Tag Archives: No Problem

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2010

2010’s worst Hindi movies are all bad, but one film is much, much worse than the rest. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

Lahore, Dulha Mil Gaya and Pyaar Impossible make the list for ignoring some basic rules of plot development.

The most common problem among 2010’s worst movies is unlikable main characters. Tum Milo Toh Sahi and Veer also suffer from subtitling problems, while others — Action Replayy, Milenge Milenge, Teen Patti and No Problem — are little more than Hollywood knock-offs.

Kites gets an honorable mention for the conduct of its producers, including swiping a song from Lord of the Rings without crediting the original artist, and for not paying its supporting actors.

But the worst movie of the year — possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen — is Khatta Meetha. The characters in Khatta Meetha aren’t merely unlikable; they’re morally reprehensible. And Khatta Meetha is a comedy.

A comedy can’t work if its hero is almost as bad as the villain. Khatta Meetha‘s hero, Sachin (Akshay Kumar), punches his girlfriend out of anger and, years later, harasses her to the point that she attempts suicide. There’s nothing heroic about Sachin. He’s a scumbag and an abuser. Yet the filmmakers expect the audience to see him as the charming underdog.

In the worst sequence of the movie, the villain, Sanjay (Jaideep Ahlawat), conceives of a plan to get Sachin to confront him. How is this accomplished? Sanjay and his friends gang rape Sachin’s sister and kill her.

Let me emphasize this: she’s not just attacked. She’s raped. Gang raped. And murdered. In a slapstick comedy.

How can an audience laugh after witnessing something so awful? I sure couldn’t.

A more understandable way to incite Sachin to avenge his sister — without putting off the audience completely — would have been for her to show up with a black eye, courtesy of Sanjay — provoking Sachin to beat the tar out of the villain. But that wouldn’t work in Khatta Meetha, because Sachin himself had already punched a woman in the face. This forced the writers to concoct something so unspeakably awful that even Sachin himself cannot abide it.

Is that the low standard we’re forced to accept from our comedic heroes? That their goodness is defined by their unwillingness to commit gang rape and murder?

The only reason to see Khatta Meetha is if you plan on writing a comedy and want to know exactly what not to do. Sarcastic congratulations to the creators of Khatta Meetha for making not only the Worst Bollywood Movie of 2010, but the worst movie I’ve ever paid to watch.

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Opening December 22: Tees Maar Khan and Toonpur Ka Superhero

Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year, bumping this week’s movie release schedule forward to Wednesday. Two new Hindi films open in Chicago area theaters on December 22, 2010. The action comedy Tees Maar Khan stars Akshay Kumar as the world’s greatest thief, with Katrina Kaif playing his girlfriend. TMK is directed by choreographer Farah Khan, so expect some impressive dance numbers.

Tees Maar Khan opens on Wednesday at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera 30 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 15 min.

This week’s other new theatrical release is the family comedy Toonpur Ka Superhero, a mix of live action and 3D animation (though I suspect U.S. theaters will only show it in 2D). Ajay Devgan plays an actor who magically becomes a part of his kids’ favorite cartoon TV show. Devgan’s real-life wife, Kajol, plays his wife in the film.

Toonpur Ka Superhero opens on December 22 at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 20 min.

Though it didn’t make it into Chicago area theaters, Isi Life Mein (“In This Life”) debuts on YouTube on Wednesday, two days before it opens internationally. The complete movie is available for rent here, though I’m not sure if it has English subtitles. Earlier this year, I rented Striker on YouTube and was pleased with the video quality. Besides, the $4.99 rental fee is cheaper than a movie ticket.

No Problem carries over at the South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this week include Nagavalli (Telugu), Manmadhan Ambu (Tamil) and Ragada (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Manmadhan Ambu.

In Theaters December 17, 2010

No new Hindi movies are set to open in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, December 17, 2010, but both of last week’s new releases are sticking around. Goofball comedy No Problem, which earned $242,116 during its first week in U.S. theaters, continues at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Its runtime is 2 hrs. 23 min.

The fun romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (runtime 2 hrs. 35 min.) also gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. It posted dismal first week earnings of $43,820 in the United States, but that was from just 32 screens nationally, compared to 84 screens for No Problem. These meager numbers are something of a shock given that Band Baaja Baaraat is produced by Yash Raj Films.

When I started reviewing Bollywood movies in 2007, Yash Raj Films — fresh off huge hits like Fanaa and Dhoom 2 — was the one Indian production company whose films could be guaranteed a wide release in the U.S. But the company’s recent offerings have struggled to get distribution in the States. Lafangey Parindey opened here  in August on just nine screens.

I’m not sure why things have changed, but I hope YRF can regain some of its international mojo. The company has long made a point of reaching out to Indians living abroad with their films, and the polished production style of YRF appeals to audiences used to Hollywood’s big budgets. Maybe Mere Brother Ki Dulhan can turn things around for YRF.

Other Indian movies playing near Chicago this weekend include Best of Luck (Malayalam), Nagavalli (Telugu) and Rakht Charitra 2 (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also carrying Nagavalli, as well as the Telugu movie Orange.

Movie Review: No Problem (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

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If you’re considering whether to shell out the cash to see No Problem, ask yourself if a movie whose resolution hinges upon a farting gorilla appeals to you. If so, then you may enjoy No Problem.

No Problem is the latest in a long line of schizophrenic Hindi slapstick comedies that wrongly assume that screaming and frantic action are hilarious. There is barely a narrative holding the story together between all of the running around. Rather, there are a number of loosely interconnected subplots driving the action, involving the following:

  • Yash (Sanjay Dutt) and Raj (Akshaye Khanna), two petty thieves trying to change their ways when they rob a small-town bank out of habit. They run from…
  • Zandulal (Paresh Rawal), the bank manager accused of colluding with Yash and Raj in the theft. He follows them to Durban, South Africa, looking for help from…
  • “Supercop” Arjun Singh (Anil Kapoor), who’s also after a gang of diamond thieves led by…
  • Marcos (Suniel Shetty), who’s fencing the diamonds through a government minister. Arjun can’t catch Marcos while he’s fending off attacks from his wife…
  • Kajal (Sushmita Sen), who has daily blackout episodes in which she tries to murder Arjun. Kajal’s sister…
  • Sanjana (Kangana Ranaut) has caught the eye of Raj, who proposes to her without realizing that her father is police commissioner.

There’s so much going on — and transitions between scenes and subplots are so clunky — that it’s impossible to give the characters adequate time to develop or endear themselves to the audience. I’m not even sure who the director expects us to sympathize with or relate to.

I love slapstick comedies. The goofy Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit is in my DVD player, and The Naked Gun remains one of my all-time favorite films. In fact, an early scene in which Arjun tries to arrest Marcos bears a suspicious resemblance to this scene from The Naked Gun:

But No Problem only goes for cheap laughs that rely on characters running in fast motion and illogically failing to recognize one another. If the dialog is funny in Hindi, the humor didn’t translate into English. The subtitled dialog is boring and excessive.

No Problem is the rare case of a movie that could’ve benefitted from more dance numbers to distract from the dull plot. Instead, the few dance numbers that exist are marred by a surfeit of distracting Anglo backup dancers, most of whom resembled chubby transvestites.

At its worst, No Problem crosses the boundaries of good taste. A male character in drag escapes the romantic advances of another man by declaring that he has AIDS. Given how the disease is ravaging sub-Saharan Africa, it is a tacky and thoughtless attempt at humor.

I enjoyed one of director Anees Bazmee’s previous films, the goofball comedy Welcome. That movie succeeded primarily because of its supporting characters, played by Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor.

No Problem squanders its supporting cast. Suniel Shetty looks like he barely wants to be in the film. Sushmita Sen’s homicidal wife comes the closest to generating laughs, but even her character isn’t taken far enough.

The killer spouse subplot has a strange element to it. Arjun and Kajal have a young daughter whose role is to scream and cry while her mother tries to murder her father in front of her. What’s funny about watching a child suffer? The character isn’t essential to the plot (no, the clichéd instance when she floats away holding too many balloons doesn’t count), so there’s no reason for her to be in the movie.

It’s just another example of how No Problem misses the mark in an attempt to make a safe, unimaginative comedy.

Links

Opening December 10: No Problem and Band Baaja Baaraat

There’s no let up in new Hindi releases in the Chicago area. Two new comedies open on Friday, December 10, 2010: Band Baaja Baaraat and No Problem, which gets the wider release of the two. No Problem stars Anil Kapoor as a bumbling cop trying to solve a bank robbery. Pop star Shakira makes a special appearance in the movie.

No Problem opens on December 10 at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Click here for a national list of theaters carrying No Problem, which has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 23 min.

The romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (“Wedding Music Band”) follows the exploits of two friends trying to run a wedding planning business.

Band Baaja Baaraat opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30. Check this incomplete list for nationwide theaters carrying Band Baaja Baaraat, which has a runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min.

Last weekend’s new release, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30. The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Break Ke Baad and Guzaarish, which has earned $989,527 in the three weeks it’s been in U.S. theaters.

Starting Friday, the Golf Glen 5 is carrying one other Hindi movie I haven’t found much information on: Family Pack.

Other Indian movies playing in the area this weekend include Rakht Charitra 2 (Tamil and Telugu) and Cocktail (Malayalam) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove also has both versions of Rakht Charitra 2, as well as the Telugu movies Manasara and Orange.