Tag Archives: Band Baaja Baaraat

How Do New Bollywood Heroes Fare in the US?

The upcoming release of Tiger Shroff’s A Flying Jatt got me thinking about just how hard it is to launch a career as a Bollywood hero abroad. It’s difficult enough to succeed in India, but even more so overseas, where fans aren’t bombarded with the same kind of media saturation. That’s assuming that a distributor is even willing to put your film in theaters. Although Arjun Kapoor is a star now, his first picture — Ishaqzaade — didn’t release in the United States.

A Flying Jatt is Shroff’s third release since his 2014 debut, a promising sign for his Bollywood career prospects (at least for a while). I looked at some of his contemporaries from 2010 on to see how they’ve fared since their debuts. I only considered actors who launched under similar circumstances to Shroff: first-time actors without previously established entertainment careers (regional films, singing, TV, etc.) who were the sole male lead in their film, as opposed to, say, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra who launched together in Student of the Year. Also, the hopeful hero’s film needed to be released in the United States (which excludes Kapoor and Saqib Saleem).

That leaves us with six contenders, including Shroff. Here they are, in order of their debuts:

Ranveer SinghBand_Baaja_Baaraat_poster
Debut film: Band Baaja Baaraat
Release date: December 10, 2010
US box office: $71,374
Of the 32 films that released in US theaters in 2010 for which I have data, Band Baaja Baaraat ranked 30th in total gross. That early hiccup didn’t hinder Singh’s rise to stardom. His most recent film — Bajirao Mastani — earned $6,653,317 last year.

Girish KumarRamaiyaVastavaiya
Debut: Ramaiya Vastavaiya
Release date: July 19, 2013
U.S. box office: $52,200
While $52,000 is nothing to crow about, Kumar’s followup film — Loveshhuda — made just $1,787 in the US earlier this year. Might be time to accept that this dog won’t hunt.

Shiv DarshanKarle_Pyaar_Karle_Movie_Poster
Debut: Karle Pyaar Karle
Release date: January 17, 2014
US box office: $3,110
I have an inexplicable fondness for Karle Pyaar Karle because of how hilariously horrible it is, and Shiv Darshan is especially awful in it. The only reason I don’t recommend the movie is because it’s racist near the end (also, I have no idea where to find it). You may not have a future as an actor, Shiv, but I’ll always remember you.

Tiger ShroffHeropanti_Poster
Debut: Heropanti
Release date: May 23, 2014
US box office: $63,172
While Heropanti wasn’t a hit here, Shroff’s followup — Baaghi — made $437,243 earlier this year. If A Flying Jatt can come close to that, it bodes well for Shroff’s longevity.

Armaan JainLekar_Hum_Deewana_Dil_poster
Debut: Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
Release date: July 4, 2014
US box office: $10,529
Even after rereading my review of Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, I still have no recollection of having seen it. That’s the kind of impression Armaan Jain made on me: none at all.

Sooraj PancholiHero
Debut: Hero
Release date: September 11, 2015
US box office: $83,973
Hero did comparatively well for a debut film, but Pancholi’s personal/legal problems could make studios consider him a liability, especially if he’s ever convicted of a crime related to Jiah Khan’s suicide. The jury’s still out on Pancholi, in more ways than one.

Box Office Sources: Box Office Mojo and Bollywood Hungama

Romantic Bollywood Movies on Netflix

This post is from February, 2015. Click here to view my full, up-to-date list of all Hindi movies currently available on Netflix.

It’s Valentine’s Day, the perfect excuse for a romantic movie marathon. Here are some of the best lovey-dovey Bollywood flicks available for streaming on Netflix.

ddljDilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

I could write an entire post about Shahrukh Khan romances on Netflix, given his fondness for the genre. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a more recent SRK romantic-comedy than Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, but it’s hard to resist watching him woo Kajol in a true classic. My review

 

veerzaaraVeer-Zaara (2004)

If you’re in the mood for a more somber SRK romance, watch him love and lose Preity Zinta in Veer-Zaara. Rani Mukerji plays a lawyer who tries to reunite the lovers across borders.

 

MBKDMere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011)

As for romances starring actors other than SRK, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a light-hearted rom-com. Imran Khan plays matchmaker for his brother, Ali Zafar, only to fall in love with Katrina Kaif, the woman he’s chosen to be his brother’s bride. Fun dance numbers and sweet characters make this a really enjoyable film. My review

Band_Baaja_Baaraat_posterBand Baaja Baaraat (2010)

If you’re looking for flashy dance numbers, then Band Baaja Baaraat is where it’s at. For two wedding planners — played by Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh — getting down is part of the job. The relationship drama ramps up in the second half, but overall, this movie is a lot of fun. My review

 

ShuddhDesiRomanceShuddh Desi Romance (2013)

Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra, and Vaani Kapoor find themselves in a love triangle in Shuddh Desi Romance, a funny, clever film about modern romance in India. My review

 

KismatKonnectionKismat Konnection (2008)

Vidya Balan and Shahid Kapoor are lauded these days for their gripping dramatic performances, but back in 2008, they made a romantic comedy together. It’s worth checking out these seasoned thespians in some lighter fare from earlier in their careers. My review

Streaming Video News: March 19, 2014

Netflix added a bunch of Hindi films to their streaming catalog today, according to Instant Watcher. Most of the titles are old favorites that were temporarily dropped from the service. I’ve reviewed many of the movies, so here’s my ranking of the films just added to Netflix:

  1. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  2. Chak De! India
  3. Dostana
  4. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
  5. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
  6. Band Baaja Baaraat
  7. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

Three other movies were also added today: Veer-Zaara, Dhoom, and Mohabbatein. Netflix’s entire Bollywood catalog can be found here.

In other streaming video news, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela was recently added to Eros Now.

Opening December 9: Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl

Fresh on the heels of a pair of new releases last weekend comes Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl, opening in the Chicago area on December 9, 2011. The romantic comedy reunites Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh, who charmed audiences last year in Band Baaja Baaraat.

Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl opens on Friday at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Click here for a nationwide theater list. Its runtime is listed as 2 hrs. 20 min.

Of last weekend’s new releases, only The Dirty Picture gets a second week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. (So long, I Am Singh.) Desi Boyz, which has earned $984,679 in its first two weeks in U.S. theaters, gets a third week at both theaters as well.

Update: Big Cinemas’ U.S. theater sites are undergoing maintenance, so head to movietickets.com to check theater schedules. The Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles is showing Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl, The Dirty Picture, Desi Boyz, Osthe (Tamil) and Panjaa (Telugu) this weekend.

In Theaters December 17, 2010

No new Hindi movies are set to open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, December 17, 2010, but both of last week’s new releases are sticking around. Goofball comedy No Problem, which earned $242,116 during its first week in U.S. theaters, continues at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 23 min.

The fun romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (runtime 2 hrs. 35 min.) also gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It posted dismal first week earnings of $43,820 in the United States, but that was from just 32 screens nationally, compared to 84 screens for No Problem. These meager numbers are something of a shock given that Band Baaja Baaraat is produced by Yash Raj Films.

When I started reviewing Bollywood movies in 2007, Yash Raj Films — fresh off huge hits like Fanaa and Dhoom 2 — was the one Indian production company whose films could be guaranteed a wide release in the U.S. But the company’s recent offerings have struggled to get distribution in the States. Lafangey Parindey opened here  in August on just nine screens.

I’m not sure why things have changed, but I hope YRF can regain some of its international mojo. The company has long made a point of reaching out to Indians living abroad with their films, and the polished production style of YRF appeals to audiences used to Hollywood’s big budgets. Maybe Mere Brother Ki Dulhan can turn things around for YRF.

Other Indian movies playing near Chicago this weekend include Best of Luck (Malayalam), Nagavalli (Telugu) and Rakht Charitra 2 (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Nagavalli, as well as the Telugu movie Orange.

Movie Review: Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy or rent the movie at iTunes
Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

The single image that the word “Bollywood” conjures in my mind is a dance scene at a wedding. Not just because they’re so ubiquitous in Hindi movies, but because the first scene from a Bollywood movie I ever saw — flipping through the channels and finding one on a local cable access channel — was a wedding dance scene. As such, Band Baaja Baaraat feels very Bollywood to me.

The title roughly translates as “Band Horns Revelry.” It’s not as poetic as the Hindi title, and it doesn’t signify a wedding to an American audience. (Our weddings don’t typically feature bands, horns or revelry, rather a disinterested DJ playing ’80s tunes while relatives shuffle awkwardly on a parquay floor in an embarrassing approximation of dancing.) The other translation of the title I’ve seen, “Wedding Music Band,” isn’t accurate either, as the movie deals with the whole wedding planning industry, not just the musical side.

Shruti (Anushka Sharma) and Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) are recent college grads. After unsuccessfully hitting on Shruti, Bittoo begs her for a job at her new wedding planning company. His alternative is returning to his family farm for a lifetime of chopping sugarcane. Shruti gives Bittoo the brush off until he comes to her defense when a celebrity wedding planner insults her. Thus, a partnership is formed.

The new company, Shaadi Mubarak (“Happy Wedding”), gets a reputation for honesty and fair prices and soon becomes the go-to company for small scale city weddings. Eventually, wealthy young clients take notice of Shaadi Mubarak’s kitschy style and hire the company for more lavish affairs.

Everything is going well for new best friends Shruti and Bittoo, until they break the cardinal rule of financial partnerships: don’t mix business with pleasure. Feelings are hurt and the company falls apart.

When things are going well for the pair, Band Baaja Baaraat is a lot of fun to watch. Shruti and Bitto are endearing characters, nice young people who enjoy what they do and deserve to succeed. There are plenty of excuses for fun dance numbers, as one of the duties of a wedding planner is to start the dancing at the reception (I wish we had a professional to perform this duty at American wedding receptions).

The movie’s signature number, “Dum Dum,” is itself worth the price of admission. Sharma and Singh are talented dancers, and they are given plenty of opportunities to show their skill. The scale of the number is massive, with plenty of backup dancers and cool lighting effects. The song is catchy, too.

The attractive stars are appropriately enthusiastic as a pair of young go-getters. Sharma’s expressive eyebrows deserve their own mention in the credits. Singh is confident and capable in his first starring role. Both seem are so comfortable playing their characters it makes Band Baaja Baaraat an easy film to get lost in.

The movie’s biggest flaw may be that it’s almost too successful at showing the turmoil, once things fall apart. After spending the first hour learning to care about Shruti and Bittoo, it’s difficult to watch them fight, and it goes on too long. I kept wanting to yell at them to just make up and go back to having fun again.

At its heart, that’s what Band Baaja Baaraat is: a fun movie about people whose business is making wedding dreams come true. It’s insightful enough to ring true, but always keeps sight of the fact that it’s primarily a movie to be enjoyed.

Links

Opening December 10: No Problem and Band Baaja Baaraat

There’s no let up in new Hindi releases in the Chicago area. Two new comedies open on Friday, December 10, 2010: Band Baaja Baaraat and No Problem, which gets the wider release of the two. No Problem stars Anil Kapoor as a bumbling cop trying to solve a bank robbery. Pop star Shakira makes a special appearance in the movie.

No Problem opens on December 10 at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Click here for a national list of theaters carrying No Problem, which has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 23 min.

The romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (“Wedding Music Band”) follows the exploits of two friends trying to run a wedding planning business.

Band Baaja Baaraat opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30. Check this incomplete list for nationwide theaters carrying Band Baaja Baaraat, which has a runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Last weekend’s new release, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Break Ke Baad and Guzaarish, which has earned $989,527 in the three weeks it’s been in U.S. theaters.

Starting Friday, the Golf Glen 5 is carrying one other Hindi movie I haven’t found much information on: Family Pack.

Other Indian movies playing in the area this weekend include Rakht Charitra 2 (Tamil and Telugu) and Cocktail (Malayalam) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove also has both versions of Rakht Charitra 2, as well as the Telugu movies Manasara and Orange.