Tag Archives: Second Hand Husband

Worst Bollywood Movies of 2015

While the majority of the worst Bollywood films of 2015 are guilty of garden variety stupidity, a pair of movies were especially loathsome. Here are my picks for the worst Bollywood movies of 2015. (Click on the title of each movie to read my original review.)

The dual-narrative romantic drama Roy wound up on the list due to an excess of ennui and emotionally immature dialogue.

I wish that both Gabbar Is Back and Welcome Back had stayed away.

Jazbaa managed to make talented actors Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan Khan look ridiculous (and green-tinted).

Two awful examples of Bollywood nepotism made the list. Producer-offspring Jackky Bhagnani’s inevitable rise to super-stardom was deferred yet again by his awful performance in Welcome 2 Karachi. In her Bollywood debut, Govinda’s daughter Tina single-handedly ruins Second Hand Husband with her squinty delivery and nonexistent dance moves.

The most painful theater-going experience of the year was Shamitabh, a movie so annoying that I was literally begging out loud for it to end.

Dirty Politics is a textbook example of how not to make a movie.

The offensive Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 came in a close second place for suggesting that all women who report being raped are liars. That such a hateful movie purports to be a comedy makes it all the more disturbing.

My worst movie of 2015 struck a nerve, going beyond just offending and veering into moral recklessness. Director Umesh Shukla and writers Sumit Arora and Niren Bhatt should be ashamed for claiming that Alzheimer’s disease is a result of filial neglect that can easily be cured if children are nicer to their parents. Given that a lack of awareness about Alzheimer’s persists in India, using a film to offer bogus medical advice and assign undeserved blame is irresponsible. For those reasons — in addition to it being just a plain old sucky movie — my worst Bollywood film of 2015 is All Is Well.

Kathy’s Ten Worst Bollywood Movies of 2015

  1. All Is Well — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  2. Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 — Buy at Amazon
  3. Dirty Politics — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  4. Shamitabh — Buy at Amazon
  5. Second Hand Husband
  6. Welcome 2 Karachi
  7. Jazbaa — Buy/rent at Amazon
  8. Welcome Back — Buy at Amazon
  9. Gabbar Is Back — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon
  10. Roy — Buy/rent at iTunes or Amazon

Previous Worst Movies Lists

Bollywood Box Office: July 10-12

The weekend of July 10-12, 2015, belonged to Baahubali. In just three days (four if you count Thursday night preview showings separately), it became the highest grossing Indian film of 2015 in North America! It even cracked the US box office top ten!

According to Rentrak figures supplied to Bollywood Hungama, the combined total for both the Telugu and Tamil versions of Baahubali earned $4,526,526 from 241 theaters in the US and Canada, for a per-screen average of $18,782. $4,281,338 came from the 172 theaters showing the Telugu version, while $245,188 came from the Tamil version on 69 screens. Many theaters in the US cancelled showings of the Tamil version of the film because it failed to arrive, so that part of the theater count could be high.

(As an aside, part of the explanation for Baahubali‘s terrific earnings in the US is that it benefited from “special event” pricing that never applies to Hindi films released in major chain theaters. All three of the theaters showing Baahubali in Chicago charged $20 per adult ticket, even for showings on weekdays before noon, which are almost always priced at reduced rates. Compare the special price of $20 for a Baahubali ticket to each theater’s standard weekend night adult ticket price: $12 at MovieMax; $11.25 at Muvico; and $7.25 at Seven Bridges. Makes you wonder what Dhoom 3‘s totals would’ve looked like if it had opened with similarly inflated ticket prices. Update: Click here for a great summary of how tickets for South Indian movies are priced in the US compared to Hindi movies.)

It’s also worth noting that Rentrak’s total is significantly higher than the $3,575,000 estimate released by Box Office Mojo on Sunday. I’ll update this post when Mojo releases their final total. I suspect Baahubali‘s real earnings lie somewhere in between. Regardless, its performance is remarkable. [Update: Box Office Mojo doesn’t have a final total beyond the posted estimate. Many other sites are using the Rentrak total, so we’ll stick with that.]

No new Bollywood movies released in local theaters over the weekend, and the only significant development was that Dil Dhadakne Do finally overtook Tanu Weds Manu Returns to become the highest earning Hindi film of 2015 in North America. Here’s how the Bollywood movies still in theaters fared over the weekend:

  • Dil Dhadakne Do: Week 6; $18,249 from 12 theaters; $1,521 average; $3,049,636 total
  • Second Hand Husband: Week 2; $16,215 from 24 theaters; $676 average; $150,017 total
  • ABCD 2: Week 4; $7,349 from eight theaters; $919 average; $878,514 total
  • Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Week 8; $944 from two theaters; $472 average; $3,022,611 total

Sources: Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Bollywood Box Office: July 3-5

I confess, the North American box office figures from July 3-5, 2015, have me stumped. How did Second Hand Husband — a movie with no must-see stars and no advanced local promotion — earn nearly $100,000 in North America?

The exact figures for Second Hand Husband‘s opening weekend, according to Bollywood Hungama, are $99,838 from 74 theaters ($1,349 average). That’s more than Hamari Adhuri Kahani earned in its first weekend in the US and Canada ($94,005), and that movie starred Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi. Second Hand Husband also vastly out-performed a few other 2015 releases with (marginally) viable stars in their opening weekends: Welcome 2 Karachi with Arshad Warsi ($26,013); Hashmi’s Mr. X ($24,806); and Hawaizaada with Ayushmann Khurrana ($16,546).

So how exactly does a movie that currently has only 17 user ratings, one user review, and two critic reviews — one by yours truly; the other link doesn’t even lead to a review — at IMDb earn almost six figures in North America? The most obvious answer is desperation. It’s been two weeks since a new Bollywood film released here, and there’s a chance we won’t get another until Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan opens on July 16. There could be untold legions of devoted Dharmendra fans, or lots of people morbidly curious to see the Bollywood debut of Govinda’s daughter. There could also be a large number of non-Bollywood fans who bought a ticket for Second Hand Husband based on its English title, who then walked out when they realized it was a foreign movie and went to see Jurassic World instead.

Whatever the reason, kudos to Second Hand Husband for turning in an opening weekend that was shockingly not disastrous.

Dil Dhadakne Do crossed the $3 million mark in North America its fifth weekend of release. It earned $48,788 from 27 theaters ($1,807 average) to bring its total to $3,013,736. That’s less than $8,000 behind Tanu Weds Manu Returns‘ total of $3,021,287. TWMR earned $2,782 from two theaters ($1,391 average) in its seventh weekend.

In its third weekend, ABCD 2 added another $27,807 from 22 theaters ($1,231 average), bringing its North American total to $865,222.

Source: Rentrak, via Bollywood Hungama

Movie Review: Second Hand Husband (2015)

SecondHandHusband0.5 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

For an example of the problem with Bollywood nepotism, look no further than Second Hand Husband. In her big screen debut, Govinda’s daughter Tina Ahuja manages to be the worst part of a truly terrible movie.

Ahuja isn’t remotely prepared for a major role in a film, let alone to be a romantic lead. Her primary problem is that she squints her eyes when she talks, as though the mental strain of emoting while delivering her lines requires special concentration.

Ahuja’s role in the Second Hand Husband is that of Gurpreet, world’s dumbest divorce lawyer. She’s unable to prevent her client/boyfriend Rajbir (Gippy Grewal) from being hit with a hefty alimony payment in his divorce from Neha (Geeta Basra) because she doesn’t know what alimony is. When her parents ask her to explain the concept, she says, “Even I’m not clear about it.”

After she eventually reads the details of the settlement (let’s hope Rajbir isn’t actually paying for her services), Gurpreet finds a loophole that will get Rajbir out of his payments and allow the two of them to marry. Rajbir’s alimony stops when Neha remarries, so the two set about trying to find his ex-wife a new husband.

Well, that’s what the movie is about for all of ten minutes. The story shifts completely to the antics of Rajbir’s drunk-driving, philandering boss, Ajit, whom we are supposed to find adorable because he’s played by Dharmendra.

There are subplots about Ajit’s wife and her own divorce proceedings, her brother’s family, Gurpreet’s family, a thief turned tea vendor, and a lovelorn cop played by Vijay Raaz (who gives a more sympathetic performance than this movie deserves).

All of this serves to keep Rajbir and Gurpreet apart, not in a romantic sense but in the sense that they have very few scenes together, despite their deferred marriage being the driver behind the whole story. One guess is that Gurpreet’s role was larger at one point, but was minimized later after writer-director Smeep Kang realized Ahuja can’t act. (She can’t dance, either. During most of one song set in a dance club, she sits.)

Then again, it could just be that Kang doesn’t know how to tell a story. Characters are introduced without explanation, taking over the narrative even though we don’t know or care who they are. Transitions between scenes fail to give a sense of time or place.

The dialogue is so expository and delivered at a such a slow pace that Second Hand Husband feels like a foreign language instructional video. The subtitle translation also stinks. When Gurpreet begs Neha, “Didi (sister), please,” the line is written as, “Baby, please.”

Apart from Raaz, the film’s performances are annoying at best, phoned in at worst. Grewal — also in his Bollywood debut — does nothing to distinguish himself. Dharmendra lacks charm. Basra is a shrill stereotype, though Kang deserves much of the blame for creating such lazy, outmoded characters.

Second Hand Husband takes a solid, high-concept premise and ruins it in the name of launching two acting careers unlikely to take off. Skip it.

Links

Opening July 3: Second Hand Husband

One new Bollywood movie opens in Chicago area theaters on July 3, 2015. Second Hand Husband features the Hindi-film debuts of Punjabi singer/actor Gippy Grewal and Govinda’s daughter, Tina Ahuja. With no other new Bollywood films to compete with, Independence Day  weekend is a perfect time to launch two untested stars in the US. It also helps that the story — a lawyer (Tina) tries to find a new husband for her fiance’s ex-wife in order to get him out of his alimony payments — is accessible and ripe for comedy.

Second Hand Husband opens on Friday at MovieMax Cinemas in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale. It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 44 min.

ABCD 2 gets a third weekend at MovieMax, South Barrington 30, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Dil Dhadakne Do gets a fifth weekend at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17.

Other Indian movies showing at MovieMax this weekend include Papanasam (Tamil), Chandrettan Evideya (Malayalam), Tiger (Telugu), Indru Netru Naalai (Tamil), and Premam (Malayalam).

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!