Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Pad Man”

January 19, 2018


A weekly feature, where standup comedian Jagan takes a look at previews and trailers and predicts the story of a new film in his own inimitable way. This week: em>Pad Man For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2018 Film Companion. Advertisements

“Kaalakaandi”… A profanity-laced trip that’s hard to give an eff about

January 19, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Akshat Verma’s Kaalakaandi begins with a man, Rileen (Saif Ali Khan), who discovers he has stomach cancer. He’s stunned by the diagnosis, delivered to him by a doctor who gives one of the film’s many, many off performances. But Saif is fantastic. Rileen doesn’t smoke. He likes broccoli. “I’m a good person, you […]

“Mukkabaaz”… Love-story clichés and boxing-movie clichés, rousingly masala-fied and Kashyap-ised

January 18, 2018


Spoilers ahead… W atching Anurag Kashyap’s Mukkabaaz is like watching Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat. Hearing the synopsis, one thinks: “Why is the director of Fandry wasting his time on such a boilerplate love story?” But the rewards are in the telling. The voice of a distinctive filmmaker is never more distinct than in a nothing story […]

Interview: R Madhavan

January 18, 2018


R Madhavan, star of the Amazon Prime original Breathe, talks about his 20-year-old career (his first major role, in the Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti, was in 1998). He laughs about being too “mature” for romantic roles, and discusses opting for quality over quantity, and his biggest reality check. He speaks about upcoming projects like […]

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Padmavati”

January 4, 2018


A weekly feature, where standup comedian Jagan takes a look at previews and trailers and predicts the story of Padmavati in his own inimitable way. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Interview: Anant Nag

December 26, 2017


This is Anant Nag’s fiftieth year as an actor including five initially onstage in Mumbai. He talks about being abruptly removed from an ashram and later a Mutt in Karnataka and sent to Mumbai where he detested the curriculum. Anant recalls straying into Marathi theatre from where Satyadev Dubey introduced him to Shyam Benegal. He […]

“Tiger Zinda Hai”… A tired, exhausting actioner with incredibly uninspired writing

December 24, 2017


Spoilers ahead… The ordeal of a group of Indian nurses held captive by a terrorist organisation in the Middle East was brought to screen, earlier this year, in Take Off. Mahesh Narayan’s Malayalam thriller-drama found an ingenious way to up the emotional stakes — it was both thriller and drama. As much as nails were […]

Music beyond the maestro

December 21, 2017


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Is older music (other than that composed by Ilayaraja) gradually being phased out of common cultural memory? The opening ceremony of the 15th Chennai International Film Festival began with a spectacular performance by Anuradha Sriram, who led the audience through eight decades of Tamil cinema with […]

“Monsoon Shootout”… A skillfully made drama with noir shadings that could have used more existential heft

December 19, 2017


Spoilers ahead… Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout played at Cannes a few years ago, and the opening scenes  seem to give off that slumdog, “This is India” vibe so beloved to some foreign audiences. As a blind beggar navigates a narrow street, a Merc is stalled by a bullock cart — the two ends of India, in […]

Shashi Kapoor: Five memorable movies

December 5, 2017


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Whittling down Kapoor’s career to a handful of films isn’t easy. Here’s a list that’s far from definitive but honours the memory of one of our most beloved stars. How strange it seems to remember that Shashi Kapoor was born Balbir Raj Kapoor. That’s too stentorian, […]

Interview: Milind Rau, the director of Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door

November 17, 2017


The latest episode in our series called ‘One Film, One Facet,” where we speak to ONE person responsible for ONE facet of ONE  film. This time, the film is Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door, and the facet is direction. Milind Rau, the director of Aval, Gruham, The House Next Door, talks about […]

Star struck

November 16, 2017


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Should star ratings (terrible as they are) be absolute or relative? Let’s discuss. After I finished writing the review of Villain, a little more than a week ago, I felt a twinge of conscience. It was time for me to give the star rating, the most […]

Inside / Outside

November 9, 2017


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: It’s fascinating how an outsider watches a different film than one familiar with a culture. One phrase was used a lot in the reviews for the Tamil horror film, Aval, released last week. (Its Telugu version, Gruham, is expected soon.) While acknowledging its world-class technique (sound […]

“Ittefaq”… So much flavour, that the (underwhelming) mystery is almost beside the point

November 4, 2017


Spoilers ahead… When I heard that Yash Chopra’s Ittefaq was being remade, I wondered if they’d go after the only portion of the film that still stands — where the agitated man who’s invaded the house calms down, and begins to have a “relationship” with the lonely housewife. She pours them drinks. She makes their […]

“Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door”… A focused, polished horror film that tells a (mostly) involving story between the scares

November 3, 2017


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: In every haunted-house horror movie, I ask the question: “So why doesn’t the family leave?” Milind Rau’s Aval (She/Her) not only addresses this cliché, it does so with flair. The family in question is headed by Paul (Atul Kulkarni), and the question comes from […]

Readers Write In #26: 50 Films That Changed Bollywood, 1995-2015

November 1, 2017


The following is an excerpt from journalist/critic Shubhra Gupta’s book, 50 Films That Changed Bollywood, 1995-2015.  From the back cover: Hindi cinema was trapped in formulaic clichés for decades: lost-and-found themes, sacrificing mothers, brothers on opposite sides of the law, villains lording over their dens, colourful molls, six songs, the use of rape as a […]

Interview: Siddharth

October 31, 2017


A chat with Siddharth, not so much about his trilingual (Aval, Gruham, The House Next Door) — but about himself. He spoke superbly (in terms of content + articulation) about the things I asked. He talks about his ‘pure’ horror trilingual Aval / Gruham / The House Next Door (directed by Milind Rau), and how […]

“Secret Superstar”… Some nice moments tucked away in the corners of a facile, manipulative script

October 29, 2017


Spoilers ahead… Advait Chandan’s Secret Superstar is an obvious film. Everything is laid out on the surface — with a trowel. In the opening scene, we see schoolgirls in a train compartment belting out Bollywood hits like Bidi jalai le, Kaala chashma. An older woman, seated nearby, frowns. Then, one of the girls, Insia (Zaira […]

“Rukh”… A slow-burn domestic mystery that comes together in the head but remains remote

October 27, 2017


Spoilers ahead… Ever since Citizen Kane, many a filmmaker has used the dining table as a stage for domestic strife. Atanu Mukherjee’s version sees a glum Divakar (Manoj Bajpayee) nibbling at his food. His wife, Nandini (Smita Tambe), looks glummer. There’s strife, all right — we sense it, but we don’t see it yet. The […]

Interview: Dulquer Salmaan / Rajkummar Rao

October 25, 2017


At the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star 2017, I interviewed — before a live audience (which explains the audio/video) — two young actors that the session called “out big hopes.” Here’s the video: Copyright ©2017 Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star.