Despite all the mayhem going on in the world, 2012 proved to be one of the most successful years for Bollywood. There were many big-time box-office winners and quite a few memorable parallel (or should I say ‘Multiplex- oriented’!) movies. In fact, I do not remember any other calendar year where so many ‘worth seeing’ movies were released.
The main course
Let’s start with the blockbusters and superstars. Almost every leading hero of the industry had a smile on his face this year. Hrithik Roshan’s Agneepath; Saif Ali Khan’s Cocktail; Ajay Devgan’s Son of Sardar and Abhishek Bachchan’s Bol Bachchan (once again featuring Devgan!) were super-hits.
The success of Shahrukh Khan’s romantic saga Jab Tak Hai Jaan (which was Yash Chopra’s last film!) proved that his hold on the audience has not waned. Ranbir Kapoor’s Barfi and Aamir Khan’s Talaash were appreciated for being different and enjoyed a fair amount of box-office payout.
Akshay Kumar was the busiest star and even though his Joker failed miserably, all his other films- House Full 2, Rowdy Rathore, Oh My God and Khiladi 786 did very well.
But the biggest star of them once again proved to be Salman Khan, whose both releases – the spy-saga Ek Tha Tiger and the daredevil cop-caper Dabangg 2 set the cash registers ringing the loudest.
Among the heroines, Sonakshi Sinha thundered in three Hundred Crore- plus films (Rowdy Rathore, Son Of Sardar and Dabangg 2). Priyanaka Chopra (Agneepath, Barfi); Katrina Kaif (Ek Tha Tiger, Jab Tak Hai Jaan) and Anushka Sharma( Jab tak Hai Jaan) also did well. The last year’s Box-office queen Kareena Kapoor lost her footing as her ambitious Heroine bit the dust but then she recovered ground with a striking role in Talaash.
The main reason why 2012 became such a milestone year was the spate of many watchable as well as profitable small and medium budget films. The Bhatts dished out their specialized brand of sex, suspense and supernatural- themed quickies relying on and almost every one clicked be it Hate Story, Jism 2, Jannat 2 or Raaz 3. Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious two part film Gangs Of Wasseypur was a cinematic triumph. Dibakar Banerjee’s political thriller Shanghai and Prakash Jha’s naxalite-drama Chakravyuh were appreciated.
Actors Ayushman Khurana, Yami Gautam and Anu Kapoor combined to make Vicky Donor into an engaging entertainer. Irrfan Khan carried the dacoit biopic Paan Singh Tomar on his shoulders. Sridevi made a triumphant return to silver screen with a sensitive performance in English Vinglish. Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra wonderfully reprised the Romeo-Juliet tale in Ishqzaade. Kunal Kapoor and Huma Khan impressed in a ‘returning to roots’- film Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana.
From these middle-of-the-road films came the best film of the year- Kahaani. Sujoy Ghosh’s edge-of-the-seat thriller once again proved the phenomenal acting prowess of Vidya Balan.
Mindless comedies (Bol Bachchan, Son Of Sardar), mushy romances (Jab Tak Hai Jaan), bloody revenge dramas (Rowdy Rathore) and sequels of successful franchises (Dabangg 2, House Full 2, Jism 2, Jannat 2, Raaz 3) continued to be the Bollywood’s staple to rake in the moolah. But thankfully and refreshingly there were many movies which confidently charted out new courses.
Mysteries (Kahaani, Talaash); biopics (Paan Singh Tomar, Gangs of Wasseypur); political thrillers (Shanghai, Chakravyuh), unusual love-stories (Barfi, Ishqzaade) and light-hearted slice of life stories (English Vinglish, Vicky Donor, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana) were some of the off-beat genres that succeeded this year.
One such off-beat film completely won me over. Director Rajmauli’s Makkhi (dubbed from his Telugu hit Eega) mixed up animation in a normal film to serve an enjoyable revenge-drama of a fly!
I sincerely hope that Bollywood uses the success of 2012 as a springboard to achieve greater heights in 2013!
Top Male Performances
1. Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi
2. Irrfan Khan in Paan Singh Tomar
3. Nawazuddin Siddiqi in Kahaani, Gangs Of Wasseypur and Talaash
4. Manoj Bajpai in Gangs Of Wasseypur
5. Paresh Raval in Oh, My God
6. Anu Kapoor in Vicky Donor
7. Ayushman Khurana in Vicky Donor
8. Aamir Khan in Talaash
9. Shahrukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan
10. Salman Khan in Dabangg 2
Top Female Performances
1. Sridevi in English Vinglish
2. Vidya Balan in Kahaani
3. Priyanka Chopra in Agneepath and Barfi
4. Parineeti Chopra in Ishqzaade
5. Huma Khan in Gangs Of Wasseypur and Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana
6. Yami Gautam in Vicky Donor
7. Ileana D’Cruz in Barfi
8. Kareena Kapoor in Heroine and Talaash
9. Katrina Kaif in Jab Tak Hai Jaan
10. Deepika Padukone in Cocktail
My Top 10 Films
2. English Vinglish
4. Vicky Donor
5. Paan Singh Tomar
7. Oh, My God
9. Gangs Of Wasseypur (Part 1 and 2)
10. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana