Top Eight Bollywood Movies of 2008

Apart from the tortures of a big list of lame movies like Love Story 2050, Drona, Tashan, Singh is Kinng, Jodha-Akbar, Karzzzz to count a few, I believe 2008 have been a super year for bollywood. I sensed an effort towards making serious and sincere movies from film makers. It was a tremendous year for audience like me who watch tons of movies to catch a single moment of transcending pleasure. Though exceptions of regular film-makers will always be there whose instincts are driven more with box-office collections than to present an idea. One example is Shahrukh Khan who again proved his indomitable spirit to make movies which make sense only in dream-lands with movie Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and another example is Aamir Khan who used to be sage but the race for number one in industry failed him with raw commercialization of Ghajini.

It was unusual year for Bollywood for it scrapped the monotonous old curtains of melodrama and romance. There were movies like Mixed Doubles, Dil Kabaddi, Dostana(lame it maybe) which tried to explore new dimensions into sexuality and there were movies like A Wednesday which gave insight into aspects of terrorism. Some movies like Sorry Bhai emphasised on the opening values of Indian society and others like Fashion tried to show the hidden patterns of a particular sect. And as usual lots of movies with lame comedy like Welcome which come and go but earn good cash on the box-office.
Many of these movies failed in its attempts but a lot of them were successful in delivering a well acted and flamboyant message driven presentation. Message is not important though with good acting, great dialogues and brilliant screenplay if you get a good message then its just a bonus, isn't it? Following is my list of top movies:

Movies which missed the mark: Sorry Bhai, Fashion, Shaurya, Black & White, Sarkar Raj, Tahaan

Note: In the list two movies are included which havn't been made in bollywood but significant in the context of bollywood and India nonetheless. And by coincidence but with ni wonder those two happen to be at the top of the list.

8. A Wednesday
A thrill of cat and mouse game which ends in more than just a game. It is not about picking a gun for a gun, the message is loud and clear. The common man will have to accept the responsibility to clean terrorism because it is common man who is affected most from it. Unless we show what we deserve, we can not demand free candies from politicians and bureaucrats. NaseerUdDin Shah played central role in this movie who is common man but does great deeds of militancy in the form of terrorist. The movie was full of exaggerations on some themes like excessively smooth working of security-forces and politicians and too many deeds from a single common man. But I believe nothing gets hurt if we can live in fantasy for two hours.

. Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa
Ah! Finally a good movie about love and romance. What a great relief. This movie has proved that good love stories are not just made with huge cast of stars and big budgets. Beautiful act by all the six leading actors and special credit goes to Genelia Dsouza who played superbly chill teen. Now we can say that Bollywood love stories are not just senseless and predictable, they can be entertaining and funny. And love is not always about crying and being sentimental it can be sophisticated always living in our unconscious selves. And as the tagline suggest 'so when do you know it's love?'

6. Aamir
Another flick on terrorism!! The movie which say we individuals are not Muslims or Hindus and not even Indians, we are human in the first place. That's enough for this movie to count upon. But nonetheless the movie picked the subject with a different approach. An individual who happens to be a Muslim and is well to do is made to do what he never could do. But in the end a man decides himself of his fate. Without any significant budget, without any prominent cast it was a greatly developed movie. Kudos to Raj Kumar Gupta who took such a risk with his first movie and unbelievably caught the moments of secularism, religion and terrorism.

5. Dasvidaniya
Another movie from actor Vinay Pathak and again with central role. Bheja Fry was perhaps a bit superficial in its finish, but not this movie. Before watching this movie I had more expectations from the actor and without no doubt, he has lived up to expectations. The movie is successful in delivering the old flavor of characters, but having seasoned with masala of subtle humor. Loosely based on story of The Bucket List, it has the message of simple man with simple ambitions of his life. It is about those dreams we forget to see, in the rush of life, being mere unimportant to world around us. We must care about people we love, but lets not forget ourselves.

4. Rock On
When I watched Dil Chahta Hai, I liked it. I watched Rock On, I Loved it with a big L!! Movie is similar to many elements of Dil Chahta Hai with similar themes of love and friendships. But more to it was the choices we make, it is about a reson we stand in the whirlpool of fate. Thanks to Farhan Akhtar who succeeded in introducing rock music to Bollywood and that too Indian style. A point here, its a rock music which actually rocks( and not shouts). I guarantee after watching this movie everyone will come with a smile on his face and a spirit to fight for their choices.

3. Mumbai Meri Jaan
This movie is set in the context of aftermaths of Mumbai Train Bombings of 2006. It is story of real Indians depicted through five characters in different professions. Realistic drama has been played by realistic characters with the help of a short stories but all centered around blasts. It is not about academic or political discussions and debates on terrorism, this movie didn't add up to another rhetoric on terrorism; this movie is about a common man in the vicinity of terrorist attacks. Every other day India is bombed at and this movie deals with those emotional trade-offs which come with those attacks. After watching this movie, I understood a(not the) meaning of two-minute-silence, did you?

