I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with more than fifty Indian titles that are now available for streaming. Most of the new films are in Hindi (23 titles), Punjabi (22), or Tamil (7), with one new addition each in Marathi and Bengali (as well as one Urdu movie from Pakistan). The full list of titles is available in the “Newly Added” section at the top of my Netflix page. Here are all of the Bollywood films that were just added:
I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with several more additions to the collection. Yesterday’s catalog update also included the addition of six Hindi television series, both fiction and non-fiction. Thanks to Instant Watcher for alerting me to the newly added shows, listed below with genres in parenthesis:
Kapoor & Sons packs enough of an emotional wallop to leave one reeling. It’s going to be tough to beat when the Best of 2016 rankings come out.
The Kapoor family — father Harsh (Rajat Kapoor), mother Sunita (Ratna Pathak), elder son Rahul (Fawad Khan), and younger son Arjun (Sidharth Malhotra) — reunite at the bedside of ailing patriarch Amarjeet (Rishi Kapoor) when he suffers a heart attack just before his 90th birthday. The birthday provides a reason for the boys to linger for a few days in their childhood home.
All of the undercurrents of tension between the family members surface as soon as the boys come home. Harsh and Sunita are shorter with one another than they used to be, though they fall back into old patterns with their sons. Rahul is the golden boy, his room a shrine to his accomplished youth. Perpetual screw-up Arjun finds his bedroom re-purposed as his mom’s closet, overrun with purses and exercise equipment.
There’s trouble between the boys, too. Rahul waits for his brother to grow up, while Arjun harbors resentment toward Rahul, not just for his exalted status but by a suspicion that it may have come at Arjun’s expense. None of these concerns are addressed openly, leaving wounds to fester.
Two people make the trip home worthwhile. First, Grandpa Amarjeet, whose abundant love for his grandsons only grows when they teach him how to watch pornography on his iPad. Second, Tia (Alia Bhatt): a fun-loving neighbor who meets the boys separately and charms them both.
Kapoor & Sons is beautifully balanced, with funny moments juxtaposed against serious revelations. Writer-director Shakun Batra and co-writer Ayesha Devitre Dhillon set the perfect tempo, allowing subplots and relationships to develop at a pace that never feels rushed.
Behind all of the action is a beautiful, evocative score by Sameer Uddin. Of all the film’s wonderful qualities, the score may be the very best.
The acting in Kapoor & Sons is top-notch, the whole cast striking the right tone under Batra’s direction. Ratna Pathak and Rajat Kapoor are so strong as a couple whose marriage suffers after their kids have grown up and moved out. It’s wonderful to watch Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra grow as young actors.
Fawad Khan is hypnotic. His acting is graceful and grounded and stands out even when compared to the film’s other great performances.
Rishi Kapoor is terrific as well, equal parts funny and moving as an old man who just wants his family to be happy again. His makeup and prosthetics (designed by Greg Cannom) age the 63-year-old Kapoor effectively, without being distracting.
Two supporting performances of note belong to Sukant Goel as Arjun’s pal Wasim and Fahim Shaikh as Wasim’s bodybuilding brother, Boobly, who steals every scene he’s in.
Batra’s directorial debut Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu showed a ton of promise, though it was marred by a frustrating ending. Those frustrations are nowhere to be found in Kapoor & Sons, a mature, satisfying film. Well done.
Two films make their debuts in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning May 25, 2012. First up is Arjun: The Warrior Prince, an animated film co-produced by UTV and Disney.
Arjun opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles. The family friendly film has English subtitles and a runtime of 96 minutes.
Also new in local theaters this weekend is Married 2 America, a thriller about an Indian-America woman whose husband goes missing while investigating a dam accident in India. The film released in Indian theaters on February 17. I suspect the success of Kahaani — which has a similar premise — prompted the eventual release of Married 2 America in the States.
Married 2 America opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.
Will rom-com fatigue doom London Paris New York, one of two new Bollywood movies opening this weekend in Chicago area theaters? With four romances having opened in the last three weeks — and the dismal U.S. box office performances of last weekend’s new films — it’s a very real concern.
