From Lagaan to Rang De Basanti, Lage Raho Munnabhai and Jab We Met, the last 10 years make for memorable film moments. Let us revisit the glorious decade 2000-2010. The below are the top movies in the last decade, not necessarily in the same order, courtesy the Times of India.

Dil Chahta Hai (2001) – Director: Farhan Akthar

The trio of Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna as friends discovering their bearings in a world of delusion and heat-break became the ultimate youth flick in Hindi cinema, Says Farhan Akhtar, “Sujoy Ghosh of Jhankaar Beats and Nikhi Advani of Kal Ho Na Ho told they were inspired Dil Chahta Hai. I am more than happy being a part of their inspiration. I would like to do a prequel on the characters, as when they were younger.”

Lagaan (2001) – Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

It was nominated for an Oscar. The impact of colonialism, cricket and Aamir Khan (in that order) was lethal. Says Ashutosh Gowariker, “ Lagaan is about triumph of the human spirit. So it had to be about a team sport. Once I thought of cricket, I also thought about the little mind games that the British indulged in with the locals, and what would happen if the locals picked up the gauntlet. I expected people to like Lagaan. But not to this extent.”

Black (2005) – Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Powerhouse performances by Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee lifted the tale of the teacher and his disabled student to the realm of great art. Says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ” Years ago, I made my first film Khamoshi about a couple whose hearing and speech were impaired. After Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Devdas, the market demanded that I make another spectacular epic with songs and dances. Instead, I chose to make a film about less privileged people.”

Page 3 (2005) – Director: Madhur Bhandarkar

Kitne ajeeb rishte hai yahaan pe… Lata Mangeshkar’s theme song described the hypocrisy and self-deceptions of the entertainment industry. Says Madhur Bhandarkar, ” People laughed at me. They never believed I could pull it off. After Chandni Bar, I made Satta and Aan, Men at Work, which flopped. Page 3 was the underdog of 2005, yet it was the first hit of the year. Did the Page 3 circuit come to see the movie? They did! I made the film with my heart and soul.”

Rang De Basanti (2006) – Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

The film took on corruption in our society through the eyes of a bunch of youngsters who discovered the significance of the Freedom Movement. Sit-ins and candle vigils became an integral part of urban protests after RDB. Says Rakeysh Mehra, ” We did not set out to make a film that would have such a reverberant impact. There were films on Bhagat Singh that did not connect with the audience. Any sign of patriotism was read as a danger sign, yet we were a success.”

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) – Director: Raj Kumar Hirani

Sanjay Dutt as a modern day goonda– turned-Gandhian, became an instant cult hero. Munna Bhai’s message of Gandhigiri continues to resonate till date. Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar Gandhi says, ” It’s almost as if a new generation has discovered Bapu. This film showed the power of Satyagraha. Gandhigiri was a welcome coinage. I think Bapu would have spoken the language of Gandhigiri if he were alive today.

Chak De! India (2007) – Director: Shimit Amin

It did to sports and sportspeople what Black did to the physically challenged and Lagaan did to patriotism. Hockey suddenly began to stick. Says Shimit Amin, ” We had a variety of cast and crew, from the research team that came from all parts of the country to a cast that comprised athletes and untried actors posing as hockey players. As far as the film’s impact goes, we don’t know how much it has helped hockey, but kids too started to look at the sport in a new light.

Taare Zameen Par (2007) – Director: Aamir Khan

The gentle and moving story of a dyslexic child, played by the talented Darsheel Safary, opened up a nation-wide debate on the pros and cons of child education through a uniform syllabus. Says Amole Gupte, ” I have been involved with children’s projects for many years. Taare Zameen Par was an extension of an ongoing affinity to children’s issues.”

Jab We Met (2007) – Direction: Imtiaz Ali

A feisty, fiercely original rom-com, which took audiences on a “Bharat-darshan” while telling the story of the spirited Geet, played with gusto by Kareena Kapoor, and the suicidal tycoon (Shahid Kapoor) who runs into her. Says director Imtiaz Ali, ” Kareen was sure any location I selected would at least two hours from a decent hotel. But she was willing to slum it out. We shot places that a lot of people haven’t seen on the map. This script was born out my love for travel.”

Rock On (2008) – Director: Abhishek Kapoor

It launched Farhan Akthar’s career as an actor and a singer. Rock On heralded the era of the rock-stadium flick in Hindi, bringing a new energy and genre to Hindi cinema. The rock sound-track by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy first confused, then enchanted the audience. Says director Abhishek Kapoor, ” Rock On was a life-changing experience for me and for the entire team. We still haven’t gotten over it. We hope to do a sequel some day.”

I will post more of these in the future. Please post your comments……

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