1. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Cast- Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor, Pavan Malhotra.
Director- Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Plot- The truth behind the ascension of Milkha “The Flying Sikh” Singh who was scarred because of the India-Pakistan partition.
Our take- If Milkha Singh is a “Hero” this movie is Heroic! This Biopic have been excellently crafted by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, nicely scripted by Prasoon Joshi, storytelling is nice and sequence of events have been placed aptly. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry and it makes you feel empathetic for Milkha, his partition affected fellows and communities. Right from the word ‘go’ till finish this flick will keep you glued to your seats. Brilliantly performed by Farhan Akhtar along with other co-stars, with a special mention for Pavan Malhotra (Gurudev Singh, Milkha’s initial trainer & coach). Full marks to Farhan for his efforts, acting, dedication for the role, for getting completely into the skin of Milkha Singh and for being an authentic Milkha! To me, it would be no surprise if he fetches a National Award for this role! I know this film is criticized for being overlong, but there is not a moment where you will get bored. All in all, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a must watch for all movie lovers, sports lovers and Indian History lovers!!!!!
2. Madras Cafe
Cast- John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, Rashi Khanna
Director- Shoojit Sircar
Plot- An Indian Intelligence agent (portrayed by John Abraham) journeys into a war torn coastal island, to break a resolute rebel group. He deftly maneuvers his resources to make significant breakthroughs, amidst a scenario where the enemy has no face and the only counsel is ‘Don’t get caught.’ At various junctions, he meets a charismatic and passionate journalist (portrayed by Nargis Fakhri) who is following her will to reflect the truth behind the civil war. The story unfolds as their quest for the truth reveals a deeper conspiracy, by a faceless enemy, united to seize a common nemesis.
Our take- Produced by John Abraham itself, Madras Cafe is a kind of political and espionage thriller that Bollywood never tried before. A mix of striking visuals, haunting sound design, introduction of key characters & motives. Based on actual events mixed with fictitious characters, Madras Cafe becomes a very important movie that should be watched by every Indian. Acting is top-notch. You won’t be able to forget the imagery of first half and tension of second half long after the end credit starts. Director Shoojit Sarkar provides the ample conviction and uniqueness to whole idea and surprises you with his versatility. John Abraham’s portrayal of a RAW agent is every thing that Salman Khan (Ek Tha Tiger) & Saif Ali Khan (Agent Vinod) is not! More realistic & grounded. Nargis Fakri has a limited role but leaves an impact! A great thriller backed by a killer script. Sure shot A game changer & the 2nd best film of the year!
3.1. Chennai Express
Cast- Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone & Nikitan Dheer
Director- Rohit Shetty
Plot- Rahul embarks on a journey to a small town in Tamil Nadu to fulfill the last wish of his grandfather: to have his ashes immersed in the Holy water of Rameshwaram. En route, he meets a woman hailing from a unique family down South. As they find love through this journey in the exuberant lands of South India, an unanticipated drive awaits them.
Our take- Chennai express has everything going for it from the word PO!(Go in Tamil) I am a die hard Shahrukh fan and love Deepika too and let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed at all!(though I had serious,serious doubts about the film till it actually began). The film is a laugh riot! Amazing comedy timing, carefully written script, beautifully shot and two absolutely BRILLIANT actors. Deepika in particular is exceptionally good! She does so well that Shahrukh is side lined in a number of scenes they have together! The support cast and background actors do a fab job too. If your a Shahrukh or Deepika fan, your’re in for a treat! And the others, trust me, you will not be bored!
Cast- Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Katrina Kaif & Jackie Shroff
Director- Vijay Krishna Acharya
Plot- To avenge his father’s death, a circus entertainer trained in magic and acrobatics turns thief to take down a corrupt bank in Chicago. Two cops from Mumbai are assigned to the case.
Our take- I have never been a fan of the Dhoom franchise, the 1st one was highly derived from popular Hollywood franchises, but turned out to be highly entertaining. While the 2nd was terrible!! Other than gloss, music & a few sequence everything was bad! I still dont understand why people liked that crap fest!! But the 3rd installment, like they say is bigger & better. Even though it has cleanly ripped a major plot of a popular Hollywood movie (cant spoil it), it tweaks it & goes around differently. The action sequences are high octane with a major improvement on VFX. The cinematography is beautiful as it makes Chicago look like some wonderland, no wonder this movie is also releasing in IMAX. The music is average but wonderfully choreographed. Aamir Khan is often considered the number UNO, well while watching this you will understand why. He is perfect as the anti hero driven with a clear goal. Abhishek Bachchan, a highly underrated actor usually judged due to his poor choices, makes a definite stand & matches Aamir Khan toe to toe & gets ample opportunity to showcase himself in the franchise which gave him his 1st hit! Uday Chopra provides a good comic relief & is good during the action sequences. Katrina Kaif is restricted to a minute role appearing mainly in the song sequences, but you will be astonished by the dance & aerobic sequences she has performed!. In simple words like they are supposed to say..this year has surely ended with a Dhoom. Must watch!!
4. Kai Po Che
Cast- Amit Sadh, Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar Yadav
Director- Abhishek Kapoor
Plot- Three friends growing up in India at the turn of the millennium set out to open a training academy to produce the country’s next cricket stars.
Our take- Kai Po Che is what truly defines good cinema. A refreshing tale of friendship, dreams and passion that might leave you with a mild dose of reality. The movie unravels the madness that the common citizen of the country has about cricket, cinema and politics, and the effects that it is making on the process of growth and the ethos of the country. There’s no over-the-top, filmy, dramatic dialogues, instead, those in the film sound very realistic and genuine. The movie works wonder on every sphere, say it brilliant acting, realistic plot or heart-touching dialogues. Hence, this one is sure to make a prominent place to the year’s Best film award nominations.
Cast- Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor & Abhay Deol
Director- Aanand Rai
Plot- A small-town boy needs to break through the class divide to gain acceptance from his childhood sweetheart who is in love with big city ideals.
Our take- An ordinary looking actor from the Tamil Film Industry. And what has he done? He has very easily managed to carry the entire film on his two shoulders. Not an easy task, but he has done it. Reason? His immense talent and experience. Sonam Kapoor is another surprise package of this movie. She has also acted very well. If she wants to be taken seriously as an actor, she must do roles with meat like the one in this movie. Abhay Deol has a guest appearance which he has performed well as expected. Ofcourse the brilliant music from A.R.Rehman is note worthy. Its a simple film with political & religious overtones & a tragic climax. Nevertheless ‘Raanjhanaa’ sublimely delivered this tacit message in a pictorial way, making the film worth a watch !!
6. Special 26
Cast- Akshay Kumar, Manoj Bajpayee, Kajal Agarwal, Jimmy Shergill & Anupam Kher
Director- Neeraj Pandey
Plot- Based on a real life group of con artists who pulled off many clever robberies during 1980s, and robbed famous businessmen and politicians by pretending to be the CBI or Income tax officers.
Our take- From the director of A Wednesday comes one of the most brilliant films of all time! Akshay Kumar has always been a great actor for me despite critics and so-called intelligent viewers writing him off. As the linchpin of the team he is subtle, intelligent and still manages to be funny in his own earthly way. This is definitely another feather in his cap with his long list of successful movies. Jimmy Shergill’s portrayal of a frustrated suspended police officer is very believable and you can’t fail but empathize with the character of Sub- Inspector Ranveer Singh. But, Manoj Bajpayee is the actor which never ceases to amaze me. You put him any role and he shines, sometimes more than the protagonist. As a no nonsense CBI officer he again steals the show and gives another honest performance worth a standing ovation. Neeraj Pandey after his directorial debut with A Wednesday completely redeems himself with Special Chabbis and reaffirms his position as a master director. He is definitely not a one film wonder and a director to watch out for in the future.
7. Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela
Cast- Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Richa Chadda & Supriya Pathak
Director- Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Plot- Ram and Leela, their love, lust and the drama afterwards. Modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’.
Our take- Never been much fan of SLB’s vast sets & colorful melodramas (Sparring Guzarish) . But this film not only has a spellbinding effect, but it ships you to an unfamiliar world absolutely. Almost everyone knows about Romeo Juliet, but what we didn’t expect is an altogether innovative twirl to the premise. On the whole, GOLIYON KI RAASLEELA RAM-LEELA ought to be watched for multiple reasons: the electrifying chemistry between its lead actors, Ranveer Singh & Deepika were so natural,the strong dramatic content, the scintillating musical score, the violent streak in the narrative and of course, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s execution of the material. This is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s most accomplished work to date.
8. Aashiqui 2
Cast- Aditiya Roy Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor & Shaad Randhawa
Director- Mohit Suri
Plot- Rahul a promising singer loses his fans and fame due to alcoholism. But he then decides to turn a small time singer into a rising star.
