R.I.P. Sri Devi – An Indian Cinema Icon and Legend

Sri Devi

I wouldn’t normally do a post about Bollywood celebrity deaths but this news has been such a shock and I still can’t believe it.
Over the past couple of years Bollywood legends such as Om Puri  (January 2017), Vinod Khanna (April 2017), Reema Lagoo (May 2017)  and most recently Shashi Kapoor (December 2017) last year alone have passed away. I never thought I would be posting about the passing of Sri Devi so early on. Even while writing this I still can’t believe she’s gone.
I only saw pictures of her a couple of days ago on Instagram enjoying a wedding.
Sri Devi passed away on Saturday 24th after a cardiac arrest in Dubai, where she was attending a family wedding, along with many other Bollywood celebrities.

She had been acting since the age of 4, you could say she was just born to act.
She had done several films before I was even born, but I still grew up watching her movies. We were just getting to see more of Sri Devi since her comeback to Bollywood in English Vinglish in 2012, and most recently Mom in 2017, where she took on these key roles as representing older women, and now she’s gone.
She had acted in over 150 movies including regional Indian cinema in Tamil, Telugu, Malaylam, Kannada and Hindi languages. That’s how versatile she was and we have lost her too soon.

Sri Devi is and will always be a legend. She had given us so many iconic roles. Her big eyes, her facial expressions, her style, her dancing and just everything about her was the epitome of grace. She was and will always be an inspiration for girls everywhere.

Chandni, Mr India, Chaalbaaz (favourite), Himmatwala, Khuda Gawah, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, Laadla, Army, Judaai (favourite), English Vinglish and Mom to name a few of the hundreds of movies she did in Indian cinema.
Gone but never forgotten.

My condolences to her family and friends. We have lost a true star.

“Balma” “Understand, You better Understand”

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Zack Knight & Jasmin Walia – Bom Diggy Diggy in a Bollywood movie!!

Go Zack Knight and Jasmin Walia for getting their song in a Bollywood movie and I’m so happy for them!

The video was released by T-Series yesterday and features in the movie Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety starring half of the Pyar Ka Punchnama 2 cast, Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh Nijjar and Nushrat Bharucha.

I’ve been hearing this song since last year summer and now it’s being featured in a movie.

This looks like the boys’ intro song in the movie to me.

I just don’t understand this video though, are they in a “foreign location” because there’s so many white girls twerking. Why are they lip syncing to Jasmin’s words rather than the south asian girls? Why couldn’t they be the leads in this video, it is in a Bollywood movie isn’t it? But the asian guys can get their air time and highlight their dancing skills.
Anyways here’s the original video as well if you don’t know what the singers look like…

Films watched in 2017

Happy New Year!

I know I’m saying it a couple of days late, but it’s still the beginning of 2018.

I hope this new year brings luck and is a prosperous year for everyone.
I admit I had said I was going  to get back to posting regularly, but life always gets in the way. I don’t know how some of you keep it consistent, it’s hard!

This post is basically what I do at the beginning of the new year, listing all the movies I’ve watched over the past year, and yes still categorised into Hollywood and Bollywood movies.
I admit last year I hardly watched many movies, and I honestly don’t know why.
It was either a) because the trailers didn’t entice me enough or b) I wasn’t too interested in the actors/actresses in these movies, or c) both of the above.

As always the movies I have highlighted are the ones I would recommend a watch.

So here’s my list:

Hollywood Movies watched in 2017

  • Storks (2016)
  • La La Land (2017)
  • Lego Batman Movie (2017)
  • Sing (2017)

sing

  • 50 Shades Darker (2017)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them (2016)
  • Kong Skull Island (2017)

Kong

  • Logan (2017)
  • Beauty & The Beast (2017)
  • Power Rangers (2017)
  • Fences (2016)
  • Hidden Figures (2017)

Hidden

  • Fast & Furious 8 (2017)
  • Fist Fight (2017)
  • The Boss Baby (2017)
  • Despicable Me 3 (2017)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Girls Trip (2017)

Girls

  • Patti Cake$ (2017)
  • The Big Sick (2017)

Big Sick

  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Thor: Ragnorok (2017)
  • Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
  • Cars 3 (2017)

Bollywood Movies watched in 2017

  • OK Jaanu (2017)
  • Gulaab Gang (2014)
  • Raees (2017)
  • Jolly LLB 2 (2017)
  • Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)
  • Tamasha (2017)
  • Phillauri (2017)
  • Hindi Medium (2017)
  • Noor (2017)
  • The Legend of Michael Mishra (2016)
  • Tubelight (2017)
  • Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)
  • Toilet Ek Prem Katha (2017)

