Sunday ReRun: Befikre, an NRI Romance in France

The more I think about this film, the more I like it! It’s not a deep serious movie and it isn’t trying to be a deep serious movie, and for the farce it wants to be, it is really well made.

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Aditya Chopra’s YRF Part 3! Gunday to Thugs

This is exciting, because we are definitely at another turning point after Thugs. And, in a lessor sense, Sui Dhaaga. Aditya’s system of small serious films mixed with big big BIG films is no longer working and he is going to have to come up with something new to entertain us.

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Aditya Chopra Birthday Post! Pick Your Favorite Yash Raj Movie Part 1, Mere Shaadi to Bachne Ae Haseeno

Ready for me to be lazy? All I’m gonna do is list off all the Yash Raj movies produced since Aditya took control. And then you can pick your favorite. And maybe I’ll review it or something. And I am going to start with the first era of YRF under Aditya, 2002 when he took control and started cranking out multiple films a year (instead of his father’s system of one film every few years), to 2008 when he started having multiple flops a year and decided to re-tool.

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Sunday ReRun: Befikre, A Light Happy French Romance With an Indian Accent

No big massive full summary coming for Befikre!  Partly because Dear Zindagi exhausted me, partly because my sense is that my commentators aren’t as interested in a massive discussion of this movie, as they are of other movies.  But mostly because I don’t think it is analyzable, to take it apart would be to destroy it.

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100 Years of Indian Film History in 10 Producers

Yes, it’s time for another 100 year post!  You can see all the others here, I’ve already done male stars, films, and songs.  Time for something different!  Producers!

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Friday Classics: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, the Deconstruction of Shahrukh Khan

Get ready for me to be lazy!  I just dug up a paper I wrote for grad school on this film/Shahrukh’s star persona and wildly slashed out bits and rearranged and then threw it up.  But whatever, I haven’t done a Rab Ne post yet really, and it was time.  The post I really wanted to write was on Lucky: No Time for Love, but I’m not going to let myself, because that should wait for Salman’s Birthday Celebration time.

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Hindi Film 101: Top Box Office Hits 1986-2000

And now we reach the era that the majority of us are actually aware of!  Yaaaaay!  Which is also why this is the shortest post, because I didn’t feel the need to give nearly as much background.  Feel free to take off in the comments with your on details for these films, if you want.

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Happy Birthday Adi! I Will Let Your Work Speak For You

It’s Aditya Chopra’s birthday today, but I don’t want to make a big fuss, because it seems like he isn’t the kind of guy who likes a big fuss.  With that in mind, I will celebrate by letting his work speak for itself. And I will do 28 reasons, one for every year since he started working in film.  The reverse of last year, when I did 18 reasons, one for each year he was in age. (This is an updated and reposted post from last year)

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News About 3 Upcoming Movies: Naseerji’s Son Gets His Launch, Swara Bhaskar Gets a Lead Role, and Yashji Gets a Remake

Well, everyone has decided that the duldrums of February is the time to promote their films, and the duldrums of March is the time to release them.  It’s an interesting sign of the state of the industry that I find  the piddling little early spring releases much more interesting than the big deal winter ones.

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Befikre Review (NO SPOILERS): Adi’s Little French Crepe of a Film

I was very very nervous about how this movie would work, but it totally worked!  I was afraid it was going to be a big Aditya Chopra movie taking the industry in another new direction where I didn’t want it to go.  But turns out, it’s just a little Aditya Chopra movie, a nice harmless little thing that just happens to be made really really well.

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Befikre Release Details: Adi Has NOT Lost His Mind

Thank goodness, Aditya Chopra is still capable of running his life and business!  As trailer after trailer came out for Befikre, I kept thinking “really, Adi?  You are betting the farm on this….thing?”  But nope!  He isn’t betting the farm, he is just betting, like, that one cow that doesn’t give very good milk any more.

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Befikre Trailer: I Hate to Say It, But I Don’t Know If I Like It

Feel free to disagree!  But my reaction, after watching it, is that it is trying so hard to be “different” from the regular Indian films, that it ended up being exactly the same as a million other western films.  Most obviously the French movie Love Me If You Dare (I haven’t seen it, but it was fairly successful and widely reviewed and talked about when it first came out).

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Want to Hold a Book Shahrukh Has Read? And Other SRK News

I think, like myself, the world at large has gotten tired of no new SRK news, now that Fan promotions and IPL are over.  So, since he isn’t poking his head out of doors, we are all scavenging around for whatever little scraps may be lying (laying?) around outside.

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Lamhe: I Don’t Know Why, But I Am Suddenly Remembering “Moments” of Lamhe (Ha!)

Yash Chopra is so good!  Even in Aaina, one of his weaker films, his brilliance stood out.  And then Darr was just fantastic.  But I honestly think Lamhe might be his greatest triumph.

(if you like Sridevi movies, I also did a post on English/Vinglish and Chandni went up today)
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Where Did the Brilliance of Fan Come From? Or, “I think I Maybe In Love with Maneesh Sharma”

In one of my reviews of Fan, I mentioned that I couldn’t believe with the director or the writer listed in the credits were the people who really come up with the ideas, because they were just workmanlike Yash Raj studio directors, full of rom-coms and bright colors and songs and happiness.  But today an interview came out with Maneesh Sharma, and turns out, it was all  him after all!  And also, I may be a little bit in love.

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Boring Industrial Inside Baseball stuff

Notice how I put the really exciting picture at the top so we would remember why this really matters?

So, currently, the highest Shahrukh movie on the all time gross list for India is number 5.  NUMBER 5!!!  The shame of it!  Ahead of him is PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Bahubali, and Dhoom 3.  The whole list is here on wikipedia.

Now, you know what all these films have in common?  They are all from the past 5 years.  And the film at the top is usually from within the past 2 years.  In America, we are used to that, the top grossers are always fairly recent, but in India that wasn’t always the case.  Mother India set a box office record in 1957 that stayed in place for 3 years until Mughal-E-Azam surpassed it in 1960.  Mughal-E-Azam held the record until Sholay beat it in 1975.  Sholay  held the record until Hum Aapke Hain Koun came along in 1994.  Hum Aapke Hain Koun was toppled quickly by DDLJ in 1995.  Then DDLJ lost it’s crown to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998.  That record held until 2001 when it was beaten by both Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.  Gadar held the record until 3 Idiots in 2009, at which point everyone breathed a sigh of release because they could start pretending Gadar never happened (very very problematic messages in that film).  And then 3 Idiots held the record for a long time, by a big big margin, until it was finally beaten by Chennai Express in 2013.  All Shahrukh fans cheered and celebrated and laughed in the faces of their Aamir-fan friends, or at least that’s what I did.  Truly, it was a magical time!


(Shahrukh, take a bow!  You earned it!)

And then about 2 months later, Dhoom 3 came out and Aamir was on top again.  It stayed up there for a year, until PK came out, and then Aamir had the two top spots.  PK is still up there, but Bajrangi Bhaijaan did really well this summer and came close to beating it.  And Bahubali, of course, is a huge deal since it is the only non-Hindi film up there (although it was distributed by a Bombay based production house, Dharma, which is very important in terms of overseas awareness and national reach in India).

So, on the micro-level, this just means we all need to buy as many tickets for Dilwale as humanly possible in order to return Shahrukh to his rightful ranking.  I don’t care if you are actually seeing Star Wars, you buy your ticket for Dilwale!!!

But on a macro-level, in terms of global trends, economics, and the future of the industry, what does all of this mean and where does it come from?

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