As 2010 comes to an end and people get ready to go crazy celebrating the New Year, I thought I should also bid farewell to a wonderful 2010, the way I know best. So here is the list of my 16 most favourite films of the year 2010, English and Hindi.
Bollywood 2010 – The year was not a spectacular one for bollywood but nevertheless, we still got some gems to balance out the duds like Raavan, Kites and the Tees Maar Khan.
No. 16 – My Name is Khan
The much hyped international film by Karan Johar didn’t really get the box office to explode but it did go on to become the most successful hindi film abroad. The execution could have been much better but for an unusually restrained performance by Shahrukh Khan and once again a fine performance by Kajol, My Name is Khan makes the last spot on my list.
No. 15 – Golmaal 3
My apologies to all SRK fans for putting Golmaal 3 above MNIK but what can I say, It’s a guilty pleasure. It may not be even close to the first instalment but Golmaal 3 has some really memorable moments which are hilarious to say the least. From the addition of Kunal Khemu who says the most irrelevant things to Arshad Warsi delivering what could be my dialogue of the year, “Chee pa chee, iss umar mein? Upar wala bhi aapse do ya teen din hi bada hoga” in his signature style. It’s rib cracking stuff.
No. 14 – Aakrosh
From the man who has gone crazy making brainless comedies comes this hard hitting film about honour killing. The non linear screenplay escalates the level and gives it an almost thriller like feel. The film is lit up by some fine performances from Ajay Devgan, Akshay Khanna and Paresh Rawal who steals the show as the baddy. It’s not as great a film as Priyadarshan’s Viraasat but it still makes the cut.
No. 13 – Rakta Charitra
Surprised? I would expect you to be, merely because of the recent track records of Ram Gopal Varma and Vivek Oberoi. However, Rakta Charita is a semi fictional story and is based on the underworld which is the forte of RGV as well as Vivek. Believe me neither of them disappoints in this violent saga of revenge and power. If you can handle the bloodshed then its a film that should be seen.
No. 12 – Ishqiya
When I saw this film earlier this year, I knew that it would be one of my favourite films of the year. Spectacular performances by all the three leads coupled with some clever and witty dialogues make this film a great watch. Abhishek Chaubey is the first debutant director in this list and he shows great promise throughout the film, leaving a signature of sorts in the last scene with the three leads walking into the sunset, Hollywood style.
No. 11 – Striker
Rang De Basanti may have been Siddharth’s entry into bollywood but what will keep him here for a long time is Striker. If you think he acted well in RDB, then wait till you watch this film. Its a small film set in Mumbai in the late 80′s and centres around a gifted carrom player. Aditya Pancholi and Ankur Vikal (Slumdog Millionaire) give memorable performances. It’s a must watch.
No. 10 – Dabangg
Robinhood Pandey aka Chulbul Pandey fired up the box office like no other film this year. It went on to become the second highest grossing film of all time. Even though the movie was good, what made it great was a career best performance by Salman Khan portraying the lovable Chulbul. I am certain we will get to see a lot more of this character in the years to come.
No. 9 – Rajneeti
Raj Kumar Santoshi assembled an all-star cast for his silver screen adaptation of mahabharat and each member of this cast made it count. It was great to watch Manoj Bajpai in full form after a long time but the real surprises came from Arjun Rampal, Ranbir Kapoor and Nana Patekar. All three of them were great in the potrayal of some very difficult characters. Even Shruti Seth’s performance as an ambitious young politician was unforgettable.
No. 8 – Once Upon a Time In Mumbai
Its narrative is fast paced and helped by some crisp editing which makes sure that the film never becomes boring. The art direction is commendable which successfully gives the film a very 70’s feel and provides the authenticity that a movie like this requires.The buildup to the final faceoff between Sultan and Shoaib is terrific. Milan Luthria deserves loads of applause as he is successful in making your heart go out to Sultan. This one is indeed…….. Mumbai’s greatest betrayal.
No. 7 – Peepli [Live]
This is a film that has proven Aamir Khan’s calibre as a marketing genius. If it wasn’t for the intelligent marketing, Peepli [Live] would have remained a critically appreciated film. It’s arguably the most well written satires in Hindi cinema along with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. Watch it for the ugly truth behind the media, politics and life in the villages of our country.
No. 6 – Love Sex Aur Dhokha
LSD is the most innovative and original piece of filmmaking ever, period. It has spellbinding screenplay, real and believable characters, and a brilliant cast. Dibakar Banerjee has got a hattrick after Khosla ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! proving once again that you don’t need big budgets or big stars to make a great film.
No. 5 – Phas Gaye Re Obama
The last good film to come out this year, Phas Gaye Re Obama was a hilarious ride into the recession struck underworld. One could not imagine how recession would have affected this industry but director Subhash Kapoor does a great job at creating it on the silver screen. Manu Rishi also puts in a great performance after Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! but the best performance comes from Sanjay Mishra as the bankrupt don Bhaisahab. And if not for all this, PGRO is a must watch for the English coaching class scene, my scene of the year.
No.4 – Tere Bin Laden
If you havn’t seen Noora and his Sikaaandar this year then you surely have missed something. Tere Bin Laden came out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise. Ali Zafar plays Ali who is a Pakistani reporter and wants to go to America and work with CNN. The Movie is about his attempt to reach America by creating a fake Osama tape using Noora who resembles Osama a great deal. Tere Bin Laden reaches no. 5 because of an awesome script executed to perfection. From Pappu Chhatri to Ted Ji, everything is perfect.
No. 3 – Band Baaja Baaraat
I had just one thing to say after watching this film and that is “Main toh Ainvayi Ainvayi lut gaya”. That’s because I was completely smitten by this romantic comedy where finally, the makers get things right, especially after romcoms like Aisha, I Hate Luv Stories, Anjaana Anjaani and Break Ke Baad. Band Baaja Baaraat is a refreshing film that does most things right, from characterization to chemistry and from dialogues to music.
No. 2 – Udaan
Udaan is the coming of age story of a 16 yr old boy who has to deal with his abusive father portrayed brilliantly by Ronit Roy marking his return to the big screen. Rajat Barmecha plays Rohan, the 16 year old boy who gets expelled from his boarding school in shimla. The story touches you at many levels and the final blow is the unexpected ending that puts a big smile on your face. My favourite scene is the argument between father and son on the stairs and the smile on Rohan’s face…..priceless.
No. 1 – Do Dooni Chaar
I am sure most people are surprised by this one, if not all. However, the sooner you watch the film the earlier you will agree with me. It’s the simplest film of the year and I guess that is what touched me. The film is about a middle class family and the quest to buy a car. It’s not the story that is special, it’s the treatment. Debutant director Habib Faisal makes this film so believable that you actually feel like meeting Mr. Duggal (Rishi Kapoor) right after the film. Its a film that compelled me to love it and it is also the reason why I made this list, to let others know how good this film actually is. Please go and watch it right away.
Hollywood 2010 – Unlike Hindi cinema where over 1000 movies are made every year, Hollywood has always been more about quality. This year too there are a lot of quality films from which I have chosen my 16 most favourite.
No. 16 – Despicable Me
It starts out with a great character and a nice plot of a perpetually evil super villain who is not that great at being a villain. The plot changes as three small girls come into his life and he gets attached. The most memorable moments of this film are the scenes with the minions, the little yellow creatures. They are just adorable.
No. 15 – The Karate Kid
A remake of the 1984 original, The Karate Kid stars Jaden Smith, Will Smith’s son as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han. I can’t say that this one is better or worse than the original because the previous one released the year I was born. Even then I can safely say that this one is a damn entertaining film.
No. 14 – Hot Tub Time Machine
4 losers, a Hot Tub, loads of booze and an illegal Russian drink “Chernobly”….I know it doesnt sound much but trust me, it’s the recipe for a very hilarious film. Common perception is that it resembles Hangover in some ways but that’s not correct. Whether you have seen hangover or not, is immaterial, just give this one a shot.
No. 13 – A-Team
Based on a hit TV show of the same name, The A-Team is a team of 4 war veterans who are wrongly accused and convicted. They escape and seek revenge against the people who framed them. Its not a very original plot but the characters are the ones that make this a great ride, coupled with some breath taking action sequences. My action sequence of the year is where the A-Team is flying a tank, yes flying a tank. It makes for great popcorn entertainment.
No. 12 – Unstoppable
How entertaining can it be to have an unstoppable train as the plot of an entire film? Awesome as it turns out. Unstoppable offers a thrilling ride and edge of the seat action at al times in the film. On top of that there is Denzel and Chris Pine who play real life characters and behave as if they have been working on trains since they were born.
No. 11 – Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
If you have ever wondered how a movie would look if it was filmed as one long video game then you have to check this one out. Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is a film about Scott and his love interest, Ramona Flowers. Now to get her he first needs to defeat Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends all of whom are psycho. Everytime Scott defeats a boyfriend he gets coins just like in a video game and yes there is a 1-up for grabs too. Watch it if you can handle a new concept and style.
