Worst Bollywood Movies of 2012

With only a few days remaining in 2012, it’s time to summarize the year in film. First up, my ten worst Hindi films of the year. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

There’s always room for unfunny comedies on my “Worst” lists, and 2012 produced some spectacularly bad ones in Housefull 2, Bumboo, and Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal.

Dramas like Department (which unintentionally veered into comedy territory) and Married 2 America also made the cut.

Some of the most disappointing films of 2012 were aimed at families with young children. Joker and Delhi Safari failed to appeal to both kids and adults alike.

A common thread among three of the worst films of the year is the cinematic treatment of violence against women, specifically sexual violence. The lead character in the revenge drama Hate Story is blamed for her own rape, pregnancy, and forced sterilization because she made the mistake of falling in love with an evil man who wanted to ruin her life.

In the inept horror movie Ghost, the torture and dismemberment of a woman named Mary Magdallen — a Biblical figure often portrayed as a prostitute — is depicted in vivid, lingering detail.

One film goes beyond just depicting women as victims deserving of mistreatment by men. It actually promotes a stalker and sex criminal to the status of hero. My Worst Bollywood Movie of 2012 is Ekk Deewana Tha.

Ekk Deewana Tha is so reprehensible because it thinks it’s a heartwarming romance about star-crossed lovers. In reality, the film’s hero, Sachin (Prateik) should be jailed for what he does to the object of his desire, Jessie (Amy Jackson). Jessie repeatedly tells Sachin not to pursue her romantically, which he does by tailing her to work and following her around their apartment complex. As in real life, Jessie’s reasons for telling him to back off are immaterial. “No” means no, or at least it should.

At one point when they are alone in a train compartment, Sachin kisses Jessie despite her objections. Why? Because she was just so pretty that he couldn’t help himself.

Ekk Deewana Tha has been the leading contender for my worst film of the year for a long time, but it’s even more appalling in light of the fact that an Indian gang-rape survivor is currently battling for her life in a Singapore hospital. (Update: the 23-year-old gang -rape victim has died.) The notion that men can take whatever they want from women without consequence — worse still, that a man’s ceaseless pursuit of an unwilling woman is somehow virtuous — needs to die. A meaningful first step is for Bollywood to stop making vile movies like Ekk Deewana Tha that turn rapists into heroes.

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2012

  1. Ekk Deewana Tha — Buy at Amazon
  2. Ghost — Buy at Amazon
  3. Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal — Buy at Amazon
  4. Delhi Safari — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  5. Joker — Buy at Amazon
  6. Hate Story — Buy at Amazon
  7. Married 2 America
  8. Department — Buy/rent at Amazon
  9. Bumboo — Buy at Amazon
  10. Housefull 2 — Buy/rent at Amazon

Previous Worst Movies Lists

23 thoughts on “Worst Bollywood Movies of 2012

  1. Shah Shahid

    I completely agree with your list (with maybe the exception of DEPARTMENT.)

    I never saw EKK DEEWANA THA, as it seemed like nothing more than a musical soundtrack made into a movie. So I didn’t know the story details… but that sounds pretty horrible.

    Sadly though, that’s been the staple plot point for a LOT of ‘love stories’ and the movies have been successfull too. TERE NAAM & SAATHIYA come to mind, where the ‘hero’ chases down the object of their desire, only for the girl to cave and give in, cueing the romantic song.

    That kind of mentality is so detrimental to the mindset of youth. I personally feel these kinds of ‘love story’ movies are worse for an impressionable young mind in the long run, than any movie with violence or strong language can ever be.

    1. Kathy

      I completely agree with you, Shahid. The slightly less offensive romantic trope that Hollywood more often puts on screen is when a woman falls in love with a man for no other reason than the fact that he loves her. (Pyaar Impossible is a Hindi-film example.) It’s all part of this idea that the man is the only member of a romantic pair that matters. Women will fall for any dope that expresses an interest, and she’ll then have to give in to whatever he wants. It’s a lazy trope because it allows writers to get away with writing uninteresting characters, and it’s harmful in that it reinforces the mentality that women aren’t as important as men.

