Anyways, here's my list of the films I liked this year:
Jan - Ishqiyaan : Well, sometimes a small film can save us from a calamitous big budget blooper. Ishqiyaan let me recover from the horrendous shock that "Veer" provided. The film was nuanced. The finer elements of direction, acting and music really elevated this film. Vidya was enticing , Naseer steady and Arshad manic. Though it wasn't spectacular, this film set the tone for the year.
Feb - Karthik Calling Karthik : Another film that was strong in terms of the storyline. Had a competent protagonist, Farhan, and had some decent music. Though it was predictable, it was different. It did not depend on money, but the power of screenplay. Though it did not do very well ( mainly due to the release being so close to My Name is Khan), this film was again a step in the right direction.
I missed "Road to Sangam" - which I hope to see very soon.
March - Love, Sex aur Dhoka : March was a busy month for me. Had started my shoot. So it was great to know that some utter crap hit the screens. But 1 film emerged as the lotus in the swamp. The breakthrough film of the year, of the century - LSD. A revolutionary film, as provocative and creative as it's title. Brilliant stylization, awesome storyline and screenplay, and some excellent acting. This movie was probably the film of the year.
Well Done Abba : Well, Shyam Benegal has a knack of making this cool, small budget, delightful films and this was a very well executed film. Had some decent comedy, an in-form Boman Irani and a delightful message. It was a feel good film, that did not bore me at all.
April - Not one movie rose the bar. It was Prince and Housefull that stole the show, and that tells you how crappy the other films would be. I missed "City of Gold","The Great Indian Butterfly" and "Pankh". Will catch them sometime.
May - Started with a bad-mash of a film Badmash Company and ended with the boring Kites. May was again a bad, bad month for cine goers
June -Rajneeti - Thank god for Rajneeti. A big budget film that finally worked and also helped us go through the month and save us from the shock we were about to get "Raavan". Rajneeti, was a big film, with several actors competing with each other. Though it was a little weak in terms of storyline, the actors made up for it. Rajneeti, in terms of scale and complexity was probably the toughest film to make in the year and I am glad it did well.
July - The best month of the year.
Udaan - What a film! Simply brilliant. Udaan touched a chord with me. A touching story told beautifully. Ronit Roy played the character of the year and the young Turk, Rajat Barmecha, did a great job. This film is a notch above LSD and my most favourite film of the year.
Tere Bin Laden : Well, what do I say! TBD had me in splits. A smart script, some awesome acting and good background score. The only problem was the production value, but its exciting that small films with good scripts are being made. And the fact that it succeeded was even more exciting. Poora Paisa vasool.
Though Once Upon a time in Mumbai did well, I thought it was just about average and not worth mentioning.
Peepli Live : Another small film, great acting, awesome dialogues and a good message. The fact remains that even though it was a good film, it required Star Power to make it the run away hit of the year, in terms of ROI. Sent to the Oscars, the only problem with this movie was that it was a little stretched out and the idea was not really novel.
I really wish to catch Antardwand very soon.
September - The biggest month of the year.
Dabangg - Not for the fact that it did well or for the story. It was simply a movie that was unabashedly mindless and exploited the fact that Indian viewers wanted total bakwaas. Very very smart director and well, Salman's most compelling performance in his lifetime.
Robot - Without a doubt the movie that has surprised me the most in years. Astounding. Seriously. Turned me into a believer. What vision and execution by Shankar. India's most expensive, most technically sound movie ever. Robot hit the nail on the head. Yanna Brilliantaaa
Do Dooni Chaar - The most heart warming and feel good movie of the year. Sweet storyline, Rishi kapoor at his best, some awesome ensemble acting and a lighthearted comedy that worked. Not to forget the authenticity in characterization. Do Dooni Chaar was one of the best films of the year.
Guzaarish - The movie was a dud at the box office, but you cannot discount SLB's vision, execution of this movie. If only SLB had cut the movie a little bit short, this would have been a better movie. Also Hritik's sincere effort. This was definitely one of the big budget movies that worked for me.
Phans Gaya re Obama - The year of the small budget movies was complete with this film. Good screenplay, good acting, sensible comedy, this movie was another slap in the face of the big budget blunders.
Band Baaja Baaraat - Another surprise, specially from YRF. Habib Faisal had made Do Dooni Chaar and it was quiet fitting that he wrote another good film. BBB had the fun element that we needed in the year. A good leading couple, a surprisingly good new hero, a decent storyline, great characterization again and good production value. Good to see it worked.
In all a bad year for QUALITY of cinema, very bad year for big budget films and a great year for small films. My top 5 - Udaan, LSD, Robot, Do Dooni Chaar, Peepli Live/Rajneeti.