The year 2012 was incredible for Bollywood. Numerous movies were made, and most of them were directed brilliantly. Good movies were made in every popular genre – horror, drama, action, thriller, romance and comedy. If on the one hand there were bankable stars like Akshay Kumar and the Salman Khan with their parody-stricken movies – Ek Tha Tiger, Joker, Rowdy Rathore and Dabanng 2; on the other hand there were talented newcomers in Vicky Donor and Ishaqzaade. Listing just 10 movies of 2012 will be hard but nevertheless, here are the Top 10 best Bollywood movies of 2012 (certainly not keeping in mind the box-office collections).
10. Agneepath (January 26):
Despite being a remake of the 1990 award winning Amitabh Bachchan-starrer, Agneepath is a must watch. With stellar performances from Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt, this movie deserves every bit to be in the top 10 list. Hrithik did justice to the angry young man image immortalized by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, and Sanjay Dutt delivered his dialogues so well that he erased the need for Hrithik to speak in the movie. Priyanka Chopra failed to impress in this film; however, she does come though in 2012, as you will discover when you read further.
9. Kahaani (July 29):
The title of the movie literally means, “Story”. Indeed, the story is the high-point of the film. Kahaani delivers on its promise – it keeps you guessing till the end. The suspense remains tight throughout and there is not a single moment of dullness in the film. A word for the haunting background score that only adds to the mood of the film: rattling. Vidya Balan delivers a great performance, one surely to be remembered for long.
8. Oh My God (September 28):
Oh My God carries a social message but, unlike most other similar movies, it does not get too preachy. The wit and humour is there, and the puns are too hard to be missed. Add to that a powerful character actor in Paresh Rawal and the ever hilarious Akshay Kumar, and you have an intelligent entertainer.
7. Ishaqzaade (May 11):
Everything about this movie is so new, so fresh, so brilliant, so full of energy, so cool. If you are watching it for the first time, you’d most likely be hooked to it. It toys with your brain, teasing you with the guess-what’s-next feeling; playing with your knowledge of the repeated Hollywood-Bollywood plots; wanting you to expect and then kicking you right in the ass, but at the same time making you smile, like Parma (Arjun Kapoor). Parineeti Chopra’s energy in the film is contagious and she might make you cry along with her character Zoya. A must watch for its sheer freshness.
6. Vicky Donor (April 20):
Whoever thought that India had come of age for a mature comedy on the subject of sperm donation – an issue still considered taboo – had a very lucky one at that. Director Shoojit Sircar takes a light-hearted, optimistic look at the issue, coming up with a film that entertains and enlightens the viewer vis-à-vis infertility and artificial insemination. Vicky Donor may be a diminutive film in terms of budget and costing, but its subject, its treatment of it, acting and direction does not give the impression of it being a low-cost film. On the whole, Vicky Donor is a small film with a big heart.
5. Dabanng 2 (December 21):
Dabanng 2 is a typical Bollywood film – the mindless masala kind. It can be bracketed with the movies we relished in the 1980s yet enjoy to this date. Of course, Dabanng 2 has a contemporary story and format. It may not make any sense to you but Arbaaz and team ensure that you are entertained, thoroughly entertained. It’s riotous, outrageous, wacky, ambitious and madcap, and transports you to an altogether different world where the laws of physics stand falsified. A great entertainer of 2012!
4. Ek Tha Tiger (August 17):
As a standalone film, Ek Tha Tiger is enthralling and, most significantly, an entertaining motion picture. On the exterior, it is a compelling love story set in motion like a thriller. But, beneath the entertainment that it offers, it carries a message as well, loud and clear. If the audiences can see through the coating, it’s great. And even if they don’t, they will nevertheless go back in high spirits. On the whole, Ek Tha Tiger is a high-octane thriller that works big time. Although panned by many critics, the film made 199 crores in just 5 days.
3. Gangs of Wasseypur I and II (May 22 and August 8):
Now was there a movie better made or a movie better told? I could write pages about this epic masterpiece but no, this one is an experience, one you should not miss for the world. With its dialogues, songs, characters, plot, violence, drama, Gangs of Wasseypur is a true masterpiece. This Anurag Kashyap film will go down as one of the greatest Bollywood movies ever made in Indian cinema.
2. Paan Singh Tomar (October 31):
When Irrfan Khan acts in a movie, he is the movie. And this is true for Paan Singh Tomar. The two lives of Paan Singh Tomar – in the army as a celebrated sportsperson and as an outlaw on the run in the Chambal valley – are brought together in a stirring blend of the brilliant and the haunting. A must watch for its sheer difference from the rest of Bollywood offerings.
1. Barfi! (September 14):
Barfi is sweet, simple and neat, which is why this Anurag Basu film is the best Bollwyood movie of 2012. It was India’s official entry for the Academy Award Best Foreign Language film. Some may argue against that but no one can deny that the trio of Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Illeana D’Cruz did not set new rules in the world of love.