50! Bahut Proud to hit a half century last year. 2017 was a great year at the movies. A super mix of big budget movies, sleeper hits and small films.
Ranked from 50 to 1, here are the 50 movies I saw in 2017.
50: Need I say more. One of the worst movies of the year. It was slow, with barely a storyline and forced sentimentality (with a cute kid thrown in). It was unbelievable that this was the same Bajrangi Bhaijaan combo of Salman and Kabir Khan at work. In hindsight it almost seemed like a reject script of Bajrangi. And then there was Bhai. He was so bad, that Sohail was not the worst part of the movie. Bhai really got this one wrong.
49: After seeing endless re-runs of Magadheera, I was really looking forward to the remake. But this was one botched up job. Sushant Singh and Kriti Sanon seemed like a good pair and while the present day part of the story was just about ok, the movie lost out horribly in the past life part. That part of the movie was Game of Thrones meets Bahubali meets Magadheera – and the result was not pretty at all. Dhoni scored a duck this time.
48: I saw this on a flight. And I kept wondering why I am seeing it. And I still kept seeing it. Maybe I didn’t want to think too much. Maybe I had already seen everything else on the menu. Gross Jokes, Racism, Stereotyping, Repetitive buddy cop scenes, Lame humour and a “I know where this is headed” feeling from the start – Chips was bad. So bad that I don’t even remember why it was called Chips!
47: How do you go wrong with this one. The team behind Once Upon a time in Mumbai, Ajay Devgun, Emraan Hashmi, Milan Lutharia, Period Setting. They had a track record right? Well it definitely ended while making this one. While the premise was good, the script was really bad. And Ileana in the key role of the Maharani, was terrible. Needless situations, Wannabe Heroics, Unnecessary dialogs – Baadshaho was flat. It still made 100Cr apparently!
46: This is a trend now a days. Take a young leading man, who is still learning and pair/face off with a solid actor. The young guy romances the girl and the solid actor saves the film. Not this one. Nawazuddin does his part well, but he had so little to do that it was frustrating. And Tiger? Well even he did his part (danced, fought) well. Unfortunately they both were so engrossed in their parts, that they forgot to play off each other. And the leading lady – gratingly bad.
45: Every year Ritesh D comes up with a movie that is not great but has nothing wrong with it. This year it was BankChor. A comedy heist slapstick caper with a surprise (which is not so much a surprise) ending – this one also has Vivek Oberoi playing a cop. But as always, I liked Ritesh D and I suspect that these movies make some money as well. Which in turn explains why every year we see him in another silly movie. What will it be next year?
44: Rajkumar Rao has been on a roll this year with multiple releases! This was by far the weakest of all his releases this year – but he was pretty decent in this as well. What was awful – was Shruthi Hassan. I haven’t seen her in Tamil movies, so I will assume that she is probably not comfortable doing Hindi movies. Dialogue delivery, acting – everything was off for her. And the North Indian typecasting was quite over the top in this one.
43: Wow. This was unexpected. A mess of a movie from Imtiaz Ali. An SRK production – starring SRK himself and Anushka Sharma, the movie starts well and then goes downhill rapidly. The situations, storyline everything stops making sense pretty soon. On top of it, Imtiaz Ali makes pretty much the same kind of movies so you know where it is headed. SRK tries hard but this is his Tubelight for the year.
42: Spin Offs are a rarity in Indian Cinema. And this was one such rare movie. Tapsee Pannu was so good in her brief appearance as Shabana in Baby, that the makers decided to give her an origin story. Just like Marvel. And while she does a good job, the movie does not really take off. Also – Baby being a fantastic movie was always going to lead to comparisons. Manoj Bajpai adds some weight and Akshay Kumar comes in for a cameo – but then, this was not their movie.
41: Reboots and Nostalgia – Keeping Hollywood Alive. And so happened Baywatch. There was The Rock, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra too (Over accenting, but hardly any role!) But instead of going in for the original tone – this reboot was R Rated. Fast talking, Double Meaning, Buddy beach-cops – the whole movie had a college freshers party feel to it. It was probably aimed at the guys who were teenagers when the original Baywatch came about. But then – what’s Baywatch without Pamela Anderson!
40: Does anyone else also feel that Farhan Akhtar is an overrated singer? Or is it just me? After Rock On 2, Farhan was back as a singer – this time a Desi one. The premise was good, the supporting cast was excellent – but when your leading man does not come across as convincing, things don’t add up. Unfortunately Farhan came across as a polished Mumbai boy, trying too hard to play a singer from the north. Hope now people stop making films with him as a singer. He is a good singer, but not that good!
39: Official Hollywood remakes are a nice trend and they are catching on in India. Take Chef as an example. Saif was decent, the story was good (slight tweaks from the original) – but in order to make it more Indian, the makers lost the essence (and the pace) of the movie. Chef was the journey of food with the father-son bonding as the backdrop. This Chef came across as reversed. The movie was not about food – which was the biggest letdown. And for god’s sake north Indian food is not just Chandni Chowk and Paranthewali Gully!!
