Deviating from run-of-the-mill stuff, the passing year saw emergence of a genre of young film-makers who familiarised movie-goers with ‘slice of life' stories, says Harjeet Kaur Allagh

Indian audiences have come of age and young debutant filmmakers are riding the crest of success this change has brought about. The year 2009 has seen a transformation in the movies that were released as also in the audiences watching them. Not all of them were hits but we still had a few gems hidden in the midst of all that charcoal. Let's take a look at the path breaking films we loved, laughed along with and shed a tear over.

Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle was simply a masterpiece. The movie has a fantastic storyline and has wowed its audience and critics all over the world. It is all about a boy from the slums, his struggle to survive along with his brother, his love and his dreams, till the time he hits the jackpot-A dream that billions of Indians dream in their sleep and even when they are wide awake. It's a ‘slice of a life' film, fiction presented realistically.

Changing perceptions

Heroes have traditionally been projected as larger than life images, always coming out a winner even after being bashed up by 50 goons or taking a few rounds of bullets, pulling through and walking into the sunset with the heroine by their side. But perceptions have changed and the underdog has found his just place under the sun. Dev D is a modern-day interpretation of the classic novel Devdas. Dev, Paro and Chanda of Dev D reflect the sensibilities, conflicts, aggression free thought, exuberance and recklessness of the youth of today. Dev D is about a generation that is jammed between eastern roots and western sensibilities.

The Indian film industry is undergoing a transition phase. More and more directors are coming up with unique content defying the age-old masala movie formula. Along with Kaminey another such example of film-making is Wake up Sid. With Kaminey, Vishal Bhardwaj was lauded as the Indian Tarantino. With the advent of such new directing talent, the Indian film industry and an awakened audience seem to be heading in the right direction. Wake up Sid is your typical rich man's spoilt brat who hasn't learnt about growing up in life. Many young scions must have squirmed in their seats while identifying themselves with Sid!

On the other hand, Rocket Singh unfurls with Harpreet Singh Bedi (Ranbir Kapoor) who is just an average student but somehow manages to pass. He lands a job as a sales trainee and within a few days, is blasted for being a ‘Mahatma in the jungle.' It's a commendable film by Shimit Amin that delights, inspires, educates and enlightens the youth. Love Aaj Kal told a love story of two generations, how the concept of love changed through the years.

Reality drama

Madhur Bhandarkar a thought-provoking director, once again came up with his never before script in Jail. It proves to be a hardcore reality drama of prison life that most of our audiences are unaware of. The male nudity by Neil in this movie and by John before him in New York has been digested quite easily by our so called conservative audiences.

Offbeat movies like Taare Zameen Par, which dealt with dyslexia, created a new genre of cinema and were lapped up by hungry audiences. The recent release Paa portrays progeria, a rare genetic defect that causes accelerated ageing. Abhishek gets to play Big B's dad and this adds a new dimension to the power quotient of the movie. Vidya Balan and Arundhati Nag manage to steal the thunder from right under their nose. The mother-son bonding and the penultimate scene where Amitabh utters Paa, raises the bar. The emotional quotient is tremendous and one leaves the theatre sniffling and wiping off the tears.

Cinema is almost a religion in India and its time for a renaissance with an awakened audience and new age directors. What we all need to wait and watch is whether Amir's Three Idiots releasing this week and SRK's My Name Is Khan in the New Year makes the box-office tingle.

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