Tag Archives: D-Day

Streaming Video News: March 15, 2019

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with several recent additions to the catalog. Two 2018 Hindi films — the LGTBQ family drama Evening Shadows and Radhika Apte’s Bombairiya — are now available for streaming, as is 2017’s Bhasmasur. Other newly added 2018 releases include the Tamil movie Genius and the Tamil and Telugu versions of Sarkar.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with more than 50 new additions in the last week. I’m really excited that the 2013 spy thriller D-Day is available for streaming again, because it hasn’t been for a couple of years. It has one of my all-time favorite song picturizations and great performances by Irrfan Khan, Arjun Rampal, and Huma Qureshi. Prime also added a number of 2019 theatrical releases to its streaming catalog:

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Streaming Video News: June 2, 2014

New on Netflix streaming is the 2013 spy thriller D-Day, starring Irrfan Khan, Arjun Rampal, Rishi Kapoor, and Huma Qureshi. I think about D-Day more often than any other film from last year, and I look forward to watching it again.

Eros Now debuted Purani Jeans on its streaming service a couple of days ago. The coming-of-age film from last month didn’t open in North American theaters, so it’s great that fans over here finally have a way to watch it.

Best Bollywood Movies of 2013

What stands out most on my Top Ten list for 2013 is the diversity of genres represented. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s a really good movie on this list. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Want a fun teen dance flick? Check out ABCD: Any Body Can Dance.
Looking for a good sports movie or biopic? Try Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
In the mood for a family drama set in the underworld? You’ve gotta see Aurangzeb.

In addition to the great variety on the list, all the movies mentioned are accessible to an international audience. Familiarity with Hindi movies and their structure may enhance one’s appreciation of Phata Poster Nikla Hero or Commando: A One Man Army, but a lack of prior experience shouldn’t keep Bollywood newcomers from enjoying them. In fact, Commando‘s best selling point is that it’s a martial arts action flick with a romantic dance number in the middle.

2013 was a great year for films featuring ensemble casts. Movies like Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola and D-Day showcase the work of veteran stars, while Shuddh Desi Romance and Kai Po Che! — both of which star Sushant Singh Rajput — feature up-and-comers with bright futures ahead of them.

D-Day also features my single favorite scene in any movie from 2013: a heartbreaking song montage about the doomed relationship between an assassin (Arjun Rampal) and a prostitute (Shruti Haasan).

My favorite Hindi movie of 2013 offers the perfect mix of passion and drama in a beautiful setting. If I could dream up an ideal romantic movie, it would be Lootera. [Buy it on DVD here.]

Writers Vikramaditya Motwane and Bhavani Iyer took a short story by O. Henry and adapted it to depict a tumultuous time period in India, as family fortunes were dismantled in the years following partition. Imagine trying to cope with the heightened emotions of first love while your way of life is turned on its head. Such are the circumstances for Pakhi (Sonakshi Sinha) and her beau, Varun (Ranveer Singh).

Fans of Victorian literature or contemporary period dramas like Downton Abbey: Lootera is made for you.

Best Bollywood Movies of 2013

  1. Lootera — Buy at Amazon
  2. D-Day — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  3. Kai Po Che! — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  4. Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola — Buy/rent at Amazon
  5. Shuddh Desi Romance — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  6. Commando: A One Man Army — Buy at Amazon
  7. ABCD: Any Body Can Dance — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Aurangzeb — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  10. Phata Poster Nikla Hero — Buy at Amazon

Previous Best Movies Lists

Opening July 26: Bajatey Raho

The comedy Bajatey Raho is the only new Hindi movie opening in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning July 26, 2013.

Bajatey Raho opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a mercifully brief runtime of 1 hr. 50 min.

Given that local theaters have been running the trailer for Issaq, I’m a little surprised that the retelling of Romeo & Juliet isn’t opening in Chicago. Then again, my regular theater — the Cantera — is still showing the trailer for Gippi, which released in May, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.

Only one of last weekend’s new releases sticks around for a second week. The slick thriller D-Day carries over for just one showing per day at both the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. Auf Wiedersehen, Ramaiya Vastavaiya.

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag also carries over for another week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. The timing of its release was unfortunate since it seems to be getting crowded out of theaters by an abundance of newly-released Hollywood fare. It looks like the gripping biopic won’t even get as long a run in the Chicago area as Raanjhanaa, even though Bhaag Milkha Bhaag beat the romance’s opening weekend tally by over $200,000 in its opening weekend in the U.S.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Alias Janaki (Telugu), Left Right Left (Malayalam), Saptapadii (Gujarati), and the Tamil films Maryan, Pattathu Yaani, and Sonna Puriyathu.

