Best of Bollywood in 2012

2012 was a different year for Bollywood. A handful of movies that come under the category of meaningful cinema were released and Bollywood realised that you can make money out of a sensible movie without being preachy (I am adding  information about collections to make that point). There were strong female leads this year both in front and behind the screen. While English Vinglish and Talaash were directed by Gauri Shinde and Reema Kagti, Sneha Khanwalkar blew me away by her music score in Gangs of Wasseypur. Barring Pan Singh Tomar and Oh My God, every movie listed below had strong female leads. Yes, we can do without item numbers. With élan.

Here is an alphabetical list of my favourites. If you are searching for Ek Tha Tiger, you will find it at the end of the post.


Barfi – The most heart tugging movie which came out last year. The eternal love story of Barfi and Jhilmil had all of us in tears. The movie sent a strong message that love does not know disabilities and gathered more than 106 crores in the process. If you forget the scenes copied from ‘City Lights’, this movie is nothing less than a masterpiece. I have reviewed it in detail here.

Ek Main Aur ekk Tu – A unique concept for Indian audience where the girl was calling the shots, where all the signals which men equate to commitment were rightly put to place. Commitments and relationships do not happen over assumptions. And yes, the girl can be older.  I loved the movie for its theme and the Indian audience were fine with it too. Made on a budget of 36 Crores, the movie made 40 crores and was a moderate success.

EnglishVinglish-MovieReviewGOW 2

English Vinglish – Sridevi’s comeback vehicle and what a comeback! One of the most grounded movies of recent times, it is a story of a woman trying to prove herself and coming out with flying colours. No, she wasn’t just there to make Ladoos and to be abused by her daughter. There was more to her. Made on a budget of 15 crores, the movie earned 85 crores at the box office.

Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 – The rawness of the movie will leave you breathless. The movie was a cinematic brilliance because of the depth of characters and triumph of storytelling. The gore was not everyone’s cup of tea but see beyond that and you will see the stellar performances of Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Huma Qureshi. Both the parts were made at a budget of 20 crores and raked in around 60 crores at the box office.


Kahani– An engaging thriller after such a long time. The movie broke all the clichés of a Bollywood movie – No songs, No male lead and a pregnant woman as the lead protagonist. There wasn’t a single dull moment in this fast paced suspense thriller. Made on a shoestring budget of 8 crores, the movie earned 104 crores at the box office.

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana – A simple feel good story of a boy who returns to his village to get his granddad’s famous chicken recipe to pay his debts. There are problems. His granddad does not remember a thing and the boy is falling in love with his brother’s fiancé. Add to it a crazy family and a servant named ‘Dalidri’. Made on a budget of 3 crores, the movie found its audience and earned 10 crores.

OMG-Oh-My-God Paan Singh Tomar

Oh my God – The movie showed us a mirror. It rightly portrayed the commercialisation of God and how common people allow themselves to be fooled by the business. The movie was the surprise hit of the year for me. Made on a budget of 20 crores, the movie earned 83 crores at the box office.

Paan Singh Tomar – The movie depicts the real life story of Paan Sigh Tomar who won numerous medals in national level racing events in India. He was an army man who turns into a dacoit because of the inability of the corrupt Indian law and order system to provide him justice. Watch this for Irrfan Khan. Made on a budget of 8 crores, the movie earned 38 crores at the box office.

Talaash Vicky_Donor

Talaash – The most anticipated suspense movie of the year. A lot of people were disappointed by it but it does not take away the fact that the movie was beautifully crafted with some good performances. I loved the way the director left hints all over the movie. The movie earned 90 crores at the box office. It was made on a budget of 40 crores.

Vicky Donor – My favourite movie of the year and the only movie that I saw twice in the theatre. This was a unique concept and I believe had a very good chance at the Oscars. Aayushmann is a very lucky guy to get a dream debut like this movie. Made on a budget of 5 crores, the movie earned 46 crores at the box office.

Of course, these movies were not the top grossers of the year. Except for Barfi and Kahani, none of the movies made it to the 100 crores slot. Here is a list of the Hit Shit Nautanki movies of the year that I wish were never made

Ek Tha Tiger – Story of a RAW agent and an ISI agent falling in love and jumping from one building to another.

