The people have spoken! At the end of last year we asked you, our readers, to vote on the films and soundtracks you thought were the best of 2010. We sent our message far and wide across numerous platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Orkut, etc) and got a great response. I have to say, the results threw quite a surprise at me, especially with the support for certain films I didn’t think would score so well, or those I didn’t consider. So, after collecting all the votes from the various discussion threads (including the comments at the bottom of the original post), here are the top 10 films and top 5 soundtracks of 2010, as determined by you:
Top 10 Films:
10. Phas Gaye Re Obama and Tere Bin Laden - Interestingly, both films are small, low-budget situational comedies and commentaries on current political and economic affairs. The first film is by emerging director Subhash Kapoor while the second is the directorial debut of Abhishek Sharma.
9. Guzaarish – As is the norm, the films of Sanjay Leela Bhansali meet with an incredibly polarized reaction. The same happened with his latest, but obviously many of you liked it.
8. Dabangg and My Name is Khan - Salman and SRK have to share this spot with their films. Regardless of the merits of either film, they have established box office records. While My Name is Khan became the highest earning Indian film outside of India, Dabangg claimed the title of biggest opener ever and the second-highest grossing Bollywood film ever (after 3 Idiots, which coincidentally stars the third of the mighty Khans, Aamir Khan).
7. Love Sex aur Dhokha – By far one of the most innovative films of our times. Dibakar Banerjee’s third film gave us a daring and voyeuristic glimpse into our own lives through three intersecting stories.
6. Road, Movie – This Dev Benegal film was a a simple story told beautifully. The film did well in the festival circuit but bombed at the box office. But the fact that it made to this list shows there were still plenty of you out there who watched it and liked it.
5. Udaan – This debut by director Vikramaditya Motwane is a pure cinematic gem. I expected it to rank higher here but just the fact that such cinema is being recognized and appreciated far and wide is a good sign of things to come.
4. Isqhiya – Another directorial debut, this time by Abhishek Chaubey and produced by Vishal Bhardwaj. This feisty rural tale told us how a gripping love triangle should be – no one is to be trusted and everyone has his or her own motive.
3. Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai – Now this one was quite the surprise. In a year dominated by stellar small independent films, I didn’t expect this multi-starrer biggie from director Milan Luthria and producer Ekta Kapoor to be such a favorite. But it goes to show that a commercial crime drama done right can still do wonders.
2. Raajneeti – Prakash Jha’s magnum opus about the grandeur and intricacies of Indian politics came with a bang and definitely left an impact. It’s mainstream to the core but has solid drama with good performances by a great range of actors.
1. Peepli Live – Since the other films that were critic darlings last year were left behind at Nos. 4, 5 and 7, the top spot was clear for the directorial debut of Anusha Rizvi backed by Aamir Khan. This dark satire about media sensationalism became perhaps the most successful independent film in India, helped by its star producer. The film itself was compelling, funny and skillfully made.
Top 5 Film Soundtracks:
5. Raavan – It’s odd to see an A.R. Rahman soundtrack not be the favorite of a given year, but it was a relatively tepid 2010 for him.
4. Peepli Live – Full points to the team behind the film for bringing in legendary musicians like Indian Ocean to add their uniquely mesmerizing sound to a film soundtrack.
3. No One Killed Jessica – Even though the film just released in 2011, the album released to much hype last year. Amit Trivedi proved himself yet again with a set of songs that gave us incredibly addictive rock and metal tracks with a unique twist.
2. Dabangg – A firecracker of a masala film also came with an equally zesty album composed by Salman Khan’s favorite duo Sajid-Wajid. After all, who can forget Munni Badnaam Hui?
1. Ishqiya and Udaan – Sharing first place are two terrific albums composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and Amit Trivedi respectively. They have no comparison to one another since they are miles apart in style and sound. But they both have two things in common – poetic lyrics put to remarkable tunes.
Finally, for those who care, my own vote would go to Udaan for Best Film, closely followed by Love Sex aur Dhokha and then Peepli Live. For Best Album, I would agree with the results here – both Ishqiya and Udaanhad beautiful and memorable soundtracks.
Thank you to all our readers for voting!