16th December (2002)
This ludicrous thriller, directed by Mani Shankar, hinges on a climax where India faces a grave nuclear detonation threat. It can only be defused by a voice command from the antagonist Dost Khan (Gulshan Grover) saying, “Dulhan ki vidai ka waqt badalna hai.” So secret agency boss Vir Vijay Singh (Danny Denzongpa), with help from Milind Soman’s spy Vikram, engages in laughable small talk with his nemesis. Using sophisticated technology and logic that seems smart on the surface, the words are extracted in the voice of Dost Khan, and nuclear catastrophe is averted.
Manmohan Desai’s films have singlehandedly helped the cause of secularism in this country, and Naseeb is a classic example. While Amar Akbar Anthony had, well, Amar, Akbar and Anthony donate their multi-religious blood to their mother at the same time, Naseeb goes for more subtle reinforcement of faith. The three leading men must cross over from a burning high rise to another, using nothing but a rope. Three rings appear, with religious symbols on them. Said rings are used as pulleys to cross over, because God can take care of any friction.
Medical science has come a long way but one must not forget the casualties in this process, including Aishwarya Rai’s grandmother in this outstanding film, who gets the wrong side of her brain operated upon during her tumour treatment. Maybe science can do something about our moviemakers and their overactive imagination instead.
“Akalmand aadmi dusron ko bewakoof samajhta hai”, quips Bobby Deol before ripping apart Akshay Kumar’s joy in the climax of this Abbas-Mustan film. After Vikram Bajaj (Akshay) has revealed his ‘master-plan’ that, among other things, has made him the owner of some hundred million dollars, Raj (Bobby) rains on his parade. Raj miraculously guesses Vikram’s secret account password, which just so happens to be: “Everything is planned” and swipes his bounty. Clearly, everything but the script for this film was planned.
War Chhod Na Yaar (2013)
If there had to be one film that solves all diplomacy issues between India and Pakistan, this is not it. By the end of War Chhod Na Yaar, it is discovered that the conflict across our borders is all because of diabolical China, which is in the ‘Top 10 evil countries India fights against in movies that are not Pakistan’ list. In our most hostile move against the country since misreading the Chinese premier’s name as ‘eleven’ Jinping on a news channel, all Chinese goods are boycotted on both sides of the border, resulting in instant crash of their economy. Badla achieved. Peace? Nope.
Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion traffics in a number of gender and class stereotypes but the montage that depicts the leading lady’s descent into hell is appalling even for him. She snorts cocaine and dances promiscuously in a club. And then she hits the moral rock bottom, by sleeping with a black man. You don’t need a Quantico trained agent to recoil at the barely concealed racism and narrow-mindedness.
Before Akshay Kumar, nation-saving was the portfolio of veteran Manoj Kumar, and this film is the epitome of his services. Ashok Kumar plays his grandfather, who has had a heart attack and is refused treatment by a doctor, because “usey fees chahiye” (What?! Not free?! Douche move, bro). Enter Manoj Kumar, who knows the cure for his ailment. He plays the Azad Hind Fauj’s marching anthem, and the grandfather – who was a part of it – is completely normal now, and sings away heartily (pun not intended). One must watch it several thousand times to truly experience the genius of this scene, which has one of the most inadvertently hilarious lines in movies – “Main battery ki cell le aaya hoon”.
Baar Baar Dekho (2016)
This film is the answer to ‘what happens when bad dreams get bad dreams’. The entire film and whatever semblance of a plot it has is nominated for this list, with the only major take-away being that never piss off your friendly neighbourhood Panditji, which is also what people living in post-election Uttar Pradesh are being advised to do.