As the decade comes to an end, we decided to put Bollywood buff in us at great use. There sure were many heart-breaks while compiling the list as the favourites of many in our team couldn’t be listed. We still managed to marshal a list of 15 Greatest Bollywood films of the decade that every cinema lover must watch.
Last 10 years sure were game-changer in the industry. Not only digital platforms but also the big screen saw a revolution in content as well as introduced many prominent new faces. Here sharing our top 15 picks.
Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Udaan was a groundbreaker 10 years back and is still etched in the memory of many as one of the finest pieces of cinema. The movie beautifully represented teenage apprehension and child abuse. The power-packed performances by Ronit Roy, Ram Kapur and debutant Rajat Barmech are a delight. Amidst all these talented faces what stood out the most was the storytelling of the film- tender, soft and powerful.
Ishqiya which released in 2010 delivered power-packed performances by the lead as well as supporting cast and beautiful cinematography. The zany little black comedy which is completely desi in its idiom and lingo has a Hollywood drama. Abhishek Chaubey directed the movie with great panache.
BAND BAAJA BAARAAT (2010)
The movie that introduced one of the finest actors of cinema at the present, Ranveer Singh. Band Baaja Baraat is honest, fresh, youthful and a great entertainer. Shruti and Bittoo still remain our favourite wedding planners, bread pakore ki kasam. The writing of the film was crisp and an amalgam of cultures and communities make it a perfect entertainer.
LOVE, SEX AUR DHOKHA (2010)
The film works through three short stories which focus on contemporary India’s attitude towards love and sex and its unending appetite for voyeurism. The Dibakar Banerjee directorial used word sex in its title which in itself was the biggest controversy a decade back. What makes the movie even more interesting is how it is shot. The use of a steady cam, a CCTV footage and a spy cam that shakes & jostles gives the film all the right feels. Also, the movie gave the industry Rajkumar Rao. We honestly couldn’t have asked for more.
There are movies, and then there are movies that stay with you. Rockstar which released in 2011, in our opinion, is one of the finest work by Imitiaz Ali and A.R. Rahman’s music was honestly cherry on top. Beside delivering remarkable screenplay, cinematography, lyrics, performances what has stayed the most is the story and the stark portrayal of the obsessive, masochistic, all or nothing, intense kind of love. We haven’t come across any Bollywood film that captures the self-destructive side of love how Rockstar does. Also, last but not least, Ranbir Kapoor gave his career-best performance in the film.
DELHI BELLY (2011)
Delhi Belly was the biggest breakthrough of the year 2011 and perfect example of how the brightest and biggest minds, when pool in their talent, creates a masterpiece. The film which revolves around three-Ds- Diarrhoea, Diamonds and Delhi dudes was wacky, unusual, and actually hilarious. The real hero of the film is the writer AkshatVerma who gave Bollywood a comedy far from the run-of-the-mill Hindi film laugh riot. The situational humour is beautifully amalgamated with the script. Also, a special mention to Rm Sampath for perfectly synchronizing the music with the pace and mood of the movie.
With Kahaani, Sujoy Ghosh gave us a movie that broke all the stigmas associated with women’s presence in Bollywood’s action films. It’s essentially a one-woman show for Vidya Balan, and what a show it is. She takes on her role with pride, living out of a suitcase between total strangers and made her role as effortless as an evening stroll on Chowranghee lane. Ghosh’s script and direction, use of Kolkata as a backdrop oh so beautiful, anguish look on Vidya Balan’s face, stellar supporting cast, captivating background score and Amitabh Bacchan’s rendition of Tagore’s ‘Ekla Chalo Re’ is powerful.
Barfi is more than ably handled by Anurag Basu. He remarkably immerses you in his world of sounds and verbose silences, recreating Chaplin’s antics, stripping two superstars down to basics and sensitively spinning a magical world of unconditional love. Without the use of conventional crutches of cool-catchphrases, dhamaakedar–dialogbaazi, bare-bodies, and other ‘items’; the film manages to stun you in every scene. Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra’s performances are almost flawless. Against your will, you may even shed a tear.
VICKY DONOR (2012)
In a country where sex is still a taboo, Vicky Donor eight years ago dealt with the subject of Sperm Donation. Shoojit Sircar dealt this first-of-its-kind concept with utmost grace into a family entertainer. He intelligently used comedy to break mindsets, without embarrassing moments or awkward lines. The film entertains, without preaching sexual moralities or social service. The music blends beautifully with the story. The winner here is the script penned with subtlety, oodles of non-slapstick humour while sensitizing the cause at hand. Also, this movie gave us millennial star we needed- Ayushmann Khurrana.