Toilet

  • Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017)
  • Lipstick Under my Burkha (2017)

Lipstick

  • Lucknow Central (2017)
  • Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017)
  • Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana (2017)
  • Tumhari Sulu (2017)
  • Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017)

I haven’t watched as many Bollywood movies as I would have liked or I had over the past couple of years. Personally I feel Bollywood went through a slump in 2017. The movies that did particularly well with the audience mostly fell in the comedy genre like Mubarakan, Judwaa 2 and Golmaal Again, and obviously I can’t forget the super-hit of the year Bahubaali 2, which technically is Telegu and been dubbed in Hindi to reach a more global audience, so it’s still Indian cinema just not Bollywood.
It was a great year for the “Indie” movies, which I would say have now become mainstream.
I’m glad to see, we as an audience are demanding more content in the movies we watch, and I hope it continues this coming year.

What movies from last year would you recommend I watch?

Bareilly Ki Barfi Review (Spoilers)

I haven’t written a review in a year so I may be a bit rusty, I apologise.
Now that the year is coming to an end i’ve decided to make a conscious effort to catch up on the Bollywood movies released this year which I haven’t watched and been telling myself, I want to watch that.
As you know I upload a list of movies I’ve watched throughout the whole year of both Hollywood, Bollywood and regional movies, and saw that by Bollywood list for this year was very short.
So just the other day I watched a few movies (which were short, hence why I could watch 2 movies consecutively) and thought I should be reviewing this. So here’s to the start of many to come out which some of you may find old and useless, but maybe a few who haven’t watched these movies might give it a go.

Now onto the review which may be why you’re reading this, bare with me it is long.

Bareilly Ki Barfi

Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (some people may know from directing the South asian film ‘Amma Kanakku’ then remaking it to Bollywood film ‘Nil Battey Sannata’).

The Plot

  • Narrated by Javed Akhtar this film is set in a small town of Bareilly. Bitti (Kriti Sanon) is a carefree and strong minded young girl who’s being pressured to get married. Her parents, her dad who’s a mithai shop owner Narottam Mishra (Pankjaj Tripathi) and her mum a school teacher, Sushila Mishra (Seema Bhargava) are stressed because she’s become ‘of age’ to get married, and has been rejected a couple of times by suitors. Bitti refuses into being forced to marry any random guy, when she is asked an inappropriate question and declines the proposal. Her mum being a typical asian mum who feels the society’s pressure, says some hurtful comments which Bitti hears and decides to run away.
  • At the train station not sure where she wants to go, she picks up a book from a small book stand, where the title of the book is ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’. She reads through the story and thinks the author has written about her, because she resembles all the traits in the female character of the book.
    After reading the book she cancels her plans to run away and decides to go back home.
  • Obsessed with this book she tells her best friend Rama (Swati Semwal), so they both decide to find the author for Bitti, as she feels this writer is her soul mate, and he seems to understand her so well.
    She takes the book back to the book stand at the station, and asks the seller Munna (Rohit Choudhary) if he knows the author Pritam Vridrohi (Rajkummar Rao). Munna says he’s not sure but he can try to get in touch with him.
  • Here we’re introduced to Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana), who’s actually the real writer of the book and Munna’s friend. They both discuss how to deal with Bitti, then Munna suggests mentioning Chirag’s dad’s printing business which he runs, as the book was pressed there so they can both meet and interact.
  • Bitti visits the small business and enquires about Pritam’s address because she wants to write to him. Chirag agrees to pass on her letters, so they both write back and forth and Chirag slowly starts falling for her.
  • Throughout this back and forth Bitti has asked to meet Pritam face to face. Unsure what to do Chirag and Munna decide to finally contact Pritam Vridohi. They both had bullied him into being the face of this book. Ashamed at what he had done he ran away from home, leaving his family behind and no one knew where he went.
  • Chirag and Munna visit his mum who is living pretty well off because Pritam sends money from his new job. They get the address and set off to find him.
  • Pritam is a shy and timid guy who they bully again, into returning back to Bareilly but as a ‘gangster’, because Bitti hates guys who act like a thugs. This will break her illusion of being in love with him. Then Chirag will swoop in and Bitti will fall in love with him instead.
  • They change everything about Pritam to make him stand out, and they all go back to Bareilly to break Bitti’s heart. Bitti finally meets Pritam with Chirag and making her best friend Rama tag along as well. It’s an awkward meeting where Pritam acts rudely towards the waiter, Bitti is confused and put off Pritam Vridohi.
  • The next day Pritam turns up at her house to meet her parents. Sushila likes him instantly when he gifts her a saree, he fixes Bitti’s dad’s neck which has been hurting for days and now both parents like him, and Chirag’s plan is failing.
  • Chirag and Munna belittle Pritam and tell him to fix this mess. Hurt by the comments he heads to a street food stand where he meets Bitti and has an emotional breakdown. The next day Pritam visits Bitti who’s is waiting with Chirag, Pritam goes off script again. Frustrated with his behavior Munna and Chirag forcefully dunk his head in a bucket of water to try and get him back on track, he then blurts out he doesn’t like Bitti but her best friend Rama. Relieved Chirag hatches another plan.
  • They all go for a boat ride with four of them in the boat, and instead of proposing to Bitti, he tells her he doesn’t like her but likes Rama instead. Rama declines the proposal because she heard he’s a divorcee, which Chirag had made up and told Bitti’s parents and not Pritam.
  • Hurt by the decline and betrayal Pritam finally confronts Chirag, and tells him to get revenge he’s going to take Bitti away from him, from right under his nose. Chirag goes to comfort Bitti thinking she will be hurt by the rejection but instead she say’s she doesn’t mind a divorcee.
  • Bitti and Pritam get to know each other better and start hanging out more, where Chirag ends up being the third wheel.
  • The engagement date is set. Pritam visits Chirag with sweets and the invitation. Chirag is angry and threatens him Bitti will find out the truth, and if he can’t have her then no one can. Pritam calls him selfish for everything he’s done to him and for only thinking about himself in this situation and walks away.
  • Chirag reminisces his moments with Bitti and tries to be there for her as a friend but is heartbroken. He finally realises his mistakes and apologises to Pritam and has written a letter for Pritam to read out declaring his love for Bitti at the engagement.
  • On the day Pritam’s voice is broken so he asks Chirag to read it out on behalf of him.
    PLOT TWIST – While heartbroken Chirag is reading the letter without even looking at the paper, an emotional Bitti tells him to stop pretending and how long he can keep up this facede, and  just say he was the writer all this time. Bitti tells him Pritam had told her the truth a long time ago. Chirag asks why she didn’t say anything before, where she admits she was seeing if he liked her for her, or because she resembled his first love Babli, who he wrote about in his book.
  • Chirag and Bitti get engaged. Pritam and Rama get together. Chirag, Pritam and Munna become stronger friends. The end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpuhD_xKadk

What really made me watch this movie other than my fave Rajkummar Rao being in this movie and of course the trailer, were actually the songs. I have to admit recently I’ve been more interested in watching these films because I love the soundtracks.
‘Sweety Tera Drama’ is so catchy and is definitely on the wedding party playlist, as well as ‘Twist Kamariya’ which was basically Bitti’s introduction song.
‘Badass Babuaa’ was fun to watch, but personally I won’t be listening to it in my own time.
It was the first time I heard the song ‘Bairaagi’ and it was nice but emotional, it was used in the correct place and it got you right in the feels, I think I’ll have to listen to it a few more times to see if it’s on my playlist. But my favourite song in this movie was/is ‘Nazm Nazm’ and it’s been on repeat for me since the video released. I love it.

What worked:

I really liked both parents, Seema played the typical asian mother. While she was a school teacher, teaching little kids in her classroom, at home it was the total opposite because her child barely listened to her. I can’t think of how else she could have behaved differently. It’s usually the mother who feels the pressure of getting her child married at ‘a right age’ compared to the father I believe. She has great comical timing and really majority of her acting is done by her facial expressions.

Pankaj was more subtle as the dad. He was shown just fumbling along life, taking each day as it came, and being stuck between his wife and daughter when they were have disagreements. He supported his daughter no matter what, even her bad habits of smoking which some people might find a bit problematic, especially for South asian girls. He had basically given her the freedom to do whatever she wanted, just how any Asian son would do which was refreshing to see. He had some good dialogues. I liked when he ended up talking to himself at night while staring at the fan, you’d think he’s talking to his wife but she’s fast asleep and he’s just talking out loud about Bitti. They portrayed this father-daughter relationship really well.
What I also liked about the parents was that they were forward thinking enough to let Bitti choose a partner for herself, even if it was a random guy who’s book she was obsessed with.

