Opening March 7: The Lunchbox, Gulaab Gang, Queen, Total Siyapaa, and Ya Rab

I have never seen a weekend so packed with new Hindi films! Five new movies open in the Chicago area on March 7, 2014, though in a limited number of theaters.

At last, Chicago gets The Lunchbox! The only downside is that it’s opening in just two theaters, and neither of them is a theater that typically shows Bollywood movies. Clearly, distributor Sony Pictures Classics trusts that The Lunchbox will draw in the general public, in addition to the local Bollywood diehards. I’d love for this to start a trend.

The Lunchbox opens on Friday at the Century Centre Cinema in Chicago and the Century Evanston 12 in Evanston. It has a runtime of 1 hr. 44 min.

The rest of the new Hindi movies opening locally March 7 will run at many of the usual Bollywood-friendly theaters. First up is Gulaab Gang, starring Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Juhi Chawla. It opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 19 min.

Also new on Friday is Total Siyapaa (formerly known as Aman Ki Asha), a romantic comedy starring Ali Zafar and Yami Gautam. It opens at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 and has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 49 min.

The Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30 will also carry Kangana Ranaut’s Queen this weekend. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 26 min.

Even though it released in India on February 7, the political drama Ya Rab debuts this Friday at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It has a listed runtime of 2 hours.

Note: My tentative plan (subject to change) is to review Queen on Monday and Gulaab Gang on Tuesday. I’m planning to give Ya Rab a pass, but things can always change. My reviews of The Lunchbox and Total Siyapaa are now online.

Despite all of the new fare in theaters, the Hindi movie most widely accessible to Chicago area Bollywood fans remains Shaadi Ke Side Effects. After a good opening weekend in North American theaters, it carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

In addition to all the new Hindi fare, the Golf Glen 5 will also carry Nimirndhu Nil (Tamil) and Thomson Villa (Malayalam) this weekend.

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