Celebrating the Duds

 

The worst of Bollywood in 2010

Pic: Tees Maar Khan

Every year Bollywood churns out hundreds of movies and hundreds of them flop; only a handful of them get acceptance and are lauded by the viewers, and even fewer by the critics. Sometimes even the bad ones work at the box-office and nobody has any explanation for that, except maybe Sajid Khan as he manages to do that every time with his films (Heyy Babyy, Housefull). While the good ones will get felicitated at the multiple award ceremonies (the eternal optimist in me still believes in them a little bit); the bad ones are forgotten except by the financier or the distributor. This article is dedicated to the worst of Bollywood in 2010. Nobody really wants to make bad films or do bad work but maybe the filmmakers and actors learn something from these disasters.

Declaration: This column is the author’s expression of the pains he suffered by watching poorly made films, badly enacted scenes and other forms of torture deployed by the Bollywood-wallahs this year. The author payed through his nose to watch these films at expensive multiplexes and thinks that it is his right to give back. Should you disagree, please read no further; if you agree, do share your views on the worst of Bollywood in 2010.

RGV Ki Aag Memorial Award for the Worst Film: and the nominees based on the author’s personal views and a quick and dirty survey, are:

  • Anees Bazmee’s No Problem – Because the audience cannot be ‘Welcomed’ in ‘No Entry’ again and again
  • Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan – Because Khan Khan hota hai aur Kumar Kumar
  • Mani Ratnam’s Raavan – Because we had great expectations, Sir
  • Anurag Basu’s Kites – Because the controversy around the lead pair was more interesting than the film itself
  • Leena Yadav’s Teen Patti – Because you shouldn’t try to make desi ‘21’
  • Ken Ghosh’s Chance Pe Dance – Because the dancing was so bad
  • Sajid Khan’s Housefull – Because in reality Mr. Khan it is NOT your Titanic and you can NEVER make Avatar (Sajid Khan had compared Housefull to Titanic and promised Avatar on Komal Nahta’s show on ETC Channel)
  • Priyadarshan’s Aakrosh – Because if you can’t get it right then should leave Prakash Jha to make such cinema

And the award goes to Farah Khan for Tees Maar Khan. Recognition for ‘borrowing’ the story-line of an old, Italian flick (After the Fox, 1966) and ruining it with jokes that are not funny and scenes that are just randomly put together. However, I must mention the only good thing in the film – Katrina’s item song, ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’.

Click here to read full post that originally appeared on nowrunning.com

 

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ROBOT

For Rajni Fans Only…

Pic: Robot; Source: bollywoodworld.com

10:30 pm: Excited about watching Robot, have heard so much about the special effects and of course the Rajni mania surrounding the film…

10:35 pm: At Big Cinema’s IMAX theatre in Mumbai, now super excited about watching the film on the gigantic screen…

10:40 pm: The movie begins with big alphabets appearing on screen one by one to form the words – ‘S.U.P.E.R.S.T.A.R’ ‘R.A.J.N.I.K.A.N.T’. Though the theatre is half empty but two groups of boys are cheering… I point out that Aishwarya’s full name is spelt wrong (Bachan instead of Bachchan) in the credits; get told off by a friend to stop proof-reading. Okay! Ready for ROBOT to activate.

11:40 pm: Funny, ridiculous, endearingly tacky… am having fun!

12:40 pm: Ok, another hour to go… seems like a task, can we fast forward the songs please?

1:15 am: Very nice fight, not 1, not 2, not 10, hundreds of Rajni Robots getting into a sphere formation. Wait a minute, they are in snake mode now.

1:30 am: Ok! I want to go home NOW…

1:40 am approx: Yay! Movie over, I am tired…

Pic: Robot; Source: endhiran.org

First things first, I am not a Rajnikant fan but am always game for a good film… Was pretty excited about Shankar’s Robot; however, was left disappointed with what I saw last night. I was not looking for logic here and was expecting a lot of silliness but it was funny and enjoyable in parts only. The film was largely disappointing due to its tiresome length, over the top production design and special effects that get tacky and amateurish at times, patchy writing, forced songs with below average music and lyrics.

The film is about a humanoid Robot that is developed for military purposes but develops human feelings (Iron Man meets Bicentennial Man meets I, Robot). There is a lot of masala in the film with romance, action, comedy all thrown in together, unfortunately the final product is not that tasty. Rajnikant as the robot, Chitti and his creator, Prof. Vasigaran;is no doubt good but I’d like to see him in roles that suit his age and stature. I usually like Aishwarya Rai but I have nothing to say about her shockingly ineffective performance in this film; she was so much better in her debut film, Iruvar back in 1997. It was good to see Danny Denzongpa playing a baddie once again.

Robot is the most expensive film made in India, then why wasn’t any attention to detail paid? Rajnikant’s beard and wig look… fake! You can actually see the edges peeling slightly. The robot in the film is shown to know all languages that are programmed by his creator. I want to know how he could understand what the mosquitoes were saying, certainly no human knows that. Yes, you read it right there is a sequence where Chitti talks to a colony of mosquitoes.

Talking about the special effects, there are some impressive sequences especially in the climax where there are hundreds of lookalike robots. However, there are many poorly executed sequences that can only be termed, shoddy. The film could have been a good half hour shorter (editing – Anthony Gonsalves) as it gets really boring in the second half. Regarding make up and costumes, the less said is better; maybe going ‘over the top’ was the brief but it shouldn’t be at the cost of making your actors look silly. Mr. Manish Malhotra didn’t expect this from you…

Music by A. R. Rahman is below average but I will not give up hope and wait for the maestro to come back with another rocking album (after Jhootha Hi Sahi of course). Lyrics by Swanand Kirkere are bizarre and I prefer ‘Telephone Dhun Mein Hasne Wali’ from Hindustani to his ‘Neutrons, Electrons’ in Robot.  In true Shankar style, the songs are shot at exotic locations and the song, ‘Kilimanjaro, Mohenjadaro’, which incidentally is shot in Macchu Picchu, looks nice. The ‘Neutrons, Electrons’ song that is shot in a Brazilian desert could have looked breathtaking if the makers didn’t decide to ‘enhance’ the visuals with so called ‘special effects’.

Overall, Robot is a very average film that doesn’t really live up to its promise of being a complete masala entertainer. Ask Rajni fans and they would trash this post citing the author’s lack of understanding of Tamil cinema or specifically Rajni cinema. I understand their point of view as even I was criticised for overlooking My Name Is Khan’s flaws and going simply by what I felt after the film in my review. Robot is for Rajni fans and they will love it. If you are not a fan, don’t go with any expectations and you may like it.

My rating: * * ½ Two and a half stars on five

– Shrey Khetarpal