Favorites of 2010


Hello, Happy New Year everyone and welcome to this very personalized (I can’t stress that term enough) talk about the movies of 2010. Well of course I know that there are helluva lot of such list thingies out there on the Internet, but hey, why do you want to discourage me man? Can’t a jobless bored guy rant about something on his friend‘s blog? I know my rights, man.

So 2010 has been a reasonably awesome years for movies if you give more weighting to those handful of outrageously brilliant movies over the large in number mediocre ones. So here we go with the list:

1. Inception


I consider Inception to be nothing short of a towering testimony to the power of cinema. Nolan redefines the possibilities of the medium by ingeniously incorporating mind numbing innovation with finest artistry. And it also doubles up as one of the finest summer blockbusters in the long history of summer blockbusters. As a matter of fact, that doesn’t really influence me much. Neither do I adore it because it is a blockbuster nor does I loathe it because it broke box office records. The guys who are criticizing the film, calling it an all technique no substance movie are either trying to be pretentious douchebags or are not being very judicious. In fact, you’re being very cruel.

If you’re inclined to accept, Inception is one brilliant character study deep under everything else. I say that because very few movies have attempted and become successful with an exploration deep down into a man’s realities and dreams. Inception achieves that while being several other things. By now, Nolan has mastered the portrayal of guilt in his movies and it haunts us like never before in this one; It’s even terrifying. The genius of the concept lies in the exclusivity which it gives its viewers.  We are discovering everything with Cobb and every one of us is doing it in our own way. It engages the audience like never before. It can almost posses us (that’s probably what happened with me). I’m not calling it flawless, it’s just revolutionary.

So, Inception is by far and without a doubt the best movie of the year for me. It was an experience I will never forget. One that affirms that creativity is absolutely boundless. Probably I will end up remembering 2010 by this movie (that also says a bit about my sad life, but anyway).

Here is my detailed rant about Inception.

2. Riding The Stallion Of A Dream (Kanasemba Kudureyaneri)


This must be my surprise entry here. Girish Kasarvalli is probably one of the greatest directors now working in India. I’m not sure if he is getting his due attention. Anyway I was piteously late at discovering the genius of Kasarvalli.  Riding The Stallion of a Dream is the latest offering from him and it blows your mind in every possible way. Particularly so, if you’re a concerned movie lover who is seriously worried about the sad state of Indian Cinema. Here is a movie that is refreshingly eloquent and stunningly original. It’s nearly flawless. And that’s a rarity in our industry.

It is a seemingly simple story about a grave digger and his wife living in severe poverty, which then boldly transforms into an excellent social commentary. It effortlessly handles a wide number of themes like faith, superstitions, greed, innocence and the loss of it etc. But what makes this movie stand out is its brilliant narration technique. The story telling has never seemed this fluent. It surprises and endlessly entertains us at every turn. Also the performances were absolutely amazing.

I watched this film at the IFFK and came out blushing with pride. Because quiet simply it was one of the best movies I watched there. I can’t stop thinking that probably this was the movie that we should’ve sent for the Oscars this year. But then again, it is too good for something like that even.

3. SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD


 

The zeitgeist film event of the year, Scott Pilgrim vs The World totally worked for me. I absolutely ‘got it’! (p.s: I started it off like that because I know there are a lot of people for whom it hasn’t and I just feel sorry for them)  Scott Pilgrim takes out the best things in our pop culture and clubs it into an amazing motion picture that is both fun and subversive in its own way. It breaks all the patterns and procedures and does that in style. I don’t know if there has ever been a better movie adaption of a comic, at least in terms of the technique. When the best of the video games, rock music, movies and comic books you’ve always loved, comes alive on screen complimenting each other, well that’s what I would like to call cult. There are only very few people out there who can even think up a project like this and Wright rightly deserves all the praises in the world for nailing it down so perfectly.

