All Aboard a Ship of Hope
- Election LIVE: BJP's third candidate list out, Ram Kripal to contest from Patliputra against Lalu's daughter
- Show us the money, Supreme Court says, refuses bail to Subrata Roy
- December 16 gangrape: Delhi High Court upholds death to four convicts
- India joins global search to locate missing Malaysia Airlines plane
- Shiv Sena hits out at BJP, asks it to follow "alliance dharma"
Looking back on the year that was, I find that Bollywood coasted right through on its customary two-steps-forward-three-back shuffle. But I'm still going to call it a glass half full, because 2013 gave me an Indian film that filled me with joy and wonder, and lifted me out of the jaded spirits all long-time film critics lapse into occasionally.
Anand Gandhi's debut feature Ship of Theseus was my stand-out Indian film of the year. Its structure — three disparate segments that are tied with a leitmotif — was not new. What was striking was the treatment, limning thought and intelligence around important themes — life, the choices we make, and things that matter. A few portions did become excessively talky and stretched, but given the abysmal standard of most of the stuff that theatres are infested with, even the mildly annoying parts were easy to ignore, because the whole was wonderful.
The success of Ship of Theseus showed that there is an audience for a film like this, especially with heavyweight supporters like Kiran Rao and UTV Motion Pictures: on his own, the director would not have been able to release it as big and wide. This collaboration, the first of its kind, gives you hope of a future coming together of such crucial elements in the making and releasing of truly deserving films.
My other three top films of the year are Kai Po Che, Lunchbox and Shahid. The first was based on Chetan Bhagat's The Three Mistakes of My Life, but director Abhishek Kapoor steered clear of glaring flaws when he crafted his affecting tale of three young people in the aftermath of a natural disaster and a man-made catastrophe in Gujarat. And gave us one of contemporary Bollywood's best young faces in top form: Raj Kumar Yadav, as one of the three boys, makes this thing sing.