Tag Archives: Lahore

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2010

2010’s worst Hindi movies are all bad, but one film is much, much worse than the rest. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Lahore, Dulha Mil Gaya and Pyaar Impossible make the list for ignoring some basic rules of plot development.

The most common problem among 2010’s worst movies is unlikable main characters. Tum Milo Toh Sahi and Veer also suffer from subtitling problems, while others — Action Replayy, Milenge Milenge, Teen Patti and No Problem — are little more than Hollywood knock-offs.

Kites gets an honorable mention for the conduct of its producers, including swiping a song from Lord of the Rings without crediting the original artist, and for not paying its supporting actors.

But the worst movie of the year — possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen — is Khatta Meetha. The characters in Khatta Meetha aren’t merely unlikable; they’re morally reprehensible. And Khatta Meetha is a comedy.

A comedy can’t work if its hero is almost as bad as the villain. Khatta Meetha‘s hero, Sachin (Akshay Kumar), punches his girlfriend out of anger and, years later, harasses her to the point that she attempts suicide. There’s nothing heroic about Sachin. He’s a scumbag and an abuser. Yet the filmmakers expect the audience to see him as the charming underdog.

In the worst sequence of the movie, the villain, Sanjay (Jaideep Ahlawat), conceives of a plan to get Sachin to confront him. How is this accomplished? Sanjay and his friends gang rape Sachin’s sister and kill her.

Let me emphasize this: she’s not just attacked. She’s raped. Gang raped. And murdered. In a slapstick comedy.

How can an audience laugh after witnessing something so awful? I sure couldn’t.

A more understandable way to incite Sachin to avenge his sister — without putting off the audience completely — would have been for her to show up with a black eye, courtesy of Sanjay — provoking Sachin to beat the tar out of the villain. But that wouldn’t work in Khatta Meetha, because Sachin himself had already punched a woman in the face. This forced the writers to concoct something so unspeakably awful that even Sachin himself cannot abide it.

Is that the low standard we’re forced to accept from our comedic heroes? That their goodness is defined by their unwillingness to commit gang rape and murder?

The only reason to see Khatta Meetha is if you plan on writing a comedy and want to know exactly what not to do. Sarcastic congratulations to the creators of Khatta Meetha for making not only the Worst Bollywood Movie of 2010, but the worst movie I’ve ever paid to watch.

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Movie Review: Lahore (2010)

1.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Filmmaker Sanjay Puransingh Chauhan is obviously well-versed in sports movie clichés, as Lahore is full of them. But most sports movies also have a formula, and Chauhan gets the formula all wrong.

Dheeru (Sushant Singh) is an up-and-coming kickboxer poised to make his debut for the Indian National Kickboxing Team. He has a shrill girlfriend, Neela (Shraddha Nigam), and a younger brother named Veeru (Aanaahad).

Veeru is an up-and-coming cricket star who was once himself a talented kickboxing prospect. He switched to cricket because he doesn’t like violence. By the law of sports movie clichés, this can mean only one thing: Dheeru is going to die in the ring, and Veeru will have to start kickboxing again to avenge his brother’s death.

This cliché in itself is not a problem. Rocky IV and Kickboxer are examples of the revenge cliché done well. Where Lahore gets the formula wrong is that the first half of the movie is footage of Dheeru training for his fatal fight. We all know he’s going to die; just kill him already, so that we can watch Veeru train for his revenge match! It’s kind of like if the first half of Rocky IV had been nothing but training footage of Apollo Creed.

With so much time wasted on Dheeru, Veeru’s storyline is rushed. Less than a month after his brother’s death (and in just a few minutes of screen time), Veeru becomes a skilled enough fighter to represent India in a friendly tournament against Pakistan — fighting the very man who killed Dheeru.

The heavy focus on doomed Dheeru also compresses the storyline involving Ida (Shraddha Das), a psychiatric intern for the Pakistani team, and Veeru’s eventual love interest. A musical montage shows Ida befriending Neela at the tournament where Dheeru dies. We don’t get any reasons why they suddenly become BFFs, other than that the plot requires it. Ida accompanies the coffin home and helps with Dheeru’s funeral, even though she only knew him for a matter of days.

The movie asserts that forgiveness and a shared interest in sports can help heal the division between countries as antagonistic as India and Pakistan. But Veeru’s inevitable forgiveness of Dheeru’s murderer strains credulity. Who among us would be able to hug it out with the person who murdered our loved one in cold blood after less than a month?

Besides the bad application of clichés, Lahore is poorly edited. The action shifts rapidly between shots of Dheeru engaged in a kickboxing match, Neela watching nervously in the stands, Veeru taking batting practice hundreds of miles away, and the guy operating the scoreboard at the kickboxing match. It removes the tension from the action scenes and makes the fight choreography seem sloppy.

The flow is so disjointed, watching Lahore is like trying to watch TV when your channel-flipping dad is charge of the remote control.