Tag Archives: Teen Patti

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 March 5: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area on Friday, March 5, 2010. The comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge stars Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma as a married couple desperate to rid themselves of an annoying house guest, played by Paresh Rawal.

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge will play at Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington.

Thriller Karthik Calling Karthik continues for a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville, having earned $179,643 in its first weekend in U.S. theaters.

Last weekend’s other new release, Teen Patti, leaves theaters after one week.

The only other Hindi film showing in the Chicago area this weekend is My Name Is Khan, which has earned $3,634,423 in the U.S. so far. It continues its run at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Other Indian movies playing in Chicagoland include Aagathan (Malayalam), Leader (Telugu), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maaya Chesave (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5 and the Telugu movie Sadhyam at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

Movie Review: Teen Patti (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Writer-director Leena Yadav claims that her film, Teen Patti, is not based on the movie 21. After watching Teen Patti, I don’t believe her.

21 is a 2008 Hollywood film about some MIT students who get rich counting cards in the game of blackjack. Teen Patti is about some students from “BIT” who get rich counting cards in the game of teen patti. Ms. Yadav’s lame anti-plagiarism defense: “My film has nothing to do with blackjack.”

In a failed attempt to avoid the comparison, Yadav shifts the focus of her film from the students to their professor, Venkat (Amitabh Bachchan). Venkat develops a mathematical formula for deducing which hand will win in a given game of teen patti, a card game similar to poker. He recruits his colleague, Shantanu (R. Madhavan), and three randomly selected students to help him test his formula under real-world conditions.

The experiment proceeds with Venkat sitting at a table in a seedy gambling hall while Shantanu and the students make obvious hand signals to indicate what cards they hold. Venkat stares at each of the other players at the table while mumbling to himself, and then makes an equally obvious gesture to indicate which player at the table holds the winning hand. Then Shantanu and the students nod to confirm that they understood Venkat’s gesture, just in case it wasn’t apparent to everyone else in the gambling den that they are up to something fishy.

I’m not going to bother naming the students because they aren’t fully developed characters, nor are they even necessary to the Venkat’s experiment. The primary reason that they’re in the movie is so that a mysterious blackmailer can threaten them, forcing Venkat to keep gambling when he’d rather stop.

The other reason for the students’ presence in the script is for them to illustrate the moral danger of gambling, which can lead to flirting, minor theft and fist fights. No drugs, booze or sex, apart from an implied gang rape (another shockingly casual reference to sexual violence against women in a Hindi movie, as in Wanted and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani). The stakes are pretty low in Teen Patti.

In addition to the superfluous students, minor characters show up without introduction and disappear abruptly. A woman named Mrs. Kale brings Venkat breakfast and complains about his messy office before leaving, never to appear again. Who is she?!

The prize for most useless character in Teen Patti goes to Perci Tractenberg, played by Sir Ben Kingsley for no other reason than to promote it as a Ben Kingsley movie. His presence would’ve been more impressive had Uwe Boll not already stunt-cast Kingsley as a villain in Bloodrayne.

*Teen Patti‘s runtime is 2 hrs. 20 min.

Opening February 26: Karthik Calling Karthik and Teen Patti

Two new Hindi movies open in Chicago area theaters on Friday, February 26, 2010. Karthik Calling Karthik stars Farhan Akhtar as the shy title character who secretly loves his coworker, Shonali (Deepika Padukone). Their lives change when Karthik gets a phone call from a man also claiming to be Karthik.

I’m not sure what to expect from KCK. The official description makes it sound like a romantic comedy, while the trailer makes it look like a thriller. But Akhtar and Padukone are my two favorite actors, so I trust them to make a compelling movie.

The other movie opening this weekend is Teen Patti. The thriller stars Amitabh Bachchan, R. Madhavan and Ben Kingsley as mathematicians who find a way to win at teen patti (a card game similar to poker) and recruit some college students to help them test their equation in casinos. The premise sounds similar to that of the 2008 Hollywood film 21.

Both films are showing at two suburban Chicago theaters this weekend: AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

The South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30 are carrying over My Name Is Khan for a third week, which continues showing at AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles as well. MNIK earned over $700,000 in its second week in U.S. theaters, bringing its total earnings to $3,253,168 so far.

3 Idiots leaves U.S. theaters after 9 weeks, having earned $6,523,103.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Drona (Malayalam — not Abhishek Bachchan’s Drona), Leader (Telugu), and Vinnai Thaandi Varuvayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maya Chesave (Telugu), which are the same movie filmed at the same time, only in different languages and with different actors in key roles. Both VTV and YMC feature music by A. R. Rahman.