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Top 5 Worst Films of the Year 2013

While the year may have had a few innovative and ingenious films, there were bucket loads of some extremely craptastic films. This was a year of (terrible) sequels and (terrible) blockbusters. Some obvious candidates like Zanjeer and Policegiri are missing, since I couldn’t get myself to watch them just to write this list. Does that make me a bad writer? Yes? Okay. Anyway, here it goes:

(5) Dhoom 3: 

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One sentence that could aptly describe this crappier-than-crap three-quel is “haha, this is swag, bitchezzz.” If I ever came across a genie, my first wish would be that he get me Aamir Khan’s bike from this film. It turns into a motorboat, a submarine, throws hooks that allows it to jump over trucks, attaches itself to another bike, and even rides on a thin wire. If that bike were a person, it would’ve filed a police report against the producers for molestation. My second wish would be that the genie give me back the 3 hours I spent watching this film, so I could instead use it to do comparatively less painful things like putting my fingers through a fan. My final wish would be… Actually, I’m going to keep that one for later use. I’m damn sure there’s going to be a Dhoom 4.

(4) Chennai Express: 

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Ah, yes. The Shahrukh Khan “entertainer” by Rohit Shetty and team. It was basically a one joke film, the idea behind which was “Fuck you, South Indians”. While I appreciate the sentiment (I don’t, actually), it hardly warrants a film that appears as long as 2 years in solitary confinement, with a ham of a hero, a tree trunk of a villain, cheap-looking action and cheaper attempts at jokes. And no offense to Yo Yo Honey Singh fans (or as I call them, Yo-tards), but Lungi Dance wasn’t a tribute to Rajnikanth. It was essentially SRK telling him, “Rajni Saar, I’m sending across my spit in the form of a song. Kindly put it on your face”. It had Deepika with an accent that was the equivalent of a prospective bride walking around with a board that reads “I’m mangalik”, but she still managed to impress and single-handedly prevent this film from landing the top spot on this list.

(3) Yamla Pagla Deewana 2: 

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This film morphed me from Kareena Kapoor of “Jab We Met” into Ranbir Kapoor of “Barfi!”. Starring the three Deols, this film had run out of jokes within the first 15 minutes of the previous film itself. I’m sure I’m one of those people who derive pleasure out of pain, because there’s no other reason why I would watch a film that I knew was going to be so terrible. It’s the kind of bad movie that can stop your bowl movements for perpetuity. It’s the kind of bad movie that can make you choke on your own vomit. It’s the kind of bad movie that could give you AIDS from watching it. It’s just a really bad movie. And it makes waste of the talent of a spectacular actor like Anu Kapoor.

(2) Krrish 3: 

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India’s answer to Superman, it made you wish that you never had children, so they could never watch this film and could be spared the mental trauma. It had cheap special effects that appeared to be hand-drawn rather than being computer-generated, music that made you feel like you were being banged on the head with kitchen utensils, Vivek Oberoi in a character that was the lovechild of Magneto and Professor Xavier, and Hrithik Roshan in a double role that would probably lead to extinction of double roles in Bollywood. Throw in Priyanka ‘Exotic’ Chopra and a stone-faced Kangana Ranaut, and you’d be petitioning for legalization of Euthenasia in India. But the worst thing about the film was it’s end, which actually promised a sequel. People, the apocalypse is coming.

(1) Himmatwala: 

himmat3
Ladies and  gentlemen, we have a winner! It’s none other than Himmatwala! How bad is it, you ask? Tees Maar Khan was a better film. Joker was a better film. That’s how bad this 80s remake was. It made you cringe and clench in your seat so many times that you came out of the theater with an extremely muscular butt. Every single scene of this film mocks it’s viewers and says, “you’re such morons, you got sucked into watching this shit”. I knew from his 3 previous films that Said Khan was a terrible filmmaker, but he took terrible filmmaking to new heights. The acting was so hammy that you could put it together and make a pig out of it. Even the thought of this movie makes me so angry that doctors have to put me on sedatives. The only way that you can make such a piece-o-shit movie is if you actually intended to make the worst film of the year, and I hope (for the makers’sake) that it was their intention.

Dishonorable Mentions:

Besharam:

Director Abhinav Singh Kashyap did wrong everything that he did right in Dabangg. Superbly miscast, not a trace of novelty, masterfully unfunny, ordinary music and constantly irritating, this film managed to make me dislike even Jaaved Jaffery (who I otherwise adore) and had Rishi Kapoor in one of the worst roles of his career. But despite everything, it did teach all the mothers out there a big lesson: it’s okay to force your daughter to spend time with her stalker, as long as he’s a “good person at heart”. Bravo.

