Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 : The Year that Was ...

The year of the global economic crises , 2008 , is about to get over and it was not only the year of economic crises but probably also the year of creativity crises when it comes to Indian films released this year .Both , the commercial cinema and low-budget off-beat cinema didn't provide that good entertainment this year . Most of them had either mediocre scripts or no script at all (eg. Tashan) . The two-three films that were good like A Wednesday,Aamir,Khuda Key Liye and Mumbai Meri Jaan , had that same terrorism background in all of them . The only two films that I thought were different in a good way were Mithya and Dasvidanya . Still , films like these were at least made and appreciated else it would have been a disastrous year because commercial cinema hit the lowest this year with films like Tashan,Singh is Kinng,Bachna Ae Hasino,Golmaal Returns,Yuvvraaj,Krazzy 4,Sunday,Love Story 2050 etc. etc . All of these commercial films that I have mentioned here had good star cast and big budgets but still were some of the worst films I've ever seen .

This year was no different for Yashraj than the last year . They continued making crap films like Tashan,Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic,Roadside Romeo and Bachna Ae Hasino . Same as last year when SRK's Chak De India saved Yashraj from humiliation this year it was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which according to various sources is the Biggest blockbuster success of this year . Though Rab Ne got mixed reviews it was still in my view a good film in general sense and a Great film as compared to the other Yashraj films that released this year . SRK has again proved that economic crises and terrorist attacks can not affect his stardom and he still is the king when it comes to box-office collections . Talking of King or should I must spell Kinng , Akshay Kumar pulled off a hit in form of Singh is Kinng which in any case is one of the Akshay's worst film in the past few years . 2008 was not as good as 2007 for Akshay as both his films SIK and Tashan were badly made films . Still , Singh is Kinng stands second only to RNBDJ in terms of Box office collections .

Apart from films one thing that was in true sense "Manoranjan Ka Baap" was IPL or the Indian Premiere League . No producer had the guts to have a one on one with this Rs. 4500 Crore mammoth and for a month and a half no films were released . Though it featured the likes of Mukesh Ambani , Vijay Mallya and Ness Wadia who are corporate giants yet it was our very own SRK who made the maximum profit of them all with his Kolkata Knightriders (KKR) . Though his team not even made it to the semis still he was left with maximum profits in the end . He would be hoping for a better result on field also in the next season . The King of Good Times ,Vijay Mallya , saw some bad times with neither his Royal Challengers nor his Force India F1 team doing well . SRK once again proved that he is a marketing genius and he can literally give any businessman a run for his money .

IPL had all the elements of any Bollywood Film and it very well made up for the films that didn't release during this period . Whether it was the Sreesanth-Bhajji slap controversy or the hue and cry over the scantly clothed Cheer leaders , it all provided some good entertainment packed along with real competitive matches . The word "mania" very well justifies the effect that IPL had and suddenly T-20 seems to be the future .The first season proving to be a big blockbuster success , IPL would be one thing that would haunt film producers every year .

Coming to the new comers , there was a substantial lot that made its debut this year , including debutant actors like Harman Baweja,Imran Khan, Arjan (the Fashion guy) , Sikander Kher and the supposedly rock sensation Farhan Akhtar . Amongst the female actors were names like Prachi Desai , Mugdha Godse , Manjari Fadnis (Imran's girlfriend in Jaane Tu..) , Shahana Goswami , Asin and the very famous Anushka Sharma . Though many made there debut but as usual only few were good like my personal favourite Shahana Goswami who acted like pro in Rock On . She completely bowled me over with her acting in the film , one of the finest natural performance of the year though a short one . If you don't remember she played the character of Debbie , wife of Arjun Rampal . Manjari was also good but she didn't actually made her debut since she has worked in films like Mumbai Salsa earlier . Anushka was also good and she also acted naturally in RNBDJ. Among the guys only Imran Khan impressed me in Jaane Tu.. but still overall he doesn't have a wide range and only certain roles would suit him . Farhan got a hit film but I still prefer him behind the lens . Harman is a disaster with his fake sounding voice and his even more fake mannerisms . I just hope he proves me wrong in his coming films .

The year wasn't good even for established actors like Abhishek , Priyanka , Kareena and Salman . Hrithik also had only one film this year which was just about the size of two . Still , Jodha Akbar was a huge success and may be this year a lot of awards would be bagged by this film only . After all Filmfare can never give a best picture award to a film like Aamir and it won't look good to give it to a film like Singh is Kinng or RNBDJ so they will in the end give it to Jodha Akbar which would be the safest option . Abhishek's bad run continued and neither his Dad (in Sarkar Raj) nor his mom (in Drona) could save him . Though he got some relief in the end with KJo's Dostana which again wasn't a good film as such . Kareena had probably the worst year with films like Tashan and Golmaal Returns , both being C-grade cinema at its best . Golmaal Returns worked at the box office but for me it was undoubtebly the most Cheap film of the year and also of Ajay Devgan's career . Priyanka also had her fair share of flops with films like Love Story 2050,Drona,Chamku and God Tussi Great Ho . She had some respite with Fashion and Dostana in the end . She is a strong contender for this year's Best Actress award for Fashion . Fashion though was liked by critics but for me it was just a fictional piece with bits of one off real life incidences .

