Tag Archives: Jail

Streaming Video News: December 24, 2020

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with dozens of Indian titles added in the last week, including today’s premiere of Coolie No. 1 (also in 4K UHD), the Varun Dhawan remake of the classic Govinda comedy.

I also updated my list if Bollywood movies on Netflix with the debut of the Netflix Original dark comedy AK vs AK, starring birthday boy Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap as sinister versions of themselves.

The other gigantic Netflix news is that 48 Hindi movies are scheduled to expire on December 31. Most of them are Shemaroo Entertainment titles that were added to Netflix on December 31, 2019, and almost all are also currently available on Amazon Prime. Since there are no expiration dates listed for the versions on Prime, I’m guessing that Amazon is their permanent home for the time being. I don’t expect the movies expiring from Netflix to return anytime soon. Nevertheless, I’m gonna wait until January 2 to purge my Netflix list, because it would be super annoying to remove them all and have to re-add them two days later if the contract renews. Here’s the full list of Hindi movies expiring from Netflix on December 31:

Merry Christmas, everybody! — Kathy

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Streaming Video News: April 27, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a bunch of recent additions to the catalog. The new batch includes a few Tamil and Marathi films and some Hindi-dubbed titles, but most are Hindi movies. I’ve only seen a few of them, including Aakrosh (which I found really accessible for an international audience), Kidnap (which had its moments), and Jail (which stunk). Here are the rest of the new Hindi films (for all other titles, check the “Newly Added” section at the top of my Amazon Prime page):

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix to include the surprise addition of three older Shah Rukh Khan movies: Main Hoon Na, Paheli,and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani.

Retro Review: Jail (2009)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

It’s natural to have sympathy for a person unjustly accused of a crime. Jail assumes that sympathy is all an audience requires in order to identify with the movie’s hero. That’s not the case.

Jail‘s protagonist is Parag (Neil Nitin Mukesh). Soon after celebrating a promotion with his flight attendant girlfriend, Mansi (Mugdha Godse), Parag is pulled over by the cops while driving with his roommate. The roommate pulls a gun on the cops and is shot while fleeing the scene. His backpack contains two kilos of cocaine.

The police assume that Parag is a part of the drug dealing operation and throw him in jail. A judge convicts Parag based on circumstantial evidence. When the comatose roommate dies, so do Parag’s hopes of having his name cleared.

Most people, if falsely accused of a serious crime, would protest their innocence vigorously. Not Parag. He sits at the police station stunned, occasionally stuttering about his confusion. He remains similarly silent throughout his imprisonment. Fellow inmates have one-sided conversations with him. Even a visit from his mother elicits only a mumbled, “Ma.”

Despite his silence, Parag’s fellow inmates sense that he’s a good guy who doesn’t belong in prison. How they can tell from his mute indifference, I’m not sure. Someone must have told them that they were in a movie and that he was the protagonist. Parag himself doesn’t do anything to encourage their friendship or respect.

On one of the rare occasions when Parag actually does something, there’s nothing heroic about his actions. A jerk named Joe buys his early release and brags about it on his way out of prison. Parag attacks him, not because Joe’s being cruel to the other inmates, but because Parag thinks he should be the one getting out instead of Joe.

At the end of the movie, the producers include a note about the thousands of people imprisoned without charges in Indian jails. Reflective of that stance, the prisoners in the movie are nicer than the guards, who are themselves admit to being hampered by bureaucracy. The blame for the system’s injustice is laid on zealous police investigators, lazy judges and greedy defense attorneys.

The conditions of the jail, if realistic, are disturbingly primitive. Dozens of prisoners share one large cell, sleeping on blankets on a dirt floor. There are semi-private toilets and a water trough for bathing and washing clothes. Critics who find American prisons too luxurious would be impressed. The stark setting illustrates how easily it would be to lose a share of one’s humanity in such a place.

But the movie’s success rests ultimately on Mukesh’s performance as Parag, who doesn’t grow throughout the film. It’s hard to get to know a character who’s so unresponsive. Apart from a few breakdowns, he never seems in danger of losing his humanity, in part because his fellow inmates won’t let him. Why they are so concerned with saving him, I’m not sure.

Opening November 6: Jail and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani

Two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area on Friday, November 6: one serious and one silly.

The serious movie is Jail, starring Neil Nitin Mukesh in a drama about the cruel treatment of inmates in Indian prisons. Jail is only opening at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani is the silly movie, about a boy named Prem (Ranbir Kapoor) whose efforts to please everyone go awry. It costars Katrina Kaif and has a runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani will play at the South Barrington 30, AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.

Carrying over for a second week is London Dreams, which earned $207,964 in its first week in U.S. theaters. London Dreams continues to show at the Cantera 30, South Barrington 30 and Golf Glen 5.

Last week’s other new release, Aladin, gets a second week at the South Barrington 30.

Wake Up Sid ends its five-week run in U.S. theaters this week with $717,977 in total earnings, while Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna earned $196,203 in three weeks.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Telugu films Ek Niranjan and Village Lo Vinayakudu and the Kannada movie Raaj — The Showman at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.