I recently contributed a snippet on my most favourite Bollywood moment in 2012 for the year-end special podcast on Upodcast (listen to this mammoth 3 hr special here). And I got my thinking hat on, and recapped the year 2012 in Bollywood cinema. It has indeed been a year of lovely moments that stayed with me, long after the end credits had rolled. I had to squeeze out just one moment out of the following, and I’ll leave the guess work to you, as to which one I chose for the podcast.
But for now, here are my 10 most amazing and awesome Bollywood moments of 2012 (in no particular order).
[Of course, as I will be discussing specific scenes, these are mega-spoiler material. So, you've been warned ]
Dreamum Wakeupum – Aiyya
I will one day sit down to write about how much I love Aiyyaa and why? But for now, this’d have to do. The intro of Aiyyaa, shows us Rani Mukherjee lip-syncing dialogue by Madhuri Dixit’s Mohini in Tezaab. And soon, she’s running around the beach, singing “Kehdo Ke Tum Ho Meri Warna”. We get to see more glimpses of Rani as Sridevi in Chalbaaz, and Juhi in QSQT. In a very cute and little montage, a big packet of nostalgia is dropped, and it lands in style. Not only does it effectively pays homage to the Heroine magic of the 90s Bollywood, it also introduces us into the magical dreamy world of Rani’s character – Meenaxi, where everything is clean, and she’s all by herself, free to be the heroine of her own imaginary world. And you cannot help but fall in love with Meenaxi.
Suniye Naa, Suniye Naa – Aiyya
And to continue from my first scene, there are enough reasons why the quirky and dreamy Meenaxi is such a lovely character. She is fed up with her evening routines of being dolled up in a sari, and presented in front of prospective grooms, asking for a ‘rishta‘. Her mind is set somewhere else – she dreams of running away from home, and maybe one day finding love in the dark-skinned ‘beurra’. But she helplessly puts up with the routine. All of this changes when Madhav accepts the “rishta“. Rani, in her last attempt to make sure that this rishta doesn’t go through, begs Madhav to listen her to sing. And she starts singing Chinna Chinna Aasai in Tamil. And to her disbelief, Madhav likes it. Rani’s face at this very moment – priceless.
Phir Le Aaya Dil – Barfi
Barfi is a sweet film, made sweeter by its performances, and the seamlessly intertwined soundtrack that is outstanding on its own. There are numerous scenes here that make you sigh, leave you feeling melancholy, and others that just make you giggle like a fool. But to me, the strongest scene in the movie was when Barfi, after having met Shruti in his shop, brings her back to his house to introduce Jhilmil to her. And in a flash, Shruti realises the love that she has lost and all that could have been. And in that moment, Arijit Singh’s “Phir Le Aaya Dil” plays in the background. I have not seen a song so well integrated in a scene in recent years. Magical does not even begin to describe such a moment.
Vijay Dinanath Chauhan – Agneepath
I think I have left no stones unturned in praising Agneepath in my review . Considering this was a movie that was released in the beginning of the year, it still remains a favourite of mine from 2012. Just to reiterate what I said in my review: [Link to my review of Agneepath ]
The original Agneepath is so deeply embedded with the strong presence of a performance which defined the star, and the star which defined the movie. Amitabh Bachchan’s white suited, guy-liner endorsing gangster, might have been a 90′s take on the many smuggling movies of the 70′s – viz. Don and Deewar. But what made Agneepath different then, was its no holds barred, self destructive protagonist, who is solely driven by revenge. How could one recreate that? Debutante director Karan Malhotra has the answer for that. And the answer is .. not to recreate *that*.
And even the most iconic moments from that very movie has been given a new twist. You know what I’m talking about. The scene which BigB impersonators love to mimick, and Bachchan fans love to repeat – the one where Vijay sits down to say his name out loud. That was not only a big moment in Bachchan’s career, but also an epic cinematic hero moment. And to have recreated that in the same way, would’ve been the dumbest decision ever. And fortunately, Karan Malhotra makes the smartest move – and has the Vijay Dinanath Chauhahn line thrown right in the middle of a bloody kill. And Hrithik delivers with everything he’s got. EPIC has found a new synonym.
Ek Minit – Kahaani
Another one of the year’s earlier releases, and also one of my favourites – Kahaani is a solid tale, well told, and brilliantly acted by its lead actress. But Kahaani is also a wonderful canvas which brings together some memorable performances by its supporting cast – the most outstanding of them being Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Khan, and Saswata Chatterjee as Bob Biswas. Bob Biswas is a character so well written (with so little lines), that it has emerged as a pop-culture icon of Bollywood 2012. [check out ekminit ] Bob Biswas’s menace works in his harmless “Ek Minit” catchphrase and his innocent insurance salesman look. And just before the intermission, when he approaches Vidya Bagchi in the metro station, and pushes her towards the train, I could hear many jaws dropping in unison in the theatre. A perfect cliffhanger in a perfect movie.
