We have officially seen the last film release of 2013, so now it’s time to take a look back at all the films that have come and gone this year. Some lived up to our expectations, some didn’t… and some we didn’t have any expectations of to begin with. In case you missed a flick this year and are wondering whether it’s worth it to find a DVD (or catch it when it airs on television), then take a look at the list of reviews done this year by various members of the Team MissMalini crew.
Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola – 3 stars: Go if you’re a fan of Vishal Bhardwaj’s type of cinema, or if you want to see some great performances by the lead trio.
Special Chabbis – 3.5 stars: Definitely worth a watch! It’s one of those rare (special?) films that is both smart and entertaining.
Race 2 – 2 stars: There are some movies for which you can’t write conventional reviews, and Race 2 happens to fall into that category. Probably because it’s hard to take the film seriously, especially since the film itself doesn’t take much seriously – not dialogues, not characters, and definitely not logic.
I, Me Aur Main – 2 stars: I Me Aur Main is passable.
Nautanki Saala – 3 stars: Worth a watch – it’s funny, there’s some good acting, and it’s a consistently light film that entertains without insulting your intelligence.
Shootout at Wadala – 2 stars: Whether you like Shootout at Wadala or not is entirely dependent upon your tastes. I’m inclined to believe that most people would find such incessant gore and vulgarity difficult to handle, but then again, pop in to a single-screen and I bet the whistles will be never-ending.
Ek Thi Daayan – 3.5 stars: Worth a watch, for sure, especially if you’re a fan of horror – but know that it’s downhill post the interval. Parents should avoid taking younger children along.
Aashiqui 2 – 2.5 stars: Worth a watch for die-hard romantics, but those who hate melodrama may find it a better decision to stay away.
Bombay Talkies – 5 stars: If you love Bollywood and want to see where the quality of Indian Cinema is headed through the eyes of four maverick directors, you simple HAVE to watch this movie.
Kai Po Che – 3 stars: It may not be a great story, but Abhishek Kapoor infuses enough warm moments in the film to leave a smile on your face.
Gippi – 3.5 stars: Go watch. Make a Mothers’ Day treat out of it!
Go Goa Gone – 2.5 stars: Worth a watch if you want to experience a few laughs and the novelty of a “zombie film,” but skippable if the premise doesn’t really interest you.
Aurangzeb – 3.5 stars: Worth a watch for its interesting storyline and some good performances.
Ishkq in Paris – 1.5 stars: Skip, unless you’re a diehard Preity Zinta fan and want to see her back on the big screen.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – 3.5 stars: Worth a watch!
Raanjhanaa – 3.5 stars: The only reason you shouldn’t watch Raanjhanaa is if you care about plot more than you care about the experience. If your question is, ‘story kya hai?’, this one isn’t for you.
Ghanchakkar – 2 stars: Ghanchakkar is an experience that falls flat and not something you don’t want to remove 138 minutes of your life for. And as someone said after the movie, ‘it was made by someone who was on something that really slows down your processes.’
Lootera – 4 stars: All in all, Lootera is not the kind of film you’d expect out of Bollywood. It thrives on subtlety and is in no hurry to go anywhere. If you don’t like slower films, you’ll perhaps find it worth your while to stay away. But if you want to see some stunning frames and the lead pair’s best performances till date, then this one needs to be watched.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – 3 stars: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag had the potential to be so much more than it was, if only the story was more focused, eliminating unnecessary subplots and scenes. The effort and work the team has put in is obvious and admirable, but unfortunately what we end up with is a film that “could have been” – albeit, one with some great performances.
Ramaiya Vastavaiya – 2.5 stars: Approach cautiously. If you don’t appreciate Bollywood clichés, then you’re better off avoiding this one. However, if you’re a fan of 90s “love conquers all” stories and don’t mind the extra dose of mush, then Ramaiya Vastavaiya may be the escape you need to clear your head after a hectic week.
Issaq – 1 star: You know how Romeo and Juliet die at the end of the story? Well in this adaptation, you kind of wish they died right at the beginning. Avoid!
Chennai Express – 2 stars: It has its moments, but for the most part, Chennai Express can be a bit of a bore. I wouldn’t have even minded if Rohit Shetty went all out and made it absolutely, incredibly ludicrous, but he somehow manages to fall somewhere in between – typical “masala” at parts, but rather drab at others.
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobara – 2.5 stars: Avoidable, unless you’re an Akshay Kumar fan – or one of masala films in general.
Madras Cafe – 3.5 stars: All in all, Madras Cafe is a worthy watch, if only because of how different it is from your regular Bollywood spectacle. It features some great performances too. John deserves props for giving the actors their space to perform. We can think of plenty other stars who tend to hog the limelight.
Satyagraha – 2.5 stars: Great performances overall, but not as hard-hitting as one would have liked.
Shuddh Desi Romance – 2.5 stars: Shuddh Desi Romance could have been so much – so much! – but it’s completely let down by its second-half. Worth a watch for its different concept and some decent performances, though.
Grand Masti – 1.5 stars: The reactions to Grand Masti will mostly fit into two neat categories: those who will catcall and snicker at every lewd joke, and those who will not be so amused at the potentially offensive jokes about women.
Phata Poster Nikhla Hero – 2.5 stars: Phata Poster Nikhla Hero hits some of the right notes, but falls flat in others. It’s worth a watch for the good performances, especially if you’re a fan of Shahid.
Besharam – 1.5 stars: As a movie, Besharam doesn’t really work. It doesn’t engage, is cluttered and barely evokes a reaction or leaves an impression. The only saving grace is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If the idea is to relive iconic films, characters and stars, DVDs and clips are available in abundance.
Mickey Virus – 2.5 stars: Mickey Virus could have been better, but as it stands, it’s a decent, one-time watch.
Krrish 3 – 3 stars: Watch. But leave all your Hollywood comparisons at home.
Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela – 4 stars: Watch. Watch if you love Bollywood. Watch if you love Deepika. Watch if you love Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Watch if you want to be oddly entertained by Ranveer. Mostly just watch because this is what big fat Bollywood dreams are made of and remember for us it’s ALL about the temporary suspension of disbelief :)
Gori Tere Pyaar Mein – 2.5 stars: For what it is, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein is watchable, especially if you’re a fan of the romcom genre. You won’t be missing much if you decide to skip it, though.
R… Rajkumar – 1 star: Skip. The action scenes and their execution may be the only thing worth watching this one for, but even that is just not enough to make up for the illogical plot, blatant misogyny, and lack of laughs. Stay home and watch Shahid and Prabhudheva groove to Gandi Baat instead – that’s easily the best part of this one.
Dhoom 3 – 3 stars: Dhoom: 3 is not groundbreaking, but it still has quite a bit to offer and is worth a watch – if you manage to snag tickets, that is, since it’s surely going to go housefull for some time.
So out of the films we reviewed this year, you can tell that some of our favourites were Bombay Talkies, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Madras Cafe, Lootera and Raanjhanaa. Meanwhile, we didn’t much care for Besharam, R… Rajkumar, Grand Masti, Ishkq in Paris, Issaq and Race 2. What were your best and worst of this year? Tell us in the comments below!