So, for the first blogpost of this year (before I return back to hibernation again), here's giving you my opinion as to what were my personal pick of the good (and not-so-good) Hindi movies of 2012. Yet again, this is just my opinion, and I am not here to start any debate as to "which movie was better than the other one", or any such war of words. So let's fly back to 2012, and allow me to justify these choices with mini-reviews for each of them.
Note: the following two enumerations are in chronological order, starting from the earliest flick released in 2012, ending with the latest one.
Agneepath - The first hit of the year, and an interesting remake of the classic Amitabh Bachchan revenge saga of the same name. The movie purely belongs to the actors, who give powerful performances making this a captivating movie. Sanjay Dutt as Kancha delivers a scary performance, as it is clearly one of his best portrayals on screen in recent times. Rishi Kapoor as the cold-blooded Rauf Lala, does a terrific job, and was my second-favorite aspect of the movie. Because my favorite was clearly the main lead of the movie, Hrithik Roshan. He has incorporated the role of Vijay Dinanath Chauhan so well in himself, that he himself carries the movie forward in this revenge saga. The background music and the dialogues are other aspects that I enjoyed equally in this one. Worth a watch.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu - A cute romantic-comedy flick with Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor, which is a fun and a feel-good movie. Interestingly Imran Khan does a straightforwardly nice act, proving to the critics that he can indeed do a great job, provided if the script offered to him is good as well. Kareena does well too, as she yet again bags herself a nice role. Certain scenes and dialogues are hilarious, and some of them are extremely witty. Even though it was slow at times, it's a very straightforward story and a movie which I personally liked.
Kahaani - One of the best movies of 2012, undoubtedly. The movie rides on three main factors: Vidya Balan, the story, and the beautiful city Kolkata. A suspense thriller that lives up to the expectations, and more importantly shows that all you need is a captivating story, and the rest will follow. Good stuff by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Parambrata Chatterjee as well. A must-watch.
Shanghai - A political drama flick by one of my favorite directors in recent times, Dibakar Banerjee. This one is a very serious movie, which was a tad slow at certain times, but which eventually ends up being an interesting one. Not one of Banerjee's best, but a well constructed story and a realistic screenplay nevertheless.
Gangs of Wasseypur - This one belongs to a very different type of cinema, but a well-crafted story by Anurag Kashyap, this turns out to be one of the most interesting movies to have come out in recent times. I read a review which said that this movie is worthy of a second viewing, just to catch the details and nuances it brings, which I totally agree to. And moreover to understand the complex story. If you're a fan of off-track movies, then certainly go for this one.
Barfi - One of the most endearing characters you'll ever see on screen, played by a magnificent Ranbir Kapoor. From the beginning of the movie, you join him while he laughs, loves, cries and simply makes you smile with his pure innocence. And the innocence doesn't stop there, since Priyanka Chopra gives out her best performance till date, as an autistic person. Ileana D'Cruz also does well in her first Hindi outing. The cinematography, the story-telling, and the music is absolutely brilliant. A gem of a movie, which also has its share of flaws (its length, and its slow pace at times, being some), but it's all forgiven since the final product ends up being something classy and full of heart. Unmissable!
OMG! Oh My God - Even though I have a strong dislike for Akshay Kumar movies, I must say this one was a pleasant change from his usual no-brainers. He plays a modern version of Lord Krishna in a very charming way. But the movie certainly belongs to Paresh Rawal, who plays the role of a man who sues God in court, very convincingly! Even the music by Himesh Reshammiya is rather pleasant for a change. Even if the ending is slightly strange, it's still a movie which sends out a powerful message. A different take on religion, and a movie that makes you think.
English Vinglish - Promoted heavily as Sridevi's "comeback film", I feel it's much more than that. It's a very subtle and straightforward story, which is very realistic and relevant to the times, as Sridevi plays the role of a housewife who decides to take English classes, because of her husband and daughter who constantly tease and criticize her. Dialogues and acting are very simple and well-executed. French actor Mehdi Nebbou does a good job, and I absolutely enjoyed the special appearance in the movie (which I won't mention for those who haven't seen the movie). A nice feel-good movie.
Talaash - And finally comes one of the best movies of the year, starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee. The story and suspense are the key elements of the movie. The rest (ie, acting, dialogues, movie flow, etc.) just follows thereafter. A well written movie, with good music and great BGM, and yet again Aamir Khan does his usual classy act. A nice suspense thriller directed by Reema Kagti.
Paan Singh Tomar - Based on a true story of a dacoit who turned into an athlete, I hear this one is an excellent movie, with Irrfan Khan as the main lead.
Ferrari Ki Sawari - A sweet entertainer starring Sharman Joshi and Boman Irani, this one is certainly on my watch-list since it is "by the makers of Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots".
Gangs Of Wasseypur Part 2 - Saw and liked GOW few days back, but I haven't seen its sequel yet. Will be doing so this weekend.
Student Of The Year - Even though it's a glossy and kitsch world out there in this Karan Johar flick, it seems that the debutant trio did a good job. Alia Bhatt, Sid Malhotra and Varun Dhawan share a good chemistry on-screen, and personally speaking, I have always been a fan of KJo's movies.
Delhi Safari - An animated movie directed by Nikhil Advani with music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, this one certainly picked my curiosity. Read good reviews of it, so it's also on my watch-list.
Chakravyuh - With big names such as Manoj Bajpai, Abhay Deol and Arjun Rampal in the starcast, and directed by Prakash Jha, I hear this one is an interesting movie about the Naxalites.
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana - A full-on fun and crazy comedy flick starring Kunal Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, and produced by Anurag Kashyap, it was nice to see this one only receiving positive reviews.
- Major disappointment: Cocktail - This movie had potential to be good, but post-interval it turns out to be a typical Bollywood masala movie. Disappointing stuff by story-writer Imtiaz Ali. Saif Ali Khan too disappoints, since he makes a desperate attempt of doing a Love Aaj Kal encore, but going never near that calibre. However Deepika Padukone is the only silver lining of the movie, as she excels all alone in this one.
- Movie with most irritating trailers: Son Of Sardar - With songs going like "Po Po, Po Po Po" and "Son of Sardar!" in the promos, and Ajay Devgn doing yet another brainless act, I'm not even interested to see this movie. I'd like to thank the makers for having put me off with the trailers itself, so that I don't end up watching the lousy movie.
- 50-50 movie (first half being good, and second half being a major let down): Dabangg 2 - I guess the title says it all. Anyway, it was still a slightly enjoyable entertainer, courtesy Salman Khan.
- Musical treat: Barfi - This one had clearly the best soundtrack of the year. Pritam does a wonderful job as the composer of this flick, with gems such as Phir Le Aya Dil and Main Kya Karoon. In fact this is one of those rare albums where you enjoy every single song out of it.
- Actress-powered story: Kahaani and English Vinglish - Two movies which are centered on their lead actress for a change. Something Hindi movies need more of. While Vidya Balan plays the role of a headstrong pregnant woman in Kahaani, Sridevi does the soft-spoken housewife act with such grace. Great performances.
- Impacting dialogues: OMG Oh My God - With religion and God as the main elements of the dialogues in this movie, Paresh Rawal delivers impactful lines throughout the movie. For a change, it's a comedy movie which actually makes you think, in contrast with those no-brainers that release all the time these days.