Top 10 Bollywood Movies So Far in 2012 (and some to look forward to)

Posted by Gayatri Bajpai & filed under Pop Culture.

The following are my selection of most exciting trailers and best-reviewed on the internet. Feel free to add, diss, or argue for critical faults in plot lines and item numbers (translation: song ‘n’ dance bits). I’ve done my best to include trailers with English subtitles, for those of you who are unfortunate non-Hindi-speakers.

1.Kahaani

Star Vidya Balan became the talk of the town last year when she publicly defended her decision to be explicitly sexual while playing South Indian siren Silk Smitha in The Dirty Picture. The film was a hit. Now she takes on the role of a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata, while everyone she encounters seems to doubt his very existence. A very different sort of film, but Balan has proven her broad range as an actress. Just the trailer had my pulse racing a little. Perhaps because it seems to promise the film won’t be punctuated with item numbers.

2.Agneepath

This film is a remake of a 1990s Bollywood movie about a man returning to his village to avenge his father’s death. Sanjay Dutt, more famous in recent years for his comic roles, plays the villain in the current version. The ‘hero’ is Hrithik Roshan, who by all accounts carries the film. Watch it for gore, melodrama, and really, really bad guys. Amongst all the tame rom-com stuff that’s aping Hollywood these days, in Bombay, this one looks like a solid Indian serving of violent action-packed melodrama.

3.London, Paris, New York

Speaking of Bollywood aping the West, the storyline of this one reminds me a lot of One Day, a film that follows the friendship of a girl and boy over some 15 years, only showing one day per year of their lives. In London, Paris, New York two friends meet in each of the aforementioned cities, and get a step closer to romance. The guy is a rich kid studying film, the girl is a sweet, nerdy politics student. The success of the film will depend on the confidence and chemistry between the relative newbies.

4.Paan Singh Tomar

Touted as having a lot more substance than the lightweight stuff coming out of Bollywood (See London, Paris, New York above), this one is a biopic of a star athlete-turned-bandit. Irrfan Khan, who plays the title character, is one heck of an actor, and according to video comments on the internet, he does not disappoint.

5.Gali Gali Chor Hai

A politically inspired comedy, this one follows a theatre actor, who stars in plays about Hindu deities, through his run-ins with corruption. Perfectly timed to release shortly after the Anna Hazare movement of 2011, Gali Gali looks like it could be really funny and subtle, on the condition that the filmmakers stay consistent, and don’t try to twist the last half into anything too dramatic, as some Bollywood directors have been known to do.

6.Ek Main Aur Ek Tu

Boasting two of the biggest stars in Bollywood right now, Kareena Kapoor, and Imran Khan (no longer just Aamir Khan’s nephew), this film looks to be a sleek, more mature romantic comedy by Bollywood standards. Reminiscent of What Happens in Vegas, mostly because it follows an identical core plot—the two actually get married in Vegas while drunk—it tells the story of a mismatch between Kareena’s character, a smart-ass hair dresser, and Imran’s, a tight-assed architect. They are attempting to get divorced. Who will charm who first?

7.Ek Deewana Tha

I would watch this one solely for the man-meat that is Prateik Babbar. Newbie Amy Jackson is also rather gorgeous, and apparently is not remotely Indian, but has had a rather successful foray into the world of Malayali language cinema. Ek Deewana is her Bollywood debut in this film. Beyond the beauty of the two stars, I have absolutely nothing to say about the quality of the movie. I can’t guarantee they act well, or that there is much of an original story (I suspect not), but sometimes (eye) candy is good for your health.

8.Agent Vinod

As far as I can tell from the trailer, Agent Vinod is about a man who refuses to reveal his identity (saying who he is would kinda be inimical to being a secret agent, so not very impressive). However, real life lovers Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, pair up for this one, which could make for natural chemistry. The film looks sleek. Hopefully it’s got a story to match.

9.Talaash

Talaash is set to release late this year, so not much information on it has been put out there. But I’m already looking forward to seeing the work of a female director in Bollywood. The psychological thriller is Reema Kagti’s second project as a director and star-studded with Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor (she’s everywhere) in the lead roles. All IMDB says is ‘[a] cop, a housewife and a prostitute get entangled in a mystery that links their lives in unexpected ways.’ Pretty sure bits of it are filmed in the Red Light district of Bombay, with Kapoor playing the prostitute (for the second time in her career), and parts in the famous Leopold Cafe that was attacked by terrorists in 2008.

10.Shanghai

Shanghai, one of the largest populations of the world and a status of a rising global power. What else do India and China have in common? According to China News Center, lead actor Abhay Deol, who usually plays director Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘black sheep’ is going to portray a cold Indian middle-class character who ‘clings on to his patriotic belief that India has to take over China one day.’ Now those be fighting words.

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