Anuraag Kashyap rightly puts across the Box Office success’ of his movies as right things done at the right time.Though it may sound as cynical as his movie story-lines or even their title, his judgement of how the commercial success formula bubbles is pretty much on the target.Many a times I watch a movie on my TV which shakes me up or even makes me think how such an idea was perceived by the masses.And to my dismay I discover that the movie had sank without a trace.Now I realize how Kashyap s judgement is so acute as most of his movies have been released much after they were actually made and ones which were released on time..ran to empty houses!Here is a collection of certain movies which can either be considered much ahead of their times or just poor visibility on the quality of the product.
1.Shakti:-Ramesh Sippy s hard hitting movie clearly had 2 things as its USP, pairing of Amitabh and Dilip Kumar as father and son and the powerful story which gave ample space for both the legends for their pyrotechnics.When the movie was announced it sent loads of ripples and its stood strong for its content and powerful sequences.But somehow this classic was not appreciated by the masses.Blame it on the concept between a rebellious son and a dutiful father or a “not commercial enough” punch like how it was in Sippy’s magnum opus Sholay, this movie flopped at the Box office.Some scenes in the movie are simply executed deftly with amazing craftsmanship like the one where Rakhi goes to meet Vijay( Big B) and penultimate confrontation between Vijay and Ashwini Kumar(Dilip) where in he tells how much he loves his son and now has ended up shooting him to death.Even Smitha Patil pitched in with a nice cameo amongst towering performances.May be if it had released today…Could have swept the single screens and the multiplexes in a single go!
2.Lamhe:- This film was critically acclaimed, had melodious music(Morani..), and did a lukewarm business overseas.But it was a box-office failure in India. It is one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Movie even though it flopped.It talks about Viren(Anil Kapoor) who loves Pallavi(Sridevi) who is elder to him.Before he could confess his love infront of her, she marries her lover and Viren is left heartbroken.One year into the marriage, Sidhharth and Pallavi are killed in an accident leaving behind a daughter. The girl is named Pooja and is kept in the care of Dai Jaa(Viren s caretaker) with timely visits by Viren.Climax of the movie comes in where Pooja finds portrait of her mother(who looks exactly like her) and thinks that Viren loves her.Lamhe divided the audience at level which only movies like Arth had done before.It was hugely popular with metropolitan elites and the overseas market, which allowed it to break even, but it had a poor box-office response with the Indian mass market because of its supposed incest theme.If YRF wants to re-release it would still work because of Jhakaas acts by Anil and Sridevi.
3.Andaz Apna Apna:-This one seems unbelievable but its TRUE.AAA had flopped terribly at the box office.But over the years through VCDs ad satellite channels it has gained a cult status.I cant say it is movie ahead of its time but surely can be considered that it defined what slapstick comedy actually is.When two useless bufoons try winning a hand of a princess(who s an imposter) what follows is a havoc.Characters like Gogo, Teja and Bhalla and add to it madness of Aamir and Salman it surely makes this movie a must watch.I too remember watching this movie on my VCR and asking my dad why didn we watch this movie in the theatre.Rajkumar Santoshi s best movie till date which clearly told us one thing..even the makers of this movie did not know what they were upto.Out of all the movies mentioned here I would say that this movie has all the ingredients to beat 3 Idiots or even the recent Bodyguard!
4.Kaagaz Ke Phool:-Most critics would tend to go for Pyaasa as the defining achievement of Guru Dutt’s short lived film career but I have not come across a film which provides such a devestating critique on the studio system and the emotional/moral compromises a film maker is forced to make as is illustrated through the heart breaking story of Suresh Sinha played by Guru Dutt in the masterpiece Kagaaz Ke Phool. Though Guru Dutt’s cinematic legacy was very much in doubt in the 70s, his films were rediscovered in the 1980s and he is now recognised as one of the genuine film auteurs to emerge out of the Bollywood studio system in the late 40s. The emotional power of this film really comes from the opening sequence which is an extended flashback being told by the main protagonist, and as the silohuetted figure of Guru Dutt enters the studio backlot, everything suddenly converges to become something much more than an ordinary Bollywood production. Much of Guru Dutt’s films were ahead of their time and he was experimenting with deep focus, long takes and the potential of the widescreen frame way before his contemporaries discovered them.
5.Agneepath:-This Hindi action-drama stars Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay Dinanath Chahuan, a man whose moral father was murdered by the local mobsters. When Vijay reaches adulthood, he himself gets involved in the criminal underworld and ruthlessly rises through the ranks with the sole purpose of getting even with the boss who had his father killed. This violent and melodramatic film is epic in length and is one of Bachchan’s most highly respected dramatic roles.Inspite of having a husky voice of Bachchan and hyper publicity it failed to create ripples amongst masses.Touted to be a remake of Scarface, this movie makes us think that only if KJo had re-released we would have booked our seats to watch it rather than spending a woeful 2 hours watching I Hate Love Stories!