Kriti was actually good. I think she stood out more when it was just her in the scenes, before Ayushmann came in. She showed herself to be outspoken and independent, but also show her softer side when her and Ayushmann were hanging out. She was very likeable.

You can call me bias but I love Rajkummar Rao’s acting in general, and this movie is no different for me when it comes to his acting. He switched easily between the soft spoken Pritam to the rough and deep author Pritam, sometimes even in one scene. Now that’s called acting. While the beginning was frustrating to watch him being pushed around, and just going along with it, I loved when he finally decided to stand up for himself. You could see him being hurt and brewing on the boat trip and knew he was about to blow.

I’ve really had to think about how I felt about Ayushmann’s character in this movie. While some people might find him cute and lovable, which in some moments he was especially when Bitti and Chirag were getting to know each other. What frustrated me was how blasé and ignorant he was towards other people’s feelings, especially Pritam Vridrohi. I really didn’t like how obsessed he became with Bitti that he was being violent towards an innocent man, just because he was never brave enough to confess his love for Babli, and she got married to someone else.
Even his apology at the end wasn’t enough for me, especially after torturing the guy which led him to running away then dragging him back into the mess.
Also his best friend Munna was no better, while we saw glimpse of him trying to be decent, 2 minutes later they both laughed it off and basically worked as a tag team to trap Pritam in their charade.

What didn’t work:

The story itself wasn’t too bad, it had some plot holes and some parts of the relationships needed a little backstory. Although the movie was shown as a narration of Bitti and Chirag’s love story. I wanted to find out how Chirag and Munna actually became friends with Pritam because their personalities are totally opposite. While Chirag and Munna think the same and are mischievous, Pritam is more innocent and basically a mummy’s boy who is shy, timid, mature and quiet. They could’ve just spent 5 minutes developing this relationship. The male characters needed more work on their character arc.

I would’ve liked to see some parts of Pritam and Rama getting to know each other. Other than them both saying out loud to their friends that they liked each other, Rama to Bitti after the first meeting, and Pritam shouting it out so the others would stop dunking his face in water. We didn’t get to see them interact. I would’ve liked to see him making Chirag jealous when hanging out with Bitti, but secretly meeting Rama, but I guess that would’ve given away the plot twist very early on, or the perception of Pritam’s innocent character would be tainted in the audiences’ mind.

While the narration told us that Chirag never got his first love, which is why he decided to write a book about his heartbreak, and use his dad’s business to publish the book. We were never told about his family. Why is he on his own? We’re just left to assume that his parents are dead. Why hasn’t he moved on if he doesn’t have any family left? Why is he still working in this printing business if he hated it?

Overall I didn’t mind watching it but I don’t think I will be re-watching it anytime soon. While the songs are catchy and will make you get up and dance, there was just something lacking for me. Also soon enough it will be airing on TV in the next couple of weeks.

Films Watched in 2016

Firstly hello and welcome back! I have been on a year hiatus from blogging, purely because lack of motivations amongst medical reasons.

A little life update, I have graduated from my University with a 2:1, and with operations in between, I think i’ve done pretty well which means I’m just at a really good space, and hopefully can continue blogging.
This break hasn’t stopped me from watching loads of movies and TV shows though, and over the past couple of years I’ve also developed a new interest; listening to podcasts!
I’ll do a little post about the podcasts I’ve been listening to and would recommend if you guys are interested.

I thought as it’s my first post back after a year, let me start by doing a mega-post of all the movies I’ve watched in 2016.
These are a combination of Hollywood, Bollywood and new category South Indian. These are more regional movies as Bollywood only accounts for North Indian cinema.

The films I have highlighted in bold are the movies I would recommend you to watch.

Hollywood Movies Watched in 2016

  • The Hateful Eight (2016)
  • The Danish Girl (2016)

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  • Room (2016)

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  • Sisters (2016)
  • Ride Along 2 (2016)
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
  • Deadpool (2016)
  • SPOTLIGHT (2016)

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  • Allegiant (2016)
  • Daddy’s Home (2015)
  • Superman: Man of Steel (2013)
  • The Jungle Book (2016)

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  • The Boss (2016)
  • Bad Neighbours 2 (2016)
  • Zootopia (2016)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
  • The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

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  • Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)
  • IP Man 3 (2015)
  • Central Intelligence (2016)
  • Finding Dory (2016)

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  • Suicide Squad (2016)
  • How to be Single (2016)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

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  • Magnificent Seven (2016)
  • NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (2016)

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  • Bad Moms (2016)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Trolls (2016)

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Bollywood Films Watched in 2016

