Tag Archives: Ittefaq

Streaming Video News: April 6, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime because Tiger Zinda Hai is now available for streaming. Katrina Kaif has some stellar action scenes in this sequel from late last year.

While I’ve been on hiatus, Amazon also added Shah Rukh Khan’s Deewana to the Prime catalog. Netflix made a bunch of new additions as well, including the entertaining 2017 remake Ittefaq and the superhit Om Shanti Om. Check the “Newly Added” section at the top of my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix to see what other titles have joined the streaming service within the last month.

Have a great weekend!

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Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

Looking back at all of the 2017 releases that I reviewed, there were more movies that I liked than those I didn’t. Here are my ten favorites from a sizable group of contenders.

I love a well-made action movie, and 2017 had two that stood out. Commando 2 took full advantage of Vidyut Jammwal’s impressive physical skills in a solid followup to 2013’s terrific Commando: A One Man Army. The slick action comedy A Gentleman had cool stunts, abundant laughs, and the perfect leading duo for such a film: Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez.

Malhotra made another appearance in the Top Ten with his murder mystery remake Ittefaq, featuring a great performance by Akshaye Khanna as a detective. The other thriller on the list, Trapped, found Rajkummar Rao carrying the weight of an entire movie by himself as his character sought to escape a locked apartment.

Secret Superstar was a touching family drama with surprising emotional depth, especially since its marketing focused heavily on Aamir Khan’s wacky (and very funny) cameo performance. Though Hindi Medium was more deliberately comedic, it likewise packed an unexpected punch, effectively illustrating the negative effects of income inequality on quality public education.

Three wonderful romantic comedies made my Top Ten list. Ayushmann Khurrana lamented the one who (he thinks) got away in the delightful Meri Pyaari Bindu, and he starred in the clever update of Cyrano de BergeracBareilly Ki Barfi — opposite Rajkummar Rao (again) and Kriti Sanon, in her best performance to date. Anushka Sharma showcased her skills as both a producer and an actress in the beautiful tearjerker Phillauri.

While I normally restrict my yearly Top Ten list to just Bollywood movies, I have to make an exception for the multi-lingual film that raised the bar for all Indian cinema on the international stage. My favorite movie of 2017 was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Everything about Baahubali 2 was epic: battles, choreography, story, sets, costumes, performances. It’s the kind of movie that reminded me why I enjoy movies in the first place. Writer-director S.S. Rajamouli deserves all the accolades he received for making a truly magnificent film.

Check my Netflix and Amazon Prime pages to see which of these movies are available for streaming in the United States.

Kathy’s Best Bollywood Movies of 2017

  1. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  2. Phillauri — Buy at Amazon
  3. Bareilly Ki Barfi — Buy at Amazon
  4. Hindi Medium — Buy at Amazon
  5. Secret Superstar
  6. A Gentleman — Buy at Amazon
  7. Meri Pyaari Bindu — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Trapped
  9. Ittefaq — Buy/rent at iTunes
  10. Commando 2 — Buy at Amazon

Previous Best Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: November 24-26, 2017

With no new Bollywood films for competition, Tumhari Sulu held up great in its second weekend in North American theaters. From November 24-26, 2017, the Vidya Balan film earned $96,544 from 46 theaters ($2,099 average). Its 55% holdover from Weekend 1 to Weekend 2 is fifth best for the year. Most Americans had Thursday off for Thanksgiving — with many off work on Wednesday as well — helping to boost Tumhari Sulu‘s take to $396,900 after ten days of release. Not bad for a film that opened in fewer than sixty theaters.

The other notable performance of the weekend came from Golmaal Again, now in its sixth weekend of release. It earned $6,912 from five theaters, but its per-theater average of $1,382 doesn’t tell the whole story. Golmaal Again earned $3,820 from one theater in Canada — more than the $3,092 combined it earned from four US theaters, which averaged earnings of $773 per theater. The comedy’s total stands at $2,354,534.

Other Hindi movies still in North American theaters:

  • Ittefaq: Week 4; $15,901 from eleven theaters; $1,446 average; $719,564 total
  • Secret Superstar: Week 6; $6,963 from nine theaters; $774 average; $2,143,554 total
  • Qarib Qarib Singlle: Week 3; $5,205 from five theaters; $1,041 average; $231,628 total

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: November 17-19, 2017

Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu had a nice opening weekend in North America. From November 17-19, 2017, the comedy-drama earned $176,146 from 59 theaters ($2,986 average; adjusted average of $3,523 from 50 theaters*).

