So, 2016 is here to leave us. To be honest, this was not the year to remember for the hindi cinema lovers. Every time a big film was there, it was followed by huge disappointment. However, every now and then, there was something to cheer about.
While I tried to watch as many films as possible, there were many I missed. Nevertheless, there were some scenes from these favourite films of mine which I would take myself to 2017.
Here, we go:
Neerja’s mother receiving the news of her daughter’s plane being hijacked
It is the trembling voice of Shabana Azmi that comes to my mind when I think of Neerja. Her husband giving the news that their daughter’s plane has been hijacked and her instant reaction is a moment to remember from the film. The fact that I was watching the film with my mother made it even more special. My mother had clutched my hand. She did not do it intentionally. It was a natural reaction of her body while watching it. Similar to that of Neerja’s mother.
Her strength to fight the thought that her daughter might not come back ever is there to be seen. I always had it that the best performance from the film did not come from Sonam Kapoor but Shabana Azmi as an old yet strong mother.
The scene speaks volumes of her control as an actor in front of the camera. She makes sure she is not overdoing it. Saiwyn Quadras’ screenplay is also the winner here. While he creates a tensed atmosphere in the hijacked plane, he knits in beautifully with the scenes of mother’s adherence to the thought that her daughter would return safely. Neeraj won it there for me.
Tommy Singh asking where ‘Pagaliya’ has been kept and then singing a song on the drug peddler’s request
Udta Punjab is my favourite film this year. I will be talking more about it in detail but may be in some other article. For now, let’s stick to this one scene from the movie.
Tommy Singh is in the process of being cured from drug addiction. The scene tell us that the only way to get away from an addiction is by getting addicted to a more pious thing. It could be anything and it could be love as well.
When he enters the hospital room where the answer to his love’s address is kept, he is trembling, shaken. He is in hurry. The police are after him. He does not have time. He took drugs all his life to make music. For once, he is away from drugs and he is asked to sing a song by the drug peddler. He is Tommy’s big fan but Tommy is not the same Tommy. He has changed. The fan does not know however. Tommy’s songs have ruined him. He will have to take him out of this shit as well. Sudip Sharma (writer, Udta Punjab) and Abhishek Choubey (Director) approves of it.
Tommy agrees to sing. He takes a moment to stabilize himself. Even at a time when the Police are about to barge inside the room. The silence creeps in. It settles in a second. We never know when Shahid Mallya enters with Batalvi’s ‘Ik Kudi’. The expression on the drug peddler’s face is priceless. He was there in the film for this one shot. For this one expression. Music can pull you out of any trouble. It could sooth you at anytime. Even when you are fighting drugs. Even when the police are there at the door to get you.
This scene is injected in my veins and it will flow through the years to come.
Mahavir Phogat’s tension in the locked storeroom in Dangal’s climax
Yes, the judgement is out and Dangal’s second half is far from reality. Being a sports writer as well, I won’t promote false stories to be the reflection of an athlete’s life story. However, as a film, this scene made me almost as tensed as Mahavir Singh Phogat in the film. Nitesh Tiwary plays with facts but his direction remains intact here. As Geeta Phogat begins her game, Mahavir finds himself locked in a storeroom.
His agony comes out instantly. As if someone has bereaved him off his most precious belonging. He waited all these years for this one moment and that is there slipping away. His daughter needs him. Even after these years of practice and coaching, he thinks she needs him during a fight. All these notions go for a toss when the national anthem tune is played and when eventually Mahavir gets to hear it, he could not believe Geeta won the gold medal. What fine writing and acting.
Dhoni’s first day at Job as Ticket Checker at Kharagpur Railway Station
MS Dhoni The Untold Story was the most awaited film of the year along with Dangal. The film, however, did not live up to the expectations.
But there’s one scene among many others that had me impressed. It was Dhoni’s first day at job. I don’t know if the director intended it but the scene in which a blessed cricketer, who easily hits bowlers for sixes and runs hundreds of singles and doubles in a day, finds it difficult to hop from one platform to another, was a beautiful contrast. He runs out of breath in a few minutes. The first day of job is the most difficult. And the job which you don’t want to do, is a nightmare. You don’t actually know why you are there. Happened with me a year back. Happened with Dhoni too at that stage of his life. Has happened with all of us.
Tommy in the jail
I cannot get enough of Tommy Singh from Udta Punjab. Such was the impact of Shahid Kapoor’s acting. Tommy’s widened eyes when he sees two kids talking inside the cell is frightening. It is as if you are seeing yourself. You are seeing your broken self. You are seeing your broken, shaken, devastated self. This happens, usually, with us. For Tommy, it happens it seems for the first time. He realises what he has lost and in his defeat, he is not alone. He has let so many people down. But he cannot even speak to his own self, forget about speaking to others.