Why did we pick these two movies when lots of other big budget movies bite the dust in Bollywood in recent times? Well, it’s not just about the budget, but about the hype and the number of years it took while making it. They build lots of expectation on the movie over a certain period and for the same reason it was painful to see the movie sinking without a trace!
Hollywood also has big budget movies and those movies usually get completed in 2-3 years – however, those movies never end up being a complete let down (commercially or artistically) like in the case of some of these recent Bollywood films.
Shahrukh Khan’s ambitious super hero home project ‘Ra. One’ is undoubtedly the most over publicized movie in the history of Bollywood. So much so that there is a joke floating around that even aliens in other planets are aware of Ra. One! People would have still expected a great deal from the movie even without all these over promotion for the fact that it’s a super hero film by Shahrukh Khan and they were working with international talents to match with Hollywood standards. There is a 5 year gap between the inception of the idea and the release of the film.
Ra. One had world class VFX and a super hit song ‘Chammak Challo’ to its credit – then, where did they go wrong? The script! Even more shocking thing is that there were three writers working on the script (including one international writer) and they spent months working on the script. Now the question remains is, what were they doing when they penning down the script? Why didn’t they look in to the flaws in it?
The last one to bite the dust, Agent Vinod, India’s answer to James Bond, has just met with both critical and commercial failure (well, it’s doing average business as of now, but we expected lot more from it). Much like Ra. One, Agent Vinod also took couple of years in the making and the release date was pushed ahead several times.
What is most shocking about Agent Vinod’s failure? Well, this film had Sriram Raghavan, one of the finest directors of our times as far as thriller is concerned, at the helm of the affairs. His first two movies became instant classics right after the release for his brilliant direction.
Of course, we had our reservations about the box office performance of the movie given it’s an experimental genre in India (much like Ra. One). But we were sure of one thing – that it cannot go wrong with a great thrilling content. Much to our shock, the movie turned out to be an extremely boring film right from the word go! We couldn’t believe our senses for the simple fact that Sriram’s other 2 movies didn’t bore us even for 10 seconds!
What went wrong with the movie? Without any doubt the length, screen play and the editing. Why didn’t they ever look at the movie from a regular movie goer’s view point? The biggest flaw is that the movie had more villains than the number of countries shown in the film (7 countries are featured in the film). So many characters and their names are mentioned just once or twice in the movie – and they expect us to remember all their names and follow the complex and convoluted plot – we visit theatres for entertainment, not for solving complex puzzles! Too much of anything is not good – a fact both Sriram and Saif Ali Khan over looked – and that cost them dearly if we take a look at the business of Agent Vinod!
What’s most frustrating about these two movies? Well, it has to be the number of years both took while making it. They had all the time in the world to read the screen play couple of times before proceeding with their ambitious venture, hadn’t they? They also had enough time to edit out the major flaws at the editing table, hadn’t they?
In short, Bollywood still has to go a long way as far as getting the basics right – the story and screenplay. Our big films are struggling with that only, and that makes it difficult for us to pin our hopes on those big budget, long in the making, highly publicized movies!
It’s time to re-watch a little gem like Kahaani, which relied completely on its brilliant screen play. Ironically, Kahaani had only 1/10th of their budget and hype!