Tag Archives: Karle Pyaar Karle

How Do New Bollywood Heroes Fare in the US?

The upcoming release of Tiger Shroff’s A Flying Jatt got me thinking about just how hard it is to launch a career as a Bollywood hero abroad. It’s difficult enough to succeed in India, but even more so overseas, where fans aren’t bombarded with the same kind of media saturation. That’s assuming that a distributor is even willing to put your film in theaters. Although Arjun Kapoor is a star now, his first picture — Ishaqzaade — didn’t release in the United States.

A Flying Jatt is Shroff’s third release since his 2014 debut, a promising sign for his Bollywood career prospects (at least for a while). I looked at some of his contemporaries from 2010 on to see how they’ve fared since their debuts. I only considered actors who launched under similar circumstances to Shroff: first-time actors without previously established entertainment careers (regional films, singing, TV, etc.) who were the sole male lead in their film, as opposed to, say, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra who launched together in Student of the Year. Also, the hopeful hero’s film needed to be released in the United States (which excludes Kapoor and Saqib Saleem).

That leaves us with six contenders, including Shroff. Here they are, in order of their debuts:

Ranveer SinghBand_Baaja_Baaraat_poster
Debut film: Band Baaja Baaraat
Release date: December 10, 2010
US box office: $71,374
Of the 32 films that released in US theaters in 2010 for which I have data, Band Baaja Baaraat ranked 30th in total gross. That early hiccup didn’t hinder Singh’s rise to stardom. His most recent film — Bajirao Mastani — earned $6,653,317 last year.

Girish KumarRamaiyaVastavaiya
Debut: Ramaiya Vastavaiya
Release date: July 19, 2013
U.S. box office: $52,200
While $52,000 is nothing to crow about, Kumar’s followup film — Loveshhuda — made just $1,787 in the US earlier this year. Might be time to accept that this dog won’t hunt.

Shiv DarshanKarle_Pyaar_Karle_Movie_Poster
Debut: Karle Pyaar Karle
Release date: January 17, 2014
US box office: $3,110
I have an inexplicable fondness for Karle Pyaar Karle because of how hilariously horrible it is, and Shiv Darshan is especially awful in it. The only reason I don’t recommend the movie is because it’s racist near the end (also, I have no idea where to find it). You may not have a future as an actor, Shiv, but I’ll always remember you.

Tiger ShroffHeropanti_Poster
Debut: Heropanti
Release date: May 23, 2014
US box office: $63,172
While Heropanti wasn’t a hit here, Shroff’s followup — Baaghi — made $437,243 earlier this year. If A Flying Jatt can come close to that, it bodes well for Shroff’s longevity.

Armaan JainLekar_Hum_Deewana_Dil_poster
Debut: Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
Release date: July 4, 2014
US box office: $10,529
Even after rereading my review of Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, I still have no recollection of having seen it. That’s the kind of impression Armaan Jain made on me: none at all.

Sooraj PancholiHero
Debut: Hero
Release date: September 11, 2015
US box office: $83,973
Hero did comparatively well for a debut film, but Pancholi’s personal/legal problems could make studios consider him a liability, especially if he’s ever convicted of a crime related to Jiah Khan’s suicide. The jury’s still out on Pancholi, in more ways than one.

Box Office Sources: Box Office Mojo and Bollywood Hungama

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2014

While I felt that there were more good Bollywood movies than bad released in 2014, the year did produce some truly awful Hindi films. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Some primarily suffered from poor story construction. In Jai Ho, Salman Khan inexplicably goes on a violent rampage when people fail to embrace his “pay it forward” scheme, resulting in Suniel Shetty plowing through traffic in a tank. Another Khan film — Kick — makes even less sense, as Khan transforms from a dopey slacker into Robin Hood overnight, and none of the supposedly intelligent characters in the film realize it’s him. Koyelaanchal‘s disorganized plot is a problem, but not as big a problem as its multiple flashbacks from the perspective of a baby.

I often write about gender issues in my reviews, so it’s no surprise that many of the worst movies of the year portrayed women negatively. The Xpose is essentially a morality lecture for women delivered by writer-actor-composer Himesh Reshammiya. According to Super Nani, a woman’s only real asset is her beauty, even if she’s old enough to be a grandmother.

