Tag Archives: Excel Entertainment

Streaming Video News: December 1, 2019

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of seven Punjabi films — including the 2019 releases Guddiyan Patole and High End Yaariyaan — and the romantic comedy The Zoya Factor. The Sonam Kapoor Ahuja-Dulquer Salmaan-starrer didn’t make a splash at the box office, but I thought it was really fun.

Even more intriguing than what was added is what’s on its way to Netflix. The Hindi version of Saaho arrives on December 8, followed by The Sky Is Pink on December 11. It also turns out that Netflix is the new home for the Excel Entertainment back catalog, which left Amazon Prime last week. (More recent releases like Gully Boy will stay on Prime for the foreseeable future.) Netflix was Excel’s original streaming partner about 4 or 5 years ago. We’ve got new web addresses and a confirmed debut date of December 15 for all of the Excel films that haven’t been on Netflix before, including Bangistan, Dil Dhadakne Do, Game, and Karthik Calling Karthik.

While I can’t confirm that the rest of the catalog will definitely return on December 15, here are the addresses for all of the Excel films that were previously on Netflix so that you can add them to your List, just in case:

I also updated list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with about a dozen Indian films added in the last few days, including the 2019 releases The Gambler (Malayalam), Malli Malli Chusa (Telugu), and Ottam (Malayalam).

Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag that may earn me a commission on purchases made via the links.

Streaming Video News: November 20, 2019

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, which is available in the following languages: Kannada/4K UHD, Malayalam/4K UHD, Tamil/4K UHD, and Telugu/4K UHD. The Hindi version should become available next week. Other recently added 2019 releases include Doorbeen (Punjabi), Mafi Dona (Malayalam), and the Hindi-dubbed version of the Malayalam movie Mikhael. [Disclaimer: All of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag that may earn me commissions on purchases.]

In other Amazon Prime news, most of the Excel Entertainment back catalog is set to expire by the end of this month. Unlike the recent departures of movies from Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions, I’m not sure that this exodus is permanent. Excel has new seasons of Inside Edge and Mirzapur coming to Amazon in the next few months, and I haven’t found any news stories about them striking a deal with another streamer. Still, if you have any of their titles in your Watchlist, you might want to watch them in the next week. Excel’s fantastic debut production, Dil Chahta Hai, expires on November 27, followed by these other titles on November 28:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the additions of the 2019 Telugu releases Dorasaani and Mallesham and the documentary Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.

Streaming Video News: January 23, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix because another film produced by Excel Entertainment is departing the service. As of January 30, 2015, Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. will no longer be available for streaming. This follows on the heels of today’s removal of Dil Chahta Hai, Don, and Lakshya from the catalog. Assuming this is a trend, it may be worth boosting good, older Excel releases like Rock On!! and Luck By Chance to the top of your Netflix queue.

Streaming Video News: January 16, 2015

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix because three films are about to expire from the streaming service. Dil Chahta Hai, Don, and Lakshya — three movies from Farhan Akhtar’s studio, Excel Entertainment — all leave Netflix on January 23, 2015. Don was one of the first Hindi movies I saw in a theater, I loved Dil Chahta Hai, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Lakshya. If you’re looking to marathon some movies this weekend, these three are a good place to start.

Movie Review: Don 2 (2011)

2.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

2006’s Don was the first Hindi movie I saw in a theater, so it has a special place in my heart. It is a fun thriller with a sense of humor. Don 2 doesn’t do its predecessor justice.

In fact, Don 2 hardly even acknowledges the movie that spawned it. Sure, the international supervillain/anti-hero Don (Shahrukh Khan) is back, as is his archrival, Vardhaan (Boman Irani), and the cops Malik (Om Puri) and Roma (Priyanka Chopra). But five years have passed since the audience last saw this group together.

A few lines of dialog explaining Roma’s desire for justice — in the last movie, Don tricked her into falling in love with him after killing her brother — would’ve been helpful reminders for the audience. The movie’s few indirect references to past events are meaningless to anyone who missed the first movie.

Don 2 opens with a European drug kingpin putting a hit on Don. This sets up a huge fight scene in Thailand, but the storyline is subsequently dropped until the very end of the film. Surely, there must have been a way to trigger a fight scene in a way that relates to the rest of the plot.

The story truly begins when Don gets himself thrown into a Malaysian jail in order to help the imprisoned Vardhaan escape. Don wants to steal some money-printing plates from a bank in Germany, and Vardhaan has information that can be used to blackmail one of the head bankers. The former enemies put aside their mutual hatred and work together.

The story of the heist is amusing enough, and the cast members act their parts well. But the whole affair feels underwhelming, due primarily to the film being presented in 3D.

3D has the effect of dimming the images on screen, so Don 2 lacks the vibrancy of recent Excel Entertainment productions like Game and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It’s a shame not to be able to see Thailand, Switzerland and Germany in their usual splendor. The 3D also dims the tiny English subtitles to near illegibility.

Apart from one exciting car chase through Berlin, there aren’t enough scenes that warrant the addition of 3D. Fight scenes in close quarters feel muddled by the effect, and the gimmick doesn’t enhance the story.

More disappointing than the lackluster visuals is the lackluster story, specifically Roma’s role in it. The film emphasizes a lingering romantic tension between Roma and Don but drops the ball in regard to her real reason for being in the film: she’s foremost a police officer intent on catching a notorious criminal. As she’s written, she’s not a very good police officer.

Roma is not only a step behind Don at all times, she’s a step behind the audience. She struggles to discern the identity of a man in a police sketch so accurate it might as well have the guy’s name written on it. The two times she manages to “capture” Don, it’s not a result of her police work. The first time, he turns himself in. Later, he’s ratted out by a co-conspirator.

It’s a real disservice to Chopra that her character is so poorly written. In Chopra’s hands, Roma is tenacious yet likeable, and handy in a fight. Lara Dutta’s moll character, Ayesha, similarly could’ve been better developed.

The experience of watching Don 2 isn’t entirely unpleasant. It’s a mostly-competent heist movie that gives a nod to earlier films in the genre, particularly in terms of its evocative musical score. But it could have — and should have — been so much more.

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