December 29, 2009

2009- A retrospective

2009 turned out to be a great year for Bollywood- a surprising number of very entertaining movies came out. Here are the ones that stood out for me, for the better and for the worse.

Movies that delivered (for me at least- some of these may not work for u at all):

  • Dev D- koi shak?
  • 13B- certainly one of slickest of the genre to come out of Bollywood.
  • Kaminey: Shashid finally won me over. And I was convinced that Fashion wasn't a one-time fluke, and Priyanka can actually act.
  • Wanted- Another controversial choice I know- you hate it or love it. I love it.
  • Three Idiots- Its Amir Khan- again, koi shak?
  • Firaaq- Stressful. Reminiscent of "Yun Hota to Kya Hota (2006)." But still very good.
    • Hollywood representatiion:
    • Wolverine- Hugh Jackman. Ryan Reynolds, Liev. 'Nuff said.
    • Star Trek- See explanation for "Wanted," above.

    Movies that stopped just a decimal away from delivering (for me at least- you love/hate some of these):

    • Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani- Entertaining. Funny. But not so much.
    • London Dreams- Despite everything, in the end it proved less that the sum of its parts.
    • Chandni Chowk to China- Fun stuff, but- but- but- they killed the disco dancer!
    • Kurbaan- Despite the disparity of subjects, same comment as "London Dreams" above.
    • What's your Rashee?- Priyanka Chopra blew me away- while Harman, shoddy direction and shoddier editing made me want to barf. The movie is based on a play by Madhu Rai, that has already been made into a brilliant TV show "Mr Yogi," about a decade ago.
    • Luck by Chance- Great acting, great script, great movie. And yet, not convinced by the cast's message (and I felt there was one).
    • Delhi 6- Just because we love Abhishek, Waheeda ji and the brilliant supporting cast, we CANNOT swallow the cop-out ending.
    • Hollywood representatiion:
    • Sherlock Holmes- I'm not convinced if Holmes and Watson need to be superheroes. Plus Downey isn't the Holmes I've read about 2 million times.
    • 2012- An Indian figures out when the world blows, and then goes under with the rest of the nation? Yikes.

    Movies that did not deliver for anybody (I'm fairly certain):

    • 8x 10 Tasveer- Yarghs
    • Victory- Yarghs


    Shellie said...

    There's several movies on here I've yet to see, but I agree with some of them at least. I really enjoyed Star Trek (even though I am not a Trekkie in any sense - Chris Pine and Zach Pinto were amazing), and Wolverine was adrenaline pumping all the way.
    I enjoyed Luck By Chance, but it's not one to land on my "watch over and over" list for sure. CCTC was also just alright. The rest I've yet to see, however I've heard good things about Sherlock Holmes.

    dunkdaft said...

    Wanted - Love it Love it Love it [as the song says]. Not a controversial choice at all. But my most fave is Luck By Chance.

    Have you heard, Rakeysh has changed ending of Delhi 6??

    Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

    Shell: I think all of us non-trekkies love the movie- I do believe all the authentic trekkies were v disgruntled :D The Sherlock movie is similar I think- its a great movie, but would leave fans a bit grumpy :)

    Darshit: Yes I did hear about Rakeysh- I believe when he took it to award shows abroad, he corrected the version to have Abhishek die off. which would make most sense, in the context of the film. Wante is fun! i can watch it again and again :D

    eliza bennet said...

    I guess I'm the only one who actually enjoyed Tasveer 8X10.

    The cinematography and the acting were very good. I actually were so impressed by Sharmilla that I sought out the old films she starred in.

    Priyanka said...

    I loved Delhi-6 as a series of vignettes/episodes, rather than as a movie, as such - and it especially began to fall apart post-interval. Incidentally, did you know that Rakeysh Mehra is planning to re-release the film with the original tragic ending in which Abhishek dies? I wonder what sort of reaction he anticipates now.

    I don't see What's Your Rashee on the list but boy, that too did not deliver - PC still somewhat did justice oscillating between her twelve avatars (although distinguishing between one wig after another became a task after a while) but Harman Baweja was another story altogether:)

    Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

    Priyanka: Haha- I had precisely that conversation w/ Darshit (See comments above); I dont think Mr Mehra is looking for any reaction from the masses anymore, since the movie has been released and done. The ending change was more for showing at film festivals, and probably the DVD carries an alternate ending too (no idea, havent seen it on DVD).
    Re: "What's ur Rashee"- yes it IS on the list, under "the movies that stopped a decimal away from deliverying" :D- I did think Priyanka did her best- and absolutely agree w/ ur views on the terrible Mr Baweja. Cheers!

    Priyanka said...

    Oops - yes, What's Your Rashee IS on the list! I clearly skimmed through your post way too quickly before commenting :) Re: Delhi-6, I do have its DVD and they don't show the alternate ending - would have been interesting if they had done so, though.

    Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

    Priyanka: heeh. Thanks for the info about the DVD- bet he didnt add the alternate ending there for fear of ppl not being able to stand Abhishek dying- tsk.

    Aditya said...

    Hi Shweta,
    I agree with the first three choice n somewhat the 4th one too "Wanted" was big entertainer but I feel you missed on a few good ones ."Gulal" an awesome look at student politics in india,"Love aaj Kal" was funny though had nothing much to offer ,"Wake Up Sid " and "Rocket Singh-Sales man of the year " were one of the best products of this year.These two are the rare no frills movie from Bollywood.

    Its hard to agree with the Hollywood choices though.

    Great Blog specially the chandeliers one.

    Aditya said...

    I agree with your first three choices for best movies and somewhat to the forth one too."Wanted"was the biggest entertainer this year.I feel you did miss out on a few good ones like"Gulal","Wake Up sid","Rocket Singh" if you havent seen any of the above ,If I may I would like to suggest you to have a look and may that list could see some shuffling or addition.

    Hollywood choice is hard to agree ,there were some really good movies like "District 9","9","Precious" etc

    You have a brilliant blog ,specially liked the one on Bollywood Chandeliers.

    bollyviewer said...

    Gosh! I havent seen even half of these films!!! My personal 2009 favorites are Luck By Chance and Wake Up Sid - so perfect in a light-hearted sort of way. Firaaq, of course, was very good and touching, but not a film that I would re-watch. Of the the half-dozen Hollywood films I caught last year, only one could be classified as a movie that delivered - Julie & Julia. The rest didnt even come close to delivering anything, let alone entertainment!

    B.H.Harsh said...

    Interesting write-up there!
    Dev D & Kaminey are certain masterpieces there, while Luck By Chance joins them in the A-league for me :)

    And yea, Victory did deliver for me.. haha! (if only to some extent)

    The other choices were cool too (Good to see Firaaq up there!).. but i expected more from 13B

    B.H.Harsh said...

    Interesting write-up there!
    Dev D & Kaminey are certain masterpieces there, while Luck By Chance joins them in the A-league for me :)

    And yea, Victory did deliver for me.. haha! (if only to some extent)

    The other choices were cool too (Good to see Firaaq up there!).. but i expected more from 13B

    Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

    Aditya: Thank you for stopping by Aditya! Come back often :)

    Bollyviewer: Sorry for hte super late response- been really busy at wk, so blog is slow again :P I've yet to see Julie/Julia- loved that blog, and I've heard the movie really delivered, so enthu.

    BH Harsh: I think 13 B, was really not bad- of course it could be better, and I do agree with you on that. Thanks for visiting- come back often!

    Nicki said...

    I liked Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani. It was mindless fun, hahaha. I actually liked 8x10 Tasveer too....

    Loooooved Luck By Chance :(

    Shweta Mehrotra Gahlawat said...

    Nicki: yes on Ajab and Luck. Re: 8x 10- i just dont see how they could let it slip in so many places- it could have been much much better- :( they had the perfect cast, a good script, great locales- and yet :D