2013 has been the year for love stories and not just the typical boy meets girl style stories but love for one’s dreams, goals or even family. Each of the films we mention here have created their own niche when it comes to acting talents, cinematography or epic storylines. These films have proven to the world that Bollywood can still create storylines that last forever and which can provoke change.
It was difficult to narrow down these films to just five purely because of the vast differences between them in genres. Having said that, it is good to see Bollywood filmmakers venturing into more challenging storylines, looking at social issues and making them relate to the viewer. Take a look at BizAsia‘s list and see if you agree.
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela۪
You know that if Sanjay Leela Bhansali decides to create a film and put his name on the banner, it is going to be a film which will astound you with its visual beauty. Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela۪ was not any different, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, with mindblowing dance sequences and shots which leave you thinking how he knew how majestic they would appear on screen.
Bhansali takes the traditional tale of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and gives it his own twist, setting it in a Gujarati village with some well written characters. This story has been told many times by many different filmmakers internationally but only Bhansali could take a very male-centric storyline and make it a woman۪s show. Padukone emerges as the real star of this film and shines as the feisty Leela who fights for her love and her family. The dance sequences for this film have to be mentioned as they are sublime with Padukone doing some of her best dancing ever in Gujarati folk style.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani۪
The last time Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were seen on screen together, they were romantically involved off screen too and that showed in their chemistry. This time, there was a lot of hype around Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani۪ before it was even released as the audience were curious about the jodi reuniting once again and whether it would be the same. In fact, it was even better. Kapoor was brilliant as the energy filled Bunny who was desperate to travel round the world and pursue his dream ruthlessly. In contrast, Padukone played the shy and emotionally sensitive Naina who fell in love with Bunny and lived by the old adage, if you love someone let them go. This was also a film where the supporting cast were also key players, in particular Aditi played Kalki Koechlin who was brilliant as a tomboy who supports Naina throughout the film.
‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ was stellar film with an even better cast and a storyline that connected with the audience and its youth. The songs for the film added the intrigue andmasala to the story and also became firm favourites.
In the day and age of social media and YouTube, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to really surprise the audience when it comes to the storyline. There is increased pressure for filmmakers to draw in their audiences using the best scenes of the film in the trailers, meaning that there is little left to surprise when it comes to the film۪s release. Fortunately Raanjhanaa۪ was one of those films that slipped under the radar leaving the audience genuinely in awe of the storyline. This film took the traditional love story back with basics with Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor playing the leads in the film. Kundan (Dhanush) is the son of a Tamil priest who falls in love with Muslim Zoya (Sonam Kapoor). From that point in this life, he dedicates his life to fighting the religious and social divides to win her over.
The way this story was told to the audience through Dhanush۪s character made it all the more special and the deviousness of the other characters in the film as well as Zoya made it a lot more realistic. The soundtrack of the film was equally heart-warming and did win over the audience۪s praise.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag۪
This film was probably one of the most talked about films of the year, winning critical acclaim from the media and truly proving that love stories are not the only thing Bollywood does best. Starring Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor, ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was a story of passion and dedication to ones goals. The film follows the life of Milkha Singh (played by Akhtar) who is affected greatly by the India-Pakistan separation in 1947 and his journey to becoming an Olympic runner named The Flying Singh.
Akhtar won accolades for his role and embodied the character; mind, body and soul. The film paid homage to one of Indian۪s greatest runners and brought history to life on screen. ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was well intended film which won the hearts of the audience.
Krrish 3۪ & Aashiqui 2۪
It is always challenging for film sequels to live up to their originals but both these films lived up to their previous reputations. First up, Krrish 3۪. This is one franchise which has been embodied by Hrithik Roshan۪s immense acting ability to play an Indian action hero and do everything that is required of him. Where many have failed, Roshan keeps on coming back for more and this latest instalment was not any different. Being in a triple role, Roshan continues to endear the audience with his performance and succeeds in keep the Krissh۪ story alive.
Aashiqui 2۪ was a pleasant surprise for the audience who originally remembered the 1990 Bollywood blockbuster Aashiqui۪. There was a lot of anxiety that this film would not live up to the classic but it came to the floor and created a surprising hit. The storyline was based on the turbulent relationship between Rahul (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Aarohi (Shraddha Kapoor) who are both musicians and their relationship is affected by Rahul۪s alcohol abuse. What made this film different was the close link between music and the film۪s storyline and the music score helped shape the characters into becoming more real and relatable to the audience.
This year really has been a great year of Bollywood films and it has been interesting to see filmmakers branching out and making a real difference in the pace of their release. Special mentions go out to teenage drama Gippi۪ and Shuddh Desi Romance۪ for challenging social norms and giving the audience something to think about.
We have tried to base this list less on star power and more on the product itself. Here’s to another year where Bollywood continues to evolve but none will be quite like the celebration of 100 years.