2007 was an interesting year at the movies for the Hindi film industry. We had the privilege of watching many good films, small and big, but there was also the occasional turkey we had to endure. Although the box office results were rather up and down this year compared to last year, the quality of films is only getting better as each year passes by. Our industry is growing and instead of complaining all the time like little five year olds, we should enjoy and compliment this new change. To honor this year’s films, we have come up with the top ten films of 2007. In order to do this, we have looked at each film’s quality of content, critical acclaim, and box office collections. In some of the film’s cases, one of these categories may outweigh the other two.
Before we get to our list, we would like to give a special mention to those movies that came up a bit short on our list. Our list of honorable mentions goes to: Namastey London, Bheja Fry, Cheeni Kum, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Partner, Gandhi My Father, Blue Umbrella, Heyy Babyy, and Welcome.
Without further ado, here is BollySpice’s list of the top ten films of 2007 in chronological order:
Releasing all the way back in January, many may have forgotten all about this great film. There have been so many notable films this year that people tend to forget some of the earlier ones. But make no mistake; this Mani Ratnam directed masterpiece is one of the most unforgettable experiences you will ever have watching a movie. Mani Ratnam once again proves why he just may be the top most director in all of India by making a film so effortlessly about a true underdog who fights his way to the top and does anything to stay there. This film is special for him because it gave him his first ever Hindi box office hit. The film may best be identified for the once in a lifetime performance by Abhishek Bachchan. The film boasted of great performances by the entire cast, but his performance towered over one and all. His performance alone helped the film reach magnanimous heights. Also, it must be noted this is the first time the Abhishek-Aishwarya Jodi was used to its fullest potential and their chemistry was amazing. Mani’s genius helped bring out the best in everybody associated with the film. That resulted in one hell of a cinematic experience.
No film hit harder than Black Friday because it was based on the true story of the Mumbai bomb blasts of 1993. It was a tough film for many to digest because they had lived through those bomb blasts. The fact that the movie was so realistic that it made people thinks they were reliving the bomb blasts is a testament to Anurag Kashyap. He kept the movie true to life and that is the movie’s biggest strength. It is a very hard hitting film, which is anchored by wonderful performances by its cast and outstanding direction from Kashyap. The film does not try to be fictional at any moment and stays true to the story the entire time. The box office performance was nothing great, but the fact that the film got to you so deep; it warrants an inclusion as one of the top movies of the year.
Eklavya – The Royal Guard
This may perhaps go down as the most controversial film of the year. That is mainly because of the ruckus that occurred over it being India’s official entry to the Oscars. If you ask me, I think it is very deserving of that honor. Honestly, has anyone ever seen a movie like Eklavya in the Hindi film industry? The film is the one of the most original pieces of work we have seen in recent times. Not only did it have a gripping story to tell, but each and every performance of the film was effortless. Also, Vidhu Vinod Chopra proved that he is one of the best filmmakers the industry has ever seen. The movie failed at the box office, but this film is way above the box office. Eklavya just might be the most unnecessarily maligned film ever. The movie has it all- a great and original story, wonderful direction and execution, mind blowing performances, and an entry to the Oscars. All that adds up to one of the best films made this year.
Life in a Metro
Intertwining multiple stories into one film is becoming pretty popular these days. Few films tried this trend this year, but none were successful to the extent of Life in a Metro. Again, you felt a relative newness while watching this film and that is its biggest advantage. Anurag Basu proved that he is a great storyteller, as he was able to put all these stories together into one film beautifully. But the one thing that lifted the movie over anything has to be the fantastic performances. Everyone in the cast gave their best and helped make the film one of the best of the year. This one had a good story to tell, with good direction and great performances- all adding up to a success. The box office performance of the film was solid and it drew a pretty good response as well.
Chak De India
Shah Rukh Khan showed off his acting chops by proving to all his nay sayers that he is not just a chocolate hero and he actually does know how to act. He also proved that he does not need to do the romance angle to turn a movie into a box office hit. The film ended up being the second biggest hit of the year, only beaten by SRK’s other film, Om Shanti Om. Shimit Amin is a good director and he shows off his talents by bringing the story of the Indian Women’s National Hockey team to celluloid. Watching the film, you can’t help but root for the team and that is where Amin succeeds as he is able to get the emotions that are required from within you. The film’s biggest trump card is what many perceive to be, the greatest performance of SRK’s career. Also, the female hockey players who looked every bit the part they were playing. It is always a good thing when we see SRK do something different. When that happens, we know we are in for something special. With CDI, we got to see SRK the actor rather than SRK the star. This was a film the whole nation of India has the right to be proud of because of its patriotic theme.
There is no denying the fact that this was one of the slickest and coolest movies we have seen in quite a while. Sriram Raghavan is quickly becoming one of the top directors in the industry and it is because he makes films like Johnny Gaddaar. The biggest plus point has to be the strong script the movie possesses, as well as, the manner in which the story has been executed on celluloid. The movie lives up to the thriller genre as it is stylish, quick paced, and a treat to watch. The movie is also notable for introducing us to Neil Nitin Mukesh, who just may be the next big thing in our beloved industry. The box office collections may have been poor, but the film was still liked by the masses and the classes. The fantastic performances and the amazing direction make this film one of the best we have watched this year
After Akshay Kumar had such a great year, it would only be right for us to put one of his movies on the official list, since the other three were in the honorable mention list. The reason this one scores over the other three is because it is not your run of the mill film. This one was a film we have not quite seen in the Hindi film industry before. The fact that it is a remake of a film from the South is known, but in terms of Bollywood, we have never seen something like this attempted before. The final result was a movie that felt fresh for non-viewers of South films (myself included) and an interesting mix of horror and comedy. The movie’s strength lied in solid direction by Priyadarshan, who made you laugh at the comedy, and made your heart jump at the horror. Also, the strong performances, especially by Akshay and Vidya, should not be ignored. The box office performance of the film was strong and, overall, it drew a positive response.
Jab We Met
This should be classified as the surprise hit of the year. When one heard of this movie or watched the promos, they had no clue this movie would do as well or be as good as it ended up. The story may have been one beaten to death, but it was done in such a fresh way, that you did not mind watching it. Imtiaz Ali deserves much credit for turning a basic plot into an original film. The film, though, is led by the wonderful performances by its lead pair, Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor. Their pair never hit it off well on screen, but they finally hit the bulls eye with this film, once their relationship off screen went kaput. The box office performance of the film is so good, that it is still running strong even after two months of release! The movie was appreciated by everyone who watched it and that helps the movie enter our list.
Om Shanti Om
This may perhaps go down as the most entertaining film of the year. Although some may say this one did not have a strong script or lacked the content, I beg to differ. This one is a straight up entertainer, just watch and enjoy. This movie’s strength lies in the fact that the makers were able to make fun of them and the entire industry and it made for a fun watch. Farah Khan feeds to the masses as everyone got a kick out of this Bollywood spoof. The movie is about to become the biggest hit of all time, and that, in itself, is a feat. Also, it brought the delicious Deepika Padukone into our lives, and we are all thankful for that. The historic box office performance, along with non-stop entertainment loved by many, and solid performances make this a film to remember once 2007 is over.
Taare Zameen Par
We needed to wait until the end of the year to discover this gem of a movie. The movie’s box office performance is it started off slow, but because of the strong content of the film, it has picked up considerably and is on its way to becoming one of the biggest hits of the year. But once again, this is a film way above box office, as it is truly one of the finest films to come out of the industry in recent times. The film has a basic plot, but it is told in such a beautiful way. The film’s biggest strength is its wonderful script that captures your heart and holds your attention even after the film is over. This is one movie experience you will never ever forget. Aamir Khan is known as the ace because of his flawless acting ability. With this film, he proves that he is an ace director as well. Also, Darsheel Safary is the discovery of the year. We have never seen a child act this brilliantly on celluloid ever. A wonderful script which boasts of a novel concept, along with wonderful direction, and phenomenal performances leads to TZP ending 2007 on an extremely positive note for the industry.