Visually the film is stunning, the fights were super cool, the music was awesome, the humor was top class (well, it’s Edgar Wright after all) and above all, the characters were absolutely lovable! Michael Cera is a talent and it seemed he was born for this role. I almost loved everything about it. It was quiet the cult movie that’s closest to my heart.

4. Black Swan


 

If there is one performance that you mustn’t miss this year, that would be Natalie Portman’s performance in Black Swan. Arguably the best of the year! The balance she exhibits in portraying a fragile, insecure ballet artist, who is struggling to do justice to her new role as the Black Swan, is just phenomenal! Darren Aronofsky, yet again triumphs in sucking us into his dark nightmarish world and keeping us engaged. The opening scene and the final act are perfect examples to the craft of this director. Black swan is an intense timeless piece of cinema. It’s not an easy watch, but rewarding like none other. Don’t miss this.

5. Somewhere


The amazing Ms. Coppola is back with a gem of a movie which can probably be considered as one brilliant sequel to her awesome debut- Lost in Translations. Somewhere is a deeply affecting experience that takes its sweet time to grow on you. But much like Lost in Translations, it stays right there in your heart.

My detailed review is here.

6. The Social Network


 

I don’t have much to tell, that hasn’t been told already. Only a team of such brilliant minds like David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin can produce something as entertaining and charming as The Social Network with the life story of a multi billionaire geek. Social Network is an epic film staying out of the conventions of an epic film.  ‘Contemporary’ would be the one word that best describes this movie for you. So I can see why everybody is raving so high about this.

The performances were awesome and the music was brilliant. I would love to see Andrew Garfield win an Oscar for his role. He was the best among the lot.

Then again I would only rank The Social Network as the fourth best film from Fincher and 6th best movie of the year. So please go ahead and judge me all you want.

Special Mentions:

The Ghost Writer, Toy Story 3, Shutter Island and Kick Ass.

Then again there are those few movies which I’m dying to watch but couldn’t as of yet. True Grit is on the top of that list. Being a true Coen brothers’ devotee, I know I would have put this right somewhere up at the top if I had watched it (!).  Also 127 hours is something which I’m looking forward to.The King’s Speech, Never Let Me Go are a few others.

So that was about it. I didn’t see a single Malayalam movie or Hindi movie last year that’s worth a mention here (Udaan, maybe, but not quiet). And that was kinda sad.

Have an awesome year ahead!

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8 comments

  1. hi,
    inception is a nice movie not a great one, just a typical Christopher Nolan movie. after watching inception i decided not to watch anymore c.nolan’s movies.
    scot.vs.world is an ok movie, but as u said there is not many people who can write a script like this 😉
    (some how i liked easyA-a typical teenage mov, and rate it above this movie)
    blackswan, very nice movie, i rate it above inception(even v consider this a as a psychological thriller ).the first 10 min it reminded me of ‘shall we dance’, n.portman worked hard to lean the dance but not up to the mark. except the dance everything was perfect.
    somewhere: a superb movie. may b one of this yrs best movies.
    (rabit hole is better movie than this)
    social network: not a good movie, i have my own view points

    PS. true grit – a typical western, nothing special about it, except that it has a big high profile actors and crew 😉
    127 hrs seems to b good movie, but never got a chance to watch it. 😉
    toystory 3 not as good as the earlier 2, they included unnecessary drama but nice graphix and a good movie.
    the town/fighter/unstoppable/kids R all right/ are few nice movies to watch.

  2. Hi Arjun!

    Found many of my favorite movies in your 2010 list. 🙂 I loved The Social Network, Shutter Island. Inception & Shutter Island seemed very similar to me, somehow. Probably it has to do with the treatment of the script. Really liked Portman in Black Swan. However, I was disappointed w/ the direction and the over-the-top treatment of the last 30 mins.

    1. Hello Ruhi, how have you been?

      Good to know that you loved the list. And I also remember you telling me that you loved Shutter Island better than Inception. Got a slight disagreement there too. I’m apparently, over obsessed with Inception. So that’s nothing actually. But everything else is fine I suppose. 🙂

      Also, looking forward to Oscars?

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