Tag Archives: Dil Bole Hadippa!

Best Bollywood Movies of 2009

Despite losing a couple of months of releases because of a dispute with theater owners, Indian filmmakers released a number of terrific Hindi movies in 2009. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Dramas Kurbaan and New York addressed terrorism with boldness and honesty, examining the reasons ordinary people become extremists. Delhi-6 dealt with religious differences in a manner both compelling and accessible. American audiences will enjoy the soundtrack by Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman.

A live-action version of Aladin was a novel update of the classic tale, appealing to adults and kids alike.

Romance was, as always, a popular theme. Amusing romantic comedies like Dil Bole Hadippa! and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani took a light take on love. Luck By Chance and Wake Up Sid, both of which starred talented actress Konkona Sen Sharma, took a more serious approach, addressing the challenges of pursuing career goals while maintaining a healthy relationship.

The best of this year’s romances was Love Aaj Kal. Telling love stories from two different time periods, the movie embraced traditional Bollywood romance conventions while showcasing contemporary relationship issues as well. The entertaining dance numbers will make American viewers feel like they’re getting a real Bollywood experience within a Westernized story structure. The modern relationships showcased in Love Aaj Kal, Luck By Chance and Wake Up Sid represent an important advance for Indian movie makers courting success abroad.

But the Best Bollywood Movie of 2009 has to be 3 Idiots. It’s a great comedy about friendship — with just a hint of romance — that features nuanced performances by Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi. The jokes are funny whether you’re listening to them in Hindi or reading them in English subtitles.

More importantly, 3 Idiots represents a step forward for Indian comedies. Most Hindi comedies released in recent years (excluding romantic comedies) have relied on slapstick humor: childish sound effects, comic violence and chase scenes that defy logic. There’s certainly a place for slapstick in modern cinema, but I don’t think this type of humor plays well in the international markets that Hindi filmmakers are looking to break into.

3 Idiots has its share of silliness, but it’s shown in a more subdued, realistic way that makes the characters relatable. It’s easier for the audience to cheer for the guys in 3 Idiots than for the farcical nincompoops in a movie like Do Knot Disturb (my Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009), because in 3 Idiots they seem like real people. When they succeed, despite being a bit goofy, it gives hope to the rest of us goofballs.

Previous Best Movies List

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Opening October 9: Acid Factory

One new Hindi movie is set to open in Chicago area theaters on Friday, October 9. Acid Factory, a remake of the 2006 Hollywood thriller Unknown, will play at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles. Acid Factory‘s runtime is listed as a mercifully short 1 hr. 45 min.

Entering their second weeks in theaters are Wake Up Sid, which earned $355,532 in U.S. theaters last weekend, and Do Knot Disturb ($124,573). Both films are showing at the South Barrington 30, Golf Glen 5 and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

Among slightly older Bollywood releases, the South Barrington 30 is carrying over Wanted and What’s Your Raashee? ($236,926 total U.S. earnings) for another week, while the Golf Glen 5 will hold over What’s Your Raashee? and Dil Bole Hadippa!.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include the Telugu films Ganesh at the Golf Glen 5 and Mahatma at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

Opening October 2: Wake Up Sid and Do Knot Disturb

The Diwali holiday movie season is in full swing, meaning two more Hindi films will open in Chicago area theaters this weekend.

Wake Up Sid features Ranbir Kapoor as Sid, a directionless guy who meets an attractive, motivated writer played by Konkona Sen Sharma, forcing Sid to rethink his slacker lifestyle.

In Do Knot Disturb, Govinda plays a businessman trying to cover up his affair with a model (Lara Dutta). When he hires his friend (Ritesh Deshmukh) to pose as his girlfriend’s boyfriend, identities get mixed up and comic wackiness ensues.

Both movies will open on Friday, October 2 at Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville. Wake Up Sid has a runtime of 2 hrs. 18 min., and Do Knot Disturb has a runtime of 2 hrs. 6 min.

But those aren’t the only Hindi films showing in the Chicago area this weekend. The Golf Glen 5, Cantera 30 and South Barrington 30 are all carrying over Dil Bole Hadippa! and What’s Your Raashee?, which opened last Friday to disappointing first week earnings of only $169,005 in the United States.

The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Wanted for a third week. Salman Khan’s latest has earned $332,816 in U.S. theaters so far.

