Tag Archives: Daawat-e-Ishq

Streaming Video News: January 14, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix to reflect one change. After just five days, Daawat-e-Ishq has disappeared from the streaming service. The same thing happened to Mardaani and Bewakoofiyaan, two other movies produced by Yash Raj Films. It took a few months for Bewakoofiyaan to return for its official run on the Netflix, so I expect it will be a while before we see Mardaani or Daawat-e-Ishq on the service again.

This serves as a warning that, whenever YRF’s most recent theatrical release, Kill Dil, hits Netflix, you’d better watch it right away.

If you just can’t wait to watch Kill Dil, Daawat-e-Ishq, or Mardaani, all three are currently available for rent on YouTube for $2.99 apiece.

Update: Mike of The Arts blog may have solved the mystery: no English subtitles. At least that was his experience watching Daawat-e-Ishq on Netflix the other day. It’s unknown (at least to me) if the YouTube videos have English subtitles, so rent with caution if you don’t speak Hindi.

Update 2: Thanks again to Mike for noticing that Daawat-e-Ishq is back on Netflix again, now with subtitles. Still not sure what happened to Mardaani, though.

Streaming Video News: January 9, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with two pieces of bad news. First, Kahaani is set to expire from the streaming service on January 16, 2015. This is one of my favorite movies, and I find new details to love whenever I watch it. I’ve shared this film with people who don’t normally watch Hindi films to rave reviews. If you haven’t seen this great thriller before, check it out this weekend. If you have, watch it again to be reminded of how wonderful Vidya Balan is.

The other piece of bad news is that Daawat-e-Ishq is now available for streaming. This film squandered all of its potential and wound up on my list of the ten worst Bollywood films of 2014.

Better options from 2014 on Netflix include Ankhon Dekhi and Siddharth, both of which made my Top Ten List.

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2014

While I felt that there were more good Bollywood movies than bad released in 2014, the year did produce some truly awful Hindi films. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Some primarily suffered from poor story construction. In Jai Ho, Salman Khan inexplicably goes on a violent rampage when people fail to embrace his “pay it forward” scheme, resulting in Suniel Shetty plowing through traffic in a tank. Another Khan film — Kick — makes even less sense, as Khan transforms from a dopey slacker into Robin Hood overnight, and none of the supposedly intelligent characters in the film realize it’s him. Koyelaanchal‘s disorganized plot is a problem, but not as big a problem as its multiple flashbacks from the perspective of a baby.

I often write about gender issues in my reviews, so it’s no surprise that many of the worst movies of the year portrayed women negatively. The Xpose is essentially a morality lecture for women delivered by writer-actor-composer Himesh Reshammiya. According to Super Nani, a woman’s only real asset is her beauty, even if she’s old enough to be a grandmother.

A few lousy 2014 movies actually fancy themselves as socially progressive, even though they aren’t. Kaanchi inaccurately characterizes the heroine’s personal revenge as representative of a youth uprising against systemic corruption. The hero of Heropanti denounces arranged marriage while simultaneously affirming a father’s right to choose his daughter’s husband. Daawat-e-Ishq — the most disappointing Hindi film of 2014, given the quality of its cast and crew — depicts men as the real victims of dowry tradition.

The delightfully inept Karle Pyaar Karle could have been a perfect “so bad, it’s good” movie, were it not for a racist subplot. The movie’s heroine is threatened with forced marriage to a dark-skinned African man, a character introduced solely to represent the worst fate imaginable for an Indian woman. The hero and heroine use racial slurs, and the heroine’s mother proposes suicide for herself and her daughter as a way to avoid the marriage. It’s an offensive and frustrating end to an otherwise unintentionally hilarious movie.

The absolute worst Hindi movie of 2014 combines the shortcomings of the other films on the list and multiplies them exponentially. That film is the loud and tacky Humshakals. Offensive jokes are aimed at almost every group except straight Indian men, with director Sajid Khan’s preferred target being overweight women. As one can infer from the female characters Khan wrote for the movie, his ideal woman is a brainless sex object.

Unlike Karle Pyaar Karle, there’s nothing funny about Humshakals, intentional or unintentional. It’s a cynical film, pandering to the basest prejudices of the lowest common denominator. Sajid Khan writes the mean-spirited jokes he does because he thinks he can get away with them. It’s time for not only the audience but members of the industry to tell him that we deserve better.