Our take- Who would have thought, relatively new & unknown actors, a director of some of the very successful Emraan Hashmi films & a bunch of music directors could come together for 90s sequel (No definite connection to its predecessor other than the name) & create one of the biggest hit of the year! This tragic romance portrayed classic dark theme format is one of the best & most heartbreaking love stories ever seen! Aditiya Roy Kapoor has starred as the second fiddle to the lead in about four movies yet, in his 1st movie as the lead, he shows such maturity in his character seen only in established actors.This is one actor to watch out for! Shraddha Kapoor, daughter of veteran Shakti Kapoor, made her dream debut a couple of years back (Teen Patti, a disaster) as a middle class girl looks every bit of it, she looks ravishingly refreshing, not with lot of makeup her natural beauty does the charm all the way with superb performance! The main “Hero” of the film is the music! The Bhatts are known for their superb soundtracks irrespective of the film & this film has some of the best tracks of the here! Music awards here they come!! If you are looking for dark themed non usual romance film this is for u!
9. Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Cast- Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapur & Kalki Koechlin
Director- Ayaan Mukherjee
Plot- Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is the story of the relationship between two characters, Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) & Naina (Deepika Padukone), at two separate but defining times in their lives… first, when they are just out of college and standing on the crossroads of multiple decisions that will shape who and what they become… and then later on, in their late-twenties when they meet again, holding on to certain fulfilled and certain unfulfilled dreams, at a crossroads of another nature this time… how these two characters affect, change, befriend and eventually fall in love with each other is the journey the film aspires to take us on…
Our take- YJHD does through the typical roller coaster of a Bollywood romance & coming of age drama, but where it differs from those that have failed, is that it has the star power of Ranbir and Deepika at the top of their game, alongside the wonderful music by Pritam and fantastic direction by Ayan Mukherjee (Wake Up Sid) . It does not have much of plot, but the beauty of how people evolve in life. Watch this film to feel good.
Cast- Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Huma Qureshi & Shruti Hassan
Director- Nikhil Advani
Plot- A team of experts dispatched to bring in The Most Wanted Man in India almost achieves the unthinkable … until something goes horribly wrong.
Our take- After a successful debut & continuous list of disaster films, this one sprung like a surprise! A daring film with a risky plot, this turned out to be one of the best action films of 2013! Irrfan Khan is a seasoned actor no doubts on that, & he excels here, one wishes he should do more Bollywood films. Arjun Rampal keeps growing as an actor & is signing more interesting & daring roles! Keep it up! Huma Qureshi & Shruti Hassan have pivotal roles & excel in them unlike being the usual eye candy. But the main star of the film is Rishi Kapoor who looks & enacts the part with full gusto!!This is what is called a class act!! The typical ending kinda plays the spoil sport, but who cares this films is a great watch!
11. Go Goa Gone
Cast- Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Vir Das & Puja Gupta
Director- Krishna D.K., Raj Nidimoru
Plot- A group of friends along with members of the Russian mafia get stuck on a remote island off the coast of Goa, when new drugs at a rave party are consumed by the guests, turning them into zombies.
Our take- Give it up for the directors, producer Saif Ali Khan & writer Kunal Khemu for trying something innovative! They got zombies to India!! who would of thought of that. The film is urban, hilarious & creepy at the same time. Kunal Khemu, Vir Das & Anand Tiwari as the trio, Saif Ali Khan as the gun totting Delhi wala Russian mafia & Puja Gupta as the pretty lady in distress are amazing! Hands down for such a film!
Cast- Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Arjun Kapoor, Prithviraj & Sasha Agha
Director- Atul Sabharwal
Plot- A duplicate goes undercover into a gangster’s family as his son. This sets in place a chain reaction of complications and increasingly uncontrollable events.
Our take- Bravo! A perfect mafia movie! Literally every character in the movie has grey shades. Rishi Kapoor & Prithiviraj are brilliant as the corrupt cops while Jackie is great as the mafia king. But its Arjun Kapoor who excels in the double role of lost twins & keep the proceedings high octane. If you appreciate a good well tailored gangster movie, this one is for you.
Cast- Ranveer Singh & Sonakshi Sinha
Director- Vikramaditya Motwane
Plot- Inspired from O. Henry’s “The Last Leaf”, Lootera is the uplifting story of two lovers. Of heartbreak, betrayal… and ultimate redemption.
Our take- This beautifully crafted romantic film is not of everyone’s taste. The film has a slow pace & gradually picks up in the final hours. Superb performances from Ranveer Singh plays a suttle & an introvert character totally opposite of what he had portrayed before, & Sonakshi Sinha rises to the occasion carries the film on her own shoulders, instead of playing second fiddle like her other films, she portrays her character very maturely. The music is classic & soothing. This fine art of a film is only for people who look for literal cinema & not masala.
14. ABCD- Any Body Can Dance
Cast- Prabhudheva, Ganesh Acharya, Kay Kay Menon
Director- Remo D Souza
Plot- When a capable dancer instructor is provoked by the evil design of his employer, naturally he will be out to prove his mettle.
