It is imperative to note that the year that went by was not one of the best years for Cinema as such.Neither the Hindi film-makers,nor the southern ones,especially Tamil directors shell out something spectacularly brilliant.One also cannot dispute the fact that inspite of nothing extraordinary,there was some splash in the pan and some films did steal the hearts with their sheer honesty!
The year started with a remake of an old-cult classic called Agneepath that had given Bachchan a national award. Hrithik was nowhere near the persona of Bachchan [that inspite of being itself irritating at times was superlative in terms of the emphatic portrayal of a character betrayed by life]. Agneepath was never about raw power,nor was Scarface from which it was partially inspired.These two films were about characters and their confrontation with life amidst a debate between the duty to do good and the necessity to outdo evil with evil.The film did boast of a few superlative performances like Rishi Kapoor who was good in his role and did bring out the emotion with aplomb.Hrithik disappointed.Nothing new in it as SRK in his role as Vijay had put up a miserable performance compared to Bachchan’s legendary portrayal of the same! Agneepath[old] was not masala,it was a drama..the thin line between a drama and masala is in the obvious intention to incorporate scenes to make the screenplay more audience friendly letting the script take a backseat..The new Agneepath was more on populist theorem,less on the symbolism of a path on fire!
A movie in the meantime caught attention.It was a small-budgeted drama woven around the purulence of semen.Vicky Donor was special even apart from a hilarious and aesthetic take on sperm donation.The breezy romance between Ayushman and Yami were a treat to watch.The buildup of it where two cultures are at loggerheads has been beautifully done.Infact the marriage scene where the slow and gradual amalgamation of Punjab and Bengal takes place is one of the best shot segment in a long time.It is not only convincing but also funny at the same time.Ayushamn gives a character that he most probably has lived in his real life.But the beautiful Yami is the scene-stealer,she is not only effervescent but also mature at the same time.Beautifully timed expressions.Vicky Donor teaches how to dirct a film on fluff but still pack in some solid scenes,both emotional and social.Anu Kapoor as Dr.Chadda is just as good as the actor he is!
I must say,I never fancied Kahaani as much hype it got.It was a nice film with Vidya being absolute stellar in her role but as a film it did not evoke much within me.It was neither fully engaging,neither the disconnect could be fully established. Saswata Chatterjee was the best thing about this film that also boasted an inconsistent performance from an accomplished actor-Nawazuddin Siddique.His expression in the climax did not even touch the emotion he was carrying. Parambrata could have been much better,have seen him doing better.Ending was heavily praised on many forums but if one has seen Angelina Jolie’s Taking Lives ,one would find it an underwhelming experience.Kahaani did not disappoint me but it was not worth the hype it had generated.
Another movie letdown by the climax and a ridiculously self-indulgent second half was Talaash. Not only did the movie spiral down the staircase of mediocrity but also ended with a climax that was not in sync with the essence of a mind-boggling suspense thriller.The biggest problem with the movie was its conceptualization.In times when you are some decade and half ahead of classic sagas like Sixth Sense,you cannot vouch your film being a masterclass suspense evolver! Sixth Sense was not a true cut suspense thriller but the end startled minds,one saw the movie triple times atleast to get a clue,if any,regards the ending.And yes there was,the clever usage of colours by Shaymalan.[Will explain it in comment]. Here there was nothing so mind-boggling so that the audience would rewind and try thinking about hidden clues.Most of them had anticipated the ending.Aamir was better than the monotonous act he regularly puts in.But the best part of it was the way the climax was shot..terrific!
Rowdy Rathore was the best Masala film of 2012.Ok.It was a remake.Ok,Teja has done it before.Ok.It was already a hit formula.But beholding the southern BB in its Hindi avataar was a treat.The music was foot-tapping and the execution was top notch! Infact this is the best remake after Wanted. Akshay was great as the con-man and also as the police officer.This film signified masala in its full glory.It pitted the protagonist against some “heart-wreathing” moments and allowed the revenge to be clamoured for!I enjoyed this popcorn fare too much although it didn’t stay there for long making any impact.Fluff at the end of the day remains fluff.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan allowed me to sit back and relax,watch romance,although not in its full glory[nowhere close to SRK’s yesteryear love sagas], and feel the pain and the pangs.The best part of this film was cinematography and the most endearing act was of Sha Rukh Khan’s. But the biggest fault lay within the screenplay of this movie.Inconsistent pace,more disconnect than connect and lack of tear jerker moments sans a few.But then in the ambiance of masala,this film was a relief with its promisary note on love.The confrontation scene of Sir Jesus and SRK,the scenes between SRK-Anushka were the best of the lots.The choreography of Ishq-Shava was great and must be mentioned.Being a SRK fan,I did enjoy this saga that did not do full justice to the essence of promises in love.Sleepless in Seattle was a movie that exactly not on same theme,but relied heavily on characters and their emotions to bring out the belief that love does meet happiness at the end with hope as its greatest weapon!
Between Dabangg2 and ETT,I enjoyed Dabangg2 more.Atleast Salman did what he is currently doing best.Although not a patch on Dabangg[that itself isn’t exactly a fav of mine],it does incorporate the moods of Chulbul with the macho image of his-sometimes comical,sometimes treading the borders of insanity and sometimes grave-Chulbul did make an impact in an otherwise bland film with no novelty,no desire to make the sequel incorporate substance.ETT was a totally forced film,neither did I feel the pain of being on the wrong side of love,neither the connect nor the escape.It was all looking like a vehicle to showcase Salman as the demi-God which never worked for me!
OMG can easily become the best movie of 2012.This movie is not only an interesting take on religious fanaticism but also hits out at the agenda of using religion as a tool to blind faith itself. The script must be lauded and the summation itself becomes praiseworthy.It strikes at our own beliefs but breaks only the wrong ones,leaves faith in our minds but aloof from the rituals.It does force us to think on our ways of following a religion,whether to incorporate it as a guide to life or practice it asa tool to ask favours from the Almighty!Paresh was good,so was Akshay.But the real hero here was the script and screenplay.
A last mention for a film that I could not connect with but did like the way it was handled,especially the climax..the language was used as an effective tool to bring out the insecurities we harbour,same language is used as a weapon to win over them and prove oneself and at last in the flight,same language is ridiculed by refusing to read the newspaper in the concerned language. Sridevi is good in her role.But special mention for Adil,one who played her husband,he was so spontaneous and natural.Gauri Shinde has done a decent job and the effect is also heart-warming.
More than the Hindi films,it was an exciting year for English films. Next post will be about it.
Milind/AnupamTags: Aamir Khan Agneepath Akshay Kumar Amitabh Bachchan Articles Ayushmann Khurrana Dabangg 2 Ek Tha Tiger English Vinglish Exclusive Hrithik Roshan Jab Tak Hai Jaan Kahaani Nawazuddin Siddiqui OMG Oh My God Paresh Rawal Rowdy Rathore Salman Khan Shah Rukh Khan Sridevi Talaash Vicky Donor Vidya Balan