out their differences and reunite very soon.

My ‘Happy to see again’ award – Karan Johar’s Koffee with Karan. I’ve missed this show so much and I’m glad it’s back on our screens again!

Here’s to another year gone. I wanted 2013 to see Bollywood try it’s luck WITHOUT the 100 crore club but I guess it was just wishful thinking. I hope 2014 has a lot more to celebrate in terms of quality than in terms of the mega bucks that a film rakes in. Goodbye 2013… and good riddance to a year where most films (according to me) weren’t even worthy of being seen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.