Son of Sardar – Ajay Devgan plays a Sikh who cannot dance. And Sonakshi in that Red sari dancing like Mithun was the last straw.

Dabangg 2 – Kareena looks like an idiot wearing a blouse and petticoat in the Fevicol song. Stupid movie = Big money.

Bol Bachchan – DAFAQ did I just see? My eyes! My eyes!

Rowdy Rathore – Don’t angry me. Exactly.

Agneepath – Mutilation of a classic.

Housefull 2 – Sajid Khan tries to do a Manmohan Desai who then becomes the first soul to bawl in heaven.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan – One movie you wish Yash Chopra never made.

Cocktail – A modern Indian girl with a mind of her own is good for fuc*ing. A traditional Indian cow is good for marrying. Period.

Raaz 3 – The next time you see a decapitated body, try copulation to calm yourself.

Student of the Year – Keep a brick wali wall handy.

Next year is exciting with a lot of good movies lined up. Hopefully, we will have less of those heaving bosoms.

72 comments on “Best of Bollywood in 2012

  1. Thank you Amit, for this great list. I have watched Oh My God, Kahaani and Vicky Donor, and liked them very much. In fact, I liked Vicky Donor the most, of all the movies I have watched this year.

  2. Great list Amit!
    I have somehow started waiting for your review as soon as the movie is released to make up my mind as to what to expect from the movie. Thank you for the insightful reviews, they’re a great help.

    • Thanks My Era. I do try to write as many reviews as possible but many times I just skip them. For example, I loved Kahani but was not able to write its review because of some reasons. And I love making this list at the end of the year although I haven’t done it in 2010 and 2011.

  3. HahA laughed loud At kareenas fevicol thing and also brick Waale love
    Same views for rest of the movies . My fav remains Gow and barfi and vd Ofcourse !!!!
    U forgot ishaqzade . It had many loopholes but still loved protagonists performances !!
    Lastly Pity abhishek. Hope 2013 works for him

    • Thanks Afshan. 🙂
      I did not find Ishqzaade very good to be included in the list. It was a pretty average movie for me so did not fall in either the best or the shit category.
      Why pity Abhishek? Bol Bachchan was a huge hit. What else can he ask for?

  4. “If you are searching for Ek Tha Tiger, you will find it at the end of the post.”- I did a double-take.
    Great list…! I thought Indian audience wd slam EMET bcz of kareena’s character. It goes to show no- how movie makers terribly demean and underestimate audience’s intelligence? Guess bad movies and bad humour really grow on people after a while

    • I think EMET did really well. 40 crores is a good amount of money. I think if its production cost were low, it would have been a major hit.
      What I really liked about the meaningful cinema this year was that it was lapped up by the audience. All the movies made money which is very very positive.

  5. I never got to see most of the movies that released in the second half of the year ( for some or the other reason ) but of the lot I saw, Kahani, Vicky Donor and Talaash stood out… the key factor is that suggested an actual storyline and a script… unlike godawful works like Housefull 2 and the rest of ‘that brand’.

    If I had to choose, I would further cut it down to Vicky Donor and Kahaani… just loved them both : different genres but so well taken.

  6. Of the list I have watched English Vinglish, OMG, Ek tha Tiger, Rowdy Rathore and Cocktail. I absolutely loved the first two and the rest three, thank god I watched them on cd (that too free) :).. I could not tolerate Bol Bacchan after the first 5 mins. Barfi I watched first half an hour but then my son got up and I had to leave it. Have to watch it. I absolutely must watch Kahani, Talaash and Vicky Donor.

    • You should get a medal that you actually had the courage to watch Rowdy Rathore and Bol Bachchan. 🙂
      Cocktail was the most shitty movie of 2012. Utter regressive crap.

      • I have this problem that if I watch a movie for half an hour or read 5 pages of a book I must watch/read it full, however shitty the movie/book is. Thats what happened with ETT, RR & Cocktail. But Bol Bachchan I stopped at 5 mins, couldn’t see it a minute more.
        Cocktail though is crap, don’t you think its shows the reality. The attitude of the hypocrites like those I mentioned in my post, just like the double standard Desi cow and the Desi MAN in the movie.

        • That is a very big problem. 🙂
          The problem with Cocktail is that it glorifies the reality instead of running it down. It did not say what the Hero was doing was absolutly MCP-ishly wrong but promoted the attitude. I got a splitting headache when Deepika’s character wore that red salwaar kameez so that Ma would accept her. Bullshit!

