Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011 #2

Counting down to 2012, I thought it would be fun to do my Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011!

(Although, yes, I realize that it's NOW 2012... just work with me here.)

List 11 - Top 11 Indian Film Songs According to Filmi Girl's iTunes

List 10 - Top 11 Scene Stealers of 2011

List 9 - Top 11 Films Filmi Girl Never Got To See

List 8 - Top 11 Things Filmi Girl Wants To Go Away in 2012

List 7 - Top 11 Bollywood Losers of 2011

List 6 - Top 11 Bossest Women in Bollywood

List 5 - Top 11 Filmi Moments of 2011

List 4- Top 11 FILM Moments of 2011

List 3 - Top 11 Leading Performances of 2011

List #2...!!!

Yes! It’s the last list wrapping up 2011! Are you excited?! I’m going to run down my Top 11 movies of 2011 but in a little different format than you might be used to. You can get my unadulterated TOP 5 MOVIES IN NUMERICAL ORDER OF BESTNESS on the 2011 wrap up episode of upodcast, which I will post a link to as soon as Asim edits and posts it.

OKAY! So, here are my Top 11 Movies of 2011, in no particular order, organized by their outstanding quality!

Top 11 Indian Movies of 2011

The Movie That Was The Best Time You Can (Legally) Have In A Movie Theater: Osthe (Tamil)

The link to my review.

Yes, this is the one that was the remake of Dabangg and, yes, this is the one that was (allegedly) delayed so that Simbu could work on his six-pack but do you know what? This movie fucking owned. It was a non-stop masala fest of action, comedy, morality, romance, dancing, singing, and Simbu waggling his butt for the camera and I loved every second.

I knew this was the movie for me when after the opening fight, Simbu gets into a police jeep and shoots his pistol at the ground, making the jeep fly into the air and land in the middle of the opening song picturization, which involved (approximately) a billion dancers and people doing backflips and whatnot.

I repeat: This movie fucking owned.

Also, Sonu Sood was fantastic and Richa had a midriff that wouldn’t quit.

Whatever the equivalent phrase of paisa vasool is in Tamil, this was it.

The Movie That Was On Par With Hollywood (In A Good Way): Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (Hindi)

The link to my review.

For my money, there was only one film that deserved to use the phrase “on par with Hollywood” this year and that film was Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. While every director in town with a DVD collection heavy in Michael Bay movies was busy yelling about how their overripe films were “Hollywood-quality” (or had “on par with Hollywood” special effects), director Nupur Asthana actually made a very fresh, very vital commercial Hindi film in the spirit of one of my favorite Hollywood genres, the teen romance.

Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge is not a Bollywood film, it’s a musical - much like Disney’s Prom or High School Musical. And much like those aforementioned films, it’s extremely entertaining.

Nupur did many things right that those other directors did wrong. Let me list them out for those aspiring “on par with Hollywood” directors.

1) Understand the genre of film you are making; don’t just rip action sequences from The Bource Identity and then throw in some hammy dialogues for desi flavor.

2) Cast actors who can act in a naturalistic manner. Most Hollywood genres require actors, not stars.

3) Make sure you have an actual story to tell. If you all you want to do is make money, let me introduce you to my two friends Golmaal and Ready. (Both of which I enjoyed but you get what I’m saying here, right?)

The Movie That Made Me Cry And Then Cry Some More (In A Good Way): Mausam (Hindi)

The link to my review.

I’m not sure if Hindi has a word for these films but Mausam was a weepie. I love a good weepie.

Perhaps in our fast-moving, cynical times, people no longer have the patience to sit and really get emotionally involved in a melodramatic story. The slow-moving romance, the distance, the misunderstandings all had the feel of a classic Meena Kumari-Ashok Kumar starrer meant to be watched with a clean hankie in the hand and one in the pocket... just in case. I ate it up.

Or maybe I’m just a soft touch when it comes to Shahid Kapoor flashing his big watery eyes on screen. (This boy has become quite the actor in recent years. Phenomenal job!)

Either way, this movie really worked for me and I’d gladly sit down on a Sunday afternoon with a big pot of tea and a box of kleenex to watch it again.

The Movie That Made Me The Happiest: Tanu Weds Manu (Hindi)

The link to my review.

Tanu Weds Manu wasn’t an important film or a ground breaking film or a life changing film.

HOWEVER, it was an extremely warm and well-made film, packed full of characters I adored played by actors I love to bits. By the end of the film, Tanu and Manu and their families feel like old friends and although the actual story in the film is only the small one of a marriage, my heart still feels so full by the end.

Plus, how adorable was Kangana dancing to “Kajra Mohabbat Wala”?! Right?!

The Movie I Laughed The Most At: Double Dhamaal (Hindi)

The link to my review.

I saw this one with dear Shellie and her sister when we were at IIFA and I was totally expecting to hate it. The trailers straddled the line between insipid and racist but I love Arshad Warsi so I said, “What the hell” and bought a ticket.

Double Dhamaal is really funny. Yes, it’s also really dumb and packed full of humor based on every single racial stereotype you can think of but at the end of the day, if we lost our ability laugh at stupid shit, what kind of world would this be?! I ASK YOU!

(As an aside, my favorite bit of Double Dhamaal is this video of Arshad and Ritesh trolling Aashish so hard during an interview.)

The Movie I’m Glad Did Well: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi)

The link to my review.

It’s no secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance - which I found to be pretentious and packed full of cardboard characters - nor am I a great fan of Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar in general. (I find them all a bit pretentious, actually.) And I was fully prepared to loathe this movie with ever fiber of my being.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out that this little male bonding film, scripted by Zoya and Reema Kagti, turned out to be a beautiful exploration of friendship, life, and the Spanish countryside - just jam packed full of heartbreaking little moments and breathtaking visuals.

Zoya even managed to weave some song picturizations in, as smoothly as the drive on the zippy blue roadster the boys were using.

I’m really glad this movie did well because 1) It’s nice to see another woman join the 100 crore club as a director and 2) it’s nice to see a movie that was just... well... nice.

The Movie I Wish I Could Have Seen On A Bigger Screen: Urumi (Malayalam)

The link to my review.

One of my biggest problems as a foreign fan of regional cinema is that I rarely get a chance to see films like Urumi how they were meant to be seen - on a big screen. While I was quite taken with Urumi on my small screen television, I know that Santosh Sivan’s lush visuals look ten times better when seen on a giant movie screen.

The Movie I Wish MORE People Would See: Lifeu Ishtene (Kannada)

The link to my review is here.

As I’ve grown more familiar with the ins and outs of regional cinema, it’s become pretty clear that Kannada films are like the red-headed stepchild of Indian cinema. I’ve actually gotten people saying “LOL KANNADA FILMS” in response to reviews of films I’ve found really touching or heartfelt.

Anyways, Pawan Kumar’s debut film is exactly the kind of thing that all those Bollywood directors think they’re making with films like Break Ke Baad and Love Aaj Kal - a modern, smart, cheeky, and very grown-up look at young love. It’s pure Kannada filmmaking and it’s wonderful.

If you’ve never seen a Kannada film before, please give it a chance!!

And if you’re Karan Johar, buy up the rights and make it in Hindi also starring Diganth!

The Movie That Was The Complete Package: Bodyguard

The link to my review.

Look, I’m not an idiot. I know Bodyguard was a ridiculous film but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy 100%. This movie had everything I like and very little that I hate... very little. I loved all the melodrama; the action; the comedy... I loved everything. Osthe may have been more fun and Double Dhamaal more hilarious and Ko more action packed but they didn’t punch me in the gut the way Bebo’s unrequited love did in Bodyguard.

Melodrama, you will always have a fan in Filmi Girl... and then those last 20 minutes?! I call this paisa vasool.

The Movie That Genuinely Surprised Me: Ko (Tamil)

The link to my review.

The ending to this movie blew my mind and I consider myself a fairly savvy viewer of masala films. No Abbas-Mustan style twists can phase me and no impractical or preposterous chain of events can prevent me from suspending my disbelief. So, believe you me that the ending to Ko is pretty phenomenal.

I won’t give it away because it’s being remade in Hindi - although I doubt Prakash Jha will keep the political subtleties of K.V. Anand’s original.

The Movie That I Couldn’t Stop Watching: Shor In The City

The link to my review.


I’m so glad I bought this DVD.

Every time I watch this movie I see something new and am rewarded all over again. It’s just a masterpiece of acting, editing, and directing - every character, no matter how small a role, is a human being. I could run though a whole list of Chris Farley show style “Do you remember when... Savvy and his friend go ask for the bank loan?” but I kind of want to watch it again right now...


OG said...

Hey FG,

Awesome list!

Tamil does not have an equivalent term which signifies "my money's worth"........ But another term which can be used to signify that a film rocked would be "Thaar maar"....... as in "padam thaar maar" (The film was thaar maar).

Hey FG, maybe you should start watching Malayalam films as well now since you are watching almost everything......... :) and since you like Kannada films, many Malayalam films are kinda the same......lower budgets but story driven.....

For 2011, I would suggest "Salt N Pepper"... an ordinary film told beautifully........

Sal said...

Also, Osthe has soundtrack that kicks ass in all its mega-autotuned glory. I had Kalasala and Unnale on repeat for ages.

oneknightstands said...

I am so happy to see Tanu Weds Manu and Shor making ur top 11. I have not seen any of the south indian movies and will check them out..especially Urumi.
As for Mausam, I fell asleep in the theatre ..twice. Hehe.
And ZNMD; I didn't like it when I saw it at the cinema..but it is a fun Sunday DVD watch ..when you're recovering from a hangover, and Farhaan's silly jokes make me chuckle :P

(Laura) said...

I saw that "Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge" was recently added to Netflix watch instantly, but I didn't add it to my queue because I had such a bad "Bollywood teen movie" experience with the awful "Always Kabhi Kabhi." But after seeing it on your list, I'm excited to give it a chance. :)

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
.article .article-content { word-break: normal !important; }