No.10 – Get Him To The Greek
This film is about an ambitious executive at a music company who is assigned the task of getting a once popular rockstar to the Greek theatre. Russel brand plays the rockstar Aldous Snow and gives his best performance ever. He looks and acts so natural it’s hard to imagine thta Aldous is actually Russel. Jonah Hill plays the executive Aaron Green, who gets the impossible task of escorting Aldous to the greek theatre. Their journey is filled with twists, mad parties, and even a threesome. The funniest scene is Aldous forcing Aaron to smuggle cocaine on the flight.
No. 9 – Toy Story 3
Everyone was very curious to see Toy Story 3 because it is believed that a third instalment is never successful and not even close to the first. This belief has been gaining strength for a long time from films like Spiderman, Shrek, Mummy, Terminator and numerous others. What people forgot is that this is Pixar we are talking about, the geniuses who made us cry and smile at the misfortunes of toys, cars, insects and even robots. So as life came a full circle for Pixar with the film that started it all, they left no stone unturned to give their fans a spectacular third instalment. If people disagree then they should think about the climax and remember what feelings they experienced and that to for a bunch of toys? That’s the power of Pixar.
No. 8 – Easy A
This was the last film I saw this year and straight away it reached no. 8 in my list. I know there have been plenty of high school comedies over the years but there is always a possibility of a Superbad and Easy A does in 2010 what Superbad did in 2007. It throws up some great sarcastic humour, hilarious situations and a supremely promising actor in Emma Stone who was coincidently also a part Superbad. Watch it for a great performance by Emma and as a different comdey film for this year.
It felt like the end of an era as I sat down to watch Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part1 because I suddenly felt a little empty thinking ‘There is just one more after this, and that’s it’. It has been a gold mine for Warner Bros. also with every movie surpassing the previous in collections. This one is darker than all others but answers less and asks more questions since it’s only the first part. There is loads of action, suspense and even the end of some very important characters.
No. 6 – The Town
If any of you have pre conceived notions about Ben Affleck then i suggest that each one of you should watch Gone Baby Gone (2007) which was his directorial debut. It’s probably one of my all time favourite films and that is the reason why I couldn’t wait to watch The Town, Affleck’s second as a director. It does not disappoint one bit as every minute of the film is filled with nail biting action. It is similar to Heat (1995) in more ways than one and just like The Heat, this too is one hell of a ride.
No. 5 - Kick-Ass
As the name this film too is totally Kickass. Based on a comic book of the same name, Kick-Ass tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave (Aaron Johnson), who decides to become a real life superhero and calls himself Kick-Ass. This action-comedy film does not hold back anything and surprises you at every moment. Boasting of some incredible action especially by the little Chloe Moretz, who was adorable in 500 Days of Summer but here she is well….kickass.
No. 4 – Shutter Island
Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island is a psychological thriller and the 4th film together for Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island. It offers one of the best climaxes in recent history, boasting of spectacular direction by the legendary Martin Scorsese.
N0. 3 – How to Train Your Dragon
Superb animation, an underdog/coming of age story and fire breathing dragons make How to Train Your Dragon the best animated film this year ahead of Pixar’s Toy Story 3 which is the biggest compliment any animated film can get. If there is a movie to be enjoyed in 3D it is this one as it has great aerial scenes which were made for 3D, not converted so as to make money. It’s a story which teaches us to look beyond the obvious, beneath the skin and appreciate what we find.
N0. 2 – The Social Network
The Social Network follows a non-linear narrative between the founding of Facebook and the two lawsuits, all brought out simultaneously in front of the audience.The dialogues are top notch and so is the screenplay and it’s because of these that the film works so effectively. What touched me most is how the man who connected more than 500 million friends lost the only friend he had and in the end preferred to sit alone in a closed board room with the only friend he was left with, his laptop. The Social Network, part fact part fiction is a very intelligent film for the intelligent audience but it will not be appreciated by the masses.
N0. 1 – Inception
After a long list we finally reach no. 1 but then again I don’t think there was ever any suspense about what film is at the top since the time Inception came out. If there was a movie that could actually dethrone Inception then it would be the best year at Hollywood in ages. A multi-layerd plot in literal terms, the finest original piece of film making I have seen since The Matrix (1999) and the best screenplay by a long shot make Inception a defining piece of cinema. It’s a film that asks for your undivided attention and rewards you for it. Inception is a film that needs to be seen at least twice to appreciate every little detail (once is enough to understand it against popular belief) from set designs to the special effects and even the performances by a spectacular cast.
Note: I would like to know what your top three films of this year are, so if you would like to share, please feel free to do so using the comments section.
P.S. – Only films that were released in India (Theatre or Original DVD) have been considered. Hence, recent films like Black Swan, True Grit, The Kings Speech etc have been left out.