Nominations For the Best of Bollywood 2013!

Like most other years, 2013 too has been an eventful year for the Hindi film industry. And unlike other years, 2013 was also the 100th year for the Hindi film industry. However, the centenary wasn’t really a landmark in terms of quality; we didn’t have a watershed of extraordinary films. Yes, we had a few brilliant pieces of cinema but we also had a truckload of terrible movies. What has been most encouraging in this entire melee is the gradual acceptance and support rendered to smaller films. While we had Kiran Rao helping a “Ship of Theseus” to get a release, we had a Karan Johar taking “The Lunchbox” out to the masses. In this post, I enumerate my (completely) personal list of favourite films of 2013 and their different aspects. These are my nominations for the best of Bollywood in the year 2013. While I have considered six nominees for every category (most of which are non-technical), I have added one more as “Almost There”, whom / what I feel is good but not enough to be on the list. Would love to get your vote from the nominees or any additional candidate you feel like.

Best of Bollywood 2013

Best Story & Screenplay

Hindi films have always shied away from portraying strong political content in films. However, this year we had two bold political films, one chronicling the life of an activist lawyer who was shot dead in his office and the other being a fictionalised account of India’s involvement in Sri Lanka’s LTTE war which eventually led to the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister. Then, we ventured into a yet lesser treaded area – Biopic. And then did something we have rarely or possibly never done before in the commercial space. However, none of it means that we have moved away from our area of competency. We made a delectable tale of friendship and an oven fresh take on contemporary romance. Let’s look at my nominees for the “Best Story & Screenplay”.

  1. Best ScreenplayPubali Chaudhari, Supratik Sen, Abhishek Kapoor & Chetan Bhagat – Kai Po Che
  2. Anand Gandhi, Pankaj Kumar & Khushboo Ranka – Ship of Theseus
  3. Prasoon Joshi – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
  4. Sameer Gautam Singh, Apurva Asrani & Hansal Mehta – Shahid
  5. Jaideep Sahni – Shuddh Desi Romance
  6.  Somnath Dey, Shubendu Bhattacharya & Juhi Chaturvedi – Madras Cafe

(Almost there: Ritesh Batra – The Lunchbox)

Best Music Director

All said and done, the songs are the lifeline of quintessential Hindi cinema. You wouldn’t have reality shows, bathroom singers or sangeets without the songs. And what we or I personally savour the most is melody. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy the foot-tapping numbers any less. While we had three large scale musicals – one a quasi-sequel love story, second a 3D movie on dance and third being a refurbished version of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet”. Keeping them aside, we had some other brilliant musical pieces too, which includes a period romance, a youthful urban story and a completely massy entertainer. Let’s look at my nominees for the Best Music Director for 2013!

  1. Best ComposerPritam – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
  2. Pritam – R…Rajkumar
  3. Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari & Jeet Ganguly – Aashiqui 2
  4. Sachin-Jigar – Anybody Can Dance
  5. Amit Trivedi – Lootera
  6.  Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Goliyon Ki Rasleela…Ramleela

(Almost there: A R Rahman – Raanjhana)

Best Lyricist

What’s the point of a musical without words that linger in your memory long after the song or the movie is over? Where would we be without songs which we could designate to separate occasions, purely based on the emotions evoked by the lyrics? Where would be the Hindi film lip-sync choreography without the perfect words befitting the moods of the scenes? The above questions are rhetoric as we are all hopelessly dependent on the songs and the song-writers. Let’s look at the nominees for the Best Lyricists for 2013!

  1. Best LyricistPrasoon Joshi – Zinda (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)
  2.  Niranjan Iyengar – Alvida (D-Day)
  3.  Irshad Kamil – Tum Tak (Raanjhana)
  4.  Sandeep Nath – Sunn Raha Hai Na (Aashiqui 2)
  5.  Mithoon – Tum Hi Ho (Aashiqui 2)
  6.  Mayur Puri – Bezubaan (Anybody Can Dance)

(Almost there: Swanand Kirkire – Maanjha, Kai Po Che)

Best Actor in a Negative Role

Hindi film heroes have always taken pride in defeating the villains. And often, the villains and the vamps have been more impactful than their heroes. A Sholay without a Gabbar, a Mr India minus Mogambo, or a Shaan excluding Shakaal won’t be half the films that they are. This year, we had a witch and a ghost who come back to haunt the people they are most closely connected to. Then, we had three middle-aged characters: a cop who is willing to sacrifice his closest people just to secure his cruel intentions, a businessman who also deals with terrorism and a father who wants to avenge his son’s humiliation in college. And we had a seductress who turns young boys into gigolos for her own wallet. Let’s look at the nominees for the Best Actor in a Negative Role in 2013!

Best Villain

  1. Paresh Rawal – Table No 21
  2. Konkona Sen Sharma – Ek Thi Daayan
  3. Rishi Kapoor – Aurangzeb
  4. Shilpa Shukla – B.A. Pass
  5. Rishi Kapoor – D-Day
  6. Nawaazuddin Siddiqui – Aatma

Best Debut Director

The greatest directors of cinema have mostly started with a bang. And this year, we had some of the better films being made by the first timers. While we had a middle-aged ad filmmaker delivering us a fine supernatural flick, we had two television directors venturing into cinema with two strong opening deliveries – one that portrays a nexus between corporates and police officers, and the other being a philosophical film connecting the lives of three individuals who are benefited by organ donation from the same person. We had a new producer-director taking us into the underbelly of New Delhi and a renowned short filmmaker getting into movies with a heart-rending tale of loneliness and companionship. And then we had a filmmaker joining hands with one of the most reputed production houses known for delivering cult films on friendship. Let’s look at the nominations at the Best Debut Director for 2013.

  1. Best Debut DirectorKannan Iyer – Ek Thi Daayan
  2. Atul Sabharwal – Aurangzeb
  3. Anand GandhiShip of Theseus
  4. Ritesh BatraThe Lunchbox
  5. Mrigdeep Singh Lamba – Fukrey
  6. Ajay Bahl – B. A. Pass

(Almost there: Ashima Chibber – Mere Dad Ki Maruti)

 Best Debut Performance

So often we have newcomers who dazzle the screen with their charisma, acting and sheer presence. In 2013, we had a host of actors who showed tremendous promise with their performances in their respective movies. While for a lot of them, their 2013 films were the second outing, there were a few who started off with their innings this year. We had a beautiful dame and a hilarious dude who wowed everyone with their confidence in their debut films. We had two actors who made the transition from television to films. And while we had an adorable teenager who made us believe in innocence, we had an established actor of South Indian films making his foray into Bollywood. So, here’s the list of nominees for the Best Debut Performance in 2013.

  1. Best Debut Sushant Singh Rajput – Kai Po Che
  2.  Vaani Kapoor – Shuddh Desi Romance
  3.  Riya Vij – Gippi
  4.  Manish Paul – Mickey Virus
  5.  Dhanush – Raanjhana
  6.  Varun Sharma – Fukrey

(Almost there: Naman Jain, Vishesh Tiwari, Sohum Shah & Nimrat Kaur – only if they had not done one film each before)

Best Actor in Supporting Role

The supporting characters often make or break a film. Like best friends pushing a person towards the apex, these parallel characters often drive a film to success. For a multi-starrer film where the focus is often divided among multiple characters, it gets difficult to pinpoint on one person as the lead character, thereby making support of paramount importance. And there are times, when the supporting character just takes the film away from the hero from right under his nose. We had a few stalwarts who lent able support to the lead or just outshone the others. Alongside, we also had the rest who just left the audience wanting for more even when the movie was over. And one of them, won the game just with her voice. The nominees for the Best Supporting Actor (Male & Female) for 2013 are:-


  1. Best Supporting HeroShushant Singh Rajput – Kai Po Che
  2.  Sohum Shah – Ship of Theseus
  3.  Nawaazuddin Siddiqui – The Lunchbox
  4.  Prithviraj – Aurangzeb
  5.  Pankaj Kapur – Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola
  6.  Saurabh Shukla – Jolly LLB

(Almost there: Amit Sadh – Kai Po Che)


Best Supporting Heroine

  1. Vaani Kapoor – Shuddh Desi Romance
  2.  Shruti Hassan – D-Day
  3.  Bharti Achrekar – The Lunchbox
  4.  Kalki Koechlin – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
  5.  Rani MukerjiBombay Talkies
  6.  Swara Bhaskar – Raanjhanaa

(Almost there: Supriya Pathak – Goliyon Ki Rasleela…Ramleela) 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

The lead actors are more often than not, the lifeline of the film. This year, we had a gamut of powerpacked performances; while a few of them came in pairs, the others shouldered the films by themselves. We had a middle-aged pair falling in love over letters stuffed in tiffin boxes; at the same time, we had a young live-in couple struggling with the woes of commitment phobia. Then, there was a couple who were so irrevocably in love with each other that they sizzled the screen with their hugs, smooches, songs and irresistibly good looks. We had a lawyer who taught us the value of integrity by fighting for the poor who are falsely accused of terrorism, and we had a singer who demonstrated how love can be selfless. On the one hand, there was a sprint runner who learnt the tricks of the trade while escaping death, and on the other hand, we had a diseased girl who allows herself to fall in love with the man who wronged her, so that he can redeem himself. And then there were two lovers who were always better than their counterparts, but couldn’t resist falling for them. While the girl wins over his man by the time the film, the guy meets a much more tragic culmination. Woah! Come on, let’s have a look at the nominees for the Best Lead Performance in 2013.


  1. Best HeroSushant Singh Rajput – Shuddh Desi Romance
  2.  Irrfan Khan – The Lunchbox
  3.  Rajkummar Rao (Rajkumar Yadav) – Shahid
  4.  Ranveer Singh – Goliyon Ki Rasleela…Ramleela
  5.  Dhanush – Raanjhanaa
  6.  Farhan Akhtar – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

(Almost there: Ranbir Kapoor – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) 


Best Heroine

  1. Sonakshi Sinha – Lootera
  2.  Shraddha Kapoor – Aashiqui 2
  3.  Nimrat Kaur – The Lunchbox
  4.  Deepika Padukone – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
  5.  Deepika Padukone – Goliyon Ki Rasleela…Ramleela
  6.  Parineeti Chopra – Shuddh Desi Romance

(Almost there: Deepika Padukone – Chennai Express) 

Best Director

The directors are, without doubt, the ones who deserve the maximum applause for any good film. This year, we cherished the works of some of the biggest aficionados of cinema. We had two debutants who startled everyone with their small films with mammoth intentions and achievements – one which made us rethink the values and treasures of life and the second which proved how happiness can really be increased by sharing it. We had two directors who returned with their second outing, with gigantic expectations riding on their shoulders – the first who popularised rock music was adapting a popular novel into cinema, and the second who redefined coming-of-age cinema was portraying a supremely aesthetic tale of love and longing set in 1950s Bengal. And there were two who both made political thrillers, one a bit glossier and the other a bit more real. But whether it was a bold portrayal of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination or a completely fictional story about capturing a dreaded terrorist, the two filmmakers had us under their control. Here are my nominees for the Best Director of 2013.

  1. Best Director Abhishek Kapoor – Kai Po Che
  2.  Anand Gandhi – Ship of Theseus
  3.  Vikramaditya Motwane – Lootera
  4.  Nikhil Advani – D-Day
  5.  Ritesh Batra – The Lunchbox
  6.  Shoojit Sircar – Madras Cafe

(Almost there: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) 

Best Film

Ultimately, the biggest award is the “Best Film” award. When you have a tempting set of options from multifarious genres, it’s difficult to choose or decide the best one among them. Surprisingly, the only conventional Hindi film on the list is a heart-rending tale of friendship. We had two controversial political films – one that posed the challenge of being blacklisted by the incumbent government by portraying the death of one of its biggest leaders, and one that dared the possibility of alienating majority viewers by taking sides with a man who championed the cause of supporting people accused of terrorism. We had a fantastic anthology by four of the most renowned filmmakers of today; dealing with stories that tackle themes like unfulfilled desires, cross-dressing among kids, coming to terms with your sexual orientation and unflinching patience to meet your favourite actor. Then we had a tale of love and longing between a wronged housewife and a lonely government employee who don’t meet till the end. And, we saw three people from various walks of life coming to terms with their lives and conflicted philosophies – a blind painter who loses her touch after gaining her sight, an investment banker who travels to the US to help a wronged labourer regain his kidney, and a spiritual teacher re-evaluating his beliefs about non-violence. Let’s look the nominees for the Best Films of 2013!

  1. Best MovieKai Po Che – Ronnie Screwvala & Siddharth Roy Kapur
  2. Ship of Theseus – Sohum Shah, Mukesh Shah & Amita Shah
  3. Bombay Talkies – Viacom 18 Motion Pictures & Ashi Dua
  4. Shahid – Anurag Kashyap, Sunil Bohra, Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur & Shailesh R Singh
  5. The Lunchbox – Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Karan Johar, Siddharth Roy Kapur & Arun Rangachari
  6. Madras Cafe – John Abraham, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures & Ronnie Lahiri

(Almost there: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag)


  1. Ehxhaustive list dada – but I have a few problems.
    Technically SoT is not a Bolly film. If Sushant & rajkumar were both supporting actors in KPC, then who was the lead? Why is Lootera’s name missing from list of nominations in Best Film. Is music of ABCD better than that of Raanjhanaa ? Finally a confused screenplay was the biggest weakness of
    Madras Cafe- not worth a nomination in top 5.
    Yes I know we all are subject to our opinion- but whats the fun if there is no debate 😛
    P.S – Would have loved to see Nawaaz / Sadashiv nominated for Bombay Talkies as well & beyond doubt Amitabh Bhattacharya for Lootera.


    1. Souvik Gupta says:

      thanks Abhishek.. answers to your questions are below 🙂

      Technically SoT is not a Bolly film — i don’t what to say.. why do you say so? if language is the only reason for you to making this statement, then even Black won’t be a bollywood film. But, we all consider it to be so..

      If Sushant & rajkumar were both supporting actors in KPC, then who was the lead?
      No one according to me.. that’s why I wrote for multi-starrer films, it’s difficult to decide the lead guy…

      Why is Lootera’s name missing from list of nominations in Best Film.
      Because I found the others better.. 😛

      Is music of ABCD better than that of Raanjhanaa?
      According to me, definitely…

      Finally a confused screenplay was the biggest weakness of Madras Cafe- not worth a nomination in top 5.
      I agree partially with you.. but my reason to give it a top 5 is very simple.. it’s something we haven’t done before often.. and it’s anyway a far more difficult script to write than most or possibly all hindi films made this year..

      Yes I know we all are subject to our opinion- but whats the fun if there is no debate 😛 –> I love debates.. 🙂

      P.S – Would have loved to see Nawaaz / Sadashiv nominated for Bombay Talkies as well & beyond doubt Amitabh Bhattacharya for Lootera.
      Nawaaz and Sadashiv – true, they were very good…
      Amitabh Bhattacharya – for which song? Zinda?


  2. Rasik says:

    Great list. only i felt Hansal Mehta deserved a nomination instead of Shoojit Sircar for Best Director.


    1. Souvik Gupta says:

      thanks Rasik.. point taken 🙂


  3. Sesh says:

    My picks by category: –
    Best Story & Screenplay: – Anand Gandhi, Pankaj Kumar & Khushboo Ranka: – Ship of Theseus
    Best Music Director: – Amit Trivedi: – Lootera
    Best Lyricist: – Zinda: – Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
    Best Actor in a Negative Role: – Shilpa Shukla: – B.A. Pass
    Best Debut Director: – Anand Gandhi: – Ship of Theseus
    Best Debut Performance: – Kai Po Che: – Sushant Singh Rajput
    Best Actor in Supporting Role – Male: – Nawaazuddin Siddiqui: – The Lunchbox
    Best Actor in Supporting Role – Female: – Vaani Kapoor: – Shuddh Desi Romance
    Best Actor in a Leading Role – Male: – Rajkummar Rao (Rajkumar Yadav): – Shahid
    Best Actor in a Leading Role – Female: – Nimrat Kaur: – The Lunchbox
    Best Director: – Anand Gandhi: – Ship of Theseus
    Best Film: – Sohum Shah, Mukesh Shah & Amita Shah: – Ship of Theseus


    1. Sesh great to see you commenting actively here. Appreciate it. Hope to see you actively participate on a regular basis in the interactions and discussions happening on the site


    2. Souvik Gupta says:

      thanks Sesh for the comment..
      it seems both of us share a strong love for SOT 🙂


  4. Great compilation Souvik Da. Appreciate the efforts taken by you to prepare this compilation.
    My choices would be as follows :
    Story and Screenplay – Sameer Gautam Singh, Apurva Asrani & Hansal Mehta – Shahid followed a close second by the Kai Po che team. Thankfully, they made a lot of changes in the film compared to Bhagat’s novel which made the film all the more likeable.
    In the Music director category I haven’t listened to any album in its’ entirety still it would be Amit Trivedi for Lootera
    Bets Lyricist -Prasoon Joshi – Zinda (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag). Manjha from Kai Po che should have been in the final list.
    Best Actor in a Negative Role – Rishi Kapoor (Aurangzeb)
    Best Debutante Director – Ritesh Batra for Lunchbox closely followed by Atul Sbahrwal for Aurangzeb
    Best Debutante : Sushant Singh followed by Varun Sharma for Fukrey
    Best Supporting Actor : Nawazuddin for Lunchbox. Why again Sushant Singh is in this list for the same film?. Amit Sadh would have been the clear winner in my opinion if he was in the final list
    Best supporting Actress : Swara Bhaskar – Raanjhanaa
    Lead actor : Rajkumar Yadav – Shahid. Most of the performances in this category were good and it was a tough call.
    Best Actress : Nimrat Kaur followed by Deepika for Raam leela
    Best Director : Abhishek Kapoor – Kai Po Che. Hansal Mehta deserved to make it to the final list.
    Best Film : It’ s a tie between Kai Po Che and Shahid.


    1. Souvik Gupta says:

      thanks Adi for the comment.. yeah, it seems everyone would have preferred Hansal Mehta to be on the Best Directors list..

      why can’t Sushant be on two different categories for the same movie? one is for debut performance and the other is for supporting actor.. btw, though even i liked amit sadh’s performance a lot, let us not forget that Sushant walked away with most praise for Kai Po Che..


  5. Sethumadhavan says:

    Good work here Souvik & here’s where I probably differ from you a bit-

    1. For music I’d certainly include ARR for Raanjhanaa any day over Pritam for R…Rajumar

    2. Hansal Mehta for direction would be one of my contenders too

    Also my favorite film of the year is The Lunchbox 🙂


    1. Souvik Gupta says:

      Thanks sir :-). Your points are well taken.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.