Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not those of Thomson Reuters)
This is what it all comes down to — a year of watching movies and writing about them distilled into one post. Here are my picks for the best and worst of 2012 from the Hindi film industry.
Gangs of Wasseypur (Part 1 and Part 2)
Five hours of blood, gore and fun. Anurag Kashyap’s epic revenge saga was, more than anything, a lot of fun to watch. Packed with smart dialogue, a script that didn’t let up and a director who was clearly having a blast while shooting the whole thing, “Gangs of Wasseypur” was an experiment that went right. The grime of the coal mines, the edgy characters and a great ensemble cast meant that audiences left the cinema sated.
Gauri Shinde got the language of her debut feature right. “English Vinglish” was one of those films that are difficult not to like. Sridevi, in her comeback movie, outshone any actress in any role this year and proved once again that you don’t need a male star to make a good Bollywood film. The next time you see someone speak haltingly in English, or any language for that matter, you won’t be so quick to judge.
Shilpa Jamkhandikar looks back at the year that was and picks the 10 films that didn’t really do Bollywood any favours. And here they are in random order -
Salman Khan obviously hasn’t inherited any writing talent from father Salim Khan. The actor wrote the script for this excruciatingly bad film that had scenes like Mithun Chakraborty and Neena Gupta almost making out in front of their grown sons, some really corny dialogue and a not-so-good Katrina Kaif lookalike for a leading lady.
If you are looking for a word to describe Bollywood’s output in 2008, “ordinary” would be high up on the list. The world’s most prolific film industry churned out over 200 films this year and trade analysts say a staggering 90 per cent of these ventures didn’t make any money.
“This has been a trend for the last four to five years,” said analyst Taran Adarsh.