There’s one big film to go this year Dangal the box-office fate of which has already been decided. So it is time to have a look at the films of the three months gone by.
First the disappointments, Rakesh On Prakash Mehra’s Mirzya, a beautifully shot film, with two new stars (Harshvardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher), but the love story left everyone cold.
Is the Sunny Leone craze waning already? Her Beimaan Love sank without a trace. Manoj Bajpayee frittered away all the Aligarh goodwill with a dud like Saat Uchakkey. Movie 31StOctober about the genocide of Sikhs in 1984 was well meaning, but quite unimpressive.
Strangely, none of the sequels of which there was a profusion in the fourth quarter, managed to match the success of the originals. Rock On 2 got the bunch of indie musicians, who had charmed in the first film, back together putting in a very contrived guilt trip. Tum Bin 2went largely unnoticed. Force 2 had a lot of action but a very thin plot. Sonakshi Sinha got some mileage for doing an action role, but she ended up playing John Abraham’s sidekick.
Kahaani 2 fared better than the others, but the overwhelming opinion was that it was no patch on the first film. Still Sujoy Ghosh spins an expert yarn, and intends to make this a franchise, with a woman in the lead, which is always good news.
So it was up to the major stars and production houses to salvage the day. Ajay Devgn directed and starred in Shivaay, and orchestrated some superb action, but the plot about a father rescuing his daughter from human traffickers was nothing much.
Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil got mixed responses some hated the artifice, some liked the way romance and friendship were portrayed; the performances by Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai were appreciated. But all the hassle Johar went through over the casting of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in an inconsequential role, was pointless and just gave the loony fringe some ammunition. The outcome of this Paki-bashing was Shah Rukh Khan offering assurances that is leading lady Mahira Khan would not be coming to India to promote his Raees that opens early next year.
In the melee, Gauri Shinde’s film Dear Zindagi, which had Ali Zafar in a small role slipped through without controversy. The film about a young woman’s (Alia Bhatt) relationship problems and her seeking help from a therapist was praised for bringing mental health issued out of the closet.
Then there is Aditya Chopra’s Befikre, a strange film about two commitment phobics (Ranveer Singh-Vaani Kapoor), the best part of which was the location Paris.