Tag Archives: Dum Maaro Dum

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2011

In 2011, Bollywood produced a number of movies that advanced the role of women in film and pushed the boundaries of traditional storytelling style. This post is not about those movies. This post is about the worst films of the year. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Video services like YouTube and Netflix have allowed smaller studios to bypass the theater distribution system and reach an international audience via the Internet. While the development is a welcome one, it doesn’t mean that every film available online merits viewing. Inept, low-budget stinkers like Cycle Kick, Love Express and Impatient Vivek aren’t worth it, even for free.

Neither is a showing on the big screen a guarantee of quality. Indie film I Am Singh made it into Chicago area theaters but left after just one week. Aarakshan, Thank You, Dum Maaro Dum and Mausam all had large budgets and star casts but failed to impress.

While a number of this year’s movies featured empowered female characters, Turning 30 did its best to undermine feminism. The movie — written and directed by a woman — features a lead character who spends most of the movie wallowing in self-pity after she’s dumped. Turning 30 ends with the appalling suggestion that self-respect and a happy marriage shouldn’t be as important to women as having babies.

This year’s worst Bollywood movie manages to combine all of the above offenses into one unwatchable mess. It’s sloppily made, despite having a budget large enough to pay an A-list cast. It’s sexist. As a bonus, it’s also full of racist stereotypes.

The Worst Bollywood Movie of 2011 is Rascals.

Director David Dhawan is a repeat offender, being the man responsible for my worst movie of 2009, Do Knot Disturb. Rascals — a farce about two crooks fighting for one woman’s affections — seems tailor-made for comic action set pieces. Dhawan even cast action stars Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn as the leads, but gave them little to do besides talk.

The movie’s female lead, played by Kangana Ranaut, spends the bulk of her screentime strutting around in a bikini while whining in a shrill voice: not exactly the postergirl for women’s lib.

Dhawan set Rascals in Thailand, then cast scores of blonde women to serve as gyrating backup dancers and dark-skinned African actors to play armed criminals. Were there no local Thai actors to fill those roles? Why make those casting decisions except to appeal to racist stereotypes?

All those problems aside, Dhawan’s biggest sin in Rascals is laziness. There are numerous continuity errors and bloopers that would’ve been easy to rectify, but Dhawan didn’t bother. Perhaps he thinks his target audience members — misogynists who find two men slapping each other hilarious — don’t care about stuff like a plot that makes sense. Maybe he thinks they’ll pay their money to see heroes like Dutt and Devgn on screen no matter how stupid the story.

I’d like to believe that we moviegoers are smarter than that.

Previous Worst Movies Lists

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In Theaters June 10, 2011

After posting impressive opening weekend earnings of $460,238 in 97 U.S. theaters, Ready continues for a second week at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 & RPX in Warrenville.

Meanwhile, Dum Maaro Dum finished its seventh week in three theaters in the United States, earning $220. Its total American haul is $563,699.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Aaranya Kaandam (Tamil) at the Golf Glen 5 and Badrinath (Telugu) at both the Golf Glen 5 and Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

In Theaters May 20, 2011

The only Bollywood movie on offer anywhere in the Chicago area this weekend is Dum Maaro Dum at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. The crime drama has earned $551,398 in its first four weeks in U.S. theaters.

Starting Friday, the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles features Bicycle Bride, an English-language movie about an Indian-American girl who defies her mother to choose her own romantic destiny.

Other Indian movies playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include 100% Love (Telugu), Manikya Kallu (Malayalam), Moner Manush (Bengali), Rangam (Telugu) and Veera (Telugu).

Opening May 13: Love U…Mr. Kalakaar!

A romance with an oddly punctuated title — Love U…Mr. Kalakaar! — is the only new Hindi movie opening in the Chicago area on Friday, May 13, 2011.

Love U…Mr. Kalakaar! opens today at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Older Bollywood flicks carrying over at theaters include Haunted at the Golf Glen 5 and Dum Maaro Dum at the South Barrington 30. Dum Maaro Dum earned $534,574 in its first three weeks in U.S. theaters.

The Golf Glen 5 is showing several other Indian movies this weekend, including 100% Love (Telugu), Chinatown (Malayalam), Engeyum Kaadhal (Tamil), Gaddama (Malayalam) and Rangam (Telugu).

Opening May 6: Haunted

India’s first stereoscopic 3D horror film, Haunted, hits Chicago area theaters on Friday, May 6, 2011. Like Avatar, Haunted was filmed using 3D technology, not converted from 2D in post-production. The story is about a young man’s love for one of the ghostly inhabitants of a haunted house.

Haunted opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 23 min.

Dum Maaro Dum gets a third week at the South Barrington 30, having earned $483,988 in U.S. theaters so far. Last weekend’s new release, Chalo Dilli, won’t be carried over for a second week.

Other Indian movies playing near Chicago this weekend include 100% Love (Telugu), Chinatown (Malayalam), Engeyum Kadhal (Tamil) and Nenu Naa Rakshashi (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5.

Opening April 29: Chalo Dilli

Chalo Dilli is the only new Hindi movie opening in the Chicago area on April 29, 2011. The road trip comedy stars Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathak.

Chalo Dilli opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Last weekend’s new release, Dum Maaro Dum, earned $327,523 in its first week in U.S. theaters. The movie carries over at AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville.

Thank You continues for a fourth week at the South Barrington 30, having earned $451,923 in the U.S. so far.

Not sure why, but the Golf Glen 5 is carrying the 2006 Hindi-English drama Return to Rajapur, which features Frank Langella.

Other Indian movies showing near Chicago this weekend include Akkara Kazhchakal: The Movie (Malayalam), Ko (Tamil), Mr. Perfect (Telugu), Nenu Naa Rakshashi (Telugu) and Vaanam (Tamil) at the Golf Glen 5.

Movie Review: Dum Maaro Dum (2011)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Copious amounts of sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, fights, chases and torture fail to liven up the dull and disorganized Dum Maaro Dum.

An opening shot of a dead body, accompanied by a voiceover by Abhishek Bachchan about the deadly drug trade in Goa, suggest a riveting tale of murder and corruption in a beachfront paradise. As soon as the opening credits finish, boredom sets in.

The movie is immediately mired in the backstory of one of the side characters, a teen named Lorry (Prateik Babbar). Lorry can’t afford to join his girlfriend at college in America, so he accepts a job as a drug mule, in order to earn the money for tuition. What I just summarized in one sentence takes up 25 minutes of screentime.

Twitchy-looking Lorry gets busted at the Goa airport by Kamath (Bachchan), a formerly corrupt vice cop trying to redeem himself after the accidental deaths of his wife and son. Kamath sends Lorry to jail, but the kid won’t reveal the whereabouts of the mysterious drug kingpin “Michael Barbosa.”

Kamath gets help from a musician name Joki (Rana Daggubati) in exchange for leniency for Lorry. Joki’s ex-girlfriend, Zoe (Bipasha Basu), is currently seeing another major drug dealer, Lorsa Biscuta (Aditya Pancholi). If anyone knows where Barbosa is, it’s Biscuta.

The plot isn’t nearly as straightforward as the above recap. There are flashbacks to pointless backstory, which prevents giving the characters enough time to grow (and grow on us) as events unfold in the modern-day.

This presents a serious problem, as Kamath — the presumptive, though not explicitly defined, lead character — is a monster. In addition to Kamath’s corrupt past and his penchant for beating up suspects, he sodomizes a drug runner with a pistol in order to make the guy confess. The movie’s villains may rack up a higher body count, but Kamath’s methods are more brutal and vile.

Substituting backstory for character development brings the action of the film to a crawl. Boring exposition about events not germane to the current situation is punctuated by party scenes, sex scenes and fight scenes. If you spend most of the film rudely texting on your cell phone, only to look up when the music cues something exciting on-screen, you might be fooled into thinking Dum Maaro Dum is an exciting movie.

The climax of the movie is actually pretty clever — so much so that the producers canceled the gala premiere in order to preserve the secret ending. But it seems as though writer Shridhar Raghavan started with the climax and struggled to craft the story that leads up to it.

Perhaps the poster tells us everything we need to know about Dum Maaro Dum. The poster features the svelte torso of Deepika Padukone, who makes a special appearance in a performance of the title track. Padukone is onscreen for all of five minutes, in a dance number that happens one hour and 45 minutes into the film. It is the best part of the movie.

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Opening April 22: Dum Maaro Dum and Zokkomon

Two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning April 22, 2011. The Disney live-action superhero flick Zokkomon gets a limited release, opening on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.

The other new Bollywood movie opening this weekend is Dum Maaro Dum, a gangster drama set in Goa starring Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu.

Dum Maaro Dum opens on Friday at four area theaters: AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. The film has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 12 min.

Thank You, having earned $392,194 in the U.S. so far, gets a third week at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include KO (Tamil), Mr. Perfect (Telugu) and Teen Maar (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5.

In Theaters April 15, 2011

After two weeks of new releases, there are no new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area this weekend. Next weekend sees the debut of Dum Maaro Dum and the Disney pic Zokkomon, both of which are candidates for a wide international release.

Thank You, which earned $247,760 in its opening weekend in U.S. theaters, carries over at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville.

Game gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Mappillai (Tamil), Shakti (Telugu), Teen Maar (Telugu) and Urumi (Malayalam) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Teen Maar.