The Year That Was – A Recap of Bollywood in 2009

December is just about over and it’s that time of the year again when one  usually sits down and looks back in time – to reflect upon what the year bought for us and what it could not. The same with Bollywood and Hindi movies – the new year is fast approaching but before we go ga-ga about the new movies that will be released in 2010, I thought it would be a good idea to do a recap of the hits and misses of 2009.

How much more can you go in this world fooling the audience with a movie, portraying it as a hit even before it releases? With the right budget, stars and unnecessary hype, our film industry seems to be doing just that right now. Again and again the audience runs to the glittering multiplexes to be disappointed. Bollywood has changed in its taste of movie making. We simply take a foreign dish, add some of our own expensive spices and release the new born dish with a ‘desi’ name at a big premier in a swanky complex.

But this method has surely failed this year seeing the high failure rate. Our audience still got a peak at the occasional abs-packed action movie with Salman Khan in “Wanted”, a genre (which many people think is now dead) which is taking a break. 2009 also so some of the usual romcoms meant for family outings  such as “Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani”. But talk about stupidity in hindi movies and “Kambakht Ishq” was the winner! Intellectuals too got a little treat at the theatres with Imtiaz Ali’s unconventional love story, “Love Aaj Kal”. Talk about old wine in a new bottle, we saw a nice mix of New York and Fanaa being filmed in the Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor starrer – “Kurbaan” which failed miserably at the box office too. It had some really nice tracks though.

However, the winner of them all was, 3 years in a row, the Aamir Khan starrer – 3 idiots. The film has broken all records for opening collections, beating last year’s mega-blockbuster, Ghajini (again Aamir Khan). Mr. Perfectionist managed to appease the critics, silence his rivals, and bring new hope and cheer to students and families all over country with this film. Ah..As for me, my love for good ‘ol hindi movies was rejuvenated. I had sort of started losing hope – wondering if they will ever come out with decent movies that one can catch time and again.

The Hits

Love Aaj Kal- The love from it’s vintage roots grasped the imaginations of the twitter generation. Good casting and dialogues helped Saif look at his confused best.

Wanted- Sallu Bhai has shown his worthiness as the one man show in this action packed – with the dialogues, the film struck at beautifully with the audiences across the country and so it managed decent collections. The innocent love story in the background only made it more appealing.

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani- Even though the story was a nonsensical comedy of errors, Ranbir Kapoor stole the show with his performance and silenced the critics, emerging as a possible contender as the future of the hindi film industry.

New York- Lets say the strike helped here a bit as for the movie itself was average. The starved audience only wanted a movie as there had been a major disagreement over revenue sharing between distributors, multiplex owners and producers.

Paa- Who would have thought such a wacky idea with Amitabh would work. But it did so all is well.

Kaminey- Vishal Bhardwaj seems to climb a higher level than his audience with his new project.  Shahid Kapoor made stammering and lisps a national past time amongst fans and moviegoers.

Wake Up! Sid- The perfect story of the confused youth played by Ranbir Kapoor entering the world of adults. Karan Johar has to be thanked for once leaving the gloss of style and going for a substance.

Dev-D & Gulaal- Anurag Kashyap with his hard hitting cinema has shook one and all. The perfection is there and it shows clearly in his well-executed stories on screen. Here’s one man who doesn’t like spending big money on fanciful ideas which eventually turn out to be trashy B-Grade movies.

The Flops.

“Chandni Chowk To China”, “Tasveer” and “Blue”- Chinese is not as popular in the market now. While Blue sank like a stone though leaving some marks behind with its music. Tasveer was too high even for those considered themselves from the high level.

Billu Barber- Irrfan Khan and Tabu starred in this touching film but it somehow failed to create magic – even with the great Shah Rukh Khan present in it.

Delhi-6- The audience surprisingly also rejected Rakesh O. P. Mehra’s  well tuned drama.  It seems the stakes have risen in the industry now.

Despite the double offer of Saifeena, “Kurbaan”  bites the dust. “Aladin” even with Amitabh in it disappeared from the screens without a trace along with “Tum Mile”. “Main Aur Mrs. Khanna” had a totally blank performance by Salman. Shimit Amin’s “Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year” failed to launch off the pad properly but Ranbir Kapoor was widely. “Raaz- The Mystery Continues” true to its word remained a mystery. “Dil Bole Hadippa” was far too much to take, even for a wacky.

Now that I’m listing the flop movies which came and went without leaving a mark, it shows how baseless and senseless the hindi film industry has become, fooling audiences all the time with stories lifted from other movies, badly edited and put together on the screen.

Let’s hope the new year brings us some respite from what was a seriously disastrous year for Bollywood.

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