"We are not even five minutes into the film and it's already screaming disaster"
As 2017 draws to a close, it has been another year of disappointing Bollywood films.
From big-budgeted projects to minor but promising ventures, several movies have proved to be quite unsatisfying for fans of Indian cinema.
These highly anticipated films have been panned by critics and viewers alike, as well as suffering a bad fate at the box-office.
Even decent outings like Noor, Jagga Jasoos, A Gentleman and Chef failed to work their magic too.
Though there have been numerous over the last 12 months, DESIblitz lists 10 of the most disappointing Bollywood films of 2017.
OK Jaanu ~ 13th January
Shaad Ali’s OK Jaanu is the Hindi remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film O Kadhal Kanmani.
For the second time, it stars the much loved Aashiqui 2 couple, Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur.
Whilst O Kadhal Kanmani is decent, the concept of live-in relationships has been done to death by Bollywood.
Thus, this remake seems like another ‘been there, done that’ flick.
It is disappointing to see that the once celebrated pairing of Aditya and Shraddha is so lukewarm.
The Indian Express reviews:
“Shaad Ali’s copy OK Jaanu, with a screenplay by Ratnam, is faithful but pale and predictable and doesn’t lift off the screen.”
There simply is no soul in this Karan Johar production.
Rangoon ~ 24th February
Shahid Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut – three of Bollywood’s best actors together for the first time ever in a Vishal Bhardwaj film.
Rangoon is amongst the very few Bollywood films based on the second World War.
Collectively, the terrific cast and interesting historical context added a major curiosity factor regarding the movie.
The real downfall of Rangoon is the sleazy second-half, which is completely overpowered by the effective first-half.
Moreover, the ending is so bizarre and clichéd, that one feels dissatisfied with the venture.
As such, the great set creation falls flat in comparison to the average final product.
Reported to gross Rs. 32.54 crores at the worldwide box-office, this historical drama, is unfortunately underwhelming.
Begum Jaan ~ 14th April
The period drama Begum Jaan features an exceptional line-up of talent that includes Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Ila Arun and Gauahar Khan, to name a few.
Although the story seems to be a hybrid of Mandi and Toba Tek Singh, there are brilliant performances and could be considered as one of Vidya Balan’s best yet.
Set amidst the 1947 partition, the film exhibits how a brothel owned by Begum Jaan (Vidya Balan) is situated between India and Pakistan.
Subsequently, Begum Jaan and the other prostitutes have to vacate their home.
However, as intriguing as the narrative is, it lacks oomph and the direction seems very inconsistent.
There are moments which drag and this weakness affects the overall impact on the audience.
On estimate, this Srijit Mukherjee film has earned around Rs. 20 crores, managing to recover its costs due to the modest budget.
While it certainly isn’t the poorest film of 2017, it is not the best either.
Sarkar 3 ~ 12th May
The previous two Sarkar films are thrilling and intense. Plus, Amitabh Bachchan (AB)’s presence as ‘Subhash Nagre’ just keeps the audience intrigued.
Sarkar 3 promised to be another yet gripping film, but despite the decent concept, it turns out to be another shambles of a film by Ram Gopal Varma.
The awkward camera-shots, terrible direction, jarring background score and lukewarm acting make the movie a drab.
Even though Jackie Shroff, Ronit Roy, Amit Sadh and Yami Gautam try their level best, this does not redeem how bad the film is.
Criticising the movie, Deccan Chronicle cites:
“We are not even five minutes into the film and it’s already screaming disaster… Perhaps it’s time we and AB called it quits with Ram Gopal Varma since he won’t.”
Raabta ~ 9th June
Dinesh Vijan’s directorial debut Raabta is like Rajamouli’s Magadheera, but with a Bollywood twist.
A film depicting reincarnation showcases the new pairing of Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, this movie has all the correct ingredients for a refreshing love story.
But regardless of the chartbuster album, many experts have criticised the lack of novelty in this movie.
India Today, in particular, says:
“Love aaj kal, flowers, chocolates, kisses, Pritam, Deepika. Vijan lays out all his trump cards and tried-and-tested elements of his oeuvre, but nothing can save Raabta.”
Receiving a final total of Rs 31 crores from India and abroad, this Sushant-Kriti starrer is branded as a ‘disaster’ by Box Office India (BOI).
Tubelight ~ 23rd June
Kabir Khan and Salman Khan’s previous collaboration – Bajrangi Bhaijaan worked wonders.
Their next film Tubelight was one of the most overly hyped ventures of 2017.
Tubelight, which is set amidst the 1962 Sino-Indian War, is so preachy about hope and belief that its fate flickered critically.
Kabir Khan’s tepid direction, Salman’s performance and the weak script are the main points of criticism. The Hindu states:
“It’s not even half as engaging a film as (Kabir) Khan’s own Bajrangi Bhaijaan… Here he leaves you cold (and bored) with a hackneyed, facile and naive take on issues.”
Regardless of receiving more than Rs 100 crores at the box-office, BOI coins this film as ‘Below Average.’
Jab Harry Met Sejal (JHMS) ~ 4th August
A reunion between Anushka Sharma and Shahrukh Khan after five years in an Imtiaz Ali movie and mainly shot in Europe. The premise of JHMS was spectacular.
In spite of the initial response and Pritam’s chartbuster soundtrack, the movie turns out to be lukewarm and weak.
Imtiaz Ali’s film lacks a solid or realistic storyline and seems to be a promotion of European tourism.
Even Anushka and Shahrukh are unable to save the film from its unravelling storyline, and SRK’s character is tragically underdeveloped.
Consequently, JHMS made Rs. 62.45 crores at the box-office, contrary to its (supposed) budget of 80 crores.
Lucknow Central ~ 15th September
Prison Break + The Shawshank Redemption + Qaidi Band = Lucknow Central.
With a talented line-up of Farhan Akhtar, Diana Penty, Deepak Dobriyal and Gippy Grewal, there were many eyes hooked on this Ranjit Tiwari directorial.
Despite a decent storyline, the unrealistic direction and clichés are the main reasons for the let-down.
Subsequently, Murtaza Ali Khan of Huffington Post concludes:
“What’s heartbreaking is that the ingredients are all there but the problem is that the makers are not thorough with the recipe.”
Generating Rs. 11 crores at the box office in comparison to a budget of approximately 30 crores, this movie did not fare well at all.
Bhoomi ~ 22nd September
Sukanya Varma summarises Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film – Bhoomi as “one of the worst films in the year” and blames it for “[taking] perverse pleasure in humiliating a woman.”
Whilst there are decent performances by Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari, Bhoomi has been slandered for the amateur, regressive and insensitive approach to tackling rape.
Critic Lakshana N Palat mentions:
“The film once again, reiterates the age-old idea, that there is always a man to save a girl because she clearly seems helpless to do so otherwise. Oh, Bollywood when will you learn?”
Omung Kumar’s last film Sarbjit was a poignant potboiler. However, Bhoomi is a dull fare which is tackily made.
No wonder why the collections of the film are as low as 10 crores or so!
Haseena Parkar ~ 22nd September
It has been quite a bleak phase for Shraddha Kapoor so far, ever since the not-so-successful Rock On 2.
But this Apoorva Lakhia crime-drama proves to be another dud.
Haseena Parkar showcases the life of Dawood Ibrahim’s sister (of the titular name).
While Shraddha attempts to shine as the central lead protagonist, Syed Firdaus Ashraf notes:
“Shraddha tries hard to rescue the film, but the script totters so badly in the second half that any salvage seems impossible.”
“The ‘judge’ in the film begins to sympathise with Haseena which is ridiculous and you wonder: Why was this film ever made?”
Collecting Rs. 12 crores (or slightly more) by the end of its run, the box-office collections of Haseena Parkar are equally as bad as the movie itself.
Although this is our list of disappointing Bollywood films, Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Dharma Productions has a different perspective on the year.
In conversation with the Economic Times, he states: “2017 has been a watershed year for the film industry. It’s shown that star power alone is not enough for the success of a film.”
As a result, successful films like Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Savdhaan and Hindi Medium – to some extent – represent Mehta’s view.
The fact that several movies without any major popular stars have succeeded at the box-office, shows that the audience is becoming more open to diverse filmmaking styles.
Well as of now, one is optimistic for the forthcoming year in Indian cinema!