Tag Archives: De Dana Dan

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2009

There are a number of factors I considered when selecting candidates for Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009. Movies featuring racist jokes, such as Kambakkht Ishq and All the Best, obviously made the list. Incoherent plots brought Wanted and De Dana Dan to my attention, whereas Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna ignored traditional story structure and skipped the climax all together.

Ek — The Power of One deserves mention for its ridiculous title, which translates in English to “One — The Power of One”.

What’s Your Raashee? was easily the biggest disappointment of the year, coming from Ashutosh Gowariker, the filmmaker responsible for great flicks like Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa Akbar.

2009 was a particularly bad year for Akshay Kumar. In addition to Kambakkht Ishq and De Dana Dan, he also starred in the bland supernatural thriller 8×10 Tasveer. His two other releases during the calendar year, Blue and Chandni Chowk to China, were fine but forgettable.

Because of their spectacular misunderstanding of human emotions and dubious moral messages, I thought about giving the award to either Kal Kissne Dekha or London Dreams. Kal Kissne Dekha suggested that one’s value is dependent upon one’s ability to save lives via superhuman powers, while London Dreams excused abhorrent behavior so long as it was committed in pursuit of a selfish goal.

But the ultimate winner had to be the most annoying, most cliché-riddled movie of the year, the worst of the worst. And the winner of Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009 is: Do Knot Disturb.

Do Knot Disturb, which deserves the honor based on its stupid title alone, contains all of the bad clichés that dominate Hindi comedies at the moment. The plot is based on a series of misunderstandings which could be clarified if the characters actually had conversations with one another. The jokes are written based on volume instead of quality, under the mistaken belief that what was funny the first time is even funnier the sixth, seventh and eighth time.

Case in point, the high-pitched screaming match between characters played by Govinda and Ritesh Deshmukh. The characters get spooked by something and start shrieking in girlish voices. The gag isn’t original, but it’s not inherently annoying. But in Do Knot Disturb, the characters scream dialogue at each other in those high-pitched voices for the next ten minutes of the movie.

After one minute, the gag had already stopped being funny. After ten minutes, it was unbearable. I actually walked out of the theater and only convinced myself to return out of a sense of journalistic duty. By virtue of having watched all but one minute of the movie, I can say that Do Knot Disturb is the worst Hindi film of 2009.

Previous Worst Movies List

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Opening December 11: Rocket Singh

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area this weekend. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year stars the ubiquitous Ranbir Kapoor as a young man starting his career in sales.

Rocket Singh opens on Friday, December 11 at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

After earning nearly $200,000 in the U.S. its opening weekend, Paa is sticking around for a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30. De Dana Dan, which has earned $913,899 in the U.S. so far, returns to the Cantera 30 and South Barrington 30. The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Kurbaan (US $736,413 to date).

Other Indian movies showing in Chicago area theaters this weekend include Katha (Telugu), Kerala Cafe (Malayalam) and Saleem (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is showing the Telugu film Arya 2.

Movie Review: De Dana Dan (2009)

0.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Rather than a cohesive movie, De Dana Dan is a muddle of sideplots with no connecting thread. As a result, the talents of Bollywood’s comedy all-stars are squandered in an unsatisfying waste of two hours and forty-five minutes.

De Dana Dan gets off to a bad start for those of us who don’t understand Hindi, as Akshay Kumar’s opening narration isn’t subtitled in English. What I was able to work out is that Kumar’s character, Nitin, works as an a kind of indentured servant for the overbearing Kuljeet (Archana Puran Singh). Nitin’s buddy, Ram (Sunil Shetty), is likewise paying off debts by working as a delivery man.

Nitin’s girlfriend, Anjali (Katrina Kaif), and Ram’s girlfriend, Manpreet (Sameera Reddy), are sick of waiting for their guys to raise enough cash to marry them. So Nitin and Ram concoct a scheme to kidnap Kuljeet’s beloved dog and demand a ransom for his return. Of course, things don’t go as planned.

Meanwhile, a conman named Chadda (Paresh Rawal) tries to arrange a marriage between his son, Nonny (played by Chunky Pandey, who’s only 12 years younger than Rawal), and Anjali. Chadda plans to use her dowry money to pay off his debts. When Anjali lies to Nonny that she’s pregnant with someone else’s child, the conmen target Manpreet and her family instead.

The rest of the movie contains seemingly infinite cases of mistaken identity among the innumerable characters, some of whom — like Neha Dhupia’s dancer/thief — exist only to add to the confusion, not to further the plot. Granted, what passes for plot in De Dana Dan is little more than characters running, shouting, hiding from each other and falling on each other in compromising positions.

De Dana Dan is convoluted and irritating, rather than complex and interesting, and the final product is boring and empty. The romances between the penniless guys and their wealthy girlfriends feel hollow, since both couples are prepared to break up if the dog-napping scheme fails.

Paresh Rawal does his best as the movie’s lead actor (despite Kumar’s and Kaif’s prominence on the movie posters), but there’s ultimately no one to root for in this film.

The movie also contributes to a distressing trend I’ve written about before: the seeming acceptability of violence against women in Hindi cinema. Early in De Dana Dan, Anjali’s father slaps her hard enough to knock her over. Then he slaps her mother and threatens to break their legs if they defy him.

As the movie progresses, Anjali’s father assumes a supposedly comic role, accidentally groping a woman and chasing after the wrong guy. But how can the audience think him funny when he’s been established as an abusive husband and father?

I accept that physical punishment within families could be viewed differently in India than it is in The United States (although spanking your toddler and slapping your adult daughter’s face are on opposite ends of the corporal punishment spectrum). But I can’t imagine that abuse is so widely accepted that it’s considered funny.

Opening November 25: De Dana Dan

One new Hindi movie hits Chicago area theaters in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. De Dana Dan stars Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty as a pair of loafers who concoct a get-rich-quick scheme to appease their girlfriends, played by Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy. Earlier this year, a reporter for Slate wrote about working as an extra for a day on the set of De Dana Dan.

De Dana Dan opens on Wednesday, November 25 at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles. The movie’s runtime is listed as 2 hrs. 40 min.

Kurbaan, which earned $403,678 in U.S. theaters its opening weekend, sticks around through next week at the Golf Glen 5, Cantera 30 and South Barrington 30, which is also carrying over Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area include the English language film Rockin’ Meera, opening on Thursday, November 26 at the Golf Glen 5. Also opening on Thursday is the Telugu movie Arya 2 at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.