Another year comes to an end and for me, this has been the break-out year for small films. As I was compiling my list of best Hindi Films of 2018, I realised that there are no big films featuring in it. No Khans, no big budgets, no multi-starrers. Instead, what I have are 10 films which have great story-telling. Some use the intrinsic qualities of the actor to create memorable moments, others push the actors into alien territory, hence, creating magic. So here are my best Hindi films of 2018 in no particular order. ...
A new trailer that has intrigued me is Karwaan. The reason for that in one word...Irrfan. He has been my favourite khan for a long time and I really hope he comes back from his illness very soon. His films will continue to be loved and it seems like another could be added to that list. ...
In 2003 came Haasil, a gem of a film based in Allahabad about student politics and love which got Irrfan his first Filmfare award for the negative role as Ranvijay Singh. This was what his career needed and he hasn’t looked back since then. Over the past 6 years he has done films across various genres and played so many memorable characters. His performance in films like Maqbool, Life…In a Metro and Mumbai Meri Jaan speaks volumes about his range and talent. It was because of such performances that he got films like The Namesake and the Angelina Jolie starrer A Mighty Heart which got him rave reviews in Hollywood. Namesake in particular was a special performance by the man who just expresses so much by his body language that he doesn’t even need dialogues. He makes you live his character along with him which is something that can only be said for the likes of Al Pacino, Robert De Niro etc. And If people were wondering what more can this man offer, he has given us another unforgettable performance as Billu. He captured the helplessness and simplicity of Billu perfectly and did it so naturally that it was hard to believe he had ever been anybody else but Billu. Hats off to this fine actor who, in spite of not having the personality of a star continues to inspire and amaze. He is a complete superstar in my book and I hope I get to see more such performances.
I don’t wanna get into the habit of pulling down the expectation of everyone but i don’t even wanna praise something just because its got an Oscar nomination. Having said that Slumdog by no means is a bad film. In fact its a superb film, one that takes you on a ride which is fast, crisp and exhilarating. The cast is fantastic specially the small kid who plays Jamal(junior most) along with Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor who plays the two faced host with perfection. Even the others like Irfaan Khan and Saurabh Shukla fit in very well. Also there are some scenes that will stay with you forever like the young Jamal running covered in shit to take the Big B’s autograph or the eye popping beggar scene followed by a heart wrenching chase.
However the most fantastic thing about the move is its screenplay which moves between present and past with such ease and purpose. Simon Beaufoy surely deserves the Oscar nomination and so does Chris Dickens the editor of the film for such sharp work.
Also if there is something else that is Oscar worthy it is the score by A.R. Rahman which complements the happenings of the movie phenomenally well, be it O…. Saya, Paper Planes or even Jai Ho. Its funky, peppy and very apt. A special mention for the brilliant cinematography (Oscar nominated) by Anthony Dod Mantle who captures the slum streets and brothels with utmost honesty.
So now the big question, Oscar? No. Not now, not ever. The only reason that it has reached such heights is because apart from being a good film it is directed by Danny Boyle and not Ashutosh Gowarikar or Rakesh Om Praksah Mehra. I see no reason why Slumdog can be nominated and Taare Zameen Par, Rang De Basanti and Lage Raho… can’t be.
One very important point. There is a scene where a driver beats up Jamal Junior for stealing something and Jamal tells the American couple that this is what real India is, and the American Couple say ” We will show you what real America is like” and hand over some cash. What does Danny want to prove here? That we Indians only know how to beat up and don’t have feelings? Or that Americans are so better of than Indians when it comes to forgiving someone? I really don’t know but i sure would like to ask him that.