          • Hahahah! What was that?!?! This movie should win an Oscar. What amazing story. If you are jealous of your wife, get her pregnant – what a novel concept.

  7. I love barfi and english vinglish 🙂 this two movie make a human to understand many things 🙂 🙂 when ever one is feeling bit low 🙂 they can see these two movies 🙂 🙂

  8. I don’t know half the movies you mentioned here.. 😦 don’t ask me, which world you are living in? btw, today morning my son asks, “what did he post today?” I said nothing…and guess what he said..”I know he did post just don’t want to tell me”. I couldn’t help laughing…he caught me opening your blog, came running and looked at the chart of movies and was looking for Ra-One…cos he just watched the movie today 🙂

  9. Sonakshi and that red saree..oh god, i can;t bear her. And brick wali wall..haha.. Thanks for including EMAET, i thought i was the only one who liked that movie..Well vicky donor was my favorite this year.I watched english vinglish just this saturday when it came on TV..i really liked it.

    • She looked like one of those red buses in London. Horrible!
      I loved EMAET and I think a lot of people did. The movie did really well.
      Vicky Donor is my absolute favourite too. 🙂

      • What i particularly liked about EMAET was the ending, so different from the typical indian movies. I loved Kareena in that though i hate her in the fevicol song. The lyrics are absurd.

        • I really don’t understand why Kareena do those Fevicol songs. She is established enough. She really does not have to keep establishing herself by doing all that crap.

  10. Darn! The only one I have seen is English Vinglish..jao haas lo merepe 😦

    I am book marking this year, by end of December, I should have seen all the movies which you have listed in your good section…*Note to self: Call up RD right away and ask him to start collecting the movies*

  11. I will be honest here. I enjoyed the one/ two line reviews of the Hit Shit Nautanki movies more than the list of the awesome movies you jotted down 😆

    I absolutely loved Vicky Donor this year. Kahaani comes next 🙂

    • Hahaha! The point I was trying to make was that all the movies that I have listed were hits. They were meaningful and made money too. How awesome is that! 🙂

  12. Yay to this post! It shows that Bollywood is changing, and for the better. Well, it is about time that Bollywood and TV shows changed to reflect the actual state of the society, instead of some old-fashioned values from the 1920s that no longer hold good. I am glad. And, yes, hopefully we’ll have less of the heaving bosoms the next year! Fingers crossed.

    Loved your one- and two-liners about the hit-shit movies. 😀 Thankfully, I haven’t watched any of them. Good for me! I anticipated what would be the contents of these movies, and stayed away.

    Have watched only two movies from your favourites list – Vicky Donor and Kahaani. LIked both. Would like to catch up with the others.

    • As much as I would like to believe that Bollywood has taken a 180 degree turn, there were loads of hit shits hitting the screen. But yes, hopes have grown manifold because the quality is increasing since the last decade.
      I have watched a few hit-shits and it was a terrible experience. A few I could not bear for more than 10 minutes and fell ill. If you have not tortured yourself with any of them, you are very lucky. 🙂

  13. Thanks for writing this because this year I read more reviews and watched lesser movies.When I see trailers of SOS,SOTY,RR,BBB,ETT etc itself,I make the decisions.
    One funny note :-
    Media,esp Kerala media, says that Asin is the 100 crore lucky charm actor.WTF man,until today the only meaningful role which she did in her entire career was in the movie Ghajini.

    • Yes, Asin and Sonakshi are the big actresses this year. They do not have any substantial role in their movies. All they did was play a typical Bollywood herione’s role in a few blockbusters which were crap anyways. The role included dancing, getting angry, singing and waiting for the hero to finish off the goons and then come and kiss him.

  14. That’s a very good list. Am glad that I watched all the movies in the first list apart from LSTCK. In the hit shit list I haven’t seen any except bol bachhan, jab tak hai jaan & cocktail. Covktail gave me a splitting headache. Rest watched in tv & lappy so not much loss. I couldn’t bear RR & H2 after 5 mins and didn’t even attempt ETT! Where/how would u rate Heroine? Haven’t watched it btw.

