Tag Archives: Devdas

Opening July 21: Munna Michael

One new Bollywood movie gets a limited release in the Chicago area on July 21, 2017. Munna Michael stars Tiger Shroff as a dancer who teaches a gangster (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) how to cut a rug.

Munna Michael opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 29 min.

After a slow opening weekend in North America, Jagga Jasoos carries over locally at the South Barrington 24, AMC River East 21 in Chicago, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Mom gets a third week at MovieMax, Woodridge 18, and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Guest Iin London for one show daily.

In honor of its 15th anniversary, Devdas is showing locally on Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the River East 21, Niles 12, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont (already sold out), AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

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Opening July 7: Mom and Guest Iin London

Two new Hindi films hit Chicago area theaters on July 7, 2017. Sridevi plays the title character in the thriller Mom, which gets the wider release of the two movies.

Mom opens Friday at AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

This weekend’s other new release is the comedy Guest Iin London, the followup to 2010’s Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?. Paresh Rawal returns as the problematic guest, but Ajay Devgn and Konkona Sen Sharma aren’t back for the sequel, sadly. Guest Iin London opens Friday at the South Barrington 24 and has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 13 min.

Following a stellar holiday weekend, The Big Sick expands across the Chicago area on Friday. Tubelight carries over at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Tickets are already on sale for the 15th anniversary presentation of Devdas, taking place in theaters across the United States on Sunday, July 23. Visit Fathom Events for more information and a list of theaters carrying the special showing.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Movie Review: Guzaarish (2010)

3.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Despite knowing in advance that Guzaarish (“Request”) is a story about a paralyzed man trying to end his life, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional walloping the movie administered.

Guzaarish is heartbreaking without being manipulative. The characters occupy various positions on the ethical spectrum. In a movie about empathizing with someone else’s decision even if you disagree with it, it’s easy to identify with all of the characters and find their motives believable.

Guzaarish opens with a montage set to the song “Smile” (popularized by Nat King Cole), showcasing the details of Ethan Mascarenas’ (Hrithik Roshan) daily life. Ethan is paralyzed below the neck as a result of an accident fourteen years ago, and his days now consist of being washed, dressed and fed by his nurse, Sofia (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Unable to use his hands to shoo away a fly that lands on his face, Ethan does as the song suggests and smiles.

In addition to being permanently immobilized, Ethan’s organs are shutting down. His diminishing lung function causes him to gasp for breath between sentences. Ethan asks his best friend and lawyer, Devyani (Shernaz Patel), to file a petition asking the court to allow him to commit suicide.

Everyone opposes the idea: the doctor who saved his life after the accident; Sofia, who’s cared for him every day since; his friend, Devyani; listeners to the radio show Ethan broadcasts from his bedroom; his new apprentice, Omar (Aditya Roy Kapoor), to whom Ethan passes on secrets from his days as one of the world’s top magicians. The court rejects his initial appeal, but Ethan is determined to take control of his own destiny.

The movie is not just about Ethan’s struggle, but how his decision affects those around him. One of the most powerful scenes takes place between Sofia and Devyani. After Sofia blames Devyani for enabling Ethan’s suicide pursual, Devyani reminds Sofia that she didn’t know him before the accident and can’t understand the life he lost. Devyani repeatedly walks toward the door, only to return with one last point in defense of her friend.

Guzaarish isn’t all tearjerking melodrama. Ethan copes with his disability through a mix of gallows humor and randy flirtation, begging straight-laced Sofia to show him the “sexy legs” he knows are under her floor-length skirts. When Sofia finally cuts loose and dances one night, it takes Ethan completely by surprise.

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali adds details like Sofia’s long skirts to play up the Portuguese influence in Goa, where Guzaarish is set. Ethan’s beautiful but dilapidated mansion is also built and decorated in Goan-Portuguese style.

Guzaarish‘s arresting visual style keeps with Bhansali’s once-opulent, now-lonely aesthetic. The mansion’s blue color-scheme is similar to the super-saturated colors the director used in Saawariya, and the expansiveness of Ethan’s home is reminiscent of interiors in Devdas and Black. Regardless of subject matter, Bhansali’s movies are gorgeous to look at.

The director also has a flair for highlighting Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s otherworldly beauty. With her pale skin and dark hair accented by bright red lipstick, there are moments in close-up where she looks more like a painting than a real person.

The few scenes in Guzaarish that don’t work are unnecessary side stories that are mercifully short. Characters — such as Ethan’s former assistant and his one-time rival — are introduced late in the movie without any previous mention and don’t have a role in the story apart from a brief flashback. Their interludes do nothing to advance the plot or reveal more about Ethan’s character.

Those distractions aside, Guzaarish‘s compelling story and breathtaking visuals make it a definite must-see.

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