The Year In Review – Hindi Cinema (2012)

2012 was (by its usual standards) a very good year for Hindi cinema. Yes, we saw the usual masala films hitting the 100 cr mark, but we did see other cinema receive recognition too, and not just from critics, but audiences as well. Here we try to lay down our 5 favourite Hindi movies of 2012, scenes, songs and what you should be looking forward to in 2013.

Favourite films (in reverse order)

5. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

Finally, an Indian rom-com that did not make me cringe. Bonus points for the end.

4. Paan Singh Tomar

Paan Singh Tomar

An extraordinary (real-life) story told very well. And Irrfan, one of our best actors.

3. Barfi!


May have lifted scenes but its sum was greater than its parts.

2. Supermen of Malegaon

Supermen of Malegaon

Okay, I cheated. This is a documentary. But you’ll laugh, and laugh, and ponder, and laugh again while watching the people from Malegaon creating their famous parodies. The whole film is available online here.

1. Talaash


The film got a lot of stick for the twist, and it was promoted wrongly too – as a thriller. But watch the film knowing it’s about grief, and perhaps even knowing the twist, and this film turns out to be something else. My Hindi film for this year.

Before we move on to my favourite songs of the year, the composer of the year goes to Amit Trivedi (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, Ishaqzaade, English Vinglish, Aiyya, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana as well as Trishna and the best episode in Coke Studio India Season 2). Runner up: Sneha Khanwalkar for Gangs of Wasseypur.

Might I add the best background score in a movie this year was by Abhishek Ray and Sandeep Chowta for Paan Singh Tomar.

Favourite Hindi songs (in reverse order)

6. Auntyji (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu)

Composer: Amit Trivedi; Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya; Singer: Ash King

5. Ala Barfi! (Barfi!)

Composer: Pritam; Lyricist: Swanand Kirkire; Singer: Mohit Chauhan

4. Laakh Duniya Kahe (Talaash)

Composer: Ram Sampath; Lyricist: Javed Akhtar; Singer: Ram Sampath

3. Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Composer: Sneha Khanwalkar; Lyricist: Varun Grover; Singer: Manoj Tiwari

2. Motorwada (Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana)

Composer: Amit Trivedi; Lyricist: Shelley; Singers: Tochi Raina, Amit Trivedi

1. Aafaton Ke Parinde (Ishaqzaade)

Composer: Amit Trivedi; Lyricist: Kausar Munir; Singers: Suraj Jagan, Divya Kumar

Favourite scenes of 2012 (in reverse order)

Have tried to provide clips as much as possible.

6. The Dinner Table sequence (Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu)

One of the best written scenes of the film (and the year).

5. “I love gandagi.” (Supermen of Malegaon)

One of the writers of the film Malegaon ka Superman comes up with a classy entry with a fitting monologue for the Lex Luthor-esque villain of the film – Ding Dong Ding – who is the owner of a tobacco company and loves filth.

4. The Bengali and Punjabi parents visit each others’ homes. (Vicky Donor)

Our cultural biases can be a lot of fun, especially when shown in such a hilarious manner. What Chetan Bhagat tried to show in one entire book called Two States was shown here in two smartly-written, short scenes. Here’s a (very) short clipping.

3. “Parmissan” (Gangs of Wasseypur)

Hands down, the most hilarious scene this year!

2. The Underwater Sequence (Talaash)

Beautiful cinematography aside, (and avoiding spoilers), this scene was just surreal.

1. Raabta (Agent Vinod)

Not a good film, not a bad film. But was it technically sound! For instance, this one take shot for the song Raabta.

Films to look ahead to in 2013 – In no particular order.

1. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj; Actors: Imran Khan, Pankaj Kapur, Anushka Sharma

2. Lootera


Director: Vikramaditya Motwane; Actors: Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha

3. David


Director: Bejoy Nambiar; Actors: Vikram, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Isha Sharvani

4. Kai Po Che!

Kai Po Che!

Director: Abhishek Kapoor; Actors: Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Yadav, Amit Sadh

5. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; Actors: Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor

6. Ghanchakkar

Director: Rajkumar Gupta; Actors: Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan

7. Dhoom 3 (in IMAX)

Director: Vijay Krishna Acharya; Actors: Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Jackie Shroff, Katrina Kaif

8. Gunday


Director: Ali Abbas Zafar; Actors: Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Irrfan Khan

9. Chennai Express

Chennai Express

Director: Rohit Shetty; Actors: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone

10. Peekay

Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Actors: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma


Diwali ‘Dumb’aka!

It’s quite interesting that I’ve become a serious follower of movies in a very short span of time. I started watching movies a lot only after joining college, which was in 2007. I have never been a great fan of TV either. The only movies I was certain of watching on big screen were Super Star Rajnikanth’s. I’d be stating the obvious if I said that almost all families in South India, especially Tamil Nadu, make it a point to watch “Thalaivar’s” movies without fail. That reminds me of a status update shared by a very good friend of mine. Here it goes…

Difference between Shah Rukh Khan and Rajinikanth – “Shah Rukh Khan will do anything to make sure people watch his movies! People will do anything to make sure they watch Rajinikanth’s movies!!”

