Tag Archives: Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

Streaming Video News: June 27, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with one new addition to the catalog. The animated children’s movie Chhota Bheem and the Curse of Damyaan is now available for streaming. Half-a-dozen titles are set to expire from Netflix on July 1, including: Bajatey Raho, Darr @ the Mall, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Greater Elephant, and Kshay.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of the 2016 Malayalam movie Shyam to the streaming service. For everything else new on Amazon Prime or Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

And I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Heera because Action Replayy is now available for streaming. The only reason to watch the 2010 time travel comedy is to see just how far Aditya Roy Kapur has come as an actor, because he’s super annoying in Action Replayy.

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Best Bollywood Movies of 2015

2015 offered up a satisfying mix of sweet, intimate stories and dark thrills and chills. Here are my picks for the best Bollywood movies of 2015. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

The year ended on a triumphant note with the release of the historical epic romance Bajirao Mastani. Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s colorful, lavish style demands to be seen on the big screen.

Two smaller Hindi films that played at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival prove that big budgets aren’t necessary to make a great movie. Haraamkhor and Dhanak depict the struggles of childhood in very different ways, with Dhanak being easily the sweetest film of the year.

Early 2015 saw the release of two great revenge thrillers: Badlapur and NH10. While Badlapur explores the toll that a lingering desire for vengeance takes on a grieving husband (Varun Dhawan), NH10 is a race against the clock for a woman (Anushka Sharma) trying to defeat the men out to kill her.

In contrast to such dark fare, Piku lovingly and humorously explores the tense relationship between an adult daughter (Deepika Padukone) who hits the road with her ailing father (Amitabh Bachchan).

A pair of top-notch crime thrillers also made the list. Talvar‘s unique story structure sets apart this real-life murder mystery. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! put a modern, stylish twist on a classic Indian literary detective.

Dum Laga Ke Haisha is as charming as can be, telling the tale of a loser (Ayushmann Khurrana) rebelling against his marriage to an accomplished woman (Bhumi Pednekar) who fails to fit his beauty standards. So much care went into the story that it is impossible not to fall in love with these young adults trying to grow under enormous family pressure.

My favorite movie of 2015 is a big budget, multi-starrer that nevertheless tells a smart, contemporary family story. Too often, Bollywood spectacle films are “check your brain at the door” affairs, full of bombast but devoid of substance. Director Zoya Akhtar brings together an A-list cast — including Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, and Anil Kapoor — for a film that is fun and romantic, but also contains insightful critiques of the respect (or lack thereof) accorded women in modern Indian society. Director Akhtar takes the opportunity this big-budget blockbuster affords her and uses the platform to inform as well as entertain. For that reason, my favorite Hindi film of 2015 is Dil Dhadakne Do.

(Update: I watched Masaan after posting this list. Were I to re-do my rankings, I’d place Masaan in 9th place, between Dhanak and Haraamkhor.)

Kathy’s Top Ten Bollywood Movies of 2015

  1. Dil Dhadakne Do — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  2. Dum Laga Ke Haisha — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  3. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  4. Talvar — Buy at Amazon
  5. Piku — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  6. NH10 — Buy at Amazon
  7. Badlapur — Buy at Amazon
  8. Dhanak
  9. Haraamkhor
  10. Bajirao Mastani

Previous Best Movies Lists

Streaming Video News: January 1, 2016

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a ton of new additions to the catalog. Netflix kicked off 2016 by adding seventeen (!) Hindi movies to the streaming catalog, along with a number of movies in other Indian languages, most notably director Mani Ratnam’s 2015 Tamil hit OK Kanmani. I added a category for films in other Indian languages at the bottom of my Netflix page. (January 2 update: Dum Laga Ke Haisha is also now on Netflix!)

Here’s a list of all the Bollywood films added to Netflix today:

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! and Piku are two of my favorite movies of 2015, and I can’t wait to check out Randeep Hooda in Main Aur Charles, which didn’t open in US theaters. A number of these films — like Katiyabaaz and Kshay — were hits on the festival circuit, and this is the first opportunity for a wide audience to see them. Same for the Gujarati film The Good Road, India’s official submission to the 86th Oscars, which was also added today.

For everything else new on Netflix, please check out Instant Watcher.