Race 2:

Sequel to the mildly entertaining, but equally harebrained Race, it is a big reminder of why Hollywood is so much better. Sadly, it lacked the only saving grace of its predecessor, Akshaye Khanna. The idea of sleek thrills of this Abbas-Mustan directed sham was making the leads jump out of a crashing plane in a convertible that releases parachutes when it’s in the air. I never thought the day would come when I’d say that John Abraham’s was the best performance in a film, but this movie made me do it.

3G:

The reason this erotic horror/psychological thriller didn’t make it to the top 5 is because it didn’t torture nearly enough people, on account of nobody giving a shit about it when it came out. Also, I happen to quite like Neil Nitin Mukesh as an actor, who once again gave a an extremely watchable performance in an extremely unwatchable film.

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©Piyush Chopra for PosterGully.com

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The Great Indian Blockbuster

As a student of film studies and a self- confessed movie buff, I’m positive that I couldn’t have been the only person who was reduced to tears after witnessing the line-up of Bollywood movies dubbed “blockbuster” over the past few years. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. Quite justifiably, these movies took a lot of bashing from all around the world. Chennai Express, Krissh 3, Student of the Year, Zindagi Na MilegiDobara to name a few. Not that I’m singling out these movies, I’m sure a lot of other movies could’ve been shittier. Still these were just a few names that popped into my head when I thought “bad movie”

A lot of people loved Zindagi Na MilegiDobara. I do love the film’s soundtrack. But the film itself fell flat with its uninspiring story and left me with absolutely no urge to “seize the day”. Try as hard as I did, I just couldn’t bring myself to relate to these effluent, entitled characterswho could just afford to pack up and go scuba diving in Spain to deal with their text book “white person” problems.  Abandonment and daddy issues? Run with the bulls.  Girlfriend problems and fear of confrontation?  Jump from an airplane. Stick-up-the-ass, career centric, Wall Street guy stereotype? Insert token “exotic” female lead, then scuba dive and discover the exuberance of life amidst tomato pulp. All this BS in a movie which was little else than an unabashed 3 hour long tourism promo for Spain. And do I even need to point out that ZNMD is as close as Bollywood has come so far, to YOLO? If that isn’t enough to make you understand just how annoying this movie is, you’re pretty much a lost cause.. Picture1“The tomatoes have taught us the meaning of life!”

Student of the Year was another vacuous, shiny, sparkly movie filled with beautiful people and was morbidly story-deficient. It played out more like a Disney Channel Movie, something along the lines of High School Musical, but with more skimpy pink speedos than PG 13 romances. Recently in an interview, the stars of the movie remarked that they were surprised most of their fan base comprised children rather than young men and women as expected. *faith restored in my generation*

Chennai Express however was a different story. I’m all for the huge melting pot of cultures, South meets North yadayada. But Rohit Shetty’s “meeting” felt as violating as Columbus “meeting” the Native Americans for the first time. The shameless caricaturis-ation of South Indians could have been forgiven in the presence of a semi-admissible story. However, that did not happen. And the minute I heard Shah Rukh Khan speak Tamil, I felt a little part of me die. It was a revelation to understand that South Indians sound like one of Russell Peters’ racial caricatures to Bollywood executives.  

Picture2” I love the way you say bokwas.” “Silly! That’s how ALL South Indians speak Hindi.”

Lastly and more recently, cameKrissh 3. My problems with this film are threefold. Firstly, just the title bugs the crap out of me. How sloppy do multi-million dollar producers have to be to absurdly name the movie Krissh 3 instead of Koi Mil Gaya 3 or even Krissh 2? With this sort of titling, I feel like those producers are almost giving normal audiences the middle finger and saying “Yeah. We make so much money we don’t even have to name the movies in our franchises chronologicallyGo ahead. Tell your ten year old child how outraged you are. You’re still gonna have to take him to watch the movie. AND buy him overpriced popcorn and watch him spill soda all over the food court.”

Secondly, anyone who has read my blog or knows me understands how superhero-centric my life is. And after decades of bad Superman and Batman movies (and god forbid Elektra , Green Lantern and Catwoman movies! Shudder!) I’m infinitely grateful to be living in an age where Superhero movies sweep the box offices and are nominated for Oscars. People are finally associating superheroes with real cinema and deep storylines, and not just “kid’s stuff”. Then along comes Krissh, successfully infantilizing and trivializing the entire genre. “Dude! It’s just a superhero movie. Of course it’s gonna be aimed only at kids!” say some people I know.  To that I say Krissh has done for Superhero movies, what Twilight has done for Feminism. Not only has it destroyed all the progress made over the past few years, it’s also made people think that’s okay. And abusive paedophilic boyfriends and weak plotlines have become the norm for fantasy films.