Our take- Frankly nothing was expected from this rip off of Step Up series, Stomp the Yard etc. But when it arrived, it arrived like a hurricane! Prabudeva took the center stage after almost a decade. Once I saw the film the only feeling that came over me was “Pride”. I was proud that India could finally make a music and dance oriented film without messing up the entertainment and logic factor of the audiences. Hats off!!
Cast- Raj Kumar Yadav, Prabhleen Sandhu, Tigmanshu Dhulia & Kay Kay Menon.
Director- Hansal Mehta
Plot- An account of slain Human Rights lawyer Shahid Basheer, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary commitment to justice.
Our take- A wonderful, tragic & depressing film. The story is portrayed in such a gripping, yet responsible manner that it makes you hold your attention right from the beginning. This film has remarkable cast along with their perfect performances. Shahid is a GEM of a movie produced in recent years. Its hard to find such movies these days , where a good movie is only defined by how much money it has made.
16. Chashme Baddoor
Cast- Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Divyendu Sharma, Tapsee Pannu & Rishi Kapoor
Director- David Dhawan
Plot- Chronicles the wacky lives of three roommates & how their lives go upside down when a pretty girl moves close by.
Our take- Not much was expected from this remake of an 80s classic film, especially with a newer cast & the David Dhawan at the helm, as he had seemed to lose his charm in the recent years. But alas, it proved all its dictators wrong as this comedy flick got a good critical & audience response. With snappy music, witty one liners & comic sequences along with some good performances from the cast , this one made sure the producers could go laughing to the bank.
Cast- Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha & Sonu Sood
Plot- An aimless youth starts working for drug baron and his mission is to kill is rival meanwhile falls in love.
Our Take- What do you expect from a Prabhudeva film?? Awesome action sequences, tongue in cheek humor, good music & some witty one liners. Of course this has it all!! A complete masala entertainer for the masses. Shahid Kapoor is one of the most underrated actors is a know fact, but this film proves his versatility also. Sonakshi is getting repetitive still she has some good moments here. A must watch for people looking for a full on entertainer!
Cast- Rajeev Khandelwal, Tena Desae & Paresh Rawal
Director- Aditya Datt
Plot- A couple live a mediocre life and are thrilled to have won an exotic vacation to Fiji & their excitement increases when they get a chance to play “Tell all truth” game for a mind boggling prize money. The game begins and the couple discovers that the game isn’t really a game, but is a game of survival.
Our Take- Surprisingly this was a very good film. Director Aditya Datt has made some forgettable Emraan Hashmi starrers (Aashique Banaya Apna) hence none expected an intelligent thriller from him. With soulful music , an interesting premise, with nail biting suspense to a shocking climax, this film has everything going in its favor!. Rajeev Khandelwal is proving to be among the most versatile actors in the younger slot. Tena Desea is good & Paresh Rawal….is Paresh Rawal full of awesomeness, creepiness & a weird hairstyle! People who are not into the usual Bollywood “crap” this would be an interesting watch!
Director – Subhash Kapoor
Plot- A small time lawyer files a PIL in court against his own idols case.
Our Take – Who would have thought the very talented Arshad Warsi & Boman Irani who are usually are playing second fiddles to leads could hold a film on their own! A serious issues based on a real life incident with small doses of humor where required, makes this film one of the best entertainers of 2013!
The Cast – Irfan Khan, Jimmy Shergill, Mahie Gill & Soha Ali Khan.
Director – Tigmanshu Dhulia
The Plot – The Royal Scandal, the war for power and fight for money continues with the return of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster. Aditya Pratap Singh (Jimmy Sheirgill) is crippled and is trying to recover from the physical disability and his wifes betrayal. The lover cum seductress Madhavi Devi (Mahie Gill) is now an MLA, her relationship with Aditya may have broken to shambles but her relation with alcohol is deep, dark and daunting. Indarjeet Singh, a ragged prince who has lost everything but his pride, pledges to get back his familys respect which was once destroyed by Adityas ancestors.
Our Take – The 1st installment was shocking entertainer! The sequel begins exactly where it left off. Tigmanshu Dhulia has proven yet again why he is among the most sought out & underrated directors, with this engaging royal political saga. Irfan is a superb actor & a star in his own right, no doubts on that!. Jimmy Shergill is an underrated actor & Tigmanshu Dhulia is the one who keeps giving him his due. Mahie Gill is amazing the sexy seductress who can twist any moving thing in her own way. Soha Ali Khan is pushed to the back seat, but stands her own in a couple of sequences. Eagerly awaiting the 3rd installment of this awesome franchise!