  • Angry Indian Goddesses (2015)
  • Neerja (2016)

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  • Aligarh (2016)
  • Kapoor & Sons (2016)
  • Sanam Teri Kasam (2016)
  • Ki & Ka (2016)
  • Talvar (2015)
  • Masaan (2015)
  • Fan (2016)

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  • Nil Battey Sannata (2016)

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  • Te3n (2016)
  • Udta Punjab (2016)

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  • Shamitabh (2015)
  • Waiting (2016)
  • Sultan (2016)

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  • Happy Baag Jayegi (2016)
  • Dhanak (2016)

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  • Baar Baar Dekho (2016)
  • Dishoom (2016)
  • Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011)
  • Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2016)
  • Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016)

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  • Dear Zindagi (2016)
  • Dangal (2016)

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Lastly South Indian films watched in 2016

  • OK Kanmani (2015)

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  • Bangalore Days (2014) (Highly recommend)

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  • Kali (2016)
  • Ustad Hotel (2012)
  • Sairat (2016) (Highly Recommend)

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I don’t think I watched s many movies as I did in the previous years but I have realised that  my taste in films is slowly changing, I’ve started to really focus on good dialogue, story and even appreciate cinematography.
Have you watched any of the movies in my list? What did you think of them?

Films Watched in 2013

Happy New Year!!

What a year it’s been for the movie industry both Hollywood and Bollywood!
In the beginning of the year I decided to make a list, of all the movie I watch for the first time in the year no matter how old they are.
The list first started off with Hollywood movies and then at the end of Feb/beginning of March I decided to do the same for Bollywood as I watch both. (makes sense right?) So here’s the list including my favourites for the year:

Hollywood Movies Watched In 2013

– Hotel Transylvania (2012)
– Django Unchained (2013)

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– Silver Linings Playbook (2013)
– Les Misérables (2013)

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– A Christmas Carol (2009)
– Fun Size (2012)
– Kiss The Girls (1997)
– Wreck It Ralph (2013)
– Rio (2011)
– Identity Thief (2013)

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– Source Code (2011)
– Takers (2010)
– Fired Up (2009)
– Looper (2012)
– Friends With Kids (2011)
– The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
– Limitless (2011)
– Salt (2010)
– Iron Man 2 (2010)
– Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
– 21 & Over (2013)
– The Hangover Part 3 (2013)
– Despicable Me 2 (2013)

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– The Croods (2013)
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– Monsters University (2013)

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– Grown Ups 2 (2013)
– The Heat (2013)

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– Epic (2013)
– Planes (2013)
– Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

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– We’re The Millers (2013)

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– Iron Man 3 (2013)
– The Worlds End (2013)
– This Is The End (2013)

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– Now You See Me (2013)

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– Turbo (2013)
– Red 2 (2013)

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– G.I. Joe Retaliation (2013)
– This Means War (2012)
– The Internship (2013)
– Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)
– Bad Teacher (2011)
– The Kids Are All Right (2010)
– Rise Of The Guardians (2012)
– Arthur Christmas (2011)
– The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

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– The Best Man (1999)
– White House Down (2013)

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– ParaNorman (2012)
– The Best Man Holiday (2013)

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– One Direction – This Is Us (2013)
– Pain & Gain (2013)
– The Family (2013)
– The Sapphires (2012)
– Julie and Julia (2009)
– Saving Mr Banks (2013)

Bollywood Movies (Starting from end of Feb)

– Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
– Table No 21 (2013)

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– Aashiqui 2 (2013)
– Talaash (2012)
– Student Of The Year (2012)
– English Vinglish (2012)
– Kai Po Che (2013)
– Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011)
– Gippi (2013)

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– Mujhse Fraandship Karoge (2011)
– Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani (2013)

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– Faltu (2011)
– Jolly LLB (2013)
– Guru (2007)
– Raanjhanaa (2013)

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– Ghanchakkar (2013)
– Aurangzeb (2013)
– Ishqiya (2010)
– Don 2 (2011)
– Race 2 (2013)

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– Chennai Express (2013)

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– ABCD (2013)

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– Shuddh Desi Romance (2013)
– Fukrey (2013)

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– Besharam (2013)
– Grand Masti (2013)
– Once Upon A Time In Mumbai Dobaara (2013)
– The Lunchbox (2013)
– Bullett Raja (2013)
– Bombay Talkies (2013)
– Ram-Leela (2013)

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– Ramaiya Vastavaiya (2013)
– Lootera (2013)

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Overall I think I’ve done well but I still have A LOT to watch!