Finally, the fact that this movie ran so long, it made me wait outside the theatres for 25 minutes, while I was itching to watch Thor, makes me nurse an even more personal vendetta against Krissh 3.

2013 draws to a close with the release of Dhoom 3. I’m not a big fan of the Dhoom franchise; or as my friend calls it: the oxygen mask that keeps Uday Chopra’s career alive. And predictably, I heard from quite a few sources how bad the film was. Sure Uday Chopra and AbishekBachhan were just returning to the franchise. But this time they’d taken along Aamir Khan on their crazy spiral down the rabbit hole.  The same Aamir Khan who gave us Rang De Basanti, Lagan and 3 Idiots, reduced to outrunning cops (if you can even call them that) on a bike/boat/submarine. I was pretty upset. Even though there are some remarkable movies coming out, it’s mostly these nonsensical, vacuous, over the top and sometimes pseudo-intellectual movies that rake in the big dough. More importantly, these are the movies that represent Bollywood to the rest of the world.

The future seemed pretty bleak too as I looked up the releases scheduled for 2014. Though there were quite a few movies I’m pretty excited to watch, I saw an equal and even higher percentage of movies that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to.

That’s when I had an epiphany. I’ve always gotten so worked up about these types of shoddily made movies.  I used to blame the general public/ audience for enabling more movies like these to be produced, by setting their standards so low and expecting so little out of a film. It pained me that a deluge of such movies being released and also exploding in the box offices to become blockbusters lowered the standing of Indian cinema among the world’s audience.

But here’s the deal: These are not pieces of cinema that would stand the test of time. They are not pieces that would find themselves in Roger Ebert’s must watch lists. They wouldn’t observe and explore the inner workings of the human psyche. More than a dozen of these would involve laughably impractical plots and badly written characters.

But they are inarguably, plain and simple entertainment. They let the audience power down and lose themselves in filmy, dramatic and admittedly nonsensical worlds. These films take Coleridge’s Suspension of Disbelief to whole new levels. They defy the laws of physics and created superstars worthy of literal worship from their fans. Though I still do consider these movies pretty lazy film making, I also see the point in making them.

After this insight of the year, I’ve started to look at these crazy masala movies with an almost affectionate detachment. Sort of the same way you’d look at that blubbering drunk friend dancing on the table at a party. All hail The Great Indian Blockbuster and a Happy New Year to us all!

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©Jyotsna H. for PosterGully.com

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Dhoom 3 Review: Read At Your Own Risk

aamir-dhoom3new

It is a very, very rare occasion that a scene from a film so aptly represents the film itself. This is one of those rare films. Sample this: In one scene, Aamir Khan jumps off a bridge on his bike, which then turns into a motor boat midair, which he uses to dive under the surface of water, then jumps into the air from underwater and his motor boat turns into his bike midair once again, and he zooms off on the road. If you play this scene over and over again, it’ll have a similar effect on you as the film itself.

One question that’ll haunt me even on my deathbed is, why a prestigious production house like YRF would hand over the reins of it’s biggest franchise to a guy who directed “Tashan”? And not only directing duties, but also give him the responsibility for the screenplay and dialogues? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for giving second chances. But HIM? I mean, that guy’s idea of entertainment is giving a 5 minutes long opening monologue to Uday Chopra, when any other director would’ve made his character mute in the film.

The film opens with a flashback scene in Chicago, where a bank shuts down a circus troop that is lead by Jackie Shroff (surprisingly effective in a cameo). Like a lunatic, he exclaims again and again that his circus troop is “the best in the world”. Clearly, nobody in the film has seen Cirque du Soleil. But these are trivial details that need not be held against the film, especially considering what follows. So, Jackie Shroff kills himself in front of his son, who then grows up to become Aamir Khan, looking to get revenge from the bank by robbing all its branches.

In Aamir Khan’s introductory sequence, he first parades around shirtless like a piece of mutton, then runs down the side of a building with money falling like rain around him, then rides his bike on a rope, then opens his wings and flies off. Okay, he doesn’t fly off, but he does literally everything apart from actually acting. He then tap dances with a bunch of other people, with an extremely serious expression on his face. He was probably told at that very moment that Chennai Express had surpassed 3 Idiots as the highest earning Bollywood film. I don’t blame him, I was in a similar state myself for a couple of days.

