Well, loyal Bollywood fanatics, we’re halfway through yet another year and have a few gems and a whole lotta trash to show for it. That’s 26 Fridays and approximately 64 releases. Unfortunately, the past six months have been some of Bollywood’s dullest, but thankfully the few critical and commercial winners have been special enough to give us hope. In this mid-year feature, BollySpice staff reminisces on the best of the best of the past six months.
Winner: I Hate Love Storys (Vishal-Shekhar)
Whether his films work or not, a Karan Johar film always promises one thing – good music. The latest album offering from Dharma Productions has struck all the right chords without limiting itself to a single generation. Vishal-Shekhar have come up with catchy tunes that are not too overbearing or loud. The picks of the lot would have to be ‘Bin Tere’ and ‘Jab Mila Tu.’ Let’s hope the film fares just as well!
Runner-up: My Name is Khan (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
Winner: ‘Tere Naina,’ My Name is Khan (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
Easily the best love song in a while, ‘Tere Naina’ is soulful and at the same time extremely entertaining. The fact that it’s visually represented by the magical duo of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol certainly helps matters, but even standing alone, ‘Tere Naina’ walks its way into your heart.
Runner-up: ‘Noor-e-Khuda,’ My Name is Khan (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy)
Winner: Boman Irani (Housefull)
Is there anything Boman Irani can’t do? As Lara Dutta’s comical father in Sajid Khan’s entertainer Housefull, Boman is a complete scene stealer. And that says a lot considering that the film is a multistarrer!
Runner-up: Riteish Deshmukh (Housefull)
Winner: Manoj Bajpai (Raajneeti)
This one was completely unanimous. In the days of “grey characters” where true, pakka villains are few and far in between, Manoj Bajpai’s evil turn in Raajneeti completely brought the house down. With a bizarre haircut, Bajpai proved why he’s still in the business even after so many years. In a mammoth cast, he stands out and makes you hate him with a passion. Evil has never been so good.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Arjun Rampal (Raajneeti)
Luck is certainly on his side these days. There has been no looking back for Arjun Rampal after Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om, which was followed up by a National Award for Rock On!!, a box office success in Housefull and now a stellar performance in Raajneeti. Rampal brought fire to his role as a politician, delivering an act unlike anything we have seen from him before. Let’s hope the good luck continues!
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Zarina Wahab (My Name is Khan)
What is it about maternal roles that make them so irresistible to audiences? In My Name is Khan, Zarina Wahab’s role as mother to a young Rizwan Khan was absolutely perfect. With a completely heartfelt and endearing performance, Karan Johar could not have chosen a better mother for the job.
Runners-up: Katrina Kaif and Shruti Seth (Raajneeti)
Winner: Vidya Balan (Ishqiya)
There’s just something about Vidya Balan that makes her irresistible. With all the right ingredients – vulnerability, charm and ferocity – Balan’s performance in Ishqiya was absolutely brilliant. Whether it’s the movement of an eye or a lovable smirk, she is flawless and gives her role as Krishna an edge that is inimitable.
Runner-up: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (Raavan)
Winner: Shah Rukh Khan (My Name is Khan)
In one of his most accomplished performances yet, King Khan managed to silence all his critics. He is the heart and soul of Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan and makes the film everything that it is. Very rarely does an actor command so much attention. His role as Rizwan Khan could easily have become overdone, but SRK pitches in a surprisingly restrained performance that makes you smile.
Runner-up: Arshad Warsi (Ishqiya)
Winner: Raajneeti (dir: Prakash Jha)
This one is a complete given. Without a doubt, Raajneeti is the only film in the first half of 2010 that critics and audiences alike have accepted whole-heartedly. With a riveting plot embellished with extraordinary performances from an all-star cast, Prakash Jha hit the bulls-eye with his epic political drama. It had all the ingredients of a great entertainer, and despite a theme that is usually considered not commercially viable, Raajneeti has become the biggest hit of the year so far.
Runner-up: Ishqiya (dir: Abhishek Chaubey)
Six months down, six months to go. The first half of 2010 has taught us three lessons:
1. Big films are not always good and big stars don’t always mean big openings. (Cases in point: Kites and Raavan)
2. Never underestimate the power of the audience. The second you think you know them, they will change their mind. (Case in point: Raajneeti)
3. Just because experiments don’t always work, it doesn’t mean Bollywood should stop trying. Once in a while, risks pay off and you end up with a masterpiece. (Case in point: Love Sex aur Dhokha).
Here’s to hoping for good performances and even better films in the second half of 2010!