I hate stars. Not actors we rave at on screen, but those pesky little things one has to declare right at the bottom of a review. Not just do we dumb down a long analysis of the pros-and-cons of the film into a few-star rating, the danger becomes that of comparing apples to oranges.
Inevitably, you'll see a bawdy comedy get as many stars as a sensitive arthouse flick, and while all this means (assuming, say, the two get 3 stars apiece) is that they're fine, watchable films which had great potential to be much better, the provoked reaction is different: how could you rate this as much as this, the question is asked, taking those tiny, alarmingly 'important' stars entirely out of context, forgetting the various yardsticks which led to their being ranked thus.
This top ten, therefore, is not a list of films reviewed in order of stars, but a celebration of original thought and artistic temperament, not to mention the appreciation of deftly juggling commercial considerations with clever cinema.
It has been a year of smaller successes, and it is heartening to see a lot of the films on this list aren't massive mainstream releases. That said, it is equally good to see some of the mainstream break away from convention.
Unlike last year, this hasn't been a year of showy, overwhelming blockbusters. A tremendous number of the Ten are made by second-time filmmakers, showing potential being realised. We hope for more, and these are the ones you shouldn't have missed in 2007:
Text: Raja Sen
Also read: Sukanya Verma's Top 10 films
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