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The Year Gone By - Part 2

Friday, December 27, 2013
By Deepa Gahlot

Last week, the disappointments of the year were dealt with, this week, a look at the films that made a mark one way or the other—because they were good, or they were successful or they tried something new.

‘Dhoom 3’ was expected to be a blockbuster and it was, even though cartoonists and wags are having a field day laughing at it.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Ram Leela’, the big, bright boisterous ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in Gujarat skirted round tragedy, but gave audiences enough romance and raunch to get their money’s worth.

‘Krrish 3’ is a winning franchise, Indian audiences like their own desi superman who looks as dishy as Hrithik Roshan.

Hansal Mehta’s ‘Shahid’, a biography of a lawyer who was slain for taking up cases of Muslims, won awards and acclaim.

Maneesh Sharma’s ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ was a sharp and sassy tale of romantic aspirations in small town, when marriage and sex don’t necessarily go together. A more somber version of mofussil love was ‘Raanjhnaa’ that left many women uncomfortable with its sympathetic portrayal of a stalker. A dark, arty take was ‘BA Pass’ about a young man ensnared by a cynical older woman.

Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Madras Café’ and Nikhil Advani’s ‘D-Day’ presented an interesting mix of fact and fiction wrapped in pulse-pounding action.

Rohit Shetty, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone combined to create ‘Chennai Express’ — the crores and echoes of ‘Lungi Dance’ are still flying around.

‘Bhaag Milka Bhaag’ was full on Bollywood melodrama even when telling the true story of a legendary sportsman, but what a performance by Farhan Akhtar!
Vikramaditya Motwane’s ‘Lootera’, a gentle love story at a time of noise and bluster, brought out the best in Sonakshi Sinha and Ranveer Singh.

‘Ramaiya Vastavaiya’ and ‘ABCD’ were surprise success, despite having no star names and nothing novel about their content.

‘Kai Po Che’ and ‘Fukrey’ both with fresh faces, both about three friends, the former more serious and clued into young India.

‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ tried to bridge the gap between the aspirations of old India and new—and the old won! ‘Bombay Talkies’—a portmanteau film in which four directors paid tribute to 100 years of Indian cinema, had its plusses, but didn’t quite hit the spot. The success of the soggy love story ‘Ashiqui 2’ was a surprise, but the music tugged at the heart.

‘Satyagraha’ and ‘Jolly LLB’ worked with real-life incidents and spoke of corruption in high places — sometimes getting on a moral high horse works. But the small films turned mega were Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ and Anand Gandhi’s ‘Ship Of Thesus’, so sincere and true that they got the support of mainstream Bollywood and how often does that happen?

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