The Top 75 Films of the Decade
Rang De Basanti
Cast: Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Siddharth, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra needs to be lauded for shaking the nation's youth of its apathetic stupor, with his film about college students acting as revolutionaries only to spark off a revolt themselves.
Aamir Khan captained a strong ensemble, generous enough to give away the climax, while A R Rahman made sure the packaging was immaculate.
Image: A scene from Rang De Basanti
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Shiney Ahuja, Chitrangada Singh
One of the most distinctive filmmakers in current cinema, Sudhir Mishra hit peak with this fantastic story set in the 1970s, against the Indian Emergency.
The period detailing is affectionate and complete, and it is here we met and fell for the sublime Chitrangada Singh.
Image: A scene from Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Shiney Ahuja, Kangna Ranaut
It's a simple story, that of a gangster, his moll and a cop who sings many a catchy song, but director Anurag Basu wraps this dramatic thriller so tightly that the pace never slackens and the result is very solid indeed.
A fine storyteller, Basu embellishes his tale with well-etched characters and neat visual touches, showy without seeming so.
Image: A scene from Gangster
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Juhi Chawla, Amitabh Bachchan
Director Amol Palekar and cinematographer Ravi K Chandran brought the vivid colourscape of Rajasthan to vibrant life with this fable, a wonderfully dark fairytale featuring a ghost in love, and the dilemma that follows.
Meanwhile, Rani Mukerji and Shah Rukh flaunt immense, screen-scorching chemistry.
Image: A scene from Paheli
Manorama Six Feet Under
Cast: Abhay Deol, Gul Panag
Director Navdeep Singh took Roman Polanski's Chinatown from Los Angeles and set it in a dusty Rajasthan town, where an enthusiastic part-time pulp novelist is called on to be detective because... well, because he's the closest thing they have.
A very neat, superbly detailed and acted film.
Image: A scene from Manorama Six Feet Under
Loins Of Punjab Presents
Director Manish Acharya's witty film about a localised desi singing competition in the US showed off genuine smarts and caricatures so fresh it had us literally rolling in the aisles.
Just sample Turbanatorious BDG, a gay Sikh gangsta-rapper -- an insane idea yet pulled off credibly. A blast.
Image: A scene from Loins Of Punjab Presents
Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Rani Mukerji
Mani Ratnam's assistant Shaad Ali made his directorial debut by remaking the master's Tamil hit Alai Payuthey, and what a charming remake it is.
Vivek Oberoi and Rani Mukerji star as young lovers who brave familial odds and get married, only to discover life ain't a fairytale. Immensely relatable.
Image: A scene from Saathiya
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal
A film that spawned an entire genre -- albeit a now questionable one -- Priyadarshan's Hera Pheri introduced us to Akshay Kumar, the comedian.
It was a breakthrough performance in a warmly funny film, and Kumar's natural comic timing paved the way for the star to realise he was an actor after all.
Image: A scene from Hera Pheri
Ek Hasina Thi
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Urmila Matondkar
Director Sriram Raghavan's first film cast the hitherto wholesome Saif Ali Khan as a slimy villain, playing havoc with Urmila Matondkar.
Featuring one of the best hand to hand fight sequences in Hindi cinema, Ek Hasina Thi is a compellingly dramatic thriller.
Image: A scene from Ek Hasina Thi
Rocket Singh -- Salesman of the Year
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Shazahn Padamsee
It is truly rare to find a film so comfortable in its own skin, and Shimit Amin's modest little gem -- about a good Sikh boy who bends the rules driven by ambition -- is a refreshing treat, a subtle film not trying to amaze or amuse more than it should.
Ranbir Kapoor un-stars himself to lead a fine ensemble to a pleasant triumph.
Image: A scene from Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year