Favorite Bollywood Movies of 2009

I’ve been meaning to write a little bit about Bollywood (I know some people hate the word as they feel it’s derivative of the term Hollywood and the colonial name of the City of Mumbai– I like using it as it just sounds better then the Mumbai Film Industry)  movies in more details then our occasional review of the genre but I worry about the cultural gap.

Like Westerns or Kung Fu movies, Bollywood speaks a different language and dances to a very different beat and it’s hard to criticize them with the same standards as we do maintream movies. Bollywood movies are supposed to entertain one of the largest audiences and make lots of money!

It’s a prestigious and long standing independent industry, which unfortunately doesn’t receive the respect it deserves. I have been force fed these mass-appealing entertainment juggernauts since birth but they have now become a part of my being. I can watch all the Korean, French or American movies I want. But nothing feeds the craving for all out paisa vasool (AKA your money’s worth) entertainment as Bollywood does! It’s like coming home to your parents and having your favorite dish prepared for you, served up with some mango pickles and lassi.

2009 wasn’t a great year for Indian Cinema although SlumDog Millionaire win at the Oscars did put the spotlight on the potential. But instead of being able to cash out on the limelight the country went into a producer’s strike that lasted and as with the Writers’ Guild Strike in 2008 in the US, it had long lasting impact on release schedules, marketing budgets, star salaries but most importantly the weekly hit of singing, dancing and dishum dishum that “Jo(-winder) Public” craved for.

Another trend that affected the industry, as it effected everything else in the world, was the Global Economic meltdown. Since the past few years corporate houses (e.g. Reliance group, BIG, UTV) saw investment possibilities in funding movies for a quick buck, the gamble paid off and actors and producers started charging enormous amounts.

Salaries were going through the roof, quality was nowhere to be found but when the US market crashed it, it deflated a lot of egos.

2010 already is proving a good year with some very exciting releases lining up, special mentions to Kites (redited by Brett Ratner), My Name is Khan (Distributed by Fox) and Veer(awesome Troy like epic).

So these are my favorite Bollywood flicks of 2009, some of these I have reviewed in more detail on my badly maintained personal blog but I would suggest, stop reading, go to Amazon and order these flicks!

Wanted:

Riding on the wave of 80’s nostalgia this movie revisits the classic Masala genre meaning you get everything in small doses, action, romance, singing and dancing.

All of this goodness is covered with balls out action and harebrained scenario. If you can identify with the character you are in for a thrill ride where you are the one shooting people in the face (in slow motion with Pecs gleaming in sweat). Girls are pretty, villain is evil and the Hero is awesome!

What more can a man ask for? Click here for the trailer.

Ps this is not the Angelina Jolie movie based on the comic from Mark Millar

Ajab Ghazab ki Prem Kahani

I got to admit I had very low expectation of this movie and it completely took me by surprise.

It’s a very funny (I hate to use the term whacky adventure as it makes me think of Scooby doo) romantic, it’s harmless and very well shot and it just flies by. The main cast is hilarious and both actors pitch in a performance that you really don’t expect seeing their past efforts. Ranbir Kapoor is destined to be the next big thing in Bollywood and this was the first proof how his appeal is able to draw crowds.

And I even liked Katrina Kaif for her performance for once. Oh and the songs were pretty catchy too!

3 Idiots

The Biggest Box Office in all foreign markets. 3 Idiots talks about so many different things which I am trying not to spoil as I want to have an in depth review with the guys. This was my favorite movie of the year, it had me laughing and it even made me shed a tear or 2.

But most of all it changed the way I think and how I will raise my children ( if one day I have them or  whenever they are able to track me down but bounty hunting ain’t what it used to be).

All iz well people… all iz well…

Kaminey

We’ve had a whole episode on this movie so you can always go back and revisit episode 1!

I got one word though

DHANTENAAAAAA

Love Aaj Kal

Together with Ajab Prem Prem ki Ghazab this were my 2 romantic movie pics of the year.

Love Aaj Kal is the story of how love has evolved from our parents generation to us.

I have to admit I haven’t revisited the movie since but if you want a great date movie for Valentine’s day, this is it!

Dev D/ Luck By Chance

The 2 movies that illustrate the changing face idea of Indian cinema.

Dev D is a modern take on the classic novel which was given the grand treatment a couple of years ago starring superstar SRK. Anurag Kashyap (the director of Black Friday,which was amazing but ran into problem with censors) had a very different take, he took Dev from the beautifully lit gondolas of Bengal to the gutters of LSD laced nightmares. A Bit over trainspotting, a lot of Leaving Las Vegas but all accompanied by an AWESOME soundtrack. My second favorite movie of the year and the one I have probably revisited the most. This is not a family movie!

Luck By Chance I reviewed extensively on my Things on my bheja. Although at the time I was not aware this would still be my favorite movie at the end of the year but it still stand outs for me.

All of this to say, if you haven’t ever watched a Bollywood movie, you can pick out one of these pics and be ahead of the curve or you can share Martin’s opinion on bollywood movies also in our episode1 and agree that most Bollywood is shit! But that’s probably coz y’all can’t dance 🙂

Enhanced by Zemanta