[My review of Kahaani is here ]
Permissun – Gangs of Wasseypur Part I
There are several moments to rant upon when it comes to Gangs of Wasseypur (and I have done that in my review here). After all, a movie with so many characters, and so many well written lines for Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Ramadhir Singh and Manoj Bajpai’s Sardar Khan, it is choke full with quotable dialogue. But the one moment that stays with me in Part 1 of this violent gangster saga, is surprisingly a romantic moment between Faisal Khan (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Mohsina (Huma Qureshi). Faisal makes a move on Mohsina and touches her hand, as they are sat by a pond and having some conversation. [We have spoken about this at length in our Wasseypur podcast here ]
It is just a very well written scene and brilliant executed by the most unexpectedly romantic jodi of the year. Romance found a new dimension with this, beyond the superficial shades of Dharma and the Swiss Alps sweeping shots of Yashraj. Love here was real, even found in a little argument, and it also announced the arrival of a feisty new leading lady – Huma Qureshi.
The Shakaal – Gangs of Wasseypur Part II
The second part of Gangs of Wasseypur belongs to one man – Faisal Khan – Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I don’t need to say it, but I will. Because Pt II is all about the accidental hero, and his rise to power. From being a pothead and the Khan family’s most naamakul son, to taking it all up on himself and ruling Wasseypur, with a wrapped lungi and a cigarette placed sideways, Faisal is the exact opposite of what a Bollywood hero is. Director Anurag Kashyap also pays homage to a bunch of old Bollywood classics with a dollop of references – such as this one when Faisal, before killing a goon, shaves his head off, and says – Ekdum Shakaal Lag Rahe Ho, referring to the iconic bald villain Shakaal from Shaan ! Dhinchaak!
Amitabh Tujhko Dekh Lega – Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
This was an unimpressive movie for me. It saw Bebo reprising her Geet avatar, Imran Khan translating his real-life confused persona, and Shakun Batra lapping up all the praise for an un-Bollywood climax. The only saving grace here, are the scenes where Imran’s character (conveniently called Rahul Kapoor – Bollywood’s version of Steve Jones) visits the Braganza family. A colourful group of characters played by Nikhil Kapoor as Riana’s dad, and Zenobia Shroff as her mum, are introduced and with it, all the madness, chaos, and liveliness that a filmy Parsi family promises, ensues. The magic moment here is when Rahul is asked to dress up to go out for the New Year’s Eve Party, and in the middle of it, Riana’s granny walks in to find out Rahul is changing in front of the TV (which is airing Amitabh Bachchan on KBC). And she says – Amitabh Tujhko Dekh Lega. Hilarious, and unforced, and also shows why we love our silly grannies so much.
[My review of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu ]
Phata Dublin Nikla Hero – Ek Tha Tiger
Bollywood had its fair share of action movies in 2012 – some which were made with the sole intention of raking in as much moolah as possible by copying a working template *cough Dabangg 2 cough*. While others simply copied tried and tested South-Indian hits (Son of Sardaar, Rowdy Rathore). And then there was Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger – our own desi superhero, a sleeker, cooler version of the already loved Chulbul Pandey. What Ek Tha Tiger excels is in blending the best of both worlds – the superbonkers action hero movie of Salman Khan, and the well-polished finish of Yashraj.
[Read more in my detailed review]
There are quite a few scenes that stand out, especially the very impressive prologue action sequence set in Iraq. And not only that, there’s more asses kicked around the world by Tiger. But the one which scores highest in the sheer amount of ass-kickery is the Dublin chase scene where Tiger pretty much rips the city apart like some mutant. There is a wicked chase scene through Irish pubs and cafes, and windows broken, and tables been flung. But to top it all, Tiger gets on the roof of a friggin tram, and stops it with just his hands and his possibly Kevlar blazer. It leaves me completely exhausted from witnessing the mega-heroism of Salman by the end of these scene, as he takes that very blazer, and wears it back like a boss, and struts away. The Bournes and the Bonds are taking notes.
Coolest Beeji in the World - Vicky Donor
It was a great year for female characters in Bollywood 2012, right from Sridevi’s English Vinglish to Vidya as Vidya in Kahaani, Rani’s Aiyya, and Richa Chaddha in Gangs of Wasseypur. But none of them had the chemistry and the jodi magic like the Saas-Bahu jodi of Beeji and Dolly (Kamlesh Gill and Dolly Ahluwalia). In Hindi we have a phrase for this – “ekdum manje hue kalakaar“, which roughly translates to “absolutely polished artistes”. Vicky Donor was a fine film, with interesting characters that we could relate to. The lead pair are charming enough for us to invest in their stories, but Beeji and Dolly completely steal the thunder from Vicky-Ashima in that very scene, when the Saas-Bahu are sharing a drink and ranting about everything under the sun. It effortlessly brings an ear-to-ear grin to my face every time I watch it. Kudos to writer Juhi Chaturvedi, director Shoojit Sircar and the actors to have given such a sweet and chuckle-worthy filmy moment.
And that’s a wrap for the best Bollywood moments from 2012. Hope you liked this post, and let me know what were your favourite moments in Bollywood 2012 in the comments below. Have an awesome 2013.