Sunday, 9 December 2012

Direct Point

Director’s Special

by Soumita Sengupta, Shabdita Shrivastav (December 8, 2012)

Filmmakers applaud their colleagues as they reveal the top three content-driven films of 2012

This year, not only did many films wow the box office but it also gave us some great content-driven films. Sticking to convictions paid off big time for directors, who in the second part of our series, name their Top Three films of the year.

Last week, we had asked distributors to share the top three movies in their respective territories, using Return on Investment (ROI) as the yardstick. Since it’s almost curtains on 2012, this week, we asked directors to name their pick
of the lot, films that made them sit up and think.

Last week, we had asked distributors to share the top three movies in their respective territories, using Return on Investment (ROI) as the yardstick. Since it’s almost curtains on 2012, this week, we asked directors to name their pick of the lot, films that made them sit up and think.

Karan Malhotra

English Vinglish,
Kahaani and Agneepath are the three films I liked. Apart from being a fantastic film, English Vinglish showcased women power and delivered a very powerful message. It was set in a very regular, simple world. I think Sridevi chose an excellent film to make her comeback. Kahaani was also the first hardcore Indian thriller with some great performances. It was dramatic as well as real. The third one is my own film Agneepath!

Sujoy Ghosh
I loved Vicky Donor the most, from the beginning to the end. I loved Anu Kapoor in the film. Secondly, I don’t watch a film as a judge or as a filmmaker but as part of the audience. I also liked Ishaqzaade, only because of Parineeti Chopra. She was brilliant in the movie. I also loved watching English Vinglish because of its simplicity.

Umesh Shukla
This year has been very productive as far as content is concerned. We have seen films cross benchmarks, breaking barriers and commercial films doing well and some out-of-the-box subjects too doing extremely well. One thing is clear that the audience has become smart and you can’t fool them with any kind of films. You need to be high on content.

So, content-wise, Barfi!, Vicky Donor and English Vinglish are winners for me. I loved Barfi! That guy (Anurag Basu) has a lot of potential when it comes to directing romance. He lives the script. There was some criticism about the film being copied from Hollywood but I loved the movie and the way he captured a sweet romance between Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor in the film. Then there’s Vicky Donor, a brilliant and very strong concept directed so softly. I loved English Vinglish too. It subtly showcased a very important concept and aspect of life.

Kunal Deshmukh
Kahaani, Vicky Donor and English Vinglish are three films which were high on content. They had good scripts and were complete entertainers as well. All three films were a brave attempt and saw brilliant performances by the actors. They were complete in every way. The business earned by these films was also unexpected.

Anees Bazmee
English Vinglish was a fantastic film. Sridevi and the rest of the cast delivered brilliant performances. I loved the subtlety with which Gauri Shinde has treated the story. Next on my list is Paan Singh Tomar. It was a story that had to be told. Topping it all was Irrfan’s performance. And other film which touched my heart was Anurag Basu’s Barfi! It was a brilliant love story. Basu has proved that love doesn’t need words. Ranbir Kapoor’s performance too was brilliant.

Subhash Ghai
Although I am a commercial filmmaker and usually root for blockbusters and technically excellent films, as a student of cinema, I choose the following four movies which brought in fresh content in 2012. The film I loved most was English Vinglish because of its simplicity and Sridevi’s acting. OMG – Oh My God and Vicky Donor because of the excellent way the stories were told. Also Paan Singh Tomar for its brilliant narration. Surprisingly, these roles were played by character actors or newcomers. In spite of that, these films emerged as clear winners.

Bela Sehgal
It is very difficult to name just three films. I liked Kahaani, which had great performances by all the actors, especially Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. It was also a very well-made film. I also liked English Vinglish for the way the story was told. Sridevi’s acting was commendable and kudos to director Gauri Shinde for making such a brilliant film.

Mandeep Kumar
This year saw hugely diversified content in Hindi films, with the audience responding well to most of them. Among the top three films is Vicky Donor, because of a cleverly and effectively written script. The lead characters were crafted in such a way that the North Indian belt as well as the Bengali section of the audience quickly related to it. The plot had a uniqueness that we all cherished. The performances were top notch and gave us a brilliant actor in Ayushmann Khurrana.

English Vinglish was a unique attempt to focus on a common household problem. It was also narrated very well. They put an urban feel to a problem that exists in almost every household in middle-class India. I loved Kahaani and Barfi! for the sheer boldness of their plots. It is difficult to imagine films like these doing so well had they been bound by the clichés of Hindi cinema. These films have opened up a new horizon for filmmakers and in terms of scripting. They were brave attempts that were received in a much braver way.

Sriram Raghavan
I loved Kahaani because I am a thriller-addict and this one really delivered! Next, Vicky Donor as it was a true sleeper hit. It was a daring premise that could easily have gone wrong. Instead, it got everything right. I also loved Makkhi (Eega), It was a high-concept, super-fun film. It is one of those films I wish I had made. Then English Vinglish, as I am a Sridevi fan and it was great to see her return in such a well-cast, well-scripted and totally identifiable film.

Read full feature at Boxoffice India

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