Eight Films of This Decade That Didn’t Turn Out to Be the Colourful Diwali Blockbuster
This Diwali, we had three big releases from Bollywood hitting the theatres – Housefull 4, Saand Ki Aankh and Made in China. Among the three, it was Housefull 4 that was considered as the Diwali biggie by movie buffs and trade analysts. You know, the kind of films aimed for the families that are made on a big scale with top stars leading the cast. Housefull 4, directed by Farhad Samji, had Akshay Kumar, Bobby Deol, Riteish Deshmukh, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, Kriti Kharbanda, Rana Daggubati and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the cast. Housefull 4 Box Office: Akshay Kumar and Kriti Sanon’s Multi-Starrer Comedy Drama Earns Rs 53.22 Crores in 3 Days.
Thanks to Akshay’s excellent box office streak, its big starcast and glitzy promotions, Housefull 4 got off to a good start at the box office. But whether the film will maintain the momentum or not is another story, as Housefull 4 was welcomed with poor reviews and word-of-mouth wasn’t exactly great. Housefull 4 is a regressive comedy which wastes its ensemble cast, and relies way too much on Akshay Kumar’s terrific comedy skills to pull it through. Even though, it doesn’t give him the kind of material to turn Housefull into a Golmaal kind of a hit. Housefull 4 Movie Review: A Funny Akshay Kumar Owns the House in This Lowbrow, Regressive Comedy.
Diwali has been a good festive period for the box office, with some of the biggest blockbusters of all time coming out in this period. But in the past few years, we have also seen some pretty big disappointments as well. These films were expected to make a blast; instead, all they did were splutter and fizzle. Like with Housefull 4, some of these films earned some money to be called a ‘hit’, but when it comes to entertainment value, the colourful sparks were sorely missing. Housefull 4: 10 WTF Moments in Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, Bobby Deol’s Film That Will Make You Cringe (SPOILER ALERT).
In this special feature, let’s look at seven other films from this decade that disappointed us during the most colourful festival of the country.
Action Replayy (2010)
Just saying that most films in this list will be dominated by Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan, as their films mostly target the occasion of Diwali. Starting this list with Action Replayy, directed by Vipul Shah, with has Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead, with Aditya Roy Kapur in the supporting cast.
The movie was an unofficial remake of the classic 1985 comedy Back to the Future. That said, it brings none of the charm from the original film, becoming a disappointment at the box office with only Akshay Kumar’s hilarious performance being the one bright spot.
Shirish Kunder had on Twitter once said Ra.One, that he just heard a ‘100 crore cracker fizzle’. While Kunder later apologised to SRK, as certain reports stated, for his tweet, it isn’t far from the truth.
Shah Rukh Khan’s attempt to be a superhero has an interesting premise and good special effects. But it suffers from an average screenplay, terrible comedy (SRK’s attempt to be a South Indian falls flat) and a bad climax (where the film’s budget seems to have been exhausted). Ra.One may have entered the Rs 100 crore club, but given the high production and marketing costs, wasn’t profitable enough.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
The legendary late Yash Chopra’s swansong had everything great going for it. An enticing starcast in Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma and Oscar-winning AR Rahman brought in to compose the music.
And yet, Jab Tak Hai Jaan remains one of Yash Chopra’s weakest efforts, competing with the likes of Parampara at the bottom of the barrel. With an unconvincing premise, weak screenplay and Rahman’s most lacklustre score, Jab Tak Hai Jaan isn’t the film we really want bid farewell to Yashji. Alas!
Happy New Year (2013)
After parting ways after Om Shanti Om over ego hassles, director Farah Khan and Shah Rukh Khan made up and joined hands for a heist comedy in Happy New Year. The movie featured an ensemble cast led by Khan and also has Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah.
While their previous collaborations were entertaining, Happy New Year veered too much on slapstick and relied on cheap gags and a nonsensical script to eke out laughter. While the movie did make money, it wasn’t the big hit that everyone expected it to be.
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015)
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was another big Salman Khan blockbuster, with his hit streak with Sooraj Barjatya continuing for three decades. That said, the movie, also starring Sonam Kapoor, is the weakest among all the films they have worked together.
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo has a decent first half, but it is the second half where things go awfully awry. From Sonam Kapoor’s asthmatic performance to a half-baked family plot that leads to a silly climax, PRDP wasn’t enough to even seduce to even the die-hard Bhai fans.
Both the Diwali releases of the year – Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Ajay Devgn’s Shivaay – didn’t exactly set the box on fire or win over the audiences. But Shivaay edges past ADHM to enter this list, purely because it was the worse among the two.
Ajay Devgn’s second directorial had good production values and the action scenes have been deftly shot. That’s the only good things we can say about Shivaay, as the rest of the affair is a pretty forgettable ripoff of Liam Neeson’s Taken.
Thugs of Hindostan (2018)
This was to be the biggest blockbuster of 2018. Aamir Khan and YRF coming together after the blockbuster for what it is the most expensive film in Bollywood then.
The pirate saga took off to a great start at the box office, but was bogged down by poor reviews and negative WOM. Thugs of Hindostan suffered from uninspired storytelling, predictable scripting and lacklustre characterisation. Even Aamir Khan, who seems to be channelling Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean, couldn’t do much to save this mess.
If you look closely at the list, the only year that didn’t disappoint us was 2017, where Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar came out during Diwali. Golmaal Again, a supernatural comedy, had its flaws, but the Ajay Devgn-starrer still manage to generate some real laughs with its clean comedy, especially in the first half. It also made more than Rs 200 crore at the box office. As for Secret Superstar, the movie may not have made the kind of money that its competitor did at the box office, but the Aamir Khan, Zaira Wasim-starrer was more warmly received by the critics.