Tag Archives: Pakistani

Opening July 5: Malaal

Malaal — a remake of the 2004 Tamil romantic comedy 7G Rainbow Colony — is the only new Hindi film releasing in the Chicago area on July 5, 2019. It stars newcomers Sharmin Segal and Meezaan Jaffrey and opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles.

Article 15 carries over for a second week at MovieMax, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera in Warrenville. All three theaters hold over Kabir Singh, as do the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, AMC Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, and AMC Naperville 16 in Naperville.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend (all films have English subtitles):

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Opening April 12: The Tashkent Files

With PM Narendra Modi pulled from the schedule at the last minute over concerns for the potential to influence Indian elections, the only new Hindi film opening in Chicago area theaters on April 12, 2019, is The Tashkent Files — a thriller about the death of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri starring Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty.

The Tashkent Files opens Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles and AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington.

Tickets are already on sale at MovieMax, South Barrington 24, and AMC Woodridge 18 in Woodridge for the Wednesday, April 17 release Kalank.

Romeo Akbar Walter gets a second week at all three of the above theaters. MovieMax also holds over Kesari.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in Chicago area theaters (all films have English subtitles):

Opening September 14: Manmarziyaan and Mitron

After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Manmarziyaan — known internationally as “Husband Material” — hits Chicago area theaters on September 14, 2018. The romantic drama from director Anurag Kashyap stars Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, and Abhishek Bachchan.

Manmarziyaan opens Friday at the AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a runtime of 2 hrs. 36 min.

Also new this weekend is the Jackky Bhagnani comedy Mitron, which no one outside of the Bhagnani family is excited about. It opens Friday at the South Barrington 24 and MovieMax Cinemas in Niles.

Stree and Paltan carry over at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24, which also holds over Gold.

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

Opening December 22: Tiger Zinda Hai

Tiger Zinda Hai — the sequel to 2012’s spy thriller Ek Tha Tiger and the last big Bollywood release of the year — hits Chicago area theaters on December 22, 2017. It’s releasing in 300 theaters across North America.

Tiger Zinda Hai opens on Friday in nine local theaters: AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Round Lake Beach Stadium 18 in Round Lake Beach, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC Dine-In Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 24 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge, and AMC Loews Crestwood 18 in Crestwood. The Marcus Addison wins the award for Earliest Showtime, with its first showing of Tiger Zinda Hai starting at 8:50 a.m.! The film has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 45 min.

Fukrey Returns gets a third week at MovieMax and the South Barrington 24.

Other Indian and Pakistani movies showing in Chicagoland this weekend:

Opening February 10: Jolly LLB 2

Akshay Kumar takes over the lead role from Arshad Warsi in the comedy sequel Jolly LLB 2, which opens in Chicago area theaters on February 10, 2017. Inconsistent subtitles made the original Jolly LLB incomprehensible for the Hindi illiterate (like me), but I’m confident that won’t be an issue in the followup, which co-stars my girl Huma Qureshi.

Jolly LLB 2 opens Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Marcus Addison Cinema in Addison, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 16 min.

Raees carries over for a third week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, Woodridge 18, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Kaabil gets a third week at MovieMax and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Growing Up Smith.

The English-subtitled Pakistani romantic-comedy Balu Mahi debuts Friday at the South Barrington 30 and Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend:

Streaming Video News: February 9, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with a couple of new additions to the catalog. The Urdu film Moor — Pakistan’s submission to the 2016 Oscars — is now available for streaming free with an Amazon Prime membership, as is the 2012 American flick Bollywood Beats, starring Lillete Dubey and Pooja Kumar.

For everything else new on Amazon Prime, check Instant Watcher.

Movie Review: Song of Lahore (2015)

songoflahore4 Stars (out of 4)

Buy or rent the movie at Amazon or iTunes
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon or iTunes

The documentary Song of Lahore chronicles the surprising journey of an ensemble of classically trained Pakistani musicians to their performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The film is as touching as it is educational.

Since the Mughal era, Lahore had been internationally renowned for its music. Movie studios employed orchestras to record film scores during the golden age of Pakistani cinema, until a military coup in 1977 shuttered the studios and banned most public musical performances.

