Supremely sublime movies of 2008 – Part 2

We received a lot of positive feedback for our previous post as comments, offline messages and tweets. As promised we are back with Part 2 of out supremely sublime movies of 2008. We hope to make this a regular feature every year with our awards segment that will follow during the award season.  Our heart goes out to Slumdog Millionaire and wanted to make a post out of the recent Golden Globes. Adhering to complaints that this space carries too much movie masala, we refrain from that and instead wish them all the luck for the Oscars. We still however feel that it was a good film but don’t subscribe to the idea of playing on every Indian cliche on the shelf! Great camerawork, editing and music is what saved it from facing our ire. We have however received a some flak for our continued love affair with cinema and posts in the same genre. In a bid to stay clear of being branded as movie maniacs and stepping away from the stereotype of being predictable, we shall resume regular programming pretty soon.

Money Hai Toh Honey Hai
If any of you has a doubt as to why one would even dare to watch this movie, then the answer is simple. We are a sucker for Govinda’s films and it’s heavily tempting when one releases. Some of you may recognize Ganesh Acharya as an over sized choreographer, but then such people direct movies is obviously inviting troubles. A few gags manage to evoke some laughter but one look at the cast and you know what you are in for. With six boring names, not expecting a disaster is like lighting a candle on the beach and praying that the flame doesn’t go out. Govinda is the only saving grace but it’s a pity he only appears for a total of 45 minutes. It’s sad to see someone like Manoj Bajpai who you would associate with some big names, be out of work and hence have to freelance in the b-grade market.

Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi
Ah how can we leave out the Barjatyas? The sole defenders of Indian culture in a time when Indian cinema is infested by western influences. Every movie they make reeks of parampara, prathishta, anushasan and reminds us of how low our morals have fallen these days. In short they are movies caught in a time lag, not that we have a problem against large weddings and falling at the feet of our elders. However if someone tells us that the purest form of love is wherein you wait 11 years, then we have a problem digesting that. You have the customary tragedy where some one has to die and throw the family in complete disarray and Alok Nath obliges here. Turns out he is in every Rajshri production, our guess being that they cast him even before they write the story. Following the death of her father Esha Koppikar cancels her wedding, raises her siblings, gets them married and then agrees to marry Sonu Sood 12 yrs later! It’s a soap drama that has been pixelated to fit the big screen on a 1280X800 resolution. With plenty of close-ups, weeping brides and tear-resistant make-up it sends people from small cities 20yrs back in time.

Have you ever come across a movie so stupid that you actually begin to like it? Tashan falls into that category for it’s absolute stupidity. The entry sequence of Akshay Kumar is probably among the best of the year but that’s where the pleasantries end. Shot in air-brushed locations and stylish camerawork, it’s a c-grade bhojpuri mule paraded of as a Yashraj stallion. After a mind boggling fight sequence in a palace setting you are quite sure that it’s the worst anyone could do. The director surpasses his abilities when he goes in for an even horrible fight scene in the climax that we had to see twice to believe! If you thought that Anil Kapoor was a hairy beast then wait till you see his Chewbacca avtaar in the climax. The sequence where he murders Deewar’s ever famous temple scene was actually supposed to evoke some laughs. It would have helped if the word ‘laugh’ had blinked on the screen or they had a laugh track so that we atleast knew when to laugh. Our sources tell us that ‘Tashan’ loosely translates to style/panache/pizzazz, and quite frankly the film never even remotely came close to one of the three.  It’s actually more pathetic than its seems from what you just read.

What can you expect from a movie that is so engrossed in the skin show that it refuses to acknowledge the need for a plot. You have a mother-daughter pair whose chemistry is so bad that you are confused as to who is who unless one calls the other by name. Barring one awesomely choreographed chase sequence that may seem inspired from a Bond flick the movie has nothing but skin to talk about.  One of the silliest kidnap-ransom movies where the kidnapper lets his hostage shed her clothes and sing a raunchy song in the water and later stab him! Good thing for Imran Khan as this movie works as ‘nazar utharo‘ after his super hit dream debut. Sanjay Dutt looked old and haggard and totally disinterested by the fact that his daughter was kidnapped. Minissha Lamba saved the producers a lot of money by wearing the clothes she wore in 5th Std and teaching us that it’s always better to carry a swimming costume in the trunk of your car so that you can take a dip in the middle of nowhere and get kidnapped! The dialogue ‘Hell is here Raina‘ was understood by crowds only when they saw the movie, too late unfortunately. Read what we felt about this colossal waste of time, money and effort.

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic
Frankly we have never understood the deal behind Kunal Kohli and this films nor does it explain his love for Rani Mukerji that he casts her always. Just when you thought that YashRaj was about clean family entertainers comes the second film in a year where the talking point was the bikini wore by one of it’s women! As men we’d love to see more of it, but it pains to see that it’s the fulcrum of your movies. Our guess is that the Chopras met a roadside aphrodisiac ‘swami‘ who gave them a ‘taveez‘ and the ‘mantra‘ to hit movies. Turns out that both were as fake as the swami and the Chopras rang up yet another dud for the year. Someone forgot to tell them that it was actually supposed to be a children’s movie with an angel and some magic. Not sure if today’s kids like to see a bare chested Saif enjoying some ‘lazy lamhe‘ with a very-developed-in-the-right-places Amisha in a yellow bikini! We however unearthed the reason for YashRaj still making money of it, they sold their movies to Lufthansa’s in-flight service! Only we know the pain of watching this twice!

God Tussi Great Ho
It’s amazing to watch Priyanka Chopra’s script selection process and almost seems like she just flips a coin. We’d like to give the long legged beauty the benefit of the doubt and assume that she thought she’d do a better job that Jen Aniston. While we still figure out what the Big B was doing in this film, it may be a good idea to seat the director on the ‘Sachai ki Kursi‘ that was used in the movie. Then we’d like to see if he had the balls to still claim that the movie wasn’t inspired. Oh wait this isn’t a remake for the original was mighty good and even TLV Prasad(Mani Ratnam of B-grade cinema) could stick to the stolen script and dish out something decent. Priyanka’s looked tired and bored in her 6th film of the year and doesn’t Salman always look bored and disinterested? If the concept of intercepting text-messages in mid-air and altering their content isn’t insipid enough then do watch it to find out what happens when the prayers of all the goons are answered. If only our prayers were heard and such movies never made!

We found the promos featuring a shirtless wonder groove ‘hello(pause) hello(pause) hello-hello-hello‘ so enticing that we volunteered to sit through this disaster waiting to be. We were also upset by the looks that we get from the opposite sex on failing to recognize Chetan Bhagat. It’s as good as telling someone you are impotent or even worse, Gay! Our strong resolve to earn brownie points by at least watching the movie adaptation was washed away as it turned out to be one of the most harrowing experiences in recent times. We even tried asking some people if some events really did happen in the book only to conclude that most women are either stupid or just claim to love Chetan Bhagat’s books to show that they are smart. Ladeej you know we love you, whether you can read or not we will continue to wag our tails after you! As for the movie, it was a horrible concoction of all the possible stereotypes of the west and even the smelliest and most distasteful ‘kashayams‘ may seem better.

There was a time when directors made movies out of random DVDs under the blanket of inspired cinema. Gone are those days, for now the trend is to flick plot points from a collection of movies from the same genre. Race is a product of such a catastrophe and a front runner fro the most bizarre movies of the year. Inspired by almost five thrillers, this movie has all their twists that you dare no blink else you may miss a twist! But they didn’t realize that too many twists may negate each other and just like having too many Kamal Haasans on-screen, the movie fails to make any sense. In short everybody is immoral and keep telling each other that they were just acting. In this mela of double-crossing you only wish if at least any one of them did act in the movie in addition to against each other. Who cares as long as there are steamy scenes, hot women, crass attempts at suggestive humor and some pretty good dinchak music!

Special Mentions
We didn’t want to cram too many in this list, but for the lack of space and time here’s a special mention to some that didn’t make it. Bobby Deol did the same thing for the 367th time in Chamku and surprisingly it still tanked. He would have been a more appropriate choice as Ghajini! Krazzy 4 cost Rakesh Roshan 4 crores in an out of court settlement even before it released and three guest/item songs couldn’t revive the lackluster plot. Shaurya was a sorry remake of a great film and Rahul Bose is nowhere near Tom Cruise, peppering the plot with some communal tension further sank its chances. When Nagesh Kukunoor makes a movie, you go watch it without any further questions asked. Let’s safely assume that he made Bombay to Bangkok after drinking the mint-wala Pepsi, or even better pretend that it was never made! We strangely never subscribe to the Madhur Bhandarkar in-your-face reality cinema genre. We were willing to make an exception for Fashion but after having witnessed wardrobe malfunctions, gay designers, meth-head models and intoxicated love, we safely go back to our initial premonition.

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