With Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan releasing this week, the film is bringing back one of Bollywood’s most tried-and-tested formulas on screen – love triangles.
Two men/women in love with the same woman/man, and how circumstances ensure that all three principal characters are miserable. Until the magnanimous one chooses to back out at the shaadi ka mandap, letting the main couple win. It’s a formula that’s been with Bollywood from the days of Sangam to Silsila to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai… to recently Tanu Weds Manu Returns.
However, this also means Bollywood has also churned out many trashy, lazy love triangles that nearly obliterated the genre, save for the odd Bareilly Ki Barfi. Here are 8 such films:
1. Kucch Toh Hai
Ekta Kapoor’s shameless ripoff of I Know What You Did Last Summer was essentially turned into a love-triangle by the end. And even though the film tried its best to peddle Tusshar Kapoor as someone desirable, it failed miserably.
2. Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon
Starring the most energetic characters in the history of love triangles, this film was the epitome of thermodynamic equilibrium. But that equilibrium didn’t necessarily make it a good film, and as Pretentious Movie Reviews showed us, the film was simply… trying too hard. No wonder, Barjatyas returned to their wedding ways with Vivaah.
3. Krishna Cottage
Ekta Kapoor remaking Kuchh Toh Hai, with the third entity being a ghost (instead of a serial killer). The film starring Isha Koppikar (who is not bad actually), Sohail Khan and Anita Hasnandani, had a spirit trying to steal Anita’s suhaag, who happens to look EXACTLY like Isha’s lover from the past. Well, what do you expect from the people who brought Mihir back?
This godawful film was as irritating back then, as it is funny today. Starring an uncharacteristically quiet Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty who was overacting-on-pills, the film prolonged Shilpa Shetty’s career by a few more years but did little else.
5. Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya
Dharmesh Darshan to the rescue again! Another triangle starring Akshay Kumar, Karisma Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan – the film took the most beaten path. Husband cheats on wife, they separate and they’re reunited by a third entity, after she forgives him for cheating. Haan maine bhi yeh plot kahi aur dekha hai.
6. Mujhse Dosti Karoge
NOW ONLY IF WEBCAMS EXISTED. This film has the most agonising take on the love triangle, and the climax features the most contrived ‘accident’ in the history of Hindi cinema. Enough said.
7. Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai
Another one of those lazy Yashraj films in the mid-2000s. The biggest conflict of this film is – Should I mehendi? Or should I shaadi? It’s made by the guy, who went on to direct the vacuous Dhoom (1 and 2) films. We should have seen it coming.
8. Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Yash Chopra undid some of his great pre-Dil Toh Pagal work, by making this preposterously written love triangle. So short-on-ideas and taken-for-granted is the film’s script that Shah Rukh Khan is made to have the same accident twice, in the same spot. A school kid could have come up with something less ridiculous.
We really, truly hope Manmarziyaan does better.