Bollywood Box Office: May 8-10

Piku just knocked the pants off of every other Hindi movie to open in North America in 2015 so far and set a high bar for future releases. During its first weekend — from May 8-10, 2015Piku earned $938,938 from 117 theaters, an average of $8,025 per screen.

Mother’s Day Sunday drove huge crowds to the theater for the family comedy starring Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone. At least one showing at my local cinema sold out of tickets, which is almost unheard of. In one weekend, Piku earned $200,000 more than Baby — now the second highest earner of 2015 — earned from four weeks in North American theaters. Piku‘s strong earnings and positive word of mouth should make the team behind Bombay Velvet nervous ahead of its release on Friday, May 15.

[Rentrak reports to Bollywood Hungama weekend earnings figures for Piku that are about $150,000 less than the above figures reported by Box Office Mojo. I tend to prioritize Box Office Mojo’s figures when they have them available for Hindi movies. Either way, Piku earned a helluva a lot of money.]

In its second weekend, Gabbar is Back took in another $109,705 from 92 theaters ($1,192 average), bringing its North American total to $490,385.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: Week 6; $2,200 from six theaters ($367 average); $608,751 total
  • Dharam Sankat Mein: Week 5; $160 from one theater; $13,545 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

 

Bollywood Box Office: May 1-3

Gabbar is Back had a good opening weekend in North America by 2015 standards, which isn’t saying much. During the weekend of May 1-3, 2015, Gabbar is Back earned $270,101 from 120 theaters ($2,251 average). That’s the fifth highest opening of the year, although it opened in the third highest number of theaters.

As with Mr. X, Gabbar is Back proved vastly more popular in Canada than in the US. In Canada, Gabbar is Back took in $64,224 from 13 theaters, meaning that nearly a quarter of the film’s earnings came from just a tenth of its total North American theaters. The difference in the countries’ per-screen averages is even more stark: $4,940 in Canada versus $1,924 in the US.

Gabbar is Back‘s opening weekend total is $164,850 less than what Baby — Akshay Kumar’s other 2015 release — earned in its opening weekend in January. Given the caliber of Bollywood movies releasing this month, Gabbar is Back is more likely to flame out fast in theaters rather than burn slowly. Baby earned 60% of its total haul in its first weekend, so a similar performance by Gabbar is Back would place its final North American tally at around $450,000.

In its fifth weekend, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! added another $4,529 from five theaters ($906 average) to bring its US total to $605,436.

Dharam Sankat Mein spent a fourth weekend in one theater, taking in $374 to bring its total to $13,339.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening May 1: Gabbar is Back

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area on May 1, 2015. Akshay Kumar plays a corruption-busting vigilante in Gabbar is Back.

Gabbar is Back opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 11 min.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include both the Tamil and Telugu versions of Uttama Villain at the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont and MovieMax, which also carries Vai Raja Vai (Tamil), Ganga (Telugu), Dohchay (Telugu), Bhaskar the Rascal (Malayalam), Oru Vadakkan Selfie (Malayalam), OK Kanmani (Tamil), and OK Bangaram (Telugu).

Bollywood Box Office: April 24-26

Fox Star Studios probably wishes the North American box office reports for Mr. X would disappear, because the numbers are awful. In its second weekend, Mr. X earned $7,572 from 17 theaters ($445 average), bringing its total earnings to $48,213. Considering Mr. X‘s opening weekend average of $400 per screen and Week 2’s $445, each of those stalwart 17 theaters will be lucky to have earned $1,000 total from ten days of showing of Mr. X.

As in its opening weekend, Mr. X proved vastly more popular in Canada in Week 2 than in the US. It earned $6,283 from ten Canadian theaters ($628 average), but just $1,289 from seven American theaters ($184 average).

On the other hand, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! performed very well in its fourth weekend. DBB brought in another $20,846 from 11 theaters ($1,895 average), bringing its reported North American total to $598,376 (though I suspect that’s a bit low). What’s notable about DBB‘s fourth weekend earnings is that they are more than double that of Badlapur, which reported the next highest fourth weekend returns this year ($7,905). Eight Hindi movies have run for at least four weeks in North American theaters in 2015.

Other Hindi films showing in North America during the weekend of April 24-26, 2015:

  • Nanak Shah Fakir: Week 2; $14,656 from 9 theaters ($1,628 average); $90,901 total
  • Dharam Sankat Mein: Week 3; $2,179 from 4 theaters ($545 average); $12,809 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama