Tag Archives: We Are Family

Streaming Video News: October 1, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with more than fifty Indian titles that are now available for streaming. Most of the new films are in Hindi (23 titles), Punjabi (22), or Tamil (7), with one new addition each in Marathi and Bengali (as well as one Urdu movie from Pakistan). The full list of titles is available in the “Newly Added” section at the top of my Netflix page. Here are all of the Bollywood films that were just added:

Supposedly, Soorma is scheduled to join Netflix in India on October 20, with Sanju set to join the catalog this month as well, so we’ll keep an eye on that. For everything else new on Netflix — Bollywood or not — check Instant Watcher.

I also update my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with one new addition to the streaming catalog: the road trip movie Karwaan, which hit in theaters back on August 3, 2018. The July, 2018 theatrical release Dhadak comes to Prime in India on October 4, so hopefully we’ll get it here in the US as well.

Update: Thanks to my Twitter pal Gaurav for letting me know that Fanney Khan debuts on Amazon Prime on October 12, and Sanju hits Netflix on October 15.

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Split Screen Podcast, Episode 11: We Are Family vs. Stepmom

SplitScreenPodcast

Another episode of the Split Screen Podcast featuring yours truly is now available for your listening pleasure. In Episode 11, show host Shah Shahid and I discuss why the Bollywood flick We Are Family is an inferior copy of the Hollywood film Stepmom and struggle to determine why the little boy in We Are Family even exists.

You can subscribe to the Split Screen Podcast at iTunes, or you can listen to Episode 11 in your browser on this page at Shah’s website, Blank Page Beatdown. (Read his new review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens while you’re there.) Every episode of the Split Screen Podcast can be found here. I’m featured in the following episodes:

In Theaters September 24, 2010

With the release of Anjaana Anjaani moving to October 1, there are no new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, September 24, 2010. But Salman Khan’s latest, Dabanng, carries over for a third week at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. So far, Dabanng has earned $1,068,589 in U.S. theaters.

We Are Family carries over for a fourth week at the Golf Glen 5 and South Barrington 30.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Angshumaner Chobi (Bengali), Boss Engira Bhaskaran (Tamil), Elsamma Enna Aankutty (Malayalam) and Komaram Puli (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5.

In Theaters September 17, 2010

There are no new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area on Friday, September 17, but the two recent releases still in theaters are worth checking out. Fun action flick Dabanng got off to an impressive start, earning $628,137 in its opening weekend in U.S. theaters. It gets a second weekend at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. All three of these theaters are carrying over the drama We Are Family as well, now in its third week.

Other Indian movies playing in the Chicago area this weekend include Boss Engira Bhaskaran (Tamil), Komaram Puli (Telugu) and Malarvadi Arts Club (Malayalam) at the Golf Glen 5. The theater is also featuring a limited run of Kings of Devon, an independent Bengali film set in Chicago.

Opening September 10: Dabanng

Salman Khan’s latest action flick, Dabanng, is the only new Hindi movie opening in the Chicago area the weekend beginning Friday, September 10, 2010. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 35 min., and it will open at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville.

We Are Family, which earned $366,354 in U.S. theaters over the long holiday weekend, continues for a second week at all three of the theaters listed above. The South Barrington 30 is also carrying over Peepli Live, which has earned $754,837 during its 4-week run.

Other Indian movies playing in the region this weekend include Boss Engira Bhaskara (Tamil), Gayam 2 (Telugu) and Komaram Puli (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5.

Movie Review: We Are Family (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

I tried to write my review of We Are Family right after seeing it yesterday, but I was too drained. The movie — a remake of the 1998 Hollywood film Stepmom — has a depressing enough premise, but it goes all out to maximize the waterworks.

The remake’s star cast is anchored by Kajol. She plays Maya, a divorced mother of three kids who’s not quite over her globetrotting photographer ex-husband, Aman (Arjun Rampal). When Aman brings his new girlfriend, Shreya (Kareena Kapoor) to his youngest child’s birthday party, Maya and the kids immediately despise her.

When Shreya inadvertently endangers the youngest daughter, Anjali (Diya Sonecha), Maya forbids her from ever seeing the kids again. Maya then discloses to Aman — on the condition of secrecy — that she has cervical cancer. He agrees to move back home to help out and dumps Shreya with no explanation. Everyone is miserable.

Shreya drops by with a present for Anjali, and Maya decides that, if she succumbs to cancer, her kids are going to need a replacement mom. She tells Shreya about her medical condition and asks her to move into the house. This allows Maya to supervise Shreya’s training in the motherly arts.

Career-girl Shreya has little aptitude for childcare, and Maya is hard on her. The kids begin to warm up to their stepmom-in-training, irritating Maya, even though it was she who invited Shreya back into her kids’ lives.

Kajol and Kapoor both give incredible performances. They convey so much with just a look. The movie is primarily about two women trying to understand their roles in a complicated family, and the most touching moments are between Maya and Shreya.

Rampal manages to keep Aman from becoming a villain. He’s unreliable, but he’s not a bad guy. The kids’ parts are similarly well-acted, especially considering how irritating child actors can be. Little Anjali and her older brother, Ankush (Nominath Ginsburg), are curious, without being too wise for their years.

The break-out star of the movie is Aanchal Munjal, who plays teenage daughter Aleya. Her home life gets turned upside down right at the age when she’s transitioning into young adulthood, a challenging task under the best of circumstances. Munjal plays Aleya as resentful, but not wholly without reason, and not without empathy.

The movie falls apart in the final act, when Maya’s condition worsens. At that point, the film becomes an orgy of grief. There are multiple scenes involving crying children, clearly designed to provoke sympathetic tears in the audience. The ploy works the first several times, but eventually loses its effectiveness.

After the movie was over, I had a headache from all of the crying (my own and the characters’) and just wanted to take a nap. It was 3 p.m. My Friday night was already ruined.

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Opening September 3: We Are Family

This weekend’s new Hindi release is a big one: We Are Family — a remake of the 1998 Hollywood film Stepmom — starring Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Because of the familiar plot and talented cast, this is probably a good movie for Bollywood newbies.

In the Chicago area, We Are Family opens on Friday, September 3, 2010 at the AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Regal Cantera Stadium 30 in Warrenville. Click here for nationwide theater information. The movie has a listed runtime of 1 hr. 55 min.

Peepli Live sticks around for a fourth week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30. The Golf Glen 5 is also carrying over Lafangey Parindey for a third week.

Other Indian movies showing in the Chicago area this weekend include Penn Pattanam (Malayalam) and Thakita Thakita (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5.