Yet another year nears its end where Bollywood gave us a few reasons to retain our faith in quality Hindi cinema. How much of this quality was actually geared towards making the movie-going experience a memorable time for the entire family, remains an endless topic of discussion.
On one hand, films like Mary Kom, Hawaa Hawaai and Bhoothnath Returns not only provided some wholesome entertainment for the entire family but also delivered positive messages for kids of different ages. On the other hand, 2014 also gave us disasters of massive proportions, like Humshakals, Happy Ending, Kill Dil, Gunday and The Shaukeens, which unfortunately upheld the saying that for every step Bollywood takes forward towards churning out good family entertainers, it also takes two steps backwards.
As we usher in the New Year with renewed hope, ending 2014 on a positive note with Aamir Khan’s PK, BollySitter is proud to present its Annual Year in Review. We list the top Bollywood films of the year (in no particular order) that parents can use as a guide to spend some guilt-free time together as a family.
PS: You may not find some of your personal favorites of the year on this list simply due to the fact that they did not qualify in accordance with BollySitter’s core Mission Statement.
HAWAA HAWAAI (Age: 12+, Family GO Factor: 4.0/5.0)
One of the two prominent films of the year that featured a story about kids and taught children how to never give up on their dreams. After “Taare Zameen Par” and “Stanley Ka Dabba”, this was Amol Gupte’s third outing as a writer and starred his own son as the lead.
BHOOTHNATH RETURNS (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 3.5/5.0)
Despite a flawed second-half, Bhoothnath Returns offered enough fun moments for kids to laugh at…and learn from…with Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Boman Irani. The second mainstream film to feature a child in a major role.
PK (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 4.0/5.0)
An Aamir Khan outing with a social message and Raju Hirani’s deft direction. What more can parents look for, when it comes to treating their kids with some quality cinema?
KICK (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 3.5/5.0)
Finally Salman Khan gave us something that the entire family could enjoy, whistle at and go home rooting for the DeVil himself. This was the most fun parents could have, with their children beside them, watching a Sallu movie, after a long time.
MARY KOM (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 3.5/5.0)
The “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” of 2014, Mary Kom was a perfect example of how to overcome the odds and come out on top, despite your humble upbringing and your own personal shortcomings. Mary Kom had a message for everyone, adults and kids alike.
HASEE TOH PHASEE (Age: 7+, Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0)
No message. No histrionics. Just pure, simple fun, some poignant moments to tug your hearts and a great acting turn by Parineeti Chopra. Hasee Toh Phasee is a highly recommended watch for the entire family by BollySitter.
KHOOBSURAT (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0)
Obviously Sonam Kapoor is no match for Rekha and neither was her official remake of the classic film. However, this Khoobsurat still offered some clean entertainment for today’s generation and was a relatively safe bet for parents to sit and watch with their children.
HAPPY NEW YEAR (Age: 10+, Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0)
We picked the SRK-Farah Khan caper over Hrithik Roshan’s “Bang Bang” for the marginal edge it had over the latter in terms of providing masala entertainment. Good music, good locations and a decent ensemble cast made this a watchable family year of 2014.
DAAWAT-E-ISHQ (Age: 7+, Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0)
A small film with a big social message on the antiquated and yet still prevalent dowry system within India, Daawat-E-Ishq told a simple story in a simple fashion. With Hyderabad and its culinary delights as its backdrop, this film gave parents a lot of topics to have some meaningful discussions on, with their kids.
QUEEN (Age: 15+, Family GO Factor: 3.0/5.0)
Finally, the only 15+ film that is on BollySitter’s Top Films of the Year, Queen was a classic example of quality cinema from BollyWood. It had everything working in its favor – a heart-warming story, catchy music, wonderful locations, great comedy, characters we could all relate to and a superb acting gig by Kangna Ranaut. The film had certain adult situations/language but this was essential movie-watching for kids who fall into the appropriate age-bracket.