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2008 Movies: The Year That Was

Three weeks have passed since the year was over! Nevertheless, it’s still not too far in our memories. Of the nearly 23 releases that I reviewed in the year, the prize for the best would go to the simple and poignant ‘A Wednesday’, the story of a common man and his fright of terror in the backdrop of a sleeping system. Many may not agree with this but my second best would be Ashutosh Gowarikar’s magnum opus ‘Jodha Akbar’!

Here, I regret that I missed ‘Dasvidaniya’ which may have actually made it up there. I wish to catch up with it soon. Continuing with the good flicks of the year, the story of a village letter writer in ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur’ stood out for neat storytelling, the uber cool ‘Rock On’ got the youth in many rocking, so was ‘Jaane Tu’ that gave a new chocolate boy Imraan and an entertaining and light ‘Lucky Oye’ was thoroughly enjoyable.

Following these closely were ‘Dostana’ and ‘Fashion’ that were value for your money! So was ‘Singh is King’ although you knew that it had a silly story! Some big releases of Hollywood this year also nearly fall in this league, first being ‘Quantum of Solace’ that scored for action but was not a Bond film. Rather, the lewd ‘Zohan’ movie by Adam Sandler was light and something you could watch repeatedly. ‘X-files’ was decent too.

The arranged marriage family drama plus a love story ‘Rab Ne’ and dark comedy ‘Mithya’ may have done better with a little more tweaking. ‘Race’ was average but its racy pace covered up most of its pitfalls. ‘Ghajini’ saw divergent opinions and I prefer to rate it negative for its lack of nativity and the story taking itself too seriously. Among the Hollywood flicks, ‘Hancock’, ‘Meet the Spartans’ and ‘Wanted’ are just around average.

An inspired ‘Kidnap’, a wannabe spooky ‘1920’, a sadomasochistic ‘Ugly aur Pagli’ and the terrible and torturous ‘Drona’ make it to my worst of the year! And there are some movies that I am glad to have missed. This includes: Hello, Tashan, Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, Love Story 2050, Yuvraaj among the others that seemed to take the audience for granted. While big publicity helps sell these flicks, the paying audience is the real loser!

The actor of the year is undoubtedly Akshay Kumar who was on a roll after ‘Welcome’ late last year delivered ‘Singh is King’. In a movie that had a weak plot, Akshay turned it around into a hit all by himself! Aamir Khan would come a close second for Ghajini, only from the BO point of view. Views are diverse on whether one liked him or not! King Khan with ‘Rab Ne’ surely got the senti-folk crying but the movie was far below its potential.

Among the lead ladies, Priyanka Chopra has been in the news for one reason too many. Though her futuristic ‘Love Story 2050’, ‘Drona’, ‘Chamku’, ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ failed badly, she would be remembered for her mature act in ‘Fashion’ and stunning looks in ‘Dostana’. Her nose job surely must have helped. Despite this, my actress of the year would still be Katrina for Singh is King and Race. She didn’t put a foot wrong!
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