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Apr 212014

Indians have no class.

If I have said it once, I’ve said it a million times.

If you ask me, most Indians are a few steps below bonobos (a species of monkeys).

The evolution process so completely bypassed Indians that these simians will elevate any trashy Bollywood movie, including junk like 2 States, into a big hit.

Bollywood Trash – Big Hit

Now you understand how 2 States crossed $1 million at the U.S. box office.

In its opening April 18-20, 2014 weekend at the U.S. box office, 2 States grossed $1.07 million, surpassing the likes of Krrish 3 and Dabangg 2.

Alia Bhatt was 200% unconvincing as a Tamil girl in this less than mediocre Bollywood romance.

And yet the Indian chutiyas are flocking to the movie!

No surprise then that Indian movies are raking in the awards at major film festivals like Oscars, Cannes etc. :(

2 States U.S. Box Office Report

Related 2 States Posts:
2 States Review – Mildly Amusing Nonsense
Apr 192014

If it’s Friday, it’s time for another tiresome Bollywood movie!

Such has been my miserable kismet for several years now.

And 2 States did not turn out to be markedly different from the usual wretched Bollywood tripe except for a few amusing moments here and there before the de rigueur happy ending.

North-South Conflict

Based on the third rate hack Chetan Bhagat’s eponymous book, 2 States is a romance wrapped in the cliched conflict between North Indians and South Indians (collectively derided in yesteryears as Madrasis ).

Punjabi lad Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor) and Tamil gal Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt) are students of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad when love inexplicably blossoms between the two.

With hormones in overdrive, the twenty-somethings kiss, fuck, argue and say sorry to each other!

But after their graduation from IIM the core of the movie pivots from romance to opposition between parents of Krish and Ananya to their respective offsprings’ romance on cultural and regional grounds.

Now how exciting do you suppose a cultural/regional conflict between parents of two young lovers can be in 2014?

Z E R O!

India is in the ferment of deep change and millennium-old notions of caste, religion, community and regionalism are swiftly falling by the wayside.

Pre-marital sex is fine and dandy but parental opposition over cultural differences is like the Great Wall of China, an insuperable barrier! Continue reading »

Mar 262014

What's Wrong with Indian Box Office?

Bizarre Nation

Everything about India is bizarre – Its people, its politicians, its culture and, of course, its movies.

Let’s take the Indian movie business, for instance.

It’s no secret that Indians are insanely crazy about movies. The sight of their favorite star (Rajinikanth, Sharukh Khan, Salman Khan etc) or a fair-skinned item girl jiggling her tits on the screen transports Indian movie fans into an orgasmic frenzy of whistles, dances and shrieks.

It’s also no secret that India makes more movies and in more languages (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and Bengali) than any other country on Planet Earth.

Plus, if you take into account the Hollywood releases Indians have the greatest movie choice in the world.

Yet Indian box office returns are pitiful compared to other countries with a far smaller population.

Take a dekko at the above chart and you’ll see some really weird stuff. South Korea with a population just 4% of India’s has nearly the same box office collection as India.

Why Low Indian Box Office Numbers

I do not believe ticket prices are behind the pathetic box office collections in India.

Movie ticket prices have shot through the roof in Indian cities, particularly at the new multiplexes.

In my view, three main reasons account for India’s pathetic box office numbers.

* Rotten Indian Culture: India is populated by two kinds of people – the rotten degenerate corrupt and a slightly less corrupt lot. Indian movie-makers frequently resort to theft and every other dirty trick in the book to churn out movies. And well aware of the rotten behavior of Indian film producers, Indian chutiya movie-viewers (rich or poor) often resort to piracy to see movies be it via Torrent downloads on their laptops or bootleg DVDs on their big screen TVs.

* Poor Quality of Indian Movies: Indians for the most part have no class! Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of Indian movies are garbage. Or as SI likes to put it, Indian movies are made by philistines for the sole viewing pleasure of philistines. Unlike Korean or Chinese movies that have an audience far beyond Korea or China and their diaspora, viewership of Indian movies is restricted exclusively to Indians. Talented film-makers and actors like Anurag Kashyap, Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Anupam Kher, and Supriya Pathak Kapur do not have many takers for their work. Simultaneously a growing number of Indians (not the diaspora but Indians living in the homeland) are getting disillusioned with the quality of Bollywood movies and turning to European, Korean, Chinese and American films. This obviously has an impact on box office collections in India.

* Movie Fatigue: India also produces far too many movies. Week after week, a slew of movies come out in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc. The sheer numbers plus competition from Cricket matches induce fatigue even in avid moviegoers.

No Change Imminent

I do not see any big changes happening in the Indian film industry in the foreseeable future.

Indian box office numbers will continue to remain pathetic.

Piracy will continue at its current rate.

Bollywood and its smaller siblings will continue to churn out the same trash at a frenetic pace.

And more Indians will develop a passion for quality Hollywood, European, Korean and Chinese films that they will obtain by means legal or illegal.

