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Worst of Bollywood in 2007
29th Dec 2007 00.31 IST
By Naresh K. D.
Here is a list of films that tested our patience, made us pull out our hair, or dozed us off to sleep.
Year 2007 is drawing to a close and it is time to garland the most frustrating films that came out of Bollywood this year. Forgive me for not considering the box-office returns of these films. I judge them solely on the basis of their cinematic and story-telling qualities (or the lack of it).
So, brave reader, here is the list.
No other film can match the torture inflicted by Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag upon its unsuspecting and hapless viewers. The movie, arguably the worst remake in the recorded history of cinema, turned the most revered villain of Hindi films into a neurotic caricature as Ram Gopal Varma gave his own twisted interpretation to the cult classic Sholay . I won't be surprised if some of the valiant viewers still wake up in the middle of the night from the nightmarish after-effects of this film.
Siddharth Anand's Tara Rum Pum is a close second for the spot of the worst film of 2007. Backed by the industry's leading production house, this awfully directed film told the story of a cabbie's rise to stardom, as he becomes a race driver, and his decline into oblivion after a near-fatal accident. My vote for the most immature and unimaginative director goes to Siddharth Anand for making an absolute crap of what could have otherwise been a somewhat tolerable film.
Now, this could raise a few eyebrows, but Vivek Agnihotri stands on equal footing for the award of the worst director. Yes, I am talking about Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal , a stodgy film that tried to pack in too much in its running time. After a tasteless Chocolate , Agnihotri decided to take no chances and cram a little bit of everything into this forgettable movie - the rise of the underdogs, the racism issue, the disgraced coach, the financial mess of the club, the ambition of its leading striker and his troubled relation with his dad.
The title of the most exhausting film of the year indisputably goes to Nikhil Advani's Salaam-e-Ishq , the three-and-a-half-hour long, unending saga of six different love stories that made its viewers feel old by the time it ended. However, the film was a perfect remedy for insomniacs.
Cash deserves the trophy for the most senseless action film to have come out of Bollywood in 2007. Director Anubhav Sinha's obsession with style and indifference towards substance was visible yet again in this trash thriller. Even the film's main star Ajay Devgan could not bear the embarrassment of being a part of this project and dissociated himself from the film before its release. The bad news is Anubhav Sinha is now pulling up his sleeves to unleash more of such torture upon us harmless movie buffs in the future.
If there has to be a case study of how not to direct a film, Willard Carroll's Marigold - An Adventure in India can educate many cinema enthusiasts about the trap of obvious clichés a movie can fall into. Despite the presence of a bankable star ( Salman Khan ) and a gorgeous blonde ( Ali Larter ), the film had nothing worth watching.
However, it is not so disappointing when the movie you expected nothing from fails to deliver. What pains a loyal movie buff the most is when a director who has proved his mettle dashes expectations.
Such was the case with three films this year. Here's the list.
There has to be a tie between No Smoking and Saawariya for the slot of the most disappointing film of the year. I know many readers would disagree. But I have my reasons.
Despite its technical brilliance, 'No Smoking' is for me among the forgettable films of the year simply because it is the work of a director who goes over the top in exhibiting his directorial skills and intelligence. Come to think of it - a cigarette, according to Kashyap, is the symbol of man's resistance against the system in the film. Water is the metaphor for transformation from one world to another. And Siberia, in Kashyap's words, symbolizes Stalin, which further represents dictatorship, which further represents the tyrannical system we all live in. I'm sure while reading this you are lost just the way I was when watching the film. Such far-fetched metaphors only make the film bizarre and alienate the audience from the message the director wants to convey. Anurag Kashyap may be a skilled director, but his arrogant and self-indulgent film should have come with a statutory warning: No Smoking can be injurious to health.
Saawariya , by the master craftsman Sanjay Leela Bhansali , was nothing but good art direction and cinematography complementing a poorly-told story. Similarly, Eklavya by Vidhu Vinod Chopra was nothing but a compilation of good-looking frames. It was an aesthetic film with a soul missing. Only a miracle can get the film to the final five at the Oscars next year.
Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag
Ram Gopal Varma
Tara Rum Pum
Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
Marigold - An Adventure in India
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
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