Aata - my film of the year.I did still watch movies - when Siddharth's 2006 hit Bommarillu finally got a DVD release, I rushed to watch it and ended up loving it. But that was on the Telugu side of things, of course, and for months the movie was the only Indian film I saw.
2007 was quite an interesting year in films for me. I felt like there was a dry season between the early months of the year and the final months of it. This meant a large portion of my year was destined to be quite Bollyless (or more correctly, Indian cinema-less). I blame the films I anticipated - Guru and Eklavya were both enormous letdowns, and while I liked the former to buy on DVD and should buy the latter for Saif collection, the combination of unexciting Bollywood and the discovery of something new in East-Asian entertainment made me completely abandon Bollywood for a while.
So what drew me back in? Ironically, it wasn't Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, though the film was one of my biggest favourites this year. It wasn't Life in a ..Metro, another 07 movie I saw during this period of unenthusiasm. It wasn't even the Dharmendra starrer oldie I watched, Mera Gaon Mera Desh aka Vinod Khanna Is the Gabbar Singh of Sexy. The movie that drew me back into Bollywood in 2007 was ... drumroll please ..
Ek Hasina Thi!
Quite randomly I decided to show another Indian film to my friend who was coming to town, and had seen select favourites of mine (ranging from Bunty aur Babli to Sholay). I considered my pick, then grabbed EHT and went my way. My friend was critical of the movie, unfairly so in my view, but more importantly, I enjoyed my umpteenth viewing of it. And when I returned home, I sort of sat down and asked myself, "Hey, why did you ever drop out of Bollywood happenings?"
I made a list of recent movies I ought to watch and rushed to see EHT director's new film, Johnny Gaddaar, starring some newbie and Dharmendra. I expected to see a lacking movie, thinking maybe Ek Hasina Thi had been a fluke but what I got was quite something else..
Johnny Gaddaar is deliciously clever, awesomely edited and unpredictable like you wouldn't believe. It's also violent and a tribute to the noir genre, which is also fantastic. A tale of deceit truly done right. You know who betrayed who from the get go, but the way the story is told makes the ride enjoyable. Here's my longer review on Livejournal (slight spoilers in the last half of it).
In 2007 I also made this blog, listed my Top 10 Indian actors and did a massive update to my guide to Bollywood for complete newbies.
My favourites this year, by the way, are the J-films; Jab We Met, Johnny Gaddaar, and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. The film I fell most in love with, though? Aata all the way.
And as always, the year doesn't feel quite over yet. I've yet to see a bunch of 07 biggies, from Chak De India! to Tara Zameen Par.
Oh well. Maybe this year.