Sudhish Kamath traces the highs and the lows, the best and the worst of Hindi cinema over the past decade.
10 Best Films of the Decade
1. Dil Chahta Hai
What does the spoilt “I, Me, Myself” generation want really? Simply put, Farhan Akhtar captured the conflict of our times and shifted focus from the family unit to the individual.
2. Rang De Basanti
Rakeysh Mehra’s wake-up call became an anthem for the increasingly alienated youth. To end the film as a nightmare – if the youth take up arms – was a touch of brilliance.
3. Lage Raho Munnabhai
Re-introducing Gandhian principles as a solution to our everyday problems through an already popular Munnabhai. What a masterstroke by Rajkumar Hirani
The lunacy of filmmaking indeed! For the sheer magnitude of Ashutosh Gowariker’s vision, effort and conviction to pull off a film with an hour long climax – a cricket match!
Sarkar was inspired by The Godfather but this underworld saga saw Ram Gopal Varma reach his peak as Jaideep Sahni worded magic. And, the actors delivered the dynamite.
6. Khosla Ka Ghosla
Dibakar Banerjee and Sahni on a shoestring budget chose to bat for the common man’s struggle against the powerful and reunited the individual self back with the family.
7. Dev D
Anurag Kashyap’s take on Devdas caught the fancy of a generation dealing with the degeneration of values and relationship pangs. ‘Emotional Atyachaar’ we loved.
8. Taare Zameen Par
Making a complex country such as ours spell DYSLEXIA is no mean task and Aamir not only did with great sensitivity, the “Idiot” made us cry.
9. Chak De
Because Shimit Amin brought a game-changer to the party. Shah Rukh Khan with no song and dance or heroine. Just a brat-pack of girls and woman-power.
Dor is a better film but since it was inspired by Perumazhakaalam, we’ll give it to Nagesh Kukunoor’s slap on the face to Bhansali’s Black brand of manipulative melodrama. Iqbal made us forget his disability and didn’t really try emotional ‘Black’-mail.
10 Films That Got A Little Too Much Attention:
1. Black – Great synthesis of the art and performance if you can forgive the manipulation.
2. Bheja Fry – But yes, an adorable Vinay Pathak carried this plagiarized film.
3. Hera Pheri – This remake got a way more attention than it deserved, spawned sequels
4. Ghajini – Banked on Aamir’s six-pack body to deliver the punches
5. Golmaal – And assembly-line comedies were back in business
6. Krissh – And you thought Koi Mil Gaya was too much?
7. Jism – Bipasha showed what a great body can do.
8. Murder – Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi made out and went serial kissing
9. Dhoom 2 – Aishwarya Rai finally gave in and kissed on screen finally.
10. Fanaa – Kajol’s comeback film was ‘inspired’ too but the director didn’t know that.
10 Films So Bad That They Are Good
1. Neal n Nikki – Shot on a lavish lingerie-string budget, holds record for maximum skin shown in a film
2. Sins – Constructed as a series of excuses for sex scenes involving an old priest and young girl
3. RGV Ki Aag – Inspired critics to come up with the funniest reviews
4. Love Story 2050 – Where a Hrithik Roshan clone looked like the special effect
5. Karzzz – Since I missed Aap Ka Suroor – The Moviee – The Real Luv Story
6. Koi Mil Gaya – Took bad acting to new depths but it worked Jadoo at box office
7. Kyon Ki – That got remade about 20 years too late
8. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom – Before Sunrise with crazy dancing for 20 minutes and strange bearded Bachchan for no reason.
9. Hero Love Story of a Spy – For the brilliance of Anil Sharma and Sunny Deol’s range of disguises involving a mere change in sunglasses to fool Pakistani intelligence
10. Kisna – But hey, that Tarzan girl was good dancing on trees.
10 Films That Did Not Get Their Due
1. Rocket Singh - Honesty that deserves to be watched
2. Johnny Gaddar - A fantastic crime-thriller plays games with your mind
3. Delhi 6 - Gets to the root of our problem - our inherent need for the boogeyman
4. Socha Na Tha - A director was born, Imtiaz Ali's best film till date
5. Luck By Chance - Such a complex film sensitively handled with great balance
6. Flavours - A refreshing debut by the guys who gave us 99
7. Ek Chalis Ki Last Local - Much before Kaminey, a lesser known director paid tribute to the Coens and Tarantino
8. Parzania - Absolutely gutsy filmmaking
9. Blue Umbrella - One of Vishal Bhardwaj's most beautiful films with a Malgudi Days-like charm
10. Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi – Sudhir Mishra’s masterpiece deserved better but still has a cult following.
10 unforgettable onscreen moments of the decade
1. When Katrina debuted by pulling out a stone from her bikini – Boom
2. When Abhishek kissed John – Dostana
3. When Emraan made out with Mallika – Murder
4. When Sunny Paaji uprooted a hand-pump – Gadar
5. When Hrithik first went on stage to shake a leg – Kaho Na Pyaar hai
6. When Bachchan, Shah Rukh and Hrithik shared screen – Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
7. When a desperate Tabu negotiated helplessly – Chandni Bar
8. When Madhuri and Aishwarya went Dhola Re Dhola – Devdas
9. When Bollywood heroes began to walk like Reservoir Dogs – Kaante
10. When half the movie stars partied on screen – Om Shanti Om
Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade
1. Anurag Kashyap – What a range of films by the auteur – Paanch, Black Friday, No Smoking, Dev D, Gulaal and Return of Hanuman
2. Farhan Akhtar – For bringing refreshing restraint, understatement
3. Rajkumar Hirani – For preserving the drama in our films
4. Shimit Amin – For giving characters space to breathe
5. Farah Khan – For celebrating our escapist cinema
6. Nagesh Kukunoor – For breaking the mould every time
7. Vishal Bhardwaj – For bringing literature, poetry and lyricism to cinema
8. Rakeysh Mehra – For inspiring and trying hard to make relevant films
9. Ashutosh Gowariker – For his sincerity and conviction
10. Ram Gopal Varma and Priyadarshan – For not letting criticism affect their spirit
10 Indie Films You Must Watch
1 Let’s Talk - For its structureless-ness
2 A Wednesday - For taking offbeat mainstream
3 Mithya - For Rajat Kapoor's uncompromising vision and and Ranvir Shorey's performance
4 Being Cyrus - Indian English cinema's first experiment with a A-list star
5 Phir Milenge - The most sensitive film on AIDS that deals with the drama with great restraint
6 Aamir - An art-house thriller that takes you into the mind of the Muslim who refuses to subscribe to the ideology of violence
7 Mr and Mrs Iyer - A poignant love story that launched Konkana Sen
8 Dil Dosti etc - The anti-thesis to Dil Chahta Hai
9 Loins of Punjab - One of the best written Indian English films
10 Mumbai Meri Jaan - For giving hope, an uplifting tribute to the spirit of Mumbai.