Top 20 Bollywood films of the decade

Top 20 Bollywood films of the decade

Top 20 Bollywood films of the decade

The following are the top 20 Bollywood films in the decade 2000 to 2009 selected by film critic and movie buff Avijit Ghosh.

HERA PHERI (2000)
Director: Priyadarshan Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suneil Shetty, Paresh Rawal
A flop when first released, the madcap comedy’s reputation has grown with time. Now a DVD favourite and a movie you are most likely to chance upon while channel surfing, Hera Pheri ushered in the riotously rib-tickling Priyadarshan school of funny flicks, best typified by the zany Malamaal Weekly. A decade later, it has the same students: Paresh Rawal, Om Puri. And the same teacher

JISM (2003)
Director: Amit Saxena Cast: Bipasha Basu, John Abraham

Before Jism, salacious steam flicks were reserved for rundown theatres where lascivious middle-aged men watched them in loose lungis. Jism, a product of the Bhatts, gave the genre gloss, glamour and, that much-needed quality, respectability. Jism became a trendsetter leading to movies like Murder where bareback heroines dropped their minimal attire with alacrity and abandon

MAQBOOL (2004)
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor

Grim like a funeral and intense like coitus, Maqbool was Bollywood’s sledgehammer version of Macbeth. Part Mafiosi yarn, part love story destined for doom and part a tale of twisted minds, the movie became an immediate favourite on the festival circuit. Nobody had expected film composer Vishal Bhardwaj to make a movie of such stunning power. Maqbool heralded the arrival of a new master

TAARE ZAMEEN PAR (2007)
Director: Aamir Khan Cast: Aamir Khan, Darsheel Safary, Tisca Chopra, Vipin Sharma
Only Aamir Khan would have had the guts to do this: take you on a guided tour through the mind and soul of a dyslexic kid. Lyrical like a poem written by a child, the movie was preachy yet engaging. Devoid of any box-office concessions and supremely confident of its self-worth , TZP was not just a movie with a message; it is a marker of what good-intentioned Bollywood can be

HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI (2005)
Director: Sudhir Mishra Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Shiney Ahuja, Chitrangada Singh

Every generation needs something to sell. In the 1960s, they peddled revolution. Many went to the countryside to manufacture a peasant’s insurrection. Director Sudhir Mishra’s film was a post-dated love letter to that lost generation. Sensitive acting, with the thinking man’s pin-up Chitrangada to ogle at, the film immediately struck a chord among the 40-plus audience. It remains a bookmark for intelligent cinema

LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI (2006)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan

Goons, when played by heroes, generally have a heart of gold. That’s one of the time-tested cliches of Mumbai cinema. But making Mahatma Gandhi a bhai’s conscience keeper was among Bollywood’s most inventive ideas. The movie coined the word, Gandhigiri, and brought it into the popular lexicon. The movie is gone but the word lives on

LIFE IN A METRO (2007)
Director: Anurag Basu Cast: Shiney Ahuja, Shilpa Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Sharman Joshi, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma

Splendidly candid and boosted with a meaningful musical score, Life in a Metroredefined the urban relationship flick. The film’s characters seemed to have emerged from the bowels of the great middle-class in the post-liberalisation churn. The amoral, ambitious office girl, the wannabe executive, the groom-seeking virgin, the corporate creep – don’t we know them all? The movie’s success also showed a maturing audience

GADAR: EK PREM KATHA (2001)
Director: Anil Sharma Cast: Sunny Deol, Amisha Patel, Amrish Puri

In civilised drawing room gatherings, it is hard to find somebody who liked Gadar which only underlines the schism between upper middle-class aesthetics and mass sensibilities. For the searing interreligious Indo-Pak love story broke all box-office records and set up Sunny Deol as the ultimate desi hulk. Who else could take on an entire platoon of Pakistanis and make it look credible?

CHAK DE! INDIA (2007)
Director: Shimit Amin Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shukla, Chitrashi Rawat

Hockey is history in India today. But in the deft hands of director Shimit Amin and writer Jaideep Sahni, it became a different ball game: a drama of redemption. The movie had no love songs or item numbers, not even a conventional heroine. But the life stories of the little women and the man who inspired them made for an un-miss-able, uplifting movie

GHAJINI (2008)
Director: A R Murugadoss Cast: Aamir Khan, Asin, Pradeep Rawat

Almost pornographically violent, Ghajini (a remake of a Tamil film) is simply the biggest Bollywood blockbuster ever. And nobody really knows why. Was it the short-term memory loss gimmick that drew audiences in droves? Or was it Aamir’s topless torso etched with inscriptions that attracted them? Or was it because censors forgot to rate it an A? When a movie grosses Rs 265 crore, how does it matter?