GANGS OF WASSEYPUR (2012)
An extraordinary ride through Bollywood’s spectacular, over-the-top filmmaking, Gangs of Wasseypur puts Tarantino in a corner with its cool command of cinematically-inspired and referenced violence, ironic characters and breathless pace. This epic gangster story spanning 70 years of history is a two-part saga. It’s a story about charismatic killers, men we love to hate, characters who are depraved, ennobled and finally doomed by their disregard for ordinary human decency and their devotion to an endless cycle of violent retribution
Lootera is a masterful adaptation of a classic O Henry story ‘The Last Leaf’ by Vikramaditya Motwane. It is a love saga of the yore beautifully filmed against the stunning backdrop of West Bengal. Sonakshi Sinha as Pakhi and Ranveer Singh as Varun were a treat for the sore eyes in Lootera. The 50’s aura created by Motwane is so real it’ll transport you back in times. The vintage cars, opulent havelis, authentic costumes, the colour palette of the film and a stellar supporting cast, the film deserves all the applaud. The simplicity of Lootera is what makes it stand out. Special mention to Amit Trivedi music. The entire album is soothing and every frame is a picture postcard.
ENGLISH VINGLISH (2012)
English Vinglish marked comeback of superstar Sri Devi in her fifties. And honestly what a perfect script to dazzle the silver screen again. Directed by Gauri Shinde, English Vinglish is the story of Shashi Godbole (Sri), your average, upper-middle-class mother of two who runs her house and small business of selling homemade ladoos with perfection. But what she lacks is her command over the English language & that makes her constant butt of jokes with her husband & children. The film depicts her transformation into a confident citizen of the world, over the length of a four-week crash course in English. Sridevi is the backbone of EV. Anxiety, anger, arrogance, anguish, attraction, the actress conveys emotions effortlessly with or without words. Her journey will make you cry, happy, emotional and also root for her confident new self.
ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA (2011)
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is synonym to road trip with friends. Zoya Akhtar’s Spain odyssey demands just one thing from you: that you slip into adventure mode and then go with the flow. Rest assured, you’re in for a merry ride, with loads of thrills, emotional banter, romance and camaraderie between a host of characters who seem to be having as much fun as you. The film stars 3 of the biggest names of industry Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhaan Akhtar but treats them like actors and not a hero. The film is gentle and ain’t just a road trip but involves soul searching, bromance, finding love, accepting mistakes and showcases every human emotion beautifully. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara celebrates friendship like never before. Do not miss. Aisi film milegi na dobara…
This is not your regular makeover film where a small-town girl becomes a modern bombshell and/or finds her Prince Charming/true love overnight. Neither is a revenge film of getting even after being left at the altar. Vikas Bahl’s Queen explores a girl’s identity as an independent entity. It’s about a rooted Indian girl who goes on a holiday to find herself, far away from her family, friends, culture and society. Kangana Ranaut as Rani, in the role of a lifetime, makes Queen an absolutely delightful journey. She wins us over first with innocence, small-town charm, vulnerability, spirit, strength, warmth and her gradual confidence. Queen is a journey of self-confidence, self-love and shows us how we are in charge of our own happiness. On a gloomy day when your thoughts crowd you, give Queen a shot to uplift your spirits.
THE LUNCHBOX (2013)
Ritesh Batra’s debut The Lunchbox is a triumph. It is either a piquant romance or a wise comedy. The director’s confidence with such a delicate story makes it successful as both. It is a fairly progressive idea for a film about romance, one where kindness can serve as a catalyst for self-discovery rather than impel us towards the idea that togetherness is the only option. Like a tiffin carrier, The Lunchbox has levels – it is the story of a man so lonely, he’s forgotten what any companionship means. It is the story of a suburban housewife, deeply alone. It is the story of meeting via eating. It is a love story – and a love-letter to Mumbai, to trains that go dhak-dhak, to dabbawalas and rain, to love and life, sugar and spice, the despair and hope that mark every heart. The star cast is flawless. Irrfan and Nimrat shine in their performances.
Binge-watch these while we compile a part two of 15 more amazing movies you must watch.