Here is my pick of the ten best Hindi feature films of 2012 progressing toward the best from number 10. Bollywood churns out almost 200 films each year so selecting the top 10 is a tough task, comments are welcome on this post, if you feel any movie should have been there on this list or regarding the order of rankings.
P.S: There are no spoilers here.
10. London Paris New York
The bizarre premise that two people can become life long lovers in just three meetings spanned over many years is convincingly portrayed in this movie, very subtle in its approach combined with some great music and easy to believe real life dialogues, this film is a must watch. You can find traces of "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset" in this which hold a cult status with 100% and 95% rating on rotten tomatoes respectively.
This film manages to come on the list due to the power packed performances by its three leads, Aamir Khan is A-class as usual, the real revelation of the movie is Kareena Kapoor who lifts her performance to newer heights. A supernatural thriller that forces the viewer to think but not too much. The dialogues are A class and the portrayal of the Mumbai's night life in obscure corners of the city is top notch.
8. Ek Main Aur Ekk TuDeliciously sweet, romantic coming of age story, that doesn't nosedives into typical Bollywood clichés, rather it avoids the common stereotypes and go beyond portraying candy floss romance. It surprises you, engages you and tickles your humour bone. Supported by excellent performances from both of its leads, Kareena has shades from her "Jab we Met" avatar.Its much better than Imran Khan previous movies of same genre like "Break Ke Baad" and "I Hate Love Storys".
Though not in the league of Dibakar Banerjee previous greats "Oye Lucky Lucky Oye" and "Khosla Ka Ghosla" the film still is better than "Love Sex aur Dokha" which was a disappointing affair. A political drama set in an imaginary city, the film is held up by the excellent performances and a tight grip over the screenplay, Emraan Hashmi is fast moving into quality cinema and he proves this yet again. Abhay Deol, Farookh Sheikh and Supriya Pathak are top notch.
6. English Vinglish
Sridevi's comeback film makes you think that, how much film industry has missed her after her marriage. The film occasionally goes overboard in mother-daughter relationship but depicts very well the plight of a common housewife who is often treated nothing more than a cook for a family due to her English language impediment. The film manages to leave a smile on your face.
5. Vicky Donor
MTV's Ayushman Khurana marks an entry into bollywood with the sweet and charming Vicky donor, very humorous and entertaining with dollops of Punjabi masala and Bengali Sweetness, this one benefits a lot from its supporting cast including the nagging mother, the whiskey drinking grandmother and the crazy doctor Anu Kapoor. It also packs a sweet little message without hurtling it across your face.
4. Paan Singh Tomar
The best dacoit film probably after Bandit Queen, this one makes your heart go out for Irrfan Khan in his role of Paan Singh. Tigmanshu Dhulia yet again establishes his master class and depicts how much command he has over the nuances of the hindi speaking belt and the real India which lives in villages. This film also makes you wonder about the many lost heroes of Indian Sport who are forces by the circumstances to lead an obscure life.
The story is the king here, Vidya Balan shines in it yet again after "The Dirty Picture", she makes every film she does look like a women centric film and overshadows every other character in the movie. Packed with twists and turns and brilliant portrayal of the City of Joy, this one is a must watch, one of the best thrillers from Bollywood in a long time. No doubt "Nomoskar Ek Minute" acquired a cult status in popular culture.
2.Gangs of Waseeypur (Part 1 & 2)
Gangs of Wasseypur could not be treated as two movies because it is one gory. bloody revenge saga that spans almost 60 years in time. It is made into two movies purely because of its length. Written and executed intelligently by Anurag Kashyap who is India's answer to Tarantino this one packs subtle humour too. So many great performances in these two parts but the ones that stand out are by Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin and most importantly Tigmanshu Dhulia who shows he is not just a great director but a brilliant actor as well. Watch it for the vision of a man who manages to immerse you for over 5 hours in his epic saga that establishes Hindi cinema's brilliance.
Like the sweet Indian Snack, Barfi is so delicious, heart warming, funny, emotional and entertaining at the same time, that you can't stop wonder how can such a good movie actually be made in Bollywood. No doubt it came under scanners over its plagiarism charges, leave that aside its a perfect film which doesn't makes you sympathize with the disabled but rather celebrates their disability and doesn't treat them different from the rest of the people. Packed with scores of sweet moment, its hard to pick the best among the three main leads of the movie, but for me it has to be Ileana D'Cruz. The city of Darjeeling and Kolkata has been so beautifully depicted that you can't wait to go there yourself. Watch the brilliant scene and the expressions of "Shruti" when "Jhilmil" calls out to "Barfi" from the window of "Muskaan". that truly was the defining moment of the film. This one goes beyond ratings and box office collections and also does great work in establishing Ranbir Kapoor as the star of the future.