BY DEBOSHREE BANERJEE
Movie-goers have been treated to some really fresh flicks this year, which proves that filmmakers are continuing to find new ways to entertain, excite, and enlighten their audiences. But there were also some box office bombs that were simply a célèbre of cinematic offense (*cough* Student of the Year 2 *cough*) and it’s our moral responsibility to add these films to the hall of shame so you can steer clear of them. As the end of the year draws nearer, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the successes, and also roast the rubbish that cost us precious hours.
URI: THE SURGICAL STRIKE
A sleeper hit, Uri: The Surgical Strike, directed by Aditya Dhar and featuring Bollywood’s new golden boy Vicky Kaushal as Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, brilliantly narrates the true events of the surgical strike conducted by the Indian special forces on suspected Pakistani militants in retaliation to the attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016. Thrilling elements of espionage and tactical realism are paired with fantastic performances from all the actors. The film successfully paints a glorious picture of the surgical strike’s planning and execution, and pays the perfect tribute to the nation’s fighting forces.
STUDENT OF THE YEAR 2
Let’s start with a sequel we didn’t need or want; Student of the Year 2, centred around Rohan Sachdev (Tiger Shroff), a young middle-class boy who follows his childhood sweetheart Mridula Chawla (Tara Sutariato) the prestigious St Teresa’s. He develops a rivalry with the very wealthy Manav Singh (Aditya Seal) and the stage is set very conveniently, I might add for the annual Student of the ear competition between the colleges of Dehradun and Mussoorie. Just like its predecessor, this film, unsurprisingly, has hardly any bearing on reality. With girls only cheering from the sidelines while the boys battle it out on the field, this film blatantly enforces regressive and traditional masculine and feminine roles, which is extremely disappointing. Not to mention, the competition has no focus on academics. With wooden performances, a generic soundtrack and terrible screenplay, we would recommend you stay as far as possible from this flick.
Based on the gruesome Badaun rapes in Uttar Pradesh in, where two minor girls from the Dalit untouchable community were gang-raped and murdered by men from a higher caste, Article 15 is a crime drama film that skillfully depicts the evils of the caste system that is tearing society apart. The film follows police officer Ayan Ranjan (Ayushmann Khurrana), who ends up discovering countless forms of crimes such as honour killings and rapes in the caste-driven village society and, against all odds, vows to bring justice to the victim’s family. In the world of Hindi cinema, where nauseating patriotism is celebrated, this hard-hitting movie tackles the issue of caste-based violence and atrocities head-on. despite experiencing attempts by people to get the film banned due to its subject matter, this film was a huge critical and commercial success.
Inspired by the lives of Mumbai street rappers, Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy throws the spotlight on India’s growing underground hip-hop scene. This film narrates the story of Murad, played by Ranveer Singh, an aspiring rapper who lives in the slums but dreams of breaking through. Murad’s parents worked hard to get him educated so that he could have a white collar job. However, Murad must fight against class expectations and family pressure to launch a career as a rapper. This critically acclaimed coming- of-age flick performed strongly at the box office, earning more than s crores at the Indian box office alone. side from receiving a number of accolades internationally, the film has also been selected as India’s official entry to The 92nd Academy Awards, which will take place in February 2020.
Set in at the tail end of British rule, Kalank is a film that tries tries being the key word to question the high morals of society, especially when it comes to love and family ties. Roop (Alia Bhatt), an educated young woman from a struggling family, is coerced into marrying the wealthy Dev Chaudhry (Aditya Roy Kapur), because his first wife Satya (Sonakshi Sinha) is sick, and her dying wish is to see her husband remarried. With a loveless marriage, Roop falls for blacksmith Zafar (Varun Dhawan) from the city’s red-light area. With the tense situation between Hindus and Muslims, the movie devolves into a cliche star-crossed lovers plot, laced with unnecessary melodrama. While it is an absolute visual extravaganza, the weak storyline, screenplay and hollow emotions makes getting through this near-three- hour film excruciatingly painful.
Made with a humongous budget of RS 350 crores, Saaho was supposed to be the action thriller we have all been waiting for. And honestly, if even half the time and effort put into coordinating Shraddha Kapoor’s outfits and makeup had gone to the script and plot, it might have been a decent film. But alas, we are left with this mess of a movie where cars get crushed, people get shot, glasses are broken and our hero takes flight. Without giving too many plot points away, we can tell you Saaho’s story revolves around Ashok Chakravarthy (Prabhas), an undercover agent whose path crosses with an undercover criminal. The film bombards you with unforeseen twists and turns at every point, which leaves you more exhausted than excited. Speaking of romance, the film also features a needless love story between Ashok and Amritha (Shraddha Kapoor), a tough-talking cop, who soon becomes a damsel in distress because the film doesn’t know what to do with her. The only take way are the high-octane action sequences, quality VFX and picturesque locations perhaps that’s where all the money went.