The Top 75 Hindi Films of the Decade
In the sixth part of this special series, Sukanya Verma lists the best films of the decade that are a must watch! Here's a look at her batch of movies to cherish.
Taare Zameen Par
Cast: Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan, Tisca Chopra
Aamir Khan's directorial debut was not merely a revelation of his surplus talents but an exercise in sensitive, meaningful and universally relatable filmmaking.
Other than the fact that it concerns dyslexia, Taare Zameen Par offers enough layers to dwell deeper inside a child-parent and child-teacher relationship in the formative years of a young, impressionable individual, thereby striking a chord with one and all.
Needless to say, Darsheel Safary's rare, extraordinary performance as the troubled boy is what made this visually striking and emotionally touching film work in entirety.
Image: A scene from Taare Zameen Par
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Vidya Balan, R Madhavan, Mithun Chakraborty
It could've been yet another rags-to-riches tale if not for the exquisitely Mani Ratnam touch.
Instead what we have here is a fairy tale of a tycoon's life journey from a penniless dreamer to a prosperous visionary.
Regardless of the deliberate attempts to portray the central protagonist like a hero and icon, the filmmaker lends the proceedings his trademark realism, nuances clarity, which not only makes Guru as stirring as it intends to be but also draws out superlative work from his actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, demonstrating a chemistry so intrinsic like never before.
Image: A scene from Guru
Kal Ho Naa Ho
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Jaya Bachchan
A Karan Johar story directed by Nikhil Advani, Kal Ho Naa Ho is perfectly packaged entertainment.
For all its geographical inaccuracy and handkerchief-endorsing climax, KHNH packs in enough perk, punch and pizzazz to be dismissed as run-of-the-mill fluff.
Be it the snazzy camerawork capturing New York City's throbbing rush, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's lilting score, SRK-Saif Ali Khan's bulls eye camaraderie, Preity Zinta's bespectacled vulnerability or the crisply-written scenes wherein the humour is consistently witty, urban and with it.
Then again, K Jo introduced Bollywood to cool and for that we are eternally thankful.
Image: A scene from Kal Ho Naa Ho
Koi... Mil Gaya
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Rekha
Love him, hate him but you simply can't ignore him.
In the crazy pool of Bollywood's topsy-turvy creations, featuring the likes of Crime Master Gogo, Mogambo and Basanti, Jaadoo too grabs a cozy, alien's spot.
While the blue-bodied creature was projected as the surprise element in this clearly inspired but fun franchise about a man-child's close encounters with an extraterrestrial, it was really Hrithik Roshan's part-amusing, part-poignant act that really elevated Koi... Mil Gaya to a new level.
Image: A scene from Koi... Mil Gaya
Cast: Aamir Khan, R Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Omi Vaidya
You don't have to be an engineering student or graduate to enjoy this Rajkumar Hirani-helmed battle of geeks.
Laced with typical campus humour and tomfoolery that is all coarse, cocky and corny. But hey, it's college a time to throw attitude and worship all things gobbledygook.
Underneath the droll surface, however, lies the world of three whimsical lads with their own unique take on and expectations from their respective lives.
It's a wild ride to self-discovery and nonconformity, never smooth but always worth it.
Image: A scene from 3 Idiots
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai, Shahana Goswami
Previously, a movie about a rock band conveyed an unexciting proposition. And then Rock On!! came along and shattered this myth to embarrassment.
Producer Farhan Akhtar's sensibilities loom large over director Abhishek Kapoor's keen enthusiasm as the twain break new ground in this second coming-of-age flick with its unconventional theme, fanciful soundtrack and curious assortment of actors.
A simple story of friends and regrets told with a mix of restraint and panache, Rock On!! has you rooting for the revival and reunion of Magik.
Image: A scene from Rock On!!
Cast: Tabu, Sachin Khedekar
Director Mahesh Manjrekar's Astitva makes a stinging statement on the prevalent hypocrisy when it comes to judging a woman in society as opposed to a man doing the same.
Tackling the subject of a wife's infidelity and the harsh responses its discovery generates among her husband and son with realism and sensitivity, Astitva is a powerful film, featuring hard-hitting performances from Tabu and Sachin Khedekar that compels its viewer to tremble in horror and applaud with approval.
Image: A scene from Astitva
Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Atul Kulkarni, Sandhya Mridul, Tara Sharma, Boman Irani, Bikram Saluja
While his subsequent films religiously adhered to the formulas and template of Page 3, Madhur Bhandarkar did his genuine best on this one.
True to his filmmaking temperament, he takes an in-your-face approach to highlight the dysfunctional side of the glitterati, its relationship of reciprocals with the media and how it is reviewed by the other sections of society.
This, as it turns out, is both thought-provoking and sensationalist.
Image: A scene from Page 3
Cast: Karisma Kapoor, Rekha, Manoj Bajpai
While never as complex as Shyam Benegal's Bhumika, his Zubeidaa, written by journalist/filmmaker Khalid Mohammed (based on the true life story of his own mother) is nevertheless an intriguing expedition into the psyche of a discontent, exploited young lady.
Although what lends this period romance most of its soul is A R Rahman's compositions and an uninhibited portrayal by an in-her-prime Karisma Kapoor.
Image: A scene from Zubeidaa
Luck By Chance
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Isha Sharvani, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Juhi Chawla
Zoya Akhtar's masterfully scripted Luck By Chance celebrates the bittersweet workings of the Hindi film industry, its manipulations, scandals and double-standards as well its infectious passion, glamorous inspirations and larger-than-life frame of mind with an exciting combination of admiration, candor and cheek.
Not to mention some unforgettable acting jobs from the likes of Rishi Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, completely outside their comfort zone.
Image: A scene from Luck By Chance