Tag Archives: Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela

Bollywood Box Office: May 2-4

With no new Hindi movies opening in the U.S. or Canada on Friday, May 2, 2014, old favorites continued to pull in crowds at the North American box office. The Lunchbox — now in its tenth week — earned $255,736 from 141 screens ($1,814 average), bringing its total earnings to $2,968,497 so far.

2 States also held up well in its third week. It earned $167,377 from ninety-one screens ($1,839 average) to bring its total North American earnings to $1,978,594.

With The Lunchbox set to pass $3 million in North American earnings this week and 2 States about to the clear the $2 million mark, it’s worth noting the significance of these achievements. Both movies are romantic dramas, as opposed to action-packed spectacles. Neither film features A-list superstars (industry and audience respect for Irrfan Khan notwithstanding).

A look at the last five years of box office receipts reveals similarities among the sixteen Hindi films that managed to earn more than $2 million in North America during that period (five in 2013, five in 2012, two in 2011, one in 2010, and two in 2009). Four films are action sequels: Dhoom 3, Krrish 3, Dabangg 2, and Don 2. A small list of actors show up in multiple movies on the list:

[Somebody in Bollywood needs to cash in by bringing back Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan for Ra.Two, featuring Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif as the villains.]

The Lunchbox continues to earn big, thanks to its partnership with a Hollywood distributor — Sony Pictures Classics — which has dramatically expanded its potential audience compared to a typical Hindi film. Though movie adaptations of popular books are far rarer in India than in Hollywood, the success of 2 States should start to change that.

The only other Hindi movie showing in the U.S. the weekend of May 2-4 was Queen. Now in its ninth week, it earned $190 from one theater, bringing its total earnings to $1,417,405.

Source: Bollywood Hungama (figures supplied by Rentrak)

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Streaming Video News: March 19, 2014

Netflix added a bunch of Hindi films to their streaming catalog today, according to Instant Watcher. Most of the titles are old favorites that were temporarily dropped from the service. I’ve reviewed many of the movies, so here’s my ranking of the films just added to Netflix:

  1. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  2. Chak De! India
  3. Dostana
  4. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
  5. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
  6. Band Baaja Baaraat
  7. Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

Three other movies were also added today: Veer-Zaara, Dhoom, and Mohabbatein. Netflix’s entire Bollywood catalog can be found here.

In other streaming video news, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela was recently added to Eros Now.

In Theaters: December 13, 2013

Faced with last week’s release of R… Rajkumar and next Friday’s release of Dhoom 3, distributors have elected not to open any new Hindi movies in the Chicago area on Friday, December 13, 2013. This may be a good thing, since my friend Keyur Seta at The Common Man Speaks writes to me that the new movie Lucky Kabootar is, “Easily one of the worst films I have ever seen.” Still, I’m a little bummed I won’t get to see Jackpot, the newest movie from Kaizad Gustad, mastermind behind the unintentionally hilarious Boom.

The only Bollywood films carrying over in theaters this weekend are R… Rajkumar — at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville — and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, at the South Barrington 30. Ram-Leela‘s total U.S. earnings in its first four weeks stand at $2,674,134.

Eros International has to be disappointed by R… Rajkumar‘s opening weekend U.S. box office performance. It collected $124,669 from 91 screens. That’s worse than Singh Saab the Great‘s opening weekend totals of $138,127 just three weeks earlier, and that film only opened on 37 fewer screens. R… Rajkumar‘s opening weekend totals were less than half of what Shahid Kapoor’s Phata Poster Nikla Hero opened to — $260,188 from 94 screens — back in September.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include the Tamil films Ivan Veramathiri and Kalyana Samayal Saadham, Philips and the Monkey Pen (Malayalam), and the Telugu flicks Second Hand and Venkatadri Express.

Opening December 6: R… Rajkumar

The action flick R… Rajkumar hits Chicago area theaters on December 6, 2013. Given that it’s directed by Prabhu Deva, if it has even a hint of plot continuity, I’m going to be impressed.

R… Rajkumar opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, 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. 26 min.

Bullett Raja carries over for a second weekend at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, despite a weak opening weekend at the U.S. box office. Its $175,727 only beat Ram-Leela by $5,000, and Ram-Leela‘s been out for three weeks.

Since Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is still performing well — with total U.S. earnings standing at $2,633,885 — it gets a fourth week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.

With total U.S. earnings of $325,885 so far, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein gets a third week at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian films showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Kalyana Samayal Saadham (Tamil), Prema Ishq Kaadhal (Telugu), Thagaraaru (Tamil), and Venkatadri Express (Telugu).

Opening November 28: Bullett Raja

Fans in the U.S. are getting a gift from Bollywood on Thanksgiving. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Bullett Raja opens on Thursday, November 28, 2013, in America, a day before it opens in India. I’m pretty psyched for this black comedy, which stars Saif Ali Khan.

