I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with today’s debut of the lavish Hindi period drama Jubilee. The first four episodes released today, with four more episodes to follow on April 14 (the afternoon of April 13 in the United States).
Amazon recently revealed its lineup of global premieres for the rest of 2020, and it features three notable Hindi titles. Director Hansal Mehta’s Chhalaang stars Rajkummar Rao and debuts on November 13; Bhumi Pednekar’s thriller Durgavati launches on December 11; and Varun Dhawan’s reboot of Coolie No. 1 premieres on Christmas. Here’s Amazon’s announced lineup of Indian titles for the next three months:
Halal Love Story (2020/Malayalam) — coming October 15 [trailer]
Putham Pudhu Kaalai (2020/Tamil) — coming October 16 [trailer]
I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of recent additions. Since the massive catalog purge at the end of last month, Prime has added more than 60 titles, including the new original series Vella Raja, available in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu in both standard and Ultra-HD. Jimmy Shergill’s 2018 theatrical release Phamous is among the recently added Bollywood movies, which also include a bunch of older titles. Here are some that I’ve reviewed:
For the full list of recent additions to the catalog, head to my Prime page and check out the “Newly Added” section at the top. (All of the Amazon links include my affiliate tag, meaning I get a portion of the proceeds from any items purchased through those links.)
I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with more than twenty additions to the catalog, a mix of previously available titles and stuff brand new to the service. I’ve reviewed many of the films, including (click on the star-rating for my review):
I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Hulu with one new addition to the catalog. 2015’s Hunterrr is now available for streaming, without a subscription. While not a perfect film, Hunterrr does have interesting performances by Radhika Apte and Gulshan Devaiah, two actors I’d love to see more of in the future.
The Chicago South Asian Film Festival kicks off its sixth annual festival on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. This year includes new competitive categories for features and short films, in addition to a slate of other features and shorts with a connection to South Asian culture.
I’ve reviewed several of the movies showcased at this year’s festival, including:
Patang — The festival begins with a special showing of Patang in memory of its director, Chicagoan Prashant Bhargava.
Dhanak — This adorable picture starts the day on Saturday, October 3, with a showing at 9 a.m.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge — In honor of its twentieth anniversary, the Bollywood classic gets a special showing on Saturday, October 3, at 5:45 p.m.
Hunterrr — One of the festival’s competitive features, this romantic-comedy-drama runs Saturday, October 3, at 9 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with director Harshavardan Kulkarni.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha — This delightful romantic-comedy didn’t release in the US theaters earlier this year when it released in India, so this is a great chance for Chicagoans to finally see it on the big screen. It runs in the non-competitive category on Saturday, October 3, at 9:30 p.m.
G – A Wanton Heart — Director Rahul Dahiya’s social drama makes its world premiere at the festival on Sunday, October 4, at 2 p.m.
If you can’t attend the festival in person, you can still catch several of these great films at home on the following platforms:
Compelling performances are the saving grace of Hunterrr, an otherwise unsatisfying tale of a playboy who won’t grow up.
Hunterrr isn’t as colorfully sexy as its poster suggests. Gulshan Devaiah plays Mandar, a thirty-something man on the good-looking side of average with all the style acumen of stereotypical IT guy. He’s a lech who sizes up every woman he sees, planning his next conquest.
Since he’s no supermodel himself, Mandar has a method for improving his odds: don’t pursue the most attractive woman in a group; go for second best. Second best is still good, but her self-esteem is likely lower than that of her lovelier counterpart, making her more susceptible to flattery.
Only when Mandar gets called “uncle” while hitting on a woman at a bar does he realize he’s getting too old to play Casanova. He reasons that an arranged marriage guarantees him a permanent sex partner, but he finds his promiscuous habits hard to break even after he meets his betrothed: fun, beautiful Tripti (Radhika Apte).
Hunterrr is told in non-linear fashion, flashing back to Mandar’s early days as a pervert. Scenes of young Mandar with his cousins — handsome Kshitij (Vaibbhav Tatwawdi) and chubby Yusuf (Sagar Deshmukh) — are primarily excuses for scatological jokes. Writer-director Harshavardhan Kulkarni punctuates the comic sex romp with awkwardly serious moments, making it hard to feel comfortable with the film’s tone.
This is a tough movie to enjoy largely because Mandar is so awful. He never faces any serious consequences for his behavior, and he assumes no responsibility for the consequences faced by the women he beds. When Yusuf points out that a housewife Mandar’s been shtupping is on her way to divorce court after her husband discovered the affair, Mandar just shrugs and leaves town.
Credit to Devaiah for playing such a believable sociopath. He makes Mandar seem so ordinary, non-threatening even, until we realize how little Mandar cares about other people. The film even ends with Mandar cheerfully explaining to Yusuf that he’ll get away with his latest transgression because most women are too embarrassed to admit to any kind of sexual contact, consensual or not.
Tripti is as charming as Mandar is loathsome. She’s frank about her own romantic history, with a slightly bawdy sense of humor. Like Devaiah, Apte’s performance is grounded and convincing. She’s the real star of the film.
Kulkarni is great at writing complex female characters, whether it’s Tripti in Hunterrr or Meeta in Hasee Toh Phasee. Here’s hoping his future films focus more on his sophisticated heroines than on the dopey guys he saddles them with.