2019 in general has been a good year for Bollywood, with 17 movies in the 100 crores club, 1 in 300 crores club, 5 in 200 crores club and several other small budget gems scoring high on profitability. While opinions are always divided when it comes to movies, there are some that win unanimous praise or criticism from a large section of audience – as evident from social media and social interactions. Here I am listing down the movies of this year which were most underrated and most overrated according to me. Do share your views – if you agree or disagree with this list.
Most Overrated movies of 2019
URI – the surgical strike: Now, before the nationalists and patriots start getting angry, let me clarify. I have nothing against the movie and it was a decent watch with decent actors. But the way it caught the fancy of the nation and went on to achieve everything from box office collections to national awards had got more to do with the sentiment of the nation at that point of time which it resonated with very well. However, in terms of movie making as an art it didn’t have anything new, or which pushes the envelope or even excels in any particular area – in all of it, URI was an above average fare. If the box office success was a metric of right timing for a movie, then URI definitely deserves an Oscar.
Super 30: Without going into the debate of Anand kumar’s genuineness and authenticity of his super 30, this movie often bordered into caricature and cringe. When you are making a movie of a contemporary public figure whose life and details are easily available on the web, adding fictional incidents to dramatise and eulogise the protagonist isn’t just bad film making, but also raises suspicion about the intent of the makers. The movie was simply not a genuine biopic and only a less glamorised version of 2018’s hagiography Sanju.
War: Now I have really nothing against Hrithik. (I swear I had his posters on my wall after Kaho Na Pyaar hai) But while the world (especially the women) went gaga over Hrithik and Tiger in this supposedly the world-class action thriller, I just couldn’t go beyond the cliched plot elements like plastic surgery and back-plotting in loops, something which the Race series has made a life out of (You think you are being smart but I already knew it so I was being extra smart). While it was a decent watch, it deserves a mention here as most of the people seem to have overlooked the flaws and made it seem like the best action movie ever.
Most Underrated movies of 2019
The Sky is Pink: If it wasn’t sexist, I’d have said that biggest success of Priyanka Chopra after moving to Hollywood is Nick Jonas. (Oh wait, I just said it). Jokes aside, it seems that her stardom has faded in India after her relocation to LA; or maybe it was the pretentious title of the movie which failed to create any sorts of curiosity or popularity of this gem of a movie in the general public, leading to its dismal performance. Otherwise, it is a very well-made and desi at heart movie with tonnes of genuine drama and emotions about a couple struggling with their daughter’s terminal sickness. The handful of people who watched it (including me) shed bucketful of tears. Now if only tears were currency, this would have been a sure-shot blockbuster, like it rightfully should have been.
Section 375: In times of #Metoo, it was very surprising that this little gem, with a very sensible view point presented as a very engaging court room drama failed to make any waves at the box-office or even in the critic circles. Perhaps it was the non-star appeal of Akshaye Khanna or the Ayushmann Khurana wave (as it released on the same day as Dream girl) that removed this small movie completely from mainstream talks. But it remains one of the best courtroom dramas that you ‘will see in Bollywood, with its bold and non-judgemental stand on sexual harassment v/s power dynamics in workplace. Do watch it on Amazon Prime video.
Manikarnika: Now I might sound like Rangoli Chandel – the sister cum manager of Kangana (*shudders*), but even though the movie managed to touch 100 crores – it definitely did not get the success it deserved. As the first biopic of one of the most illustrious female (or otherwise) figures of Indian history, the movie re-told a part-historical-part-mythological story with beautiful detailing and sentiments. Kangana’s performance was fierce and phenomenal and she embodied the Queen of Jhansi like no one else could. If any movie deserved to be in the 300 crore slot and any performance deserved accolades and awards – it was Manikarnika and Kangana. But alas, it struggled to touch 100 crores and barely managed to, with much push by the sister-the-great!
P.S. Kabir Singh is missing from this list as it already is the most discussed, criticised, loved and perhaps the most rated movie of the year, so it doesn’t really fit either of the classification above.