Monday, January 12, 2015

Bollywood 2014 : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

At the end of each year, every single tom, dick and harry does an end of the year list for Bollywood, Hollywood, and every other industry. We all get tired and benumbed reading but the lists dont seem to end. So here we go, I will do another one. Although, I am putting up my year end summary quite late into this month and hoping that everyone's mind would be refreshed by now, only to be spammed again. At the onset, let me outline the criteria for this one. I have only included mainstream Hindi films that found a release this year, and not the ones that you saw at some festival or a private screening. So read on and enjoy!


We make a barrage of very bad films, like terrible films. If you do not believe me, please go to Wikipedia's list of all Hindi films in 2014, the list I used to work this out, and you will see that you will not even have heard of more than 60% films. No kidding. Thus, it is the hardest task to choose the worst films for a year. But here, I have chosen five films that completely disappointed the audience in me, and were also quite in the limelight when they came out. So I am not going to dwell on the scores of them who no one heard of, but rather on the ones that were talked about and were despicable.

5. The Xpose (Dir : Ananth Narayan Mahadevan)
4. Bang Bang (Dir : Siddharth Raj Anand)
3. Mary Kom (Dir : Omung Kumar)
2. Entertainment (Dir : Sajid-Farhad)
1. Ragini MMS 2 (Dir : Bhushan Patel) 

Yes, I found Humshakals and Action Jackson more bearable than these. 

Other dishonorable mentions - Jai Ho, Heartless, Creature 3D, Kaanchi, Samrat and Co, Ungli, Raja Natwarlal and a million more. 



3. Parineeti Chopra (Hasee Toh Phasee)
2. Alia Bhatt (Highway) and Tabu (Haider)
1. Kangana Ranaut (Queen)


3. Sanjay Mishra (Ankhon Dekhi)
2. Aamir Khan (PK)
1. Shahid Kapoor (Haider)

Special mentions - Tahir Raj Bhasin (Mardaani), Riteish Deshmukh (Ek Villain), Kay Kay Menon (Haider), Lisa Haydon (Queen), Rani Mukerji (Mardaani), Rajkumar Rao (Citylights)


A good story or concept may not translate into the best film on screen, as film is a collective enterprise, where a lot of talents and lack of talents have to come together and the final output may not be the one imagined initially. Here are five films that had the best freshest story, irrespective of how they turned out to be.

5. Ugly (Anurag Kashyap)
4. Miss Lovely (Ashim Ahluwalia)
3. PK (Abhijat Joshi, Rajkumar Hirani)
2. Ankhon Dekhi (Rajat Kapoor)
1. Filmistaan (Nitin Kakkar)


We often confuse a good screenplay with a good story, and also with a good film or vice versa. However, the truth is that the same story can be told in a screenplay in 10 different ways at least. Thus, although a film like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and the classic Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge had the same story, they had very different screenplays. Sometimes, very good screenplays come out of very average storylines as you will see a few surprises here as I have tried to judge which writers made the best use of their story in scripts. 

5. Highway (Imtiaz Ali)
4. Ankhon Dekhi (Rajat Kapoor)
3. Ugly (Anurag Kashyap)
2. Haider (Vishal Bharadwaj, Basharat Peer)
1. Queen (Vikas Bahl, Chaitally Parmar, Perveez Sheikh, Anvita Dutt, Kangana Ranaut) 

TOP 12 FILMS OF 2014

A good story and a good screenplay, or atleast either of those, most probably translates into a good film, unless the director is a dimwit who messes it all up. However, and more commonly in the Hindi Film Industry, directors make decent films out of bad screenplays. And that is where the surprise comes in this list. Every selection has been made keeping in mind the film's overall entertainment value to general audience as well the craft employed to tell it on screen, in the end giving us the best wholesome film experience possible. 

12. Ek Villain 
      Producer - Balaji Motion Pictures
      Director - Mohit Suri
      Starring - Siddharth Malhotra, Riteish Deshmukh, Shraddha Kapoor
11. Sulemani Keeda
       Producer - Tulsea Pictures, Mantra/Runaway Entertainment
       Director - Amit V Masurkar
       Starring - Naveen Kasturia, Mayank Tewari

10. Mardaani
        Producer - Yash Raj Films
       Director - Pradeep Sarkar
       Starring - Rani Mukerji

9. Dedh Ishqiya
      Producer - Shemaroo Entertainment, Vishal Bharadwaj Pictures
      Director - Abhishek Chaubey
      Starring - Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi, Madhuri Dixit, Huma Qureshi
8. Filmistaan
      Producer - Shringar Films, UTV Spotboy Films
      Director - Nitin Kakkar
      Starring - Sharib Hashmi, Inaamul Haq

7. Miss Lovely
      Producer - Sanjay Shah
      Director - Ashim Ahluwalia
      Starring - Nawaazuddin Siddiqui, Anil George

6. PK
      Producer - UTV Motion Pictures, Vinod Chopra Films
      Director - Rajkumar Hirani
      Starring - Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma

5. Ankhon Dekhi
      Producer - Manish Mundra
      Director - Rajat Kapoor
      Starring - Sanjay Mishra, Seema Pahwa, Rajat Kapoor

4. Ugly
      Producer - DAR Motion Pictures, Phantom Films
      Director - Anurag Kashyap
      Starring - Rahul Bhat, Ronit Roy, Tejaswini Kolhapure, Girish Kulkarni

3. Queen
      Producer - Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Phantom Films
      Director - Vikas Bahl
      Starring - Kangana Ranaut, Lisa Haydon, Rajkumar Rao

2. Highway
      Producer - UTV Motion Pictures, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
      Director - Imtiaz Ali
      Starring - Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda

1. Haider
      Producer - UTV Motion Pictures, Vishal Bharadwaj Pictures
      Director - Vishal Bharadwaj
      Starring - Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irrfan Khan

Special Mention - Khoobsurat, Hasee Toh Phasee

Strongly recommended documentaries - Katiyabaaz, The World Before Her 

Overall, 2014 was not the greatest year for Bollywood and we can only hope that the selection becomes even more difficult in the upcoming year. Sadly, most of the movies expected to be good have turned out very average in the past year, and filmmakers need to pull up their socks to give out better films. Fingers crossed. 

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