2. Mithya
It is one of those stories which have umpteen number of layers and you just can not reach the depth. Its characters are such that in every character you will find yourself or a part of yourself. The dark satire about romance, thriller, crime based on the underworld, bollywood, acting makes it all the inclusive. The movie starts with light comedy and turns out to be a thriller as well as a comic tragedy. It is the best Ranvir Shorey had delivered ever. And it is also not a movie like Bheja Fry where whole of movies is centered around one or two characters. Vinay Pathak, Neha Dhupia, Naseeerudin Shah, Saurabh Shukla everyone had there contribution in making of this movie what it is. And finally a great appalause for Rajat Kapoor, the director of the movie. I would have chosen this movie for higher ranking, but being slightly slow, it just missed the point.

1. Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
Not many will agree, but in my view it is the best comic movie of 2008. It is more subtle in humor even than movies like Dasvidaniya, in a sense, that to find the meaning of humor you need to know and understand the cultures and whims of society we live in. A tremendous effort by Dibankar Banerjee after his previous another good movie Khosla Ka Ghosla. And unlike Khosla Ka Ghosla, I will say it will be an insult to call it comedy film. It is very serious movie about love, hate, family, society and most importantly about self. A very simple movie of a simple person but with a complex life who happens to be a thief and expressed in very simple notions of common man characters whom you can find just around the corner of your street or colony. It earned an extra point for adding a very genuine regional flavor in its presentation of language and behavior. At the end of movie, I am sure audience will be come out laughing and will have a thing to think about in their pockets.

Bonus 2. Khuda Kay Liye
Its a Pakistani movie mostly in Urdu and English. It is the first movie directed by Shoaib Masoor and it was the first movie for many of its leading actors. The movie has raised question marks on the issues which are supposed to be forbidden in Islam but are not. This movie really gives a new competitive perspective to Muslims who are follow the religious preachings blindly. The movie has set a viewpoint that even if a Muslim listens to his heart and do what he wants, still he can be a Muslim. People devoid of happiness, guns in hands, Jihad on lips are not Muslims. Why I added this movie in this list? Because this movie is not about Pakistan or Afghanistan. This movie transcends those lines, it is for us. This movie challenges the exterimism whether it is Islamic fundamentalism, Hindu extremism or American way of war against terror. The great thing about this movie is that beside being totally message-oriented it is still beautifully played with a well act, music and regional flavors.

Bonus 1. Slumdog Millionaire
It is not exactly a movie of 2008, its going to be released in January, 2009 in India. But then it will be difficult to count it as 2009 movie just for the sake of release in India. So I included it in the list of 2008.
What more is left to say about this movie? This movie is set in the backdrop Mumbai slums and is about a low class person living in those slums. The movie is about a person who hails from slums of Mumbai and goes onto become a millionaire and finds his love of life in the end. The important thing is that movie is not about India and slums. It is about the victory of optimism in the face of adversities. It won't be wrong to put it in genres of comic, tragedy and love story; but in the end bottom line is that how a man can live his life in this cynical world with nothing but a bit of hope. The movie is beautifully played with a mixture of strong emotions and a sense to send a message to audience through this medium but without forgetting that entertainment is primary objective of this medium. A point to mention here of a negative point, this movie has slightly over emphasised dark side of Indian life, but above nine movies are also not absolutely devoid of some negative points.



29 December 2008 at 18:49

I wouldn't call slumdog millionaire a bollywood movie.


30 December 2008 at 18:52

I completely agree with your choice, but then I too doubt if Slumdog Millionaire can be called a bollywood movie.

  Toon Indian

31 December 2008 at 14:24

Here's Wishing you a very happy and prosperous '09!!!!!


2 January 2009 at 21:33

nice now i have a list to finish thanks to u :)
btw Happy new year buddy :)


3 January 2009 at 08:45

Interesting list. However, I'll have A Wednesday and Jaane tu.. much higher up


3 January 2009 at 15:51

baakwas choiceno hai aapki top ten hai heroes ghajini rab ne bana di jodi jaane tu ya jaane na oye lucky lucky oye singh is kingg golmaal returns wednesday jodha akbar kidnapped

  Sukesh Kumar

5 January 2009 at 12:22

@ slumdog-bollywood conflicties:
I already had a note on top. By the way "Khuda Kay Liye" can also not be counted as bollywood movie.
But due to the way, the theme, the idea those movie represented, I could not help it.
Anyhoo, you people can take the post as top eight movies of bollywood and two bonus movies.
;), that was the idea of this post so that folks don't miss any important movie.


11 January 2009 at 17:42

what about Rab ne, ghajini, and Sinng is Kinng?


14 January 2009 at 23:26

I think "Mumbai Meri Jaan" desreves to be on The Number One spot.
Becuase after watching the film, I got to know the meaning of Two Minuets Silence.

I would wait for the moment when Indians will be ready to Recognise real Film Making.

I dont know why India blame Oscars Jury (Academy Members) of not acknowledging Indian Cinema;

Having films like (Mumbai Meri Jaan & Life in a.... Metro) & submitting Taare Zameen Per & Eklaviya as Official Indian Entries to Oscars.

Out of senses?????

  Sukesh Kumar

15 January 2009 at 08:44

Quite true, quite true!!


7 March 2009 at 18:42

Slumdog Millaniore
Jai Ho