Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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5 Bollywood movies that should not have been made this decade

If you have managed to not watch these movies, give yourself a round of applause.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The decade that’s on its way out will go down as the one in which audiences said loud and clear that they wanted to see more movies about and by women, that budgets don’t matter, that small-town India is where it’s at.

But it will also go down as the decade in which the last two years, especially, saw movies that reeked of misogyny and male entitlement hit the jackpot. This was also the decade that began with My Name Is Khan. As you can see, it was hard to limit this list to just five, but we’ve done our best for your sake.

Here, in no particular order are the films that should never have been made. As we roar into the 2020s, we can only pray that we never see movies like this again.

Not A Love Story (2011) To make art out of someone else’s real-life trauma requires a sensitivity and empathy that Ram Gopal Varma’s trashy movie simply does not have. Based on the gruesome murder of Neeraj Grover, the movie shamelessly exploits not only the grief of Grover’s parents (who had clearly stated they were unhappy with Varma’s decision to make this movie), but also feels exploitative in the way the camera lingers over every curve of its lead actor Mahie Gill and under her skirts.

Sanju (2018) If there is one movie that epitomises all that’s wrong with Indian men, Sanju would be it. One reason, is, of course, that it completely whitewashes Sanjay Dutt‘s every big or small crime as simply a “bad choice”, usually instigated and enabled by someone else who is the real bad guy — be it the drug dealer or the media. Bechara Sanju Baba, of course, is just a naive, agency-less man-child. The second reason is the misogyny proudly on display — the fact that Sanju treats women like dirt is never addressed in anything but comic tones. Most of Rajkumar Hirani’s movies are simplistic and lack nuance, but at least they are reasonably well-written. This one fails even in that, with a jarring dissonance between what should be a heartbreaking scene and the childish treatment it is given.

Thank You (2011) Three women decide to hire a private detective to catch their cheating husbands and teach them a lesson. What follows is supposed to be situational comedy, except this Anees Bazmee movie is…not funny. One can’t even say the plot is directionless, because it is definitely going in one direction — south. Akshay Kumar delivers sexist jokes in his standard monotone; Celina Jaitley, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol and Rimi Sen display perhaps two expressions between them. And Irrfan Khan looks like he has no idea how he ended up in this brain-deadening excuse for a movie.

Also read: Sanju is dishonest to Rajkumar Hirani’s Gandhian brand of cinema

Thugs of Hindostan (2018) One of those monumentally expensive and monumentally poor films that makes you question your own life choices and why the country’s wealth is in the wrong hands, Thugs is unfortunately so bad it’s not even funny. Set in 1857, the movie tells the story of how a pirate (Amitabh Bachchan) plans to overthrow the British empire, the movie rehashes tropes (and VFX techniques) from every bad ’80s movie to create almost three hours of bizarre nonsense. Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh have little to do, and Aamir Khan as the Jack Sparrow-esque counter to Bachchan provides some humour, but you’re too confused or indifferent to care.

Kabir Singh (2019) A violently abusive man who treats women like chattel and has no understanding of consent should be given his comeuppance at the end of a movie, right? Apparently not in the world of director Sandeep Vanga Reddy (who also helmed the Telugu original on which this movie is based). This is not the kind of movie that distinguishes between showing toxic masculinity and glorifying it. So Kabir (Shahid Kapoor) is a hero and he’s treated like one. There isn’t much to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said, but the fact that it is one of the biggest hits of 2019 says a lot about where India is headed.

Dishonourable mentions: Humshakals, the Housefull movies, Raanjhanaa, the Tanu Weds Manu series and the Pyaar Ka Punchnama movies and Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety were excluded from the main list only because we couldn’t decide which of them was the worst. Basically, Sajid Khan, Aanand L. Rai and Luv Ranjan should just quit.

And then there is PM Narendra Modi (2019), a movie so absurdly servile and devoid of realism that it is not even enough to call it propaganda. It is more like the mythological TV serials of the ’80s and ’90s.

Also read: Kartik Aaryan embodies Bollywood’s new generation of Urban Neanderthals


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  1. Is this clickbait? Are you intentionally trying to write offensive crap so people will outrage and engage with your content? Because that’s the only reason I could fathom for somebody being so stupendously stupid.
    Picking 5 “worst” movies of Ten Years from an industry that produces the second-highest number of films worldwide is a daunting task, I understand. Which is perhaps why you decided to not use your braincells altogether and come up with this shallow, “only bothering about the big films” bullcrap. It feels like you started well with 2011, then realized there is a lot of hardwork involved, so jumped straight to 2018. Did it cringe you even once that two of your “worst movies of the decade” involved critically-acclaimed performances? I am not sure you are self-aware enough to even feel that cringe. Even if one could ignore this entire load of bollocks, you strike the nail whe you mention “Raanjhana” in your ‘dishonourable mentions’.
    I seems that the bar of being a *film critic* at The Print is just a) “are you very woke?” and b) “have you watched 2-3 movies lately?”.

