The year is drawing to a close, and what better time than to launch into nostalgia mode. We at businessofcinema maintain a fierce pride in our film industry, and it is but natural that our ‘Countdown to 2013’ series deals with everything that is Bollywood!
First and foremost on our minds is an element of surprise. We bring to you a list of the Top 5 Films which surprised everyone in 2012, by turning out to be the smash hits that they were. We round up the top 5 films of 2012; which no one would have anticipated to become such powerful films, which touched a chord in our collective consciousness. These films made us laugh, cry, weep and rejoice due to their inherent goodness and purity.
5. Vicky Donor: At number 5, we have 2012’s surprise hit ‘Vicky Donor’. A film which starred rank newcomers (Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam), was directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by first time producer and Bollywood actor John Abraham. The film revolved around the central themes of sperm donation and infertility, otherwise regarded as taboo subjects in the Indian societal fabric. A stellar performance by debutant Ayushmann Khurrana wowed the audiences, and firmly established the former TV VJ as a talented actor. This ‘Aryaputra’ and multi-talented singer-composer swept several ‘Best Debut’ awards and stole the show with his acting prowess.
4. OMG! Oh My God: Another super surprising hit was director Umesh Shukla’s film OMG!, which was co-produced by superstar Akshay Kumar. Paresh Rawal once again revealed why he is revered as an uber talented actor, perhaps one who has not quite received his due, with this film. ‘OMG’ was an adaptation of the successful Gujarati play ‘Kanji Virudh Kanji’, and went on to do brisk business at the ticket windows. The film was centered on the theme of opposing blind faith and ritualism, which is a widespread reality in Indian society.
3. Kahaani: A film made on a shoestring budget went on to become one of the biggest successes of 2012- Kahaani was directed, written and co-produced by Sujoy Ghosh. The thriller film starred Vidya Balan as a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband in the city of Kolkata during the festival of Durga Puja. Vidya effectively portrayed the angst and anguish of an increasingly frustrated wife, whose husband has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. The plot had a deadly twist at the end, which no one could quite foresee; and which earned the film and its lead actress, Balan, accolades all around. This film is memorable because it proved Vidya Balan’s mettle as a fine actress, and shattered all myths that a film having a female protagonist cannot do big business.
2. English Vinglish: A female director. An actress seemingly past her prime, making her comeback after a hiatus of 15 long years. No major Bollywood star as the male protagonist. The ingredients of this film almost spelt doom for it, before its release. However, debutante director Gauri Shinde managed to silence her harshest critics, by giving us one of the best films of 2012. Shinde also returned to us a prize, which we had long forgotten: Sridevi. Sridevi floored us as the powerhouse actress; the chameleon who adapted so beautifully to the role of ‘Shashi’, a housewife and mother of teenaged kids who was on a quest to rediscover her identity. The medium Shinde chose to covey her subtle message was the learning of the English language, a skill Sridevi’s character lacked and which made her the object of all ridicule within her family and social circle.
1. Barfi!: A sweet, romantic-comedy film which centered around the love story of a mute and deaf boy (played charmingly by Ranbir Kapoor; an actor who is firmly inching towards the title of one of India’s finest) and an autistic girl (competent Priyanka Chopra). Debutante Ileana D’Cruz made an effective, unforgettable debut in this triangular love story. Directed by Anurag Basu, ‘Barfi!’ was a special film which was appreciated by the film-going audiences, for its simplicity and honesty. Though allegations of plagiarism on Basu’s part made the rounds, ‘Barfi!’ overcame these and other obstacles, and has gone down in the annals of Indian cinema as one of the finest films ever made in mainstream Bollywood.
With such a slew of fantastic films Bollywood has offered us this year, we only hope this trend continues in 2013 as well. We sure hope that this time next year, we will be bringing our readers a much longer, more eclectic list of mainstream films which created a dialogue, and made the audiences sit up and take notice!