Other Indian movies playing around Chicago include the Telugu film Ganesh and the Malayalam film Loud Speaker, both at the Golf Glen 5.

Movie Review: Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009)

Dilbolehadippa!2.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Think of your favorite fast food meal – the one that you default to when you’re running late on your way home from work or when you just don’t feel like cooking. Dil Bole Hadippa! (“My Heart Goes Hooray!”) is the movie equivalent of your go-to drive thru meal: easy and predictable, but enjoyable.

Rani Mukerji plays Veera, a Punjabi girl who works for her family’s traveling theater troupe but dreams of playing cricket professionally.

She gets her chance when the national team’s manager, played by Anupam Kher, guilts his son Rohan (Shahid Kapoor) into returning from England to lead India to victory over Pakistan.

Of course, the team won’t even consider letting Veera try out; it is a men’s team, after all. Using one of the theater troupe’s fake beards, she dresses up as a man and calls herself “Veer.” She easily makes the team.

As in any romantic comedy featuring cross-dressing disguises, Veera gets to know Rohan off the pitch and out of makeup and falls for him. It’s only a question of when and how she’ll inevitably have to reveal her double life to him.

This type of story is as old as time, or at least as old as Shakespeare. There’s not much that can be done to change the formula, so all that matters is how much fun the journey is.

Thanks to Rani Mukerji, it’s a lot of fun. There’s no other actor who portrays joy as well as her, and it’s hard not to get swept up in her happiness. Shahid Kapoor does a fine job playing off of Mukerji, complementing her while never stealing the spotlight.

Following the Hindi fast-food-film formula, Dil Bole Hadippa! hits all of the major narrative touchstones: India is the best nation in the world, Indian women are the most virtuous, and the country is always better than the city.  The movie shows fertile fields, women in colorful saris, and a village festival with a Ferris wheel.

The only deviation from the stock formula is that, in Dil Bole Hadippa!, Veera and Rohan ride through wheat fields on a bike, instead of on a tractor.

The problem with this kind of fast food movie is that everyone already knows how it’s going to end – and how it’s going to reach that end. With that being the case, there’s no reason for Dil Bole Hadippa! to run as long as it does (around 2 hrs. 12 min.). The last half-hour drags. And, since the ending is predictable, it’s probably worth leaving early to avoid traffic leaving the movie theater parking lot.

Opening September 25: What’s Your Raashee?

Ashutosh Gowarikar’s latest film, What’s Your Raashee? (“What’s Your Sign?”) opens in theaters this weekend. It may hold special interest for Chicagoans, since parts of the film were shot in the Windy City, earlier this year.

In What’s Your Raashee?, Harman Baweja plays a guy looking for love among twelve different girls, all played by Priyanka Chopra. (In your face, Eddie Murphy!) Baweja and Chopra previously starred together in the embarrassing Love Story 2050. The runtime for their latest film is listed as 3 hrs. 12 min.

What’s Your Raashee? opens on Friday, September 25 in the Chicago area at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

Of last weekend’s two new Hindi films, Dil Bole Hadippa! bested Wanted in U.S. earnings: $351,457 to $217,432. Both films return for a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. The Cantera 30 is only bringing back Dil Bole Hadippa!.

Opening September 18: Dil Bole Hadippa! and Wanted

Two new Hindi movies are set to open in the Chicago area this weekend. Yash Raj production Dil Bole Hadippa! (“My Heart Goes Hooray!”) stars Rani Mukerji as a woman who dresses as a man to play for an all-male cricket team, which is captained by Shahid Kapoor. It has a runtime of 2 hr. 28 min.

Wanted features Salman Khan as a mafia hitman who gets into trouble when an innocent girl falls for him. Its runtime is approximately 2 hrs. 40 min.

Note: some theater websites link to descriptions of the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie Wanted in their listings. As far as I know, that film isn’t being re-released, but you may want to verify with the theater that they are showing the Salman Khan movie of the same title.

Both Dil Bole Hadippa! and Wanted open at the AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 on Friday, September 18. The AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago will feature Wanted.

The South Barrington 30 is carrying over Kaminey for anyone interested in a Shahid Kapoor double feature.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include the Tamil film Unnaipol Oruvan at the Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove. The Telugu version of the same film is showing at the Golf Glen 5 under the title Eenadu.

Also showing at the Golf Glen 5 are the Telugu films Josh and Sankham and the Malayalam movie Daddy Cool.