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Yashraj Films2007 - A lackluster year for Yash Raj Films
18th Dec 2007  22.00 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

The topmost production house of Hindi film industry has never encountered so many flops in the recent history as it did in year 2007.

Yashraj Films , the name once synonymous with success, is today coming to grips with the harsh reality of repeated box-office failures of its films this year. The only silver lining is the super-success of Chak De India , which has somewhat compensated for the lackluster year the production house has had.

It is hard to believe that at the beginning of the year it was the same Yashraj banner that demanded greater percentage in revenue sharing from multiplexes because it claimed that its film's were sure-shot successes. Funny, how a few bad Fridays can change the reality.

According to statistics, the banner has made a return of just 10 percent from five films in 2007 compared to 85 percent returns from just three films in 2006.

The alarm bell was sounded for the production house in April with Siddharth Anand's Tara Rum Pum , which, in the opinion of this writer, is the worst film from the YRF banner this year. Even if we ignore the blatant lifts from the Hollywood film 'Days Of Thunder' and Italian film 'Life Is Beautiful', 'Tara Rum Pum' was an utterly forgettable film because of the infantile imagination that the director showed in his execution of the subject.

The Yashraj decline reached its nadir in June when its much-hyped Jhoom Barabar Jhoom , with a stellar cast including Abhishek Bachchan , Preity Zinta , Bobby Deol , Lara Dutta and Amitabh Bachchan (in a cameo) was unanimously rejected by critics and masses. The film's disaster was a jolt out of the blue for the banner that had prided in providing wholesome entertainment to movie buffs through its trademark songs and dances.

Just when the going was getting tough for YRF, it was 'Chak De India' that bailed and lifted the banner out of doldrums in August and proved to be the most popular Bollywood film of the year. But more than its production values, the film was appreciated because of its inspiring story, its superb direction (by Shimit Amin ) and, last but not the least, because of Shah Rukh Khan , the YRF lucky mascot.

However, the celebrations were not to last that long. Even as 'Chak De India' became the nation's new anthem, came Laaga Chunari Mein Daag , a nicely directed film with a regressive theme that did not find many takers among the audiences. The film did not make profits for YRF, but just about managed to break even and prevent further losses.

And at the fag end of the year came Aaja Nachle , the much-touted biggest comeback film of the year starring Madhuri Dixit . Just the presence of the diva was expected to be a crowd puller for the film. Sadly, that did not happen. Thanks to absolutely unimaginative direction by Anil Mehta , the film, despite having many interesting characters, turned out to be an average, timepass watch. Madhuri's magic had failed to resurrect the YRF's dwindling fortunes.

The coming year holds out promises of some more biggies from the production house: the most prominent being Tashan starring Akshay Kumar , Saif Ali Khan , Anil Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in very stylish makeovers.

Unlike someone like Anurag Kashyap who is full of criticism for the kind of films YRF make, this writer does believe that the production house is trying to break free from its past image and has been attempting new and different subjects. Straying from a set course often leads to stumbles and falls, and I hope that YRF will find its foothold again and provide the movie lovers with mature and sensible cinema that is entertaining at the same time.

Yashraj Films
Chak De India
Tara Rum Pum
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Abhishek Bachchan
Preity Zinta
Bobby Deol
Lara Dutta
Amitabh Bachchan
Shimit Amin
Shah Rukh Khan
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag
Aaja Nachle
Madhuri Dixit
Anil Mehta
Akshay Kumar
Saif Ali Khan
Anil Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor
Anurag Kashyap

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