HITS AND MISSES OF 2011
On special request for the anon who asked, we’ve compiled what we think are the Hits and Misses of 2011. Let us know what you think!
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara:
Definitely the biggest hit of the year, both critically and commercially, there is no surprise that it’s here. The film is a poignant journey which urges all to seize the day. Sprinkled with memorable scenes and polished by Javed Akhter’s beautiful poetry, it’s a great watch. And yet, it falls short in my eyes. The film seems a faint echo of the dynamic Dil Chahta Hai and the underlying sadness marred certain aspects. Nonetheless, the excellent soundtrack and witty script made the film a must watch!
Finally, a Shahrukh film which smoothly transitions out of the loverboy role without seeming gaudy. The sequel was much better than the first movie and will surely set the audiences on edge. Be amazed by Shahrukh’s convincing display of an enigmatic mastermind, which makes up for that disaster venture, Ra.One. Props to Akhtar as well for developing such an intelligent and riveting script as well. Although the film can be accused of being too western, its certainly a must watch from 2011!
Despite the craze and critical acclaim, I’m going to call Rockstar the “near miss which somehow ended up on the hit list”. The film is one of two parts. The first half has the much required charm missing in many new Bollywood movies (with the exception of EMAET). Ranbir Kapoor’s acting is faboulous as the shy JJ and his transformation into Jordan, the rockstar with a devil may care attitude even more so. Yet the film seems to falter from its promising beginning after the intermission as it begins to lose pace and appears emotionally repetitive. Perhaps the weight was too much for Kapoor who trudges soulfully through the second half, or perhaps it was because of the shabby script that dragged the plot along, and called for flashbacks to the first bit of the film. The reason why the movie’s on the hit list is because of the amazing music and the moments of pure cinematic joy which shine through, yet the second half dulls the film’s potential.
Delhi Belly is just plain good fun. No real twists in the plot, yet it somehow strays from the typical hungama mix up film stereotype. The film reflects the growing westernization of the youth audience who want something more raw than previous molly coddling bollywood romance films had offered and boy does it show! The film has edge, appeals to non Indian audiences and has witty dialogues and lyrics (see Bhaag DK Bose). This is an example of a film which has furthered an already explored niche and done so in an artful way! Delhi Belly was incredibly appealing to the Indian youth, who delved into the swearing and adult scenes with gusto - but the film did leave the older generations cringing. Nonetheless, Delhi Belly had great script, great eye candy and great directing.
No One Killed Jessica:
Bollywood is often called out for the lack of realism infused into films - but “No One Klled Jessica” definitely proved this statement false. Inspired by the Jessica Lal murder case, the film starred Rani Mukherji as a feisty journalist fighting for justice, a character reminiscent of the role she played in “Veer Zaara”. No One Killed Jessica is incredibly powerful, and does a good job of portraying the helplessness that accompanies the corruption prevalent in our judicial system. Considering this could have emerged to be a boring documentary, the fast paced, exciting nature of No One Killed Jessica made the film a hit in our books.
Probably the worst film I have seen in sometime, the fact that it broke records only saps my faith in the junta. The film is resoundingly stupid and done to death. One would have thought Siddique would have at least directed something decent on his third venture at the same movie, but once again the audience remains tortured. After watching the film, the recipe for creating a blockbuster seems to be ridiculous gravity defying stunts; crass dialogue coupled by bumbling sidekicks and a fear striking ultimate weapon-a toy helicopter. The film plays off of poor slapstick humour, homophobia and retardation. The film neither deserves the attention it received and only further blackens Bollywood’s name on the international market. If you’re feeling slightly masochistic, go ahead and give it a watch. Your eyes will bleed. This was the first and only film I’ve deleted off my torrent list. Do NOT come even within 2 kilometers of it!
The sole reason why this movie appears on the “misses” list is because it’s just not spectacular. There is nothing here we haven’t seen before! The same old love story greets the audience. Boy has never thought about girls before. Suddenly meets girl, falls in love with her. Add some political tension to spice things up… Presto! Movie done! The miserable hack job called “Mausam” plays it safe and hangs onto the curtails of the tried and tested formula. BORING! Acting is mediocre, so even that can’t save it. Cinematography is great, but not stunning. Mausam is definitely not awesome.
The film wasn’t overtly horrible… it could even be an Oscar nominee! When compared to Bodyguard that is…. Building off of the Hollywood Superhero craze SRK decided to vest in his “dream VFX loaded” project. The end result? Ra.One. Probably the biggest let down was the incoherent identity of the film. Is it meant to be funny? A family film? A serious hero adaption? Perhaps if the first 20 mins of the movie were completely cut out it would make for a much better film. His acting as the a nerdy Tamil father was just insulting (to South Indians and the institution of acting) and probably his most unflattering performance to date. SRK definitely vested much energy into the project, roping in Priyanka Chopra, Sanjay Dutt and Rajinikanth in cameo roles; getting Akon to compose the title song and going on a mass media campaign for the film. The plotline is flimsy, but not as paper thin as Bodyguard. It was a huge rip off of Iron Man, the Terminator and super hero movies 101, yet somehow it managed to destroy all the conventional elements. Visually, it is very impressive, on par with Hollywood for sure-they even managed to make SRK look young! Yet our blue eyed hero could not save the film which is missing solid direction and a well written script. The unnecessary attempts at humour just peter out into this poor attempt at hero making.