Supremely Sublime Movies of 2009 – Part 1

Another year crawls to an end and that means it is time we looked back at the fruits, our beloved Hindi cinema gave us. With everyone compiling their own lists of the best movies of the year and arguing over their choices, we prefer to ignore them. We aren’t going to squabble over why Kaminey was a better movie than Wake up Sid, or why Paa ought to beat Delhi-6. Instead we prefer to focus on the back of the line and movies that don’t quite get the respect they deserve. While people love to rave about the best movies, the rest are often ignored. Here at DappanKoothu we love all movies both good and bad across the three major movie industries in the country. If anyone of you wishes to accuse us of being partial towards the Tamil, Telugu and Hindi industries, then you are free to do so. There may be good mallu and bong films that win those national awards, but then they don’t churn out 200+ movies a year and none of their budgets run into crores. We shall therefore rephrase our previous statement, at DappanKoothu we pander to the big budget film industries for their wholesome masala entertainment!

Luck: Human betting makes for an interesting concept but when you fail to wrap a story around it and instead put together a mishmash of poorly executed stunts, we have a problem. The lovely Shruthi Haasan may have got the looks from her mother, but sadly fails to inherit acting chops form her dad. Sanjay Dutt looks jaded with his paunch and MithunDa was probably smoking something when he signed the dotted line. If only the sharks accounted for more than one casualty, the movie atleast would have been a lot shorter. We wonder who selects the scripts for Imran Khan, for he’s signing one dud too many. On second thought if in the very first scene, if Sanjay Dutt had not survived the stunt on the rail tracks the movie wouldn’t have lasted more than 5mins! Compounded to that you have some pretty substandard music and the worst recipe for the debut of a star kid. Well it could atleast go down as the best way not to make an action movie or a debut launch vehicle!

Main aur Mrs Khanna: Finally we have a movie that is hit by the recession, or atleast the characters were supposed to be hit. So lets see how this begins, you have a happy couple in Australia when suddenly things go bad in economy. So what does the adarsh pati of bollywood do?, well decides to goto Singapore while packing his wifey away to Delhi.  It might still not seem crazy yet, but then he prefers to tell her only at the airport when their flights departs minutes from each other! She chooses to stay back in Australia, and then enters stage 6 our real hero! You are now treated to two hours of Sohail khan trying to woo a married woman. Yes the poster unfortunately doesn’t tell you that, nor do the promos. Salaman khan once again returns in the climax to create some dharam sankat in this extended guest role. BappiDa as a store owner is the only saving grace in his special appearance. If only the producers were hit by the recession, this movie would have never been made!

London Dreams: It’s hard to keep a straight face when someone tells you that Ajay Devgan and Salman Khan play rockstars in a movie. Actually it is impossible to say that and then not have people in splits. You therefor have a movie that ought to have been made 10 years ago, for the theme of a friend envying another’s talent and fame is done to death and so passe. Add to this Ajay Devgan inflicting torture upon himself, for thinking about a woman and getting distracted from his dream! This self-flagellation may seem to remind you of the opus dei, But that atleast was a bunch of fanatics. Salman Khan yet again sleep walks in the village bumpkin with a heart as pure as glacier water, who put friendship ahead of sarson ka saag. To top it all up their biggest sin was to cast Asin as a traditional south indian girl, who’s idea of freedom is to prance on stage behind the singers.

Agyaat: RGV the eccentric genius never ceases to amaze, at times with brilliant pieces and the rest with duds like this. We guess he was on a picnic as a child when he was spooked by the forest when he went to pee. Guess what happened when he returned to the forest 25yrs later to find his lost corriander chutney sandwich, someone was again spooked by the rustling bushes! Bang, that’s when he decides to put a few discards, a failed hero from teh south and a one-time muse in the same forest and a moving camera behind them. Once you’ve had enough shots of the posterior of a particular someone under a waterfall, you then go on thinking of ways to kill people.  If people ramming their necks into trees or falling onto rocks wasn’t cool enough,  RGV even introduces a non-terrestrial intelligent predator to finish off people. However since it is a low-budget flick, we don’t have enough funds for the special effects and so we film the killing scenes form the eyes of our killer! Just when you think the numb feeling in your head is going to end, they hit you with a ‘Part 2 coming soon’ message just when you expect to uncover the identity of our killer!

Whats Your Rashee?: We have been a fan of both the previous Ashutosh Gowariker movies until this one. Infact they rank really high on our scale with high 8’s out of 10, and hence following the balance of averages that hits Tendulkar every alternate series, we have an abysmal low here. It’s not like that we hate Harman Baweja or make it our mission to diss every movie he is in. It is however hard not to go bonkers over his choice of scripts, given the dearth of talent on our hands. He makes the fact evident, that looks and a good pair of feet ain’t good enough to see you through a movie. The premise isn’t quite bad with a boy choosing from twelve girls, each belonging to a different zodiac sign. Though slightly chauvinistic, it still holds some promise if properly executed. That is when you are subjected to close to four hours of what feels like someone lulling you to sleep with a sledgehammer. There is however no excuse for Priyanka Chopra, the dame makes the same mistake twelve times over!

Chandni Chowk To China: What can you probably say about Nikhil Advani without being visceral? Poor treatment of a wafer thin plot lands Nikhil Advani with yet another dud, this time for the Sippys. The movie is neither simple and carry a message like Kung Fu Panda, not is it funny like a martial arts spoof like the cult Kung Fu Hustle. Instead what you get is a bland concotion of twins separated by birth, lord ganesha appearing as a potato and people in China speaking Hindi. The effervescent Akshay Kumar nor the stunning Deepika Padukone can save this mad caper. Shot in some stunning locales like the great wall of China, CC2C falls flat for being slapstick and boring. Oh it also carries probably the most cringe worthy dialogue of the year, when Akshay learns the iron forearm technique. All body parts iron except one, oh mere iron man! Yes you can never watch the Robert Downey Jr. version ever again!

Jail: Ever wondered what we would do without Madhur Bhandarkar holding a mirror to society? Imagine how horrible a place the world would be if not for him and his thought provoking and award winning movies. Okay who are we trying to kid here, we just hate him to our guts and every piece of horse crap he makes under the pretext of meaningful cinema! First it was bar girls, then office sluts, then the sleaze in the ramp and now finally prison bars. This is how he goes about making his films, he first picks an area worth exploiting. Then he makes a list of every possible cliche he could think of and then extrapolates them beyond levels where even Ekta Kapoor would not dare to go. So you have illegal drug possession,  hostile living conditions, worm infested food, nude humiliation, self pleasuring and if that wasn’t gross enough you have two men going at each other form the rear. With these beautiful images in your mind it is very hard to get a sound sleep fro a couple of nights, but it soon wears of with the promise that Mr.Bhandarkar will be back again next year!

Blue: It’s not often that you have a movie sink without trace despite boasting of a soundtrack composed by A.R.Rahman. Infact we feel really bad for the movie, especially given the fact that it could have been a lot more better. How else do you connect bikers in hongkong/singapore, a has-been Australian popstar, and a yacht in the Caribbean? Now it may seem thaaaat we are going a little cuckoo, but then that is just the tip of the iceberg. Shot in superb locales, breath taking underwater photography, fantastic title sequence and plenty of style to go with the A-class names. Well the only thing missing was a couple of sharks doing chiggy-wiggy with each other underwater and a PLOT! They spent so much on the music, locales, costumes, stars and everything that they forgot that a movie needs a story. Sad Sad Sad!

Kambakkht Ishq: It baffles me why one would remake an average Tamil grosser into Hindi. A straight rip-off would have probably fared better,but then how could bollywood be happy with just that? So to exhibit the weight of our purse-strings, we bring in one-time hollywood wonders, and a couple of forgotten stars. Topping that would be shooting scenes at the universal studios guided tour and weave a story around a stuntman and a aspiring doctor. Well it doesn’t seem weird yet, that is because a doctor is bland and no glamorous, so they just write in the part where she moonlights as a lingerie supermodel! Lets just pepper this with tags of man-hater and woman-hater as the two most brilliant character sketches of the year. The cherry on the icing ends up being a weird watch that chimes a wedding mantra and forgetting it in the stomach of a patient. You can reach for the dispirin on the kitchen table as you read this but for the ones watching, No mangalam whatsoever! [Read Review]

Do Knot Disturb: If David Dhawan were to re-release his gems from the nineties, I’m sure they’d still take a better opening that this load of crap. Who in the world would leave a wife that looks like Sushmita Sen for another, even if that means Lara Dutta! Mistaken identities are definitely funny, but when you are repeatedly hit on the head till you laugh, isn’t quite pleasant. It is getting exceedingly difficult to watch Rajpal Yadav do the same thing again and again till the point he gets beat up like a church bell. The less we speak about the cast, the better it probably is for we have a long list to cover. With a hackneyed plot and forced laughs Do Knot Disturb is tied in its own knots. It hurts when comedies fail to make you laugh even artificially, and we’re lucky that we didn’t have to pay to watch this one!

Dil Bole Hadippa: It is a fact that we love sport-based movies where the underdog team triumphs against all odds. We don’t hate Rani Mukherjee despite her dinosaur voice, nor do we have a personal agenda against the YashRaj banner. Rani Mukherjee and Shahid Kapur come together for the second cricket-based film of the year and it is pretty disastrous as well. In what was supposed to be a remake/inspired version of ‘She’s the man‘, Rani Mukherjee makes it to a local cricket team disguised as a boy/bhajji impersonator. Not quite a problem, but then she romances the team captain at night while trying to fend off a sultry Sherlyn Chopra. However when you tell us that the last batting pair scores 165 runs in under 10 overs, it get a bit too hard to believe. That’s not all the unbelievable shit that goes on, and you have to watch it to even believe it! [Read Review]

PS: Owing to the length of this post, we’re splitting it into two parts. The mayhem continues in Part-2.

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