Tag Archives: Fukrey

Streaming Video News: December 15, 2019

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of the Excel Entertainment back catalog. Excel’s films were on Netflix years ago before heading to Amazon Prime, and now they’re back on Netflix. Some newer Excel productions like Rock On 2, Fukrey Returns, Gold, and Gully Boy are still on Amazon Prime. So is Baar Baar Dekho, but it expires from Prime on December 18, so it’s probably heading to Netflix, too. Here are all the films added today:

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of the 2019 Tamil release Action.

[Disclaimer: all of my Amazon links include an affiliate tag, and I may earn a commission on purchases made via those links.]

Streaming Video News: July 2, 2014

Two Hindi films were recently added to Netflix for streaming. The 2013 anthology Bombay Talkies celebrates 100 years of Hindi cinema. The second and third of the four short films are the best.

Also new to Netflix is the 2013 comedy Fukrey. It doesn’t translate well from Hindi to English, so much so that I couldn’t tell what lines of dialogue were supposed to be funny.

To view the rest of the massive collection of films just added to Netflix, check Instant Watcher.

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2013

This is the sixth “worst movies of the year” post I’ve written, and every year the worst movies share the same problems: bad plot construction, unintentionally unlikable protagonists, and the reprehensible treatment of female characters. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Most of this year’s crop of bad movies have the standard problems, but I give credit to Zila Ghaziabad for making it onto the list for a whole new reason: failure to appreciate the strength of the Censor Board’s opposition to smoking.

While all Indian filmmakers know that scenes in which a character smokes are likely to be tagged with an onscreen warning that reads, “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health,” director Anand Kumar refused to capitulate in Zila Ghaziabad. As a result, the warning appears onscreen for nearly half of the movie. It’s so distracting that I’m almost convinced it was deliberate and that the whole movie is Kumar’s dig at the Censor Board.

Among movies that stunk in more conventional fashion, Bajatey Raho, Bullett Raja, and Fukrey were full of plot holes that never should’ve made it out of a first draft, let alone into a finished project. Fukrey wins bonus points for a racist scene in which a character refers to a group of black bodyguards as the “Chicago Bulls.”

I, Me aur Main and Ramaiya Vastavaiya were hampered by really, really unlikeable lead characters. Not to be outdone, Grand Masti featured not one, but three total jerks in leading roles. I’m awarding bonus points to Grand Masti for racism, sexism, and making a joke about gang rape.

Grand Masti wasn’t the only movie to try to make light of rape or treat it as a plot device. The threat of rape was used to provoke the male leads in R… Rajkumar and Himmatwala. Both movies try to make that case that a woman’s only defense against rape is a strong male family member or boyfriend.

As patronizing as that idea is, it’s still not as abhorrent as the violently sexist message of my worst film of 2013: 3G. This poorly written horror movie cites pornography as the primary reason romantic relationships fail, but never suggests that the problem lies with those who view porn. Instead, it explicitly blames the women who perform in porn (and implicitly blames any woman with a sex drive). Want to get rid of porn? Kill all the porn stars!

At the same time that the movie blames sexually active women for provoking the violence committed against them, directors Shantanu & Sheershak go out of their way to portray actress Sonal Chauhan as a sex object. The camera ogles her breasts and buttocks while she writhes around on the beach and on a kitchen island (something I’m guessing she doesn’t do for fun when she’s at home alone).

Shantanu & Sheershak fail to recognize their own hypocrisy. Who’s more responsible for Chauhan’s depiction as a sex object: Chauhan — a paid performer — or the men who told her what to do and how to pose, filmed her, paid her, and then counted on others to pay to watch what they filmed?

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2013

  1. 3G — Buy at Amazon
  2. Grand Masti — Buy at Amazon
  3. Himmatwala — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  4. Fukrey — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  5. Bullett Raja — Buy at Amazon
  6. R… Rajkumar — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  7. Ramaiya Vastavaiya — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Zila Ghaziabad — Buy at Amazon
  9. I, Me aur Main — Buy at Amazon
  10. Bajatey Raho — Buy at Amazon

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Opening June 21: Raanjhanaa and Shortcut Romeo

Two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area on June 21, 2013. The romance Raanjhanaa gets the wider release of the two.

Raanjhanaa opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

The Neil Nitin Mukesh thriller Shortcut Romeo opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5.

Last weekend’s new release, Fukrey, was a huge disappointment at the U.S. box office, earning a mere $74,110 in its first three days. As a result, the South Barrington 30 is the only theater holding it over for a second week, and with just one showing per day at that.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, meanwhile, continues to perform well, with U.S. earnings of $3,394,010 so far. It gets a fourth week at all three of the above theaters.

Other Indian movies playing in the area this weekend include the Telugu comedy Action 3D at the Golf Glen 5 and at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, which is showing the movie in 3D and with English subtitles. The Golf Glen 5 also has the Tamil movie Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru and the comedy ABCD: American-Born Confused Desi (Malayalam).

Movie Review: Fukrey (2013)

fukrey0.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy or rent the movie at iTunes
Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

There’s a fundamental problem at the root of Fukrey. The story is about a couple of guys: one who has prophetic dreams, and another who interprets those dreams to pick the day’s winning lottery numbers. The guys run into trouble when they borrow money from a mobster and can’t pay it back.

Here’s the problem: with this infallible gambling system, why do they need to borrow money? Why aren’t they already rich?!

That the writers missed such an obvious problem is indicative of just how shoddily organized Fukrey is. As a result, the movie is a boring waste of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Nothing occurs in a succinct or timely fashion in Fukrey. The prophetic dreams aren’t even mentioned until thirty minutes into the movie, and they don’t become relevant to the plot until the fifty-minute mark. The guys don’t get into trouble with the gangster until 75 minutes have passed, so nothing of consequence happens until the movie is half over.

All the time up to that point is spent establishing the characters as total morons. The dreamer, Choocha (Varun Sharma), and the interpreter, Hunny (Pulkit Samrat), are horny high schoolers eager to get into college so that they can score with chicks, or so they say. They grab each other and make kissy faces while they talk of future romantic conquests. They ogle every woman they see, so much so that it seems like overcompensation, especially in Choocha’s case. He seems to be quite in love with Hunny.

Meanwhile, Hunny is completely obnoxious in his pursuit of Priya (Priya Anand). He pops his collar and lies about his experience with French kissing (unless he’s been practicing on Choocha). Hunny lingers outside Priya’s house, posing with his best Derek Zoolander “Blue Steel” expression. He does everything that would turn a real-life woman off, but Priya falls for him because Hunny is the hero, and movie heroes always get the girl.

For some reason, writer Vipul Vig and director Mrigdeep Singh Lamba decided to make this about a quartet of guys, rather than keeping the story focused on Choocha and Hunny, the only two characters germane to the plot. Lali (Manjot Singh) would like to get into college to spy on his cheating girlfriend, and Zafar (Ali Fazal) hangs around campus playing guitar. Lali’s only contribution to the plot is that he puts his family’s restaurant up as collateral in the gambling scheme. Zafar is a superfluous mope.

Richa Chadda plays the mobster, Bholi. Her gang consists of a bunch of musclebound black men who operate a diversified crime  portfolio of drug peddling, extortion, prostitution, and even a telemarketing scam. The race of Bholi’s bodyguards is only significant because, at one point, Choocha refers to her gang as “the Chicago Bulls.” Shortly thereafter, Hunny wears a polo shirt sporting a Confederate flag patch. Not content to just be boring, Fukrey has to be racist, too.

The movie might make a little sense if Bholi had heard about Choocha’s prophetic dreams and decided to exploit his abilities for her own gain. But why do Choocha and Hunny need to go to her at all? The first time they won the lottery, why didn’t they save a little of their winnings and do the same thing the next day? That’s how gambling works: you win a little bit, and you keep playing hoping to win even more.

Since Hunny and Choocha know their system works, why haven’t they been exploiting this system for years, amassing a huge fortune? Just how dumb do you have to be to screw this up?

It’s not possible to care about characters this stupid. I hoped that Bholi would get sick of these morons and kill them for kicks. She doesn’t, so there’s really no good reason to see Fukrey.

Links

Opening June 14: Fukrey

The comedy Fukrey opens in Chicago area theaters on June 14, 2013. While Excel Entertainment has a good track record, Fukrey worries me because I can’t tell what the story is. Here’s Excel’s official description (from IMDb):

“College. Three of the most important years of your life. Three years of studies (at times) and sheer indulgence. Indulgence in all the little pleasures that a carefree life has to offer. But it isn’t always about ragging, fuchacha parties, college fests, races, and churning out ways to whack some extra pocket money from your parents. It’s sometimes hard, ugly, and complicated. More so, when you really need to get admission in the coolest college in town and you know you don’t deserve it. And to top that, you get yourself involved in the most bizarre stations that could crack you into pieces before you could crack it.”

Huh? The trailer is only marginally more helpful:

Fukrey opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 carries over for a second week at the South Barrington 30. With U.S. earnings of $2,855,361 in two weeks, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani continues its impressive run for a third week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Something Something (Telugu) and its Tamil version, Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru, Neram (Malayalam), and Thillu Mullu 2 (Tamil).

Bonus streaming video news: Ajay Devgn’s offensive comedy remake Himmatwala is now available on Netflix. The movie treats the physical and sexual abuse of women as a joke, so I advise against watching it.