  2. Rahul

    hi funny you mentioned that about ‘Ek tha Deewanaa’. Now that I think about it I agree that it does border on stalking. I think I am lucky since ‘Ek tha deewanaa’ is the only movie that I saw off of that list. My favorites of last year are as follows in no particular order, let me know what you think of my list.
    1. Shanghai
    2. Gangs of Wasseypur
    3. Kahaani
    4. English Vinglish
    5. Chakravyu
    6. Ek tha Tiger
    7. Talaash (I have not seen this one yet)

    1. Kathy

      You are very lucky to have only seen one film on this list, Rahul! Your “Best” list has a lot of films in common with mine, which I’m going to post on Sunday or Monday. Gangs of Wasseypur just missed the cut for my “Best” list, which shows you what a good year this was for Hindi films.

      1. Rahul

        The one movie that I thought I would add it to my best list turned out to be a huge disappointment at least for me. That was ‘Student of the Year’. What a fluffy stuff with no substance in the story. I had to stop the movie midway. Apparently this movie did very well at the box office. I loved the original Dabangg, a full on entertainer, very well done ‘masala’ flick that had been modernized to fit the times. I have not seen Dabangg2. The other big one that I have not yet see is ‘Jab tak hai Jaan’, hopefully that is not a disappointment. By the way have you heard of a movie called ‘Miss Lovely’, it was a small budget indie flick. I have heard that the movie is good not sure if it really fits that category. I heard that it was produced by NFDC and they are known for being very selective with their scripts. I also did not like ‘Barfi’, it was too boring.

        1. Kathy

          I’ve heard good things about “Miss Lovely,” too, Rahul. I’m not sure what its status is, if it’s going to get a major theatrical release or when it will come out on DVD. I’m eager to see it.

  3. Anushka

    Nice list,Kathy!Though I have seen none of the films here..And I can say,barring Housefull 2,hardly anyone would have seen these films..They were all major duds,you would agree,for a good reason LOL.. BTW my 13 yr old bro saw Delhi Safari on television recently and he loved it!! 🙂 Waiting for the list of best films this year…It has been a really good yr for BW..lots of wonderful films. 🙂

    1. Kathy

      Thanks, Anushka! Glad to get a review of Delhi Safari from an actual kid. If only the crew that animated Arjun: The Warrior Prince had worked on Delhi Safari… 🙂

  4. Vivian

    Hey Kathy,

    Wish u a very Happy new year in advance.

    Of your worst movies list I did not watch most of the them. The only ones that I watched were Kamaal Dhamaal Malamal and Housefull 2. They would definitely have been in my worst movies list too. Havent thought of the worst films list, but one definitely comes to mind instantly is Jism-2. I guess you must have not watched it or else it definitely would have been on the list. The other bad movie which I watched was Rowdy Rathore.

    The best movies of 2012 for me in no particular order would be Kahaani, Vicky Donor, English Vinglish, Talaash, Paan Singh Tomar, Barfi!, Makkhi (Eega in telugu).

    Havent watched GOW yet, have read good reviews of the movie but did not get a chance to watch it. Will we watching it soon.

    Looking forward to much more movies in 2013 beginning with Matru Ke Bijlee ka Mandola, Special 26 and Kai Po Che in the first few months.


    1. Kathy

      Thanks for posting your Best list, Vivian. I really need to see Makkhi/Eega. I’ve heard so many good things about it. As for Jism 2, well, it got an honorable mention on my Best list. It’s so bad, but soooo good! Here’s my review of Jism 2.

  5. JustMeMike

    Thanks to your always spot on reviews – I won’t be seeing any of these.

    I very much appreciate your work. By the way – I did buy and enjoy both of the Gangs of Wasseypur DVDs. I haven’t started the reviews yet.

    Happy New Year.


  6. Vivian

    I too had read good reviews of it thats the reason I watched it. I loved it, 90% of the movie is fun. For me its one of the best movies in 2012. I had watched the telugu version (Eega) with subtitles.

    Am a bit surprised with a mention of Jism-2 in your best films list. For me Jism-2 looked like a bunch of grown up kids behind everything the acting, the direction, the story, the shooting scenes. I could have done a much better job than this.

    1. Kathy

      Vivian, I am a lover of movies that are so bad they’re good (e.g., “The Room” and “Birdemic”), and “Jism 2” falls into that category. It’s made with such sincerity and yet is so terrible that it’s hilarious. I laughed more during “Jism 2” than during any Hindi comedy I saw in 2012. It wasn’t good, but, man, was it fun to watch. 🙂

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