Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

Readers Write In #24: Amar Akbar Anthony – Mother India’s children

October 22, 2017

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I don’t like to repeat authors for Readers Write In, but I guess the timeliness was a factor in this piece. Also, have been remiss in posting these (and the Amateur’s Art shorts). Will resume this now. Amar Akbar Anthony (AAA from now on) completes 40 this year. To talk about the greatness of AAA […]

“Judwaa 2.”… A bloated, unfunny remake, barely kept afloat by its star

September 30, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The dilemma with reviewing David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 is this: When so little effort has been expended on the film, how much should one expend on the review? Oh, there’s a lot of logistical effort, all right — all the work it takes to make a Bollywood film big and bright and splashy. […]

Interview: Santosh Sivan

September 26, 2017

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Coming on Thursday. My chat with Santosh Sivan. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW “I like big films… You are in the midst of mass people.” “I don’t need to do much to make Mahesh Babu look good.” “Thuppakki was the first time we used digital cameras.” “With Thalapathy, […]

“Bhoomi”… The worst of this year’s rape-revenge dramas, without even pulp kicks

September 25, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The key scene in Bhoomi, as I see it, is the one where Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari) is abducted… again, a day after she was raped by Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar) and his men. They thought she’d suffer silently, but now that they know she’s talking about it, they want to kill her. On […]

“Newton”… A marvellous satire that takes its issues, but not itself, seriously

September 23, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome, a rigid, rule-bound, middle-aged bureaucrat left the city to go hunting in a forest. There, an alert local girl made him aware of how little he knew, and how wide the rural-urban divide is in our country. Reduce the age of Sen’s protagonist, add a splash of Hrishikesh […]

Interview: AR Murugadoss

September 22, 2017

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I had a very nice chat with AR Murudoss, talking about his heroes — from Dheena to Spyder — and their ‘heroism.” For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Interview: Prithiviraj

September 21, 2017

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This interview is our first in Malayalam cinema, done by our correspondent Vivek Ranjit. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

“Lucknow Central”… An okay-ish, overlong prison drama about a man who wants to front a band

September 19, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Ranjit Tiwari’s Lucknow Central, Farhan Akhtar plays a singer… again! The emphasis is unfair, I agree. The actor has played far more non-singing parts, but he does seem to have become the go-to actor when you want to make a movie about a band. Here, Akhtar plays Kishan, a dreamer in Moradabad, […]

“Simran”… A character so close to the actor, you wish the film around them was more than not-half-bad

September 19, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… You’ve never seen a Hindi-film heroine like Praful Patel – and part of it is how closely she seems to be modelled on the actress playing her, Kangana Ranaut. It isn’t just that she does her own thing, defiantly so. (She’s a divorcee, a housekeeper in a hotel in Atlanta.) It’s also that […]

“Daddy”… A barrelful of gangster clichés makes for a stylish but been-there-done-that biopic

September 12, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The “Smoking Kills” warning has rarely looked as ridiculous as in Ashim Ahluwalia’s Daddy, where nary a soul is lost to cancer. A minister is shot through the head, and his brains become splatter art on his dining table. Someone else lies sprawled in the open, as his corpse is nibbled at by […]

“Baadshaho”… A dreary heist thriller that can’t even be bothered to stage some decent action

September 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Milan Luthria’s Baadshaaho, Ileana D’Cruz plays Rani Gitanjali Devi, who rules over a small part of Rajasthan. She begins an affair with her bodyguard, Bhawani (Ajay Devgn). During a song, she goes up to the terrace of her palace — Bhawani is waiting for her. She walks up to him, drops her […]

“Shubh Mangal Saavdhan”… Not as snappy as the original, but a lot of fun nonetheless

September 2, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… RS Prasanna’s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, a remake of his Tamil hit Kalyana Samayal Sadham, has many jokes — but none funnier than the name of its leading man, played by Ayushmann Khurrana (who continues to spin astonishing variations on the persona of the not-quite-macho man). The name is Mudit, which anagrams with “tumid” […]

“Babumoshai Bandookbaaz”… An anything-goes genre hybrid that’s totally nuts, and totally entertaining

August 30, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… If you love RD Burman’s songs from Amar Prem, I’d advise you to skip the first few minutes of Kushan Nandy’s Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. An early scene has a hitman named Babu Bihari (a terrifically sleazy Nawazuddin Siddiqui) heading to the fields with a radio and a Dalda can filled with water. He squats, taking […]

The RS Prasanna interview

August 30, 2017

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My video interview with RS Prasanna, on taking Kalyana Samayal Sadham to Bollywood. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

“Sniff”… A fantastic premise, a missed opportunity

August 26, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Would food taste as good if you couldn’t smell it? This isn’t the kind of existential question that you’d think would plague a child – Sunny (Khushmeet Gill) – but the boy has no sense of smell, and his grandmother (known, simply, as bebe, and played by Surekha Sikri) is devastated. The film […]

“A Gentleman”… An action-comedy that comes up short on both counts

August 26, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Good directors are allowed to make bad movies, but with Happy Ending and, now, A Gentleman, Raj and DK have ventured into a peculiar place: they’re making bland movies. There’s no personality, only empty professionalism. The latter can, of course, be its own reward – and the reward, usually, is the verdict, “it’s […]

“Bareilly Ki Barfi”… A glibly entertaining rom-com that ignores its pricklier side

August 23, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… If you think a terrific Rajkummar Rao performance is its own reward, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Bareilly Ki Barfi is every bit the sweet treat the title promises. The actor plays Pritam Vidrohi, a mild-mannered salesman whose life is turned inside out by a childhood friend named Chirag Dubey (Ayushmann Khurrana, another actor whose […]

“Toilet – Ek Prem Katha”… An overlong, messagey, but satisfying social-issue melodrama

August 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… When I heard of the premise of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha – the problems arising from the lack of toilet facilities – I thought it would be like Joker, the Tamil drama whose crux was similar. But Toilet isn’t as sophisticated. It’s something far simpler, something you don’t expect to see in these […]

“Jab Harry Met Sejal”… Girl searches for ring, audience searches for Imtiaz Ali

August 4, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Some fifteen minutes into Jab Harry Met Sejal, when I began to fidget in my seat, I wondered if my expectations were the problem. There’s first that title, suggesting two beloved romances, Jab We Met and When Harry Met Sally. But more importantly, the film unites Hindi cinema’s preeminent maker of love stories […]

“Gurgaon”… A sumptuous-looking but remote crime drama, more concept than cinema

August 4, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Early on in Shanker Raman’s Gurgaon (“inspired by true events”), Preet (Ragini Khanna) walks into the kitchen, greets her mother. She’s come home after studying architecture abroad, and her mother, after a quick embrace, hands her a plate of pakoras to deliver to her father, who is in the adjoining room, making merry […]