How Do You Say “Sucker” in Hindi?

by Johnny Debacle

Is there money dumber than suburban housewives seeking to invest in overseas films?

For years, Renuka Pullat led the life of a wealthy mother in a suburb of San Francisco. She shuttled her two sons to tennis and soccer games, and volunteered for the American India Foundation.

Now, at 38 years old, she has an unusual new occupation: She is one of a wave of Indians in America pouring money into Bollywood movies here in India’s film capital….Her first movie, inspired by “A Fish Called Wanda,” made it to theaters in 2005. It barely broke even.


[“Aryan: Unbreakable”], the movie inspired by “Rocky”…[is being produced by] Poonam Khubani, whose husband is the New Jersey infomercial mogul[.] In the movie, banners advertising the TeleBrands Ab King exercise device are draped around the ring where fight scenes take place.

Ms. Khubani also sings one of the songs on the soundtrack, titled “Ek Look, Ek Look” (“One Look, One Look”).

Aryan didn’t break box-office records. A December review on the Web site for the Times of India, one of India’s biggest newspapers, said the movie “almost puts you to sleep with its insipid goulash.”

In late December in Mumbai, at one 5:20 p.m. screening of “Aryan” in a downtown theater a week after it opened, only a few people were in the audience, many talking on their cellphones. Then, during the intermission…they …left the building, skipping the rest of the movie.

“We’re lucky it lasted three weeks” in theaters, said Hitesh Israni, Ms. Khubani’s brother, who lives in India and helped coordinate the project.

Recommendation: Flee the dumb money put up by suckers. We recommend any investor scale back their investments in Bollywood film productions.

Full Disclosure: We ceased all our Indian film financing 18 months ago based on our proprietary Bollywood rhythm-method trading algorithm.

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