Tag Archives: Badlapur

Best Bollywood Movies of 2015

2015 offered up a satisfying mix of sweet, intimate stories and dark thrills and chills. Here are my picks for the best Bollywood movies of 2015. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

The year ended on a triumphant note with the release of the historical epic romance Bajirao Mastani. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s colorful, lavish style demands to be seen on the big screen.

Two smaller Hindi films that played at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival prove that big budgets aren’t necessary to make a great movie. Haraamkhor and Dhanak depict the struggles of childhood in very different ways, with Dhanak being easily the sweetest film of the year.

Early 2015 saw the release of two great revenge thrillers: Badlapur and NH10. While Badlapur explores the toll that a lingering desire for vengeance takes on a grieving husband (Varun Dhawan), NH10 is a race against the clock for a woman (Anushka Sharma) trying to defeat the men out to kill her.

In contrast to such dark fare, Piku lovingly and humorously explores the tense relationship between an adult daughter (Deepika Padukone) who hits the road with her ailing father (Amitabh Bachchan).

A pair of top-notch crime thrillers also made the list. Talvar‘s unique story structure sets apart this real-life murder mystery. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! put a modern, stylish twist on a classic Indian literary detective.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha is as charming as can be, telling the tale of a loser (Ayushmann Khurrana) rebelling against his marriage to an accomplished woman (Bhumi Pednekar) who fails to fit his beauty standards. So much care went into the story that it is impossible not to fall in love with these young adults trying to grow under enormous family pressure.

My favorite movie of 2015 is a big budget, multi-starrer that nevertheless tells a smart, contemporary family story. Too often, Bollywood spectacle films are “check your brain at the door” affairs, full of bombast but devoid of substance. Director Zoya Akhtar brings together an A-list cast — including Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, and Anil Kapoor — for a film that is fun and romantic, but also contains insightful critiques of the respect (or lack thereof) accorded women in modern Indian society. Director Akhtar takes the opportunity this big-budget blockbuster affords her and uses the platform to inform as well as entertain. For that reason, my favorite Hindi film of 2015 is Dil Dhadakne Do.

(Update: I watched Masaan after posting this list. Were I to re-do my rankings, I’d place Masaan in 9th place, between Dhanak and Haraamkhor.)

Kathy’s Top Ten Bollywood Movies of 2015

  1. Dil Dhadakne Do — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  2. Dum Laga Ke Haisha — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  3. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  4. Talvar — Buy at Amazon
  5. Piku — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  6. NH10 — Buy at Amazon
  7. Badlapur — Buy at Amazon
  8. Dhanak
  9. Haraamkhor
  10. Bajirao Mastani

Previous Best Movies Lists

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Streaming Video News: August 13, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with one new addition to the catalog. 1999’s Taal — starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anil Kapoor, and Akshaye Khanna — is now available for streaming. Another of Aishwarya’s movies — 2004’s Bride and Prejudice — was added to the catalog last week. These new additions almost balance out the recent departures of Besharam, Boss, and Jab We Met. For everything else new on Netflix, check out Instant Watcher.

Eros Now recently added several 2015 releases to its streaming lineup, some of which are available for free. (If you need English subtitles, however, you have to upgrade to the $7.99 monthly premium subscription.) Here’s the fare from the current year available on Eros Now:

Bollywood Box Office: March 20-22

NH10 had a noteworthy second weekend in North American theaters. From March 20-22, 2015, NH10 earned another $76,122 from 36 theaters ($2,115 average), bringing its total earnings in the United States and Canada to $258,993.

What’s significant about NH10‘s performance is that its second-weekend business only dropped 47% from its opening weekend. It’s the only Hindi film released in 2015 to retain more than half its business from Week 1 to Week 2 (and from ten fewer theaters). Here’s how much business fell from Week 1 to Week 2 for other Bollywood movies released this year:

That’s a good sign for NH10, especially since it’s unlikely to have any new competition in theaters this coming weekend.

Badlapur carried over for a fifth weekend on one U.S. screen, from which it earned $322. That brings its North American total to $419,836.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: March 13-15

After enduring three weeks with no new Hindi films in North American theaters, fans turned out in large numbers for the thriller NH10. During the weekend of March 13-15, 2015, NH10 earned $143,209 from 46 theaters. Its per-screen average earnings of $3,113 are second highest for the year, behind Baby‘s $4,393 opening weekend average.

NH10‘s per-screen average is twice that of another actress-led film from 2015, January’s Dolly Ki Doli ($1,557 average). Dolly Ki Doli had the theoretical advantages of Rajkummar Rao in a supporting role and a cameo by Saif Ali Khan, but it overreached by opening in 72 theaters. Plus, NH10 is simply a better movie.

