2010s Award: Best Reema-Zoya Product of the Decade Poll Post!

I was going to do of 2019, make it a challenge between Made in Heaven and Gully Boy, but then I decided to make this really REALLY hard and expand our favorite partner pair to the whole decade.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Seemingly simple, actually deep, arguably Hrithik’s best performance ever, definitely Katrina’s sweetest love story. But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

Talaash

Great subtle director driven Aamir Khan performance, warm return to form by Rani Mukherjee, amazing heartbreaking Kareena Kapoor. But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

“Sheila Ki Jawani” section of Bombay Talkies

This little boy! THIS LITTLE BOY!!!!! (or girl, he isn’t sure yet). But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

Image result for sheila ki jawani bombay talkies"

Dil Dhadakne Do

A family drama that gives equal weight to new young love, a dying marriage, and a troubled middle-aged couple who have lost each other over time. But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

Gully Boy

Phenomenal soundtrack, expert juggling of a large cast, taking a familiar “rise of an artist” story and making it feel new. But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

Made in Heaven

Slowly building complex anthology story, balanced with episode by episode stories, all set in an extremely specific place among extremely specific people. But is it Zoya’s best of the decade?

My choice? Made in Heaven! It’s the longest. That’s my complicated reason.

27 thoughts on “2010s Award: Best Reema-Zoya Product of the Decade Poll Post!

  1. For me. Made in heaven is THE product of the decade, not just the reema zoya product of the decade – not only as a workof fiction and a work of art, but also as a meta commentary on the decade itself. Every facet of this product is thanks to the decade itself and could not have existed and succeeded without the decade having taken place as it did.

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    • What a lovely way to put it! And that makes sense, even makes sense of it being a 2019 product. It came at the end of the decade so it could comment on everything that came before, the growth of consumer culture, the power of the uberrich, the growing drug problem, the sms scandals, 377 suddenly coming to the fore, and on and on.

      On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 8:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • It’s a very very well constructed mini-series, in that the story truly takes 8 episodes. The first episode is the equivalent of the first 10 minutes of a movie in terms of just giving you the barest starting point to understand the narrative and characters. If you absolutely hated it, don’t bother continuing, but if it was a matter of “I’m not really in love with the central performances/people” then give it more time. The first 3-4 episodes are strongly episodic, more about the individual wedding couples than the planning people. And then at the “Interval” point of the season, it takes a hard turn into the drama between the continuing characters now that you really know them and care about them.

          On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 9:57 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m really not that into rich people drama or rich people weddings, and I ended up loving Made in Heaven. I’ve been trying to get people to watch it so I can have someone to discuss it with. It gets so much deeper than you would expect.

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          • It’s so amazing! I can’t believe it isn’t getting more buzz outside of India. Amazon really needs to be promoting it the way Netflix promoted Money Heist. It could be a massive crossover hit for them, the kind of thing that gets people to sign up for the service just so they can see it.

            On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 9:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Agree with this but lemme add, it’s also the format (8 1hr episodes dropped at once in a streaming service vs 2-3hr movie). And the fact that every episodic director was female, iirc. And basic aspects about the content,
        like: it’s not just a gay character but a entire gay ecosystem with different kinds of gay characters and lifestyles and degrees of interpersonal love and self acceptance; and yet the entire show isn’t about being gay ala L word or Queer is Folk, rather, it’s just one facet of the show; the most heartwarming, satisfying, and beautifully shot gay love making scene that I’ve ever seen; a lead couple who aren’t and can never be a cis heterosexual romantic couple; a lead female with such an incredible journey and arc, both aspirational/ inspirational and going after what she wants at all costs, the kind of multifaceted grey character that became popular as leads in the 2010s; the way that zoya slowly peeled the layers of the onion via both present day activities and nonsequential flashbacks to build her characters into richly complex people. Finally the true to time, place, and class costumes, art direction, and set design could attract the types of costume/set/art nerds that flocked to mad men, the kind who are more interested in that than in the story content itself.

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        • Oh wow, now I want to actually watch Breaking Bad and Mad Men, just so I can compare what they do in terms of setting and larger issues, and the growth of a troubled anti-hero, with this show.

          On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Really, go back to the show. It’s the rare show where they start “bad” and crawl towards being better, I love shows like that, they are so hopeful. And the first wedding is, I think, the only one where there isn’t a clear “hero” to root for somewhere in the story.

            On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 12:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I would say the opposite, her best works are her short films – Sheila Ki Jawaani and the Househelp story. Both films were tight, every shot, every beat was careful and needed. They managed to convey so much hope, joy, pain, and anguish in such few minutes – they are her best work!

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    • excellent argument! This reminds me of all those college teachers who warned me that a short paper assignment is actually harder to do well than a long one.

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  3. I have to go with Talaash for best product. Hindi cimena is notoriously TERRIBLE with psychological crime thrillers. And to me, this movie was a game changer. It was a novel idea, intelligently crafted, and perfectly executed.

    Where as, Made in Heaven, to me, is their most zeitgeist work of the decade.

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    • Talaash is also their only film with one of the 3 Khans, and probably the best film Aamir made in the past decade. Another thing Hindi cinema is bad at, using the Khans to support a film instead of dominate it, and they knocked that out of the part.

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      • Completely agree. I am always impressed with how they can have such a high-profile, multi-star cast, in most of their movies and bring out the best performances in everyone. To me, that’s the best part of Dil Dhakadne Do, ZNMD, and Gully Boy. Each character is unique, interesting, and has a full arc. I can’t think of any of their comtemporaries (besides Farhan in Dil Chahta Hai) who can accomplish that.

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        • Also, I know Reema-Zoya wanted to cast Ranbir in DDD and ZNMD and I am so so so happy it did not work out. I hope they continue to have date conflicts with Ranbir 4-eva!

          Although, it might be interesting to see what kind of performance they bring out of Ranbir in a multi-star movie. If they can stop Aamir from taking over, they can certainly reign in Ranbir.

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          • Oh man, the worst option would have been Ranbir in Gully Boy! Which I don’t even think they were considering, but now I am thinking about it and cringing. Ranbir being all “my pain is worse than your pain” in the middle of a story that is supposed to be about collective social action.

            On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 10:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh I think they were too smart to even consider Ranbir for Gully Boy. But could you imagine him as either Hirthik’s or Farhan’s character in ZNMD or Ranveer’s in DDD, which is what they were hoping for?! UGH!!! It would have all been “woe is me,” let’s focus on me and my issues over everyone else’s.

            But then again, maybe I am wrong and they might bring out something in Ranbir that doesn’t make me hate him. I think Ranbir definitely needs a director who is not enamored by him and Reema-Zoya might just be it. To me, Ranbir’s best performance was Rocket Singh and it was directed by Shimit Amin of Chak De India.

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        • I suspect it is because of their two-writers system. We were just talking about this related to Virus, the Malayalam movie, someone told me in the comments that it had 3 writers partly because they wanted to deal with this big Big story and multiple characters and splitting the writing work made that happen.

          Oh, and I would suggest Veere Di Wedding as another film that managed multiple characters well. Although not as well as Zoya and Reema.

          On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • “SMS” is Indian English for text messaging. There was just this burst of scandals involving people taking cell phone photos or videos and then forwarding them to people. Everything from Kareena and Shahid Kapoor making out in a night club and being national news, to just girls in small towns being photographed without their knowledge and having those photos spread around.

      On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 10:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Another vote for Talaash which is on my top 10 favorite Hindi films list. But I have a serious soft spot for ZNMD. I don’t think it’s very deep but Hrithik’s performance and character arc are so good plus he looks amazing. And the entire film is beautiful to look at. Oh, and Naseeruddin Shah’s cameo is brilliant, like how can he pack so much into a five minute scene?

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    • I’m just now realizing that I have a bad feeling about Naseeruddin as a father, only because of his ZNMD cameo! So far as I know in “reality” he is a perfectly nice involved Dad, but I keep having this feeling that he is absent and selfish.

      Anyway, Talaash! Looking at this list, I was guessing it would turn into a battle between Talaash and MIH. If I’d been able to include Luck By Chance (just missed the decade by a year) it might have been a bigger fight.

      On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 10:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I’m bucking the trend. When I think of which film will be viewed and discussed 10 and 20 years from now, I think it is going to be Gully Boy. And I think people will continue to watch it because of its depiction of poverty in a non-standard poverty porn way. And the film itself seems timeless. It isn’t my favorite. My favorite is DDD, I love the colors, the dances, the multiple families. But I don’t know that people will be watching or talking about DDD in 10 and 20 years. I love Talaash, but to me it is an American movie set in India. I feel, or perhaps hope that Made in Heaven will be more a product of this coming decade. The series isn’t over, what will it ultimately say?

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    • Really interesting points! I agree with all of them, some what. Talaash still feels Indian to me, but you are so right about Gully Boy being unique, important, and timeless. I can see kids 50 years from now watching and connection to it.

      Liked by 1 person

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