Tag Archives: Veer

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 February 5: Striker

It’s a light weekend for Bollywood films in Chicago, with only one new movie opening. Striker stars Siddharth as a poor kid who makes his way in life as a carrom hustler. It opens on Friday, February 5, 2010 at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles.

If you can’t make it to Niles to see Striker, fear not. Fans in the United States can watch the movie on YouTube for $4.99 starting on Friday, the same day that it opens in theaters. Follow this link to Studio 18’s YouTube page, then click on the red “US visitors click here” arrow in the upper right corner of the page.

Striker will be available for free to YouTube users in other countries starting on February 6. This is the first collaboration between YouTube and a Bollywood studio to provide streaming film content, and I hope the experiment works.

As for last week’s new releases, the Golf Glen 5 is carrying over Ishqiya, while the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington is carrying over Rann. 3 Idiots gets an astounding seventh week on screens at the South Barrington 30 and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

Veer leaves theaters after two weeks, having earned $499,685 in the United States.

The Golf Glen 5 is showing a host of other Indian films this weekend, including Asal (Tamil), Bindaas (Telugu), Happy Husbands (Malayalam) and a remastered version of 1957’s Maya Bazaar (Telugu). Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove features the movies Goa (Tamil), Namo Venkatesa (Telugu) and Vairam (Malayalam).

Opening January 29: Rann and Ishqiya

Two new Hindi movies open in the Chicago area on Friday, January 29, 2010. Rann (“Battle”) is director Ram Gopal Varma’s fictional exposé of corporate media corruption, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ritesh Deshmukh.

Rann opens this Friday at Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 25 min.

This weekend’s other new movie is Ishqiya, starring Vidya Balan as an alluring widow and Arshad Warsi and Naseeruddin Shah as the two thieves who fall in love with her.

Ishqiya opens on Friday at the Golf Glen 5.

Salman Khan’s Veer enters its second week in area theaters after earning $334,562 in the U.S. in its opening weekend. The movie carries over at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

The super hit 3 Idiots sticks around for an amazing sixth week, having already earned $6,294,393 in U.S. theaters. It continues to run at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30, Cantera 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Chance Pe Dance leaves theaters after two weeks, having earned a disappointing $164,188 total in the U.S.

Other Indian films in Chicago area theaters this weekend include the Telugu movies Adurs and Namo Venkatesha at the Golf Glen 5, and Goa (Tamil) and Palery Manickyam (Malayalam) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

Movie Review: Veer (2010)

1 Star (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Veer‘s historical setting is just window dressing for a typical Salman Khan film.

The movie’s action begins in 1862 in Rajputana (now Rajasthan), before the birth of the title character. The king of Madhavgarh aligns with the occupying British army, betraying the Pindari people and driving them from their homeland. The Pindari split up into smaller bands, biding their time until they can take their revenge on the king and the British.

Veer (Khan), son of one of the Pindari chiefs, grows up indoctrinated with his people’s desire for revenge. As young men, he and his younger brother, Punya (Sohail Khan), raid British trains for treasure. But with victory elusive, Chief Prithvi (Mithun Chakraborty) sends his sons to England to study British military tactics in university.

In England, Veer falls in love with an Indian princess, Yashodhara (Zarine Khan, no relation to Salman or Sohail). The brothers run into trouble with some of the wealthy Indian students at the university and must flee home, but not before they’ve learned valuable information that will finally help the Pindaris avenge their betrayal.

Veer shares much in common with other characters Salman Khan has played recently. He yells a lot, is irresistable to women and possesses superhuman strength. He can grab the blade of a sword midswing without getting his fingers lopped off, and the men he punches fly ten feet into the air. All of Khan’s recent characters are a grade school boy’s fantasy of idealized manhood.

The film’s immaturity increases with the presence of Sohail Khan, Salman’s younger brother, cast in what was surely an act of fraternal charity. Sohail’s Punya is the film’s comic relief, which feels inappropriate in a historical epic. But Punya muddles along the streets of Victorian England nonetheless, clumsily falling on pretty girls to the tune of “boing” sound effects.

The sound effects are just one example of the many ways Veer resists becoming the inspiring patriotic tale it should be. Instead of aiming for period authenticity in its costuming (at least during the scenes in England), the filmmakers used cheap costumes from the local Halloween store.  Synthetic fabrics abound, Yashodhara wears hot pink nail polish and one of the English actresses has a visible tattoo on the back of her neck.

Those bits of sloppy execution are merely laughable, but a number of other errors hamper understanding. English subtitles in white text are often set against white backgrounds, and the subtitles disappear entirely at a few critical moments. It’s not clear in exactly which year the bulk of the action takes place, nor is it clear just how old Veer is. He’s likely in his early twenties, or about twenty years younger than Salman Khan’s real age of 44.

There’s a lack of attention to detail throughout Veer, as though audiences won’t care because it’s a “Salman Khan” film. If there’s one thing I hate as an audience member, it’s being taken for granted. Khan himself should’ve demanded better from a movie that he co-wrote.

Runtime: 2 hrs. 40 min.

Opening January 22: Veer

One new Hindi movie opens in Chicago area theaters this weekend. Veer is a historical epic about a fictional Pindari warrior fighting India’s British occupiers in 1825. Salman Khan, who co-wrote the screenplay, stars as the title character.

Veer opens on Friday, January 22, 2010 at Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 40 min.

After earning just $117,917 during its first weekend in U.S. theaters, Chance Pe Dance carries over for a second week at the South Barrington 30. Meanwhile, 3 Idiots, which has earned over $6 million in the U.S. so far, sticks around for a fifth week at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Telugu films Adurs and Namo Venkatesa will show at the Golf Glen 5 and Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove. The Golf Glen 5 is also running the Tamil movie Aayirathil Oruvan.