Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking back and ahead of 2012!

A year-end is like coming out of a theater after watching a good film. While some really good scenes linger on your head, you tend to ignore not-so-good ones or think how it could have been better. And at the end, you discuss it, review it, compare it with other films, and even bet on some awards for it. This is what the year-end all about: cherish some good films of the year and look forward to other good ones to come on our way ahead. 

2012 celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema; the year when we really saw Indian films taking leaps and bounds. The regional-urban divide was minimalised, and so was the infamous arthouse-commercial schism. The year kick-started with a film that had a pregnant lady as a protagonist, later we didn't mind sitting with our family to see a movie that discussed sperm-donation, and by the end we found ourselves revering the queen as our mother with her delicious ladoos. With more such universally acceptable movies, we also saw the old baap-ka-badla format redefined to give us a cult when, suddenly, tweeting in Bhojpuri went cool, expletives weren't these colorful as dictated by the crazy characters of the film.

'Some memorable scenes of 2012'

1. "Silence speaks louder than words." This scene from BARFI! epitomises the proverb right when Barfi is dejected, expresses his anger, relents on his father's tummy rising up and down till he crashes his cycle while bidding Shruti an adieu. All with absolute silence and no melodramatic background score.


2.  This. From Gangs Of Wasseypur. Sardar Khan in his interestingly innovative way warning his arch-rival. The minstrel in this scene won all the seetis and taalis for his dance moves on Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki.


3. The genius of Dibakar Bannerjee when he throws a tensed situation easily into a playful one as a ball enters the newly setup office and the leads slip on the wet floor later. Watch it here:

4. This hilariously directed sequence from Gangs Of Wasseypur 2 where Guddu is struggling between Definite and the other on phone plotting the assassination of Sultan had me in splits. 

With the introduction of DSLR cameras, the complexity of filmmaking is reduced or almost lost and we have new breed of films that are made independently with no backing of production studios called indie-films. Now that filmmaking is every child's play, all indie-films can't obviously be good. I had the opportunity to experience some of them at the 14th Mumbai Film Festival. Where a preposterous Bengali film called Shyamal Uncle Turns Off The Lights could be a reason why not to support indies but an incomparable and beyond brilliance Ship Of Theseus (read my short review here) would excite you how our films in future are gonna be!

A still from Anand Gandhi's Ship Of Theseus
It's the DSLRs doing the magic on one side, we have the 3D technology being exploited on the other. Prabhudeva starrer ABCD: Any Body Can Dance is touted as India's own Step-Up in 3D and Aamir Khan's Dhoom 3 is believed to also release in IMAX format. (Though we are still far away from the spectacular technology that made Life Of Pi.)

'The ones who owned 2012'

1. Two films from India were at the Cannes in 2012: Anurag Kashyap's five hour epic saga Gangs Of Wasseypur was screened at Director's Fortnight while Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely competed in the Un Certain Regard section. The star of both the films was Mr. Nawazuddin Siddiqui. 

He also thrilled us as an adamant ACP Khan in Kahaani, as a dacoit in Paan Singh Tomar and also as a petty limb thief in Talaash. There's more to look forward from this man in coming years. His next The Mountain Man is highly awaited.

2. After giving us a film like Paan Singh Tomar, Tigmanshu Dhulia didn't stop to enthrall us. He stepped in as an actor for the first time as a terrific Ramadhir Singh in Gangs..

His directorial Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 2 and Bullet Raja are scheduled to release in 2013; also we would like to see him acting more.

3. Had there not been this powerful initiative by Shiladitya Bora and team, called the PVR Director's Rare, we would have never caught some rare gems like Kshay, Shuttlecock Boys, and Supermen Of Malegaon (which is easily one of the finest films I've seen this year) and a very recent Hansa.

They have highly awaited Midnight Children up for release in early 2013 among others.

Though meaningful cinema has found its place amidst the quintessential Hindi cinema, the masala genre of Bollywood doesn't seem to stop retaliating itself to give us mindless films. Their makers are of the false view that "that's what the masses want." As we enter the second century of Indian cinema, let's hope they rediscover themselves to realise what they want to make. Take a rebirth. Reinvent.

'Awaited in 2013'

While we have already seen exciting promos of Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, Kai Po Che, David, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, let's hope to see some really fresh films rather than stale titles and their ever increasing numbers. Till then,

Happy New Year!


Jay Singh said...

Hi Anup,

Yes, quite aptly, Barfi amazed me and the audience with his silence. What a beautiful film to come after such a long time. Vintage Bollywood. Loved it.

Happy new Year to you :)


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Anonymous said...

100% agreed about the scenes of Barfi! & GOW .

& Yes Malegaon ka Superman was the Pleasant Surprise .

Abhishek Thakur said...

Gr8 scene compilation!! Loved the 'kela...kathal' scene frm GoW2, finest in 2012 for me!!

Ansal Shah said...

Amazing list.... Cannot agree more. GOW was such an interesting blend of crime and comedy. Here is my list of fav movies of 2012:


Ansal Shah said...