These deserved better: The 2013 list of could've beens
Episodic film "David" or heart-wrenching mother-daughter drama "Mai" or rare medical thriller "Ankur Arora Murder Case" are some of the cinematically superlative films, but they failed to click at the box office.
Here is a list of 10 such films that deserved better viewership and appreciation than what they got:
1. "David": Bejoy Nambiar's second feature film after the warmly received "Shaitaan", was eagerly awaited. Tragically David about three protagonists with the same name, just didn't gel with audiences in spite of a brilliant cast and deft direction. Episodic films just don't work. Each of the protagonists - Vikram from the South, Neil Nitin Mukesh and newcomer Vinay Virmani were excellent. This is one film that has a long shelf life.
2. "Mai": Director Mahesh Kodiyal's directorial debut was also singing legend Asha Bhosle's acting debut about a daughter (excellently played by Padmini Kolhapure) torn between her Alzheimer's stricken mother and a demanding husband. This one had heart-wrenching moments. It seems the audiences don't want to get a good cry in darkened theatres anymore.
3. "Akaash Vani": If only every love story with the names of the lovers in the title were as successful as "Ram-Leela"! "Akaash Vani", directed by Luv Ranjan of "Pyaar Ka Punchnama" fame was a thoughtful take on the perils of an arranged marriage. The sensitive moments of the storytelling went unnoticed.
4. "Inkaar(2013)": He said, she said ... Seen from both the male and female perspective, it was Sudhir Mishra's intense and enigmatic tale of sexual harassment in a high-profile work-place. Maybe the film's unorthodox format upset the audience.
5. "Listen...Amaya": What happens when your widowed mother decides to marry her best friend? Seen with endearing gentleness this dekko at a domestic dilemma was a neglected gem. It had a brilliant performance by Swara Bhaskar as the devastated daughter scared of being dispossessed. Debutant director Avinash Kumar Singh's heart was in the right place. However, the audiences, it seemed, were in the mood for grand masti at the cinema.
6. "Rangrezz": Priyadarshan's best film in years was the best South Indian remake of 2013 with a brilliant premise to back up its volatile storytelling. What happens after love strikes and the chemical attraction is over? Brilliantly shot by Santosh Sivan in toasted-brown colours of a dusty North Indian city, the film had the potential to become a blockbuster. If only Jackky Bhagnani was Salman Khan.
7. "Aurangzeb": Yash Raj Films' standout film of 2012, and far superior to their overrated over-sexed "Shuddh Desi Romance", this gripping drama of warring step-brothers set in the gleaming vulgar affluence of Gurgaon (Haryana) was tactile and tense, edgy and exciting. Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Prithviraj Sukumaran were life-givers in this cat-and-mouse tale of illegitimacy in the corporate world. Atul Sabharwal's direction paid a back-handed compliment to both Yash Chopra's "Trishul" and Shyam Benegal's "Kalyug". Quite a feat.
8. "Ankur Arora Murder Case": A rare medical thriller, gripping and disturbing in its statement on how wrong the doctors can go while dealing with a medical emergency. Suhail Tatari's film could have been a game changer in the way we see the patient-doctor relationship on screen. It got meagre footfalls.
9. "D-Day": Nikhil Advani's ballsy thriller about a bunch of RAW agents assigned to bring Dawood to India from Karachi, Pakistan was a stylish noire-ish outing into the ambit of the actioner. Terrific momentum and a story that was waiting to be told. Sadly, dark films do not get the viewership that they often deserve.
10. "Club 60": Chalk up another heartwarmer starring Farooque Sheikh after "Listen...Amaya" at the beginning of the year. Farooque and Sarika played a couple coping with the loss of their only son. Raghuveer Yadav, Sharat Saxena, Tinu Anand and Satish Shah pitched in with sturdy supportive supporting performances. Alas, the audiences don't flock for films about old people unless it's Big B.