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Year-end musings

Friday, December 17, 2010

It’s the end of the year, two big films (‘Tees Maar Khan’ and ‘Toonpur Ka Superhero’) to go, so it’s time to take a look at the year gone by.

It was the year of shocks, of upsets, of idols tumbling and the small film triumphing. And what’s strange is that mainstream Bollywood filmmakers are still promoting and marketing their films as the most expensive; they are showing off special effects and stunts by foreign technicians. Some of them are bringing in over-the-hill Hollywood stars and pretending they are in the international league.

It’s sad how little effort they are putting into creativity. Still, film lovers give filmmakers a long rope and there is still some excitement in picking which will be the ones to look out for, even if disappointment is in store.

As of now, the real life case, promos of the film and the last movie (‘Aamir’) by director Rajkumar Gupta have piqued curiosity about ‘No One Killed Jessica’, starring Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan, based on the sensational murder of a model in Delhi and the subsequent trial. Again, the content and the controversies that keep popping up have made newbie Alankrita Shrivastav’s ‘Turning 30’, about a young woman’s (Gul Panang) life going topsy-turvy when she turns 30.

High level promotion, the presence of Aamir Khan and film festival kudos have made Kiran Rao’s ‘Dhobi Ghat’ a hot favourite. Then Aamir has thrown a challenge to all self-respecting moviegoers by saying that it is not for everyone. Who wants to admit they are not ‘everyone’?

For those looking for conventional entertainment, there is ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana’, in which the three Deols – Dharmendra and sons Sunny and Bobby – appear together. Deol senior still has a big enough fan following to make this one get a good opening.

Madhur Bhandarkar is attempting a comedy with ‘Dil To Baccha Hai Ji’, taking a break from his realistic ‘cause’ oriented cinema, and working with A-leaguer Ajay Devgn for the first time, along with Emraan Hashmi.

‘Run Bhola Run’, directed by Neeraj Vora is a test to see whether Govinda still has it in him to pull an audience. And after ‘Tees Maar Khan’, Akshay Kumar’s box-office position will depend on ‘Patiala House’, even though the director is Nikhil Advani, who needs to prove himself more.

Sudhir Mishra takes a longish break and then returns with two quick films –‘Tera Kya Hoga Johnny’ releases at the end of 2010 and ‘Yeh Saali Zindagi’ in February 2011. Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ with Priyanka Choptra and seven leading men has been getting a lot of media attention.

And all this in just the first quarter of 2011 – there is reason for optimism.

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