38: SRK is out to prove a point. He is picking up different, edgier roles and moving away from the tripe he has subjected us to over the last few years (Happy New Year, Dilwale). He was good in this one, unabashedly playing Miyaan Bhai and enjoying himself. Nawazuddin adds the right counter punches to keep it an engrossing affair – until the movie caves in to the Superstar SRK and glorifies him towards the end. I wish he remained bad right through. Would have been so much better. But then it’s King Khan. Super Stardom is part of the package.
37: I hadn’t heard great reviews, so it was a surprise when I saw this one. The movie was pretty decent, not very good but not too bad either. Ayushman was good (As he is, usually), the period setting was good and the songs were nice. The pace of the movie was a little slow though. And Parineeti’s Bindu? I will call her out as the reason why this did not work that well. She is a little unidimensional so far and we saw more of the same from her. In fact I caught myself wondering why does our hero, love this Bindu so much!
36: I saw this one on a flight as well. Guy Ritchie making King Arthur? Groovy. He was true to form with an edgy, fast paced version of King Arthur’s story – complete with a soundtrack and slow mo and action scenes. But the story was so linear and so well known that it was just not exciting enough. The idea would have been that the edginess would make up for the plain jane story. But it did not. No wonder it turned out to be a big disaster! Nothing spectacular – but I’ll still recommend seeing it on TV!
35: Classic case of over cooking. A decent story, some great actors, period setting, Vishal Bharadwaj. Perfect ingredients all put in a mix and then someone forgets to take the dish off the stove. I am a big Vishal Bharadwaj fan, but looks like he over-reached in this one. The acting was good but there were just too many elements – Romance, World War, Glamour, Betrayal, Desh-Bhakti and not all of them came together. I wish the story was simpler. Dal Panchratna was attempted, whereas Dal Tadka would have sufficed.
34: I was fascinated when the trailer for Phillauri came out. Anushka as a friendly spirit! The special effects looked great as well. Even the story was quite nice with a decent twist in the end. An in-form Diljit Dosanjh added to the period setting. But what really let this movie down was the performance of the lead actor – Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi). He was so off key, that it hurt. He was definitely not at ease in the bollywood world, and it showed. If only they had taken another actor for this role.
33: The Dark Universe (a universe of super villains) was the idea behind this reboot – and the Mummy was the beginning of this universe. Tom Cruise (Does he ever tire?) headlined this fun in parts but predictable story of, what else, but a mummy coming back to life and trying to finish the world as we know it. Good harmless fun – but I was expecting more layers to this. Good enough for TV when you want to go in for some mindless viewing.
32: Remember the Lego movie? And Lego Batman in it? He was so good that he got his own movie. Lego movies have their own humour with one liners and cameos. It’s got Robin, Alfred, The Joker and even Harley Quinn. It’s not too great as a standalone movie and does get a little slow towards the end, but with more than enough inside jokes for the Batman fans, this will keep you entertained.
31: I don’t get the concept of trilogies. And when they just keep getting boring-er with each outing, I fail to understand it even more. Here comes the 3rd part of Gru and his adventures and since they ran out of all ideas, they brought in Gru’s long lost twin – Dru! Frankly speaking, this one was just about better than blah. And even though the minions and an 80s soundtrack save the day to an extent – I think this should be it. Time for the Minions to take over.
30: I love it when small movies turn out to be good. It’s what movie dreams are made of. Ghazi attack was one such movie. Based on the India Pakistan war, this supposedly fictional movie is about a Submarine battle – something which is definitely a rarity in India. With Rana Daggubati and Kay Kay Menon in key roles – the acting was good and the story was tight. The Submarine was the star of the show and while there were a few loose ends – this one was a satisfying watch.
29: Here is the franchise which started it all for Vin Diesel. After making numerous instalments of Fast and Furious, Vin Diesel resurrected Xander Cage. While the action was good, the movie had too much of a hangover from the Fast franchise. Not a bad thing entirely – as that formula has been perfected. And with the other characters coming together – we can expect to see a few more sequels at least. Deepika was quite good and handled action pretty well – with a regular Indian accent to boot. Take that Priyanka Chopra!
28: After the sleeper success of part 1, John Wick was back for another outing. Keanu Reeves is so infrequent in his movie outings that every chance to see him on screen is appreciated. He did not disappoint this time either. The action was as brutal and sharp as the first one – although after a point in time, it does get repititive. A sequel has been announced (Trilogy Alert) and while the first 2 were at par with each other, the 3rd one needs to shake things up to make an impact.
27: The Dulhania series (pretty sure there are more to follow) is built around marriages – but this one showed us that in reality its built around the crackling chemistry of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. This was a strictly average movie, handling a serious theme of dowry and male patriarchy – but what made the movie work was the lead pair. They play off very well against each other and while it was not as good as the first one, I am up for another instalment – provided the lead pair remains the same!
26: The Big Diwali release – was the 4th instalment of Golmaal series. What started as a comedy caper about 4 boys has transformed into slapstick. However the Rohit Shetty, Ajay Devgun combine has worked out a few things. Sharp writing and an ever increasing cast, propel this franchise forward and each movie ends up being bigger than the last. This time the the Horror element is used well to bring in freshness. Not as funny as the last instalments, but quite a few laughs worked for me.
Well, this was the bottom half. What do you think?
Coming next… The top 25.
(See Part 2 of this list here.)