It is said that one has to suffer to create art. While we’re not sure about the art end, both writers for this article did their share of suffering, often in movie theatres where the movie took the backseat in favour of… activities that the RSS most definitely does not encourage. Well, 4/20 may have gone by but what follows is a list of the really bad movies one should watch before death. (of boredom, perhaps, but death is inevitable. )
NOTE: Regulated quantities of the Devil’s Lettuce may be required to watch all the movies mentioned here.
1. Batman Vs Superman:
Dawn of Justice – What every die-hard fan of DC Comics will tell you is how patiently they had waited for the DC extended Universe to reignite and pace up to the much lauded Marvel Cinematic Universe. BVS: DOJ was what we hoped against hope would be the vanguard of this long journey with Zack Snyder helming the project. It took no more than 3 hours to be proven admonishingly wrong and that the DC universe had met its death even before it was sparked to life.
Batman Vs Superman was a prolonged vacuum of a poorly emulated ‘Watchmen’ with vigilantes invigilating other vigilantes and put an end to vigilantism. Batman Vs Superman tantamounts to the melodrama comparable only to Deewar and confirmed punctually by Affleck when he says, “Do you bleed? You will.”
2. Suicide Squad
If BVS: DOJ wasn’t enough to stand testament to DC’s apologetic attempt to gain traction in the global market, Suicide Squad was another blatantly wrong card played in this superhero Royal Flush. If you weren’t fooled by the viral trailer of the film and the ending cameo of Jared Leto as the Joker your bluff has been called. Suicide Squad measured up to its name from the start to the finish.
No matter the array of academy award winners and nominees this film was so badly written that it desperately comes off as a high school musical version of the Avengers. If assembling a group of oddball villains to save the world is your plan, then this isn’t the #squadgoals you should look up to. The proof of the ‘puddin’ might be in the hatin but Suicide Squad enchantingly flips the bird at all of us with an academy award.
Everyone likes to capitalise on a rising market demand for something and with feminist films being the rage of the hour, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is throwing its hat in the ring. If you have watched AIB’s video about ‘Harassment Throughout the Ages’ then this story shouldn’t lead you on a merry chase before admitting to yourself that the biggest production houses in the Indian Film Industry need to grow up effectually. If you’re being called out for trivialising female rape, why not try it the other way round and sugarcoat the violation of a human body into fodder for comic relief?
I mean, isn’t the triviality what accounts for half the storylines in this kind of films? In what appears to be the spirit of the film, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is an anti-patriarchal film but it conveys the same in such a frail spirit so as not no disturb the sleeping patriarchal dragon it defeats the purpose of its very conception.
4. Kahaani 2:
Certain things should not be extended into a sequel and Kahaani 2 proves that the art of suspense can only be perfected till it becomes conspicuous, or in other words, it’s so covert, it’s overt (the original line, taken from Sherlock Holmes, has just been reversed to fit the context). Kahaani 2 gives away, very generously, the plot twists before the story could even build up to the climactic point.
As much as the story denigrates the admiration for Vidya Balan or Arjun Rampal, Sujoy Ghosh opens up competitive ground for even gimmicks like Goyenda Ginni to take the cake. In spite of a promising start, Kahaani 2 has a rushed ending like an underprepared examinee galavanting around the question to appear substantial and comprehensive but scribbles the last bit of the negligible point he ventures on making. In any case, it is a Kahaani we would all like to forget.
5. Chander Pahar
(This trumped Charulata 2011 for making it to the list) – Chander Pahar takes us on a kind of journey that the likes of Discovery Channel and National Geographic have only been yearning to master in their bleak existence. It unfolds the journey of Shankar, a Ugandan station master with an Arts degree rummaging around the African wildlife and outrunning a Lion in the quest for a hoard of gold and jewels in the peak of the Kilimanjaro.
Amongst the various laudable traits of our protagonist, the chief happens to be his socialising skills with the Masai tribe who are, in their end of the bargain, downright genteel like they’ve been borrowed from a Gene Kelly movie. In the course of two and a half hours, the audience is introduced to the ‘Bunyip’, very conveniently given four feet instead of three and most likely stolen from a Sesame Street production then cast in CGI. In totality, Chander Pahar was a strenuous quest both in reel and in real life.
6. Tees Mar Khan
Imagine all your pop culture trivia and allusions in one movie, except that movie, is suspended forever in the clouds of imagination and for the greater part of its running time doesn’t actually have a plot. Tees Mar Khan is Farah Khan’s late night drunken rant about why her films do not make it to the Oscars in spite of being laden with a story that five-year-olds compose during creative writing competitions.
With jokes inspiring Kapil Sharma’s bland Stand-ups, the film unabashedly and single-handedly reduces the IQ level of the entire Indian subcontinent. Three hours long a film, TMK is just what Akshay Kumar describes to Katrina in the movie about acting- it initially tastes sweet but soon loses its flavour and ends up a tasteless piece of regurgitated chicle.
Perhaps inadequacy and trash run in the family and Sajid Khan takes it up as a Clarion call in the 2013 remake of Himmatwala. Himmatwala in Agneepath that accidentally tripped on LSD but is greatly convinced that its chivalric vitality runs in its “Jinns”. The film gives the average Indian Male Chauvinist everything they could idealise as the quintessence of the title – a middle-class Indian male’s struggle against the corrupt of the society that has plagued his family, raped his sister, only to collect the booty of his selfless services, hip thrusting village belles (yes, the pun was clearly intended). Shouldering the glorious burden of the lackadaisical direction, Himmatwala raises to its audience the most burning issue – If you had paid to watch it, you should probably re-evaluate your life choices.
8. Gods of Egypt
It’s not unnatural to hope for Gerard Butler career comeback since his Rock-n-Rolla and 300 days but Gods of Egypt is an elegy we had all been warned about by Percy Shelley back in the day. Gerard Butler updates his CV from sounding like the most Scottish Spartan to the most Scottish sounding Egyptian in this revolting tale of greed and power that Lawrence Olivier would bring the ten plagues down upon simply because of its spurious ‘Hamlet’ plot line.
Nicholas Coster Waldau is but John Carter laboriously trying to make up for his Danish accent, through his one-eyed, brow-beaten and magnanimous portrayal of Horus that is as lost on us as the library of Alexandria. If it needed to channel anymore Shakespearean theatricality, Geoffrey Rush brandishes the mantle of Ra forever scalding the thought of a great civilisation of antiquity and promises it’s audience the trauma of a heat stroke so deep-seated that it cannot be soothed by the waters of the Nile.
It gives me an unmoderated amount of shame and pride as I write a critique and lay bare how I survived this two-hour long remake of Magadheera on a certain Laxmi Puja. Joddha brings back the done to death plot of a romance transcending generations in this Raj Chakraborty box office disaster. Two Rajput lovers, torn by fate, only to be reconnected in present day but not without the obvious impediments from an antagonist that wants the woman all for herself. Enter Dev, a warrior in the past, a stuntman in the present day who is fireproof, waterproof, shockproof, bulletproof, and undoubtedly intelligence proof. Coming into a tangent with his past when he brushes against Mimi’s hand, Dev flicks his tongue at Tesla’s, Rutherford’s and Franklin’s combined efforts to enlighten us about currents.
This current is so shell shocking that only Thor could match up to Dev’s electrocuting performance. Dev, as Rudro Pratap, the joddha wouldn’t even break as much of a sweat fighting a hundred warriors, as Boromir did while fighting the orcs. He seems to have taken ‘Invictus’ to a plane Nelson Mandela fell two steps short of achieving. In conclusion, Joddha is a film the audience really needs to combat against to endure and survive.
10. Mohen Jo Daro
The crowning glory of Ashutosh Gowariker as he champions Indian History in his overdone and long stretched narrative about the great Indus valley civilisation which was deconstructed and paraphrased into a grossly inaccurate three-hour long snore-fest that Rakhal Das Banerjee was fortunate not to have witnessed. Conveniently conversing in Devnagri, as opposed to the proto-Dravidian spoken in that time, the film served to its audience on a silver plate, a history so dumbed down and wrongly thrust that the Archaeological survey of India will be flooded with employment applications, just like the city was at the end of the film.
Ashutosh Gowariker picks the convenience of an ignorant Indian audience and the depravity of school textbooks that enables him to get away after stating that horses came to Mohenjo Daro in the 2nd century BCE. With or without Hrithik, this film will find its place in the footnotes of history, or to clarify, the part everyone overlooks all the time.