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Worst Bollywood Movies of 2009

There are a number of factors I considered when selecting candidates for Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009. Movies featuring racist jokes, such as Kambakkht Ishq and All the Best, obviously made the list. Incoherent plots brought Wanted and De Dana Dan to my attention, whereas Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna ignored traditional story structure and skipped the climax all together.

Ek — The Power of One deserves mention for its ridiculous title, which translates in English to “One — The Power of One”.

What’s Your Raashee? was easily the biggest disappointment of the year, coming from Ashutosh Gowariker, the filmmaker responsible for great flicks like Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa Akbar.

2009 was a particularly bad year for Akshay Kumar. In addition to Kambakkht Ishq and De Dana Dan, he also starred in the bland supernatural thriller 8×10 Tasveer. His two other releases during the calendar year, Blue and Chandni Chowk to China, were fine but forgettable.

Because of their spectacular misunderstanding of human emotions and dubious moral messages, I thought about giving the award to either Kal Kissne Dekha or London Dreams. Kal Kissne Dekha suggested that one’s value is dependent upon one’s ability to save lives via superhuman powers, while London Dreams excused abhorrent behavior so long as it was committed in pursuit of a selfish goal.

But the ultimate winner had to be the most annoying, most cliché-riddled movie of the year, the worst of the worst. And the winner of Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009 is: Do Knot Disturb.

Do Knot Disturb, which deserves the honor based on its stupid title alone, contains all of the bad clichés that dominate Hindi comedies at the moment. The plot is based on a series of misunderstandings which could be clarified if the characters actually had conversations with one another. The jokes are written based on volume instead of quality, under the mistaken belief that what was funny the first time is even funnier the sixth, seventh and eighth time.

Case in point, the high-pitched screaming match between characters played by Govinda and Ritesh Deshmukh. The characters get spooked by something and start shrieking in girlish voices. The gag isn’t original, but it’s not inherently annoying. But in Do Knot Disturb, the characters scream dialogue at each other in those high-pitched voices for the next ten minutes of the movie.

After one minute, the gag had already stopped being funny. After ten minutes, it was unbearable. I actually walked out of the theater and only convinced myself to return out of a sense of journalistic duty. By virtue of having watched all but one minute of the movie, I can say that Do Knot Disturb is the worst Hindi film of 2009.

Previous Worst Movies List

Movie Review: Ek – The Power of One (2009)

ekthepowerofone0.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon

I guess it’s not fair to expect much from a movie whose title means “One – The Power of One.” Yet I was still hugely disappointed by Ek – The Power of One.

Bobby Deol plays Nandu, an assassin whose black leather jacket, black sunglasses and dagger pendant make him look like the World’s Most Obvious Assassin. He’s hired to non-fatally shoot a politician who wants to garner sympathy votes. However, another assassin shoots first, killing the politician. When Nandu then sees his getaway driver’s car explode, he realizes he’s been set up. He uses his Super Movie Assassin Powers to evade the police, leaping off a building, onto a crane, and then onto a train.

On the train, Nandu meets the moronic Puran, who interprets Nandu’s silent indifference as an invitation to tell his life story. Puran is accidentally killed by a police officer aiming at Nandu, and, out of a sense of remorse unique to reformed movie assassins, Nandu seeks out Puran’s family to give them the bad news.

Of course, Puran’s equally moronic family assumes that Nandu is Puran, returned home after running away 18 years earlier. The family interprets Nandu’s silent indifference as confirmation that he is Puran, despite having to remind him of the identity of each family member, as if running away gave him amnesia.

Ek proceeds to abuse all kinds of bad movie cliches — the cop who doesn’t play by the rules, the bumbling gang of thugs, the guy who’s supposed to be dead but isn’t really dead. Since the movie is set in Punjab, there are the requisite scenes of a village fair, women dancing in the fields, and the main character driving a tractor.

There’s nothing to commend this film, except for the fact that it looks like someone spent good money to make it — though not on the script, obviously. Ek – The Power of One is stupid and predictable and a complete waste of time.

Opening March 27: Aa Dekhen Zara and Ek – The Power of One

Two new Hindi movies are scheduled to open in the Chicago area this Friday, March 27. Ek – The Power of One and Aa Dekhen Zara will be showing at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington.

Ek – The Power of One stars Bobby Deol as an assassin on the run from the law. He takes refuge with a family who mistakes him for its long lost son.

In Aa Dekhen Zara, a photographer (Neil Nitin Mukesh) inherits a magical camera from his grandfather. Bipasha Basu stars as the photog’s DJ girlfriend.