Bullett Raja opens on Thursday in four Chicago area theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, 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. 16 min.

Thursday also marks the last day to catch Singh Saab the Great in Chicago area theaters. It fails to garner a second week after earning just $138,127 in the U.S. in its opening weekend.

Last weekend’s other new release, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

The Hindi film with the largest presence in Chicago area theaters remains Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, which gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, plus the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. So far, it’s earned $2,269,358 in the U.S.

If you still haven’t caught Krrish 3, the South Barrington 30 carries it over for a fifth week with one show daily. Its U.S. earnings stand at $2,179,948.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Geethaanjali (Malayalam), Naveena Saraswathi Sabatham (Tamil), and Venkatadri Express (Telugu).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Opening November 22: Gori Tere Pyaar Mein and Singh Saab the Great

What a busy time of year for Bollywood movies! Two new Hindi films open in Chicago area theaters on November 22, 2013, fresh on the heels of two blockbuster releases. Gori Tere Pyaar Mein — a romantic comedy starring Kareena Kapoor Khan and Imran Khan — gets the wider release of the two new flicks.

Gori Tere Pyaar Mein opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, 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. 30 min.

This weekend’s other new release is the action flick Singh Saab the Great, starring Sunny Deol.

Singh Saab the Great opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

After earning $1,449,174 in its first weekend in U.S. theaters, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela carries over at the Gardens 1-6, Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, as well as the AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

All this Bollywood competition — plus competition from Hollywood fare like the sequel to The Hunger Games releasing this Friday — has dramatically shortened Krrish 3‘s lifespan in U.S. theaters. The only local theater giving it a fourth week is the South Barrington 30. The movie’s three-week U.S. box office total is $2,123,333.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Irandam Ulagam (Tamil) and Thira (Malayalam) at the Golf Glen 5.

Movie Review: Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)

Goliyon_Ki_Rasleela_Ram-Leela_poster3.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Writer-director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (henceforth referred to by the shorter, original title used by most American theaters: Ram-Leela) is a fresh update on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story may be familiar, but Bhansali’s film offers plenty of surprises.

In this rendition, Romeo and Juliet are rechristened Ram Rajadi (Ranveer Singh) and Leela Sanera (Deepika Padukone). The youngest children in their respective warring clans, they want nothing to do with the centuries-long family feud. Ram serves as village peacemaker, defusing situations by distributing pornographic DVDs.

It’s love at first sight when Ram and Leela meet at a party. They are reckless in their courtship, until deaths in both families force them to realize that they will find no peace in town. Even their elopement is foiled by friends intent on perpetuating the feud.

In Bhansali’s version of Romeo and Juliet, the two leads are much older than the original characters, meaning they have more prominent positions in their family. Both Ram and Leela eventually assume leadership roles in their clans, proving the naiveté of their assumption that they could run off and leave their families behind. It makes for an interesting examination of the public aspect of romantic relationships.

Singh and Padukone are an extremely sexy pair. Had Ram-Leela been rated by the MPAA, it would’ve been rated PG-13 or R. Keep that in mind if you’re considering bringing your kids to the theater. Adults in the audience will appreciate the chemistry between the lead couple.

Singh’s Ram is initially more fun than a traditional Romeo, but he loses his spirit as the obstacles to his romance with Leela mount. By the end of the film, he’s mostly glum and passive.

Padukone is sensational as Leela, and the character is especially well-written. Leela evolves from a bratty princess into a force within her family. She’s sexually aggressive, initiating the couple’s first kiss and telling Ram, “I want you.”

In another refreshing update, the female characters are the power players in Ram-Leela. Both Leela’s and Ram’s sisters-in-law (played by Richa Chadda and Barkha Bisht, respectively) influence the destiny of the central romance and the town as a whole. The Sanera clan is led by Leela’s mother, Dhankor (Supriya Patak Kapur), who is ruthless and terrifying.

Like all of Bhansali’s films, Ram-Leela is great looking. Major plot points occur against the backdrops of colorful festivals. The garden at the Sanera palace — the setting for the famous balcony scene — is stunning.

Bhansali also composed the music for the film, and as a result, Ram-Leela features a lot of well-integrated dance numbers. The music and dancing (especially Padukone’s) is very good, and only the movie’s lone item number — starring Priyanka Chopra — feels out-of-place.

I appreciate Bhansali’s decision to re-imagine Romeo and Juliet as an all-out Bollywood spectacle, with sequences ranging from frequent dance breaks to a slow-mo fight scene in which body-slammed victims send up volcanic plumes of dust.

Ram-Leela is great for newcomers to Hindi films. It offers the full Bollywood experience, while presenting a familiar story. The crew responsible for the English subtitles made a smart decision to subtitle the first verse and chorus of each song, but not subsequent verses. It allows those who don’t understand Hindi to get the gist of the song’s subject matter, but then be able to focus on the dancing. This should become an industry standard.

Links

  • Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela at Wikipedia
  • Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela at IMDb