Reflections on PLAYERS (Hindi, 2012) *Minor Spoilers*

This is my first review in a while and hopefully I get a chance to maintain this side of things in 2012…

Reflections on PLAYERS (Hindi, 2012)

The first release of the year and that too an Abbas-Mustaan multi-cast thriller, PLAYERS came up with a high set of expectations. Even though every single actor in the film needed a hit badly (Abhishek, Sonam, Bipasha, Bobby, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sikander Kher) the directors last release RACE was very much in the same vein and a huge blockbuster. Touted to be an “official” remake of THE ITALIAN JOB (not the Michael Caine classic but the F.Gary Gray directed Mark Wahlberg starrer) PLAYERS very much looked like a adrenalin-pumping action-thriller. So does the movie live up to expectations? Sadly, no.

Firstly, coming right after DON 2 wasn’t such a good idea. While Farhan Akhtar’s high-octane sequel is very easily the most stylish film on technical grounds and the narrative here was singular and very much in the mould of an actual Hollywood heist film though it was apparent still that this was a “wanna-be” rather than the genuine thing though close. Essentially, both DON’s are primarly designed for a high-end Multiplex audience who in some ways look down on “masala” cinema (or certain aesthetics have to be altered to please their sensitibilities), PLAYERS on the other hand most certainly has a plot lifted from an Hollywood hit, it has style and it also has a hefty dose of rip-rollicking action which outdoes the original, however at heart, PLAYERS is about as “desi” as a film gets which would please the aam junta.. Abbas-Mustaan are one of the few directors in Hindi cinema who can adapt an Hollywood thriller to Bollywood sensibilities with the right voltage of twists, sizzles and masala to create a blockbuster in both multiplexes and single screens. With PLAYERS however, the marring of the old and the new just doesn’t do the trick.

The basic plot of the story revolves around a group of PLAYERS (professional thieves to be precise) who decide to rob a lot of gold from a fast moving train In Russia. Victor (Vinod Khanna) decides to help his protégé Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan) conduct one last job so he can fulfil his dream of building an orphanage. To pull of the job he needs the right team of Players which include an illusionist (Bobbby Deol), a bomb expert (Sikander Kher), a make-up and costume artist (Omi Vadiya), a computer hacker named Spider (Neil Nitin Mukesh) as well as two hot babes (Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu).

While the initial heist goes to plan, there is a traitor in the team of PLAYERS….who is the traitor?

The film is sadly predictable and is salvaged by the stunning action sequences. Both the train sequence and the car chase scene in the finale are fantastic. Abbas-Mustaan heavily rely on formula here and it doesn’t work in their favour this time. The “twist on twist” worked really well in RACE, here however each twist is so predictable to start with that you see it coming a mile off.

The film is one where the characters are never built to start with but are more personas. Abhishek Bachchan glides in and out with a cool and suave performance as the leading man. My only fault here was that he was “too cool” at times, and lacked that extra bit of “zing” in the drama or confrontation scenes which would’ve made his character stronger. The persona works remarkably well In something like BLUFFMASTER. His performance here reminded me a lot of the original DHOOM in the sense Charlie is cool, calm and calculated and always got a plan on step in advance. He’s in control as the leading man with a smouldering screen presence. Aside from the drama/confrontation, maybe a few comic sequences with him and Omi or him and Johhny would’ve really hit the mark. As an Abhishek fan, it is somewhat paining to see Abhishek go through the “motions” of being a leading man rather than stick his teeth into full fledged, author-backed characters like in DUM MAARO DUM, RAAVAN, DELHI 6, KHJJS etc, however at this stage Abhishek needs massive commercial hits more than anything else. I get the feeling BOL BACHCHAN is where we’ll really see Abhishek come to the fore with a outright comic performance and from there DHOOM 3. As I said the other day, it’s all about the narrative. With films like D6, KHJJS, RAAVAN etc he’s working with a totally different “get-up” (genre, director, theme, narrative) each time hence it becomes harder for him to establish a signature. Now by getting back into commercial with a vengeance (PLAYERA is only a start, and it may be a rocky one at that) but BOL BACHCHAN, DHOOM 3, CHAKRAVYUAH combined I think will form an interesting narrative regardless of the PLAYERS outcome.

Neil Nitin Mukesh as the films main villain has been given the second meatiest role and he does it with aplomb though it comes across as all too familiar. It’s obvious that Abbas-Mustaan were fans of JOHNNY GADDARR and Neil’s Spider is very much in line with him. Mukesh shines in a negative performance. Abbas-Mustaan seem very inspired by campy 60’s films one gets the feeling and go a tad overboard at times by presenting Neil set-up with a massive Castle-like haveli where he makes his “chamiyaa” Sonam Kapoor dance which draws an instant reminder to the “villains dens” in Hindi movies from the 70’s and 80’s. That aside, even a lot of the melodrama seems to be modelled on those films, and again the marring of THAT precise masala (more of a retro 60’s) with a modern update just doesn’t vibe as well.

Bipasha looks hot in a bikini-no complaints. Sonam Kapoor on the other hand is miscast in her part. She fails to convey the attitude which was the most essential part of her character, and just doesn’t have enough oomph for the more seductive parts where she looks terribly uncomfortable. Yes she looks extremely gorgeous on-screen and shares superb chemistry with Abhishek, but that aside, she just doesn’t have it in her to carry off the emotional parts with conviction.

Omi Vadiya and Sikander Kher are both fantastic in their respective roles and hit the right notes. Bobby Deol is surprisingly an odd one out. His character has minimal footage, is fleshed out more than the others, yet Deol makes no impact at all and is bumped off fairly early too?
Pritam’s music just bores on-screen and this is one movie where you wish there were less songs. The lack of a blockbuster like ZARRA ZARRA In race is sorely missed here.

Technically the film is slick. Abbas-Mustaan retain a lot of campy charm from 60’s Hindi films and merge it with the modern update of the Gray remake (in this case the 60’s masala representing perhaps the campness of Caines version)? The translation is an odd one which surely has it’s moments due to some stunning action pieces and some endearing performances, but that aside PLAYERS fails to hit the mark. A one time watch only for the fans!


105 Responses to “Reflections on PLAYERS (Hindi, 2012) *Minor Spoilers*”

  1. masterpraz Says:

    I’ll add here that a lot of the campiness retained in this film is probably more on “purpose” than being “outdated/old-school” without knowing. Abbas-Mustaan are too smart for that, though I don’t think the audience is “in on the joke” this time as most people have taken the campiness tone in parts of the film as being delayed/outdated etc…..bummer!


  2. masterpraz Says:

    And yeah the action is worth the price of the ticket alone! I’ll take the train scene here over anything else I’ve seen lately in this genre, and also the Mini chase scenes through the iconic bylanes of Windy Wellington.

    Got a bit nostalgic seeing my old hometown Auckland on the bigscreen…the film has been shot with panache/slickness where action is concerned which is why some of the more campy drama/comedy scenes seem to stand out. I didn’t mind it but I could see a few scorns at it…


  3. Bhalo_Manush Says:

    Do not agree with the following things

    “PLAYERS came up with a high set of expectations”

    Don’t think anybody had high expectations from the movie including Abhishek who had predicted a 25 crore 1st week .

    “not the Michael Caine classic but the F.Gary Gray directed Mark Wahlberg starrer”

    I guess it’s just the opposite. It’s the remake of the Michael Caine classic.

    “Essentially, both DON’s are primarly designed for a high-end Multiplex audience who in some ways look down on “masala” cinema”

    Ghajini, Wanted, Dabaang, Bodyguard??


    • masterpraz Says:

      Bhalo: Chalo decent expectations….Abbas-Mustaan have their hardcore set of fans (myself included) who’ll see anything they direct in cinema whether it’s TAARZAAN or PLAYERS 😉

      It’s not an exact remake of either but takes inspiration from both.

      What I meant by that comment above is that both DON and specially DON 2 worked JUST in the multiplexes and not in the single screens. Aamir and Salman are a different breed of stars (both in totally different ways at that), at this point in time they have equal foothold and strength in the local domestic indian market as they do overseas. SRK in my view, in this current scenario, is primarily a bigger force overseas than he is domestically, simply due to his choice of films, a few more like OSO would do him good, thoguh Im curious to see how both Shetty in CHENNAI EXPRESS and Murugadoss in their film present him. The YRF-SRK film holds ZERO interest for me at this stage except for the Rahman score….


      • Bhalo_Manush Says:

        In one of the interviews Abbas Mustan had Mentioned that it is the remake of the first one direcetd by Michael Caine. But for now let’s leave it.

