Friday, September 16, 2005

Bollywood at its Worst

Rediff has started a message board for the worst ever movie you have seen. Readers’ opinions were solicited and they seem to have got quite a good response, going by the dozens of pages of comments they have got. It appears to be a rather belated attempt on Rediff’s part to educate its plethora of Movie Critics, Reviewers & Editors – who often appear completely clueless about movies. I hope they learn some lessons about movies & the art of movie reviewing, as a result of this exercise. At least, they should be able to differentiate the dung from the dahlia or vice versa – a quality, as any discerning reader & movie buff would know, they lack severely.

Sample this. Rediff’s star Cine Critic happens to be one Raja Sen. Read his reviews of Sarkar and Paheli, and you will know what I meant in the above paragraph. Anyone, with a semblance of sense around him, would have done a far better job!

Like the Rediff readers, I too have a sudden urge to document the forgettable movies that I have watched in the past few years, which I won’t watch again, even for a cash reward of thousand bucks. (Might do so for two, but only if the survival of the civilized world depends upon it). Unlike the readers, I thought of utilizing my blog space, rather than cluttering up the message board. Considering the quality of bollywood movies made in the last few years, the task appears as tough as finding a football in a bathtub.

The following movies appear in no particular order, except for the first one, which will retain its lead position – even after another century of one million crappy movies.
  • Boom (2003) – The unofficial crown prince of forgettable flicks. Wonder what Kaizad Gustad was smoking when he went on to make this one? The tagline might read “The fashion world meets the underworld”, but in reality, it’s a path breaking initiative on how to make a total cropper with a big star cast. Variously taunted as “Amitabh’s biggest career mistake” and “Kaizad’s preamble before his entry to mental asylum” – this one epitomizes the degree of avoidability of a movie.
  • Yaadein (2001) – Famed director, promising actors (who lost their respective promising characteristics soon after the movie saw daylight), exotic locations – all these don’t necessarily constitute a winning formula. On watching the movie, the first reaction was incredulity on how a talented director could go ashtray in a short span of time; which soon gave way to suicidal tendencies of the third kind. Jackie Shroff features in the top two movies in my list. Coincidence or causation?
  • Hello Brother (1999) – If there is a course in the acting institutes, titled “what not to do in a comedy movie”, probably showing this movie to the students would suffice. This movie reaffirms my belief that comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea, definitely not the forte of Salman Khan and his loser brothers. Capital Punishment should be doled out to those who indulge in making a comic movie, without having the slightest talent for it.
  • Hum Saath Saath Hein (1999) – This movie was a learning experience. If the starting sequence of a movie shows a big joint family clustered together in the Pooja Ghar, singing Bhajans, walk out immediately. Or else, it might prove torturous for your sanity. And if you seriously like the kind of stuff this movie is made of, go watch any sitcom on Star Plus.
  • Saathiya (2002) – The great movie, which effectively (and thankfully so) grounded Vivek Obroi’s movie career, which seemed to have take off with his debut movie “Company”, which on hindsight appears to be a fluke of a success. After a few initial moments, the movie turned into a chronicle of the plights of a newly married couple. The tear-fest became so intense; it almost swept me out of the theatre in its wake.
  • Devdas (2002) – To put it mildly, never in the history of Indian Moviedom has such a huge investment (50 Crores) disappointed in such a big way. The movie, despite all its grandeur, appeared to have cast all the wrong actors in the right roles. Shahrukh, in the title role, appeared about as comfortable as a whale in the midst of Sahara Desert. If Sharat Chandra were alive today, he would have got the shock of his life witnessing Bhansali’s screen rendition of his masterpiece. I wonder how this movie did so well among the NRI audience!
  • Dhadkan (2000) – Another step in the learning process – never go to a bollywood movie for the first show on first day. The star cast featured the two top action heroes of the 90s and that’s what took me to the theatre. But alas! Those two spent their entire on-screen time competing with each other on who can shed the maximum amount of tears. I got so miffed that I decided to ‘highly recommend’ the movie to a group of my friends. After all, they too deserved their shares of the pie. And after the unsuspecting lot got pranked into the theatre, I had to remain in hiding for over a week, for fear of dear life.
  • Mela (2000) – The uninitiated among my friends simply suggested that the movie should have been named “Kela”, and forgot all about it. But I have patented the movie as the most potent weapon of torture for one’s adversary, to be used only when the maximum amount of sadistic pleasure is desired. I am still looking for that adversary. Anyone game?
  • Main Hoon Na (2004) – Yet another Shaharukh Khan blooper, in the form of an immense intellectual insult for those with a level head on their shoulders. Fifteen years doing choreography should not automatically qualify someone to become a director. Or else, we will end up having stupid movies with asinine stunt scenes, where a cycle rickshaw chases and outruns a SUV on a country road. And no, there aren’t any patriotically motivated terrorists in India, not yet at least.
  • 1857 – The Rising (2005) – This one can’t simply be summarized in a paragraph. It deserves an entire post, for the dubious distinction of being the biggest highly-expected disappointment of the lot.
I am sure there are many more, who can make it to the exulted list. But hey, weekend is starting and for sure, there are more positive things in life.

10 Comments:

Blogger GREATBONG said...

Besides the shock of seeing "Saathiya" on that list( which I liked till Shahrukh and Tabbu came in), agree with your assessment of most of the movies that made the list. [I would def have Asoka in the list...for me its number 0 above Boom] And even more agree with the clowns who review movies in Rediff---Raja Sen and Sukanya Verma (who loved Main Hoon Na)

7:27 AM  
Blogger Deba said...

Arnab,

Thrilled to read the comments from a great movie buff. Yeah, I have been following ur recent articles on Movies and liked them. They are way better than the articles in rediff and other such media.

Didn't have the good fortune of watching Asoka. In fact, the quality of recent movies has kept me away from theatres, in the past years.

Another movie that I would have added to the list is Musafir. An example of imaginations gone haywire !!

I agree about Raja Sen & Sukanya Verma. But the greatest dud among them is a joker called Taran Adarsh, currently with IndiaFM.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Alok said...

Iye yie yie. If only I had read this prior to watching HELLO BROTHER last night with my wife.

"Loser brothers" doesn't even begin to capture it.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Deba said...

Alok,

Rather late in watchin the movie, aren't you? Well, this was released at a time when I used to watch each and every one of the bollywood movies. But movies like this put a forced end to my passion !!

2:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man...U rock. And I agree to almost all the movies that you have listed as WORST. But I like the way you describe them. HILARIOUS

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Narayanan G L said...

Cherio, most of these movies would feature in my list as well, I guess you have completely sidelined the "so-called" B grade and C grade movies while giving your opinion.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all i don't know how u started to believe movies like devdas(2002) can be included in such a list ....i just think u woke up one morning and ur hatred of urself could not stop u from making comments which r no more than childish.... i can understand ur deap hatred of shahrukh which is clearly evident and as i can see with comments posted ur readers share the same view....well i guess just because the man is more successful than u can ever dream of being u think he is nothing but a waste of space.....perhaps u haven't seen many movies to actually make such a list and the only ones u saw u mentioned in the list ....well i would expect no more from a person who comes from south india ....perhaps u should see some of the stuff ur guys make and u would realize what a pile of shit that is ....

9:09 AM  
Blogger chandru said...

Hi Deba, I didn't find your email id in the profile.. Your opnions on hindi movies is quite impressive. Would you be interested in writing movie reviews for my website? Mail me if you are interested. You can find my email id in my blogger profile.

-Chandru

11:08 AM  
Blogger chandru said...

My website is http://hindi.bellitere.com/

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Devdaas is great movie , how could u add that classic to this list and all version of devdaas are as interested as the novel, and srk one is best amongst all

5:53 AM  

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