    • Cocktail was a headache. No doubt about that. I saw it in a theatre and wanted to hit the director on the head.
      I haven’t watched Herione for one reason – Halkat Jawani. I can’t stand that number. As far as I was able to gather it from people around me, it was a bad movie.

  15. I have seen not even one of the movies in the bad list, and I am so glad now!!
    I too loved Vicky Donor, English Vinglish, Talaash, Barfi, Kahani, Gangs of Wasseypur, Paan Singh Tomar…
    Particularly liked English Vinglish and Vicky Donor.

    • I wasn’t that lucky. I have seen quite a few of them. 😦
      I remember my father was not very keen on watching English Vinglish as he thought that it will be slow and boring but he loved it. Amazing movie.

  16. I have loved all the good movies in your list except Love Shove which I haven’t seen. And, most of the bad movies I haven’t seen :). I am the smart one; I read the reviews before wasting my time in the theatres :). I didn’t like Ek Main Aur Ek Tuu that much. That was average for me.

    • It has happened so many times in the last year that Geet and I have walked into a theatre just to relax and have come out with a headache. We will not be doing it this year, so yeah, waiting for a review is the best thing to do. 🙂

  17. I’m fed up and frustrated! The only films I can currently see in Paris are Dabaang 2 and Jab Tak Hai Jaan! And moreover they are shown in a shady distict in only one cinema at 9 PM! Life is so unfair! Oh, by the way: happy new year!

    • Now that is too bad! Do you get DVDs in the market? Maybe you can wait for one or try to buy online?
      pssttt..try a torrent. 😉
      Happy New Year to you too!

      • Yes, I could buy DVDs on Ebay but I want to see films on the big screen!
        I’ve subscribed to Zee TV and they’ show good films sometimes and one recent film every month. They’re showing English Vinglish on the 26th of January. Youpee!

        • That’s a wow. It is an amazing movie. You would love it.
          And yeah, big screen has a charm of its own. That is why I have seen so many of the hit shits on big screen.

  18. Matches my favorites too except Ek main aur ek tuu…. and the bad ones are also the ones I hated to the core… Thankfully I saved myself the trauma of watching Jab tak hai Jaan…

    Wish you a very happy and creative New year 🙂

    • I too could not gather enough courage to watch JTHJ but I did saw a few of the other bad ones. My heart bleeds at the money wasted.
      Wishing you a very happy new year too! 🙂

  19. I have seen, and loved, Kahaani, English Vinglish and Paan singh Tomar. I wasn’t able to watch Barfi or Ek main aur ek tu and Love Shove despite the rave reviews but plan to watch them whenever I can.
    And boy, I am really glad I watched none of the movies you have listed as bad!!
    Wish you a happy new year Amit!!

    • You should watch Vicky Donor too. You will love it.
      It seems I am the only one who has wasted money on all the hit shit. 😦
      Happy New Year to you too!

  20. Woohoo! That’s one beauty of a post -I have watch 8/10 of the amazing movies and 2 of the hit-shit 😛 (Cocktail and Agneepath). I can forgive Agneepath but cannot even think of cocktail and forgiving it ever!
    I am yet to watch Vicky Donor and Luv Shuv Tey CHicken Khurana (Hadn’t heard of it). I am so so happy that my list would exactly look like this for the brilliant movies made 🙂
    Happy new year Amit! To Geet as well 🙂

    • You haven’t watched the best one yet. Do watch Vicky Donor soon. 🙂
      I am yet to meet a person who liked Cocktail. The movie is a big hit though.
      Happy new year to you and your husband too!! 🙂

  21. Superb list and I agree with you on every movie. I hate these 100 crore competitions. Who cares? Not us! And apparently Rohit Shetty said in some interview that critics can say what they may about his films, he is the one laughing away to the bank. I don’t understand who really watches these movies!
    Btw, you have missed linking your detailed Barfi review.

    • I find Rohit Shetty pretty defensive when someone points him to be on a money making spree. He cares a damn about the art and or the fact that what he is serving as entertainment is pure crap. All he sees is money and fame. In his heart he knows that he is a joke of a filmmaker.
      Thanks for pointing at the Barfi goof-up. Will correct it.

  22. Good List. But I have watched only one movie in this list: OMG 😀
    And you are the first person I know who has said anything good about Ek Main Aur ekk Tu. Really.

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