With furry humanoid cats in Cats, big cats in Lion King and speedy hedgehogs in Sonic the Hedgehog, employing computer generated imagery (CGI) to tell stories of the human imagination is a new trend. Some films pull it off well; they make it look convincing. Others seem like a deep dive into Uncanny Valley, sparking reactions of horror and amusement online. Here’s a list of 10 films in Bollywood that attempted CGI and failed terribly:
Mohenjo Daro (2016)
The film opens with this scene, where Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) and his companions face-off with a crocodile. The strength and valour of the character is meant to be established here. But instead of admiration, you’ll find yourself letting out a chuckle.
Everyone is rooting for Zafar (Varun Dhawan) to win the bull fight. After failing multiple times, covered in blood and sweat, he finally grabs the horns of the artificial looking bull and heroically leaps onto it. The crowd gasps and then cheers. Zafar is successful, but the CGI team? Not so much.
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani (2002)
The happy couple has just been married and are in a celebratory mood. They retire to their room to consummate their marriage which of course can’t happen because the bride has turned into a skeleton. The scene is meant to instil fear, but does quite the opposite. This isn’t even the most laughable scene in the movie. Jaani Dushman is a treasure trove of bad CGI moments.
Half Girlfriend (2017)
Madhav (Arjun Kapoor) fumbles, apologises, and then finally gathers the courage to speak. He makes an emotional appeal to the Bill Gates Foundation to fund toilets in schools so that more girls can attend. This could have been moving, except the idea of digitally superimposing Bill Gates’ face onto a random person was a terrible, terrible move.
Krrish 3 (2013)
The airplane is about to crash land, but the pilot continues to descend, and funnily enough, news agencies have access to the footage. Rohit Mehra (Hrithik Roshan) makes his first appearance as the superhero Krrish in this scene. He jumps and dives across skyscrapers to reach the wheel of this evidently fake plane.
Varun (Sanjay Dutt) is gifted with intuitive powers and participates in experiments conducted at the laboratory of researcher Dr. Gayatri (Bipasha Basu). With his powers, he learns of the presence of a dark power carried in a Rudraksh, which he then sets out to find by journeying through the computer-simulated Himalayas.
Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi! (2005)
Aabra Ka Dabra (2005)
The homesick but excited new students at the Aabra Ka Daabra magic school set out to explore the campus. They come across a spooky yet colourful lab with flying objects, where Limbu (Anupam Kher) is working. Apart from not-so-subtle sponsor integration, this film also features not-so-subtle CGI.
Vincent Lobo (Pawan Malhotra) is the officer in charge of investigating a high-profile murder case. Lobo flies to Delhi to obtain critical evidence from the Ministry of Defence. In this scene we see him purposefully march out of a plane that looks like a cardboard cut-out.
In an intense battle scene, we see Rani Lakshmibai’s troops trying to guard the city of Jhansi, brandishing their swords on the battlefield to powerful music. Sadly, the entire battlefield looks oddly synthetic.