Tag Archives: Subtitles

Opening October 18: Shahid

The relatively low-budget biographical drama Shahid opens in Chicago area theaters on October 18, 2013. This is something of a surprise given that Akshay Kumar’s Boss just released on the 16th. But considering that I was the only person in a 592-capacity theater for yesterday’s first showing of Boss, this is probably a good move by the makers of Shahid.

Shahid opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. (Update: For my fellow non-Hindi speakers, the print at the South Barrington 30 cuts off the English subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Looks like I’ll have to wait for Shahid on DVD.) It has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 45 min.

After opening Wednesday, Boss gets its first full weekend at both of the above theaters, plus the Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville.

The only theater giving a third week to Besharam is the South Barrington 30. Ouch.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Singaravelan (Malayalam), Vanakkam Chennai (Tamil), and Pakistan’s submission to this year’s Oscars, Zinda Bhaag (Punjabi), at the Golf Glen 5; Atharintiki Daaredi (Telugu) and Ramayya Vasthavayya (Telugu) at both the Cinemark Century Stratford Square in Bloomingdale and Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge; and Doosukeltha (Telugu) at the Muvico Rosemont 18 in Rosemont, which is also carrying Ramayya Vasthavayya.

New Trailers: October 2, 2013

The trailer for R… Rajkumar — formerly known as Rambo Rajkumar — is out, in advance of the film’s release on December 6. If you’re a fan of bottles breaking over people’s heads, this is the movie for you.

I asked, and I received! Here’s an updated trailer for Bullett Raja with English subtitles. Now that I know what the heck everyone is saying, this movie looks pretty funny. Looking forward to its release on November 29.

New Trailers: September 30, 2013

The trailer for Bullett Raja — which opens on November 29 — released today. Hopefully Fox Star will release a second version of the trailer with English subtitles, because I can’t discern what the plot is about based on the visuals alone, other than Saif Ali Khan shooting a bunch of people.  Nevertheless, I’m excited about Bullett Raja since it’s Vidyut Jamwal’s movie since Commando.

A subtitled version of the trailer for Ram-Leela was also recently released. This is a case where the trailer itself tells such a concise rendition of the story that subtitles are hardly needed (though they are appreciated). As with any movie directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the gorgeous visuals are as much a draw as the narrative, and sexy stars like Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh just add to the visual appeal. Ram-Leela opens on November 15.


Mini-Review: Jolly LLB (2013)


Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

I’m not going to classify this as a full movie review with a star rating since I didn’t finish the movie, for which I have a good reason: after forty minutes, I had no idea what was going on. If you can’t read Hindi, don’t bother watching Jolly LLB.

The story generally concerns a lawyer named Jolly (Arshad Warsi) who wants to make a name for himself in Delhi. However, the movie opens with a dramatic chase scene in which the drunk driver of an SUV follows a sedan full of drunk young people. The car appears to veer successfully around a corner, but the SUV fails to make the turn, smashing into a concrete pillar.

As far as we are shown on screen, no one outside of the SUV is injured in the accident. There’s a line of laundry hanging from the pillar, but we don’t see any dead bodies or other evidence of injury. We learn later that the driver — the son of a famous, wealthy family — was uninjured in the crash when he is found not guilty of causing the accident.

All that is depicted on screen is a one-car accident in which no one was hurt.

Things get confusing when various characters say that this is the most sensational trial in recent memory. A scene shows the driver’s celebrity lawyer (played by Boman Irani) receiving payment from the rich family and admitting to bribery to secure a favorable verdict. Jolly mentions media reports alleging evidence tampering, and he finds an eyewitness who was never called by the prosecution.

None of this hubbub makes any sense, given the footage of the accident presented to the audience. I watched the scene a second time, and, again, there’s nothing to indicate that this is anything more than a non-fatal, one-car accident. Why would that cause such a media sensation?

I suspect the answer lies in the newspaper clippings shown in a montage of Jolly’s search for the truth. They are all written in Hindi and are not subtitled in English, so the clippings are meaningless for audience members (like me) who can’t read Hindi. The headlines may mention anything from multiple deaths to the high cost of repairing the pillar, but non-Hindi readers have no way of understanding what was written.

Then again, the headlines may not add anything to story and everyone may truly be freaking out about a minor traffic accident. I have no way of knowing.

Perhaps the events of the accident are explained in dialog later in the film, but forty minutes seems more than enough of an investment of time when I wasn’t given enough information to follow the plot. (Nor should anyone outside of India be expected to know the details of the 1999 hit-and-run accident that inspired the plot.) Since the majority of the audience for Jolly LLB likely reads Hindi, I don’t blame the filmmakers for presenting information the way they did. However, filmmakers need to consider that presenting critical plot information via written Hindi — and without subtitles — limits the size of their potential audience.