This was a year when there were more minuses than pluses in The Hatman’s life. But that’s not pertinent now…
This was a year when there were more downs than ups in The Hatman’s life. But that’s not our topic of contention…
This was a year where for undisclosed reasons, The Hatman ‘CHOSE’ to remain single. But that again isn’t what this post is all about…
This was a year The Hatman saw a lot of movies. A LOT… and this most certainly is the crux of this flashback of sorts…
I love going to watch movies. I love the sound of the tickets getting torn, the smell and taste of the freshly popped corn kernels, the sight of the screen lighting up and the feel of the reclining cushion seats. I miss the simpler times when as an audience all that I knew about a movie were the stars and a couple of other major technicians involved. Nowadays it is impossible to step in a theatre without having a prejudice of sorts, predicting the storyline, or even being completely aware of the reasons for the heroine’s eyebrows to have been shaped in a particular way.
My like/dislike for a movie depends not only on its content, the performances, the aesthetic values and various other cinematic factors; it heavily depends on my mindset and the biases that I carried along to watch the movie. After all, in this day and age, there is no such thing as a neutral or unbiased opinion.
A recent dialogue with a particularly eccentrically awesome friend of mine led me to believe that the words ‘Appointment’ and ‘Disappointment’ were antonyms.
So here is a completely personally opinionated list of the 20 Appointments in Indian Cinema this year. This comprises movies from Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali (Not just to prove my awesome multilingual skills). There were a lot of disappointments too… but why talk about something that one didn’t like. Let’s hail the positivity and throw away the negativity under a bus moving in the speed of light.
Presenting to you in alphabetical order…
The Hatman’s List of Appointments and the newly constituted The Hatman Awards (THA) 2015.
- BADLAPUR (Hindi) – Is revenge a dish best served cold?
A drama/thriller that very uniquely dealt with the mindset of both a perpetrator and a victim. Brilliantly written, top notch performances and haunting music.
The “I can also act; I have not forgotten direction” Award 2015
- BAHUBALI (Telugu/Tamil/Hindi) – Once upon a time…
An epic fantasy that made all the right noises and took the entire nation by storm. Its success is evidence that everyone loves a well visualised fairy tale.
The “Mere Paas Paisa hai, script hai aur ab Blockbuster bhi hai” Award
- BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN (Hindi) – Being Salman… LOL!
THE family entertainer that without a lot of efforts made me emotionally invest into the lives of the protagonists. A movie that had something for everyone and the first Salman Khan movie that I actually endorsed
The “Good, Better, Best, Salman” Award 2015
- BELA SESHE(Bengali) – Marriages are made in Heaven
A poignant tale of a septuagenarian couple who fall in love all over again and in the process, teach a lesson or two about how certain relationships can easily be mended and not ended.
The “70 is the new 17” Award 2015
- DARLING(Tamil) – Horror can be Fun
A horror comedy that delivered effectively on both counts without resorting to unnecessary overdose of Visual and Sound Effects. One of the funniest movies of the year.
The “I’ll tickle you to scream” Award 2015
- ENNAI ARINDHAAL (Tamil) – The reinvention of a STAR
A run of the mill Cop drama that worked because of its treatment and the surprisingly effective turnaround of a STAR into an ACTOR.
The “Don’t forget, Once upon a time I got Best Actor Awards” Award 2015
- HUNTERR (Hindi) – Sex sells A coming of age adult comedy that though didn’t go the full way was peppered with enough interesting moments and scenes to pique my interest. A raunchy adult family film.
The “Don’t bring your parents along, but if you accidentally see them in the theatre, act as if you are temporarily blind” Award 2015
- INDRU NETRU NAALAI (Tamil) – Back to the edhirkaalam
A sci-fi comedy that worked like clockwork. Time travel treated so lightly that people never once questioned the veracity of it.
