2012 was a good year for Hindi cinema – I haven’t had this little trouble deciding the Top 10 Movies in years ! Here you go :
10. Paan Singh Tomar : A bio-pic on Paan Singh’s real-life struggle against land-usurping hoodlums. Tomar, an athlete, having represented India in the Asian Games, finally becomes a dacoit in India’s notorious Chambal Valley.
9. Vicky Donor : A humorous look at the life of a regular young man once he begins to donate . . . sperm. MTV VJ Ayushmann stars and brown-eyed beauty Yami Gautam debuts in this fun-filled romp of a film.
8. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana : A wayward son returns home to the Punjab and to his staunchly Punjabi family. Even though he is accepted back into the fold, problems from his previous life loom. A sweet little script with Wodeouse-ian twists this one has it all the goodness and bonhomie you could wish for.
7. Kahaani : Vidya Balan stands tall in this accomplished who-dun-it, as a pregnant woman, Vidya Bagchi, searching for her missing husband. An atmospheric mystery with a great cast, and some beautiful cinematography this comes in at #7.
6. Talaash : This Amir Khan- Farhan Akhtar joint production almost has it all – a fairly well-thought of story, deft direction, great acting and characterization, attention to detail, and a nuanced telling of an interesting tale. I’m hoping that the lead character Inspector Shekhawat endures beyond this film – a sequel or a series perhaps?
5. Shanghai : The truly great films portray truths, and they portray them in a way that hits close to home. While the characters in this film are a tad removed from touching a raw nerve, this intriguing drama is still a thought-provoking, tongue-in-cheek depiction of the Great Indian Political Farce.
4. English Vinglish : Sridevi’s come-back vehicle, this graceful, nuanced portrayal of an ordinary house-wife finding her self-worth, is one the more heart-warming films of the year. Gauri Shinde (wife of R. Balki) directs her third film.
3. Barfi : An eloquent, moving portrayal of a happy-go-lucky deaf-mute and his tempestuous life, Barfi is as close to art-house as you can get this year. Ranbir Kapoor shines as the lead character, Priyanka Chopra co-stars as the autistic girl who loves him, and Ileana D’Cruz is the woman who has loved and lost.
2. Gangs of Wasseypur I : The violent tale of Qureshi-Khan warfare in the small town of Wasseypur, this is the 1st part of this Anurag Kashyap venture. Manoj Bajpai is the rock of this engrossing drama as lead character Sardar Khan.
1. Gangs of Wasseypur II : A gorgeous successor to GOW – Part 1 and well deserving of the full 5 stars, Gow 2 is my pick for the best film of 2012. Nawazuddin Siddiqui continues the murderous saga as Sardar Khan’s fearless son Faizal. Lovely Huma Qureshi debuts as Faizal’s feisty love interest in this violent, dramatic tale.