First and foremost, here's wishing you all a very Happy New Year 2015! May this be a good one for all of us!
For those who have been following my blog for the last few years, I have had this habit of doing a big massive review of the year that has gone by, at the end of the year. More specifically, I tend to do a "Maha-Review" of Bollywood for that year. And since I have been doing this from 2010 onwards (I think?), I guess it's only fair that I should continue to do this, as it is also one of the posts that gather among the most views on this blog. But apologies for this post coming so late. "Better late than never", and all that, I guess?
In the "Year in Review" posts for previous years, I used to split the article by putting the movies in three categories. Now I have changed that to only two main categories:
- Watched and Appreciated (Liked or even Loved)
- Highly recommended (Not watched, but recommendations based on critical reception, and general buzz)
And I'm ending this blog post on a very optimistic note, looking forward to the big 2015 Bollywood releases (or at least the
I may have missed out on movies here and there, so don't hesitate to let me know in the comments where I could have included other movies!
Watched and appreciated (liked or even loved)
Hasee Toh Phasee - A
Highway - Directed by Imtiaz Ali, and those four first words in this sentence is enough to make it a watch. Although I must admit, I was personally a bit let down, as it did not live up to the "hype". But it is still a very well presented movie. My favorite aspect was the cinematography: absolutely breathtaking photography and visuals that just make you dream. Superb performances by Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt, Imtiaz Ali brings out the best in them as he usually does from the actors in his movies. Really good music, although not better than Rahman's soundtrack for Rockstar (2011) for Imtiaz Ali again. Was personally a bit let down by the way the story goes. You feel really heavy by the end of it, but a very strong storyline.
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania - Another
PK - Clearly one of the top releases of the year! Directed by ace filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and featuring Aamir Khan in the lead, this Aamir-Hirani duo does even better than in their previous venture, 3 Idiots (2009). This time taking on the crazy and objectionable religious practices in India, the movie takes on bravely on a very tough subject, and puts a forward criticism against the major religions in India. What I found incredible, was that they did this by taking the route of comedy and satire! A movie that makes you laugh a lot, but ends up making you think again over what the situation is in India. Aamir's performance in PK is certainly among the best in his wonderful career. But Hirani is the true star here, and the dialogues are just fantastic. Go for this one, don't miss it!
Ugly - If PK was a satisfying way to end the year, it was equally very reassuring to have Ugly as the very last movie of 2014. Directed by one of my favorites, Anurag Kashyap, this one is a very dark yet engaging suspense thriller. The story grabs your attention till the very end of the movie, and you will remain on the edge of your seat. There is a lot of "bad language", and some really violent scenes, like it
Highly recommended (based on critical reception)
2015 Releases: What I'm Looking Forward to
Baby - A thriller made by ace director Neeraj Pandey, featuring Akshay Kumar, the actor-director duo back together again after Special 26. What else?
Shamitabh - One of the best filmmakers, R Balki, pairing yet again with the
Badlapur - Even though his last directorial venture, Agent Vinod, was a really poor show, Sriram Raghavan's next features Varun Dhawan (who looks fabulous in the trailer) and the reliable Nawazuddin Siddiqui, in a dark tale of revenge. Should be a good one, I hope!
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy - National Award-winning director Dibakar Banerjee turns a famous Bengali fiction character into a full fledge feature film, with Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role. Interesting!
Bombay Velvet - Anurag Kashyap, Ranbir Kapoor, Amit Trivedi's music. This trio is enough to make me an eager beaver for this movie's release!
Dil Dhadakne Do - She is one of those few directors whose EVERY MOVIE was incredible, and I am a huge fan of Zoya Akhtar's work. She brings together a big starcast together (Farhan Akhtar, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka, Anushka, among others), on one cruise trip. This looks very promising.
Fan - Directed by Maneesh Sharma, and featuring Shahrukh Khan in the lead. Despite SRK disappointing me year after year since the release of Don 2 in 2012, the "diehard fan" in me cannot help but hope that this will finally be a "good movie" by Shahrukh. Please don't disappoint me again, SRK. Please.
Jagga Jasoos - The trio of Ranbir, Anurag Basu and Pritam's music, really sounds exciting, after the wonderful product from them in Barfi (2012).
Bajirao Mastani - Sanjay Leela Bhansali's big project that has been in the making since a very long time. Featuring Ranveer-Deepika again, after the success of Ram-Leela.
Tamasha - The movie seems to be ending on a high again. Imtiaz Ali, Ranbir and Rahman's music, back together again after Rockstar. Deepika will be the lead actress. All eyes on this one!