2014 featured two more direct comparisons by which to measure NH10‘s performance: Queen and Gulaab Gang. Both movies released on March 7, 2014, with Queen opening in 39 theaters in the United States and Canada and Gulaab Gang in 46. In their first weekend in theaters, Queen took in $161,998 ($4,154 average) and Gulaab Gang $60,718 ($1,320 average).

It’s hard to imagine any movie receiving the extraordinary uptick in business that propelled Queen to an eventual total in excess of $1.4 million, but NH10‘s opening weekend performance is closer to that of Queen than to other recent female-led films. With no new releases of note on the horizon for the rest of the month and a positive IMDb rating of 7.6 stars, NH10 should hold up well in the weeks to come.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Badlapur: Week 4; $6,495 from eight theaters; $812 average; 418,490 total
  • Roy: Week 5; $196 from one theater; $242,344 total
  • Shamitabh: Week 6; $52 from one theater; $299,352 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening March 13: NH10

One new Hindi movie is (finally!) set to open in Chicago area theaters on March 13, 2015. The thriller NH10 — an abbreviation of National Highway 10 — stars Anushka Sharma, who also produced the movie. It looks bad ass.

NH10 opens on Friday at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 55 min.

Badlapur carries over for a fourth week at the South Barrington 30 and MovieMax Cinemas in Niles

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include Vaanavil Vaazhkai (Tamil), Surya vs Surya (Telugu), Enakkul Oruvan (Tamil), Kaaki Sattai (Tamil), Temper (Telugu), and Anegan (Tamil).

Bollywood Box Office: March 6-8

It’s been three weeks since the last Bollywood movie of note released in the United States and Canada, and that fact is apparent in the North American box office numbers from the weekend of March 6-8, 2015 (not that the weekend was much better on the domestic release front):

  • Badlapur: Week 3; $20,368 from 24 theaters; $849 average; $406,380 total
  • Roy: Week 4; $362 from two theaters; $181 average; $242,148 total
  • Shamitabh: Week 5; $194 from one theater; $299,305 total

Let’s hope that the release of NH10 on March 13 gets things back on track.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening March 7: Coffee Bloom

One new Hindi film is opening in the Chicago area this weekend…sort of. MovieMax Cinemas in Niles is carrying the new release Coffee Bloom, but the theater is only showing it twice the whole week: 4 p.m. on both Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, 2015.

The only other Hindi film showing in the area this weekend is Badlapur, which gets a third week at MovieMax, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Other Indian films showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Surya vs Surya (Telugu w/no subtitles) at Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, and MovieMax, which also carries Enakkul Oruvan (Tamil), Kaaki Sattai (Tamil), Fireman (Malayalam), Temper (Telugu), and Anegan (Tamil).

Bollywood Box Office: February 27-March 1

With no new Hindi films in theaters to provide competition, Badlapur dominated the North American box office for a second weekend in a row. From February 27-March 1, 2015, Badlapur earned $86,959 from 58 theaters ($1,499 average). That brings its total earnings in the United States and Canada to $367,392.

In its third weekend in theaters, Roy took in $3,037 from seven theaters ($434 average), bringing its North American total to $240,765. Shamitabh closed out its four-week run with an additional $268 from two theaters ($138 average), bringing its total earnings to $299,071.

2013’s Siddharth is in the midst of a limited run in Canada. In two weeks, it has earned $5,331.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: February 27, 2015

Yash Raj Films is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding the international release of its latest film, Dum Laga Ke Haisha. As a result, there are no new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area on Friday, February 27, 2015.

Badlapur carries over for a second week at the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. The South Barrington 30 also gives a Roy a third weekend.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include Ram Leela (Telugu), Kaaki Sattai (Tamil), Bham Bolenath (Telugu), Fireman (Malayalam), Temper (Telugu), Anegan (Tamil).

Bollywood Box Office: February 20-22

During the weekend of February 20-22, the thriller Badlapur posted one of the better opening weekends for a Bollywood movie in North America in 2015 so far. From 92 theaters, Badlapur earned $225,250, a per-screen average of $2,448. Its per-screen average is second highest for the year after the $4,393 average posted by Baby in its opening weekend.

Other Hindi movies in North American theaters:

  • Roy: Week 2; $19,009 from 33 theaters; $576 average; $230,599 total
  • Shamitabh: Week 3; $847 from four theaters; $212 average; $295,691 total
  • PK: Week 10; $121 from one theater; $10,550,569 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama