Cinema is beautiful. But like those dark spots on a dazzling moon, cinema also gives us those times when we have to reconsider that first line.
When you talk about Hindi Cinema, the dark spots, unfortunately, are more apparent and always removes the dazzle every year. This year is no different. To get the hang of how bad the year has been, remind yourself that the highest grossing Hindi film today is actually not a Hindi film but dubbed version of a Telugu movie. Clearly, the games have turned ever so swiftly and it’s time for introspection.
So as we are about to wrap up for the year, let us look at the films which brought hopes, expectations and hype but did anything but achieve that on screen.
7. MERI PYAARI BINDU
This one was a heartbreak. Looking at the trailers and the wonderful soundtrack I was really looking forward to a rom-com after a long time.
Meri Pyaari Bindu wasn’t very bad, but it just didn’t live upto my sky-high expectations. Ayushymann was superb as Abhimanyu and the inclusion of 90s soundtrack was soothing. But the script just lacked the punch that would have elevated the film.
Two actors, brilliant in the world of cinema they represent, were set to share screen space in a film that could have revived the anti-hero genre. Add to that a National award winning director and produced by the likes of Farhan Akhtar, you cannot think of anything going wrong.
But Bollywood tends to do the unexpected. It managed to turn every possible thing that could have gone well with the film to its head and make Raees as formulaic as possible.
An absolutely unnecessary love angle? Check
An absolutely unnecessary childhood story of the hero? Check.
A sidekick-cum-plot device who actually gives better performance than the lead? Check
An item song in which the girl drools over our brooding hero, dancing to a remixed version of an old song? Double check.
Heroic death in the climax? Check.
Raees isn’t unwatchable (SRK-Nawaz being the best thing about the film) but it is a gigantic waste of potential.
The problem with Phillauri was that it was by no means bad, but so short of being excellent. The plot was interesting and the production design and VFX, backed by Anushka herself was top notch. The writing became the villain, which could neither mine humor from the already hilarious situation and nor could it give coherence to the two stories. At around 3 hours, it was a huge drag as well.
4. NAAM SHABANA
Naam Shabana is probably the first spin-off movie made on the character of Shabana from 2015’s Baby. The idea was interesting and we could already see a franchise being born. Which is great because we are really short of good franchises.
Minutes into the film and you know we are in for a disappointment. The script was painstakingly clichéd and emotionally hollow, which is exactly how the film turned out. Perhaps they started with the idea way too soon.
3. JUDWAA 2
Picture this : Our leading hero kicks a ball from a playground, starts bouncing and kicked by civilians, travels through bungalows and skyscrapers through the entire city and hits our villain inside a shopping mall who gets his lost memory back. Now I am all in for a mindless comedy but, seriously, how can you possibly laugh over this?
David Dhawan used to regularly churn cheeky but fun movies (mostly starring Govinda) in the 90s. And even up till Partner a decade back he still had the knack. Judwaa 2 is one of his other recent lazy, unfunny films which does no justice to his son, who can actually pull off the typical masala roles with aplomb if given the right script.
“I don’t like to do the same stuff again.” This is what director Kabir Khan was quoted saying when asked why he chose not to direct Tiger Zinda Hai. That is ironic, considering Tubelight was more like a reboot to his own Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Instead of a Salman and a child, Kabir makes Salman gulp the child within him and then sends him to borders to promote peace.
Salman tried and cried, but just couldn’t save the film. A little more work on the script and the pretentious level brought several notches low, Tubelight might have worked.
1. JAB HARRY MET SEJAL
One of India’s greatest tellers of love stories. An actor who is known as “The King of Romance”. A film made by the two will be a match in heaven, right?
Heaven is not exactly the word audiences used for the screens where they watched Jab Harry Met Sejal. Starting from the title itself, the film was a poor amalgamation of Imtiaz’s previous works. Even after a below average plot, the actors and the director couldn’t lift the film from its grave. Fans of Imitaz like me were appalled to see him actually make an unbearably bad film, which he never had in his 12-year career. Shah Rukh, on the other hand, continues to try giving that one film which is a critical as well as commercial hit. But alas, fails once again.
There, you have it. These are by no means the worst films this year. If you make a list of that, the selection will be a lot more tough. It was about expectations which weren’t met and certain makers who weren’t at their best.
In coming days we will see the best of what 2017 offered us! Here’s hoping the disappointments will be lesser the next time around and 2018 will be a rocking year for us at the theaters!