That’s the extent to which movies have influenced people’s lives. What we have to keep in mind is whether the said influence is negative or positive. To be frank, I’ve not watched even a single movie ‘first day first show’. I understand that quite a few of you would now exclaim, “Adappaavi! Really?? Waste po!” But I should mention that I’ve made significant improvement. I have watched both the Tamil movies released for Diwali this year – 7aam Arivu and Velayudham. This is a first for me.

While Velayudham didn’t leave much of an impact on me (sorry Vijay fans, I always try my best to speak only the truth), 7aam Arivu did – not because of how bad the movie is, but because of how good it could have been!

But still, one line about Velayudham will not harm anyone.

Azad (the original Telugu movie) + Assassin’s Creed + super hilarious dialogues = Velayudham.

Speaking about 7aam Arivu, the movie had a great concept, and the director, A R Murugadoss’ idea and the message are absolutely commendable. He has made a great effort to familiarise people to the greatness of our ancestors. But he has greatly failed in doing so. Now, here is my take on what went wrong in the execution of the movie.

But before that, I’ll say what the good things in the movie are. The cinematography and visual effects are amazing, especially in the introductory scene. The depiction of the 6th century Kanchipuram and the visual portrayal of Bodhi Dharma’s journey to China are proof for this. Veteran cinematographer, Ravi K Chandran has proved why he’s still one of the best in the industry. And I realised that more than two VFX studio worked on the graphics when the end credits rolled on.

And like I mentioned earlier, Murugadoss’ thought behind making the movie is really wonderful. Hope we realise the depth of the truth he wants to share through the movie and try our best to revive the glory of our motherland. I also appreciate Murugadoss’ boldness to speak about the Sri Lankan genocide of Tamilians, and he calls for fighting back against them. This, and the fact that he has spoken about the kind of threat China poses to India, are indeed bold moves. But the scene in which the Chinese threat is shown makes you wonder if the movie is a spoof or something.

Having said that, I feel Suriya’s efforts are also laudable. I was a great fan of Suriya. In fact, if you had asked me who my favourite hero in Tamil cinema was some three years ago, I’d have answered, “Suriya.” But for some reason, I started hating him after Ayan. I really can’t explain why that change took place, but I have a feeling that today’s Suriya is not the same Suriya we knew in Pithamagan.

However, he has put in tremendous efforts to justify his selection for the role of Bodhi Dharma. But I just can’t stop feeling bad that these efforts have gone in vain.

First of all, the movie’s fantastic story is accompanied by a poor screenplay. The pace of the movie picks up only in the second half, but by then, one half of the audience has left the theatre. I could understand that Murugadoss was desperately trying to say something, but he had lost his words midway. Only the first 20 minutes show some fragments of Bodhi Dharma’s life. Murugadoss could have either extended that particular part or interspersed many more scenes related to Bodhi Dharma within the movie. A non-linear screenplay would have certainly managed to hold the audience’s attention.

There are 6 songs in the movie, out of which only 2 justify their presence. Murugadoss could have done away with the other 4, or even 5, with the exception of The Rise of Damo. Speaking about the music, I think Harris Jeyaraj should stop composing. In my personal opinion, Unnaale Unnaale was the last movie of his which had some nice songs. No noteworthy songs have come up from him after that. He either reuses his own tunes or copies tunes from someone else. Yellae Lama is just a variation of Amali Thumali which is in turn a variation of Hasili Fisili. Yamma Yamma is just Anjalawith a slower tempo. I wouldn’t be surprised if he copies tunes from Srikanth Deva himself in the future.

Murugadoss should have laid more emphasis on the background score instead.I realised that presentation matters a lot in art only after entering the publishing industry. No matter how profound or valuable the message is, people still look for certain elements that would grip them tightly. 7aam Arivu does have a wonderful message to convey, but the way it has been presented brings a smirk to the face. Presentation is the main reason movies like Engeyum Eppodhum were well-received by the people.

Now the problem with a majority of the audience is they don’t look at movies as pieces of art. Especially in Tamil Nadu, a movie is more or less like a slice of the hero’s life. To them, 7aam Arivu and Velayudham are not two pieces of art. They feel it’s more like a Vijay versus Suriya battle. That’s why you continuously see the fans of both the actors fighting against one another about just the box office collection of the movies. Completely mindless and meaningless hero worship, I say!

As for me, I appreciate all arts and all artists, provided they are original. The audience, as a whole, should behave more sensibly and realize that movie stars are just human beings like everyone else and that they’re only as special as any Tom, Dick or Harry is. FOR GOD’S SAKE, PLEASE STOP HERO WORSHIP!

A poster for 7aam Arivu

Now, coming back to 7aam Arivu, I myself felt like leaving the theatre on several occasions. But it was the aforementioned thought behind making the movie and the fear of upsetting my dear friend that made me sit back and watch the movie fully.I had zero expectations from the movie, but as it progressed, I thought it was going to be a great experience. That’s the reason it was a serious disappointment. It’s the wastage of invaluable talent, time and effort that makes me feel bad.Forget the anti-Suriya audience, any sane and sensible movie watcher and art lover would agree with me that 7aam Arivu could have been a much better movie. Mr. Murugadoss, we appreciate your efforts and we’ll continue to support you. But be a bit more patient and think a thousand times before and while making a movie on such a great subject. Better luck next time!

Written by Vinay Kumaar.