London Paris New York (LPNY) stars Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari in a love story set in three of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Predictably, the two romantic comedies released last weekend split the audience share, to the detriment of both. Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (the better of the two films) had the better weekend, earning just $94,583 in the United States. Jodi Breakers fared worse, earning a paltry $52,618. It departs area theaters on Thursday.
Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, which also brings back Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu for a fourth week. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu‘s U.S. theater earnings stand at $1,130,842.
This weekend’s other new Hindi release, Paan Singh Tomar, opens on Friday at the South Barrington 30. It stars Irrfan Khan as an elite athlete who becomes a rebel fighter. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.
Valentine’s Day has turned into a month-long event as Bollywood releases two more romantic comedies the weekend beginning Friday, February 24, 2012. Jodi Breakers stars R. Madhavan and Bipasha Basu as a pair of professional breakup artists.
Also opening on Friday at all of the above theaters is Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (TNLHG), which has a runtime of 2 hrs. 10 min. TNLHG stars Genelia D’Souza and Ritesh Deshmukh respectively as a rich girl who forces one of her father’s underlings to kidnap her in order to escape her arranged marriage. Click here for a national theater list.
The poster for this week’s big Bollywood release, Ekk Deewana Tha, shrewdly bills the movie as “An A.R. Rahman & Javed Akhtar Musical,” highlighting its Oscar-winning composer and acclaimed lyricist rather than the movie’s relatively unknown stars.
After posting respectable U.S. theater earnings of $637,100 in its first week, the romantic comedy Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu gets a second week at all of the above theaters. The revenge thriller Agneepath carries over for a fourth week at the South Barrington 30, having earned $1,912,870 from three weeks in the United States.
It’s a bad sign when the words “The Beginning” appear on screen at the end of a movie, just before the closing credits roll. If this is only “the beginning,” what was I watching for the last two hours? It’s a cop-out.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (“One of Me and One of You”) ends with “The Beginning.” It’s disappointing because the first 95% of the movie is really, really good. I enjoyed myself so much while watching it that the lame way the story concludes made it feel like I had the rug pulled out from under me.
Let me focus on the good first, which is nearly every part of the movie. The protagonist in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (EMAET, henceforth) is Rahul (Imran Khan), the average son of snobby parents who routinely make it clear that he is a disappointment. When he loses his job at a Las Vegas architecture firm, he elects not to tell them.
Rahul meets fun-loving Riana (Kareena Kapoor), a similarly unemployed hairstylist. Since they are both alone on Christmas Eve, Rahul reluctantly agrees to let Riana take him out on the town. They get drunk and get married.
The next morning, they amicably agree to get their marriage annulled. Again reluctantly, Rahul lets broke, disorganized Riana stay in his meticulously clean apartment. Friendship blossoms as Rahul finally finds in Riana someone who does not think he’s a failure.
There’s little conflict in Rahul and Riana’s relationship, but that’s a good thing. They are both nice people, their only faults being that Rahul is overly fearful of making mistakes and Riana a bit oblivious to her more annoying habits. From Raina, Rahul gets the validation he’s never gotten from his parents, and Raina is happy to make him happy.
Khan and Kapoor are completely charming and succeed in making Rahul and Riana realistic characters. Their restraint adds to the movie’s humor: Khan gets more laughs out of a single raised eyebrow than any of the frantic, screaming characters in the Housefull 2 promo that preceded EMAET. Debutant director Shakun Batra gets the tone exactly right for a romantic comedy.
As much as I appreciate a movie that resists the urge to force conflict into a story, about three-fourths of the way into EMAET, I started to wonder, “What’s the catch?” Rahul and Raina can’t just stroll into their happily ever after, can they? Is she hiding something? Will he compromise his new self-confidence to placate his parents?
When the hiccup in Rahul & Riana’s otherwise perfect relationship finally arises, it does so without enough time left in the film to adequately deal with it. Hence “The Beginning.” It’s a profoundly unsatisfying conclusion, especially since all of the signs pointed to the adorable couple getting their tidy “happily ever after.”
I admire filmmakers who take risks with their storytelling — though audiences do have certain expectations of rom-coms released in time for Valentine’s Day — but the risks have to feel warranted. The ultimate resolution to Rahul & Riana’s story feels unrealistic and unfair. I wanted a better ending for characters I’d come to like so much.