“Chotey cheez bade-bade kaam karti hai,” says Shahid Kapoor suggestively
in R… Rajkumar. Right you are, Shahid.
Stars guarantee box-office returns. The bigger the stars, the better the box-office
returns…right? Not necessarily so. The smaller (read: star-less) films are largely known to
flounder for the want of flourishing footfalls. But surprises did come in small packets. Here’s
saluting the small starless wonders of 2013.
unknown entities. But they are not box-office champs either. And their leading lady Nimrat Kaur
was unknown, until came this small Indie film with a big heart. 3 months after its release,
director Ritesh Batra is still going around the world collecting rave reviews. What worked for
the film was the transparency in telling the tale of two lonely middle aged people who connect
over food and food for thought.
2. Kai Po Che: When Rock On director Abhishek Kapoor decided to do a celluloid
take on Chetan Bhagat’s bestseller, he was sure he wanted newcomers…well, he ended up with
three of the oldest newcomers in the entertainment industry. Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh and
Raj Kumar Yadav have been acting on television and in films for some years now. The film made a
huge difference to their careers, especially Sushant. Moral: make stars, don’t let them break
3. Shahid: Hansal Mehta’s film has only one star. The true-life personality of
activist-lawyer Shahid Azmi. The actors were subservient to the story. That’s what made this
little-big film so special.
4. Fukrey: Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, who earlier made the absolutely unfunny Teen
Thay Bhai with veteran actor Om Puri, Deepak Dobriyal and Shreyas Talpade, cast newcomers in
his second film. Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh sparkled in this sly saga of
wicked wastrels who hope to make it big. Like many recent comedies, this one too was set in
Delhi. We liked.
5. B.A. Pass: Big surprises sometimes creep up on us while we aren’t watching.
This one about male prostitution in Delhi was a dark somber stunning study of decadence. Hard to
believe Ajay Bahl was a first-time director.
flops behind them. A strong emotional story-line ensured stardom for both the Kapoors.
7. Sixteen: A coming-of-age teen flick directed by Raj Purohit in which a bunch
of newcomers played their roles so effortlessly that you wondered if they were telling their own
stories on screen. The film was a shimmering showcase of virgin talent. Fresh original and
endearing. Haven’t seen it? Get a DVD, fast.
8. Maazi: Debutant director Jaideep Chopra’s haunting thriller about the violent
past catching up with a well-settled peaceful family man was the surprise of the year. Most of
those meager members of the audience who saw the film opined it would have worked wonders at the
box office if Salman Khan played the haunted man instead of the unknown Sumeet Nijhawan. Here we
9. Mickey Virus: Manish Paul couldn’t quite become the instant star that
Ayushmann Khurrana did after Vicky Donor. Never mind. This vivacious flick on the virtual world
as seen through the eyes of hacker was interesting. Saurabh Verma knows computers as well as his
10. Commando: Vidyut Jamwal scored a slammer with his sinewy stunts in
first-time director Dilip Ghosh’s Commando. Deadly impact