        A movie like Don 2 or Players is not going to work in single screens. These are i will say masala movies but very westernized. Some of the dialogues are in English too. Ghajini or a dabaang are desi masala movies.I have been a multiplex user in India and my friends and collegues all are multiplex going audience. They like these desi masala movies. Not sure from where this misconception came that masala movies won’t be liked by Multiplex audience. OSO was a huge hit in Multiplex. I remember watching Wanted in a Multiplex in Kolkata. The public was enjoying it a lot.

        “SRK in my view, in this current scenario, is primarily a bigger force overseas than he is domestically simply due to his choice of films, a few more like OSO would do him good”

        Agree with this except the OSO part. IMO films like OSO will always harm SRK in the long run.


        • masterpraz Says:

          Bhalo a proper/good masala film should work in both multiplexes and single screens equally. PLAYERS is far “less” westernized in a lot of ways than DON 2 is which is pretty much an Hollywood film in the way it’s structured and the narrative. Farhan and Abbas Mustaan are leagues apart in a lot of ways.

          PLAYERS on the other hand is a “desi” film which has elements of action that is on par with Hollywood films but is overall a desi masala film replete with all cliches and all.

          As for SRK, an OSO once in a while would do him better than Yashraj Romances-RA ONEs. A masala actioner with a director like Murugadoss remains the most interesting prospect for me given SRK’s image.


  4. masterpraz Says:

    And Vinod Khanna was good here, about the same as he was in the recent WANTED. Did like seeing him and Abhi share a few scenes together…..

    It’d be great to see a revival action film with the oldies (Khanna, Dharam, Rishi, and BIg B) together again. On that note, the chemistry between Rishi and Abhishek is still the best….their scenes together are pure magic! Looking forward to seeing Rishi in AGNEEPATH…


  5. masterpraz Says:

    The “ultimate” Abbas-Mustaan film would still be one where it’s Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna and Abhishek. Here, the latter in a totally negative role aka Khanna in HUMRAAZ would be interesting,. nonetheless, they’ll have a big one in RACE 2 later in the year…

    Neil Nitin Mukesh has apparently been signed for 2 more films with Abbas-Mustaan. Next is a supposed sequel to BAAZIGAR.


    • Bhalo_Manush Says:

      “Neil Nitin Mukesh has apparently been signed for 2 more films with Abbas-Mustaan. Next is a supposed sequel to BAAZIGAR.”

      This will be interesting. I think Neil will do a very good job here.


      • masterpraz Says:

        Don’t think it’s an actual sequel as such, more of an extension of the same themes (revenge) with a new Baazigar.


  6. “t’d be great to see a revival action film with the oldies (Khanna, Dharam, Rishi, and BIg B) together again.”

    You just evoke extreme emotions .. This would a huge nostalgia to see Dharam, Amitabh, Rishi and Khanna together in Out an out action masala movie. They all have sufficient fuel even now .. 🙂


  7. alex adams Says:

    Had put this up elsewhere–Would like satyams views…
    Would have gone for sherlock holmes but players wont last that long here so gave it a watch first—
    Watched players
    V Good occupancy for this screen -maybe due to sat nite.
    Went in with v low expectations. In these cases, usually like to take entertaining company, incase the movie fails to entertain lol (bheja fry type…)
    Overall an ok reasonably executed entertainer–does what it says ‘on the tin’-nothing more, nothing less…
    Typical all round abbas-mastaan twists, comedy, masala…
    Liked the Russia/ train sequences
    Have a certain liking for that Murmansk stretch–have been there myself and have some fond experiences (not of the train robbery types though)
    Abbas mustan do what they do best, do alright..

    Abhishrek does alright–seems to be ‘holding back’& underplaying most of the time(even where not required)
    For me it’s always about moments-he did show some glimpses of being a star actor though–example-
    The ‘Talking to bobbys daughter on phone’ was well handled by abhishrek -went nothing wrong in that scene but such ‘depth’ was probably out of place for this film

    This film stands out for getting the girls DO something substantial-be it being an automotive expert (that too a railway engine) or a computer hacker or a masterful seducer
    They weren’t just arm candy-so THAT’S something creditable lol

    Neil is ok but nothing as being made out to be. Have always found him promising somewhat with good looks. Have only see him in new York and he was much better there imo

    Bobby deol-felt truly sorry/ sympathetic for him and his plight.
    C’mon man: agreed he is goin thro bad times but his length (of role) was embarrassing (although he was ok in the bits he was)

    Bipasha is alright actually ; better than I expected: she is ageing well (so far) and she is showing some staying power

    Sonam-she can be photogenic but her looks / hair etc can be very inconsistent -needed someone with real oomph here

    Coming to the film-it doesn’t deserve to flop and won’t (though sopme parts of the media with agenda may prove it)
    But won’t make it to a conclusive earner/hit status either…


  8. Great read here Masterpraz… thanks!


  9. PLAYERS (2012) released just this Friday. Players is a remake of The Italian Job .

    1) Performances — Abhishek Bachchan at least attempts to make an impact, which doesn’t really happen. He ends up being the same he is. Bipasha Basu is probably the only one who could have a chance of being given the rating of a DECENT performance. Omi Vaidya is exactly the same as he was in 3 Idiots…buddy this is not a comedy, this is a freaking action film. Change it up! Neil Nitin Mukesh, who is otherwise a good actor, looks completely misplaced in this movie. He can’t seem to pull off any of his expressions right and ends up failing miserably! Bobby Deol, for, once, is not a liability. I won’t go as far as saying that his performance was good or anything, but, it seemed better than everybody else [other than Bipasha]. Sonam Kapoor…yikes…it just seems that she can’t relate to her character at all and she’s trying to find her place in the entire film and is unsuccessful. Sikandar Kher looks just passable! Vinod Khanna gives one of his worst performances in over a decade! The dude just seems weird here. I wish I could say he was a redeeming quality since he is an experienced actor, but, unfortunately, nothing like that is true! RATING — 1.5/5

    2) Story — It’s practically just like “The Italian Job”…the exact thing happens. The Players (all the actors) try to steal gold, first from a moving train and then from a truck by creating a traffic jam. Looks workable, right? WRONG! The story is completely messed up with forced twists and turns everywhere. I can easily see that about a half hour to an hour of the movie could have been cut if they hadn’t included just stupid, forced twists! RATING — 1.5/5

    3) Screenplay — It’s hard to believe that a remake of a good movie decided to slow the screenplay so much that it was boring as hell! The only good part about the movie is the technical aspects of it. The cinematography is brilliant actually! Also, the little tricks used when robbing the train are pretty damn cool too! BUT, that does not make a good movie. If it did, RA.One would practically be on top of the world…but, no…RA.One sucked! Bottom line, screenplay is draggy as hell…the last 40 minutes…I was thinking…oh, the end is near, but, no no no, they include a stupid little twist again and again. And these twists are so predictable that, except for the first person betraying the team, I could figure them all out beforehand. SPOILER ALERT ** — The minute they met Bipasha’s character the 2nd time, it could easily be seen that she’s gonna turn on ’em, yet the BEST players in the world were stupid enough to believe her. Oh, and then there are also those speedbreakers, that some Bollywood fans like to call a crucial element of Bollywood [with which I highly DISAGREE]…the songs. Drag dragg dragggggggg! RATING — 1/5

    4) Direction — I have immense respect for Abbas-Mustan. They have a directed a pretty damn good film named RACE and their best work so far has been Baazigar [in my POV]. However, I don’t know what happened to them here. The direction is kinda sloppy. However, the high peak of their direction in this movie was the robbery of the train and some of the climax. However, overall, they disappoint. 2/5

    5) OVERALL — A must-miss movie. If you’re a hardcore fan of Abhishek, or Neil, go watch the movie. Otherwise, give it a skip.
    RATING — 1.5/5


  10. Bhalo_Manush Says:

    “Sonam Kapoor on the other hand is miscast in her part. She fails to convey the attitude which was the most essential part of her character, and just doesn’t have enough oomph for the more seductive parts where she looks terribly uncomfortable. ”

    Very valid point here.

    “Omi Vadiya and Sikander Kher are both fantastic in their respective roles and hit the right notes.”

    Do u honestly think Omi and Shikander were “fantastic”?
    I think along with Sonam these two were totally miscast here. Sikander was good in KHJJS. apart from that i have not seen any noteworthy perf from him.

    For me Neil, Vinod Khanna, Johney Lever, Bipasha and Bobby suited their role perfectly. Neil impressed me the most in the movie. Aftab too was good in a small role.


  11. Ami (formerly 'Annoyed') Says:

    I am not really interested in watching either this or Don 2. But I would pick this over Don 2 any day. Obviously neither are going to be gripping heist movie masterpieces- but I think that Abbbas-Mustan’s unabashed pandering to the lowest common denominator is more honest and less annoying that Farhan Akhtar’s fraudulence and pretense at being some kind of a visionary auteur.

    Plus- I do not think that either SRK or Abhishek are suave action hero material at all. And Abhishek at least has the grace to be self aware when he is preening and posturing but with SRK it’s absolutely unironic. You just know that he thinks he is better than Bruce Willis and Robert Downey Jr. put together and his wannabe film is as good as anything they have made.


  12. alex adams Says:

    satyam–unrelated -but check out this naseer interview
    THE grumpy old man of indian cinema
    must say–i love his interviews a lot
    there is a cynical acerbic sarcasm laden paadoxical irony rolled into one

    ps-amy-understand n share your concerns and misgivings bout don2
    But found it better somewhat
    infact imo amongst srks best films-not sure where my views on it are posted here–but posted a few–a slick adept film–srks ass-hollery in full view and actually suits this milieu–also PCs on-off thing with srk was gr8
    suggest u check it out on the big screen–perhaps one of the v few srk films that i could watch till the end without being tempted to push off
    anyhow enuf of pillow talk lol–bak 2 wrk


    • Bhalo_Manush Says:

      Thanks for sharing this. nice interview..


      • yep..I concurr. Just finished watching myself. Love Naseer in all his interviews. He is “paisa vasool” 😉
        I like Baman Irani’s and Arshad’s interviews as well.


    • Alex – responding to your previous query about actors who impress me. I like both Konkana Sen Sharma and Vidya Balan for their acting talent.

      I have seen most of Konkona’s movies –

      Mr & Mrs Iyer
      Aaja Nachle
      Athithi Tum Kab Jaoge
      Wake up Sid
      Luck by Chance
      15 Park Avenue

      I haven’t seen Page 3 and Traffic Signal yet

      I have seen all movies of Vidya Balan so far.


      • yay…another VB fan!!


        • alex adams Says:

          Filmbuff–thats a nice list …^^^
          btw which actors/actresses u like for their “non” acting skills
          hope u r having fun in sydney

          Good nite folks–need 2 catch up wid work


          • Plenty for their non acting skills! – Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Genelia, Arjun Ramphal etc.

            Back to work, so less fun times although hoping to catch up “The Iron Lady” on Thursday


  13. Pranav Rawal Says:

    Omi Vaidya looked and acted like a thorough idiot in this film.


  14. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    “Players had a very poor Monday of around 2.25 crore nett. The four day business of the film is between the 17-17.25 crore nett range.

    Players is likely to have a 22.50 crore nett first week which will be less than a film like Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl.”

    THis is waht I had predicted: ” I was hoping against hope , for Abhishek’s sake, that this one would work and fetch 70 cr. But after watching all the promos out closer to the release, I have to say, no,it’s not to be. Abbas-Mastan’s ability to stage action and narrate a racy story is negated by the tired and totally misfit star cast. Abhishek is a joke trying to command a heist operation. His face has no intensity, no urgency. He is equaly bland tring to be passionate, killing the half away decent song Jhoom Jhoom. Bipasha is another have-been with tired moves and overexposed body. Sonam is just not right for this film..her face is too innocent, devoid of any sensuality or hidden facets, which is a must for a thriller. Bobby too is past his prime. Neil Nitin Mukesh may be just about ok. And there is the music and the staging of songs. Both are old fashioned, uninspiring and yawn-inducing. Feels like Deja vu..its Khelnge Hum Hee Jaan Se once again. But it might yet have some spectacular action sequences, great locales and some typical Abbas Maastan twists ( which sadly will have less takers today than in the times of race. today they prefer a more realistic Don 2). So a max of 45 cr. Take heart Abby Baby Jr. You can’t have it all. Win in love, lose in box office. It’s all in the Game. ”

    What some AB Jr fans don’t realize and accept that he really is ahopeless case and he is doing nothing to change things. Abhishek is the only actor I can think of who has brought down many films perceptibly with his lackluster or rank bad performance: Umrao Jaan, Raavan, Delhi 6. He looks slovenly. HIs delivery is bad. He cannot act. AS an actor, he is basically of the level ofa Jckie Shroff.: give him nothing much to do, like say a film like Dostana, Paa or KANK, and he looks fine. Otherwise he is all at sea. But at leasrt Jackie had a model’s god looks and that carried him fora while. And there many advisers of AB Jr who say there is nothing wrong withhis looks!

    They say Bol Bachcghan is sure hot, Now wasn’t Players supposed to be a sure deal. ? There is something about AB Jr that brings otherwise competent directors to deliver below par. For all you know Bol Bachchan may turn out to be Rohit Shetty;s first dud in years! Mind you I am very fond of Abhishek and think he is a swell guy. But then sow as Kumar Gaurav. And there are many star sons like Suneil Anand, Puru Rajumar, Rajeev Kapor..who have not made it as heroes. So there is no shame there.


    • “hey say Bol Bachcghan is sure hot, Now wasn’t Players supposed to be a sure deal. ? ”

      No, Not at all. Since the day first promo was out, check my all comments in this blog. I was always hopeless for this movie.
      But yeah, i am very hopeful to Bol Bachchan. I am saying this first time here.

      “But then sow as Kumar Gaurav. And there are many star sons like Suneil Anand, Puru Rajumar, Rajeev Kapor”

      Can you give one movie of these guys where they have shown capabilities like Guru, Yuva, Bluffmaster, Sarkar ?? And even excel in comedies like Dostana ? This is very shameful on your side that you are comparing these guys with Abhi .. Abhishek is far ahead.

      “He cannot act. AS an actor, he is basically of the level ofa Jckie Shroff.: give him nothing much to do”

      Yeah, Guru, Yuva, Bluffmaster, Dostana, Sarkar, DMD were without act .. you mean to say he did nothing in these movies ??


    • Utkal, basically i am not minding your criticism. Abhishek has done some big mistakes and he deserves.

      But i have all rights to criticize you for putting full stop at some one’s career and ignoring the fact that he has actually capabilities to make comeback. Tough .. but not impossible.


  15. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Jeevan, I am not trying to put full stops to anyone’s career. And nothing is impossible, if one sizes a situation correctly and works hard enough. But to that Abhishek has to recognize and accept what his problems are and not live in some fool’s paradise created by fawning fans. I heard him retorting toa TV interviewer, “ What is fitness? Define fitness. My character in Dhoom is not required to be physical.” Whao! Who can help him, you tell me.
    It maybe the promos of Players did not send out great vibes. But I van show , how fans in this forum, went on predicting totals of 70 or 80 crores. I am sure even you did not predict this low a collection. ( I didn’t, even with my total negative summing up.) The point I am making is, the public perception of Abhishek as a star-actor is much lower than what his fans think.
    You talk of Guru, Yuva, Bluffmaster, Dostana, Sarkar, DMD. Out of these, only Guru boasts of some real solid acting. Saying Abhishek is great comedian because of Dostana is like saying John Abraham is a great comedian. He was jst about adequate in Blugffmaster, DMD and Sarkar. DMD was sucha well-made film , kit would have had a far stronger impact with any other actor ( I am not talking of one of the Khans. Akshay, Ajay, Hritik. Or even Abhay Deol, Shahid or Ranbir.) His performance in Sarkar loks god because of the camera angles and directorial touches…just like Arvind Swamy’s performance in Rioja or Bombay can look good.

    AS about Jackie, Kumar Gaurav and Rajeev Kapoor, Kumar Gaurav was impressive in Love Story , Star and Naam, Rajeev Kapor in Ram Teri Gnaga Maili. But I was trying to drawa more meaniigful parallel with Non-actor Jacke Shroff. And he has films like Hero, Karma, Kaash, Parinda, TRidev, 100 Days, Angaar, Gardish, Aaina, 1942- A Love Story, Saudagar, Khlanayak…. certainly a more impressive list than Abhishek can ever dream of. Jackie kept himself fit and sharp looking and chose his films wisely, on par with his acting abilities. Like Jackie, Abhshek is a good looking guy, tall and handsome, with limited acting abilities. Abhishek can try and emulate him rather than have delusions of being a great actor. He has to play up his strengths and cover up his weaknesses.
    Truth Is often biter. But it is the truth. And it is wise to recognize it.


    • “DMD was sucha well-made film , kit would have had a far stronger impact with any other actor”

      Don’t agree at all. Abhishek played his part with utmost perfection and i believe no other actor could have done that better with same setup.

      “Abhishek is great comedian because of Dostana” .. Well, i just say he show his great comic skills in Dostana ?(Apart from JBJ of-course).

      For rest of comparison with likes of Jackie, Kumar Gaurav and so on .. I would say any actor at such a low point of his career can be even compared to Armaan Kohli .. no big deal.


  16. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Rediff ‘s 10 worst films of Abhishek

    10. Mian Prem Ki Deewani 9. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom 8. Gane 7. Umrao Jaan 6. Mubai Se aaya Mera Dost 5. Dhai Akshar Prem Ke 4 Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya 3. Haan Maine Bhi Pyar Kiya Hai 2. Players 1. Drona

    I wonder if any other actor has been given this many chances, these man lives , so to speak!


  17. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Abhishek’s role in Umrao Jaan is not a guest appearance. It is the main romantic male lead, played by Farooq Shaik in the original. It’s like saying Emran Hashmi’s role in The Dirty Picture is aguest appearance, because it is an out and out Vidya Balan film.


  18. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Jeevan, Yes, In MPKDH, Abhishek actually came out with a much beter performance than Hritik. HIs Guru was also an excellent act, which I can safely say no other actor could have done that convincingly, and naturally. But against these one or two, there are so many rank bad performances strewn all over. His body language as a nawab in Umrao Jaan was laughable. He just sleepwalked through his role in Ravan. He did not try to create any kind of an authentic USA-returned Indian in Delhi 6, and hos police officer’s act in Dhoom 2 was so slovenly, it made Hritik’s charisma ten time more electric than it actually was. And no, he WAS NOT at all funny in JBJ. Neither was the film of course.


    • Not agree on JBJ .. Abhishek was too good there .. And this is not my personal views, even all reviews says same.

      Rest is fine. And utkal .. i am not one who will defend Abhishek even for his mistakes . . Check my views in Players boxoffice thread, and you will see how critical i am for Abhishek. I didn’t like him in Most of movies .. that’s truth .. And no .. i am not his fan .. but well wisher .. Yes (I am Amitabh fan). I start liking him after Yuva. After that there was On and Off moments. The movies where i liked him immensely are JBJ, Guru, Yuva and DMD. Yes, you can see JBJ at top .. His confidence level was very high during JBJ time and he very naturally pulled it off. Guru is his movie all the way .. no one can take credit.Yuva and DMD had shades of Angry man and i must say he did great job in both.


    • “And no, he WAS NOT at all funny in JBJ. Neither was the film of course.

      Ahhh.. here you caught .. in comments just below, you admit that you have not seen JBJ … and here you are firmly giving judgement on movie which you have not seen ? How awkward you are Mr. utkal ? How can you do this ?


  19. Personally, I liked Abhishek in Naach, Guru, Yuva, Sarkar, Dostana, KANK ( only positive in a otherwise lousy film )

    He needs now to introspect & have a long hard look at his choice of films & more importantly choice of directors.


  20. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Incidentally, JBJ has a rating of 4 from some 1400 users. One of the lowest. Lower even than 4.8 of Ra One.


  21. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    DMD was an author backed role and he just about pulled it off. His delivery of lines like ” aapke municipality ke bhayaa log do char peg chadhaje hi andar dhukte hain” was very unsure and awkward. He could nothing with that rap song. I mean there is nothing special he brought to the table with that role.
    I haven’t seen JBJ, but that song with Priety in the tralier shows him trying to be very funny but ended up looking awkward. That’s my opinion.


    • “I haven’t seen JBJ, but that song with Priety in the tralier shows him trying to be very funny but ended up looking awkward”

      Which one ? Bol Na Halke Halke ? … If yes, then that song was most favorite moment of film .. and to look into the context, you have to see the movie.

      About IMDB rating .. These ratings doesn’t reflect anything but perceptional mind of audience when movie was released. I am not saying that JBJ was not flawed .. but it was heavily misunderstood movie of its time .. To say that JBJ was best spoof i have ever seen will be understatement.


    • DMD was not author backed role, otherwise Abhishek will end up taking the movie to finale rather than being killed. And i found his dialogue delivery very good for each dialogue in this movie. Utkal, you know i am praising him where i felt he deserved and as i said before, DMD is among such movies where i can’t think of any one else except Abhishek.


    • “I haven’t seen JBJ”

      And without seeing movie, you are giving judgement on movie in above comments ??

      This was your comment from above section

      “And no, he WAS NOT at all funny in JBJ. Neither was the film of course.”

      This is ridiculous.


  22. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Jeevan, I said I formed my opinion on Abhisherk in JBJ based on the trailer clips , that Eiffel Tower song with Priety., and the fgilm based on various other scenes in the trailer. And let me tell you, I haven’t found one film with rating of below 5 turning out to be an exceptional film. At best such a film can have one or two good moments here and thee. But a very good film, never.


    • Utkal .. well whatever, the fact is your judgement on entire movie and performance based on just trailer. This is huge crime IMO .. Your impression may not be necessarily correct in context of movie. I agree that majority not able to get the humor in correct way .. hence low IMDB ratings. But certainly there is section of audience who is huge fan of movie, though in minority.

      Found one comment at your fav site IMDB .. which i am agree to ..

      “As the film ended and the huge audience of all ages rose, making its way into the grand, pretty foyer, I turned to an Indian man in his thirties next to me and asked him in Hindi if he liked it. He said he loved the songs, particularly the song of the title, which he thought would get even the most unlikely person in the cinema dancing in the aisles. Then he added,

      ‘But the the rest of the film is nonsense’.

      I certainly agree with him about the infectious song of the title, having badly hummed it often. However, I don’t think the rest of the film is nonsense. What I believe many people mistake for nonsense is actually a playful, kitsch, knowingly referential film revolving around the desires and problems of self-mythology, and the power of Bollywood fantasy. “


    • Well again, liking or disliking any movie is subjective. So there is no point putting argument further. At the moment .. conclusion is i have seen movie 5 times and i am huge fan. And you have not seen it yet, still you are feeling that movie is not fun, neither performance is good.


    • Again, i noticed one thing in IMDB reviews, Most reviews which have been put up after long gap of movie release(say 2009 onward) are outright positive. This again confirm my belief that IMDB ratings and reviews during 2007 were from influenced moind.

      And utkal, just go through all reviews of IMDB .. you will see many 4-4.5/5 reviews.


    • “Awesome movie !!!, 2 July 2007

      Author: fred20a from Germany
      I can’t understand that many people don’t like the movie ….I think many peole didn’t understand it..

      You can sense the joy that went into the making of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom right from the time the title makes its appearance….Amitabh has a great cameo, Abhishek is different but good too – Preity is always beautiful…in this one i like here better than KANK…Lara and Bobby are great ..I’ve always like this couple…but I was surprised that i enjoy Bobby’s play most…

      he plays this character with a lightness…and I have really enjoy it when he was on screen…have wait all time that he appears…

      I can only say go watch it!!!! …it is different Bollywood but thats good ….can only say very Entertaining Movie…don’t listen to the reviews …last but not least you will enjoy it..”


    • There are too many highly positive reviews, obviously i will not put all here … Lollllll

      But what i made the point is conformed … JBJ is one movie which got many fans off late.


  23. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Jeevan, he was ok in DMD, nothing exceptional. ditto for Dostana, KANK, Bluff Master. If he kept on doing rom-coms based on urban cool dude characters he would be fine. But films that require acting with a wide range or a charismatic star personality or full-fledged comedy will always be his undoing.


    • As far as i know, Abhishek got huge appreciation for DMD performance .. and i liked his act. This is summary of what all critics have to say about Abhishek ..


    • Rajeev Masand of CNN IBN had this to say about Bachchan, “In the end, it’s Abhishek Bachchan who throws you with his sheer presence. He plays Kamath with just the right amount of steely nerve and naked emotions…”

      Taran Adarsh of writes, “Abhishek is super in the role of a tough cop whose life undergoes a U-turn when personal tragedy strikes. He projects the varied emotions such as rage, turmoil, helplessness, anxiety without going overboard…”


    • At the end, my point is just give the guy credit where its due .. Otherwise i am not less harsh on Abhishek when he does bad .. latest being Players where i felt he did just okay ..check my comments in previous threads.


    • Check this review .. this is what i said before ..

      “The misunderstood gem, 10 February 2011

      Author: satori9512011 from Norway
      Duly I must report that I didn’t get it at first. First time I saw this film I thought it mediocre at best but it had something going for it: the music, the music was superb and due to it I saw the film over again and realised that my first impression of it was perhaps not quite correct and again the music caused me to see it once more at which point I realised that I had lost out on much of the dialogue the first two times due to the rapid subs I’ve come across in any film – you have the choice, follow what’s on the screen or follow the dialogue you can’t do both. However third time around I realised it was actually rather good for what it is, a romantic comedy. In fact I was very surprised when I discover that the film had got such appalling reviewers from film critics obviously I was not alone in my first impression of the film; then again as Sibelius said: don’t worry about what the critics say there has never been made a statue over a critic.. It is not perfect, it has two low points I think which is the scenes when the two main characters reflect back in time which become somewhat longwinded but apart for this the film is a gem. It is funny stylishly photographed and choreographed and Preity Zinta, Bobby Deolm, Lara Dutta and Abhishek Bachchan delivers some of the best acting I’ve seen from them – as usual you can see on Abhishek Bachchan whether he thinks the script is any good, as he is not a man to give at the door, if he doesn’t like the script, it is like he is on holiday, or has gone on strike (just check Bluffmaster or the Dhoom films) but in this film it is obvious he likes what he is doing, he is involved and is obviously having fun. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is in point of fact the closest I’ve seen any Indian film come to Bend It Like Beckham. Personally I’m not a great fan of Bollywood comedies compared to English, German French and even American comedies they are a little too infantile, this one however is rather refreshing. I hope the critics hasn’t scared them from doing it again.”


