This day in 1895 marked the world's first commercial movie screening, which was held at the Salon Indien du Grand Cafe in Paris. The ten short films, all under 50 seconds, were made by the legendary Lumiere brothers, who screened a series of short scenes taken from everyday life in France. The GUIDE looks back at the five movies in the current year that made us look up and take notice for better or worse
Longest awaited finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 If we had known that to see a grown-up Harry, Ron and Hermione would mean that we would have to do a fair amount of 'growing up' ourselves - over ten years to be precise, we might have bowed out a long time ago. Not really. We wouldn't have been able to pass on seeing The Boy Who Lived going on to kill his evil nemesis, Lord Voldemort. We'll miss sitting in a dark theatre, our hands frozen mid-way between popcorn tub and mouth, and butterflies in our stomach, as we got to imagine ourselves in the shoes of the boy wizard who bewitched the world with his charm.
Best biopic that wasn't a biopic The Dirty Picture We might never know if this was the 'true' story of '80s actress Silk Smitha. The important thing is that a story like this was told at all, and that too by the very machine that attempted to devour its protagonist. Sure, the 'hero' (Smitha), is 'killed', as 'punishment' for upsetting the power equation. But this was the film that got us talking about men, women and sex. Especially, sex. If nothing else, The Dirty Picture signaled that the time of panning to flowers and bees, was well and truly over, because it was no longer just the birds and bees who were doing 'it', but dirty old men as well.
Most 'real' real-life story The Whistleblower In retrospect, life events, as in film, have a way of acquiring a soft amber glow, which is why we can now fondly recall standing in serpentine queues outside the entrance to a suburban movie hall that was the venue for the Mumbai Film Festival. One of the reasons for our Buddha-like calm, in hindsight, we stress again, was that we got to watch this film by Larysa Kondracki starring Rachel Weisz, who took on the brave story of Kathryn Bolkovac: The gutsy policewoman, who brought one of the biggest child sex-slave and human-trafficking scandals to light.
Coolest coming-of-age film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara This film was a study in 'aspiration'. Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar managed to successfully deconstruct 'cool' before deftly stitching together the pieces in time for a reassuring ending. The locations, the dialogue, the catchy songs, all seemed to tie together, seamlessly in this story about beautiful people, or the grown-up college in-crowd. Of course, it takes a lot of effort to make a film look this effortless, even if they did manage to rope in Katrina Kaif and Hrithik Roshan. And for that and so much more, we doff our black beret to its makers, Imraan-style.
Most-talked about role: Anil Kapoor in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol He talked. We listened. He talked some more. We indulged him some more. And then there was the film, featuring him in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role. The only explanation we have for Anil Kapoor talking so much about his role off-screen in this Cruise franchise was because he got to talk very little on-screen. We get the psychology of hype, we are the masters, after all, but why further the stereotype of the annoying Indian - again both on-screen and off it! Sorry, Mr Kapoor, but we expected some 'crorepati-worthy' fare!