Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011 #7

Counting down to 2012, I thought it would be fun to do my Top 11 Top 11 Lists of 2011!

List 11 - Top 11 Indian Film Songs According to Filmi Girl's iTunes

List 10 - Top 11 Scene Stealers of 2011

List 9 - Top 11 Films Filmi Girl Never Got To See

List 8 - Top 11 Things Filmi Girl Wants To Go Away in 2012

List Number 7...!

Along with yesterday, this is my only other negative list so if you aren't a fan of snark, maybe skip this one and check in tomorrow.

Okay, let the fireworks begin...

Top 11 Losers of 2011

[Alternate title: Filmi Girl hasn't been getting enough hate mail recently.]

#10 and #11 Dia Mirza and Zayed Khan

If you attended - or viewed - the IIFA awards, it was impossible to miss the promotions for Dia Mirza and Zayed Khan’s first home production Feature Length Shampoo Commercial Hrithik’s Brother-in-Law and Miss Asia Pacific 2001 Need Work Love Breakups Zindagi. Unfortunately for Zayed and Dia, the endless promotions didn’t stop the film from being a massive bomb.

On the one hand, I have to give massive props to Dia and Zayed for setting out to make their own film when they weren’t getting the type of offers they felt they deserved. Kudos for the initiative, guys! I mean that sincerely. However, on another, larger hand, it’s supremely pathetic to have put so much time and effort into something as supremely mediocre as Love Breakups Zindagi.

I’m not sure what was the most pathetic part of the whole Love Breakups Zindagi experience - that Zayed and Dia didn’t realize that they weren’t getting leading roles for a reason (i.e. acting ability) or that one of the best reviews for the film that resulted of their mediocre collaboration begins: Let’s forget about the love story between the two main characters of the film — Dia Mirza and Zayed Khan. That one is too predictable.”

That’s the kind of success you spell L.O.S.E.R. and hopefully the next time Dia and Zayed decided to use the money they earn from paid appearances to produce another film, they will be smart enough to not cast themselves.

#9 Uday Chopra

No, this isn’t a joke from Daya Prochu! Uday made the loser list without releasing a single film.

After the floptastic fiasco of Pyaar Impossible, Uday Chopra basically vanished from view, only popping up to dispense trite sayings on Twitter or to brag about kicked out of a Las Vegas bar for taking his shirt off. When he finally announced in June that he would be retiring the response was a resounding meh... followed by a pile of jokes at his expense.

A prime example:

JustaFan June 29, 2011 at 1:44 am What, no Neal and Nikki 2??

#8 Minissha Lamba

They all press is good press, so in theory Minissha should be pretty happy with her 2011...

The year started out with Minissha’s name getting caught up in a Dubai property scam along with notorious drunken starlet Tara Reid. Although Minissha denied any knowledge of the scam, the taint of what the duped men called “legitimate sounding lies” remained. And the public relations embarrassments were just beginning.

In May, Minissha decided to head to Cannes for some positive “on par with Hollywood” news stories, although the actual red carpet walk was more “blink and miss” captioned “Indian actress” than Aishwarya Rai style coverage. It might have still come out a win for Minissha - pretty pictures in end of the year spreads, that sort of thing - if she hadn’t made the fatal mistake of trying to sneak jewelry back into India. Minissha was detained by customs and although she claimed that the jewels had been lent to her, a suspicious stop off in Dubai on the return home from France didn’t quite convince me... or the customs agents... or the Government of India. Minissha was just fined 4 lakhs for trying to evade the duty.

Quelle horreur!

So, I suppose one understands why, once again, Minissha tried to play the “bikini body” card with Hum Tum Shabana in September. Alas, not even the vaunted “bikini body” could save the film from ratings that averaged half a star out of five. Yes, half a star out of five.

Hopefully Ms. Lamba has learned her lesson about “bikini bodies” and mysterious visits to Dubai and will soon return to doing what we love her for - acting. She is in two of my most anticipated films of 2012 (Joker and Zilla Ghaziabad) so no more half-star performances next year, eh Minissha?

#7 Saif Ali Khan

[And before I snark, I do want to extend my sympathies for the loss of his father. I don’t mean any personal offense to Saif; I’m just having some fun with his career choices.]

Oh, how the mighty have fallen... the man who could once reasonably claim to be the Fourth Khan has slid far from the heights he reached with Love Aaj Kal. But what makes Saifu my number 7 loser of 2011?

To begin, there is Agent Vinod... or, rather, there isn’t Agent Vinod. Agent Vinod which was supposed to be done in like 2010... but is still being shot. Shooting was going strong in the spring, though co-star/girlfriend Kareena Kapoor kept postponing for films with Salman, Aamir, and Shahrukh, making Agent Vinod feel less like a project by the two of them and more like a sympathy role.

(And bear in mind, through reading the rest of Saif’s misadventures, that THE ENTIRE YEAR was punctuated with alternating stories on, “ZOMG THEY BROKE UP” and “ZOMG THEY’RE GETTING MARRIED” and “ZOMG SAIFEENA EXISTS.”)

Now, speaking of sympathy roles, Saifu went to Cannes in May. Note how I say “went to” Cannes and not “appeared at” Cannes. He was there representing the liquor brand Chivas Regal and took so long prepping for the red carpet that he missed his photocall time making the whole trip pointless. (I mean, at least Minissha got a photo out of it.)

After the Cannes mix-up came Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan, which was supposed to be a big prestige picture for Saif - the kind of thing he used to do in his sleep. Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti had been a surprise hit in 2010 and Aarakshan not featured the Big Dog of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan but also teamed Saif up again with his Love Aaj Kal co-star Deepika Padukone. It should have been a cakewalk... unfortunately when you cast a prince as a Dalit, some controversy is inevitable.

Taking offense at both the theme of Aarkshan (reservation) and the casting, Dalit groups protested the film; people were arrested; the government of Uttar Pradesh banned it andthe Supreme Court had to step in to overturn the ban. Controversy itself won’t necessary tank a film but in this case, once the film was actually released, the anger turned to indifference. And indifference certainly will tank a film. Reviews were (kindly put) “mixed” with an emphasis on (to quote Rajeev Masand) "deathly, boring slog." So much for Saif’s comeback.

The rest of the year has been dominated by the same two stories that Saif began it with - Agent Vinod filming and whether or not (or when) he is marrying Bebo. A whole year later and that’s still Saif’s media narrative - Bebo’s future husband.

[And, again, this might sound insincere but I would like to extend my sympathies to Saif on the loss of his father. I snark out of love, Saif. I can never thank you enough for Parineeta.]

#6 Abhishek Bachchan

[Hooo boy! Okay, let’s do this again. Congratulations to Abhishek on the birth of his daughter! My snarking is nothing personal. I have heard from numerous sources that he is a very nice guy and I believe it... okay?

Also, I was tempted to reverse positions on Abhi and Saif but then Saif at least has solo-hero Agent Vinod in the works. Abhi just has that star child charity case that is Players and Dhoom 3 where he is like fourth billed behind Aamir, Katrina, and the actual title of the film.]

Let’s refresh our memories of Abhishek’s supremely dire 2010, where he did two prestige pictures (Raavan and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey) that not only bombed but bombed so badly that they left their flop stench on Abhishek himself. As 2011 began, Abhishek seemed determined to find box office success. He wasn’t going after critics and awards but viewer eyeballs. To that end came Game and, soon after, Dum Maro Dum. I’m sure the films seemed like a safe enough bet - both playing off of the (bafflingly) popular “cool dude” persona he developed in the mid-2000s - unfortunately for Abhi, Game was spectacularly awful. We’re talking Minissha Lamba half-star review territory.

In fact, the response to Game was so bad that when his kind of good (by all accounts) Dum Maro Dum was released, the public stayed away in droves. Perhaps, like me, so fatigued of Abhishek and his terrible films that they were unwilling to give a kind of good film a chance.

That’s flopping.

Other stories for Abhishek this year included - threatening to release a rap album and then not doing it; being friends with “Kolaveri Di” singer Dhanush; and being the one who knocked up Aishwarya Rai.

And then now as the year ends, we’ve been treated to a variety of promos for Players that make it unclear if the film will be so-bad-it’s-good and do well, like Race, or if it will be super embarrassing for all involved and boring, like Game.

#5 Madhur Bhandarkar

I probably should have put Madhur higher up on the list but it was already so packed! The year past has been a huge shit show as far as Madhur has been concerned. Usually when directors make the gossip pages, it’s for things like “Karan Johar Likes Ladies... APRIL FOOLS!” [Remember that!] or “Anees Bazmee apologies for how terrible No Problem was..." usually that is how it goes.

Madhur is a special kind of loser because he’s not just making poor film choices like Saif and Abhi or being naive about the actual level of his popularity like Minissha and Uday... no, Madhur Bhandarkar is a real dick, the worst kind of dick, the kind of dick who firmly believes that he is not just more pro-woman than most actual women but that he is superior to everybody else around him.

Just like Abhishek, after his spectacularly floptastic 2010 with the “issue-based” Jail that is now most remembered for Neil Nitin Mukesh’s masturbation scene, (He’s intense, man!) Madhur decided to go for audience’s pocket books and tried his hand at this thing called “popular entertainment.” The result of this tangle with popular entertainment was the ill-advised raunch-comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (making another appearance further below... excited?!) that starred Ajay Devgn, Omi Vaidya, and Emraan Hashmi as sex-crazed dudes looking to get laid... or something. (I don’t know because, like 99.9% of humanity, I didn’t see it.)

Madhur was the only one surprised when his raunch-com wouldn’t pass the Censor Board without cuts but refusing to compromise even while selling out, he wouldn’t make the cuts required for a more permissive rating saying that even Fashion had an A certificate and it did just fine. Those were strong words and, again, nobody was surprised when even with all that posturing over how uncompromising and adult the film was, reviewers called the film childish, among other things, and audiences didn’t call it anything because they didn’t show up to see it.

Eager to leave the stink of his “selling-out” behind, Madhur quickly jumped back onthe “issue-based” cinema bandwagon and signed on Aishwarya Rai to his film Heroine. There was a big launch at Cannes - the one Bollywood star who did leave an impression - and filming seemed set to go smoothly. However, if you read the previous entry, you would know that Aishwarya Rai got pregnant and had a baby. Yup. After the launch and the fuss over signing her and endless stories speculating on changes she had made to the script or the Bachchans insisted be made to the scipt and six days of shooting, Aishwarya backed out. This left Madhur with a movie called Heroine that had no heroine.

By the end of the summer, Madhur had signed on Kareena Kapoor (once again - and completely understandably - ditching Agent Vinod for brighter pastures) and things finally seemed back on track.

And then, like a zombie (or, if you prefer, guy in a skeleton suit) rising from the grounds of Film City, the rape charges filed against him seven years ago by actress Preeti Jain, finally came up on the docket of a local court. Nothing says “female-positive filmmaker” like credible rape charges and marriage fraud!

The rest of the year can be measured in columns and columns of wank over the progress of Heroine. People are unhappy with the script; people want time off; people are frustrated... and the big loser of it all - Madhur Bhandarkar.

We’ll have to see if 2012 is better for him or if he is finishing Heroine from inside jail, though, alas, he probably won’t be sharing his cell with a masturbating Neil Nitin Mukesh.

#4 Esha Deol

You knew this was coming, right? Esha Deol’s non-comeback is one of the most delicious schadenfreude stories of the year!

So, we all know the conventional wisdom on Esha... that she, um, was “partying” too much and had to “go rest” at a “special spa” in the United States. Tell Me O Kkhuda, which has been kicking around in various incarnations since at least 2009, was supposed to be the film that made us forget all of that and welcome back the Esha Deol who was daughter of vaunted Bollywood stars Hema Malini and Dharmendra and to make us forget the the Esha Deol who ran with Fardeen “That cocaine was for personal use only” Khan.

Hema Malini insisted, nay, demanded that we do so.

All through 2011 we were treated to Esha, demurely attired, trotting around behind her mother. Eyes down, fake smile plastered on, and having nothing but nice things to say. The film was set up to be a heartfelt family story... made by a family for their troubled daughter. And one can’t blame Hema for attempting to choreograph a launch for her daughter doing things that Hema succeeded - none of this new fangled bikini-item-naughty humor and boyfriends nonsense. Hema groomed Esha to finally, finally be the daughter to follow in the Dream Girl legacy.

Alas, the world has moved on since Hema’s heyday and the new, demure Esha had no takers. Even worse, Esha’s comeback film, finally released in the fall, had no viewers. This review put it best: Over all, Tell Me O Kkhuda may just be the flower in the grave of Esha Deol's career. Best Avoided.

Since Esha has received the loud ‘meh’ from Bollywood audiences, she’s mostly been spotted at Page 3 events giving fashion bloggers fodder for their don’t columns.

(Maybe she can join Dia and Zayed in a co-production...)

#2 and #3 Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn

OH NO YOU DIDN’T FILMI GIRL! Oh yes I did! Booyah! These two deserve to be high up on my list this year for a variety of reasons.

Now, I’m not saying that everything they did was terrible. Obviously, that’s not the case. Sanjay Dutt had a delightfully scene-stealing turn in Desi Boyz that was some of the best work I’ve seen from him in years and Ajay Devgn had... SINGHAM which was one of the most enjoyable films of the year.

However, what makes them so loooo~oooser for me this year is Rascals and everything movie stands for. The buzz around Rascals was so bad that it retroactively tainted the amazing success of Singham. That poison film reached into the past and rubbed the shine off of my roaring lion. *Lion Dance*

But let’s start earlier than that and rewind back to the beginning of the year when Ajay got to follow his success with Golmaal 3 with the craptacular Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji aka Madhur Bhandarkar Needs Cash And Thinks You Are Dumb, Audiences. Most of the stink of that movie stayed with Madhur but it’s still not a win for Team Devgn.

Things would just get worse from there on out as everybody’s favorite boob job Kangana Ranaut entered the picture in early spring, shooting two films with Ajay and two with Sanjay. Rumors quickly began to spread of an affair - and not the fakey ‘link-up’ type that gets planted in the press for publicity but the kind that people pay to keep out of the press. The Kangana-Ajay-Sanjay (yes, Sanjay, too) saga continued through the summer and into the fall with bitchy stories about Kangana being leaked the press - she wouldn’t dub for the film; she wouldn’t wear a bikini when she had promised; she was frozen out of Sanjay’s wife’s baby shower; she claimed to know Paris Hilton - followed by rebuttals of the stories from Kangs.

Why I have Sanjay and Ajay written down instead of Kangana is because these are two grown married men who should know better. Kangana? I think she is a wonderful actress who has made some terrible public relations decisions over the years but it’s hard in this business for a non star-daughter without a champion. Just ask Katrina Kaif. I think she’s naive and probably very silly but not a loser. That term is reserved for the guys playing playing power games to make a young woman dress up in a bikini on-screen.

On top of ALL of that garbage came Rascals a film which asks only one question. As this review put it: What’s more pathetic than two old, desperate, tharki men swinging their shriveled up stuff and selves around taut, half-naked bodies in the hope that at least one of them will oblige? Nothing, except an A-cup lady thrusting her ballooned assets in the hope that they’ll tickle someone’s fancy. Rascals has both these exhibits, and little else.

Readers, you know me, I like stupid comedy. I was perfectly happy watching Sanjay Dutt and the A-cup lady in the innocuous Double Dhamaal but, heavens above, I had to give Sanjay Dutt the higher “loser” number for the other turd he released this year - Chatur Singh Two Star aka Chatur Singh No Star aka The Pink Panther But We Didn’t Buy The Rights. Forget Minissha’s half-star review, this movie was so bad that critics brought out the no star review. As Ankur Pathak wrote: The funniest and the most incredible part of Chatur Singh 2 Star -- a film, which I can confirm is a second hand version of The Pink Panther is -- that the makers felt they could actually pull off the ambitious slapstick. Bravo!

Two grown men of prodigious talent wasting their time trolling some poor starlet and making really terrible films. For that, Ajay and Sanjay, you deserve to be losers 3 and 2, respectively, on my list of shame.

#1 Shahrukh Khan

Oh, ho! Here comes controversy! Shahrukh Khan is my number one on this list for one reason alone - all those fucking Ra.One promotions. FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR, every week, every day, every hour brought us a new interview or product tie-in; some Hollywood celebrity; rumors of an “affair” with Priyanka Chopra; talk of six-packs; how he couldn’t take off the suit to go to the bathroom; and (my least favorite) how we all needed to see the film because it was (say it with me) ON PAR WITH HOLLYWOOD.

There had been Ra.One talk for a while, sure, but it was like once 2011 hit, it just didn’t stop. For an entire year we were treated to a constant stream of Ra.One blah blah “Chammak Challo” blah blah ON PAR WITH HOLLYWOOD blah blah... it’s enough to make a strong woman cry tears of media-saturation.

It got to the point that the Ra.One promotions overshadowed the film itself by a huge margin. The promotions inspired more jokes than Uday Chopra’s “retirement.”

Ra.One was shown on an airplane. People still walked out.

No matter that Ra.One did respectable business at the box office, Shahrukh’s brand has been tarnished. We saw that with the Don 2 release and probably into 2012, as well. Shahrukh can no longer claim to be the Badshah of Bollywood, not when the box office numbers of his film releases were anxiously clocked against two Salman Khan films made in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost.


82c7d88c-32ef-11e1-ba3f-000bcdcb471e said...

I am so in love with this blog. I found it this morning and its beyond amazing. Wow.

Ava Suri said...

A very enjoyable post Filmi Girl. I loved it.

Filmi Girl said...


And thanks to everybody who didn't leave me hate mail! It's all in good fun... :)

eliza bennet said...

I enjoyed reading the list and actually agree with everyone but No.1 (Now I'm a fan of Abhi and I think he is a total winner but I'm not blind to the facts, I just wish that his film will be a huge HIT this year)

But for SRK it may be a not so good time for him but all Khans had that low point in their careers and it was time for SRK had his. But if you look at it objectively even his failure is better than a lot of other people's success.

He just doesn't fit in with the other losers in the list. (Well Abhi is my "I LOVE YOU" but I agree for the reasons that put him in your list)

Calena said...

Why, yes, Ra.One promos were annoying. BUT at least SRK has some ideas that go beyond ripping his shirt apart in fights. Kudos for that, even if it didn't turn out to be as successful as I'd hoped.
Very well said Eliza, held against against "normal" standards, Ra.One wouldn't be considered such a failure. (that said, I still haven't seen it, will certainly buy the DVD the moment it's out)

*sigh* I like both Abhi and Saif and it's sad to see them fail.

Sanjay himself said in the last Filmfare Rascal was horrible - lol

This was a very fun read, thanks!

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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