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This is the end of 2008 and a good time to reflect on the good movies of Bollywood and award the deserving makers. Yeah I know they don’t care but now I know how it feels to be Filmfare for Aamir Khan.
I think this was one of the best years for Bollywood with the emergence of independent cinema from small time debutant filmmakers, most of whom were more impressive than the established ones. Shreyas Talpade and Abhay Deol emerged as the actors to really watch out for in the future and we got a long awaited brilliant composer Amit Trivedi.
Best Movie : Welcome to Sajjanpur (review here).
The other contenders were probably Mithya, Dasvidaniya, A Wednesday, Aamir, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Oh My God, but I think I’ll go with Welcome to Sajjanpur because it was truly a different movie in today’s time and still entertaining till the last drop. Of course, the direction, writing, music and acting was all top notch. What else would you want in a movie !
Best Performance : Paresh Rawal in Mumbai Meri Jaan (review here).
His Tukaram Patil was one performance I’ll always remember him by. He embodied the Gandhian wisdom that is need so badly today, and carried it off perfectly.
Among the other possible contenders : Shreyas Talpade was a revelation in acting in Welcome to Sajjanpur; Rajeev Khandelwal was refreshing in Aamir; I did not find Naseeruddin Shah do anything unexpectedly brilliant in A Wednesday; Abhay Deol was good in OLLO but not a knockout performance; Ranvir Shorey was really good in Mithya and Farhan Akhtar was quite good in Rock On.
Best Female Performer :
This was a real tricky one, because I couldn’t think of just one really brilliant performance that surprised me. But if I had to choose, I would go with Neha Dhupia for her roles in Dasvidaniya (completely natural acting), Mithya and Maharathi. Even I am surprised that I had to choose her. A few years ago, no one would have expected her to be selected the best performer on a non-adult site, but she is one actor to watch out just for the kind of movies she has been selecting.
Best Direction : Neeraj Pandey in A Wednesday.
We all can agree that it was one of the most technically sound movies of the year, and a tight and fast paced thriller. So I don’t need to defend this one.
Of course, how can I end this without a mention of Vinay Pathak ! Let’s just call him the man of the series this year for his amazing portayal of varied characters in Mithya, Dasvidaniya, Oh My God and of course, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi !
You are welcome to agree/disagree on the views here. I will not issue a fatwa, I promise.
** Read the post below “A Wednesday – movie review” first for reference **
Mumbai Meri Jaan provides a solution. Although it might have technical flaws, as an audience, I was happy with its attempt at a solution. Honest and sincere attempt by Nishikant Kamat (known for his Marathi movie Dombivli Fast and its Tamil counterpart Enavo Oruvan).
The best of the movie in ascending order :
1. Paresh Rawal. (Quote OSO : Wah ! Kya acting hai !)
2. Camerawork. Sheer joy.
3. Writing, in a few key scenes, especially the chain monologue, the Rupali Bani Rudali pun.
Personally, I felt the bests outnumbered the flaws, just due to their quality. Kay Kay Menon perfectly potrays the overconfident-about-his-thoughts unemployed youth, who is the bread and butter of the politicians of Mumbai today. Soha Ali Khan is very good with her role. Madhavan is decent. Irfan Khan is okay.
Unfortunately, the narrative slows down considerably once all the stories are established. Irfan Khan’s story drags on (and the only shift from reality), Madhavan doesn’t tell about his close brush to his family for some strange reason and so the story drags on (his accent oscillates between Bihari at times to Bambaiyya), you know what you are going to see in Soha Ali Khan’s story, but it unravels at its own pace. Probably the writer expected better impact by more emphasis.
Thankfully all the above are sandwiched between Paresh Rawal, Vijay Maurya (Kadam) and Kay Kay Menon, and at the end, all that remains with you is Paresh Rawal’s Tukaram Patil.