It will be fascinating to see if the postponement of the release of Padmavati affects Tumhari Sulu and the handful of other Hindi films in North American theaters. Kapil Sharma’s November 24 release Firangi was the only movie willing to open anywhere near Padmavati‘s planned December 1 debut, and the next film scheduled after that is Fukrey Returns on December 15. Both Firangi and Fukrey Returns will likely open in fewer than 100 theaters here, so what are cinemas going to do with the space freed up by Padmavati‘s absence? Will it mean longer theatrical runs for Bollywood movies that are currently performing well, like Tumhari Sulu and Ittefaq, or will cinemas just allot the extra space to Hollywood fare? We’ll see.

Speaking of Ittefaq, the murder mystery had another good weekend, earning $48,986 from 35 theaters ($1,400 average). Its total after three weekends of release is $673,662, ranking it in 17th place for the year so far among Hindi films in North America.

Secret Superstar keeps chugging along as well, earning $34,242 from 28 theaters ($1,223 average). Its total stands at $2,115,505. Qarib Qarib Singlle was close behind with $34,065 from 31 theaters ($1,099 average), bringing its total after two weekends to $212,901. Finally, there’s Golmaal Again, which finished its fifth weekend with $16,725 from 17 theaters ($984 average) for total North American earnings of $2,336,042.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening November 17: Tumhari Sulu

Vidya Balan plays a housewife-turned-radio-host in the comedy Tumhari Sulu, hitting Chicago area theaters November 17, 2017.

Tumhari Sulu opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Ittefaq carries over for a third week at the Cantera 17, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, and South Barrington 24, which also holds over Qarib Qarib Singlle. Secret Superstar gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 24, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and MovieMax, which gives a fifth week to Golmaal Again as well.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: November 10-12, 2017

Qarib Qarib Singlle had a good opening weekend for a movie in somewhat limited release, but it wasn’t able to fend off a strong second weekend by Ittefaq. From November 10-12, 2017, Qarib Qarib Singlle earned $126,268 from 61 North American theaters ($2,070 average; adjusted average of $2,428 from 52 theaters*). Ittefaq bested that total with $152,956 from 66 theaters ($2,318 average; adjusted average of $3,122 from 49 theaters), bringing its total earnings after ten days to $563,374. Ittefaq‘s Weekend-1-to-Weekend-2 retention rate of 53% is fifth best for the year.

Secret Superstar finished third among Hindi films in North America for the weekend, earning $105,179 from 73 theaters ($1,441 average), enough to nudge its overall total across the $2 million mark to $2,051,162. Golmaal Again was next, with $66,612 from 58 theaters ($1,148 average). Golmaal Again has a comfortable lock on third place for the year so far — trailed by Secret Superstar in fourth — with total earnings of $2,292,508.

One theater in the United States carried Chefnow available on Heera! — earning $207 and bringing the movie’s North American total to $94,374.

*Bollywood Hungama frequently counts Canadian theaters twice when they report figures for a film’s first few weeks of release. When possible, I verify theater counts at Box Office Mojo, but I use Bollywood Hungama as my primary source because they provide a comprehensive and consistent — if flawed — data set.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Opening November 10: Qarib Qarib Singlle

One new Hindi film opens in the Chicago area on November 10, 2017, and no, I didn’t make a typo in the title. Irrfan Khan and Parvathy explore their past loves in Qarib Qarib Singlle (“Almost Single“).

Qarib Qarib Singlle opens Friday at the AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 5 min.

Secret Superstar gets a fourth week at all of the above theaters, plus the AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Ittefaq and Golmaal Again carry over at the South Barrington 24 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Bollywood Box Office: November 3-5, 2017

Ittefaq faced stiff competition from Secret Superstar and Golmaal Again but still came out on top in North America during the weekend of November 3-5, 2017. According to Bollywood Hungama, the murder mystery earned $286,401 from 84 theaters ($3,410 average). As usual, that theater number counts Canadian theaters twice, putting the actual theater count at 67, thus making the average $4,275 (thanks to Gitesh Pandya from Box Office Guru for confirming the theater count). Box Office Mojo reports a slightly higher total of $298,032. It’s the 17th best opening weekend performance of the year, even though Ittefaq only ranks 26th in terms of opening weekend theater counts (using Bollywood Hungama’s figures).

Secret Superstar finished in second place among Hindi films in North America over the weekend, earning $214,141 from 112 theaters ($1,912 average). That’s the second-best third-weekend total for the year, behind only Baahubali 2. Secret Superstar‘s total earnings of $1,870,880 rank it in seventh place for the year, but by the time of this post’s publication, Secret Superstar will have already pushed past Toilet: Ek Prem Katha into sixth place. It’d be fun to see this earn enough to become the sixth Hindi/multi-lingual Indian film of 2017 to earn more than $2 million in North America.

Speaking of $2 million movies, Golmaal Again just became one. Weekend earnings of $178,191 from 130 theaters ($1,371 average) helped Golmaal Again lock up third place for the year with a total of $2,162,962.

The only other Hindi film showing in the United States over the weekend was Ribbon, which debuted with the worst opening-weekend average of the year so far, worse even than Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai‘s $156 per-theater average. According to Sumit Chadha, Ribbon earned $1,585 from 12 theaters for an average of $132 per theater. Yikes. Just…yikes. Update: Ribbon‘s total was revised upward to $1,639, raising its average to $137.

Sources: Box Office Mojo, Gitesh Pandya, Sumit Chadha, and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: Ittefaq (2017)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy/rent the movie at Amazon or iTunes

A detective distills the truth from two conflicting narratives in Ittefaq (“Coincidence“), a fun, stylish thriller with a killer soundtrack.

The detective, Dev (Akshaye Khanna), is summoned from his sleep to an apartment belonging to a lawyer, Shekhar, who lies dead on the floor. Shekhar’s wife, Maya (Sonakshi Sinha), flagged down a police car, claiming a stranger, Vikram (Sidharth Malhotra), killed her husband. It so happens that they police are looking for Vikram as a suspect in the death of his own wife, Katherine (Kimberly Louisa McBeath).

Melancholy Vikram offers a different version of events, denying responsibility for either death. He further implicates Maya for acting suspicious when he knocked on her door asking for help following a car accident. Dev explains to one of his deputies, “I just feel like there are three sides to this story: Vikram’s, Maya’s, and the truth.”

Because Vikram is a famous author and a British resident, Dev’s superior gives him three days to charge the man or let him go. Dev’s digging turns up further secrets that Maya and Vikram would rather stay hidden, but are they really connected to the case or are they distractions? How much of this case really is a matter of coincidence?

Writer-director Abhay Chopra’s story keeps a steady tempo, wasting little time in a movie that clocks in well under two hours long. Much of the film takes place at night or in dingy jail cells, and even daytime scenes are dimmed by the monsoon. Cinematographer Michal Luka uses the darkness to great effect.

The real star of the Ittefaq is the superb score by American composer BT, hooking the audience from the movie’s opening car chase sequence. The music pulses as Maya tells her version of events, the soundtrack keeping viewers as off-balance as Maya feels in the presence of a dangerous stranger.

Both Malhotra and Sinha have good poker faces as they change their characters to the story’s demands, from grieving spouses when stating their own cases to the police to villains in each other’s flashbacks.

Ittefaq doesn’t work unless Khanna’s performance is spot on, and thankfully it is. He sidesteps common movie-detective traps like excessive yelling or quirkiness in a way that avoids drawing too much attention to Dev, despite him being the character with the most screentime. It would be fun to see Dev helm a series of murder mysteries, perhaps with even more input from his astute wife (played by Mandira Bedi).

It’s nice to see a Hindi movie where the cops aren’t depicted as heartless monsters or incompetent fools, for a change. Any mistakes the officers under Dev make are honest ones. Ittefaq is pretty heavy on police procedural elements, for fans of that subgenre. For everyone else, it’s just a well-made movie that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Links

Opening November 3, 2017: Ittefaq and Ribbon

Two smaller releases throw their hats into the ring following two weeks of Diwali blockbuster dominance. The multiple-perspective murder mystery Ittefaq — starring Sonakshi Sinha, Sidharth Malhotra, and Akshaye Khanna — opens in 67 North American theaters on November 3, 2017, including three theaters in the Chicago area.

Ittefaq opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a tantalizingly brief runtime of 1 hr. 40 min.

Also new at MovieMax this Friday is the romantic drama Ribbon, starring Kalki Koechlin and Sumeet Vyas. It has a similarly short runtime of 1 hr. 46 min.

Secret Superstar gets a third week at all three of the above theaters, plus the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, AMC Showplace Niles 12 in Niles, AMC Showplace Naperville 16 in Naperville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Golmaal Again also holds over for a third week at the River East 21, MovieMax, South Barrington 24, Cantera 17, and Woodridge 18.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend: