Haven’t we celebrated the best of Bollywood a little too often? Considering there are half a dozen award shows celebrating the half a dozen decent films of the year. What about the rest? Here are some hitherto unacknowledged categories and their contenders that deserve to go mainstream.
Most Hammy Death Scenes
When Bollywood heroes and heroines die, they make sure with their histrionics that everyone and their grandmothers know…
Mala Sinha in Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, the movie that Guru Dutt died during the making of. She had a heart attack and an onset of insanity all at the same time. When you watch the scene you will see her co-star, Rehman struggling to keep a straight face and stop from laughing when he’s supposed to be her lover and sad about what’s unfolding. Some of the worst overacting of all time.
Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar. You’ve seen it of course: it’s a blood, ham, and cheese fest. With a double helping of bacon on top.
What you may not have seen, but definitely heard of – and our winner in this category – the worst death scene of all time is (drumroll) Kamaal R Khan – or KRK as he likes to be called – from Deshdrohi.
Most Vulgar Songs
Ah. The 90’s… a time when Choli ke Peeche was a ‘classy’ song that mothers and daughters used to sing together in the early mornings. Here are some of the worst from that period.
In 1994, a film called Amaanat decided to make lyrics with sexual innuendo their USP. One of their songs went Daaloonga Daaloonga Pyaar se Daalonga. Since this was too thinly veiled, the censors made them change it La doonga La doonga.
Also featuring in Amaanat was a song with lyrics that went “Din mein leti hai, Raat mein leti hai, Subah ko leti hai, Shyam ko leti hai – Kya bura hai haay, uska naam leti hai”.
But the most vulgar song, at multiple levels of nonsense: Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla singing “Main maal gaadi, Tu dhakka laga, Garam ho gaya engine, Mujhe dhakka deta jaa” – Again, the censors had to step in and make them made them change this to “Yeh maal gaadi tu dhakka laga”, but they weren’t fooling anybody, especially with that opening thrus… er, shot.
Worst Dressed Actors
Sure there were some badly dressed actors in the 80’s and 90’s, giving circus clowns an inferiority complex.
There was Jeetendra in his all whites, Karisma Kapoorchose some really hideous clothes to wear, but it seemed the Indian movie-going audience simply could not get enough of them.
Of course nobody, nobody came close to Govinda’s single-handed attempt to take on Milan, Paris, and NYC as a fashion trendsetter as millions of impressionable Indians equated being funny to wearing mismatched, tacky, bright, primary colors. It wouldn’t be so tragic if Govinda had stopped dressing like this in the 90’s. He’s still at it!
Insane Cinematic Liberty
A majority of Bollywood screenwriters produce some of their best (and perhaps only) work on set/location while the star snoozes, right before the next scene. Given the intense pressure situations, they come up with some real gems.
There was Amar Akbar Anthony’s blood being transfused to their mother (all co-incidentally of course). If you look closely, you won’t even see any pumping mechanism. Just three thin pipes going into a bottle, blood travelling against gravity and one pipe into mother. Easy peasy.
More recently in Race 2, John Abraham leaves Saif Ali Khan and his girlfriend aboard a plane that’s about a crash and jumps out himself with the only parachute. He could’ve shot them with the gun he was holding, but nooo – what fun would that be? So what do Saif and girl do? Drive a car through the plane and voila: four parachutes attached to it open up. It was John’s car too. Seems he ‘forgot’.
But worst of all – Dara Singh in Mard stops a plane from taking off while riding a horse and using a lasso. Let that sink in for a minute. (here’s the video: it comes in at the 4-minute mark)
Gay Films Masquerading as Buddy Films
The Saat Ajube Is Duniya Mein song from Dharam Veer features: horses, synchronized dancing, feeding each other, Jeetendra in silver boots, and Dharmendra in hot pants and kinky gladiator costumes. How is this not an iconic gay visual treat for the whole world, we do not know.
Then there is the title song of Main Khiladi Tu Anari – Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan pelvic thrusting at each while singing “Dekho phadke aankh meree tan mai shola sa bhadke” to each other. Subtle, not.
But it’s Sholay that takes top honors in this category. Reams have been written of the gay symbolism that abounds in this film. One student even used this as her PhD thesis. Try watching the film from this POV, you’ll be surprised!
Worst Case of Typecasting
Bollywood loves typecasting. Typecasting loves Bollywood.
Nirupa Roy as the mother who lost her kid in every second movie. In her youth in mythological She also played every Devi and every Sati!
Tun Tun as the fat woman always on the lookout for a husband.
Jackie Shroff as a mawali from Walkeshwar. The man who gave us Bhidu. If you run into him, he will address you as Bhidu. Fact.
Salman Khan as Salman Khan. He always plays himself.
But the winner? Jagdish Raj. The Guinness Book of World Records lists him as the world’s most typecast actor (seriously!) Mr Raj has played a policeman in 144 movies. Trivia: He had his own set of cop clothes that he’d carry to shoot, just in case the costume department didn’t get the fit right. Check out his IMDb profile.
Most Bizzare, WTF Plot – Teri Meherbaniyan – Protagonists die. Dog, named Moti of course, takes revenge. Oh wait, didn’t we all love Eega/Makhi?
Worst Dance Moves – Jeetendra in anything he did. ‘nuff said.
Most innovative POV/Camera Angles – Only one man deserves this category all to himself – Ram Gopal Verma. Of course he was teetering on the edge with his mad camera angles in films like Nishabd and Sarkaar but he complete lost the tripod and all control of any sort of aesthestic when he went ballistic in Not a Love Story where the camera was pretty much inspired from a porn website’s upskirt section and in Department where his actors were actually shooting the film (check out the making of video – Sanjay Dutt handling a Canon 5D. Sanjay Dutt. Shooting the film. You can imagine the results.)
Greatest Cult WTF Movie of all Time
There are many contenders for this final award. Ramsay’s Purana Mandir was such a hit that it spawned millions of remakes often by the Ramsay’s themselves and gave Bollywood themes and ideas that it’s still clinging on to such as haunted havelis and the mixing of mythology and horror.
Then there is the 1987 Superman starring Puneet Issar in a well, Superman costume dancing around trees. Dharmendra took Marlon Brando’s place. Possibly the worst Hindi film of all time, it even “borrowed” reels of footage from the original Superman.
Jaani Dushman is in itself a top contender for the spot and then there is the Jaani Dushman remake that is a combination of the original Jaani Dushman and Nagin! Insane does not even begin to describe it.
Talking about nagins and snakes, what about Doodh ka Karz? The one in which Aruna Irani breast feeds a cobra. Thankfully, we don’t actually have to see this sight as she transfer the milk to a dish before feeding the serpent.
RGV ki Aag makes the list too! It doesn’t win because no one has actually been able to get through and watch the entire film. Not even RGV.
The winner? The cult-est film of all time? The one Bollywood gem you can watch endlessly, marveling at the audacity of it to actually take birth as an idea in somebody’s mind? Kanti Shah’s Gunda! Sample: “Mera naam hain Bulla, rakhta hoon main khulla” says main villain Bulla to his hermaphrodite brother Chutiya who is alive thanks to sex-ki-goliyaan from London. The rest is history.
Gunda, the full movie. Right here!
Co-written with Karan Bali.