Anyone who knows me knows of my obsession with cinema. Rather inclined towards the collection, but I am so proud to announce that the “list” has now crossed 1500.
In alphabetical order, these are the films that stood out this year:
Arthur Christmas: The Christmas movie I waited over a year for. Ever wondered how Santa actually gets things done? The million letters from children, the nice-naughty index, the present sorting, the wrapping and the logistics. Seems like an absolute nightmare if you don’t have your processes sorted out. And above everything, it’s all got to be in secret until December. This movie will explain all!
Barfi: The story of mute and deaf boy in Darjeeling, weaved in with a lot of ‘borrowed’ content and even a background soundtrack that sounds oddly similar. But in totality, it is one of Bollywood’s highlights of the year and one of Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra’s best performances. And the songs definitely make it all better.
Bhooter Bhobishyot: This Bengali movie is undoubtedly one of the best I watched all year. Directed by adman Anik Dutta, it revolves around the predicament that spirits are facing across the country, given the real estate boom which has left them homeless. With a star-studded cast, this one is an absolute cracker.
Dolphin Tale: Love aquatic animals? This is your movie. The story of a dolphin who lost its tail in a crab trap, and his friendship with a boy who rescues him and goes on to campaign for a prosthetic tail for said sociable mammal named ‘Winter’. Precious.
Downfall: War movie of the year for me. Traudl Junge, last secretary to Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator’s final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII. Detailed accounts and astounding facts about the last ten days of the life of the infamous tyrant that you would never know of, unless you did some hard core reading on the Second World War Must watch!
English Vinglish: Surprising little movie that won me over. Perhaps because I have known several such children who are embarrassed of their parents over their lack of English proficiency. Worse even, they disrespect them for this triviality. Sridevi’s comeback with a fabulous story.
Kahaani: A pregnant woman’s search for her missing husband in Calcutta, Sujoy Ghosh’s directorial debut and the best thriller I have seen in a while. Capturing the mystery and beauty of the city I love very much, combined with power-packed performances from Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan and Parambrata Chatterjee. Total win.
The Avengers: Marvel’s most loved super heroes come together in this box office record-setting flick to save the Earth from Loki of Asgard – (Who is of course, burdened with glorious purpose)
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, the one-eyed Samuel L. Jackson with a little Robin (Cobie Smulders) in tight leather pants thrown in. I don’t see how this could go wrong.
The Big Miracle: The beautiful movie I stumbled across recounts the memoirs of a Greenpeace volunteer on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. This true story about the dramatic rescue starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski is absolutely captivating, in case you haven’t heard of it.
The Dark Knight Rises: The much hyped third and final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. I must agree with hard core fans when they say it is nothing like part two, and Heath Ledger is sorely missed. But this one has its moments. Anne Hathaway is pretty lithe as Catwoman, Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is gooseflesh inducing, Bale is as handsome as ever and important lessons are to be learnt from this film, as I have recounted here. Also, it tells us “Now’s not the time for fear. That comes later.”
The Hobbit: Part One “An Unexpected Journey”. I have been excited about this one from the time I first saw its trailer in December 2011. And now there are two more to come. Peter Jackson and crew are miracle makers. You will know more when you follow their video blogs. The first movie I saw in Muscat since I returned here and all I can say is that it took in $36.7m over the opening weekend. Welcome once more, to Middle Earth.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green: An American fantasy drama wherein a childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for a child. And Timothy Green is in their barn in the middle of the night, and goes on to make all their dreams come true. Juvenile, but it made me smile.
Next Up: 12 Highlights from the year