Going by sheer comparison, this year saw scope for experimentation within the confines of the industry. There were some exciting moves by brave filmmakers. On the downside, the some regulars failed miserably at what they usually do best. And by regulars, we mean the Bollywood stars who sell a movie solely on their merit. 2013 saw quite a few examples where films featuring big names weren’t able to make a pull in the right direction. HitList points out a few...
Director: Prabhu Dheva
Downfall: While you’re reading, this no-brainer is supposedly minting money in your nearby cinema hall but the fact remains that there is barely any cinematic value to the film. Since the overall premise is a love story (compared to the over-the-top violence), it’s also worth pointing out that there is hardly an iota of chemistry between the lead actors in the film.
Director: Abhinav Kashyap
Downfall: Before this masala caper released, there was a strong perception that Ranbir Kapoor can’t possibly go wrong with the choice of a script. And then this film released. However, his performance in this unmemorable effort was still appreciated. But the film wasn’t. Nevertheless the moolah it attracted and the stand the actor took along with the director helped their case a bit. At any rate, the clichés the film in question had weren’t received kindly.
Director: Sajid Khan
Downfall: Hubris can take a heavy toll. This particular film is a prime example of such leaning. During the pre-release interviews, its director went on record claiming that he was aiming for R200 crore. The aam janta clearly weren’t amused either by what they heard and saw. Besides, it also reinforced the belief that remakes are better restricted to imports from South India.
'Once Upon Ay Time In Mumbai Dobaara!'
Director: Milan Luthria
Downfall: Releasing a week after Chennai Express, the underworld-meets-romance saga indiscriminately bore the brunt of a successful — if not better — film. But then, nobody was to be blamed when the product itself didn’t click with the public on a scale its makers were planning for. All things said and done, it made money. And funny how Imran Khan was appointed the fall guy for the colossal debacle!
Director: Apoorva Lakhia
Downfall: First thing first, why mess with a classic? Second thing second, why mess with a classic? Particularly when you don’t have the wherewithal to deal with the arduous climb. It didn’t come close to what it set out to achieve. Starring Ram Charan (who made his Bollywood debut with the remake) and Priyanka Chopra, the film lacked the very ingredients that made the 1973 original what it is remembered for today.
'Yamla Pagla Deewana 2'
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
Downfall: Do sequels always work? Going by the stats, the answer is a resounding no. This action comedy was confidently promoted as a ‘Deol venture’ with Dharmendra, Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol starring together to tickle your funny bone. By the end of the first weekend, the reviews and feedbacks were unanimously laughing at the very idea of making such a ridiculous film.
Director: KS Ravikumar
Downfall: Miserable is the word to go with this South remake. Casting an unsavoury pair of Sanjay Dutt and the much younger Prachi Desai was just one of the film’s faux pas. There were many more to follow as the movie starts with the tall actor mixing idlis with beer; the rest of it is nothing less than a retinal embarrassment.
Director: Rajkumar Gupta
Downfall: For some reason, whenever Amit Trivedi is the mind behind the music of a film, it’s presumed that the venture will click. Well, it doesn’t always. Moreover, Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan simply couldn’t offer a saving grace to this tepid suspense comedy. There was a thick cloud of disappointment left behind as critics and masses were expecting too much from the duo.
'Ek Thi Daayan'
Director: Kannan Iyer
Downfall: Before this supernatural thriller could even reach the marquee, there were a strong buzz doing the rounds that it was supposed to excel as no other film released on the Friday it did. Regardless, the venture failed to capitalise much on a rather popular cast including Emraan Hashmi, Huma Qureshi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Kalki Koechlin. Leaving a unmemorable trail behind, lukewarm turned into its keyword.
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Downfall: Whenever one stands up to criticise Ramu, Satya (1998) unintentionally becomes the reference point for the filmmaker what he was once and the one he seems today. After this sequel hit the (emptier) theatres, one couldn’t help wondering why sequels — like remakes — is all set to become a touchy topic in the not-so-distant future.
'The Attacks of 26/11'
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Downfall: When Ramu announced his desire to capture India’s worst terrorist attack on the celluloid, there was an air of trepidation around thanks to his recent track record. And he didn’t disappoint his detractors. The film looked like a weak doppelganger of what it could have been. A haphazard attempt. Butt of jokes withstanding, the critics panned it and the audiences avoided it like epidemic.
'Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola'
Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
Downfall: The only thing amazing about this otherwise forgettable film was its title. And the topic it tackled in bits and pieces. Though loaded with pre-release hype given Bhardwaj (with films like Omkara and Kaminey to his credit) was helming the project, the focus was also on Imran Khan and Anushka Sharma. But when it opened in the January, there was an underwhelming reaction from almost all directions.