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From Taapsee Pannu's Haseen Dillruba to Janhvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao's Roohi, the most overrated Hindi movies of 2021

Bhoot Police, Chehre or Haseen Dillruba — which of the Hindi films this year failed to meet the expectations of budding cinephiles? 

Pratishruti Ganguly
Dec 28, 2021

The pandemic era is upon us, so is watching an ungodly number of movies through the weekend. This insatiable hunger for new, exciting content has led all of us to give into watching the most talked-about films and shows of the year. Upon viewing though, they have proved themselves to be duds in their own rights. From Haseen Dillruba to Ray, here is a list of films that released in 2021 amid much fanfare, only to be termed overrated.

Haseen Dillruba
7OTTplay Rating
A grizzly murder, a torrid extramarital affair, a shared love for pulpy crime fiction — Haseen Dillruba had all the makings of a heady, all-consuming murder mystery. Further, it stars two of the most critically-acclaimed stars Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey, along with Harshvardhan Rane. Set against the backdrop of the deceptively peaceful Haridwar, Haseen Dillruba attempted to toe the line between cheesy and intriguing. But the Vinil Mathew directorial, penned by Kanika Dhillon, is a hodgepodge of half-realised ideas. The film repeatedly confuses self-harm and abuse with passion. Its superficial understanding of mental health along with an absurd narrative that never really is able to convince its audience makes Haseen Dillruba one of the most disappointing releases of 2021.
6.3OTTplay Rating
In a year that has witnessed a bevvy of thrillers populate the OTT platforms, it is difficult to break through the clutter. However, with a cast featuring the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Emraan Hashmi and Dhritiman Chatterjee, Chehre was one of the most anticipated releases of 2021. And boy did it disappoint. In its defence, the film, directed by Rumi Jaffrey, created a perfectly queasy atmosphere to enrapture its viewers. Unfortunately, beyond the set design and cinematography, Chehre is just another cliche-ridden story, with predictable twists and acting that landed with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
Bhoot Police
6.9OTTplay Rating
There is no doubt that Saif Ali Khan has become the face of inventive storytelling in the past few years, and the trailer of Bhoot Police promised a horror-comedy actioner that the actor earlier dabbled with in the highly underrated Go Goa Gone. Also featuring Arjun Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Yami Gautam Dhar, Bhoot Police gets its slapstick bits right for the most part. Even the self-parody and the pop culture Easter Eggs are fun additions that work for the movie. Where it fumbles is the story itself. The film neither makes a commentary on blind faith, nor is it scary enough to qualify as horror, despite Yami Gautam contouring her body in every way to resemble something akin to a possessed individual.
The Big Bull
6OTTplay Rating
Abhishek Bachchan starrer The Big Bull suffered the curse of late arrival. The film, inspired by the life of the embattled stockbroker Harshad Mehta, was released just a few months after Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, which also dealt with the same subject matter. Scam 1992, directed by Hansal Mehta and featuring Pratik Gandhi as the flamboyant Mehta, charted his overnight success and the tragic downfall in a 10-episode-long incisive, observant, well-researched series. Needless to say, the show became one of the most highly recommended financial thrillers of 2020. On the contrary, Bachchan’s turn as Mehta felt tepid, inorganic and almost an adjunct to Hansal Mehta’s show that would not have made a difference had it not existed. Neither does the presence of stars like Ilena D’Cruz and Sohum Shah do much for the film.
4.7OTTplay Rating
There must be something ruefully wrong with a film if the only thing that manages to leave an impact is a remixed version of a 2008 Indie-pop number. Roohi, featuring Jahnvi Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Varun Sharma, is the spiritual successor of Stree, and the second offering in the Dinesh Vijan horror-comedy universe. Naturally, viewers were waiting with bated breath for the film to recreate the magic of Stree. However, the film’s attempt at being a feminist parable falls flat on its face, with its arbitrary characters and complex narrative arcs that heads nowhere. The problem with the film is that despite its potential, it is too dull and pointless to elicit any reaction. If you want to watch Jahnvi Kapoor ace the horror genre, watch her segment in Ghost Stories, directed by Zoya Akhtar and starring Surekha Sikri and Vijay Varma.
Bunty Aur Babli 2
4.2OTTplay Rating
Bunty Aur Babli is arguably one of the most well-realised Hindi con movies of the noughts. Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji were charming as the titular con artists who only wanted to prove their worth at a skill scorned at by society and labelled a crime by law enforcement bodies. Amitabh Bachchan’s fiesty and volatile Dashrat Singh kept the con artists on their toes and the narrative arresting till the end. The sequel, which supplanted Saif Ali Khan and Pankaj Tripathi in place of the father-son duo, loses a lot of the predecessor’s charm with its new cast. Moreover, Bunty and Babli’s overarching didactic tone about the Robin-hood ness of its characters, meddles with the tone of the film, rendering it vapid and tedious.

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