Before 'War', 8 Bollywood Franchises That Hold Up To The Gold Standard Of Hindi Cinema

Looking at War, it seems like an unwritten rule that if a cocktail of ideas work at the box office, the producers try to conjure a franchise out of it.

“If it’s successful, make a sequel” ~ Bollywood franchises.

Siddharth Anand’s War has breached the 200-crore mark within a week of its release, and as conventional wisdom would have it, there are talks of a sequel. Perhaps, even a franchise. It’s an unwritten rule that if any cocktail of idea that works at the Bollywood box office, the producers try to conjure the same potion once again. Maybe that’s why so many of our sequels suck so much.

ALSO READ: War review

Trying to think of it, there isn’t a single legitimate Bollywood franchise, that warrants its existence beyond the producer’s cash register. The films might be money-wise successful, but they’re all intellectually bankrupt films. Franchises are cash cows for the producer, instead of taking the story forward with some familiar characters.

Before Siddharth Anand’s War sequel nukes our good sense out, here’s a list of 8 franchises that seem to holding up the gold standard of Hindi cinema’s mediocrity.

1. Housefull
A painful franchise that is casually misogynistic, treats its leading ladies like props, the Housefull films are the kind of derivative material that should have remain un-produced. Let alone, produced four times over. Housefull 4 is releasing around Diwali, and is expected to demolish the 100-crore barrier with its leave-your-brain-at-home comedy.

2. Race
Starting in pure Abbas-Mustan fashion (twist pe twist) this franchise devolved from Saif Ali Khan to John Abraham to Salman Khan. Starting out as a preposterous-but-intriguing tussle between two brothers for jaaydaad… the franchise stooped to Daisy Shah being endowed with the cringe-line of the year – ‘Our business is our business, none of your business’. Cool, if you say so.

3. Yamla Pagla Deewana
Starring the Deols, this franchise has sarson da saag & makki di roti running through its veins. But something that began with the Deols parodying themselves (and God forbid… became successful) slowly began to get more and more serious, and was understandably covered with gunks of ‘entertainment’. The third film’s failure is what prompted the franchise to discontinue (thankfully…)

4. Masti
Indra Kumar’s ‘edgy’ sex-comedy featuring three unfaithful husbands has aged poorly. With Grand Masti and Great Grand Masti – films, that spent too much time ogling at heaving bosoms – the director seems to be catering to the lowest common denominator. What a lazy, insincere way to earn money.

5. Dhoom
YRF’s “C.O.O.L” franchise looks at its bikes and women in the same way. Something that began as a (comparatively) sleek franchise, has gotten more and more reprehensible with each passing year. For a franchise to take the collective talents of two Aamir Khans, and then allow its stupidity to shine through… terrible.

6. Baaghi
Tiger Shroff going Tony Jaa and beating up 100 people in immaculately choreographed action sequences, shouldn’t have made for a really bad film. Except that this franchise tries to add a lot of unnecessary masala to the film – romance in the first, jingoism in the second. Add to that, how they shamelessly try to exhibit Tiger Shroff’s acting. I mean…

7. Hate Story
This (unintentional) sex-comedy franchise relies too heavily on women seducing unwitting men, and then double-crossing them. It’s described as an ‘erotic thriller’ – but these films are made purely for titillating single men inside theatres. Let’s not even get into the stories of the respective four films, there is none.

8. Dhamaal
Again directed by Indra Kumar, this franchise began with an inoffensive, silly film, starring a spectacular cameo by Vijay Raaz. Corrupted by box office success and let-down by downright pedestrian writing, this franchise has devolved into the stuff of nightmares, where a director’s idea of a ‘wild ride’ means recruiting many wild animals.

The War sequel…  Bang Bang… whatever they make, it’s surely going to live up to the standard set by above films.