  24. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Jevan, I am not talking of IMDB reviews. I am talking of IMDB user ratings. A film like Andaz Apna Apna has a rating of 8.2, SWades: 8.2 , Dil se: 7.4. So IMDB ratings dont go by box office success. But Jhoom Brabar Jhoom: 4 and Raavan: 5.1 tells its own story. Add to that the fact that Raavanan , the Tamil version is rated 6.8, shows how much the poor performance of Abhishek is responsible for bringing the Hindi version down, because otherwise they were the same films.


    • Ami (formerly 'Annoyed') Says:

      I agree- Vikram was FAR, FAR better than Abhishek as Raavan(an). No competition really.

      But I do like Abhishek as well. I thought he was impressive in Yuva and Guru and he’s very dependable in roles like Bluffmaster, Dostana and Bunty Aur Babli. And he was the saving grace in a terrible film like KANK. I thought his performance in DMD was very overrated though.


      • Vikram is hottie and swell actor. I 2 felt that tamil version was made better because of Vikram’s presence (and vice-versa). Similarly Govinda was far-far outstanding compare to the tamil counter part. Not sure if Vikram or Govinda made/break the movie by their acting/character development. I think the script needed some more re-work-re-drafts. Acting or doing a role is not just about doing one or two scene nicely (as someone mentioned a particular phone scene AB jr did so well in Players). He did several such scenes well even in his first film refugee. Acting is all about developing the role or understanding a character. If (for instance) House (the serial) was not such well developed character, the audience wouldn’t not be able to “connect” to him (if his actions were all over the place and random). When a director spends time and develops Lallan, abhi shines (forget the title of movie right this minute). I feel that Abhi should have taken a little bit more of acting lessons for the kind of intense and hate-Kay roles he is doing in some of these movies. Otherwise if he wants to compete with Salmans/shahrukhz of this world, he needs to what they are doing (building body etc). Even Aamir had to do some serious body building for his commercial character in that memento remake and exude confidence doing silly stuff (ab jr appears awkward at least 2 me).


  25. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Incidentally, Dona has a a rating of 2.8, RGV ka aag: 1.7, Ra One: 4.8 and Mela: 3.2. And I have seen all except Droan and they are terible films. so there is no way I am going to take my chances with Dron or JBJ.


    • Obviously this wouldn’t make any difference to me if you watch any movie or not .. Even if you go toilet in morning by checking your fart rating at IMDB, this hardly matters to me.

      About ratings, AAA is at 8.2 because this is very old movie, had IMDB existed in 1994, its rating would have been less than 5, because majority of audience rated the movie at that time would be under influence.

      BTW JBJ Rating was 3 in 2007 and improved to 4+ now, tells its own story. I am damn sure this will improve to 6+ in next 3-4 years .. and even if not, i don’t give damn to IMDB. Fuckkk .. what is IMDB ?? Rotton tomato ka kya ?


  26. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    “About ratings, AAA is at 8.2 because this is very old movie, had IMDB existed in 1994, its rating would have been less than 5, ”
    Really? Then how come Mela , released way back in 200 does not have a rating of 8.2 but 3.2. And Swades released in 2004 has rating of 8.2? and films like Guzaarish, also a commercail failure has a rating of 7.2?

    No, the rating of JBJ will not improve from 4 to 6. Not in a million years. I can give than in writing.


    • Dude you have to go little more deeper for better understanding. AAA was liked movie. Mela was not liked when release and not even now. Swadesh and Guzarish were liked even if commercial failure. These movies were not commercial failures because of audience rejection, these were failures because of genre.

      JBJ is case where it was rejected when released, but started getting appreciation after some gap. The movies under this category are Mera Naam Joker, Pyaasa, Aks, Do aur do paanch etc.

      And yes, i can bet … don’t forget to see its rating in 2015 .. i assure you, it will go up by at least 2 points.


  27. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Pyaasa was rejected? It was among the biggest hots of Gurudutt. Do aur Do Paanch too was not rejected. And Mera Naam Joker got exactly the same the appreciation when it was released as it is getting now: It had a brilliant first one third, a tolerable second and a pathetic final one-third taken over by the ridiculously buxom Padmini trying to pass off as boy.

    AAA was a liked film? Then why was it a failure? Certainly not because of its comedy genre?


    • A note about Pyasa from the internet(s)

      Pyaasa is a towering example of the new energy flowing through Bollywood cinema in the 1950s and a cautionary tale about its limits. Although among the most critically celebrated Indian films in history, it was a resounding flop at the box office and crushed Dutt’s spirit;


  28. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    rajen, you are confusing Pyaasa with Kagaz Ke Phool. Pyaasa wasa super-hit. ( Pyaasa 2,90,00,000 1,50,00,000 Super Hit)


    • I don’t buy that list at all. first of all numbers from the era are completely unreliable and mostly estimates as the records simply don’t survive. Moreover a lot of rerun totals are added to the initial runs (and this is true for even superhits of the time.. very hard for example to separate Awara’s rerun gross from its initial one) and there’s no way of knowing what the actual gross was at the time of release. There’s no way it made more than films like Paying Guest and so on. I don’t believe it did much on initial release, might have been somewhat ok by Guru Dutt’s standards, certainly Kaagaz Ke Phool was a disaster but the combined effect of both films did him in. SBAG on the other hand did decently or better but here Guru Dutt did not even put his name on the title credits. In any case that number on Pyaasa is without doubt false.

      By the way Do Aur Do Paanch was a Bachchan flop. It recovered its costs as every bachchan film did but it’s nowhere close to his top grossers by any stretch.

      In any case the point is not about one film or the other. It’s about the larger point. There is simply no case to be made for being so dogmatic in the present when the history of every industry is replete with examples where audiences and/or critics rejected films with equal ferocity. And on that larger historical point see my comment here:

      Your blind spot as always is that you cannot conceive of the Raavan-like films of an earlier age. You try to explain these away somehow but this falsifies the history. From Hollywood to France to Japan and India there are very many films now considered ‘greatest’ that were greeted with scorn on initial release. Films were booed in movie theaters including by filmmakers as celebrated and as ‘auteurist’ as Godard (for example).

      Beyond this Utkal (and I honestly don’t mean it as an insult) you just have open up your mind a little more. You find it impossible to accept a view as legitimate that does not concur with your own. Whether it’s an earlier age rejecting Kaagaz ke phool or Rangan on TDP.


      • on that note forget those older films from the 50s or 60s even today, yes today, no one, I’ll repeat… NO ONE.., not even the producer knows what the real total of his film is. Yes one can estimate a rough range but no one knows otherwise. These box office figures that are produced (x film made 17.25 crores on day 1 or whatever) are nonsense. Doesn’t mean that this film made 5 crores. But that it could be 14 or 15 or 19. Which is why these games can be played by the trade. But even if one were completely sincere, honest and rigorous one could do no more than arrive at a very rough range which depending on the gross could have a margin of error of 10 crores either way. For example I don’t believe for certain reasons that Don made more than 90 crores at the very most. But nor is that 105 crore figure or whatever they’ve quoted verifiable in any sense. With SRK the figures are usually most inflated but leaving this aside it’s not clear whether for example Singham made 90 or 100. It’s not 70 but it’s hard to know more precisely. And again no one associated with the film know this either. Because they never see such a ‘balance sheet’. This talk of the 100 crore club and what not is bull. I have no doubts BG or Ready are well in excess of 100 crores or whatever. So one can arrive at these rough estimates. But BG for example could be 120, could be 130 or the 140 they claim. There is simply no system in India that collects all these numbers. The multiplexes have a verifiable electronic system but even here no one really collects things comprehensively. You might have totals offered from one multiplex chain as a sample or something similar. But ever multiplex ticket sold cannot be verified by anyone. When you get to single/double screens it’s trickier. When you get to smaller centers even moreso. In the West we know the number because there is a system to track every single ticket sold. No one can argue with these numbers. In India when a producer sells a film he knows from his distributors whether it’s profitable or not (besides his own sense of things) but the distributor is not likely to be very specific about his margins one way or the other. Assuming even he knows what the precise deal is which is again hard to figure out for some reasons. I could expand on all of this but the point is that all of these numbers are pretty much fiction. We can of course say that Don2 grossed a whole lot more than Desi Boyz or that Players did very poorly. But again Players could have been 6 on day 1 as ETC suggested or 4.5 as some others did or even greater than 6. There is a very significant percentage variation either way.