Movie Review: D-Day (2013)

D-DayPoster4 Stars (out of 4)

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

At least twice in D-Day, Rishi Kapoor’s character Goldman utters the phrase, “Everyone has a price,” as movie villains are wont to do. He fails to heed another truism that the Indian spies pursuing him know all too well: there’s a limit to every person’s utility. Reach yours, and you become expendable.

D-Day introduces the arms dealer Goldman at the start of his reign of terror in 1993. Twenty years and several hundred dead bodies later, India finally gets its chance to nab Goldman at his son’s wedding in Pakistan. India can’t afford to mount the kind of raid the Americans used to catch Bin Laden without risking all-out war, so Chief of Intelligence Ashwini (Nassar) — who’s days away from retirement, naturally — activates a sleeper agent he placed in Karachi years ago.

The agent, Valli (Irrfan Khan), has spent years establishing a life in Karachi, complete with his own barber shop, a wife, and a son. When called upon to do his duty for his country, he’s assisted by three other agents: explosives expert Zoya (Huma Qureshi), getaway driver Aslam (Aakash Daahiya), and cagey mercenary Rudra (Arjun Rampal).

The film shows the crew’s exciting capture of Goldman early on, before backtracking to their initial meeting. Events catch up to Goldman’s capture at the halfway point in the film and proceed from there. Predictably, things don’t go as smoothly as planned.

Even though D-Day contains certain clichéd spy-movie elements — the raid that doesn’t go as planned, the retiring chief — the movie is so well-constructed that it reminds us why those clichés exist. The chief is under a time limit; he has to see this through before he loses his power. If Goldman is captured without incident, there’s no second half to the movie.

D-Day so carefully executes the formula that the audience has come to expect that it’s able to turn some of those expectations on their heads. For example, the movie subverts the kind of romantic song-break familiar to Bollywood fans. Lovers stare longingly into each others eyes while romantic music plays, only one of the lovers is in the process of being brutally victimized by a third party. It’s so damned clever yet completely moving at the same time, that I found myself crying even while my jaw gaped in astonishment.

There’s not a bad performance in the bunch, but Irrfan and Rampal deserve special plaudits for their tense rivalry. Valli’s struggles with the fact that his loyalty to India could cost him his wife and son provoke the ire of misanthropic Rudra, who only begrudgingly accepts that he needs Valli’s knowledge of the local terrain.

D-Day also has a couple of strong female characters, and not in the current Hollywood sense of “strong” meaning a woman who is able to physically overpower men. Qureshi gets to do a bit of fighting, but her strength lies in keeping the crew on task while coping with fears that she’ll never see her husband again. Shruti Haasan has an important role as Pooja, a prostitute whom Rudra shacks up with to save money (rooms in Karachi brothels are apparently more affordable than hotels). Pooja knows Rudra will leave her like every other man she services does, but her eyes give away the faintest hint of hope.

While D-Day is an all-out entertaining spy thriller, it’s aware of the nuances of Pakistani-Indian relations. It makes it clear that victim-aggressor status is fluid and subjective, and it gives credit to the intelligence agencies of both countries for knowing that as well. When war is always a possibility, sometimes allowing your opponent to save face is the most prudent course of action.

Links

Opening July 19: Ramaiya Vastavaiya and D-Day

Two new Hindi films are set to open in Chicago area theaters on July 19, 2013. First up is the romantic comedy Ramaiya Vastavaiya, directed by Prabhu Deva.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrinton 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. All three theaters list different runtimes for the film, ranging from 2 hrs. 20 min. to 2 hrs. 30 min.

Also new in theaters this week is the thriller D-Day, starring Irrfan Khan, Arjun Rampal and Rishi Kapoor.

D-Day also opens on Friday at all of the above theaters. The runtimes listed for it range from 2 hrs. 15 min. to 2 hrs. 33 min.

After earning $647,112 in its opening weekend in U.S. theaters, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag carries over for a second week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. Many cinemas have reduced the number of daily showings of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in order to accommodate this week’s four new Hollywood releases, so check the listings before you head to the theater.

If you just can’t get enough Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi gets a limited national re-release on Friday, showing locally at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Maryan (Tamil), Saptapadii (Gujarati), and the Telugu films Kevvu Keka and Sahasam.