When movies become about teams
Bollywood is mostly about heroes that can take on the universe, the establishment, crime syndicates, etc all by themselves, felling forty baddies with a single roundhouse kick, but occasionally it becomes about the team.
With YRF's latest Badmaash Company around the corner, here's a look at ten very different kinds of Bollywood team movies:
From the promos, it appears that Badmaash Company stars Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Meiyang Chang and Vir Das as four conmen given to multiple disguises in their race to get rich overnight.
Apparently director Parmeet Sethi wrote the script in six days -- a fact that seems worrisome, but lets hope for a surprise.
Image: A scene from Badmaash Company
Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK made their directorial debut with this taut half-fact half-fiction thriller featuring Boman Irani, Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Broacha and Soha Ali Khan as four disparate characters -- a compulsive gambler, two swindlers and a hotel floor manager -- who get together to hoodwink major bookie and cricket match fixer Vinod Khanna.
Image: A scene from 99
Khosla Ka Ghosla
Dibakar Banerjee's sparkling first film saw a great ensemble -- Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Navin Nischol, Tara Sharma and several others -- pool together around Anupam Kher who has been bamboozled of his life savings by a ruthless builder, played by Boman Irani.
The whole gang decides to teach the builder a lesson, and as this involves much good-natured deceit, the ride is a joyful one.
Image: A scene from Khosla Ka Ghosla
Considered a colossal disappointment coming after his Sholay, Ramesh Sippy's Shaan nonetheless has some incredibly enjoyable moments.
The film starts with con-artist brothers Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor, and soon grows to include Parveen Babi, Bindiya Goswami and Johnny Walker.
Their initial swindles seem harmless enough, but soon all have to band together to battle the diabolical Shakaal, played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda.
Image: A scene from Shaan
Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena
Directorial debut of former rediff staffer Suparn Verma, this con film featured Fardeen Khan, Koena Mitra, Kay Kay Menon, Mukul Dev and Amin Hajee as con-artists determined to beat lethal don Gulshan Grover.
Their answer to his threat? To try and con the biggest gangster of all, Jehangir, played by Fardeen's father Feroz Khan. Not an easy task.
Image: A scene from Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena
Chak De India
All right, agreed Chak De wasn't about con games.
But when it comes to films about teams in Bollywood, there really hasn't been a team as iconic as this bunch of disparate girls bandied together to play hockey for India and win.
Shah Rukh Khan played coach to a fine ensemble cast, the girls truly peaking during the scene involving the team bashing up eve-teasers at McDonalds.
Image: A scene from Chak De India
Rajkumar Santoshi's tribute to Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai starred a bunch of Bollywood oldies as veteran armymen brought together to fight a feared dacoit.
Yet despite names like Danny Dengzongpa, Om Puri, Amrish Puri, Paresh Rawal and Naseeruddin Shah taking on feared Gabbar-esque Jageera, the film's highlight remained an item song by Urmila Matondkar.
Image: A scene from China Gate
Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year
Clearly Shimit Amin enjoys building team dynamics, and so we see this Jeffrey Archer like saga of a few commonplace cubicle-dwellers getting together illegally to beat their own boss at their computer selling game.
Led by Ranbir Kapoor, the team featured Gauhar Khan, Naveen Kaushik, Mukesh Bhatt and D Santosh in a standout performance as the porn-obsessed computer technician. Great fun.
Image: A scene from Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year
It doesn't have an original bone in its body, but this deplorable Reservoir Dogs ripoff nonetheless features an interesting cast, with Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Mahesh Manjrekar, Lucky Ali and Kumar Gaurav.
The effect is a bit negated when you see Dutt playing Michael Madsen and Bachchan doing a Harvey Keitel, but its still an impressive assortment for a photocopied movie ripoff.
Image: A scene from Kaante
The first Dhoom just had Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra joining forces against John Abraham, and we all know a duo does not a team make, but in the second installment of Sanjay Gadhvi's explosions-beat-logic series, Bachchan and Chopra were joined by not one but two bodacious Bipasha Basus and one Aishwarya Rai as they took on supervillain Hrithik Roshan.
Image: A scene from Dhoom 2