Saturday, January 14, 2012

Filmi year 2011.

The blog! It lives! Kind of.

So 2011 was a very busy, engaging, interesting year for me in many respects. Not so interesting in terms of getting a bunch of films watched - in fact, I rather sucked at that. But perhaps I've also become defeatist - "catching up with Bollywood" has been on my "to-do" list for about 3 years now and my obsession doesn't show any signs of the sort of vitality it had going in 2009 or so.

But that doesn't mean it's the end for this blog or for Indian films and myself. Kya bakwaas! I think Indian films will always remain an interest, whether I watch a film every week or a couple a year, whether I visit my filmi forums or blogs regularly or not, whether I'm up on what's coming out and what's not. And I think it's time I accepted this more relaxed attitude and just went with the flow instead of stressing about not having seen this or that new release.

Still, looking at the Wikipedia article for Bollyfilms in 2011, you know, I did see most things. I loved Nobody Killed Jessica in January last year, I enjoyed 7 Khoon Maaf at the film festival in September, I watched smaller films like Chalo Dilli and Tanu Weds Manu, too. I dyed my hair in December and put on the blockbuster extravaganza of Bodyguard during it. I even watched a bunch of films that I'd missed from last year.

So what's up this year? Well, most things either underwhelmed me or disappointed me. I enjoyed NOKJ, and thought 7KM was good, though not as good as Bhardwaj's previous films. I understood the Salman entertainer value of Bodyguard, though I didn't entirely vibe with its megalomaniac success (it was fun but I doubt I'd rewatch it?). Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara, as previously reviewed, seemed to have everything going for it but I was still left disappointed. It should be the kind of feel-good friendship film I normally embrace - but I just simply didn't like it that much.

Another film I feel I should have enjoyed more than I did was Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, which I enjoyed for the songs and the secondary pairing, but just didn't really like on the whole. The characters, the plot, the constant filmi references (which I normally love!) just got a bit tiring.

Probably the best experience of the year was seeing Robot/Endhiran at the Helsinki International Film Festival - with the whistling and the catcalls, it was 10% of what it must be like to see a Rajni film in Tamil Nadu, but just that fact made the film immensely enjoyable.

There's still some left I want to see and might enjoy - Delhi Belly, Dum Maro Dum, Mausam, The Dirty Picture, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. So I look forward to watching those this year.

On the Southie side, I've neglected a lot of goings on with my favourites - Siddharth, Surya, Vikram to name the main names I look out for. I've heard bad things about Siddharth's latest output - big thanks to NewLaura on Twitter to always answering my questions about his latest releases! - and Vikram just doesn't seem to have put out anything that's reached DVD. I bought Raavanan on DVD last year but still haven't watched that. It's hard to be out of the loop, especially as I feel like I was never in the loop with Southie films to begin with, having such horribly limited access to them.

Weirdly enough, the film I probably enjoyed the most and rewatched the most, and one I really need to screencap and review properly for this blog was a DVD purchase made in the UK, the 2009 Tamanna-Surya film Ayan. It's just one of those all-around brilliant entertainers, good acting, good songs, great story. It hits all the buttons. So it's the one that made it instantly on my favourites list, unlike so many other titles I watched this year, regardless of the fact I got to it so late.

But enough about all that. How was your filmi year 2011? Anything you think I'd enjoy in particular? Any films that escaped everybody's attention that's worth checking out?


Mette said...

I think you should watch Dhobi Ghat, it's already one of my favorite films. Not everybody liked it, and of course I don't know if it's your taste, but I just loved it.

7 Khoon Maaf and NOKJ were okay, I think but it's true they weren't totally trailblazing. I also watched some not-so-good films (Yamla Pagla Deewana, for instance), but well... I also feel I shouldn't stress out about the new releases. Why should they be more important than the older ones?

Filmbuff said...

Happy new year Sanni.

2011 films to watch include Dhobi Ghat, NOKJ, The Dirty Picture, Band Baja Baarat and Arakshan.

Wanted was a remake of telugu pokiri, Bodyguard a remake of malayalam Bodyguard and Ready a remake of telugu Ready - so nothing new there.

I would recommend 2010 movies - Once upon a time in Mumbai, Udaan, Tere Bin Laden, Do Dooni Char, Ishqiya , Peepli Live and Stanley ka Dhaba. All were good.

veracious said...

Gah sorry for late reply, you guys!

Mette - I will definitely watch Dhobi Ghat ..or rather, finish watching it. :)

I'm not ragging on older stuff, but it is nice to see the industry putting out new good films as well as the older good ones.

Filmbuff - Thanks! Also for the 2010 films, I haven't seen most of those! :)