Author Archives: Kathy

Opening November 17: Tumhari Sulu

Vidya Balan plays a housewife-turned-radio-host in the comedy Tumhari Sulu, hitting Chicago area theaters November 17, 2017.

Tumhari Sulu opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Ittefaq carries over for a third week at the Cantera 17, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Qarib Qarib Singlle. Secret Superstar gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 24, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and MovieMax, which gives a fifth week to Golmaal Again as well.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

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Streaming Video News: November 15, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix, and I am thrilled to bits about one of the titles that just joined the catalog. In addition to Salman Khan’s Lucky: No Time for Love, the other new movie available for streaming is — drum roll, please — A FLYING JATT!!! Finally! I’ve been wanting to watch this again since the moment I stepped out of the theater the first time, and it hasn’t been available on DVD or any other streaming service in the United States until now. I AM SO EXCITED!

Here’s what I love about A Flying Jatt: movies like this are hard to find these days. Bollywood filmmakers rarely make films explicitly for children, and contemporary Hollywood assumes that families are only interested in animated fare or movies about kids, with PG-13 ratings making superhero movies inaccessible to younger children. Thus, A Flying Jatt feels like a welcome throwback. It has obvious parallels to the Christopher Reeve Superman flicks of the late ’70s and early ’80s, but it has a lot in common with goofy Tom Hanks films like The ‘Burbs and Joe Versus the Volcano, as well. These were films that I enjoyed and drew meaning from even though the live-action characters were grownups and I wasn’t. And while A Flying Jatt functions perfectly well as a fun, accessible way to kill a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon, there’s more going on under the surface. Shortly after A Flying Jatt released, I was inspired to write a followup piece to my initial review about the main character’s struggle with his religious faith. I still think about the movie a lot. My point is: watch A Flying Jatt. It’s really good, and not many people had the chance to see it in the theater.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of the 2016 Telugu transgender revenge drama Arddhanaari. For everything else new on Netflix and Amazon Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Bollywood Box Office: November 10-12, 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle had a good opening weekend for a movie in somewhat limited release, but it wasn’t able to fend off a strong second weekend by Ittefaq. From November 10-12, 2017, Qarib Qarib Singlle earned $126,268 from 61 North American theaters ($2,070 average; adjusted average of $2,428 from 52 theaters*). Ittefaq bested that total with $152,956 from 66 theaters ($2,318 average; adjusted average of $3,122 from 49 theaters), bringing its total earnings after ten days to $563,374. Ittefaq‘s Weekend-1-to-Weekend-2 retention rate of 53% is fifth best for the year.

Secret Superstar finished third among Hindi films in North America for the weekend, earning $105,179 from 73 theaters ($1,441 average), enough to nudge its overall total across the $2 million mark to $2,051,162. Golmaal Again was next, with $66,612 from 58 theaters ($1,148 average). Golmaal Again has a comfortable lock on third place for the year so far — trailed by Secret Superstar in fourth — with total earnings of $2,292,508.

One theater in the United States carried Chefnow available on Heera! — earning $207 and bringing the movie’s North American total to $94,374.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Streaming Video News: November 11, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera with one new addition to the catalog. The October, 2017 theatrical release Chef is now available for streaming. It’s a decent one-time watch. Heera also recently added two other 2017 releases: the Marathi family drama Baapjanma and the Telugu thriller Raju Gari Gadhi 2.

Movie Review: Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the soundtrack at Amazon or iTunes

First Vicky Donor, and now Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. Ayushmann Khurrana is the go-to actor for reproduction-themed romantic comedies.

Khurrana plays a shy ad-man named Mudit who has his eye on Sugandha (Bhumi Pednekar). His initial attempt to talk to her is interrupted when a performing bear tries humping Mudit’s leg, a comical introduction to the movie’s theme of frustrated sexual congress.

The couple winds up in a kind of hybrid love-marriage/arranged-marriage scenario in which their mutual attraction requires the approval of both families. Sugandha is troubled by her family’s desire to rush her to the altar: “Mummy, Mudit and I just met a few days ago.” “What a time you’re living in,” Mummy (Seema Bhargava Pahwa) replies. “At least you two got to meet.”

The addition of these interested parties into the relationship takes its toll on the couple before their romance can really begin. When Sugandha’s family leaves town, the lovebirds seize the opportunity to get frisky. Yet the pressure for things to go well — under the watchful gaze of portraits of Sugandha’s departed grandparents, no less — leave Mudit unable to perform.

Rather than work the problem out between themselves, Mudit insists that he solve his issue his way, enlisting his two buddies for help and freezing out Sugandha. This leaves her blaming herself for the issue, with her equally inexperienced friend Ginni (Anshul Chauhan) her only support.

The real source of trouble for the couple is their unwillingness to talk to each other, which is an unusual problem to have in a movie as dialogue-heavy as Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. Many words are said with little forward plot movement and not a lot of visual dynamism.

That said, Sugandha’s mom gets plenty of funny lines, especially during a sex-ed lecture to her adult daughter themed around Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. “What happens if Ali Baba can’t get into the cave?” Sugandha wonders aloud. Soon enough everyone in both families knows that Mudit can’t get an erection.

Although geared at an audience old enough to understand the ins and outs of human reproduction, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan is sweet and not overly graphic. Khurrana is adorable, and Pednekar beautifully portrays Sugandha’s self-doubt and frustration throughout the couple’s ordeal.  The film just needed less talking and more action (and get rid of Jimmy Shergill’s awkward cameo, please).

Links

Streaming Video News: November 9, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with 25 (!) new additions to the catalog. Most of the movies are from the mid 2000s, and I can’t say that I’m pumped for any of them except for maybe the horror flicks Darna Zaroor Hai and Vaastu Shastra. This bundle of films brings Netflix’s Bollywood collection up to 257 titles, and that’s not counting movies in other Indian languages or documentaries. Here’s are some of the titles just added. Please let me know in the comments below if any of these are worth watching:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with two new additions. The 2013 Tamil film Sutta Kadhai is now available for streaming, as is the animated musical Sita Sings the Blues, which I’ve long wanted to check out. For everything else new on Prime — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

Opening November 10: Qarib Qarib Singlle

One new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on November 10, 2017, and no, I didn’t make a typo in the title. Irrfan Khan and Parvathy explore their past loves in Qarib Qarib Singlle (“Almost Single“).

Qarib Qarib Singlle opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 5 min.

Secret Superstar gets a fourth week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Ittefaq and Golmaal Again carry over at the South Barrington 24 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend: