Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011 #4

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

Top FILM Moments of 2011 (from movies I’ve seen)

#11 In which Rajapattai almost goes to a song but then doesn’t.

I didn’t need subtitles to know that this was hilarious.

Rajapattai already had a meta-aware feel to it, considering that Vikram’s character was supposed to be an (aspiring?) stunt man and was introduced to us in an elaborate fantasy sequence but this bit really got me guffawing. If you’ve seen enough masala films, you will be familiar with two things - 1) the tension that builds waiting for that first song and 2) the mechanics of the heroine introduction song. Rajapattai cleverly plays with both with a delicious fake-out to a heroine introduction song early on in the film.

As Vikram spots Deeksha Seth (and falls in love at first sight) in “real life” we flip to a beach filled with white tourists and Deeksha mincing along in the sand with her hair blowing in the wind. Music swells. As the audience settles in for a picturization, the camera pans behind Vikram (who has gone from tapori to cool dude) and we see... his four hulking comic relief friends (if I remember correctly) decked up in pastel suits, ready to dance.

Vikram calls a halt to the picturization immediately.

Like I said, it was hilarious; I’ll be waiting to see this gag in one or another Bollywood films next year.

#10 In which the ending to Ko blows my mind.

It’s not often that a masala film can throw a last-minute narrative curveball that leaves my jaw hanging open but Ko managed to do just that. I happened to watch this one on DVD so I was tweeting reactions throughout my viewing and I believe when I got to the end, all I could manage was, “OMGGGGG! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!”

*spoiler alert*

We discover that Jeeva’s friend - the previously spotlessly white politician - had been working with the Naxalite terrorists! But even more importantly, JEEVA DOES THIS FLIP KICK THING THAT WAS SO COOL and then dishooms a bunch a people and there is a giant shoot-out. The real kicker is that at the end of the film, Jeeva decides not to tell everybody that their hero politician was a jerk because his image is more important than the actual man.

I expected a positive message and a big fight. I did not expect complex morality questions and A BAD ASS FLIP KICK THING and a big fight.

Bravo, K.V. Anand!


We’ll see if Prakash Jha can manage something this morally complicated and entertaining in the remake.

#9 In which Amitabh PWNS an entire gang with his magic in Buddha Hoga Tera Baap.

The original big dog of Bollywood returned this summer in a delightful small-scale masala film. Of the many small joys hidden within the film (e.g. Amitabh playing Sonu Sood’s secret father) was the ending sequence in which Amitabh infiltrates a gang of bad guys and takes them out from within. He fakes an attack by a rival gang (by being awesome) and then while the real gang is fighting the fake gang, he takes out the real gang... by being extremely awesome.

For my money, this was one of the best fight scenes of the year.

#8 In which Bagwati takes a starring turn in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Outshining even the delectable Katrina Kaif, the breakout star of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was an ostrich Herm├Ęs Kelly bag. Nicknamed Bagwati by Imran (Farhan Akhtar), she took on a life - and a voice - of her own.

I’m not sure if Bagwati was supposed to poke fun at conspicuous consumption or not but she certainly pointed an elegant finger, er... clasp at it.

#7 In which Akshay returns to college in Desi Boyz.

In an era when every 40 or 50 (!!) something hero is returning to college or making coming of age films, with seemingly no fellow students questioning why a 40 or 50 something year old man is in their classes (Aamir in 3 Idiots as the prime offender) or why a 40 year or 50 something year old man hasn’t figured out how to have a girlfriend (Saif Ali Khan in Love Aaj Kal, I’m looking at you) it was extremely refreshing to see Desi Boyz take them to task.

Returning student Jerry (Akshay Kumar) is waiting in his dorm room when his roommate (youngistani Rajat Barmecha) strolls in.

“Are you Jerry’s dad?” asks the roommate.

I was rolling in the aisle.

#6 In which Kangana Ranaut is the “Kajra Mohabbat Wala” in Tanu Weds Manu.

Just like in real life, reel life weddings are a great reason to bust out with some naach-gaana. This pre-wedding sangeet had Tanu (Kangana Ranaut) lipsyncing along to “boy” part of the classic gender-switch hit “Kajra Mohabbat Wala” as she serenaded the bride, her friend Payal (Swara Bhaskar.)

What makes is memorable is not just Kangana and the other girls’ light-hearted dancing but that we get a glimpse into what makes Tanu so lovable. With a song and smile, we see beyond the hardened exterior to the girl within.

Plus, Kangana is just radiant; it’s definitely one the best song picturizations of the year.

#5 In which a Shahid and Sonam bond in a drainage pipe in Mausam.

