With a flurry of recent releases and Don 2‘s arrival in theaters on December 23, there are no new Bollywood movies opening in the Chicago area on Friday, December 16. Last weekend’s new release, Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl, gets a second week at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.
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.
The weekend beginning December 2, 2011, sees two new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area. I Am Singh — a drama about one Sikh family’s experience in the U.S. after 9/11 — gets the wider release of the two new films.
This weekend’s other new release is The Dirty Picture, based on the life of South Indian ’80s bombshell Silk Smitha. The film reunites two of the stars of Ishqiya, Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan, who plays Silk in the new film.
The Dirty Picture opens on Friday at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17 and Golf Glen 5, which is also carrying the movie’s Telugu-dubbed version. The movie has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 33 min.
After earning $702,325 in the U.S. over the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend, Desi Boyz gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Rockstar.
Desi Boyz borrows liberally from the plots of movies like The Full Monty and Loverboy while failing to really understand either. Both of the Hollywood comedies are about ordinary men pressured into selling their bodies (in one way or another). In the process, they learn that romance is about more than looks, and that men and women both have insecurities about sex.
Debutant writer-director Rohit Dhawan misses the point of the movies he’s aping, and instead casts two of the hunkiest actors in India — John Abraham and Akshay Kumar — to play a pair of down-on-their-luck Londoners forced to dance at bachelorette parties for dozens of sexy, scantily clad women.
Abraham plays Nick, a financier, and Kumar plays Jerry, a mall security guard and (gasp!) college dropout. Jerry is responsible for his young nephew, Veer, following the deaths of the boy’s parents. Nick is planning a dream wedding for his girlfriend, Radhika (Deepika Padukone).
Their plans fall apart when they are both laid off. In order to keep child services at bay, Jerry signs on with an escort service called Desi Boyz. Nick reluctantly agrees to help Jerry for Veer’s sake. While their new careers forestall financial ruin, child services take Veer when they learn the source of Jerry’s income. Radhika spots the guys performing at a bachelorette party and dumps Nick.
While film’s promos focus on Abraham and Kumar as strippers, that plotline is dropped after the first half of the movie, never to be resurrected. The second half falls into the doldrums as Jerry goes back to college and Nick tries to win Radhika back by living in a trailer on her front lawn and smoking pot with her dad, played by the always delightful Anupam Kher.
All of this is supposed to enforce the tidy moral messages that dignity shouldn’t be sacrificed for short-term gains and that one can only succeed with a college degree. So why does Jerry, immediately upon getting his degree, blackmail someone into giving him a job with false accusations of sexual assault? What kind of moral message does that send?
There’s similarly inconsistent character growth in the Nick and Radhika storyline. Nick, the supposed champion of hard work, ultimately wins Radhika back by being a slacker. Radhika is no peach herself, leading on a nerdy suitor played by Omi Vaidya solely to make Nick jealous.
Desi Boyz would’ve been more interesting had Vaidya and Kher played the guys forced to become strippers. Or Nick’s character could’ve been marginalized, shifting the focus onto Jerry as he supports Veer and pays his way through college working as a male escort. (How did broke, jobless Jerry find the money for college anyway? The movie doesn’t explain).
Rohit Dhawan has some potential as a filmmaker if he can keep his stories focused and his characters consistent. I like his debut better than most of the movies I’ve seen by his father, filmmaker David Dhawan.
Desi Boyz — a Hindi remake of The Full Monty — hits Chicago area theaters November 23, 2011. Though its official release date is the 25th, American theaters are getting it a couple of days early to take advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday. The movie stars John Abraham, Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone.