As the year draws to a close, we asked our panel of Rediff Reviewers -- who we have selected from a contest -- to tell us which they thought were 2006's best movies.
Here are the films Vidya Pradhan -- who lives in California, writes for a local newspaper and is working on a children's novel -- selected.
Lage Raho Munnabhai
Comedy is perhaps the hardest genre in filmmaking. And to do it without resorting to slapstick is truly remarkable.
With a script reminiscent of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies and perfect timing between its lead characters, Lage Raho... was a sweet movie. Wisely deciding against a sequel to the sleeper hit Munnabhai MBBS, director Rajkumar Hirani made Lage Raho.. the second in the series of adventures of Munna and Circuit, played with great flair by Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi.
This gave the director the freedom to change the story completely and recast the heroine. Vidya Balan as Jhanvi was a tremendous improvement over Gracy Singh.
Lage Raho... is the story of a hoodlum transformed by the power of universal, unconditional love as preached by Mahatma Gandhi. In these cynical times, Hirani and producer Vinod Chopra dared to offer us an uplifting, hopeful tale about the essential goodness of man. No wonder the movie resonated with audiences jaded by the endless remakes of past Hollywood and Bollywood films and went on to become such a big hit.
Also read: Showcasing Lage Raho Munnabhai