        Once upon a time you had trade papers and something like Screen carrying all sorts of sham claims about films. Huge ads saying a film had done a silver jubilee or 100 days or whatever (people would stretch out one screen somewhere and say these things). It was simple marketing. Today it’s done through guys like Taran and Nahta. Who make all sorts of claims.

        Unfortunately online this is a big parlor game. It feeds various agendas but also there’s something comforting about having the illusion of precision. But really no one knows beyond a general sense.

        Which is why incidentally the model Jay used to run (before Taran decided he’d had enough competition and stopped providing numbers online) was the best. Assuming a base number (whatever film or films one started out with) the rest of the model could be given a certain coherence. so for example if you said that Namaste London did ‘x’ then you could tell that Guru did ‘x-y’ or ‘x + y’. Similarly you’d use a number of other films as comparison and arrive at a certain range. Based again on imperfect numbers (because Taran would have incomplete centers, not always the same centers and so on). Even if that range was off the mark the overall model would at least be consistent. This is really the only way to do it when things aren’t verifiable and moreover these guys have their agendas.


        • Slightly OT, but, having done a lot of mathematical and statistical modeling myself, I always found Jay’s model to be very problematic in its formulation. Since I wasn’t a member of NG I couldn’t say so during its heyday, or ask any questions. By the time I came to SS Jay had abandoned his model, so the point became moot. I hope Jay doesn’t take this the wrong way. 🙂


          • he didn’t abandon it. Taran stopped providing the numbers. Incidentally I never saw a question raised about his model that he couldn’t answer convincingly. Not that it was the gospel truth but it was a very plausible model of where films were relative to each other. Certainly the best I’ve seen anywhere. Nothing else is even close. You could certainly raise questions and argue with him. This is the way it’s supposed to be. You can’t do so with numbers that are just thrown out. Also remember that Jay was working off very imperfect info. He didn’t have the data that most good statistical or mathematical models depend on.


          • OK, Jay had abandoned applying his model for his lack of data. 🙂

            Since he’s no longer applying it (in any regular way) it’s not worth discussing about its formulation, but you have touched on one of its big limitations by saying “He didn’t have the data that most good statistical or mathematical models depend on.” There are ways of correcting for lack of data, but his way was not justifiable, in my view. I don’t want to belabor this, because, as I said, it’s a moot point now.


          • “There are ways of correcting for lack of data”

            I think he tried every possible way to correct things.. it’s hard when different centers were often used and the ones that were common were often incomplete. Then there was the problem of the size of the centers. I am quite confident that given all these limitations one couldn’t have arrived at a better model than him. By the way note that all his work produced a range not necessarily that far from the totals the trade was producing. In other words for most of the films it wasn’t as if they said 50 and he said 40.

            Similarly when I criticize the trade I do so for their politics. Yes no one knows what the totals are but this then shouldn’t provide an opportunity to inflate figures for some stars and deflate them for others. If everyone gets the benefit of the doubt when 90 crore films becomes 100 crore ones that’s one thing or if the same holds the other way but when in some cases 90 becomes a 100 and in others the same 90 becomes 80 it’s a lot different than a statistical problem. The Indian system is hard but dishonesty makes it harder.


          • Satyam, I don’t know why you insist on dragging on a pointless argument that I tried not to start in the first place. I am not talking about the quality of the data nor the agreement with other trade analysts. Frankly, I am not at all as invested in these box office discussions as you seem to be. My interest was the formulation of the model, as I said before. It had certain inherent limitations, one of which was that there was no way to verify or validate the model. Thus its predictions are no more “correct” than any other figures. In fact it’s amusing to me that you justify Jay’s model by saying its predictions agree with the numbers of the other trade analysts, whose numbers were not to be trusted in the first place!

            Never mind, let us end this now. As I said, it was OT to begin with, so maybe I’d have been better off not mentioning it at all. This is a purely academic matter to me, and I have no agenda beyond the mathematics involved. I think it will be too geeky to get into that here.


          • “In fact it’s amusing to me that you justify Jay’s model by saying its predictions agree with the numbers of the other trade analysts, whose numbers were not to be trusted in the first place!”

            Somewhat disagree with this statement. The model is an arbitrary model – showing relatively in what region X should be placed IF Y is placed here. If Y is wrong in does not matter because it was not something about absoluteness, more relativeness. It just so happens that whatever I did (and I am not saying all of it was always right or always perfect) did identify issues with BOI’s numbers. You only need to look at archives to see that my analysis was trying to say certain films should have higher collections or lower collections based on whatever BOI was saying for another film. I tend to think it proved itself in the end. I argued years on end that films like OSO or Welcome had higher numbers than what they should have had based on the same data a film like Krrish would have. All that data came from the same source.
            And was fully vindicated when BOI changed a whole bundle of films’ numbers;
            OSO went from 85 crores to less than 80 crores
            Hey Babby, Welcome, Bhool Bhulaiyaa all went down.
            Guru/Krrish went up.
            There were many more films that numbers changed in the “direction” I suggested they should have been. I am not saying they changed because I said so or by the same amounts I had. I am saying that based on BOI’s Krrish figures they could never have had OSO’s opening so high etc. An this in the end proved itself. Partner, OSO, HB, BB, Welcome, SIK, Guru, Apne to name a few all changed suddenly one day, clearly a goof up on a public site.

            Whether the model was “precise” in the final total was questionable – but the relative trends a film embarked on weekly were fine. Whether a films starting point is 50, 25, 12.5, 6.25 vs. 48, 24, 12, 6 is academic exercise. The trend is obvious. It’s 50% less each week – which is all that mattered to me.

            NG is full of archives. Follow the numbers I had with the ranges…find the archives of the old BOI numbers and the new ones now and its clear they made major changes and errors.

            In any case, it was transparent exercise. A take it or leave it, based on numbers. With limitations of course, but non so severe as BOI’s – a site which discloses very little but is clearly bias in commentary.

            No more from me on this, past is done for and rather enjoyed doing all of that as a hobby of sorts and challenging so called experts to be more honest. Hardly worked in the end! Taran dropped his numbers, BOI is still very compromised in the way it verdicts and commentates on films etc.


          • “The model is an arbitrary model – showing relatively in what region X should be placed IF Y is placed here. ”

            yes precisely my point.


          • ““In fact it’s amusing to me that you justify Jay’s model by saying its predictions agree with the numbers of the other trade analysts, whose numbers were not to be trusted in the first place!””

            SM, my only point with that statement was that since people seem to set great store by what the trade says many of Jay’s numbers could be correlated with their range but unlike them also provide a rationale. Some of his numbers sharply diverged from theirs as well. But either way you could ‘argue’ with his model. You can’t with the others. How much do you think (for example) Ready made? Not being facetious. How does one arrive at a sense of the truth on this or anything else?

            The larger issue here is that we can criticize the trade or what you but how then do we arrive at an alternative set of numbers? In other words if I find them less reliable on Ra One (just using a recent example) or on an Abhishek film or whatever how do I know they’re suddenly completely honest on a Salman film?


  29. @Utkal .. Ok, even if it was Kagaz ke phool .. The movie was totally rejected when release and later got appreciation. Ditto for Mera Naam Joker, Aks and Do aur do paanch. IMDB ratings of these movies are high because these movies accepted later .. and voting of IMDB include only audience who watch it later. Had IMDB existed when these movies were release, voting of these movies would include from majority of those who rejected these at time of release, hence would have been much lower.

    Difference between JBJ and Do aur do paanch is only that IMDB was not existed when do aur do paanch was released.

    And Utkal, one request. There is word of wisdom beyond IMDB .. Please come out of this rigidness and use your own brain.


  30. Abhishek Bachchan’s poor run at the box office continues.

    His latest Players, an official remake of The Italian Job, failed to impress critics or lure viewers. Lack of commercial success isn’t his only shortcoming. Despite his reasonable talents that sparkle best in skilful hands, namely Mani Ratnam, Bachchan Jr’s choice of projects leave even his diehard fans a tad baffled.

    Take a look at 10 of his most abysmal movies.


  31. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    “I don’t believe it did much on initial release, might have been somewhat ok by Guru Dutt’s standards, certainly Kaagaz Ke Phool was a disaster but the combined effect of both films did him in.”

    Absolutely wrong. In fact it is the big success of Pyaasa that emboldened him to make Kagaz Ke Phool, which of course was a box office disaster, that prompted him to putr Abra Alvi’s name on SBAG. ( Granting that exact figures of old films are hard to estimate, it is not a possible that a film listed as super hit by BoI was a flop.)

    While there are box office failures that get accepted as classics later, invariably, these films get significant critical appreciation on release. The films that are box office and critical disasters never go on to become classics.

    Take the example of Citizen Cane, it might have been box office failure, but it got 9 Oscar nominations and won for screenplay. Similarly for Mera Naam Joker or Kaagaz Ke phool . These might have been box office failures, but not as if the crtics thought they were trash.

    It would be hard to find one film with all round bad reviews that later began to be considered a classic.

    Films like Do Aur Do Paanch was appreciated by some even them and that is the case today. Not as if today everyone considers it a classic or something.

    As far as Rangan ‘s reviews are considered . he simply has lost it. Thinking Ra One is better than Don! And finding merit enough in Drona to give it 3 stars! ( willing to wait till eternity for it to be considered a misunderstood classic.) Being open does not mean accepting patently stupid notions that are clearly devoid of any cogent insights.


    • Utkal, I have nothing more to add on Pyaasa except to reiterate what I’ve already said. There are no numbers available on those older films. None. Not even as a loose range. Everything is really surmise based on some clues. For films like Pyaasa and Awara and some others things are worse because reruns totals from years later are sometimes represented but not the original ones or these are hopelessly mixed up with estimates and there is simply no way of arriving at the truth. One knows that Awara or Aan were big successes but it’s hard to know how much these grossed. If I told you a film received a ‘B’ rating some years ago without other data it would be hard to know whether it was a 10 crore film that made 14 crores or a 70 crore film that made 95 crores. There is no data on those older films. As I said yesterday no one including the producers knows what the totals are on contemporary films even with so much business now being electronically done in multiplexes. Today those totals can often be off by 20-25% in either direction. For the 50s or 60s the data just isn’t there. IBOS had very comprehensive lists on these decades much before BOI and far more films represented. They used all sorts of estimates based on some very hazy info. Eventually the lists were taken off as there just wasn’t the data to supply even educated guesses. One could certainly make the educated guess that Shree 420 was one of the biggest grossers of the 50s but one couldn’t even do that with the gross. It’s not just IBOS. I’ve talked to many people who ‘know’ this stuff. The numbers are just not there.

      On the rest I think you’re hairsplitting a bit. yes Citizen Kane wasn’t panned by critics. It just didn’t do anything at the box office. There are other films that were box office successes but panned by critics. There were many that suffered both fates on the negative side. The thing here is that you are rather desperately trying to find a rationale to justify your absolute (for all time!) dismissal of many contemporary films which is as always indexed to your personal feelings towards the same. Unfortunately for you this is a completely unhistorical and factually untrue sense of things. Not just in cinema but in all art forms. there are tons and tons of films that were panned by critics on initial release. There are many instances when decades later important critics revisited their own ratings. The overall point isn’t to look for the absolute failure (critical and commercial) though there are plenty of these in every industry but to cite examples of films where the reputation over time is gigantically greater one way or the other than what it was initially. for example even if a film received mixed reviews from critics on initial release or if it was considered barely ok overall there’s a huge difference between this state of affairs and the same film eventually being called great or greatest. Because countless films receive the same mixed reviews or are called ok or whatever. To suggest that somehow this is a good barometer to judge what films might be revived over time is patently false. But again it’s not just about cinema. Great literary works initially received dismal reactions in many instances. and so on in other art forms. There is so much lore about this in all the world’s cultural history that one should scarcely have to point this out.

      But you’re also wrong at the other end of this debate. A film like Raavan did receive some very good reviews by serious critics. These were in the minority of course but this has been so for many films reinvented over time. For example Nikhat Kazmi gave the film 3.5 stars:

      or consider this very well known US critic who gives the film a glowing review and also considers it Abhishek’s best performance:

      I don’t have the energy to dig up all the reviews in this sense but there were quite a few. The same for D6. The problem is that once things get hysterical people don’t look at these things more precisely. In your case and as I’ve said many times before you find it impossible in any case to accept a view as legit that doesn’t gel with yours. It doesn’t matter who the critic on the other side is. You just think the critic is wrong. One needs to have a far more open mind about these things to really ‘see’ the length and breadth of what’s going on. But also one has to be consistent. I can’t say Nikhat Kazmi is saying nonsense when she likes Don2 but makes perfect sense when she likes Players or Raavan. One can disagree by all means with anyone but one also has to give certain critics the respect and value to consider their views legitimate even when one disagrees with them. Specially if one has agreed with them elsewhere. I often disagree with Rangan but I nonetheless find his take on something legitimate. So on and so forth. There are even critics where I don’t agree with their sense of cinema as an overall matter but I still don’t consider their writings illegitimate. One cannot have a worldview where something that doesn’t appeal to one is not legit at all and if there is evidence to the contrary one engages in all kinds of hairsplitting to somehow justify one’s proposition.


  32. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    “Had IMDB existed when these movies were release, voting of these movies would include from majority of those who rejected these at time of release, hence would have been much lower.”

    Waht explains the 7 plus ratings of ‘rejected’ movies like Guzaarish or Dhobi Ghat or the 8 plus ratings of a film like Swades which clearly was no box office success?

    Films like Aks, Do aur Do Paanch were considered films with some merit but also a lot of shortcomings. And that is the opinion even now. No one considers these films to be perfect masterpieces.


    • Utkal, as i told you above, You need little more sense to differentiate between Rejected movies and flop movies. Neither Guzarish not Dhobi Ghat were rejected. check their glowing reviews .. Average critics ratings for both movies were 8+ .. similarly audience feedback was good. Their limited business was because of genre.

      Mela was rightly rejected and never liked movie.

      Guzarish was flop, but liked movie. It flopped because of its limited appeal. Ditto for Dhobi Ghat.

      AAA was flop, but liked .. It flopped because comedies at that time was not flavor of season.

      JBJ was flop and rejected. It comes in category of ahead of its time, or misunderstood movie. I have personally came across at-least 50 people who have this movie in their all time favorite list offlate. And i found same set of people at internet too. few examples i have given to you in above comments.

      And don’t put Drona and JBJ in same category, Drona was utter crap .. while JBJ is classic.

      Now after hours of discussion on JBJ .. i am expecting you to see JBJ once on original DVD(keeping your rigid mind aside) .. would love to read your views after that. Otherwise this is actually funny that we are discussing movie which i have seen and much liked and you have not seen and hated (?).


      • will agree that JBJ has many admirers. It’s not a classic by any means, not at this point anyhow and it hasn’t attained cult status either. But is there is support for it. Of the big flops he’s had I think this film and D6 have strong minorities in their favor. Raavan isn’t in this group yet. But Raavan in many ways is also the most challenging film of the three. It’s not very easy to get a handle on it. And once again Raavan is most closely connected with Dil Se. In fact the more I think about it the more those correspondences increase. One day I will try and do a piece on this. In the careers of important directors it’s very interesting to observe these thematic mappings over time. For example Nayagan-Iruvar-Guru explore the same ‘central man’ idea from very different angles and using very different aesthetic strategies. Mouna Raagam and Alaipayuthey are loosely related. And so on. Which is why, and leaving aside partisans one way or the other, one is unlikely to like Dil Se if one dislikes Raavan and vice versa.

        Should also add here that the Hindi Raavan is I believe closer to the director’s vision, closer to the Dil Se correspondence, than the Tamil film. The principal reason here is the lead protagonist in each case. Raavan is a much more radical film for its contexts than Raavanan is for its Tamil ones (which includes Vikram’s own career).

        Rathnam takes the angry young man genealogy and makes him a complete ‘outsider’ to the system both in Yuva and more radically so in Raavan. Besides everything else this provides a wonderful ‘offscreen’ trope or a lens with which to view the careers of both Bachchans over the last decade. The father gets normalized, the son picks up the premise of the original signature. The box office can be correlated with both sets of choices all else being equal.


        • JBJ has two followers, those who not understood it and found it crap(1/10) and those who enjoy it and became huge fan(10/10) .. there is no mid way(5/10). And i can see growing fan club of JBJ.

          I am as huge fan of JBJ as this lady ..


        • And i loved this comment from above post ..

          “Oh, thank you!!! It sometimes become so hard to come out in public with one’s intense JBJ love. I love it so much I sometimes just play it in the background and sleep to its soothing sounds. It is clever, sap-less, tongue-in-cheek awesomeness and it just feels so wonderful when someone else agrees! In fact, someday I will probably write a book on a scene by scene analysis of what makes JBJ the best modern era romantic story ever told in Indian Cinema.”


    • “Aks, Do aur Do Paanch were considered films with some merit but also a lot of shortcomings”

      Even Sholay is not perfect. Well .. Do aur do paanch achieved cult status much before .. a cult con movie so much that even Sippy in Bluffmaster put many references to Do aur do paanch ..


  33. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    And Jeevan, I didn’t use IMDB when I gave my predictions for Players. I am repeating it here ( nota single mention of IMDb) :

    ” I was hoping against hope , for Abhishek’s sake, that this one would work and fetch 70 cr. But after watching all the promos out closer to the release, I have to say, no,it’s not to be. Abbas-Mastan’s ability to stage action and narrate a racy story is negated by the tired and totally misfit star cast. Abhishek is a joke trying to command a heist operation. His face has no intensity, no urgency. He is equaly bland tring to be passionate, killing the half away decent song Jhoom Jhoom. Bipasha is another have-been with tired moves and overexposed body. Sonam is just not right for this film..her face is too innocent, devoid of any sensuality or hidden facets, which is a must for a thriller. Bobby too is past his prime. Neil Nitin Mukesh may be just about ok. And there is the music and the staging of songs. Both are old fashioned, uninspiring and yawn-inducing. Feels like Deja vu..its Khelnge Hum Hee Jaan Se once again. But it might yet have some spectacular action sequences, great locales and some typical Abbas Maastan twists ( which sadly will have less takers today than in the times of race. today they prefer a more realistic Don 2). So a max of 45 cr. Take heart Abby Baby Jr. You can’t have it all. Win in love, lose in box office. It’s all in the Game. ”


  34. There was a time when i used to visit naachgaana daily then felt it had nothing to offer other than fanboys fighting over mundane things. Then moved over to satyamshot thinking it would offer me some content on cinema to look out for. Now this too seems like a blog where the sole aim is defending the bachchans. Now without passionforcinema, only moifightclub seems to be the saving grace. Long live Cinema.


  35. I am also a huge fan of JBJ, but I always do the reverse- FF the talkie portions and watch the songs over and over again. It is SEL’s one of the best music scores and Sr B’s intro scene along with the song is a pleasure to watch always. It is surprising how the audience who once upon a time watched movies with 8/10 songs have now lost patience


  36. Ami (formerly 'Annoyed') Says:

    I reallly liked Jhoom Barabar Jhoom- it was silly but not stupid. The humour actually reminding me of American screwball comedies form the earlier years.I’ve always liked the Priety-Abhishek pair and they are both well-suited for this kind of a film. I liked all of the songs as well- great fun

    But Bobby Deol almost ruined the movie for me- I wish they would stop casting him in these stereotypical ‘perfect boyfriend’ roles (also in Dostana)- there is nothing attractive or ‘perfect boyfriend’ about him AT ALL. Especially when the dream girlfriend happens to be Lara Dutta- who completely fits the part.


    • The problem with JBJ (and I haven’t revisited it since the original release) is that the first half is structurally very interesting but the content here is subpar. The second half is often very funny but it becomes a regular comedy at this point. Of course there are spoof elements throughout but it’s also rather different in each half. Initially the film was supposed to be a small town deal in India. Aditya Chopra then decided he owed the diaspora more (!) and did what he thought was an upgrade. always thought this was a mistake. Abhishek himself said as much recently. It’s always amusing the degree to which people think that stories can just be ripped out of context and easily transplanted to other settings. In D6 Mehra under some producer pressure changed the ending and had Abhishek live. Later on he said that the reason people couldn’t understand Abhishek’s performance was because his ‘quiet’ act goes well with the dead man’s narration it’s supposed to be. This director’s cut was released at a few festivals. I’ve despaired of ever seeing it on DVD. But the point is again the same. With something as central as that you don’t compromise! Not saying the film would otherwise have been successful but this is too important a detail to change for commercial reasons and specially when the film in any case is not usual fare.

      Getting back to JBJ Bobby Deol was fine in the second half but a disaster in the first.


      • Siddharth Says:

        yaa satyam bobby was disaster in first part only but abhishek was disaster in full movie…….biggest dud of the year 2007 along with RGV’s Aag.


        • As i said above, let the guy give his credit where its due .. Abhishek was Awesome in JBJ .. and that’s truth. Not sure if this hurts you.


          • Siddharth Says:

            but you can’t defy the truth that bobby stole the thunder from abhishek in that movie….there is no case of hurt or anything,but its true…..


          • @Sidharth .. and your truth accepted by you only .. no one else thinks so .. 99% of critics and audience reviews are praising Abhshek only (Even if they are giving -ve review to movie). Not even JBJ .. Abhshek stole the thunder in Dostana as well.


          • Siddharth Says:

            check out public reviews on imdb or rediff or any other website, lara dutta and bobby were praised more than abhishek and preity.
            why are u responding rudely???this is truth accepted by most of people that have seen that movie.and What was john doing in dostana???


  37. Baradwaj Rangan

    What has a critic’s stamp of approval got to do with your enjoyment? Um, absolutely nothing.

    Universal Pictures, them of the cosmic name constricted to a disappointingly earthly logo, announced recently that their hundredth-anniversary plans – a yearlong celebration – included the restoration of 13 films, which were All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), Dracula (Spanish, 1931), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting and To Kill a Mockingbird. There’s something in this list for fans of all stripes – of Spielberg (Jaws, Schindler’s List), of pedigreed literary adaptations (All Quiet on the Western Front, To Kill a Mockingbird), of animal-attack thrillers (The Birds, Jaws, the leaping-lion scene from Out of Africa), of classic chillers (Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein), of handsome leading men (The Sting, To Kill a Mockingbird), of titles that would double as names of vaguely pornographic features (Buck Privates, The Birds, even Jaws if you think about it with a suitably dirty mind), of movies spotlighting both halves of a definitively dysfunctional marriage (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein)…

    I’ll stop now, but the issue at hand stems from To Kill a Mockingbird. Flat-out masterpiece, right? Not according to a friend, who groused, recently, that he was halfway through Harper Lee’s quietly disturbing chronicle of innocent eyes being opened to a cruel and confusing world, and he couldn’t see what the fuss was about, why the book deserved the Pulitzer Prize, and what the people featured in the long list of accolades on the back cover saw that he wasn’t seeing. He asked me what it was. I didn’t say anything at first as this is such a vast, unanswerable question, whose answer hinges on matters of taste and patience and about a hundred other qualities that each one of us possesses in varying degrees. His question, in essence, was a rebuke to anyone, especially a critic, who says “This book is great” instead of “This book is great in my opinion.” The latter is an admission of personal joy and discovery, the former an admonition: If you don’t like this book, you’d better wear that dunce cap and go sit in a corner with the others who don’t get Hemingway and Dickens and Tolstoy.

    The history of cultural criticism (art, books, movies, music), or indeed any criticism that deals with intangibles and unmeasurables – like how well an actor acts or how beautiful this musical interlude is, as opposed to how fast a sportsman ran or how many of his election promises a politician kept – is replete with finger-waggers determined to impose their tastes, their knowledge of pearls, on a world of uncultured swine. This isn’t about the critic’s function as gatekeeper, making an educated case for permitting a work of art into the canon, but about the relevance of these opinions to the public at large. This friend – no, it’s not “friend” in the Freudian sense, as in, “Doctor, I have this, cough, cough, friend with problems in the, erm, plumbing department;” let me state unequivocally that I love To Kill a Mockingbird (the book; the movie I merely like) – isn’t much of a reader. He probably ploughs through a book a year. And it killed him that he wasn’t reaping much pleasure from a novel he landed on after so much scrutiny – the Pulitzer for fiction; all those unending pages of raves; the word “classic” oozing from every pore. It made him feel that the problem lay within him.

    The problem is actually with whoever decided, at whatever point in the history of the universe (or Universal Pictures), that what the critic says matters to the public, that his approval is a signal that the book/movie/song is one for the ages, and if he says something stinks, everyone else should automatically clamp a hand on the nose. A critic’s role is far more important than simply acting as a two-thumbed consumer guide – among other things, he should put forth perspectives, ignite discussions, which probably matter only to those with a burning passion for the art being considered. Why should an average reader, who just wants to amuse himself on a flight or a porcelain throne, concern himself with what the Pulitzer committee thought? In the spirit of things, let me extend a hand in solidarity to this hurting friend and admit that I, too, have undergone these bouts of misery from the other side, as a critic not getting something everyone else in the movie-going public seems to get – like The Shawshank Redemption, Number One on IMDb’s list of Top 250 films ever. Seriously? My vote for Hollywood movie about middle-aged male suffering set to shamelessly stirring music that makes me all gooey inside would go to Field of Dreams, but that’s not even on the list. So much for my capabilities as a public-taste arbiter.


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