A few lousy 2014 movies actually fancy themselves as socially progressive, even though they aren’t. Kaanchi inaccurately characterizes the heroine’s personal revenge as representative of a youth uprising against systemic corruption. The hero of Heropanti denounces arranged marriage while simultaneously affirming a father’s right to choose his daughter’s husband. Daawat-e-Ishq — the most disappointing Hindi film of 2014, given the quality of its cast and crew — depicts men as the real victims of dowry tradition.

The delightfully inept Karle Pyaar Karle could have been a perfect “so bad, it’s good” movie, were it not for a racist subplot. The movie’s heroine is threatened with forced marriage to a dark-skinned African man, a character introduced solely to represent the worst fate imaginable for an Indian woman. The hero and heroine use racial slurs, and the heroine’s mother proposes suicide for herself and her daughter as a way to avoid the marriage. It’s an offensive and frustrating end to an otherwise unintentionally hilarious movie.

The absolute worst Hindi movie of 2014 combines the shortcomings of the other films on the list and multiplies them exponentially. That film is the loud and tacky Humshakals. Offensive jokes are aimed at almost every group except straight Indian men, with director Sajid Khan’s preferred target being overweight women. As one can infer from the female characters Khan wrote for the movie, his ideal woman is a brainless sex object.

Unlike Karle Pyaar Karle, there’s nothing funny about Humshakals, intentional or unintentional. It’s a cynical film, pandering to the basest prejudices of the lowest common denominator. Sajid Khan writes the mean-spirited jokes he does because he thinks he can get away with them. It’s time for not only the audience but members of the industry to tell him that we deserve better.

Worst Hindi Movies of 2014

  1. Humshakals — Buy at Amazon
  2. Karle Pyaar Karle
  3. Kick — Buy at Amazon
  4. Koyelaanchal — Buy at Amazon
  5. Heropanti — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes
  6. Jai Ho — Buy at Amazon
  7. Daawat-e-Ishq — Buy at Amazon or iTunes
  8. Super Nani — Buy/rent at iTunes
  9. The Xpose — Buy at Amazon
  10. Kaanchi: The Unbreakable — Buy/rent at Amazon or iTunes

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: May 23-25

It’s incredibly difficult to launch a new Hindi film hero’s career in North America, where superstars have even greater box office value than they do in India. It’s no surprise, then, that first weekend returns for Tiger Shroff’s big screen debut, Heropanti, seem underwhelming. From May 23-25, 2014, Heropanti took in $31,556 from 20 theaters in the U.S. and Canada, a per-screen average of $1,578.

The truth is that Heropanti‘s numbers are actually good for a movie starring a newcomer. The first factor to consider is that Heropanti faced unusually tough and unexpected competition. Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiiyaan shifted its opening date to May 23 at the last minute. Kochadaiiyaan pulled in $491,643 from 122 theaters ($4,030 average), a figure that probably should’ve been higher given the Superstar’s clout and higher 3D ticket prices.

And both Heropanti and Kochadaiiyaan were blown out of the water by the Telugu film Manam. It earned $844,271 from 108 U.S. theaters for an average of $7,817 per screen.

Despite taking a hit from a pair of high-profile South Indian films, Heropanti‘s earnings hold up very well when compared to North American opening weekend performances by film’s starring other new or marginal heroes. Here are some examples from 2013 and 2014 (ordered by release date):

  • Rajeev Khandelwal in Table No. 21: $31,658 from 23 theaters; $1,376 average
  • Jackky Bhagnani in Rangrezz: $4,318 from 11 theaters; $393 average
  • Girish Kumar in Ramaiya Vastavaiya: $52,200 from 67 theaters; $779 average
  • Manish Paul in Mickey Virus: $24,100 from 48 theaters; $502 average
  • Shiv Darshan in Karle Pyaar Karle: $3,110 from 22 theaters; $141 average
  • Ajaz Khan in Ya Rab: $1,404 from 15 theaters; $94 average
  • Harman Baweja in Dishkiyaoon: $7,341 from 11 theaters; $667 average

Even with Priyanka Chopra as a costar, Ram Charan only grossed $81,117 from 79 theaters ($1,027 average) in the opening weekend of 2013’s Zanjeer. Only Dhanush had any success of note with his Hindi-film debut Raanjhanaa ($414,211 from 102 theaters; $4,061 average), and he had the advantage of having Sonam Kapoor for a costar.

The Lunchbox and 2 States were the only other Hindi films lingering in theaters over the Memorial Day weekend. With its theater count diminished to 57, The Lunchbox earned $86,749, bringing its total North American earnings to $3,706,362.

2 States earned $2,528 from five theaters to bring its total earnings to $2,190,307.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Box Office: March 7-9

A glut of new releases led to some strange North American box office results for the weekend of March 7-9, 2014.

This past weekend saw the release of four new Hindi films — Queen, Gulaab Gang, Total Siyapaa, and Ya Rab (in its U.S. debut) — to compete against a big budget romcom (Shaadi Ki Side Effects), a hyped indie film (The Lunchbox), and a lingering critical hit (Highway). All four of the new films released in relatively few theaters, limiting the potential audience.

According to Bollywood Hungama, the weekend’s winner in terms of total gross was Shaadi Ki Side Effects in its second release week. Much of that success stems from showing in ninety theaters, whereas its closest competitor — Total Siyapaa — commanded only fifty screens. SKSE earned $165,079 ($1,834 average), bringing its total North American collections to $855,836.

In terms of per screen average, The Lunchbox won the weekend. Expanding into thirteen theaters nationally, The Lunchbox earned $114,779 for an average of $8,829 per screen. Its two-week U.S. total stands at $174,711.

Queen fared the best of the weekend’s new releases. It earned $161,998 from thirty-nine theaters. Its per screen average of $4,154 is the fourth highest for a Hindi film this year, and it bested the average of all but the three highest earners in the overall U.S. top ten (according to Box Office Mojo).

The second place finisher among the new releases earned less than half of Queen‘s total, despite debuting on more screens. Total Siyapaa earned $77,469 from fifty screens for an average of $1,549.

Despite having arguably the most local hype of any of the new flicks, Gulaab Gang earned just $60,718 from 46 screens, a per screen average of $1,320.

The big loser of the weekend was Ya Rab, which dropped into fifteen U.S. theaters with no fanfare weeks after its Indian theatrical release. It managed to underperform even Karle Pyaar Karle, taking in $1,404 total for an average of just $94. Jeepers.

In its third week in theaters, Highway earned $10,904 from seven screens. Its per screen average of $1,558 was better than those of Total Siyapaa, Gulaab Gang, and Ya Rab in their debut weekends. Highway‘s total North American earnings stand at $525,033.

Opening January 24: Jai Ho

It’s been over a year since we last saw Salman Khan on the big screen, but he returns to Chicago area cinemas on January 24, 2014, with Jai Ho. The premise sounds a lot like Pay It Forward, if Kevin Spacey had to beat the crap out of a bunch of guys.

Jai Ho 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, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 23 min.

Karle Pyaar Karle departs area theaters following one of the worst opening weekend performances I can remember. According to Bollywood Hungama, the movie earned $2,466 from twenty screens in the U.S., for an average of just $123 per screen. Holy cow, that’s bad. Theaters lost money on this dog.

Dedh Ishqiya gets a third week at the South Barrington 30, with earnings of $251,730 in the U.S. so far. The theater also carries over Dhoom 3 for a sixth weekend.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include 1: Nenokkadine (Telugu) at the Cinemark Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge, and the Golf Glen 5, which will also carry Drishyam (Malayalam), Oru Indian Pranayakatha (Malayalam), and Uyyala Jampala (Telugu).

Movie Review: Karle Pyaar Karle (2014)

Karle_Pyaar_Karle_Movie_PosterZero Stars (out of 4)

Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

At times, Karle Pyaar Karle (“Fall in Love,” according to the translation of the title song’s lyrics) veers into So Bad, It’s Good territory. I almost want to recommend it, but the movie is so inept and offensive that I can’t.

Karle Pyaar Karle is primarily a vehicle for producer Suneel Darshan to launch the acting career of his son, Shiv. Therein lies the problem. Shiv Darshan doesn’t have the acting chops to be a leading man. A gym membership does not a hero make.

Darshan the younger plays Kabir, the human equivalent of Poochie the Dog from The Simpsons: full of attitude and brashness, so desperate to come off as cool that he winds up a total dud instead.

Kabir has the emotional IQ of a potato, and he jokes inappropriately throughout the whole film. Director Rajesh Pandey is so insecure in Darshan’s ability to be funny that he gives Kabir a pair of toadies who laugh at everything he says. An example of Kabir’s comic genius: “Don’t pass gas, and stop acting like such an ass.”

Kabir’s only truly funny moments are when Darshan tries to emote.

College-guy Kabir returns to his hometown after a fifteen year absence, following that one awkward time that he stabbed his best friend’s step-dad. Kabir’s frequent run-ins with the law have kept the family from settling down, yet Kabir has the nerve to be upset when his mom asks him to stay out of trouble. He later blames his wild ways on his mother’s inability to control him. What a guy.

Kabir sees his now-grown-up-and-hot friend — the one with the skewered step-dad — Preet (Hasleen Kaur), but she doesn’t recognize him. Following some ridiculous banter that results in him getting a lap dance at a blood drive, Kabir corners Preet in the empty school library. He pins her hands behind her back, bends her over a table, and essentially threatens to rape her until she begs for her freedom.

As Preet flees the library, she realizes who Kabir is and runs to hug him. WTF?! It doesn’t matter that Kabir knew he wasn’t going to rape her. Preet feared she was going to be raped, yet she forgets about it entirely within ten seconds.

Karle Pyaar Karle has a lot of issues with the way it depicts women. Preet’s entire wardrobe is skimpy club-wear, and every white woman in the movie wears a bikini-top. When Preet catches Kabir seducing another woman out of her clothes to win a bet, Kabir calls Preet a slut for having spent time with him platonically.

The woman who gives the lap dance — the same one who disrobes, I think — gets the only legitimately funny lines in the whole movie: “If your girlfriend donates her kidney to you, you should get a new girlfriend. Who wants a girlfriend with just one kidney?”

The most offensive part of the movie happens following the broken engagement between Preet and Jazz, the son of a gangster named DG (presumably so-named because someone had a giant Dolce & Gabbana logo necklace he could wear during the shoot). DG insists that Preet is going to get married regardless, but to whom? A random flunky? Another son we didn’t know about?

Nope. He’s going to marry her to a black guy.

The gangster considers it a punishment to marry this young, Indian woman to an African man. Preet’s mom evidently agrees, procuring bottles of poison for herself and her daughter to drink before the ceremony.

The insults continue after Kabir rescues Preet (though not her mom, whom they leave at the gangster’s mansion, the bottle of poison at her lips). Kabir threatens to return Preet to “that black bull,” and Preet repeats the slur.

Come on, Karle Pyaar Karle. Why couldn’t you just let me enjoy your insane plot twists, soft-core dance numbers, rocket launchers, and multiple exploding cars? Why did you have to ruin things with rape threats, racism, and perpetuating moral double standards for women? Why couldn’t you just be stupid and harmless?


Opening January 17: Karle Pyaar Karle

The action-romance Karle Pyaar Karle opens in Chicago area theaters on January 17, 2014. With no notable stars in front of or behind the camera, I can’t see this attracting much of an audience locally.

Karle Pyaar Karle opens on Friday at the 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 two hours.

Dedh Ishqiya suffered for opening on only fifty screens in the U.S., earning just $157,541 in its opening weekend. It carries over for a second weekend at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30, so go see it while you can.

Dhoom 3 — with North American earnings of $8,031,955 so far — gets a fifth weekend at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include 1: Nenokkadine (Telugu), Jilla (Tamil), Veeram (Tamil), and Yevadu (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5 and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Warrenville. Nenokkadine is playing at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago and Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale as well. The Golf Glen 5 is also showing Drishyam (Malayalam).