2005—The Bong's Selection (Part 2)

After my last post on “The Best movies of 2005” , here I am with the second installment, the flip side–the Worst Movies of 2005. A word of clarification: My definition of “worst” is based on the magnitude of the difference between perceived quality (hype, laudatory reviews) and actual merit (ie my evaluation).

For example, “Veer Zara” would have been my worst movie of 2004 even though it was nominally better than “Mirchi—Its Hot” simply because “Veer Zara” promised so much and delivered so little.

So here goes. “Neel n Nikkie”, “Maine Shaadi Kyon Kia”, “Kyon Ki”…and many other possible candidates don’t make the list because I have still not gotten around to seeing them. And hope not to.

No Entry

I was expecting low-brow humor, maniacal acting, whippy dialogues and all-round madness. (All of which is exemplified in this, one of my favorite lines from “Haseena Man Jayegi”—“Yeh aapke honewale pati ke ho chuke bacche hain” [These are your would-be husband’s done-before offsprings]).

What we got instead was the total absence of laugh-out-loud humor (despite attempts to the contrary), a profusion of hammy acting (Celina Jaitley being the worst offender), flaccid dialogues and all-round idiocy. The fault may be because of this done-to-death story template —husbands cheating on their wives with a femme fatale (Masti, No Entry, Shaadi No 1) that every situation and dialogue and even the actors (Fardeen Khan, Lara Dutta are common to two of these movies) look recycled, the supposedly “adult” jokes as predictable as a Mamata Banerjee bandh-call and as hot as yesterday’s coffee while the songs have none of the chutzpah of the”Teri Nani Mareen to Main Kya Karoon” variety.

Bring back the old Govinda, the old David Dhawan and the old Kader Khan-written scripts. Please.


A noble, uplifting theme does not a good movie make. As I mentioned in a previous review, Bhansali lacks the touch of brevity and subtlety—each of his scenes is overwrought and hyper-dramatic. Initially whatever impact they have is worn out as he keeps on using the same heavy-handed directorial style to squeeze tears from the audience.

In Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, it was Bhansali’s gaudy sets and the excess of color that overpowered the audience. Over here, it’s hyper-drama with Amitabh the worst culprit delivering his dialogues with Mephistophelean glee.

An example of what goes wrong when you make a movie only for critical acclaim. (And perhaps an Oscar). And forget that some people on the Oscar committee may have seen “Miracle Worker”.

It’s risky panning “Black” without getting people coming and saying “Oh you heartless man have you no feelings?”

To them I point out the first line: ” A noble uplifting theme does not a good movie make”.


Copying from a Hollywood movie cannot be the cause of a Hindi movie making the “Worst list”. After all, that’s standard practice. What however can is if the movie makers copied the original movie wrong. The makers of “Chocolate”, it seems, either did not “get” the ending of the “Usual Suspects” (which is their source of inspiration) or in their unseemly haste to tack on a feel-good ending that is mandatory to Hindi movies, totally ruined the very basic premise of their master copy.

If copying wrong can be forgotten in the spirit of Xmas, what even Jesus Christ cannot forgive is Suniel Shetty’s atrocious wig, Anil Kapoor’s faux British accent and Sushma Reddy’s synthetic cleavage.

Avoid this movie like the plague. Especially those who, like me, worship the original.

My Wife’s Murder

Gati has a blog called “Nothing happens“—a rather apt description of “My Wife’s Murder”. RGV tries to do a Hitchcock—-and falls flat on his face. When the movie finished, my wife turned to me and said–” It’s over?” And all I could say was “Thank God”. If “Home Alone” was a family movie without the family, “My Wife’s Murder” is a suspense movie without the suspense. And twists. And turns.

To be honest, Suchitra Krishnamoorthy as the grating wife looked quite familiar (wonder why) and I was just rooting for her to get murdered. I was also rooting for Nandana Sen to do a Tango Charlie cave scene and for the movie to take an unexpected turn. Disappointed on all counts.

Anil Kapoor called this one of the best movies of his life. Rediff praised it to the skies. They obviously saw something I did not. Which is a pity.

Mangal Pandey—the Rising

Two well-endowed hotties dancing sensuously, simulating girl-on-girl action.

A New York club, 2005?

No. Barrackpore Cantonment. 1857.

A British makes love to a cross-eyed, hyperventilating Indian widow. Mangal Pandey, who is “pretty fly for a brown guy” dances the funky dance with the two Barrackwatch beauties. A careless servant pours water on Memsaheb’s bosom. Breast-feeding. Elaborate mujras. A servant gets aroused on watching the nocturnal activities of his memsaheb. Rani Mukherjee gets vulgarly auctioned by a lecherous slave trader. And the piece d’resistance—-Kiron Kher’s cleavage—truly the Massacre at Cleavpore.

Carry on Sepoys?

No. Mangal Pandey—the Rising.

Which raises the question—what exactly was “rising” here?

A disaster of the proportion of “Asoka” . Despite having material that lends itself to gripping drama, Ketan Mehta loses the plot (as well as the broader historical context) making “The Rising” the No 1, unmitigated disaster of 2005.


21 thoughts on “2005—The Bong's Selection (Part 2)

  1. Did you check out Home Delivery?

  2. Nope I didnt. Such a list is always hampered by the fact that there are so many movies even I cant see.

  3. Did you consider PAHELI ? Other than espousing the existence of live sperm of dead ghosts,
    the stupid film discovers a hitherto dark side of women psyche – women are very likely to commit infidelity with ghosts. Beware folks! we now have another genre(sic) from another dimension to protect our women folk from. Good characterizaton the Baniya though.

  4. Hi GreatBong……
    Seriously The Rising was the ultimate letdown movie of the year (yes althouhg something else did rise after all the “hot” action.. and the title sounded pretty apt.. The Rising)….Well the director pretty much lost plot….. and well to be frank.. mangal pandey was a figure who was not so inspiring to most Indians… A Gandhi will evoke much more reaction in the common man, rather than Mangal Pandey. And to think I did a first day last show for this…(Did not step in to a theatre for 2 months after that)… Well I am waiting with bated breath for your list of “God’s” movies…..Mithunda….. He did a “A” grade (supposedly) movie with Arjun Ramphal and the cross eyed beauty (Amisha Patel) and was named Sikandar or something like that… Elaan was the name of the movie I guess.. ( missed it.. Bhagwan mujhe maaf karo)… Keep posting

  5. Oh completely forgot about Rising. Ah Ketan Mehta, dunno what he smokes; isn’t it amazing that a director could use such a powerful star-cast to make a movie at par with Daku Ramkali kind of movies. Amisha Patel’s crying scene! That was classic.

  6. Your #1 on best movie list is perfect – Black Friday, what a movie, pity that very few people have watched it as it never got released. And yes..mangal pandey was amongst the worst movies of 2005. The rest of the list doesnt really matter 🙂 And Bheja fry of Tango Charlie – Tanisha. Haha..this one irritates me like no one else.

  7. GB
    How did you ever miss Salam Namaste? Watching that one in the theatre has left me unbelievably scarred. I am still to recover from PZ’s screechings and tantrums.

  8. Except probably for BLACK, I would agree with all the choices hehehe – Rising was absolutely horrifying!! I just couldnt forgive myself for watching it; terrible to the T!

    I see that you haven’t missed “Mirchi – Its Hot” – wow 🙂 – I just loved its theme song – “Mirchi, Mirchi” and its picturization LOL.

    And thank yourself for not watching Neals, Saalams, and the rest of Chopra offerings this year – they would be on top worst list of everyone this year!

  9. @Bengali Guy: Paheli narrowly missed the cut because I couldnt sit through it. However the idea of a ghost having carnal fun makes me kinda look fwd to death.

    @Anon: Oh yes Baba Sikander, the master terrorist.

    @BD: The same man who made “Mirch Masala”—very difficult to reconcile “Rising” with that.

    @Comics Project: Indeed a pity that we dont have the stomach to see reality.

    @dreamweaver: I was deliberating whether to put “Salaam Namaste” here but I decided to put it off for another post where I shall talk about “Salaam Namaste” in a larger social context—gratuitious male nudity/semi-nudity.

    @Suyog: “Tikhi tikhi it’s hot”—oh what a sequence. Yes I have seen that movie and Nirmal Pandey’s breakthrough performance—whats happened to that man?

  10. You have hit the nail on the head for black. The movie was more with the aim of milking tears from audience’s eye.
    When I had said this at the time when ppl were raving for this movie, it was termed as blashphemous.

    Good that you didn’t write about ‘Paheli’ – it is so worse that it can’t be even dissed. May be it can be in kid’s comics.

  11. Pardon my ignorance, but has Black Friday been commercially released as yet?

  12. Bong,

    Agree with you about these ‘made for oscar’ movies – they miss the point completely. Reminds me of Bruce Lee’s dialog in ‘Enter the Dragon’ – “the finger pointing at the moon must not distract from the beautiy of the moon.”

    I think Amir Khan has deparately lost his way on this count – Bhansali never had found his.

    To me, Munna Bhai was the ultimate Oscar movie with great performances and the whole movie overall – but it sure was not made to get an Oscar. I guess it was made to tell a story.

    BTW, can’t help it but ask you this: What is ‘dada’ doing these days – missing Ranji matches for cosy Xmas patries with the family huh?

  13. I had earlier seen Usual Suspects so when i saw Chocolate i couldn’t help myself from laughing. Irfan Khan was no where near Kevin Spacey and Anil Kapoor was pathetic.

  14. This refers to both the best and worst lists and I’m distressed that it doesn’t feature three notable films. First, Bunty Aur Babli because of its paisa-wasool entertainment, Big B’s virtuosity, Raj Babbar’s fantastic cameo and the hittest song of the year, ‘Kajrare…’ (altho’ I also liked the rap number at the movie’s fag end). Second, since you’ve included Black Friday in the list and called it the best of 2005, I mention another little seen film, “Hazaro Kwaishein…”. Oh, I found the movie terrific. If you haven’t seen it, try and get a copy. It’s an amazing portrayal of late’60s-early’70s campus life leading to very,very grim experiences in pursuit of left extremism. Third, Iqbal, which you say you haven’t seen. Given your passion for both cricket and films, Iqbal should be compulsory viewing. Cheers.

    P.S. Didn’t care so much for Black Friday. It claims to be ‘the true story’. I found it in places uni-dimensional.

  15. wrf Black, I daresay, Amitabh is getting a bit of a stereotype …

    more like the Mukesh Khanna (Bhisma) of Ramanand Sagar’s Mahabharat, if you know what i mean …

  16. I visited your blog after 2-3 days and when the heading “2005—The Bong’s Selection (Part 2)” caught my eye, I thought it must be a post on Sourav Ganguly being recalled to the national team for the second time this year 🙂

    Perhaps you are right about the Ganguly-Bengali association in popular consciousness 😉

  17. @Green: Yes I have faced that reaction too.

    @Canzona: I dont know–I guess not. I saw it on Bollygrounds—it may be out on DVD.

    @Anon: Yes Aamir has totally lost it. WRT Sourav, I think he should have played the Ranji games as should have the others . They need a good run before Pakistan.

    @Mayank: They screwed up the plot totally—even the greatest of performances could have rescued this sorry movie.

    @Rani: B&B I did not like at all. Just like Bluffmaster (a copy of The Game and Matchstick Men)

    Hazaron Khawaishein Aisi I have to see.

    And Iqbal I am not being able to see anywhere despite so wanting to see it.

    @Bonatellis: Parantoo….

    @Debashish: :-)….

  18. I have to travel between Bombay and Pune quite often, and at last count, have been forced to watch ‘No Entry’ about 8 times on trips aboard Neeta Volvo. Do you know if I can sue Neeta Volvo folks for mental torture ?

  19. I don’t get it GB. Your list of Bad movies isnt exactly correct or maybe you n I collide on this one. You have movies like No Entry, Choclate & Black on the list when actually they weren’t the ones that deserved the spot (in fact I watched all3 in theatres n i loved them. maybe coz i havent seen the usual suspects :-/).

    There were better masterpieces out there that deserved applaud. Honestly I liked NE, Choclate n Black (though Black isnt the type u want 2 watch again n again). Maybe u should re-do ur worst movies of ’05, jus consider these magnum opuses next time when u decide 2 do a list:

    1. Salaam Namaste
    2. Paheli
    3. Dus
    4. Banti aur Babli
    5. Neal ‘N’ Nikki
    6. Dil Maange More
    7. Kisna (Not sure if it was in 2005)
    8. Barsaat: The rain of love
    9. Shaadi No. 1
    10. Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya
    11. Insaan
    12. Main Aisa Kyun Hoon
    13. Aashiq Banaya Aapne
    14. Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav

    Damn the list is endless. And if God blesses u and u still manage to survive through all those “hazardous” movies. You could compile a new “Bong’s Special List” LOL

  20. Kisna deserves to be in the first list, of movies so bad they’re good. Don’t know when else I’ve laughed so much.

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