On the other end of the spectrum, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra, unfortunately reprising their roles from the previous two films, beat up goons masquerading in an auto rickshaw. In the said auto rickshaw, they smash through walls, whirl it around a 360 degrees on its front wheel, ride on rooftops during a chase, then spread their wings and fly off. Okay, once again they don’t really fly off, but they do everything except acting. In one inspired sequence, Uday Chopra brakes hard on his bike, Abhishek Bachchan flies off the back, punches a goon on the first floor of a building, and safely lands back on the back seat of the bike. So, the makers actually do deliver on their promise of “never-seen-before action”. Only it was never seen before for a logical reason, being the audiences’ sanity. Then for reasons that I’m still trying to comprehend, the Chicago police invite these two from India to spearhead their investigation into the robberies.

There’s also Katrina Kaif somewhere in the middle, who gets exactly 4 scenes and 3 songs, including her introductory song where she systematically removes her clothing articles one by one. The producers’ only expectation from her was to not wear any clothes and not give any expressions. So, on that account, she gives quite a brilliant performance.

But how dare I think that this is a brainless, limp-dick, barf-inducing entertainer? The director/writer Vijay Krishna Acharya tries to prove me wrong with a pre-interval twist-in-the-tale that is as delicious as stale milk or runny eggs. With the twist setting up the second half, more “entertainment” follows, culminating into an exhausting and cringe-inducing finale. Frankly, I would’ve been more entertained had all four lead actors decided to fling poop on my face.

One good thing, if anything, about the previous two films had been the robberies themself. No matter how stupid and amateurish the robberies were, atleast it showed that the director (Sanjay Gadhvi) was atleast trying. In this film, there are no robbery sequences at all. It’s just once long chase sequence, with Aamir trying to outrun and escape the police. After a point, all sequences start to look the same. Even Aamir’s magical bike runs out of different gadgets and tricks to throw in the police’s face.

While I wasn’t stupid enough to expect anything from the film and the trailer itself had given me a sufficient idea of how (bad) the film was going to be, I had still expected Aamir Khan to do well. Instead, he just ends up frowning, scowling and popping his eyes out occasionally, giving what might just be the worst performance of his career. Abhishek Bachchan just acts like Abhishek Bachchan. It is not really my position to judge such cinematic greats as Katrina Kaif and Uday Chopra, so I shall let that pass.

If Pritam was the producer of this film franchise, he would go on making new installments just to compose new versions of “Dhoom Machale”. Admittedly, he still manages to create a pretty good fourth version of the song, though “Malang” has to be the pick of the songs. The only things missing in this film are an item song by Yo Yo Honey Singh and being released in 3D. Throw in those elements, and people wouldn’t have to jump off buildings to commit suicide.

Overall, it is undoubtedly the most inferior entry in the Dhoom franchise, which is not likely to end anytime soon, considering the bucket loads of money this film is about to earn. If your idea of entertainment is whistling and clapping on pathetically choreographed action sequences that are being passed off as Hollywood-style stunts, then rightfully go ahead and watch this crappy piece of filmmaking. On the other hand, if you actually believe the doctors who say that there is a brain inside your skull, then stay as far away as possible from this film.

Rating: 4/10

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©Piyush Chopra for PosterGully.com

pchopra1693@gmail.com

What if Inception Was Made in India?

Christopher Nolan dazzled us (and our minds) with Inception when it released in 2010. While the complexity of the plot was orgasmic to some, it was overly difficult to understand for many others. In fact, that’s a major reason we’ll probably never see a similar movie from Bollywood for a long time.

But what if we did? What if we did get an Indian Inception? I don’t know how much they’d dumb down the plot – but I have a fair idea of who all would make a great cast. Here’s my ideal cast for a hypothetical Indian Inception:

Cobb – Aamir Khan cobb-aamirkhan

Who else but Aamir Khan would suit this role best? The actor has already portrayed a mentally disturbed personality in a previous film. He’d do Cobb justice, no doubt.

Mall – Kangana Ranaut mal-kangana

Aside from the strong physical resemblance, Kangana also happens to be a perfect choice for a semi-psycho wife.

Arthur – Farhan Akhtar arthur-farhanakhtar

All Arthur does in Inception (apart from defying gravity) is explain the plot to us confused viewers. Farhan Akhtar, with his intelligent reputation, would do a good job at it for the Indians.

Eames – Akshay Kumar eames-akshaykumar

Eames comes across as a sarcastic and witty man – someone Akshay Kumar is known to be.

Robert – Ranbir Kapoor robert-ranbir

Rich, suave, and confused –RanbirKappor.

Saito – Saif Ali Khan saito-saif

Whether it’s getting murder charges dropped for a fugitive, or buying an entire airline – Saito can get things done. Saif Ali Khan can pull off that powerful persona.

Ariadne – Dia Mirza ariadne-diya

There really is no one else who can look young enough to be a student.

Yusuf – Arjun Rampal yusuf-arjun

The hair. Enough said.

 

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