Disappointing Films of 2012

As the year passes by, every film buff likes to look back on the films that gave him/her a sheer viewing pleasure and made for a memorable movie watching experience. And then, there are films which also cause nothing but sheer disappointment, heartbreak and anguish, mainly due to the expectations that were attached to these films.

In this post I look back at some of the films that I personally found to be disappointing this year. So in case if you find one of your favorite films to be in the list, kindly mujhe maaf karna 🙂

 The Raid: Redemption

The Raid Movie

 

This promo of the film promised an action treat for film buffs. Moreover the twitterati and the media, including some of the most prominent critics were going berserk over the film hailing it to be an action orgasm. Some hailed it as ‘The best action movie ever made’. While a certain critic even said the action in the film is so awesome that your jaw will drop on the floor and used other such terms. But what I saw on the screen was nothing but a badly dubbed English version of an average Indonesian film with laughable dialogues and pathetic acting. The so called action scenes were at best average. The audience in my show also echoed similar sentiments with people laughing at all the wrong places. Like many Oriental action films released in India, this was dubbed by Indian artistes with shoddy dialogues, which only adds to the misery. Where else would you get to hear lines such as ‘You would have bloody shat in your pants’

All this could have been forgiven had the film delivered in the action department.  Sure we have seen badly dubbed Oriental action flicks like those starring Tony Jaa. Irrespective of the cheesy dubbing and other flaws, Jaa’s films delivered big time in the action scenes and made up for the other flaws. However, The Raid remains one of the colossal disappointments of this year. If the whole of the Twitterati and film critics are going gaga over such an average film, you know something’s wrong and people need to have a reality check .

With a similar storyline to The Raid, Dredd which also released this year was a much more entertaining and kick ass action movie.

Shanghai 

Shanghai Movie

Based on the Greek novel ‘Z’ written by Vassilis Vassilikos,  Shanghai directed by Dibakar Bannerjee was an eagerly awaited film. Starring Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi , Farooque Sheikh, Supriya Pathak, Kalki Koechlin amongst others , the film was expected to be a great political thriller that aimed to expose the unknown and murky side of Indian political scenario.

Yet again, after the release of this film, a major section of the film critics and twitterati were heaving lavish praises on the film. Since, Bannerjee was directing the film, I was hoping the film would turn out to be a good watch.

And there I sat again in the theatre, feeling rather underwhelmed after the show ended. For a film that was supposed to be a stunning political thriller, the film was devoid of any thrills. Nor does it tell us anything new about the rot present in the political system of India.  Moreover for a film which was appreciated by a lot of people for its detailing, there are quite a few flaws which are hard to ignore. For instance, Abhay Deol’s inconsistent Tamilian twang, a sketchy charcterisation of Kalki Koechlin and other such flaws.

Sure the film had a good intention and was way better than the Rowdy Rathore , Dabanngg 2 and other such 100 crore mindblasters. Moreover it had some very good scenes, some good detailing and Emraan hashmi in a very unusual role. However, a few scenes and some good detailing do not make for great cinema. If in the end, the so called finer nuances and other such aspects fail to move the viewer, then it cannot be called as great cinema.

If you want to watch how a great political thriller can be made, please watch the Costa Gavras directed Oscar winning film Z which is adapted from the same source material as Shanghai.

Talaash

If we exclude an occasional Fanaa and a Ghajini, Aamir Khan has been a part of films which are both entertaining and a cut above the rest ( read Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots).  Since Aamir was also re-uniting with Farhan Akhtar after Dil Chahta Hai, I was looking forward to watching Talaash.

Touted to be a psychological suspense thriller, the film falls flat mainly due to the main twist in the plot which is not hard to predict. Even if, you don’t strain your grey cells too hard, when the suspense is finally revealed, you are left with nothing but a WTF expression on your face. The film finally ends up neither as a satisfying murder mystery nor a psychological thriller nor does it settle comfortably in the film noir genre, even though it had aimed for the same.

Apparently, Aamir learnt swimming for 2 months, grew a handlebar moustache, interacted and learnt the body language of the cops as a part of preparation for the role. However, it turns out that apart giving a convincing performance, Aamir Khan did every other preparation for the role. For someone who’s playing the role of a disturbed cop, Aamir appears way too fresh and relaxed. He is also supposed to be an insomniac, who is having sleepless nights all thanks to a murder investigation , which becomes the bane of his life. However, there are no dark circles under his eyes nor there is any apparent sign of discomfort.

The Amazing Spiderman

After a certain point of time, every popular film franchise needs a reboot as it is necessary to bring a fresh vision and perspective to the franchise and rejuvenate the respective film franchise. With perhaps the same aim, Director Marc Webb and actor Andrew Garfield took over the mantle from Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire to helm the new Spiderman movie.

Like every other movie buff, I was keenly awaiting The Amazing Spiderman. However, there was nothing amazing about the new Spiderman movie. The Amazing Spiderman was nothing but a poor rehash of the first Spiderman movie starring Tobey Maguire. You get to see the same old nerdy Peter Parker, same old disturbed Mary Jane coming from a dysfunctional family, Uncle Peter again getting killed in a shootout etc. No, seriously give me break. Did I mention the lackluster villain The Lizard who was hardly menacing?

Sure the basic plot of the Spiderman movie would be same if focusing on the origins. But was it necessary to rehash the first Tobey Maguire starrer without very few changes? Couldn’t they could have gone for a smart makeover or an entirely different  film a la X Men First Class. Sure the film had some good action scenes and the romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane was nice. But there was not much of action in the movie. And if the romantic moments between the lead pair was the best thing in a superhero movie, then I better skip this film. And instead settle to watch Webb’s earlier directorial venture 500 Days of summer.

Brave

Disney and Pixar have often collaborated to give some of the best animation features such as Toy Story, Wall E to name a few. It was hardly surprising that their latest venture Brave was one film everybody was looking forward to in 2012. The fact that it didn’t get wide release nor was it properly promoted in India is a different issue.

Synopsis : Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse – Source IMDB

Once you get past the animation and graphics which like any Disney feature is wonderfully done, you realize Brave is nothing but a mediocre piece of film making. The film is nothing but a poor rehash of many of Disney’s old classics such as Snow white, Sleeping Beauty etc.

I am still wondering why is the film titled Brave? Nowhere do the actions of the leading lady justify any bravery or valor. The curse which she sets out to undo occurs purely due to her selfish nature.

I seriously hope that Disney and Pixar do some serious thinking and come up with a better animation feature in their next offering.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

To be honest, I wasn’t too fond of  Yash Chopra’s  films post the early 90’s. However, since Jab Tak Hai Jaan was supposed to be his swansong as a director (which unfortunately turned out to be true, thanks to his demise) I was looking forward to it.

Sure, there has never been a shortfall of clichés in Yashji’s films or other YRF productions. However, the clichés and the loopholes in the script were hard to be ignored.

SRK doing every other job while in London, speaking  pathetic Hinglish, being the only individual in the Indian army to sport a stubble, bad road sense, mouthing dialogues such as ‘main kahaan hoon?’ after  memory loss, defusing a bomb in the course of memory loss are some of the annoyingly clichéd scenes one sees in the film.

Moreover, romance has been one of the highpoints of any Yash Chopra film. In this film, even the romantic track between SRK and Katrina was boring and clichéd. The main conflict which drives them apart was laughable to say the least. The music  by A.R Rahman was average except for one song ‘Heer’ and the opening BGM track in the film. The only redeeming feature was some of the lines delivered by Anushka Sharma which seem somewhat true to life. Yashji also made an effort to depict the old world romance between SRK and Kat and the modern viewpoint of relationships when Anushka says that people of her generation first have sex and then think whether to enter into a relationship or not.

In a nutshell, Jab Tak Hai Jaan seems like a bad throwback to the films of the 80’s. It is sad that the last film which Yash Chopra directed had to be this clichéd joke of a film.

The only reason the film didn’t get bad reviews could be due to the fact that it was Yashji’s last film and YRF’s clout must have ensured that not a single bad review of the film is published.

 

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4 thoughts on “Disappointing Films of 2012

  1. Agree with the first two…
    Haven’t seen the rest including Talash…

    Enjoyed the action in Raid till it lasted but it simply din’t have enough action… was expecting a big showdown with the main villain but he turned out to be pretty innocuous at the end…

    Shanghai… well yes it was disappointing despite several positives… it is difficult to pinpoint what went wrong but for me it never gained momentum…

    But the biggest disappointment for me will be Agent Vinod… Half a decade of wait for the next Raghavan movie… and this??!!!

    I was also disappointed by Agnipath remake, Barfi and ETT etc.. but then I shouldn’t have expected anything from them in the first place… Cardinal sin of expecting Dharma and YRF to do something different…!

    • I felt the action was too less and least impressive in The Raid. The recently released Dredd has a storyline similar to The Raid but is a way better action entertainer.

      Shanghai ain’t a bad film as you rightly said. But then the whole of the Press was going gaga over it as if it is one of the best films to have ever been made. Which clearly was not the case. Hence the disappointment.

      Even I felt Agent Vinod was disappointing compared to Raghavan’s earlier films. But then , condisering the kind of shit we have been subjected to this year (read Son OF Sardaar, Rowdy Rathore etc) Agent Vinod is way better. It need some serious trimming. I am pretty sure had the film starred Salman or Akki it would have fetched a great initial for sure.
      Agneepath se I didn’t have any expectation to begin with , hence was not much disappointed. Ek Tha Tiger is one of the better Salman films to be made in recent films. Had the love angle not become the core conflict (but then if Aditya Chopra is involved , it is foolish to expect so) , ETT could have been a much better movie.
      Barfi for me remains one of the best films of 2012, even if I exclude the several copied scenes.

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