Bollywood's 10 WORST Gangster Films
The sly, organised crime activities have long been a favourite theme of Bollywood filmmakers.
Deftly made films like Parinda, Satya, Vaastav, Company, Maqbool and Gangs of Wasseypur only fuelled the fascination for the noir, deceitful traits of Indian mafia.
But not all offerings in the genre live to the potential of the premise.
A former expert in the field, director Ram Gopal Varma’s struggle to regain his magic touch can be trace in mediocre, graphic or plain awful attempts at the same.
Last Friday, he hit the screens with a much-dreaded sequel to his 1998 classic, Satya hoping to reclaim his glory.
What he did manage is a gangster flick bad enough to lead this list of Bollywood’s worst films in the category.
Without the skilful writing of Saurabh Shukla and Anurag Kashyap at his disposal, Varma fumbles badly with a gawky hero Puneet Singh Ratn as the composed mastermind surreptitiously building his place into the underworld that’s more theory than practical.
Satya 2 drags endlessly displaying none of the gritty characteristics and capricious atmosphere that defined the first.
Image: Movie poster of Satya 2
Action director Ravi Dewan ropes in the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Ashutosh Rana, cricketer Vinod Kambli and newcomer Gautam Rode to weave a yarn about two rival underworld parties.
Filled with blatantly ripped-off ideas from better films of the genre, this badly conceptualised, acted, directed drivel lives up to its title in ways it did not anticipate.
Image: A scene from Annarth
Hriday Shetty’s directorial debut Plan is best remembered for Sanjay Dutt’s spiky, platinum hair.
Plan spends so much time in the cosmetic aspects of filmmaking it conveniently forgets to entertain.
And so you have Dutt doing a disinterested one-man show as a mafia honcho kidnapped by a bunch of wooden actors who unwittingly save his life from a rival gangster only to aid his vendetta schemes.
All this time, Shetty’s concentrate is fixated on the hairstyles of his entire cast.
Image: Sanjay Dutt in Plan
No amount of Randeep Hooda’s lean and mean physique or Vinod Khanna’s veteran charisma can liven up the beaten-to-death contents of Vishram Sawant’s Risk.
Even if you’ve seen two decent underworld dramas, you’ll have no problems predicting the scenes of Risk, which packs in an overdose of gory violence but shows zero presence of a credible screenplay.
Image: Randeep Hooda in Risk
Unlike the murky, sinister world of realistic mafia, the tone of Sohail Khan’s Auzaar is reeking of overdone masala.
It’s hard to take all the crime and infiltration seriously with Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty bursting into a song every few minutes or Sanjay Kapoor assaulting the viewer with his tepid performance.
Image: Salman Khan, Sanjay Kapoor and Shilpa Shetty in Auzaar
Shabri, starring Isha Kopikkar as a lady don, tries too hard to find its place next to a Satya with its arsenal of gruesome violence and curious camera angles.
Bungling up on plot and conviction, despite Kopikkar’s best efforts, ensures that's next to impossible.
Image: Isha Koppikar in Shabri
Jackie Shroff is a moody star. On one hand, he’ll compel jaws to drop with his fine work in Parinda and Angaar.
On another, he’ll sock those very points with his dismal choices in shabby knockoffs of those celebrated films.
His eminently-forgotten Hadh, a gangster mishmash about unlikely successors and bitter rivals, cooks up the usual producing unpalatable results.
Image: Sharad Kapoor and Jackie Shroff in Hadh
Aatank Hi Aatank
Aamir Khan pulled off a tapori rogue in Rangeela, a hillstation cabbie in Raja Hindustani, a college student in his 40s and, most likely, a circus clown/acrobat/magician in the upcoming Dhoom 3.
The man, however, faced an embarrassing scale of failure as a underworld don with a comic moustache and gelled hair in Aatank Hi Aatank, a wannabe Godfather that makes Govinda’s Zulm Ki Hukumat look like a classic in comparison.
Image: Aamir Khan in Aatank Hi Aatank
Zindagi Ek Jua
Al Pacino’s Scarface inspired many a moments in Agneepath. But the Amitabh Bachchan starrer was largely appreciated for its grand, confident storytelling.
Prakash Mehra’s Zindagi Ek Jua, featuring one of the biggest star jodis of its time -- Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit, is far too muddled and melodramatic a crime drama to deliver on any count.
Image: Anil Kapoor in Zindagi Ek Jua
Mithun Chakravarthy’s Mujrim too aims for the diluted, desi Scarface effect to laughable results.
In this typically 1980s brand of baloney, Amrish Puri and Gulshan Grover essay the caricaturish, double crossing gangsters while Mithun da does his bit of a guy taking to the life of crime oblivious to its inevitable repercussions.
Image: Mithun Chakravarthy in Mujrim