Mar 172014

Bollywood freak Sonam Kapoor got her comeuppance last weekend with her latest film Bewakoofiyaan faring miserably at the box office both in India and the U.S.

Bewakoofiyaan has turned in one of the worst performances we’ve seen in many years for a Bollywood film at the U.S. box office.

A talent for picking rotten films and a mouth cursed never to close, Sonam Kapoor has turned into Bollywood’s abominable freak and justly deserves this flop.

First, Bewakoofiyaan received the cold shoulder from several critics. And now comes the disastrous report at the box office

For the March 14-16, 2014 opening weekend, Bewakoofiyaan grossed a pitifully low $46,888 ($919 per screen).

Junk like Bewakoofiyaan ought not to be released on the big screen but shoved straight into the huge DVD bins at Walmart for 99-cents.

Bewakoofiyan Opening Weekend Box Office Report

Feb 242014

Bollywood film Highway, director Imtiaz Ali’s lift of the two-decade old Hollywood movie The Chase, has fared poorly at the U.S. box office.

For the opening February 21-23, 2014 weekend, Highway could manage a gross of only $286,495.

Highway’s opening weekend performance is pathetic for a Bollywood director of Imtiaz Ali’s stature.

Highway is Imtiaz Ali’s fifth film as director (his earlier films include Socha Na Tha, 2005; Jab We Met, 2007; Love Aaj Kal, 2009; and Rockstar, 2011).

Ali’s last film Rockstar grossed more than double the Highway numbers (Rockstar opening weekend: $612,235) at the U.S. box office.

To Imtiaz’ mortification, Highway has done worse than even the recent Hindi film Hasee Toh Phasee from debutant director Vinil Mathew.

Here’s how Highway fared at the U.S. box office for the opening weekend compared to a few prominent Bollywood films:

Highway U.S. Box Office Report

Related Highway Stories:
Highway – Highway Robbery of The Chase
Highway Review – Delightful Bollywood Aberration
Feb 232014

(Thanks to SI Blog reader rvasam who first alerted me to the lift)

Let’s get to the big question right away.

Is Bollywood film Highway a lift of the 1994 Hollywood movie The Chase?

The short answer – Yes, to a significant, unignorable, inexcusable, unpardonable degree.

There are far too many similarities between Highway and The Chase to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

Highway Robbery

Imtiaz Ali claims to have “written and directed” the Bollywood film Highway.

I will throw a sop to the Bollywood Cerberus and concede that Highway is directed by Imtiaz Ali.

But “written” by Imtiaz Ali?

Now, that’s a delusion so bizarre it can only be matched by yours truly claiming to be Alexander the Great!

Don’t make me laugh, kiddo.

Highway director Imtiaz Ali is a shameless thief and Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are his two accomplices in crime.

In retrospect, I should have been more Argus-eyed with Imtiaz Ali.

Remember how the hit song Yeh Ishq Hai in his 2007 film Jab We Met was stolen from Anggun’s Etre Une Femme.

Imtiaz Ali is like a car thief who after purloining a two-decade-old jalopy paints it in a different color, changes the license plates, rolls back the odometer, sprays some car freshener and peddles it as new.

In short, Imtiaz Ali has stolen the plot of The Chase and Indianized it as Highway.

Also, keep in mind that Highway producer Sajid Nadiadwala is a big-time criminal who stole the plot of the French film Trois hommes et un couffin (Hollywood version: Three Men and a Baby) and regurgitated it as Heyy Babyy (Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan).

Highway – My Anguish

Rarely do I like a Bollywood movie.

Most Indian movies are unwatchable trash made by talentless scumbags for the viewing pleasure of degenerate philistines.

So when a SI blog reader mentioned last night that the new Bollywood movie Highway, one that I greatly loved, was lifted from the Hollywood film The Chase I found myself in deep anguish. Almost, in extremis!

Oh, not again, I told myself! :(

I wanted to find out if Highway was one more instance of Bollywood dickheads overcoming their poverty of imagination by stealthily stooping to deep-throat Hollywood.

And I decided the best way to determine if Highway is the nullius filius of The Chase was to see it for myself rather than rely on hearsay.

A short while ago, I completed watching The Chase and here’s my considered verdict.

Too Many Similarities – No Coincidence

Here are a whole bunch of damning similarities between Highway (2014) and the two-decade old Hollywood film The Chase (1994):

1. In both films, the basic backdrop, against which all other events happen, is the kidnapping of a young girl.

2. In both films, the kidnapping happens without intent, meaning that the crime is not planned.

3. In both films, the kidnapping happens as a result of another crime (in Highway while Mahabir is fleeing after attacking a gas-station and in The Chase when Jackson Hammond, a prison escapee, panics after the police question him about the car he’s stolen).

4. In both films, the kidnapping happens at a gas station.

5. In both films, the kidnapper is unaware he is snatching a girl from an extremely wealthy family.

6. In both films, the kidnapping is believed by outsiders to have been done for ransom though money is not the original intent. Continue reading »