2017 has been a bummer in more ways than one. If we have many reasons to rejoice, the obvious ones, that were supposed to leave everyone deliriously happy, disappointed so badly that everyone is fearful of having faith in them anymore. What would you say about a year where the bigwigs crumbled while the underdogs shined bright. The latter is always welcome, to be honest. It makes everyone believe that good content alone will take things forward in Hindi films. But an industry can’t function alone on these small victories. It needs a blockbuster every now and then to keep things afloat. However, Shah Rukh and Salman Khan were big disappointments at the box office which made many sit back and notice the changing taste of the audience. And that brings us to some of the worst movies of the year, which made us question the filmmakers’ intent. ‘What were they thinking?!’ was the question that popped up in our heads too often this year and the credit for that goes to the following movies…
Jab Harry Met Sejal
You get a Shah Rukh Khan, one of the best actors of Bollywood, amazing locales of Europe, a love story and you ruin it! Imtiaz Ali deserves a huge round of applause for just that. His deft handling of relationships in Jab We Met, Socha Na Tha and even Tamasha made many his fans. But guess the director got so enamoured by SRK – the superstar, that he forgot to utilise SRK – the actor. There were several cases of audience walking out of the theatre and this is a SRK film we are talking about. That has never happened before. There were so many unexplained sequences in the film that we were left drained by the end of it. Say, for example, why was SRK shown crying remembering his family in India when no attempt was made to explain how he ended up becoming a guide? Or say, for example, why was Anushka Sharma, someone’s fiancee, clinging on to him despite knowing his unholy intentions?
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Just because people celebrated the innocent and humble Salman Khan in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, a repeat of the same will not elicit a similar response. Kabir Khan clearly didn’t care about that. In fact, he not only turned Salman into a meek and timid man with learning issues, but also showed him getting badly beaten up. That’s not what Salman fans go to theatres for, Kabir Khan.
Bollywood is really amusing. We often wonder why does it have this innate urge to remake disappointing movies, be it from Hollywood or regional cinema. Begum Jaan was the remake of Bengali film, Rajkahini, which didn’t really set the cash registers ringing in the East. But Mahesh Bhatt was convinced this deserved a Bollywood story-telling and thus we saw the many actresses screeching at the top of their voice to make a point just because they played sex workers. Vidya Balan was not enough to save this over melodramatic mess.
You take a young actress, whose acting chops are questionable, and entrust her with a biopic about a woman who doesn’t resemble her in any way. Shraddha Kapoor, as Haseena Parkar, was the biggest mistake of this film. No way does the actress seem like the dreaded sister of a wanted gangster. If that wasn’t enough, the flawed execution of the film turned it into such a disappointment. There wasn’t any takeaway from the film either. Wonder why was this film even made!
A mashup of every stylish Hollywood movie of recent times, A Gentleman was way off the mark. It boasted of being a slick action entertainer and turned out to be pure fluff. To add to its woes, the lead cast of Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqeuline Fernandez just made sure it looked hotter than meatier. 2017 has been an awakening of sort in this regards. Any film which just tried to trick people with glitter and glamour was promptly crushed by the audience.
Reincarnation stories have rarely gone wrong in India with Karz being everyone’s favourite, followed by Karan Arjun. But trust Dinesh Vijan to mess that up for you. It was his first directorial feature but sorry to say this, there was nothing to write home about. Even the weird get ups of Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao couldn’t entice anyone. Only if the chemistry between the lead actors could save a film, Raabta would have been a blockbuster.
Vishal Bharadwaj’s film was a casting coup. Getting the ex and present flames of Kareena Kapoor Khan in the same film, with Kangana Ranaut in the lead, was a killer combo. But he got so carried away with the cast that he forgot to put his magical touch to script. The film could have been a great period drama but fell terribly short thanks to the flawed direction and sub-par performances. Well, these were the films that made us wait for 2017 to end soon. What about you?