There will be a stronger wave of boycotts.
Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has become common in Bollywood, from action and superhero films to sci-fi and fantasy epics.
Ayan Mukerji’s Brahmastra was ground-breaking and revolutionary for its use of CGI and VFX throughout the film, executed most notably through motion capture.
However, where there are successes in the use of special effects, there are also failings.
CGI is incredibly difficult and expensive to get right, so it’s not surprising that there are so many Bollywood films with poor sequences.
Experts can find flaws in most CGI, but the absolute worst films have CGI mistakes that even audiences can spot.
Here are 10 of the worst CGI and VFX sequences from the Hindi film industry.
Adipurush has been facing criticism ever since the makers released the first teaser of the upcoming film.
The film has been criticised for its VFX and CGI, as well as, for “misinterpretation” of Lord Ram, Sita, Ravana, and Hanuman.
A section of the internet was not happy with the visuals provided in the teaser while many complained that Saif Ali Khan’s Ravana resembled a Mughal warrior.
Amidst the criticism, popular VFX company NY VFXWAALA issued a clarification that they have not worked on the film’s special effects.
The film’s credit slate gives Prasad Sutar, one of the co-founders of Ajay Devgn’s company as VFX supervisor.
Despite its many flaws, nobody could deny that VFX was the sole saviour of Brahmastra, making up for bad writing and superficial characters.
It raised hopes for more projects centred around VFX that would make people want to come to theatres and witness such visual spectacles on the big screen.
Ram Setu makes heavy use of VFX, thanks to its larger-than-life stories and a huge budget.
However, if the trailer is anything to go by, the level of VFX has had a free fall since Brahmastra.
People have reacted to Ram Setu’s trailer by comparing it to Iron Man.
In a scene where Akshay Kumar wears a bodysuit, people have referred to him as a ‘gareeb Iron Man’.
Ra.One had over 3,000 visual effects, shots and sequences, whereas Bollywood films typically have 100 to 200 shots.
Producers used a technique called ‘Time Slice’, where the same action is shot by multiple cameras from several angles to convey the powerful impact of being ejected skywards.
The face of the villain was created by adding geometrical cubes to wires visualised for Ra.One’s face.
It took nine months for the VFX team to write a computer programme, basically to simulate each cube. That sequence took more than a year to produce.
But despite the time and effort spent in post-production, Ra.One earned mixed reviews and the cinematographer later stated that the film witnessed an overuse of CGI.
Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi
Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi is a 2005 fantasy comedy-drama film written and directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and produced by Sangeetha Ahir.
The film starred Shahid Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Amrita Rao and Arshad Warsi.
According to reports, the film drew inspiration from blockbusters such as Mudhal Thethi, It’s a Wonderful Life, Naukri, Ghost and Bruce Almighty.
However, despite the film’s many muses, the use of special effects in the Bollywood movie failed to impress.
One scene that comes to mind for many fans of the film consists of a fake buffalo emerging from the hood of a flying car.
Mohenjo Daro has been criticised in the past for its use of ‘shaky’ and ‘cringeworthy’ CGI.
The infamous crocodile scene had comedic elements rather than dread as the filmmakers had intended.
Hrithik Roshan plays Sarman, a farm boy who is drawn to the far-off land of Mohenjo Daro.
But what he finds is a land on the decline and run by the tyrannical chief Maham, who is determined to mine all the gold in his kingdom to buy weapons.
Sarman falls in love with Chaani, the doe-eyed daughter of the chief priest.
When he realises that she is betrothed to Maham’s son Moonja, the hero decides that putting an end to Maham’s reign of terror is the only way to get his lady’s love and free the land.
Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon
Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon is a remake of the 1976 film Chitchor and features Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan in lead roles.
It had a worldwide release on June 27, 2003, and was a critical disaster at the box office.
However, Abhishek Bachchan’s performance was well received and earned him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 49th Filmfare Awards.
While the entire film was a megadose of overacting, the CGI dog and the parrot were not executed well.
Kalank is one of those Bollywood films that people love to troll.
Out of all the performances of Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Aditya Roy Kapur and Madhuri Dixit, it is the performance of the CGI bull that was loved by viewers.
Netizens couldn’t seem to get over Varun’s struggle with the fake bull and have turned that particular scene into a meme.
One user took to Twitter and wrote: “Read that Kalank has a Varun Dhawan-bull fighting scene.
“Guessing it will be authentic, considering how people poked fun at Kangana Ranaut’s mechanical horse scene in Manikarnika.”
Aabra Ka Daabra
Aabra Ka Daabra is a classic Bollywood film in that it essentially copies the Harry Potter franchise as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The film was also released in 3D in 2004 which left it vulnerable to criticism.
In a scathing review from a movie buff on IMDb, a viewer wrote: “The story is very childish, and the young actors/characters are annoying.
“There are one or two ‘so bad it’s good’ parts, but mostly this ‘Indian Harry Potter’ isn’t very entertaining.
“The FX are really bad, they look like they come from a very low-budget 3D animated movie and they don’t fit at all in a live movie with real actors.
“But the worst part is the 3D, which doesn’t work at all with the casuals red and cyan cardboard glasses.”
Directed by Mohit Suri, Half Girlfriend, which was an adaptation of the Chetan Bhagat novel by the same name, opened to a good response at the box office.
However, even though the makers of Half Girlfriend tried their hand at some VFX, sadly they seemed to have had the budget just for the sepia mode.
The finished product that hit screens across the nation saw a rather expressionless Bill Gates, in sepia strut up to his front-row couch.
The bizarre scene provided a much-needed break from the depressing love story that seemed to be going nowhere even after the interval.
Rudraksh, a film starring Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Bipasha Basu, and Esha Koppikar needs a special mention for making the most of green screens.
But then, it turned into a great comedy flick eventually.
Computerised Himalayas, laboratories, a rudraksha trapped in a badly done VFX box, the hypnotic rat, and everything else about the film is enough to creep you out.
The film was released on February 13, 2004, to a negative response from critics and was declared a disaster at the box office.
The whole point of using CGI and VFX in films is to make the world of imagination feel real.
Special effects make dreamy elements of a film look real and believable.
Despite having a budget of hundreds of crores, if Bollywood continues to misuse CGI and VFX, there will be a stronger wave of boycotts that will prevent people from spending their time and money on watching films in cinema halls.
Till now, the grandeur and realism of CGI and VFX was a strong reason for many to choose the kind of films they want to watch in cinemas.
If the film industry doesn’t use this superpower wisely, it stands to lose its credibility and money.