As I got to the end of my Top 5 in 2011 list I realized that all my favourite movies of this year have been un-Bollywood in one way or another, which of course begged the question: was there no good masala fare for me this year? Why yes, yes there was! In fact, in the special category that I like to call "glittery fluff-ball", there were two movies that went neck to neck all the way to the finish line: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, both Yash Raj offerings.
We're talking the traditional Bollywood with song and dance, outrageous plot holes, no brains required, glitter and colour, weddings and glam, sexy locales and gorgeous people. And I do love me some of this Bollywood just as much as I love the off-beat kinds. But I can only have one perfect ball of fluff a year, so let me take you through the excruciating process that led to my final decision.
They're both very good looking movies, for sure, so points all around for that. I love the MBKD soundtrack more, but LVRB stands tall with a couple of earworms too (or so my iPod says). I love the actors in both movies, even though if you twist my arm I will trade both Ali Zafar and Imran Khan for Ranveer Singh's smile. So we're 2 - 2 now, I guess.
The ladies are all on par too: Katrina Kaif with a very endearing performance and a hot body like no one else around, Anushka Sharma spreading joy effortlessly and never failing on the dramatic side either. But then... LVRB has three other ladies who rock the screen, and in fact the story belongs to them more than it belongs to the main couple: Parineeti Chopra, Dipannita Sharma and Aditi Sharma. Not only are they fun to watch, but they each bring a different flavour to the mix, just like proper masala spice should. So I guess LVRB is now ahead for character development.
But it doesn't stay in the lead for too long because MBKD makes up for that by giving us the most lovable couple in recent memory, one that will stop at nothing in order to make it to the wedding canopy together.
Sigh... We're even again. What else? Dancing is always important for me, but sadly one of the films (MBKD) has mostly poor dancers, so while the choreographies are fun, they're not terribly impressive; while the other movie flattens two of the best dancers in Bollywood by giving them boring steps. So I guess that means MBKD takes a point for effort on this one.
Having said that, LVRB wins that point right back for Fatal Attraction because Oooo eMMM Geee, it's a trance song!! In Bollywood!!! And it's the background for a party in Goa!!!! And everything about this picturization is mindblowingly awesome. A song made for Dolce and Namak if there ever was one.
Ahem... Sorry about that little outburst, but this song honestly blew me away in the movie. It was by far my favourite 5 minutes of the film. I know Madhubala is awesome too, but it's nothing I've never seen before in Bollywood whereas Fatal Attraction is. In fact it's so un-Bollywood that I was convinced it was ripped off from somewhere, that's how odd it is to me. If it IS plagiarized it's from something so obscure I would have heard it once at some party, but despite searching high and low I could not find anything to back up this hunch. So no accusations will be made and LVRB gets the full point for it.
This process went on and on, getting as detailed as pitting Ranveer's stupendous facial expressions in the scene where Ishika signs the contract (my favourite bit of acting from him) against Imran's puppy eyes every time he tells Dimple to trust him to work things out. The nickname Dimpy in LVRB got a point as well, offset by Katrina's "correctly beautiful and appropriately sexy" description of herself in MBKD. It goes on and on, we're talking days of debate here!
So in the end it came down to this crucial question: which movie would I watch over and over and not get bored? And on this... Mere Brother Ki Dulhan just wins. I thought LVRB would have a good rewatch value, but seeing it the second time in the theatre I was already bored and checking the score of the Blackhawks' hockey game on BBM, so I guess it didn't pass that test. And since the glittery fluff-ball is more about being entertained than it is about smart filmmaking choices... it goes to Mere Brother Ki Dulhan after all.
And with this we end a week of fiery debates for me, and a year of awesome Bollywood movies for you.
Looking forward to 2012 and here's hoping it tops the most excellent 2011!
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