Madhuri Day Still! Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Her Most Successful Movie

It’s been pointed out that I might appear to undervalue this film and that is why I haven’t spoken much about it.  Truly, I don’t undervalue it!  It’s just such an unusual film that it doesn’t fit easily with a discussion of anything else.  Nothing else is really like it, and therefore available for comparison with it.  And it didn’t start a particular trend in filmmaking (beyond the general “Family Films” trend), because it would be so hard to imitate.  But yes, I do know about this movie, I know all sorts of things about it and I am aware of it’s place in film history.

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Happy May Day!!!! Let’s Have Some May Flowers!

May day, in addition to being the international day of labor, is also the international day of “hanging flowers and candy on your neighbor’s doors”.  And the Maypole dance and various other obviously pagan spring rituals.  But whatever, it works!  Spring keeps coming!  And to that end, let’s enjoy some pretty spring flower songs.

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Box Office: Padmavat and 3rd Generation Immigrants

There isn’t much to analyze this week, Padmavat is doing crazy good everywhere, you can just sort of accept that.  And also, secondly, Bhagamathie is also doing good.  But, WHY?  I am going to take a massive logical leap and you can decide if it makes sense or not.

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Happy Tiger Zinda Hai Day! And 5 Days to Salman’s Birthday! Let’s Look at Some Salman Songs

Happy Tiger Zinda Hai day!  Early reports say it is roaring in to the box office.  But I don’t necessarily believe them a) because I am a cynic; b) because the per screen international isn’t available yet and that is the only really accurate figure.  Anyway, to rev us all up and because it is Salman’s Birthday Week, I thought I would post some of the best Salman songs from the past.

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Friday Classics: Hum Aapke Hain Koun, A Movie that is Not Related to Any Other Movie

It’s been pointed out that I might appear to undervalue this film and that is why I haven’t spoken much about it.  Truly, I don’t undervalue it!  It’s just such an unusual film that it doesn’t fit easily with a discussion of anything else.  Nothing else is really like it, and therefore available for comparison with it.  And it didn’t start a particular trend in filmmaking (beyond the general “Family Films” trend), because it would be so hard to imitate.  But yes, I do know about this movie, I know all sorts of things about it and I am aware of it’s place in film history.

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100 Years of Hindi Film History in 10 Movies

I put up a version of this post a couple of days ago, but then we all spitballed back and forth in the comments and ended up coming up with a few changes.  So this is the New Improved Better version of the post (original version, you can still view here).  This is to help sort of orient you to Indian film history.  A big accepted “classic” from each decade that will help you understand how the industry grew and changed.  I don’t promise that you will be able to find and watch each of them (the website indiancine.ma is a fantastic resource you might want to try), but you should at least be familiar with the titles of these films and what they meant.

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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 50th Madhuri!!!!!!!

It’s Madhuri’s birthday today!  Well, today in India.  But I want to start celebrating as soon as possible, so I am putting up my birthday posts today.  And it’s a big birthday, and she is a big star, so I am doing one reason for every year she was alive, 50 in total. (this is an updated and reposted post from last year)

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Happy Pride Day! Let’s Talk About What We Can be Proud About in Hindi Film!

There is more than you think!  I’m not just talking about Dostana, or Kal Ho Na Ho, or Dunno Y…Jaane Q, or Bombay Talkies, or Margarita with a Straw, or even Fire.  In the whole history of Indian film, there have always been those people off to the side, being themselves and being Queer.

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I Saw Housefull 3! Better Late Than Never! (Review with Spoilers, I guess? Although it isn’t really the kind of a movie you watch for plot)

I am actually traveling this week, but I took a chance and checked the showtimes, and Housefull 3 was playing at a mall 200 feet from my hotel!  It was fate!  I had to see it!

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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!

SRK@B2.jpg

(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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