Bollywood fantasy movies are rare to come by. With the current scenario of directors and producers looking fo stories set in small-town India, that trends will continue – unless Bhramastra beaks the mould and becomes larger than life. The Baahubali franchise has awakened some of the producers, but there’s still a long way to go. Newer audiences will think that India didn’t have fantasy movies at all – wrong. The Indian Film Industry was host to several mythological and fantasy concepts for the most part of its history.
Bollywood fantasy movies like Haatim Tai, Pataal Bhairavi and others have a staggering view-count on YouTube. But then, came the nineties and we had some severely disappointing movies. Like how that Batman movie closed down the world of fantasy franchises in Bollywood, some Bollywood fantasy movies broke down the fantasy movies in Bollywood. Here’s a list of those:
In the nineties, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit was a dream combination. They were fresh off the success of movies like Tezaab, Beta and others. So, they signed up for one of India’s first modern magnum opuses, Rajkumar. The 1998 release had some great PR. In fact, along with Roop Ki Rani, Choron Ka Raja, this one appeared all over the place.
The movie flopped at the box office – even though Wikipedia says that it was an average grosser. Whatever be the official line, the movie disappointed at the box office, even though the star cast included Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah and others. The storyline was too intricate for audiences to cover – even though it was similar to Aladin.
Watch Rajkumar here:
This is the stick new producers use to beat up scriptwriters who come up with fantasy concepts today. This was another mega project that flopped at the box office. Today, there would be memes about the title, Drona, and the aspect of a boring movie droning on. Drona had Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and Kay Kay Menon. The reviewers are very brutal with this movie. The official word is that the movie was a disaster at the box office, making ‘only’ fifteen crores on a budget of forty-five crores.
Watch Drona Trailer here:
The Bollywood fantasy movie that infamously bankrupts Shashi Kapoor, and the one that had a big budget. The movie starred, along with Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Dimple Kapadia and others. This was also one of the few movies made in collaboration with foreign moviemakers, the Gorky Film Studio in this case.
There are conflicting reports about the movie. Some say that the movie was an abysmal flop and some say that Shashi Kapoor managed to recoup his money by selling the satellite rights. It had, however, one of the biggest budgets at that time.
Watch a song from Ajooba here:
Toofan (average) (1989)
In the nineties, Amitabh Bachchan was a force to reckon with, until his movies flopped at the box office. He returned to his blockbuster status, kinda sorta, with movies like Bade Miya Chhote Miya, but movies like Toofan just added to the disastrous run. Toofan was one of India’s first superhero movies, with Amitabh Bachchan playing a masked superhero using a bow and arrow to do away with the villains. Nineties kids will remember the eye-mask that was vendors sold at 2 rupees, also one of the first movie merchandise in India. However, this was not the official merchandise, so I don’t think that made any kind of money for the producers, Desai and Co.
Watch Toofan here:
Jaadugar (flop) (1989)
The Bollywood fantasy movie that everyone says was jinxed. Toofan and Jaadugar has a storied rivalry. You can read about it here, but as usual, take all of it with a pinch of salt. The movie flopped miserably at the box office. With a director’s run time of about five hours, audiences would have walked out of the theater – but director Prakash Mehra finally edited out to about three hours. There’s some trivia that because of this, an expensive shot of a cyclone that used Hollywood stunt directors never made the final cut.
These are the fantasy movies that somehow didn’t work for the Indian audience. Do you think I left out any? Tell me in the comments section!