Supremely Sublime Movies of 2009 – Part 2

We would like to acknowledge the positive feedback we received for Part-1 of this compilation. Despite getting requests for similar lists in Tamil and Telugu, we chose to refrain because those lists would go into multiple parts. We however promise to make this a regular feature and hope it would serve as a guide to the Dandanakka awards that we run during the awards season. If our stats are accurate then we’ve watched close to 65 of the movies releases for 2009, which still falls short of our target of 75 a year. I however blame it on the strike that rendered the Bollywood summer a tad dry, however Hollywood made up for that with some blockbuster releases. We do wish to give a shout out to Sherlock Holmes, the Guy Ritchie mega-buster as our pick of the year. Some stunning visuals, a tad clichéd maybe but some witty lines and fascinating direction

8X10 Tasveer: Now it’s not often that we see a name like Nagesh Kukunoor in this list, last year was Bombay to Bangkok and this year is Tasveer.  Taking advantage of Akshay’s popularity in Canada, the movie was based in Ontario but that atleast gives us some neat visuals. Akshay Kumar once again fails to deliver at the box office, but then it is good to see him doing something different. Nagesh Kukunoor may not have picked the right lead actor but the story is wafer thin with the concept of traveling through time using pictures. Could have worked if not for the outrageous climax and pretty banal storyline. Javed Jaffery as a detective, is a torrid attempt to force some laughs and possibly lines up among the worst supporting gigs of the year. It is surprising to see the names associated with this flick, but the dual role climax just blows you to smithereens. Our guess is that Akshay did this film, only because he could jump of a cliff, no literally!

ShortKut – The Con is On: There was a neat tamil movie called Vellithirai starring the brilliant Prakash Raj and heartthrob Prithviraj Sukumaran, released in 2008. Bollywood decides to remake it, and just like everyother remake they take away everything that is supposed to work, only to replace them with mind-numbing gags. Despite our fondness for the svelte Amrita Rao, the movie was a groaner and counting the follicles on Akshay Khanna’s receding hairline would have been a lot more engrossing.  Arshad Warsi desperately tries to resuscitate this groaner, but the post-Munnabhai circuit hangover clearly shows. It shows that Bollywood can not only come up with an interesting script, they have issues adapting existing blockbusters.

Victory: Generally there’s not much that can go wrong with movies with a sports theme. They are either underdog stories or inspirational accounts of rags to riches. In either case they ensure an audience connect and box office success. Victory does neither and even a tired looking Amrita Rao fails to evoke any interest. Brett Lee looks like a greek god on screen and may have secured a post-retirement career but you do feel for Stuart Clark who gets cantered for 36 runs in an over by Harman. A small-town boy makes it to the Indian team, only to get sucked up by the glitz, glamour and hide his injury. Dropped following public humiliation, only to return with dedication and bludgeon the likes of Murali et all for 20 runs per over in the world cup. A disappointing movie despite cameos form popular cricketers and a brilliant title sequence, and Harman Baweja makes it to this list two years in a row [Read Review]

Life Partner: Rumi Jaffery made an entry into this list last year with the atrocious ‘God tussi great ho’, and now this! There’s only one funny line in the whole movie and bollywood seems to be setting a record of sorts with contorted climax scenes. Priyadarshan is the only one who can pull of mad climax scenes with tons of actors, and even seems to be losing his flair. Govinda is unconvincing as a chick-magnet in a role tailor made for Salman Khan. Who in the world takes advice on love/marriage from a divorce lawyer who makes a majority of his earning man-whoring for his female clients? Since when did we expect movies with Fardeen Khan to work at the box office? Oh, wait doesn’t this movie also have Tusshar Appam Kapoor as well, ha now you’re wondering why we even watch shit like this!

Kurbaan: Kurbaan, the latest offering in the terrorism genre is another sorry attempt to play to the foreign audiences and milk the sentiments of muslim extremists and justify their acts. The whole movie was canned on the pretext of a money-shot that included a backless beauty and a bullet-ridden chest. Someone got the idea of a great promotional poster, something that has never been tried before and decided toe weave a movie around it. So what happens when you build a movie around an advertising gimmick to get you some eyeballs? A sorry tale of deceit, zombie jihadis, a hot making out scene, weird logic and some pretty ordinary music. Hard to believe that it came from the pen of the person who co-wrote RDB. The tagline suggests that it is a love story, but you hardly see any love, unless you count the making out scene as love. [Read Review]

De dana dan: Having to endure over two hours of Priyadarshan’s latest was pretty tough especially when it has just over 20mins of genuine laughs. A rather drab first half is pretty unbearable for it does nothing to the plot and is horrifyingly slow. The second half has over 30 characters in a hotel with mistaken identities and the ensuing chaos. Flooding an entire hotel might not be the most clever ideas for a big finale. There is also a deluge of actors on screen and you give up counting after a while. In what seems like the royal rumble of characters, there seems to be no clear winner with everyone giving washed up performances. Good performances by Johnny Lever, Paresh Rawal and few others, while the women just wear tight garments, pout and try to look pretty. If not for Katrina bringing back rain songs into fashion, this would have been a total no-show.

Radio: Himesh yet again dons the hat of an actor and chooses to face the camera only to be met with the same fate. In a somewhat interesting plot broken into chapters, the lines and bad acting pull it into the depths of flopistan. Himesh plays Pied Piper in an imaginary universe where pheromones travel through radio waves. There is no other way you can justify the events in a movie where a police commissioner takes in a guy into his family, who asks his daughter to fake being in a relationship. With a new language being invented where words like ‘Fultoo attitude’ and ‘genetic cocktail’ are used to describe the woman you love, there definitely are some problems here. Their idea of resolving problems and fights of all sorts is strangely to break plates. How we wish the plates were not broken on the floor but on Himes’ head instead! [Read Review]

Aa Dekhen Zara: It’s no secret that we love Bipasha basu and her movies are a must watch irrespective of who else is in it. It always doesn’t turn out fine, like this one for example. There have been dozens of movies where the protagonist either has the ability or finds a gadget that enables him/her to look into the future. A camera that reveals pictures of future events is surely an interesting concept, but then a banal plotline makes it a boring ride. Given the premise, handling the events around it becomes critical for future gazing alone will not sell a movie. This is precisely where the movie sinks while mediocre performances and a forgettable soundtrack don’t help either. If only the sultry Ms.Basu made better career choices, we’d not have to sit through duds like these.

Kal kissne dekha: There haven’t been many debuts that have gone worse especially when two star kids are involved. A college geek who can see the future, ends up outwitting a terror outfit, while romancing the college hottie and teaching the snobs a lesson.  People ought to know that there is more to colleges than what you see inK3G and Mohobattein. Snooty girls chewing gum and humiliating small-town boys with a heart of gold doesn’t really happen anywhere. Also if you’ve had a premonition that there’s going to be a terrorist attack, you would normally alert the authorities. Rishi Kapoor reminds you of the essence of a good wig, more so when you can see the original hair peeking from below. Since when did college professors have enough equipment in their labs to build nuclear weapons and bombs that could take out a city? We just love bad debuts and this one tops the list! [Read Review]

Ek – The power of one: For how long are we supposed to see Bobby Deol go out and do the same thing where he sports dark glasses and shoots people. He probably doesn’t even listen to the story forget the script. It must be quite easy to wear the same jaded expression, glasses to hide the droopy eyes from last nights hangover and just go trigger crazy. They only have to paint a few explosions, songs and some characters around him and viola, you have a movie! While the original in Telugu had some great lines, slick camera work and vibrant colors, the Hindi version adopts everything but the good parts. Nana Patekar as a sleazy yet honest cop, who doesn’t even spare servant maids is a huge let down. Shriya is good but you only get to see her for a total of 20 mins. With so many bullets flying around, you only hope one of them hits Bobby in the heart. That is your only hope because the movies groans for over two hours.

PS: We enjoyed bringing this list, while you may not share the same enthusiasm reading it.  We hope to do the same next year and if things go as wished, we may have loads of groaners!