DIL CHAHTA HAI (2001)
Director: Farhan Akhtar Cast: Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna

The call centre revolution had just happened when Farhan Akhtar’s debut film came calling. Fresh in style and sensibility, Dil Chahta Hai illustrated that attitude was the new cool and friends the new family. The movie fared moderately but Aamir’s goatee left a deep imprint on many young faces. A cult flick for GenNow, DCH continues to occupy gigabyte space in their mind-space

RANG DE BASANTI (2006)
Director: Rakeysh Mehra Cast: Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Soha Ali Khan

What political science professors and student leaders failed to achieve in decades, Rang De Basanti accomplished in three hours: it introduced political imagination as an idea into the heads of an apolitical generation. Dudes, too, care for their country was the cool message. The movie enthused a generation to carry out candlelight protests, write social blogs and acquire the spunk to face water cannons

NO ENTRY (2005)
Director: Anees Bazmee Cast: Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Bipasha Basu

In the 1980s and earlier, raunchy takes on extra-marital affairs were limited to lowbrow regional plays. No Entry made it to Bollywood Central. The movie and its ilk redefined mainstream morality: cheating isn’t wrong, just harmless fun that pleasures an awful lot. Bawdiness has since acquired legitimate silver screen space

DHOOM (2004)
Director: Sanjay Gadhvi Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Esha Deol

Ultra slick Dhoom wasn’t just a state-of-the-art action flick with fast motorbikes and faster girls. It was the template of a 21st century idea — form overrides content — that echoed not only in an improved sequel but also in a cache of disappointing imitators. The villains — John Abraham and Hrithik Roshan (Dhoom II, 2006) — not only robbed banks and nicked diamonds, they also stole every female heart

LAGAAN (2001)
Director: Ashutosh Gowarikar Cast: Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh

Few movies have been as interactive as Lagaan. Auditoriums turned into cricket stadiums as audiences watched a group of villagers take on a team of colonial sahibs in an unlikely bat-and-ball contest. If Italians know anything about cricket today, the Oscar-nominated movie should get more credit than ICC

OM SHANTI OM (2007)
Director: Farah Khan Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone

Utterly entertaining and eminently forgettable, OSO rode on brilliant marketing, Shah Rukh’s six-pack and Deepika’s dewdrop gorgeousness to become a superhit. Farah Khan proved women too can make asinine blockbusters

DEVDAS (2002)
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai

For purists, he could have been Durgadas, Dave Das but certainly not the protagonist of Saratchandra’s literary imagination. And Shah Rukh always seemed ready to stammer K…k..Kiran, rather than utter Pa..pa..Paro. But for many, especially those who hadn’t seen the earlier versions, the Rs 50 crore epic was the grandest of love tales where 19th century rural Bengal resembled 18th century Italy and Paro was the epitome of coiled passion

DEV D (2009)
Director: Anurag Kashyap Cast: Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill, Kalki Koechlin

Love has many faces. In Dev D, it is like a burst of gunfire that riddles your body with unbearable pleasure and limitless desire. Set in rural Punjab and urban Delhi, Kashyap’s totally 21st century interpretation of the drunken hero’s emotional atyachar celebrates love with erotic abandon as never before. Dirty talk and divine music add to this outrageously avante garde flick’s allure. No wonder it hit box-office bull’s eye

WANTED (2009)
Director: Prabhu Deva Cast: Salman Khan, Ayesha Takia

In fast-changing Bollywood, many things nearly went extinct this millennium. Men, as Bollywood knew the species, were one of them. With Wanted, Salman Khan gave the dying breed, the kiss or, rather, the kick of life. As a trigger-happy criminal-cum-cop, Salman was like a force of nature. Unbreakable, The movie had the single-screens put out their dusty ‘Houseful’ boards again. Nothing short of a miracle in these multiplexed times

KAHO NAA…PYAAR HAI (2000)
Director: Rakesh Roshan Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Amisha Patel

Every generation of teenage girls needs a poster boy to pin their dreams on. With Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, millions found their dreamboat in Hrithik Roshan: a cool, contemporary beefcake with enviable floor-scorching skills. Producers rushed to sign him up while mafia dons sought his dad’s cell phone number.


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