Even when restrictions eased in the 1990s, young people turned toward rock ‘n roll and away from traditional music. The Taliban’s rise in influence again drove musicians out of the public sphere.

Fearing the loss of his culture, Izzat Majeed established Sachal Studios in Lahore as a place for musicians — not just players of traditional instruments like tablas and sitars, but guitarists and violinists as well — to jam together. Ignored by local audiences, Majeed made a bold suggestion: “Let’s try to understand jazz.”

What makes the suggestion especially audacious is that the membership of the Sachal Ensemble skews old, as evident by the high number of white-haired members. The notion of ditching fifty years worth of training in a particular style in order to learn a new one is remarkable and inspiring.

Majeed himself was introduced to jazz in 1958, when his father took him to a performance by Dave Brubeck as part of the US State Department’s Jazz Ambassadors program. One theme that’s repeated throughout Song of Lahore is the way politics can shape culture. During the Cold War, the United States used jazz as a weapon against communism.

Famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis appreciates the historical connections between American jazz and traditional music in Pakistan. Jazz was born out of the persecution of African-Americans, he explains, just as the Sachal Ensemble perseveres in a country where musicians face violence from Islamic extremists.

A YouTube video of their infectious rendition of Brubeck’s iconic hit “Take Five” garners the Sachal Ensemble international interest and an invitation to perform with Marsalis’ big band at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The second half of the film focuses on that performance and the rehearsals leading up to it.

Even though the performance is assured to happen, the rehearsal scenes are tense. The Ensemble seems unsure whether to look to Marsalis for cues or to their own arranger and conductor, Nijat Ali. When they ultimately take the stage in front of a packed house, their performance provokes tears of both pride and relief.

Directors Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken keep their story focused, giving some social context but prioritizing this particular moment in the lives of these musicians. Showing the rough patches during rehearsal with Marsalis’ band highlights the practical difficulties of their mission.

Of course, all of the music in the film is tremendous.

Song of Lahore is a wonderful example of not only the power of perseverance but of adaptability. When passion compels you to do something, find a way to get it done.

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In Theaters: January 15, 2016

No new Bollywood movies are opening in the Chicago area on Friday, January 15, 2016. Looks like I’ll have to wait for Chalk N Duster to come out on DVD.

Wazir carries over for a second week at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

Bajirao Mastani gets a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 17, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

The South Barrington 30 also has the Pakistani film Ho Mann Jahaan.

Other Indian Movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include:

Opening January 8: Wazir

The new year kicks off with a compelling new Bollywood drama. Farhan Akhtar and Amitabh Bachchan star in the thriller Wazir, which hits Chicago area theaters on January 8, 2016.

Wazir opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 42 min.

Bajirao Mastani carries over for a fourth week at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17, plus the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge.

Dilwale gets a fourth week at the Gardens 1-6, MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Cantera 17.

MovieMax and the South Barrington 30 also have the Pakistani film Ho Mann Jahaan.

Other Indian films showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Nenu Sailaja (Telugu) at the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and MovieMax, which also carries the Telugu movies Killing Veerappan and Veelaithe Premiddam.

Opening October 9: Jazbaa

The Bollywood thriller Jazbaa (“Passion“) — starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan Khan — opens in Chicago area theaters on October 9, 2015.

Jazbaa opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville, and AMC Loews Woodridge 18 in Woodridge. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 10 min.

Singh Is Bliing carries over at all of the above theaters except the River East 21. Talvar gets at second week at MovieMax, Cantera 17, and South Barrington 30, which also holds over Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon.

Another new release with a South Asian focus is the documentary He Named Me Malala, about the heroic teen activist Malala Yousafzai. It opens on Friday across the Chicago area and the nation. Click here for a national theater list.

The documentary Meet the Patels carries over for a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, Music Box Theatre in Chicago , Wilmette Theatre in Wilmette, and Regal Lincolnshire Stadium 21 in Lincolnshire.

The Pakistani film Jawani Phir Nahi Ani gets a third week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include: