Tag Archives: London Dreams

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2009

There are a number of factors I considered when selecting candidates for Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009. Movies featuring racist jokes, such as Kambakkht Ishq and All the Best, obviously made the list. Incoherent plots brought Wanted and De Dana Dan to my attention, whereas Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna ignored traditional story structure and skipped the climax all together.

Ek — The Power of One deserves mention for its ridiculous title, which translates in English to “One — The Power of One”.

What’s Your Raashee? was easily the biggest disappointment of the year, coming from Ashutosh Gowariker, the filmmaker responsible for great flicks like Lagaan, Swades and Jodhaa Akbar.

2009 was a particularly bad year for Akshay Kumar. In addition to Kambakkht Ishq and De Dana Dan, he also starred in the bland supernatural thriller 8×10 Tasveer. His two other releases during the calendar year, Blue and Chandni Chowk to China, were fine but forgettable.

Because of their spectacular misunderstanding of human emotions and dubious moral messages, I thought about giving the award to either Kal Kissne Dekha or London Dreams. Kal Kissne Dekha suggested that one’s value is dependent upon one’s ability to save lives via superhuman powers, while London Dreams excused abhorrent behavior so long as it was committed in pursuit of a selfish goal.

But the ultimate winner had to be the most annoying, most cliché-riddled movie of the year, the worst of the worst. And the winner of Worst Bollywood Movie of 2009 is: Do Knot Disturb.

Do Knot Disturb, which deserves the honor based on its stupid title alone, contains all of the bad clichés that dominate Hindi comedies at the moment. The plot is based on a series of misunderstandings which could be clarified if the characters actually had conversations with one another. The jokes are written based on volume instead of quality, under the mistaken belief that what was funny the first time is even funnier the sixth, seventh and eighth time.

Case in point, the high-pitched screaming match between characters played by Govinda and Ritesh Deshmukh. The characters get spooked by something and start shrieking in girlish voices. The gag isn’t original, but it’s not inherently annoying. But in Do Knot Disturb, the characters scream dialogue at each other in those high-pitched voices for the next ten minutes of the movie.

After one minute, the gag had already stopped being funny. After ten minutes, it was unbearable. I actually walked out of the theater and only convinced myself to return out of a sense of journalistic duty. By virtue of having watched all but one minute of the movie, I can say that Do Knot Disturb is the worst Hindi film of 2009.

Previous Worst Movies List

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.

Movie Review: London Dreams (2009)

londondreamsZero Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

2008’s Rock On!! is a great Hindi film about a rock band and the tensions that develop between band members. Though London Dreams is also about problems within a rock band, it’s every bit as bad as Rock On!! is good: shallow and lacking an understanding of human emotions.

London Dreams is about Arjun, a Punjabi boy who dreams of becoming a great musician. However, his family hates music, blaming that particular form of entertainment for the death of Arjun’s grandfather.

When Arjun’s father dies — an event Arjun interprets as divine confirmation of his musical destiny — the boy moves to London with his uncle. Arjun runs away in the airport and buys his way into a music school with pocket change. (What? It could happen.)

As an adult, Arjun (Ajay Devgan) is so singularly focused on his goal of headlining Wembley Stadium that he won’t let anything distract him, going to far as to whip himself with a belt to suppress his sexual urges for his backup dancer, Priya (Asin Thottumkal). Arjun’s band, London Dreams, takes England by storm, even though their music is mediocre.

Arjun’s childhood friend, Mannu (Salman Khan), leaves his life of philandering in Punjab to live with his pal in London. For kicks, Arjun invites Mannu to perform on stage with London Dreams.

There’s a freak confetti accident during the performance, and Arjun gestures to Mannu to take over as frontman. Turns out, slacker Mannu is a more charismatic singer than Arjun. Mannu gets all of the accolades, as well as Priya’s affections, and Arjun sets about trying to destroy his best friend and take back the spotlight for himself.

Overall, London Dreams is a sloppy movie. The same footage is used for concerts that are supposed to take place separately in London, Paris and Rome; try to spot the girl in the blue basketball jersey in the crowd at all three concerts.

Worse, the band members barely even pretend to play their instruments. The old, mohawked drummer never comes within an inch of the cymbals he’s supposed to be playing. Heck, he’s not even an official member of the band, which consists of two singers, two guitarists and a backup dancer. It’s impossible for them to produce the music that makes up the movie’s soundtrack; it should have also been impossible for Mannu to auto-tune his own voice without the aid of a microphone and computer.

Trumping all of the movie’s other problems, the lead characters in London Dreams are deplorable. Arjun is a sociopath, and Mannu’s alternately a promiscuous lout and a simpleton. Their relationship with each other doesn’t develop, and Arjun never faces any consequences for being a terrible person.

Skip London Dreams and rent Rock On!! If nothing else, the music’s better.

Opening October 30: Aladin and London Dreams

If you can’t get enough Sanjay Dutt, you’re in luck. He’s back in theaters in one of the two new Bollywood films opening in the Chicago area this weekend.

Dutt plays the villain in a live-action version of Aladin, which also stars Ritesh Deshmukh as the title character and Amitabh Bachchan as the genie. Aladin‘s runtime is listed as 2 hrs. 12 min.

This weekend’s other opening is London Dreams, starring Ajay Devgan and Salman Khan as pals whose friendship is tested by international rock stardom. London Dreams has a runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Both movies will open in the Chicago area at the AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. London Dreams will play at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles as well.

Older Hindi movies sticking around in theaters include Blue and All The Best, both at the South Barrington 30 and Golf Glen 5. Blue will also continue showing at the Cantera 30.

Other Indian films in Chicago area theaters this weekend include the Telugu movie Ek Niranjan and the Malayalam movie Pazhassi Raja at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove will show the Tamil movie Kanden Kadhalai.