Every year, Bollywood churns out a large number of supposedly ‘laugh-out-loud’ comedies. However, genuinely amusing flicks like ‘Hera Pheri’ (2000), ‘Lagey Raho Munnabhai’ (2006) and ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ (1994) are becoming increasingly rare – as directors are focusing more on including slapstick situations in their films. The best that we have received in terms of a decent comedy movie in recent times is ‘Chashme Baddoor’ (2013), although the Ali Zafar-starrer was nothing really exceptional. Let us here take a look at some of the most pathetic attempts at making Hindi comedy films in the post-2000 era:
- Daddy Cool (2009) – With ‘Daddy Cool’, K. Murli Mohan Rao achieves the near-impossible task of transforming 2007’s sleeper hit ‘Death At A Funeral’ into an unfunny, overlong film. Its star cast included either actors who were well-past their sell-by-date, like Suniel Shetty and Aftab Shivdasani – or those whose careers never really got off, like Aarti Chhabria, Ashish Chowdhury and Tulip Joshi. The entire farce over a dead body left a bad taste in the mouth – for the handful of people who ventured to watch ‘Daddy Cool’ at a theater.
- Rascals (2011) – Much like Ram Gopal Verma, David Dhawan is another filmmaker who has lost his mojo many years back. If you need any confirmation for that, try watching ‘Rascals’ on television or DVD. It’s plain irritating to watch two senior (age-wise and looks-wise!) actors like Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn grappling for the attentions of a much younger Kangna Ranaut. A wooden Arjun Rampal played the role of the baddie in ‘Rascals’, which, understandably, sank without a trace.
- It’s Rocking… Dard-E-Disco (2012) – You may or may not be a Bappi Lahiri fan, but you have to admit that the ‘disco king of India’ deserved a better tribute than this monstrosity. Sneha Ullal, the Aishwarya Rai clone who made her debut in ‘Lucky: No Time For Love’ (2005) proves yet again that she has no acting skills whatsoever, while Akshay Kapoor engages himself in inexplicable antics in the film. Bappi Lahiri himself has an extended cameo in the movie – although why he agreed to it will forever remain a mystery. Watch the man’s songs on TV, listen to them on music-streaming mobile apps, but avoid this film. Nothing’s rocking about it!
- Chatur Singh Two Star (2011) – Don’t be misled by the name – this sorry excuse of a comedy film does not deserve two (or any, for that matter) stars. Sanjay Dutt, with a hideous wig, essays the title character, with Ameesha Patel (whose career had started moving downwards) as his lady love. A steamy number and a couple of gags from Suresh Menon were not able to save this film.
- Kambakkht Ishq (2009) – Akshay Kumar gave four clean hits in 2007, but his magic began to flounder soon afterwards. Sabbir Khan’s hugely-hyped ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ was expected to revive Akki’s career – but it did just the opposite. With a central idea of a wristwatch getting accidentally planted in a patient’s stomach and which has the ‘Om Mangalam’ chant set as its alarm tone, the movie was panned by general cinegoers and critics alike. Kareena Kapoor played her part in the nonsensical going-ons, while Denise Richards and Sylvester Stallone had friendly appearances. We are almost sure that the last two had no idea how bad the film was shaping up to be!
- O Teri (2014) – Very recent, and jaw-droppingly bad. Salman Khan and buddy Atul Agnihotri produced this film (the former even appeared for a song during the end credits). Pulkit Samrat, who charmed everyone with 2013’s ‘Fukrey’, was paired with debutant Bilal Amrohi – and the two portrayed one of the worst bromances in the history of Hindi cinema. Sarah Jane Dias was miscast as the boss of a media house. Mandira ‘noodle strap’ Bedi had a role, but no one was interested to pay big bucks to watch ‘O Teri’. Chances are high that you won’t be able to sit through a television re-run of the movie either.
- God Tussi Great Ho (2008) – If you are a fan of Jim Carrey’s ‘Bruce Almighty’, watch it again or try finding a Hindi-dubbed version of the movie. Don’t bother to check out ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ – Rumi Jaffrey’s uniformly howlarious retelling of that iconic film. Those were the days when Salman Khan had not started doing remakes of South Indian movies, and this was among his fairly long list of failures. One feels sorry for Priyanka Chopra though – the heroine of this buffoonery. Oh, and Amitabh Bachhan had a bit role as God. What ‘Players’ did to ‘The Italian Job’, ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ did to ‘Bruce Almighty’ – much earlier.
- What’s Your Raashee? (2009) – A masterclass from Piggy Chops this time (she essayed 12 different roles!) was not enough to shore up this overlong borefest from Ashutosh Gowariker. Harman Baweja, who already had an unsuccessful sci-fi film (‘Love Story 2050’) and a sports film (‘Victory’) delivered yet another dud with ‘What’s Your Raashee?’ His Gujarati boy-act was sadly unconvincing, the screenplay was all over the place and although there were a couple of nice songs, it never lived up to its billing as a ‘social comedy’.
- No Problem (2010) – If you feel that no director could mess up a film that had so many A-list actors (from Anil Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna, to Sushmita Sen, Kangna Ranaut and Bipasha Basu) – you would be underestimating the powers of Anees Bazmee. To make sure that the slew of big stars in the film got ample screen time, Bazmee probably forgot the importance of having a coherent storyline too. A hamming Suniel Shetty did not help matters either.
- Buddha Mar Gaya (2007) – The best of comic actors from the previous and the current generations starred in probably the worst movie on this list. Anupam Kher enacted the role of a dead body (if that makes any sense to you!), while otherwise reliable stars like Om Puri and Paresh Rawal pranced around the corpse in an utterly senseless manner. The idea that Kher’s character died while trying to have some ‘under-the-sheets’ fun with Rakhi Sawant was plain repulsive. If you have a deep-seated hatred on someone, you can consider gifting a DVD copy of ‘Buddha Mar Gaya’ to him/her!
- Shortkut: The Con Is On (2009) – Neeraj Vora tasted box-office success with ‘Phir Hera Pheri’ (2006), and that probably gave him the confidence to come up with this bland fare three years later. The attempts at humor by Arshad Warsi and Akshaye Khanna were crude, and Amrita Rao’s much-publicized glamorous avatar found next to no appreciation. The inane dialogs added to the irritability of the already convoluted plot. The only interesting thing about the movie was the way in which the makers had played around with the word ‘Shortcut’ in its title.
- Pyar Impossible (2010) – For an actress of her calibre, Priyanka Chopra has delivered an amazing number of unwatchable duds. In ‘Pyar Impossible’ – she paired up with Uday Chopra, whose sole claim to fame in the last decade and a half has been the sidekick-role in the ‘Dhoom’ franchise. The movie tried, and abysmally failed, to capture the fresh romantic feel of ‘Notting Hill’ (1999). Director Jugal Hansraj had a miserable acting career, and with ‘Pyar Impossible’, he proved that filmmaking skills were not his forte either.
- Pyare Mohan (2006) – It released just before ‘Tom Dick and Harry’ – and both the films poked fun at handicapped people in the name of comedy. However, the latter at least had Himesh Reshammiya’s chartbusters going for it, while the Fardeen Khan-Viveik Oberoi starrer came up short on that count too. Laughs were scarce during the movie, it is hardly ever aired on television, and the two leading ladies (Amrita Rao and Esha Deol) have reached dead-ends in their respective acting careers. We are not surprised!
- Bin Bulaye Baraati (2011) – In his first couple of movies, Aftab Shivdasani looked cute. Then, he started putting on weight, his acting prowess deteriorated remarkably, and he fell out of favor with one-time mentor Ram Gopal Verma. ‘Bin Bulaye Baraati’ presents Aftab in the most pathetic performance of his entire (albeit brief!) career. Giving him company in this thoroughly rotten movie were RGV’s former muse Priyanka/Nisha Kothari, Rajpal Yadav, Gulshan Grover and Shakti Kapoor. Shweta Tiwari’s raunchy item number added a dollop of vulgarity in this already doomed film.
- Tees Maar Khan (2010) – Farah Khan fell out with best buddy Shah Rukh Khan when the latter (sensibly) opted out of this film, and Akshay Kumar was picked as his replacement. A fairly successful music album, with Katrina Kaif’s moves in the ‘Sheila Ki Jawaani’ track as the highlight, gave the movie a fair amount of pre-release hype. Then, the movie released, and people discovered how outrageous the plot was (robbing a treasure-laden train by fooling an entire village, in case you were wondering) and gave it a unanimous thumbs-down. Akshaye Khanna’s filmstar act did evoke a couple of chuckles – but that was it. Farah patched up with Shah Rukh later – and hopefully her future movies will be enjoyable again.
- Housefull 2 (2012) – If sis Farah can feature on this list, can bro Sajid be far behind? Certainly not! The latter had not won over critics with ‘Heyy Baby’ and ‘Housefull’ – and he made it a hat-trick of poorly crafted comedies with ‘Housefull 2’. The movie had plenty of star power, from Akshay Kumar and Asin, to Riteish Deshmukh, Mithun Chakraborty and Boman Irani. The tale of mistaken identities – in ‘Housefull 2’, all the three lead actors pose as ‘Jolly’ was done-to-death though, and viewers were left as confused as the other people onscreen. Old-timers Rishi and Randhir Kapoor pitched in with matching bad performances, and someone should have told Sajid to not cast John Abraham in a comic role. The movie was a huge winner at the box-office though, but destiny finally caught up with Sajid Khan with his next release.
Govinda, the king of Bollywood comedies in the late ’90s, tried his luck with ‘Chal Chalein’ (2009) and ‘Do Knot Disturb’ (2009) – both of which were equally cringeworthy. The recent South remakes that Salman Khan has starred in have not wowed critics, but ‘Ready’ (2011) can be singled out as the most shockingly bad attempt at making a fun film. Rohit Shetty’s ‘Golmaal’ series might not be National Award-winning material, but it seems like an absolute masterpiece in comparison with these films.
If you have not watched any of the above movies, you are a lucky person!
Writing For Comedy
The Merchant of Venice: Tragedy or Comedy
Screenwriting Technique #4 – 10 Story Techniques You Must Use to Sell Your Script