The “I am Quirky, Deal with it… Peace out” Award 2015
- KAAKA MUTTAI (Tamil) – Children of somewhere close to heaven
Somehow I’ve always seen movies that have made the rounds in film festivals across the world with a sense of trepidation. This is the only film that lived up to all its hype this year. A movie that made me stay away from Pizzas for a very long time.
The “Awards also mine, Appreciation also mine, Money also mine” Award 2015
- MARGARITA WITH A STRAW (Hindi) – Close encounters of the other kind
A tale of a girl with cerebral palsy trying to find her own way in this world. A path of her choice, an orientation of her choice and learning that loving oneself is more important than earning other’s love. A movie that starred Revathy. Enough reasons for the movie to be in this list.
The “Sex is more than just something that is censored by parents and CBFC” Award 2015
- MAYA (Tamil) – Scary Movie… literally
A genuine horror film amidst the barrage of horror comedies that did the round post the success of a couple of other movies. I watched it twice and even though I knew where exactly the scares were in store, I got spooked. Again.
The “Switch On The Lights… NOW” Award 2015
- NH10 (Hindi) – A tale of two cities
A movie that dealt with the rampant yet centralised urbanisation of a city while the outskirts still dealt with patriarchy, feudal beliefs and deep rooted trivialisation of crime.
The “Kahaani of the year” Award 2015
- PATHEMARI (Malayalam) – The untold story that everyone knew
The return of Mammootty as an actor whose performance can effortlessly make you laugh, smile, have tears trickling or cry out loud. A movie that dealt with the lives of immigrant labours in the Middle East in a very subtle matter-of-fact way rather than preaching it in your face.
The “OMFG… It was Brilliant, Awesome, Heart touching Movie Of The Year” Award 2015
- PICKET 43 (Malayalam) – Make peace… Not War
Two soldiers from either side of the border bond over things like poetry, family, love, cinema and patriotism. A non jingoistic, non chest thumping movie on the lives of those people who protect our borders. Brilliant performances. A two man show about what binds and breaks the India-Pakistan bond.
The “Not Gadar type, hence a sensible movie about War and Pakistan” Award 2015
- PIKU (Hindi) – A breath of scented air
Three different styles of acting, bound together by a strong writing team over the flimsiest story resulted in something magical.
The “Smile… Laugh… Cry… Smile Again” Award 2015
PREMAM (Malayalam) – Euphoric hysteria thy name is Premam
Sometimes there comes a movie whose success cannot be explained. A movie that various sections of people enjoy, love, hate, despise, celebrate, revolt or reject. But EVERYONE watches. This is one such movie that everyone spoke about in the year 2015. It was Premam here, there and everywhere.
The “I Don’t know why but…well… okay…awesome… Interesting” Award 2015
- RAJATHANTHIRAM (Tamil) – An Iyyapanthangal Job
A small film doesn’t necessarily mean it cannot be big on delivering content. Everyone tries to guess what happens next in a heist film and this one successfully made me a fool. I was happy.
The “Big Size Vinayakar uses a small rat as a vehicle” Award 2015
- TALVAR (Hindi) – Delayed Justice is a double edged sword
Everyone has a version of truth. Everyone already convicted. Everyone scrutinized and passed judgements. A movie that dealt with the Aarushi Talwar murder case gave the audience a huge mirror that showed the frailties of our minds and the flaws in our judiciary and bureaucracy.
The “Tight slap across all our faces and then giving ice” Award 2015
- THANI ORUVAN (Tamil) – The reinvention of a director
Remember that kid in our class(could be yourself too) who was always an average student or an average sportsperson who went around asking doubts and help from other students.Basically the most average person who seemed happy there and everyone liked him. That person just came first in academics, sports and not content being just happy, is now filled with pride.
The ‘Does This Cat Also Drink Milk’ Award 2015
- UTHAMA VILLAIN (Tamil) – Immortals
A Kamal Haasan movie. Enough said.
The “Basically, fundamentally, simply, The Movie Of The Year” Award 2015