  2. I agree with your views on the movie list( no idea about ranjhanaa, didn’t watch). I’m quite surprised there’s no Bhai movie mentioned here. The hate comments would have doubled!
    I must say your article sounds more like a rant though, the views could have been presented more objectively. What you might know already is that these movies are made for the masses, and you and I are now part of a very niche minority restricted mostly to urban centres. We can’t relate to these movies, let alone get entertained by them because they contain content treating sexism and misogyny as normal and boomer-era humour which has been passed down to the current generation.
    Its sad but it is the reality. It’ll take a looong time, involving better education and gradual exposure, before we would be able to see more entertaining and acceptable material. Till then, enjoy Netflix and the like! There’s a whole wide world out there.

  3. totally agree with your reasoning of why these movies should not have been made or watched! look forward to your next article!

  4. The critic is right, your family person should be doing all this and bcoz of this you are justifying Kabir Singh. The film is not the reflection of the society, mind it 1 percent doesn’t represent the whole society

  5. Fake feminism at it’s peak.. If these directors should quit making movies, you should quit writing. Just because you don’t feel a movie is morally appealing to you doesn’t mean that the director or the actor is to be blamed.. By the way, one of the movies in your ‘dishonorable mentions’ is a National Award Winner… So I think you should do your homework well

  6. This is the dumbest post i have ever seen, i never comment but i took my time,

    First one. As a journalist you should not give verdicts , you should leave it to the audience based on the facts you present, facts should be from both side,

    Stop self obsessing and keep an open mind. Get out of your daily soap obsessions, that time is past.

    In next decade, i know who should get fired.

  7. Few of the listed movies are very much loved by indian public. I wonder how can publisher of this article can declare them disaster. His confidense of giving such non sense reviews must be appreciated. He lost his mind completly while mentioning dishonourable. Those movies were hell of a fun man…..

  8. Lol comments are funny. The list is apt. Why hide behind feminism. The movies were hours of my time so regrettably wasted that I feel I deserve a couple of get out of jail card or two or at least should be given an extension on life.
    Not commenting on Kabir Singh though I haven’t watched that one and sometimes feel the movies made a couple of decades ago can echo the same reviews as I have read about this one. So perhaps it’s more about what we have been used to as a society than enjoying misogyny that’s to do with it’s success.

  9. Don’t be offended but you know what?
    That title for this article shouldn’t be whatever it is, it should be ‘Movies which represented women negatively / badly’, that might have been a better title considering the excuses you gave or I should say the review you gave on these movies.
    All I can see in your list is bad things those movies shown about women for ex. for ‘Not a love story’ – Camera lingers over every curve of its lead actor Mahie Gill.
    Sanju – Misogyny? Sanju used women like dirt?.
    Thank you – Akshay Kumar’s sexist jokes?
    Thugs of Hindustan – Well, that was a trash so as other movies in this list.
    Kabir Singh – Treats women like chattel, yeah I agree whatever they showed in the movie was wrong, a women shouldn’t be treated like that.

    This movies list was based on how they showed women. You should’ve given it another heading.

  10. All you need is quite your job and do something which you think you’re capable of coz writing and thinking is not your cup of tea girl.

  11. The whole list is quite accurate but tanu weds manu, Are you kidding me, it is one of the best movies, see the music, acting, and most importantly realism, how realistic are the scenes, dialects, everything. And how come none of the Salman Khan movies made it to the list. .

  12. Wow.. writer samira sood has written a well versed piece of mastershit. Seriously this is the worst review. And yes raanjhna is too high a classic to be understood by a mediocre journo like you .

  13. Well well i think u better start doing house hold work man.. A guy who says kabir Singh is a trash movie.. Seriously man.. Like where on earth that came from… Being a feminist i didn’t see anything wrong in it..
    He was having anger and impatience.. He controlled all of that for her girl only.. Secondly.. Even the girl slapped him.. Then what’s the fuckin problem man… U mean to say that a girl can hit a man.. And a man can’t.. Well I’m sure it’s a girl who has written this shitty article… Well cause of girls like you only.. Cases like amity University happens…
    Have some air bruhh.. Think before commenting on something cause u r the media..

  14. Even though many people are saying that the author is too frank… still I appreciate his straight-forward opinions. Movies and music are two sources that can mould a person’s emotions, thinking, and the way they see this society. If vulgarity is brought into art & literature, the society will surely diminish soon and so it is….. Isn’t it? We do know the truth that crimes like murder, robbery, rape and all are going on a very high pace. I’m not saying that they weren’t happening before but the thing is that they’ve increased hella lot in this decade. So I literally applaud the writer of this article for being genuine and I would like people to think in more broader ways than just defending their favourite celebrities and politicians…( whatever ) Just don’t be so insensitive that our country will loose all it’s treasure of pure movies and music!

  15. You please take a bowl of water and sink yourself into it. You don’t have any right to underestimate the movies. I wish you must study a lot about this first.

  16. Samira Sood…the critic who should take a chill and stop writing trashy movie reviews just to satisfy her misguided sense of feminism, bringing shame to the name of “THE PRINT”.

  17. When a feminist writes / comments on movies , her picks are bound to be stupid. They just hover around women, many times.

  18. You are right! Dear repliers if you are good then it doesn’t mean everyone is! Specially in India our youths are very much attracted towards this type of movies and also get inspired and themselves as kabir singh. Take it as a view and i know this article will help some. And its not bad express own views!

  19. I think now you should watch the whole movies , coz i think you only reviewed based on trailers , that for kabeer Singh and sanju seriously? And the list of excluded ones 🙄 ranjhanaa was full entertainment so housefull was too and pyar ka punchnama was entertaining as well , btw an advise for you is instead of reviewing start atleast watching the movies first 🤣

  20. Critics and reviewers should stop watching movies and try making movies. Do they mean that watching movies makes them bad??? Illogical fools should keep their opinions to themselves. Have people forgotten the difference between an movie and a documentary???

  21. Hahahahah sanju is the highest grossing hindi movie ever,kabir singh is in top 10 highest grossing ever,people dont switch channels when they see thank you on television…..this reviewer is a shit and should be banned from writing any such coloumns

  22. I can relate to what you said for all the movies you mentioned but one, that is Raanjhanaa. How can you even say bad about Raanjhanaa movie, it was one of the best movie of decade. I don’t know what you ate before writing this one movie’s name in your list of trash.

  23. I am really surprised by this review….. Especially the list of dishonourable movies (excluding humshakals and housefull series)
    Do you even watch Bollywood movies or just write articles on them?
    I doubt you haven’t even seen these movies your have mentioned here.
    Please go and watch all these to even take their name 😜

  24. Ghanta fark nhi padta tere review se humara paisa hume jaha kharcha karna hai waha kare tum mat sikhao kya dekhna hai hume

  25. That is the worst article I have ever seen…. Almost every movie you mentioned was great in its own way…..Movies never depict what society should be it depicts what it actually is…..

  26. Where exactly is India headed? By not making these films would India have headed in a different direction? Why waste precious digital space given to you in critiquing films which are already widely critiqued? What’s new in your column, what’s new you are sharing that hasn’t already been shared? Don’t you feel there are more pressing issues to shed light on? Don’t you feel there are better films better content around us which are not getting enough platform, why not bat for those sections, why keep beating the same drum over and over again , this won’t change anything, you Know it your precious editor knows it, yet he /she will ask you to kill your creativity and write shit, and you being an obedient intern. Will go on and write and publish it…. disappointing stuff….

  27. One of the worst article ever ,wrote in this decade.
    Either you don’t have any sense of writing or you simply want to garner negative reactions.

  28. Agree to disagree. Movies are made for fun. Don’t take them so seriously. Another article that proves that it doesn’t take a lot to be critic.

  29. “Dishonourable mentions: the Housefull movies, Raanjhanaa, the Tanu Weds Manu series and the Pyaar Ka Punchnama movies and Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety, Sanju, Kabir Singh” WTF THESE ARE GOOD MOVIES THAT ACTUALLY MADE US LAUGH AND SOMETIMES ALSO CRY.

  30. Nicely reported .I think many other movies could be added but even an unfinished list is good enough . Some parts felt like my own words. Thanks a lot for this highly needed appreciable article.

  31. Leftists and feminist in today’s society can leave everything and just go to hell. Poor review because of the reasons. I understand that you were born to read quran and encourage triple talak

  32. Sood keep your ideas in bed and make happy if you have living person duffer why not you produce one film and then write such nuisance

  33. If Kabir Singh glorified misogyny, then, going by your reasoning and logic, did American Psycho glorify murder, too? Or, did Omerta glorify Omar Saeed Sheikh, a terrorist? But, but, Shahid .. and .. misogyny.. and..

    Oh, please! Movies are a reflection of what the society is, and not what it should be. Nobody gets inspired by American Psycho to go on a killing spree. Nobody “becomes” a misogynist by watching Kabir Singh. You need a hard relook at your worldview and biases.

    • I am really surprised by this review….. Especially the list of dishonourable movies (excluding humshakals and housefull series)
      Do you even watch Bollywood movies or just write articles on them?
      I doubt you haven’t even seen these movies your have mentioned here.
      Please go and watch all these to even take their name 😜

  34. Well Kabir Singh took the prize for be8ing ultra-trashy, but one wonders, why did a modern woman like Kiara Advani accept this highly misogynistic movie? Roti-kapda sabko chahiye; feminism can go to hell.

      • Mr…not feminism but you must go to hell…… I will not say anything about other content of the movie but the the Preeti’s (Kabir singh) character was completely shit 💩💩💩.
        A girl shown like her…… I dont think exist in our society…… So weak, stupid and Inconfident girl

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