I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix because a ton of great Hindi films are set to expire from the service on August 1, as a result of the end of two-year contract with UTV Motion Pictures. Netflix could renew the contract in the near future, or the package of films could migrate to another streaming service. UTV is owned at least in part by Disney, so Hotstar is a likely destination. We’ll have to wait and see where they end up. Until then, here are the titles to catch on Netflix while you can:
I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with twenty-two new additions to the catalog! About half of these titles were on Netflix years ago, but the rest — films like Highway, Mohenjo Daro, and PK — are available on the service for the first time. I’m excited that three more of director Vishal Bhardwaj’s movies have joined the catalog. Here are all the titles added today:
Also opening on Friday is the supernatural thriller Hotel Hollywood, playing at the Golf Glen 5.
Sanjay Dutt starrer Lamhaa carries over for a second week at the Golf Glen 5. The romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys, which has earned a total of $826,561 in U.S. theaters so far, gets fourth week at the South Barrington 30.
Last weekend, the satire Tere Bin Laden opened everywhere in the world except the United States. According to NDTV Movies, the filmmakers wanted to first gauge audience reactions to the movie in other countries, with hopes of a U.S. release several months later.
One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area the weekend beginning July 16, 2010. Lamhaa stars Sanjay Dutt as a soldier in Kashmir and costars Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher. Lamhaa opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.
Two new Hindi movies debut in the Chicago area this weekend, though in a limited number of theaters. Red Alert: The War Within stars Sunil Shetty as a farmer driven by poverty to work for a militant communist organization. It opens at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles on Friday, July 7.
The second new release is Milenge Milenge, a romantic comedy starring Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor that’s been in production since 2004. It opens at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. Milenge Milenge has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.
Other Indian movies showing near Chicago include the Rain Man remake Alexander The Great (Malayalam) and Bheemili Kabaddi Jatu (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5 and Raavanan (Tamil) and Vedam (Telugu) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.
Any spoof runs the risk of becoming that which is being parodied. At times, I Hate Luv Storys stops being a parody of clichéd romantic comedies and becomes one itself.
Jay (Imran Khan) is a roguishly charming assistant director who abhors the idea of marriage. Simran (Sonam Kapoor) is an adorable art director and hopeless romantic. They form an instant enmity after he hits on her in a movie theater, only to learn the next day that she’s his new boss.
The characters readily acknowledge the clichéd nature of their circumstances with voiceovers directed at the audience. Simran has a boyfriend named Raj, which is the Bollywood equivalent a girl named Juliet having a boyfriend named Romeo (Simran and Raj are the romantic leads in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge).
Given that this is a parody of Bollywood romances, the relationship between Jay and Simran is destined to grow from loathing to friendship to love, with numerous obstacles thrown in their way until the eventual happy ending. There are a number of opportunities for the movie to deviate from the formula in a satisfying way, but it never does.
I Hate Luv Storys suffers a bit for sticking so closely to the formula. Jay is such a lazy cad that he’s almost unlikable. His only job on the movie set where he and Simran work seems to be making it impossible for her to do her job.
With no attractive qualities other than an appealing smirk, it’s hard to imagine career-minded Simran falling for him unless she was scripted to. And let’s not forget about her serious boyfriend.
Poor Raj (Sammir Dattani) gets treated worse than most other Nice Boyfriend Who’s Doomed to Get Dumped characters. Raj is a cute, successful banker with a slightly corny habit of wearing the same color shirt as Simran’s. He’s thoughtful and totally devoted to her.
In most movies, the doomed boyfriend has a secret girlfriend on the side or some other heretofore unknown flaw that warrants his dumping. The closest thing Raj has to a flaw is that he brings Simran white daisies every day, mistakenly thinking that white is her favorite color (it’s actually red). She doesn’t bother to correct him until she’s already decided to ditch him.
Despite the undeserved abuse Raj suffers, there are some quality moments in I Hate Luv Storys. Simran addresses her conflicted feelings with insightful self-criticism. Jay’s one-night stand, Giselle, generates laughs as she awkwardly tries to make Simran jealous.
There’s also a delightful movie within the movie, with a plot cobbled together from other Bollywood romances, right down to the music. The lead actor in that movie has some funny bits, and there are gorgeous exterior shots of New Zealand’s south island.
However, I Hate Luv Storys is just too long. I thought the movie was nearing its conclusion, only to have an “Intermission” graphic pop up onscreen. The movie doesn’t just address common romcom clichés; it repeats them at length. There are at least two musical montages of one character staring longingly at the other, plus several other montages and dance numbers.
The point of a spoof is that the audience already knows the clichés being lampooned. We only need a glimpse to get the point.
The Hindi movie I Hate Luv Storys opens in the Chicago area on Wednesday, June 30, even though the film’s website lists its release date as July 2. I’m not sure why we get it two days early in the U.S., but I’m not complaining. The romantic comedy stars Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor as an unlikely couple who find love on a movie set.