I’d love to put down the final half an hour of Mausam as a one of the most memorable moments of the year but it feels like cheating. (And don’t worry, we’ll be seeing Mausam again on my Best 11 Films of the Year list. Yes, that’s right - BEST.)

Instead, I’ll select the portion of the ending half-hour in which - after being kept apart for most of the film, and almost giving up on each other - Punjabi Sikh Harry (Shahid Kapoor) and Kashmiri Muslim Aayat (Sonam Kapoor) are reunited in the midst of horrific communal violence. Harry had been moping alone in a giant pipe on a construction site when Aayat comes tearing down that way and the meeting... well, it brought tears to my eyes when Harry cradles Aayat and explains how he lost his mother in communal violence.

(And then... there’s a fire... and a carnival... and a baby... and a horse... and another baby... and an autotuned song and dance number and... and...!!!!)

#4 In which Ranveer Singh has a smouldering under the surface love affair with a widow in Lucknow in under 10 minutes or less in Ladies vs Ricky Bahl.

Ladies vs Ricky Bahl is filed under biggest disappointments of the year but this amazing flashback sequence to one of Ricky’s cons is simply divine. I wish this story had been the whole film. The shy looks while riding the bus together; the widow (Aditi Sharma) slowly coming out of her shell and feeling life again; the in-laws who want their daughter-in-law to be happy, despite their son’s early death; and the delicious heartbreak of the audience (i.e. me) wanting to believe “Iqbal” aka Ricky (Ranveer Singh) but knowing it was all lie...

Beautifully shot and beautifully acted, the 10 minutes we spend in Lucknow with Saira and “Iqbal” were almost worth the price of admission to the entire film. Almost.

(Anushka Sharma stunk up the entire second act so bad ain’t nothing can cover that stench.)

#3 In which Diganth attempts to purchase condoms in Lifeu Ishtene.

A late entry to the list but a worthwhile one. Our hero Vishaal (Diganth) would like to engage in the time-honored tradition of forgetting about a recent ex-girlfriend by sleeping with some random chick from a club. Our hero is no fool and before he touches any part of his body to some random chick from a club, he is going to wrap it in latex; Vishaal needs to purchase some condoms. One slight problem - Vishaal is embarrassed to be seen purchasing condoms.

Vishaal’s misadventures at the grocery store include, almost being taken for a shoplifter because of how sketchy he’s acting; getting hassled by a kid who finds Vishaal’s agitation to be hilarious; running into a friend of his mother’s; having his condoms price-checked over the intercom once he finally gets to the register; and, most indignantly, charging them to a credit card and having his father quiz him in detail on why he’s at the grocery store at all while his mother is sitting right there.

I was laughing so hard I had to watch the scene twice to catch everything.

#2 In which Vidyut Jamwal makes his debut in Force.

This is how I remember my reactions to Force:

Oh, look. There’s John Abraham being buff. I wonder if he can move his arms...

Poor Genelia D’Souza got roped into doing some shampoo commercial shit.

Ooo! This elevator sequence is hot.

Policewallahs! You are amusing!

Hi, Sandy! Looking good!

This is mildly entertaining so far but John’s voice is weirdly high and it’s distract--OMG WHAT DID THAT GUY JUST DO!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T REWIND THE PROJECTOR JUST FOR ME! I WANT TO SEE THAT GUY DO THAT THING AGAIN! WHO IS THAT GUY?!

“That guy” would be Vidyut Jamwal proceeding to tear it up on screen as he elegantly dishooms a billion drug dealer guys into oblivion without breaking a sweat.

It was magical. Vidyut’s sinewy grace and magnetic charisma were so powerful that when he stepped on screen, it made noses bleed in the parking lot outside the theater.


#1 In which Pitobash has a gun in Shor.
We, the audience, don’t quite realize how much of a loose cannon Mandook (Pitobash) is until he picks up that gun and holds it to his head.

My friend Brian, who is from the great state of Kentucky, where they know a thing or two about loaded weapons, once told me that his father told him to always treat a gun as if it was loaded. Always. And never to aim at anything unless you plan on firing.

Those words of Bluegrass State wisdom were swirling through my brain as I watched - barely able to breathe - as Mandook picks up a gun that we all know is empty and holds it to his head.

Oh, my god! What if it’s not empty? What if it’s not empty? I know it’s empty but what if it’s not empty?

Seconds tick by and Mandook is still standing there holding the pistol, facing the camera.

My stomach is in knots.


He pulls the trigger.

1 comment:

(Laura) said...

Yes! Somebody else who liked 'Mausam!'

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
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