Worst Hindi Movies of 2014

  1. Humshakals — Buy at Amazon
  2. Karle Pyaar Karle
  3. Kick — Buy at Amazon
  4. Koyelaanchal — Buy at Amazon
  5. Heropanti — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  6. Jai Ho — Buy at Amazon
  7. Daawat-e-Ishq — Buy at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Super Nani — Buy/rent at iTunes
  9. The Xpose — Buy at Amazon
  10. Kaanchi: The Unbreakable — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: November 14-16

This has been a lousy year for Yash Raj Films. Hopes were undoubtedly high after the titanic success of Dhoom 3 at the end of 2013, but none of the five films released by the company in 2014 has made much of a blip on the radar in North America.

Kill Dil‘s performance from November 14-16, 2014, cements that trend. During its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, Kill Dil earned $172,001 from 87 theaters, a per-screen average of $1,977.

To put this performance in context, the median number of opening weekend theaters for Hindi films in North America this year is 70, and the median per-screen average earnings are $2,022. All but one of the films released by Yash Raj Films this year opened in more theaters than the median (Bewakoofiyaan didn’t), but only one earned more than the median per-screen average (Gunday). Here’s how each Yash Raj film performed in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada this year:

  • Gunday: $548,350 from 150 theaters; $3,656 average
  • Bewakoofiyaan: $67,738 from 66 theaters; $1,026 average
  • Mardaani: $168,997 from 86 theaters; $1,965 average
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: $204,950 from 113 theaters; $1,814 average
  • Kill Dil: $172,001 from 87 theaters; $1,977 average

While none of these performances — except for Bewakoofiyaan — is disastrous, the studio and theaters surely expected more. Even Gunday was likely expected to earn $1 million (it fell short with $887,675 total). The name Yash Raj carries enough clout to command a significant number of screens, but the return on those screens should be higher given the studio’s profile and the emerging young stars and veteran talent the company casts.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Happy New Year: Week 4; $64,792 from 45 theaters; $1,440 average; $3,702,530 total
  • Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain: Week 2; $5,794 from two theaters; $2,897 average; $12,110 total
  • The Shaukeens: Week 2; $735 from six theaters; $123 average; $75,546 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 17-19

Bang Bang and Haider continued their strong box office performances in their last uncontested weekend before Shahrukh Khan’s Happy New Year hits theaters. In its third weekend in North America, Bang Bang earned an additional $138,308 from 128 theaters ($1,081 average per screen), bringing its total earnings to $2,523,614. That makes it the second highest earning Hindi film in North America in 2014, behind The Lunchbox.

Haider added $62,361 from 49 theaters ($1,273 average) to its coffers, bringing its total earnings in the United States and Canada to $1,022,727. That total puts it in eighth place in North America for the year.

Other Hindi movies showing in U.S. and Canadian theaters during the weekend of October 17-19, 2014:

  • Khoobsurat: Week 5; $2,296 from three theaters; $765 average; $725,610 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 34; $370 from one theater; $4,050,233 total
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: Week 5; $229 from one theater; $385,415 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 10-12

With no new Bollywood films for competition, Bang Bang and Haider continued to dominate the North American box office during the weekend of October 10-12, 2014. According to Bollywood Hungama, Bang Bang held the lead, earning $482,043 from 257 theaters ($1,876 average). That brings Bang Bang‘s total earnings to $2,214,333, putting it in third place for the year among Hindi films released in the United States and Canada. Advantages like a holiday (Columbus Day) across much of the U.S. today and another weekend without new competition in theaters should provide enough of a boost to push Bang Bang into second place for the year, ahead of Kick ($2,403,553).

Haider continued its strong performance as well, earning another $218,287 from 104 theaters ($2,099 average). With total earnings of $891,734 so far, it should easily pass Shaadi Ki Side Effects ($947,787) to finish its run in eight place for the year.

[Box Office Mojo lists slightly higher weekend and overall totals for Bang Bang ($499,182/$2,248,354) and Haider ($226,840/$901,610).]

Other Hindi movies still in theaters:

  • Khoobsurat: Week 4; $4,419 from five theaters ($884 average); $721,451 total
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: Week 4; $734 from one theater; $384,848 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 33: $96 from one theater; $4,049,709 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: October 3-5

Two major Bollywood movies hit theaters in the United States and Canada on Thursday, October 2, 2014, and both posted impressive opening weekend numbers. (Bollywood Hungama doesn’t specify, but I suspect the numbers below represent the two films’ Thursday-Sunday earnings.)

Bang Bang — which opened in more international theaters than any other Bollywood film to date — earned $1,410,838 from 292 North American theaters for a per-screen average of $4,830. That’s the biggest opening weekend total for a Hindi movie in 2014 by a margin of nearly $400,000 over the previous title-holder, 2 States ($1,026,353). Granted, Bang Bang debuted in more than twice as many theaters as 2 States (131), giving 2 States a much higher opening weekend per-screen average ($7,835).

Bang Bang‘s enormous international release is an impressive stunt, but I wonder if it would’ve been better for individual theaters had the distributor scaled it back a bit. Could the film still have earned $1.4 million had it debuted on 230 screens? Probably. Take a look at the North American figures broken down by country:

  • USA: $1,156,946 from 271 theaters for $4,269 average
  • Canada: $253,437 from 21 theaters for $12,068 average

Anecdotally, Bang Bang opened in 13 theaters in the Chicago area, several of which don’t normally carry Bollywood films. I went to the first show on Thursday at one of those theaters. There were nine other people in the theater with me, so at $5 per ticket, the business only grossed $50 from that showing. On the positive side, three of those people were middle-aged white guys who said that this was their first Bollywood film. Still, I’m not sure numbers like that will inspire the theater to book more Hindi movies in the future.

October 2’s other new release, Haider, posted impressive returns as well. The adaptation of Hamlet earned $538,999 from 123 theaters ($4,382 average), giving Haider the eighth highest opening weekend earnings for a Hindi film in North America in 2014.

[Update: Box Office Mojo reports slightly higher 4-day earnings and slightly lower theater counts for both movies: $1,449,215 from 271 theaters ($5,348 average) for Bang Bang and $549,372 from 119 theaters ($4,617 average) for Haider.]

Finding Fanny is nearing the end of its theatrical run, and its total earnings are less than what I anticipated. From October 3-5, 2014, it earned $440 from one theater to bring its total to $798,652. When it debuted, I noted that every other Bollywood movie that earned in excess of $500,000 in its opening weekend this year went on to earn at least $850,000. I suspect Finding Fanny‘s failure to reach that benchmark can be attributed to the surprise success of Khoobsurat, which released the following weekend.

Other Hindi movies showing in North American theaters:

  • Khoobsurat: Week 3; $43,999 from 34 theaters; $1,294 average; $707,592 total
  • Daawat-e-Ishq: Week 3; $5,831 from 11 theaters; $530 average; $382,809 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 32; $498 from two theaters; $249 average; $4,049,489 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening October 2: Bang Bang and Haider

Instead of the industry standard Friday or Wednesday release date, two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area on Thursday, October 2, 2014. The Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif action flick Bang Bang — an official remake of Knight and Day — releases in more North American theaters than any other Bollywood movie to date.

Bang Bang — which has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 34 min. — opens in the following theaters on Thursday, October 2:

On Friday, October 3, Bang Bang opens in the following additional theaters:

Another movie opening with slightly less fanfare this weekend is Haider, director Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This is one of my most anticipated movies of 2014.

Haider opens on Thursday at the River East 21, Showplace Niles 12, South Barrington 30, and Woodridge 18. As with Bang Bang, Haider opens on Friday at the Regal Gardens 1-6 and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 41 min.

Khoobsurat and Daawat-e-Ishq both carry over for a third week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17, with the Gardens 1-6 also holding over Khoobsurat.

The Telugu movie Govindudu Andarivadele carries over at the Rosemont 18, Seven Bridges, and Cinemark Tinseltown USA in North Aurora.

Bollywood Box Office: September 26-28

Khoobsurat continued its box office dominance in North America for a second week. During the weekend of September 26-28, 2014, it added an additional $173,022 from 60 theaters to bring its total to $621,318. The Disney romantic comedy’s business fell a mere 48% from its debut weekend. Its per-screen average earnings of $2,884 were fourth highest among second weekend averages this year, behind juggernauts like The Lunchbox, Queen, and 2 States.

In a repeat of last weekend, Daawat-e-Ishq fared poorly compared to Khoobsurat. Daawat-e-Ishq earned $82,764 from 77 theaters ($1,075 average), a 60% drop from its opening weekend. Its total North American earnings stand at $354,875.

Other Hindi movies showing in the United States and Canada over the weekend:

  • Finding Fanny: Week 3; $25,151 from 41 theaters; $613 average; $793,309 total
  • The Lunchbox: Week 31; $1,232 from three theaters; $411 average; $4,048,317 total
  • Mary Kom: Week 4; $910 from three theaters; $330 average; $632,832 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

In Theaters: September 26, 2014

With two heavy hitters — Bang Bang and Haider — coming to theaters next weekend, no new Hindi films are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, September 26, 2014. The most widely available of the older releases is Khoobsurat, which gets 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.

Daawat-e-Ishq and Finding Fanny carry over at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

The wildly popular Telugu movie Aagadu carries over for a second week at Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include include Madras (Tamil), Loukyam (Telugu), Power (Telugu), Sapthamashree Thaskaraha (Malayalam), and Aranmanai (Tamil). The Telugu movie Govindudu Andarivadele opens at MovieMax on Tuesday, September 30.