10 Worst Bollywood Films of 2019
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10 Worst Bollywood Films of 2019

Subhash K Jha Picks The 10 Worst Films Of The Year. Do you have any ‘favourites’ in the list?

The year had its share of  bigscreen  duds. Which is  not to say that  all films which don’t work are necessarily  deserving of  failure, or  inversely, all films that  work are worthy of their success. Success and failure apart, here are the  films I hated on sight.

1. Cabaret:  

If you had a couple of hours  to spare you could  have used it for more rewarding activities than watching Cabaret. Like banging  your head on the nearest wall. Or driving  your car  fullspeed into a  fast-flowing river.At  least you ensured more excitement  than what this dead project offers. Chances are, after seeing Cabaret  you would never want look at another cabaret number.  Come to think of it,  it would  be hard for you to  go to the  next Richa Chadha film without a shudder of apprehension. I was so shaken after  watching this trashy homage to that  hoary prototype known  as  the  Holy Whore, I wanted to take  a  dip into the  Ganga to cleanse  my sullied soul.  But it isn’t really my fault. It’s my job to sit through films, no matter how degrading they are to the spiritual health. And believe me, this one drags  you down to the dungeons of despair.

2. Rangeela Raja

It  is  karma hooting  dharma, albeit  with  a  cruel whoop of taunting  joy, that the once-flourishing  flamboyant and  quite  simply fantastic Govinda returns  to  form in a  double role, one of which  requires him to  play the  decadent debauch to the hilt. Uncontrollable  urges command  the  extravagant excesses  of Rangeela Raja,a bawdy  burlesque  of  a comedy where  the  relentless focus is  on the two  Govindas. There are three or four  debutante  heroines to accompany Govinda in his  raunchy romp through the   risqué route  in Rangeela Raja. Let’s just say, none  of  these ladies are ever likely to be seen again. But Govinda….ah,  Govinda! He proves that in the journey from Raja Babu to Rangeela Raja, the flesh may  have grown  flabby,  but  spirit remains in high mast.

3. Total  Dhamaal:

Is  there any polite way of saying this? Total Dhamaal  is  the worst most undesirable  brand of filmmaking obtainable  to mankind.  Crass,  corny, lowbrow and  utterly non-intellctualized, it boils down to  watching a bizarre  burlesque  of   line and  situations  borrowed  from lowbrow Gujarati theatre. Some  people  never learn. Indra Kumar  is stuck in a time warp . He  seems  to think comedy in Hindi  has not grown beyond  the  theatre  of the absurd that he has been  translocating to  cinema from the  time he made Dil in  1991 wherein he made  actors like Aamir Khan and  Kajol do the silliest  of things.

4. Junglee:

Meet Mr Junglee, Vidyut Jamwal, who is direct-lee  related  to  Bruce Lee  loves elephants.  He probably watched Haathi Mere Saathi  many times  during his  childhood  and grew up befriendship  a forest-ful  of elephants, one  of  whom Bhola  is our Jungler Hero’s special buddy.Their reunion  sequence  is as elaborate  as Devdas returning to Paro from London  in Sanjay  Bhansali’s Devdas. Tragically  Junglee  is  directed  by  a foreigner who  gets the privilege  to helm a  project toplined  by a  sinewy muscular  hero who  has father  issues. Dad wants  Jung- Lee  to look after  the  family business,  namely elephant raring. But  Jung-lee  wants to do his  own thing, and that includes some heavyduty kalaripayuttu   in scenic Kerala. The film looks  green. But feels dry and  colourless.

5. PM Narendra Modi

This was not  the  Narendra Modi bio-pic that we had all been  waiting for. The one that shows this powerful politician taking hard decisions and  taking on  opponents  like  a  lion in  a jungle of  craven wolves. No. This is  not even a  bio-pic. It is  mythological  saga, a passionate  pauranic paean  to the  powerful  prime minister who  took his tea-selling childhood to  a glorious Himalayan  summit  beyond ‘Chai-na’. Seen in that dazzling  hagiographic  light this film is not so offensive. Viveik Oberoi handles  the  principal  role with a certain  amount  of flair and decency. His eyes  speak  more than  a thousand words.  Lamentably this is a film that believes in the  power  of verbal  lamp-posts. Every self-glorifying thought that this  celluloid holographic Modi  feels must have  a verbal counterpoint. Every rhetoric and  retort, every aphorism that our  prime minister has uttered  or not uttered (the line between  fact and fiction in this  ersatz  bio-pic is  non-existent) is given the status of  large hoarding.You have to be  blind to miss the  message.  PM Narendra  Modi is  very clear about its agenda. And Oberoi obliges with overt obsequiousness.

6. Arjun  Patiala

Director Rohit Jugraj  has  had considerable experience  in  Punjabi films with Diljit Dosanjh. In Hindi, the  Punjabi  flavour  gets  tediously diluted rendering many  of  the  jokes not only feeble but also fatuous. By the time Sunny Leone (yes , she’s in it  too! ) shows up at Diljit’s  thana speaking breathlessly in her own voice(yes, her OWN  voice and not dubbed!) about her beauty parlour which she wants  our khaki-clad hero to  rescue from goons, we are  placed in a state  of  giggly trance, the  kind that occurs when you drink too  much bhang during Holi and you are laughing at the  stupid jokes being cracked,  not because they are  funny but  because they’re trying to be funny.

7. Saaho

Saaho is  all action, no reaction. The  hijinks are relentless and after a point, unendurable. It’s like being at a rave  party where the noise assails you. You wish the music would stop long enough to let you breathe in peace. For  just a while, please? You wish  the  actors(who act and act and act) would speak normally instead of  bombarding us with what sounds like wisdom culled from  the back of cereal cartons.The villains, there are so many of them, I lost count. But  I must credit  the  film for  representing evil from every generation of  its perpetrators. From a  wizened  and still wacky Tinu Anand, , to  Chunky Pandey who  grimaces  like he just saw his star-daughter’s latest  interview, to  Neil Nitin Mukesh who is just about the  only  believable creature  of  vileness, and then Mandira Bedi  so slinky  and  seductive  in a film that  favours flab.They  all ham,  oh yes! That’s the  need  of the hour. Three  hours. The brief for swag. Prabhas tries to do everything from comedy to dancing to….errrr….acting. But—how do I put this politely?—if you want to see  a better Prabhas, buy  yourself  entry into a screening of  Baahubali. Here in Saaho (won’t reveal why  the  film has that strange Bhojpuri-sounding title) when Prabhas summons menace,  the Dennis within him shows up.

8. Syeraa Narasimha Reddy :

This  misfire  propounds  the  most basic  kind of patriotism practised in cinema:  portray the invaders,  in this case  the Britishers as  cheap avaricious villains, , pitch them  against a one-man army    and  let the drama unfold.Syeraa Narasimha Reddy is a  fast- flowing frenzied hysterical homage to  an unsung  martyr  of Andhra Pradesh who  fought the British goons(the film tells us that’s what they were and who are we  to argue?) with  his faithful  bunch of  unarmed warriors.  While  the legendary Chiranjeevi  occupies the central  part with confident swagger  the  supporting cast specially in the  mob sequences , are  reduced to two basic emotions:  cowering and glowering. The Britishers are  played by a bunch of inept actors, one more  oafish than the  other.

9. Drive

Netflix’s Drive  drives  you  around the bend.  It is an infuriatingly  infantile boyz-and-gadgets fantasy played out at a shrieking pitch, with  screeching tyres  yelling retards and  bubbling  bimbos with actors who think posing in bralets and six packs is  all that the audience craves  to see. Little do they  know. Sadly  Sushant Singh Rajput seems  to have lowered  his acting skills  to  match the  brainless  aspirations  of  his  co-stars who think they are characters  in  Fast & Furious. Dwayne Johnson has  reason to feel insulted.  Jacqueline Fernandez races  motorcycles. But  only in the skimpiest  of  clothes. She also brakes for sundry  item songs where her hips   move   faster than  the cars she races. As  for  the  plot, they lost it. I made a  vain effort to  retrieve at  least the remnants of a massacred  narrative from its graveyard. It was like looking for  humility  in a  Salman Khan live concert. The film’s storyline  is  a complete mess. It must have  made sense to somebody at some  point  in the film’s troubled genesis. The end-product makes as much sense  as dog poo in a luxury spa. Which is  what  this film is to Karan  Johar’s Dharma  Productions. The film makes no sense. Its  concept of  machismo  involves  guys with  loaded guns riding revved-up automobiles while  the women cheer them  on. Greed is good, says  Drive. Gekko just  puked.

10. Dabangg 3:

And then, God created Salman Khan.

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