Music wise also the year was just an average year . The Rahmaniacs got a good dose of the Maestro with Five of his albums releasing this year . But in my opinion he was better with one or two albums a year only . Frankly speaking none of the five albums of ARR that released this year were complete albums and as a true fan rather than a hardcore one I was really disappointed . Songs were good but not brilliant which is expected from ARR as always , maybe the excessive work was the reason . Pritam had his fair share of hits with Race and Kismat Konnection and Vishal-Shekhar disappointed a lot considering last year's OSO soundtrack . Shankar Ehsaan and Loy also did an average job in Rock On considering their earlier albums like Taare Zameen Par and Kal Ho Na Ho etc. I know you can argue with me saying that the rock genre that they attempted was completely different and new but for me those are just excuses . A similar excuse can be given for the different attempt of Rehman in Yuvvraj . Still , SEL have ended the year on a good note with songs like "Sapno Se Bhare Naina" from Luck By Chance and "Tere Naina" from Chandni Chowk to China which are really nice tracks .

And how can I forget the Blog wars . Stars like Amir and Amitabh spoke more with their blogs rather than their work . Directors like Karan Johar and Ram Gopal Verma also got one each . RGV's blog is more of a joke where he keeps ridiculing the comments that people leave and people still take the pain to comment on those comments . SRK brought a lot more hits to their blogs by being compared to a pet dog and also through TRP charts . What a pity that was , with Legend like Amitabh comparing himself with SRK and Aamir calling his dog SRK .

The party of the year belonged to Katrina Kaif who called all the heavyweights to her Birthday party . This would be one birthday she'll never forget . We know what happened there so I won't say anything about that and there was a huge stupid media coverage on that too . RGV's going into Taj after the terrorist attacks generated more hype than his films .

The year came to end with the competition between the two khans , Amir and SRK . When Aamir was getting 8 packs for his Ghajini look , SRK was loosing his six for the plane simple look of Suri in RNBDJ . In this case , I admit openly that I may sound biased because I am a hardcore fan of SRK . Still , keeping the biases aside I feel that people would forget Ghajini in the long run , no matter how big a hit it gets but they would always remember the Suri of RNBDJ . I loved the character and SRK's acting so what if it was a commercial film and had those elements which are a little hard to believe , Ghajini was one step further when it comes to commercial Masala . RNBDJ was a commercial film that had an original story and characters in its core . If anyone who can pull off a blockbuster with only three characters in a film then it is only the duo of SRK and Adi . For me neither Aamir nor SRK won the battle because both of their films were quite average opposite to what is expectd from them . But one thing is for sure Ghajini was a complte formula film that had a long list of loop holes which didn't make any sense logically . Ghajini gave a very disappointing end to what has been already the year of below average cinema .

Overall , the year was a below average one when it comes to films . Akshay , Aamir , SRK and Katrina were the only few who tasted success but that too in some very average films . High hopes from films like Singh is Kinng , Ghajini and RNBDJ ended in disappointment . And the films that worked apart from these like Race and Golmaal Returns are not even worth mentioning .Jaane Tu.. and Rock On were just time pass films and nothing so great about them . In all , a very dull year with a long list of flops and bad films . I can go on writing about the disappointments but I think you would all agree with me . The industry would definitely like to forget the year and look forward to a better 2009 .

Anyways as usual I have my list of best and the worst of the year which goes as follows :

Best Songs : (Popular)
1. Singh is Kinng - Title Track
2. Kabhi Kabhi Aditi --- Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
3. Race - Title track .
4. Rock On --- Title Track .
5. Krazzy 4 - Break Free (title track).
6. Aye Paapi -- Kismat Konnection .
7. Haule Haule --- Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Best Songs : (Lyrically)
1. Pehli Nazar Mein -- Race .
2. Sapno se Bhare Naina -- Luck By Chance.
3. Bakhuda -- Kismat Konnection
4. Haa Raham -- Aamir .
5. Guzarish --- Ghajini .
6. Tere Naina --- Chandni Chowk To China .
7. Khuda Jaane --- Bachna Ae Hasino.

Best Trailers :

1. Dostana - Teaser Trailer .
2. Rock On - Trailer .
3. Chandni Chowk to China -- Teaser trailer .
4. Fashion - Trailer
5. Oye Lucky Lucky Oye --- Trailer (the film was also good , Abhay is one good actor)
6. Luck By Chance --- Trailer
7. New York --- Trailer

Best Films (overall and popular) :
1.A Wednesday .
2. Aamir
3. Jodha Akbar
4. Fashion
5. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
6. Dasvidanya
7. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Rotten Eggs of the Year :

1. Tashan --- the undisputed champion .
2.Golmaal Returns -- Cheap comedy that looks good in C-grade films .
3. Love Story 2050 --- if I had a time machine I would go back and not watch this film .
4.Drona --- The ugliest looking superhero of all time .
5.Singh is Kinng --- This is what I call B4 - Big Budget Blockbuster Bummer .
6.Yuvvraj --- Even Yuvraj singh won't have watched it .
7.Roadside Romeo --- In real life also Saif sounds like a dog but that also didn't help the film .
8.My name is Anthony Gonzalves --- I am yet to see this film [:)]

This year it was a tough competition for rotten eggs as there were many . Some others that almost made it to the list were names like Mission Istanbul , Karzzzzzzzzzzzzz , Race, Bachna Ae Hasino , God Tussi Great ho , Heroes , De Taali , Maan gaye Mughal-e-azam , C Kompany, The Last Lear , Hari Puttar (who watched it?) , Hello etc. etc.

This is the last post for the year so here's wishing everyone a very Happy n Prosperous New Year . Lets hope 2009 will bring some good entertainment along with it .

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