Worst Bollywood Movies of 2011

In 2011, Bollywood produced a number of movies that advanced the role of women in film and pushed the boundaries of traditional storytelling style. This post is not about those movies. This post is about the worst films of the year. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Video services like YouTube and Netflix have allowed smaller studios to bypass the theater distribution system and reach an international audience via the Internet. While the development is a welcome one, it doesn’t mean that every film available online merits viewing. Inept, low-budget stinkers like Cycle Kick, Love Express and Impatient Vivek aren’t worth it, even for free.

Neither is a showing on the big screen a guarantee of quality. Indie film I Am Singh made it into Chicago area theaters but left after just one week. Aarakshan, Thank You, Dum Maaro Dum and Mausam all had large budgets and star casts but failed to impress.

While a number of this year’s movies featured empowered female characters, Turning 30 did its best to undermine feminism. The movie — written and directed by a woman — features a lead character who spends most of the movie wallowing in self-pity after she’s dumped. Turning 30 ends with the appalling suggestion that self-respect and a happy marriage shouldn’t be as important to women as having babies.

This year’s worst Bollywood movie manages to combine all of the above offenses into one unwatchable mess. It’s sloppily made, despite having a budget large enough to pay an A-list cast. It’s sexist. As a bonus, it’s also full of racist stereotypes.

The Worst Bollywood Movie of 2011 is Rascals.

Director David Dhawan is a repeat offender, being the man responsible for my worst movie of 2009, Do Knot Disturb. Rascals — a farce about two crooks fighting for one woman’s affections — seems tailor-made for comic action set pieces. Dhawan even cast action stars Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn as the leads, but gave them little to do besides talk.

The movie’s female lead, played by Kangana Ranaut, spends the bulk of her screentime strutting around in a bikini while whining in a shrill voice: not exactly the postergirl for women’s lib.

Dhawan set Rascals in Thailand, then cast scores of blonde women to serve as gyrating backup dancers and dark-skinned African actors to play armed criminals. Were there no local Thai actors to fill those roles? Why make those casting decisions except to appeal to racist stereotypes?

All those problems aside, Dhawan’s biggest sin in Rascals is laziness. There are numerous continuity errors and bloopers that would’ve been easy to rectify, but Dhawan didn’t bother. Perhaps he thinks his target audience members — misogynists who find two men slapping each other hilarious — don’t care about stuff like a plot that makes sense. Maybe he thinks they’ll pay their money to see heroes like Dutt and Devgn on screen no matter how stupid the story.

I’d like to believe that we moviegoers are smarter than that.

Previous Worst Movies Lists

14 thoughts on “Worst Bollywood Movies of 2011

  1. huluhulu

    dont u think that even Salman Khan’s Ready is also one of the worst though it did huge business? Cos it was promoted as a comedy but I found no comedy in the whole movie.
    When r u going to write about ur favorite movies of 2011?

    1. Kathy

      Hi, huluhulu. Believe it or not, I actually thought Ready was okay for a Salman Khan movie. Granted, I generally dislike Salman Khan’s movies, and I had to look up my review to remember if I liked the movie or not. So I guess Ready was pretty forgettable. I’ll be posting my Best Bollywood Movies of 2011 list tomorrow (Wednesday).

  2. tanay

    Sorry kathy, it was me. By mistake I wrote the name. I just checked in my email I found hululu. ha ha ha..

  3. tanay

    just one movie in ur list kathy? True rascals is the worst. but there r few more.
    1.Ra.one had good cgi but otherwise whole movie was bad, had cheap n vulgar jokes which should not be there in a superhero movie whose target audience is kids,
    3.Murder 2 was bad
    u have mentioned Impatient Vivek , which is I told is a b grade movie.

    1. Kathy

      Thanks for your Worst 3 list, tanay. I mentioned ten movies in mine, but only one can be the worst of the worst. For me, that was Rascals.

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