2013 was an average year for movies. Lots of big banner films just turned out the same old commercial crap and succeeded (Chennai Express), while others failed miserably. Reasonable films were few and far between, and I’m having trouble just cobbling together 10 films for my Top Ten Hindi Movies of 2013. Here they are:
#10. Madras Cafe : This rare political film (for Bollywood that is) is about the civil war in Sri Lanka where Indian Intelligence Officer Major Vikram Singh is deployed. This documentary-ish film is a great watch.
#9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag : Sporting a beard and turban, Farhan Akhtar goes Sikh in this film. He plays the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh in a very impressive performance. Director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra does justice to this real life story.
#8. Kai Po Che : Sushant Singh Rajput has had a good year; 2 of his films make it to my Top 10. Here he plays one of three close friends who find their friendship tested to breaking point. The other two main characters are played by Amit Sadh and Raj Kumar Yadav (of Talaash and “Love, Sex aur Dhokha” fame). Abhishek Kapoor directs this well-made film.
#7. Listen Amaya : This little-known movie swept me off my feet! Veteran actors Farouque Sheikh, Deepti Naval and relatively new actress Swara Bhaskar (you might have remember her from “Tanu Weds Manu”) give us superbly nuanced performances in this wonderful film.
A great watch for all you folks who appreciate fine actors in a strong, clean, classy story. Avinash Kumar Singh directs Listen Amaya; I look forward to more films from him!
#6. Shuddh Desi Romance : Lots of people disliked this film for its bold, forward approach to live-in relationships. I thought it well-crafted and telling-it-like-it-is. Sushant Singh Rajput is the doe-eyed young man with the indecisive heart. Peppy Parineeti Chopra and lovely debutante Vaani Kapoor play the smart, confident ladies who have a thing for him. Good music and lovely cinematography enhance the appeal of this very likeable film.
#5. Jolly LLB : I’ve always thought that Arshad Warsi was one of the best actors the industry had, but Bollywood seems to have offered him very meagre roles in which to display his talent. There was Sehar, and then there was Ishqiya. And now there is this; Warsi is getting pretty skilled at playing the underdog. Amrita Rao and Boman Irani co-star in this classic good vs. evil tale.
#4. Ghanchakkar : A zany, wild ride filled with just as quirky characters, Ghanchakkar is an interesting and humorous watch. Emran Hashmi is great as the lead character and Vidya Balan gives us an impressive, gusto-filled portrayal of his style-challenged, opinionated wife.
#3. Special Chabbis : Akshay Kumar heads up a team of lovable conmen, and even finds time to find his Lady Love. A whole new twist to the comedy-crime genre, Special 26 makes it to #3.
#2. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani : Fun and romance and glamor all packaged together in one alluring bundle, YJHD well-deservedly comes in second. It had charismatic actors – Ranbir Kapoor oozes charm and Deepika is the very picture of gracious beauty – and a great soundtrack. A must watch!
#1. D-Day – This intense fictional account of Indian Intelligence Agency RAW on a mission, is the Best Film of the Year, and made my Top Ten List as soon as I’d seen it; there are other reasonable films this year, but none to dethrone this magnificent movie from the top spot.
Irrfan Khan, Huma Qureshi (of “Gangs of Wasseypur” fame), Rishi Kapoor and Arjun Rampal star.
That was the best. Here are the rest.