Bollywood in 2013: Films that could have performed better

Mumbai: 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 Punchnaama’ fame was a thoughtful take on the perils of an arranged marriage. The sensitive moments of the storytelling went unnoticed.

4. ‘Inkaar’: 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.

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