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Bollywood 2008 - Year of many flops and few hits

By Aparajita Ghosh
Tue, Dec 23, 2008 22:00 IST

Race Year 2008 was dotted with many big budget flops and a few hits even as the film industry battled the global meltdown and the lull after the Mumbai terror attacks.

The great cinematic revolution that appeared around the corner a few years ago seems to have fizzed off. Only a few successful films of 2008 attempted to defy the convention, while most pandered to the tried-and-tested success formula of usual stereotypes.

Films like Race , Singh Is Kinng , Golmaal Returns and Kismat Konnection were pretty ordinary flicks that did well at the box office partly because of the hype surrounding them, or because of their charismatic stars, or may be because the audience had no other choice at the ticket window at the time of their release.




On the other hand, there were big disasters like Drona , Tashan , Love Story 2050 , Yuvvraaj , God Tussi Great Ho and Kidnap that went turkey despite the backing of big banners and presence of crowd-pulling stars.

The most notable and surprising hit of the year was Rock On - a film without any big marquee names. The movie had at its base a tight script and screenplay complemented by superb performances by its actors. Similarly, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na delighted the viewers with its simple and touching tale of innocent love among college going teens.

Ashutosh Gowarikar's overlong period drama Jodhaa Akbar offered a few great cinematic moments but could not make an indelible impact on the movie buffs. The same goes for Vishesh Films' Jannat , which had a nice storyline but wasn't gripping enough to keep you riveted. Yet, both the films had the distributors laughing all the way to the bank.

Ram Gopal Varma ended his dry spell with a horror film Phoonk and managed to erase the bad memory of his Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag with a relatively successful Sarkar Raj . Similarly Vikram Bhatt put an end to his jinx of flops with the finely directed horror film 1920 .

Homosexuality was spoofed in Karan Johar's production Dostana while Madhur Bhandarkar exposed the dark sides of the glamourous world in Fashion . Coming in the second half of the year, both the flicks emerged above-average grossers at the box office.

Salman Khan had a pretty forgettable year as all of his films bit the tinsel dust one after the other. Be it 'God Tussi Great Ho', or 'Yuvvraaj' or Hello or Heroes , nothing seemed to go Salman's way in 2008.

If there's something that Bollywood dream merchants can learn from the year, it's that the big stars and big budget don't necessarily guarantee success. 'Drona', 'Love Story 2050', 'Tashan', Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and 'Kidnap' turned out to be colossal flops that left their producers with holes in their pockets. Ajay Devgan tried his hand in direction with U Me Aur Hum while Subhash Ghai dabbled in some art-house cinema in Black And White . Neither succeeded. Devgan, in fact, had a bad year with flops like Halla Bol , Sunday and his home production. 'Golmaal Returns', though a stupid comedy, ended Devgan's dry run.

Yet the year witnessed some small budget films like A Wednesday , Aamir , Mumbai Meri Jaan , Sorry Bhai , Tahaan , Mithya and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! that attempted to offer something path-breaking to its audiences.

As the year draws to a close Yashraj Films at last has something to cheer about. After the disastrous 'Tashan', 'Thoda Pyaar', Roadside Romeo and an average Bachna Ae Haseeno , the banner is bailing itself out of repeated flops with the Shahrukh Khan starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi which is on its way to become a superhit.

But in its second week in running, the film now faces tough competition from none other than Aamir Khan whose Ghajini might set new box office records.

At least the year is ending on a good note.



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