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Nov 282013

The only group of people for whom Bullett Raja is appropriate are masochistic Indian moviegoers who derive their jollies from painful lashes on their back.

The rest ought to stay at home than subject themselves to this puerile attempt at movie-making.

Insufferable Garbage – Beginning to End

From the opening “encounter” scene on a rural road in Uttar Pradesh to Saif Ali Khan’s screaming session in the plane in the final moments, Bullett Raja is an affront to all notions of class, style, logic or finesse in a movie.

Made by a dolt named Tigmanshu Dhulia (based on a ‘story’ he co-wrote with Amaresh Misra), Bullett Raja is an intolerably asinine story of friendship, revenge and thuggery set in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Everything about Bullett Raja is half-baked. Continue reading »

Nov 182013

I’m pleased as punch!

So pleased and thrilled that I’ve opened a bottle of Soju to celebrate, my poor health notwithstanding.

Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s lovely film Ram Leela has done remarkably well at the U.S. box office.

Pssst, Ram Leela has done better than even the super-hero film Krrish 3.

For the opening November 15-17, 2013 weekend, Ram Leela raked in $1.45 million at the U.S. box office!

Ram Leela is a fine film and deserves all the accolades and riches at the box office.

As the peerless SI wrote last week after watching Ram Leela at a theatre on the U.S. East Coast:

The genius of Ram Leela director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is to Indianize and contemporarize Shakespeare’s eternal love saga Romeo and Juliet, and meld it with nonpareil visual imagery, decent acting and above average music.

If you haven’t watched Ram Leela, all I can say is you’re missing out on the rare Bollywood film worth watching.

Here’s how Ram Leela fared at the U.S. box office compared to a few prominent Bollywood films:

Ram Leela Opening Weekend U.S. Box Office Report

Related Content:
Ram Leela Review – Now I Can Die in Peace For I’ve Seen a Bollywood Class Act
Nov 152013

SI Thrilled – Ram Leela Scores Big at BO

I loath 99.9% of Bollywood movies.

The Bollywood affliction of a sophomoric story with zero visual appeal, a bunch of jackasses going through the motions of acting, 4 lifeless songs, 1 awful item number, and 40-minutes of filming in London, NYC or Holland drives me to a devilish fury.

So I had much reason to be pleased with the Bollywood aberration Ram Leela.

The genius of Ram Leela director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is to Indianize and contemporarize Shakespeare’s eternal love saga Romeo and Juliet, and meld it with nonpareil visual imagery, decent acting and above average music.

And Bhansali does all this by working within the constraining framework of Bollywood where song, dance and love are de rigueur.

Visually Stunning

If there’s one element in Ram Leela that towers over everything else, it’s the eye-popping visual appeal.

Every frame, and SI means literally every frame, leaps out at you and is a visual feast so unlike any seen in an Indian film before (I wonder if Selvaraghavan’s upcoming Tamil film Irandam Ulagam can match the visual appeal of Ram Leela).

Indoor or outdoor, be it costumes, background setting or adroit use of lighting,  Ram Leela is a stunning riot of colors that left yours truly bedazzled.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the rara avis Bollywood director who recognizes the basic wisdom that movies are, above all, a  visual medium.

Familiar Story

Ram Leela borrows from the essence of the bard’s Romeo and Juliet – the feuding families and star-crossed lovers – and embellishes it with the artifice of our Indian mythological hero Ram. Continue reading »

Nov 042013

Hrithik Roshan’s Diwali release Krrish 3 has not set the box office on fire in the U.S.

The movie, produced and directed by Hrithik’s papa Rakesh Roshan, took in a mere million dollars in its opening November 1-3, 2013 weekend.

Average gross of just $5,046 per screen is likely turning Hrithik and his father toward suicidal thoughts!

Krrish 3 had a wide release in the U.S., debuting on 208 screens.

Krrish 3 was hit by mostly critical reviews and likely suffered from lack of strong word of mouth.

Here’s how Krrish 3 did in the U.S. vis-a-vis some prominent Bolltwood films:

Krrish 3 U.S. Box Office Report

Related Stories
Krrish 3 Review – Best Krrish
Chennai Express – Sub-Mental Garbage
Nov 012013

No, Krrish 3 is not swoonworthy fare.

Merely, the best in the Krrish series of super-hero films and one of the rare endurable Bollywood movies.

Super-Hero Meets Super-Villain

Krrish 3 outclasses other Indian super-hero films like Krrish 2, Enthiran and Ra-One in four respects:

* Super-villain Kaal (Vivek Oberoi) is an unusual character with an interesting back story (not a cartoon villain like in 99% of Indian films) that unfolds in the second half.

* Super-hero aspects are not overwhelming, adding to the emotional quotient.

* Special effects are above average.

* Above all, Krrish 3 is not as silly as the other Indian super-hero drivel and the comedy aspect has been toned down to a minimum (I do feel bad though for the talented Rajpal Yadav, reduced to a minuscule role in the film).

The central theme of Krrish 3 is the clash with the demonic super-villain Kaal, who’s been unleashing killer germs on people in Namibia and Mumbai.

Vivek Oberoi has done more than a decent job as the super-villain Kaal, a maniacal genius out to wreak havoc and misery from his wheel chair.

One of the big chinks in the story is the motivation of Kaal. Is it an insatiable lust for money or a morbid desire to destroy  humanity?

Also, the music is not up to snuff and the talentless star Priyanka Chopra adds zilch value.

Hrithik Roshan Show

Good as Vivek Oberoi is, the star of Krrish 3 is Hrithik Roshan in a double role (inventor father and super-hero son). Continue reading »

Oct 172013

To say I was surprised by the turnout for the opening show of Boss, Akshay Kumar’s latest putrid gift to his fans, would be an understatement.

At AMC 25 in Times Square NYC, there were about 30 people for the 12:40PM opening show on a week day!

And to my great dismay, several members of the audience seemed to be enjoying this great apotheosis of trash.

SI rationalized it this way – You can take the Chutiya out of India but you cannot take the Chutiya out of the Indian.

Depravity Only Indians Will Love

Boss belongs to the same genre as Akshay Kumar’s 2012 movie Rowdy Rathore – Undiluted trash.

A perversity in every possible way, Boss did not endear itself to me in any manner.

Not even when Aditi Rao Hydari strutted out of the pool in a reddish pink bikini flaunting her tits, thighs and legs did I feel a rush of blood.

The woman can’t act to save her life and fortunately the creature’s role in the film is as skimpy as her bikini.

Hopelessly boring, this remake of a Malayalam blockbuster (Pokkiri Raja) is an endless litany of Akshay Kumar beating one guy after another to pulp the way they do it in those crude Tamil films. Continue reading »