|"Bollywood kitsch revisited by Ritan Chauhan" - image source|
Be it Luck by Chance, Dhoom:2 or Dostana - all of these count as successes for my inner missionary of Bollywood. Personally, I would even prefer many other films over the latter two, films that are more profound, to put it that way. It is important to keep the balance between trash and snobism when introducing your friends to an exotic film industry.
But while my journey through and with Indian films has certainly broadened and improved my cinematic taste, there is another phenomena amongst non-Indian Bollywood-viewers, namely one I don't mention very often.
I'm talking about the side of Bollywood, that is darker than any Anurag Kashyap film you have ever seen... In fact the secret of this darkness is a mixture of bright colours that blind the eye, which is already confused by curtains of glycerin tears, all of this resulting in a never-ending darkness of... greatness.
Believe it or not; the more Bollywood films you see, no matter what quality they are, you will feel yourself more and more accepting and in the end getting closer to the dark side of Bollywood, until finally, it has become a part of you. You may try to shake it off with the help of long Fellini-DVD nights, but there is nothing you can do. Once a member of the club, always a member of the club, that's the only rule.
If however, you feel too ashamed by your little dark secret, there are ways to conceal it. Most of the ways to do this are in fact passive ones, in casual conformance with the motto "Don't ask, don't tell". So don't start a movie blog. And if you have one, don't write posts called "9 Great Bollywood Films You Probably Shouldn't Watch With Outsiders", or anything similar. Everybody will know then, and you don't want that to happen, do you?
Another advice from my side is: don't talk about the films, to any. body. Not your sister, your brother, your parents - even your best friend might be a spy from the commission of officially high-quality motion pictures.
Any unsolved questions? Oh yes, thank you for reminding me: what if the films from the dark side have become such a big part of your life that you loose the ability to distinguish between dark and bright films?
In case you are confronted with this problem, there is little I can do for you. But if you're truly in desperation, this list I just created might be a help for you - these are the worst great films I could think of, and you should never. ever. mention the titles of these films in front of anybody else than yourself or your lawyer. Did you understand me? You look a little pale... Hey, it's for your own safety.
And remember: the higher the film is in the list, the more dangerous is it to mention its name in public.
List of those-who-must-not-be-named-ever-after
9. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) Karan Johar
Too childish for an adult movie to be taken seriously by people from ages 11+... ahem.
Your official opinion: „I'm so glad these freakin' 90s are finally over.“
8. Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000) Rakesh Roshan
Almost the same as the previous, but even less realistic. And the two halves fit even less (officially).
Your official opinion: „Well, Hrithik had to start at some place.“
7. Josh (2000) Mansoor Khan
A guilty pleasure that many people don't even know... seriously, Romeo and Juliet in Goa? Awe... I mean gruesome!
Your official opinion: „Shah Rukh can't sing, salla.“
6. Mohabbatein (2000) Aditya Chopra
I still hear Amitabh speaking the introduction-speech... this film is just epic.
This is the essential epic kitsch fiesta. Which can be seen as a negative or positive description.
Your official opinion: „See, nobody of the youngsters got famous. Told'ya, Aditya.“
5. Murder (2004) Anurag Basu
Most people will either be embarrassed or crazy about the first half, but they most probably won't like the second half. I don't care - and by the way, I have no idea why I like this movie either.
Your official opinion: „Disgusting. Hitchcock for poor teenagers.“
4. Yes Boss (1997) Aziz Mirza
The kitschiest and cutest introduction sequence ever.
I want this movie to become a teddy bear so I can put it in my bed and cuddle up to it whenever I feel sad.
Your official opinion: „No wonder Juhi never got her big breakthrough.“
3. Action Replayy (2010) Vipul Shah
Why was this film not bad again? Oh yes, because it's freaking hilarious.
Believe me, I wanted to hate it. It wasn't my fault.
Your official opinion: „Annoying and far beyond its time.“
2. Tees Maar Khan (2010) Farah Khan
And the same for this one: I practically hated it before seeing it.
Little did I know about the genius Akshay Kumar.
Your official opinion: „Another slapstick mass production from the hands of Mr. Kumar. Farah Khan disappoints with her second feature film.“
1. Ram Jaane (1995) Rajiv Mehra
This film... Don't watch it. Just don't.
You still have time to run away - this is something nobody should know nor like.
Damn. WHY did you do this to me?!
Your official opinion: „Do I need to say anything?“
I hope this will serve as a little help for you.