How often have you gone to the theatre and come out feeling incomplete? As if something didn’t fit, like all the hoopla ended in a damp squib… Hoping it could have ended differently… And yet, there are many times you might have come out thinking, ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that!’ Since we are all about counting our blessings, this December, let’s go with the goodies the movies had in store for us… We aren’t going in any particular order because they all did their job very well; also with the genres so diverse, we are not here to judge, only to enjoy! So sit back as we take you down memory lane with movies that popped your heart right into your mouth with their last scenes!
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When you attempt to get into Big B’s oversized boots you are tempting fate to dig an uncomfortable grave for yourself. So obviously when Excel Entertainment declared they were working at remaking the Chandra Barot masterpiece, there was a mixed response. Some ridiculed, some applauded… most were curious but what no one expected was to have Farhan Akhtar and Shah Rukh Khan go and do the impossible! THEY CHANGED THE END and, with it, the fate of the film. Everyone who thought they were doomed to fail, sat back befuddled, applauding at the genius that turned a masterpiece of the past into a modern wonder!
It was like a kick to our solar plexus, we didn’t know what hit us when we left the theatre post watching Sujoy Ghosh’s KAHAANI. If Vidya Balan shocked us with BHOOL BHULAIYA, she stumped us, stunned as VidyaBagchi. Transforming from a vulnerable, helpless woman to a force to reckon with, within the blink of an eye, Balan ensured it was a Vijayadashmi to remember. It was clearly amongst the best-written, best-executed thrillers of recent times. While BHOOL BHULAIYA was eerie, KAHAANI had a finesse about it – subsequently, the sequel to the film, KAHAANI 2, is under tremendous pressure to thrill.
When you walk into a theatre to watch a film called A WEDNESDAY, you are not sure what that seemingly mundane name would entail. Of course, when you see a Naseeruddin Shah, an Anupam Kher – you know you are out to have a cinematic feast! As the ending credits rolled, post the short, crisp narrative, you emerged from the theatre wishing that this wasn’t just a film but a real story! It was one of those RANG DE BASANTI (a film that doesn’t feature in our list, but which left us mesmerised at many points) moments, when you wanted to do something about your country rather than be a hapless bystander.
It was a film that needed to be remade! Inspired by a Malayalam film of the same title, this Ajay Devgn starrer came and swept off the audience in a quiet, yet relentless way. While the narrative is straight, the film doesn’t really have that whodunit quality, and yet, you are at the edge of the seat through the entire film. It doesn’t slacken pace even once, and though it ends without a bang – it leaves us on a high. Simply because this too was a film about a common man who rose above his ordinary life to do something, no one really thought he would be capable of…
The film about a few villagers of Champaner who took on the British pre-Independence, was a story we would love to narrate to our kids. A cricket challenge, a bit of desperation and one of the most nail-biting finishes in the history of Indian cinema…That’s AshutoshGowariker’s LAGAAN! Though the audience sure guessed the way the cricket match would have concluded, it didn’t stop the adrenaline from pumping across the theatre seats. It was a classic case of an emotional high meshed with good cricketing. Following LAGAAN a few years later, came CHAK DE, INDIA! Though the emotional quotient, of having the underdog surmount all till the last reel, was thrilling – Shah Rukh Khan was all we took home.
Coming from the same man, Sujoy Ghosh, who gave us KAHAANI, TE3N had us watching and waiting with bated breath till the very end. This Amitabh Bachchan starrer was not really a fast paced thriller, neither did it get the kind of attention one would have expected it to receive but it was still one of the most well scripted narratives in recent times. Be it the performances, or the dull panic that the film sets you up for from the very first scene, the film surely is one of the most under-appreciated works of recent times.