The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Boom goes bust, Big B & bikini bombs

Mumbai, Sept. 26: Big B, bombshells, bikinis, bossmen, bullets, beaches, Bo Derek — and balderdash! Or is it so bad that it is actually good'

In its short career, Boom has become the benchmark of bad taste, the byword for bunkum and a bad word at the box office. It is an unforeseen end for one of the costlier flicks — if a flesh fest — made on this side of the earth and certainly this year’s most-hyped film.

The growing mass of the angry audiences is led by livid critics. One of them, already put off by a late late night press show after the cancellation of the scheduled show, claims that Amitabh Bachchan should publicly apologise for his role in the movie. Given his stature, the critic says, as someone who shares Madame Tussaud’s wax hall of fame with the Father of the Nation, the B has more responsibility towards the country’s population. They hang on to his every word and it will be no good if they hang on to the words pronounced by the great man in this film.

Because most of the time his mouth remains slightly open. When he speaks — he is a don in Dubai — it is to request his suppliers that they don’t send him mustachioed women.

The review refuses to mention the name of the three nudies — Padma Lakshmi, Katrina Kaif and Madhu Sapre — because they contribute that little to the film.

At this moment, the film’s makers and trade analysts are counting the loose change — the only collections at the box office from the first week — with tears in their eyes. It is also being pulled out of movie halls with a certain haste.

“The collections are very bad,” says Taran Adarsh of Trade Guide. “The exact figures are being calculated,” he adds.

Another disgruntled critic says the film should come with a warning as there’s no one who has seen the film and not fallen sick. He says he strongly advises people to stay off it, because of the bad sex.

It made some people leave the cinema halls. In the film, Jackie Shroff, another don, keeps a woman under his office table for his pleasure. Javed Jaffrey, yet another don and the eponymous Boom Shankar, specialises in liaisons with maidservants and keeps a gun in his crotch which he keeps moving about.

“I don’t know what the story is,” says a marketing executive who watched it soon after its release. She wishes she had curbed her enthusiasm. “It is all about how three women can rob a bank while only wearing bras. Probably,” she adds.

Critic and writer Rauf Ahmed, however, says that the story of Boom is sign of a bigger malady in the entertainment world. Boom probably would have bombed with more dignity had it not been hyped so much.

“From day one when it was announced, there were relentless reports about it. We saw the three women splashed over all the papers and news channels. But no one had seen the film while writing the reports,” he says.

In such an environment, he says, filmmakers are freed from the primary responsibility of working on the film.

“The problem lies in the script. It must have been a good story for Amitabh Bachchan to sign on. But any story can be a brilliant idea. Making a good script out of a story is another matter,” he says.

But that doesn’t stop the buzz about Boom. “It is such a bad film,” gushes an undergraduate. “Such lousy posters! I want to see it.”

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