It is common knowledge that our phillum industry Bollywood is head and shoulders above that other little known film industry in the west (Hollywood, I think they call it) when it comes to the number of movies made in a year. In fact I’ll throw in a Google stat to prove my point. Bollywood makes, on an average, a mammoth 1100 movies a year,while our puny neighbours in the west make (ho-hum) 400 movies a year. The fact that Hollywood movies have way bigger budgets than ours do and that even their average movies manage to make as much, if not more, money as our blockbusters, is a different story altogether. Focus on the 700 extra movies we have to offer, people! 700 more every year. Now if you believe in Murphy’s Law, which I strongly suggest you should if you don’t, what can go wrong will go wrong, and in this case we have 700 separate instances where things can go wrong….awfully wrong. Needless to say, we produce disastrous flicks by the dozen each year (hi-5 to Murphy), but then not every bad movie can cut it as inhuman torture. Such movies are few and far between and it takes a trained eye (like mine) to wade through all the crap to find the crappiest of the lot. Over the next 3 parts you will witness years and years of toil (that is Zee Cinema and CVO in the afternoons) finally culminating into this coveted list of the Ten Movies You Must Watch At Your Own Risk or in other words The Great Bollywood Endure-a-Thon.
This list is my way of honoring these great examples of cinema at it’s torturous best (in a way only our Bollywood-wallahs can do it). So get your popcorn, your drinks, your favorite blankie, your lucky charms and a team a of paramedics in case of an emergency and brace yourself for a ride down Bollywood lane. Here is the first leg of our endure-a-thon featuring 3 choicest movies from the 10 greats. God speed to you!
- Bewafa Sanam (Starring the one and only Kishen Kumar).
Bow down and worship this legendary movie, little ones. The epoch-making movie launched the career of the great Kishen Kumar who went on to make other masterpieces such as Papa The Great, it also launched a little somebody called Sonu Nigam’s singing career. For those of you who can’t seem to recall this movie, I’m sure you’ll remember the famous sad song every rickshaw-wallah has played one time or the other, ‘Accha sila diya tune mere pyaar kaa’. I’m sure it’s all crystal clear in your head now. But the music isn’t the highlight of this movie, it’s the script and the fabulous acting of Kishen Kumar. The story goes something like this, Sundar (Kumar) is a wannabe cricketer turned murder suspect turned dukhi shayar turned bad singer turned martyr for love, all in ONE MOVIE. Other noteworthy features include a re-incarnation of his sanam as the reporter who interviews him in jail later and Asrani (angrezo ke zamane ka jailor from Sholay) playing an over the top Punjabi character very very shoddily. But the credit of this movie has to go to the debutante Kishen Kumar, his one-expression, his shuddh hindi cum urdu poetry recitations in heavily accented punjabi-hindi, his unibrow and the way he says ‘AHH’ and throws his head back in agony to depict his pain are truly Oscar worthy. I give it a disaster rating of 8.5 on 10.
- Prem Aggan (Introducing Fardeen Khan and Meghna)
For those of you who thought that Feroz Khan was just a bad actor, be prepared to be proven wrong….very very wrong, Feroz Khan is also one of the greatest directors of awesomely bad movies one can ever witness. Case in point, his son Fardeen Khan’s debut Prem Aggan (or Plain Agony as I call it). Fardeen takes his father’s legacy of bad acting ahead in this movie, if Feroz was expressionless, Fardeen is a piece of furniture and if Papa Khan’s dialogue delivery was a cross between a cowboy and a robot then Fardeen’s dialogue delivery is slightly less human-like than the IVR that tells you that ‘The Number you have dialled is currently not reachable. Let us not forget the ‘sultry’ Meghna, who delivers one of the weirdest item numbers I have ever witnessed called ‘Exercise’. I shall endeavour to describe it for you people. Meghna, in ultra-tight, super bright, crotch-hugging Spandex is in a gym with side dancers as badly dressed, if not worse , than her. The whole ‘song’ involves Meghna suggestively moving up and down and up and down while grunting the refrain ‘Ahh ahh ahh ahh, You wanna be healthy,wealthy, sexy and wise….EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!’ followed by more suggestive heavy breathing. For that alone I give this movie a disaster rating of 9 on 10.
- Awwal Number – (Starring Dev Anand, Aditya Panscholi and AAMIR KHAN?!!)
Most people consider Lagaan to be the finest cricket movie Aamir Khan has acted in. But long before Aamir and Ashutosh Gowarikar thought of Lagaan, the evergreen (refusing to age/retire) Dev Anand brilliantly conceptualized ‘Awwal Number. It’s a given that a movie directed by Dev Anand is a train-wreck on all counts, but what I fail to understand is how or why Aamir Khan acted in this movie. (maybe some of these reporters should ask him that instead of why he chooses to remain absent from award functions). The ‘plot’ revolves around the rivalry between Aditya Panscholi (God’s gift to Indian cricket) and Sunny (Aamir Khan, who is the new kid on the block). The new kid upstages the ‘star batsman'(Panscholi) who decides to exact revenge by massacring all the players and the people who turned out to watch the final match of the series between India and Australia. But he is foiled by his own brother, ace cop Vicky…(Dev Anand, doing what he does best, pretending to be an actor). Highlights in this movie for me are the ‘spontaneous’ song Dev Anand and Aditya Panscholi sing at a function ‘Yeh Hai Cricket’ (which I believe is floating around on Youtube if you ever care to watch it), the superlative acting performances by the entire cast, the ‘cricket skills’ of the players, oh and did I mention, the Australian team is a bunch of Indian junior artistes with blond wigs and white sunscreen covering 2/3rds of their faces. The coup de grace is when Aamir Khan is struck by a bouncer by the then-equivalent of Brett Lee and gets back up on his feet after a kid from the crowd hands him a tape recorder which has a tape of his girlfriend repeatedly saying ‘I love you’ to a backdrop of starry noises. What makes this scene even more super-awesome is the fact that this kid was none other than a young Aftaab Shivdasani, an awesomely bad actor in his own right today. To top off the whole experience, you have Bappi Lahiri’s music which leaves me no choice but to give this movie a perfect 10/10 disaster rating.