Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Top 10 Disappointments - 2005

Both Raju and another commenter felt that the movies on my Worst-10 list of 2005 wouldn’t mean much to regular viewers since they were too bad to have been seen by them. You guys should consider yourself lucky! But I understand that it’s not much fun going through a list of movies you have not even heard of, let alone seen. So I thought I’d compile a list of what I like to call “The Most Disappointing Movies of 2005”.

Higher expectations lead to more disappointment. That’s pretty much the rationale behind this list. A movie that only partially met its sky-high expectations was therefore more disappointing than a bad movie that arrived with low or no expectations. For the mathematically-inclined, the “Disappointment Quotient” for a movie would be the difference between the “Expectations” and the “Result” indicated in the parentheses. And expectations here refer to my expectations about the movie and not the accompanying hype (or lack of it).

So here, in reverse order (least disappointing to the most disappointing), are the 10 most disappointing movies of 2005.

10. Kicha Vayasu 16 (Expectations: Average; Result: Disastrous)
Though the presence of Jai Akash and Manikandan were dual warning signs, I still looked forward to this film since it was Simran’s swan song. But the producer either got her evil, desperate twin to act or had something incredibly incriminating on the real Simran. Barring those two scenarios, I can’t imagine why Tamil cinema’s top heroine, whose previous film New was a superhit, would have agreed to appear in this film. Terribly cheap and vulgar, it was a sad goodbye for my favorite heroine.

9. Kundakka Mandakka (Expectations: Average; Result: Disastrous)
Like a prostitute selling her body to earn money for a good cause, Parthiban is nowadays selling his name and talent by appearing in movies like this, to earn money for movies like Kudaikkul Mazhai. Sure we don't expect a KM every time but still, sinking this low was unpardonable. The film, with no story, banked solely on his comic chemistry with Vadivelu, something that had gotten tiring a long time ago. So it was painful.

8. Ghajini (Expectations: Very High; Result: Good)
I liked Ghajini. A lot. But I was still disappointed that it did so little with its primary plot point – Surya’s short-term memory. After an intriguing start, the movie abandoned the plot point to move on to a romance which, though an absolute delight, felt like it was taking time away from the main track. It didn’t exploit the delicious possibilities afforded by STM when it came back either and descended into a regular masala film.

7. Oru Kallooriyin Kadhai (Expectations: Average; Result: Very Bad)
A movie that gained some publicity because of the presence of Arya, it was easily the most illogical film of 2005. And it defied logic not in special-effects-filled stunts or unbelievable romance but in its ridiculous concept. We were expected to believe that a few friends could get together, in the space of a few days, everyone who was needed to re-create college life as it was five years ago. This from friends who for five years didn’t know that their best friend was in a coma!

6. Ji (Expectations: High; Result: Average)
By the law of averages, Ajith was due for a hit and behind the camera was Lingusamy, all set for a hatrick after Anandam and the delightful Run. But the film, though well-intentioned with its take on student politics, turned out to be long and boring. A big reason was that it seemed like a rerun of Surya’s segment in Aaydha Ezhuthu.

5. Adhu Oru Kanaakkaalam (Expectations: High; Result: Average)
Another film that I looked forward to primarily because of the director Balu Mahendra’s past films, it turned out to be a poor combination of some of the director’s own earlier movies. An unconvincing romance started it off while the jail setting offered nothing new in the second half. And then there was the crudeness and unnecessary item number.

4. Aaru (Expectations: Very High; Result: Bad)
Hari, the director who gave us a rowdy’s equivalent of a coming-of-age story in Thamizh, and Surya, who seemed to be incapable to taking a bad step careerwise, came together for this tale of a Chennai rowdy. Soaked in violence, quite vulgar and stuffed with the usual commercial ingredients, the film was an odd hybrid that didn't know which genre it belonged to.

3. A Aa (Expectations: High; Result: Very Bad)
S.J.Suryah effortlessly claimed the prize for the most irritating hero of 2005 with this film. He maintained his reputation for innovative ideas by using a new technique of giving form to a person’s memories. But silly and amateurish implementation of the idea coupled with unnecessary vulgarity and his crazy, over-the-top, hyped-up performance were unfortunately what remained in our memory.

2. Chidambarathil Oru Appasamy (Expectations: High; Result: Very Bad)
From the maker of the sensitive and mature Azhagi came this loud film that had all the subtlety of a jackhammer. The film had three acts and the first act was absolutely intolerable. Things got a little better after that but that’s not saying much. Poor Navya Nair gave a great performance in a bad film.

1. Oru Naal Oru Kanavu (Expectations: High; Result: Very Bad)
I expected a gentle, tender love story from Fazil, the director of classics like Poovizhi Vaasalile and Varusham 16. Instead we got a film where no one, including the hero, the heroine and the director, seemed to know if the lead pair was in love with each other or not. Needless to say, the audience didn’t know either. And eventually, didn't care... Ilaiyaraja was didn’t disappoint but every other aspect of the film did.


At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


thank you so much for entertaining my request. was surprised to see ghajini on the list. at the same time i couldn't help but agree with you that the movie had so much premise that the director did not explore.

the list was wonderfully done. great job!

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb, nice, interesting list...
ur comment on parthiban was as sharp as it was dead-on-balls accurate...

am thinking whether i should pass this onto parthiban...what do u think?

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great list, the 2 movies that I felt should be on this list were:

- Majaa - (Expectations: High, Results: Average)
- Mumbai Express - (Expectations: Very High, Results: Average)

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

anon, thanx! i did feel your request made a lot of sense and hence this list. ivlo nalla pesuringale, peru sollittu pesakkoodadha?! :)

ram, thanx! considering the not-so-nice nature of the words, i'm not so sure. but u know how he reacts to such things. so u know best :)

rajesh, thanx. i think i had avg expectations about 'majaa' and it met them. and the the combo would be (High, Good) for ME. hence didnt make the list :)

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the jevya awards:

middling expectations, movie was an insult to my intelligence and a spectacular waste of budget - anniyan

middling expectations, movie was thoroughly entertaining, with hilarious one-liners - majaa.

low expectations wonderfully exceeded - kaadhal.

high expectations not entirely fulfilled - chandramukhi, i was expecting more dance.

has there been a movie in the last ten years with good bn?

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Filbert said...


Very good list (as always) with some trademark analysis. Your comment about Parthiban is very true and should also apply to Nasser. What do you feel?

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

Both of Vikram's were letdowns.

To the anon above, there is one coming up, I have high hopes. Problem being lead characters don't know anything about the art. This one promises a good dancer in the lead.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess what goes around, comes around...remember Parthiban mentioning in an interview that as an assistant director, he had the guts to tell Sridevi to her face (while assisting Bhagyaraj on Aakri Raastha), "Unge veetla enna ration prachanaiyaa? idha madhiri padathula nadikkreenge?" he was referring to a dud that Sridevi had acted in that was released during the shooting of raastha...

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Raju said...

That's nice of you, Balaji. I have seen 8 of the 10.. My only surprise is Ghajini, since it found a place in your 'top 10' too. Now, there are two types of expectations, right? One - before entering the movie hall (thanks to promos, star cast, media coverage, info on story, music, etc.) and the other, after watching some part of the movie (due to an interesting beginning, the way the story has been told and the characters thus far). Ghajini, to me, belonged to the second type..(I assume it was to some extent for u too, since you had a post surprised after the 100% booking news on the release weekend). I guess most others would be pre-movie expectations?

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to add to my own q, i actually saw a movie recently called sringaram which was about devadasis ( ) . the dancers were respectable, choreography inconsistent, and the story/direction was very soggy and limp.

munimma, i suppose you cannot say when and which dancer? but at least it is something to look forward to!


At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the way you write.. care to be friends..
I couldn't find a way to contact you via any email add.. so had no choice but to leave a note in yr comment box..

At 11:12 PM, Blogger vICkNeS said...

At last, glad to see someone dare to say ghajini is a big dissapointment.....keep it up balaji....
they could have made it much,much better......


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