Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

“Dharam Sankat Mein”… A necessary film, though not a particularly good one

April 11, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… The cleverest thing about Dharam Sankat Mein, directed by Fuwad Khan, is that title. The plot kicks off when Dharam Pal (Paresh Rawal), a sacred thread-wearing Brahmin in Ahmedabad, discovers he’s really a Muslim. So the obvious meaning of the title is that Dharam is in a sankat, crisis. But reduce his name […]

“Ek Paheli Leela”… A terrible reincarnation drama which may really be about Sunny Leone’s second avatar

April 10, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Let’s face it. Sunny Leone isn’t being hired for her face. It’s a pretty face, but it isn’t what’s getting her hired. Neither is she being hired for her acting, which, to put it kindly, makes Katrina Kaif look like Smita Patil. No. Sunny Leone is being hired for her unswerving obedience to […]

“Detective Byomkesh Bakshy”… A tedious origins story

April 3, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Some thirty minutes into Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshi!, based on the character created by Saradindu Bandopadhyay, I realised I still hadn’t gotten a lock on whatever was going on, and my mind began to drift to Banerjee’s Love Sex aur Dhokha. In that film, he made us believe we were watching a […]

Shakespeare (plus Bollywood) Wallah

March 28, 2015

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Reflections on Shashi Kapoor, recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2014. I’m not getting into the whole “does he deserve it?” debate, but the news about the Phalke filled me with a vague kind of happiness. There’s always been something wholesome, something nice about Shashi Kapoor. You probably remember the Friends episode that was […]

“NH10.”… An unsatisfying thriller with too much on its plate

March 14, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… When a smart, talented filmmaker takes on genre material, there’s often the tendency to inflate it, to make it mean something – and sometimes the material just buckles under this baggage. The visceral thrills, the purity, of the genre get blunted by the efforts to make things “classy.” Something like this happened when […]

Retracing a father’s footsteps

March 14, 2015

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Dissuaded by his father from joining the family shoe-trading business, Atul Sabharwal turned filmmaker. Now, in a documentary titled ‘In Their Shoes’, he looks at the shoe trade in Agra – how it began, and what it is today. After Aurangzeb, a big, fat mainstream movie for Yash Raj studios, what made you decide on […]

“Coffee Bloom”… A well-acted drama about how the past never leaves us

March 7, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Dev Anand (Arjun Mathur) is a coffee expert in Bangalore, but his heart is probably in the Himalayas – he wants to get away from it all, become a sanyasi. He keeps listening to spiritual discourses on his earphones, and his only friend appears to be Sondha (the charming Ishwari Bose-Bhattacharya), a cheerful […]

“Dum Laga Ke Haisha”… An enchanting rom-com with a surprisingly dysfunctional core

March 2, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Sharat Katariya likes to take familiar stories and set them in places you don’t expect. In his first feature, 10ml Love, he relocated A Midsummer Night’s Dream to modern-day Mumbai. In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, he transports the rom-com – a traditionally urbane genre – to Haridwar of the 1990s. The era is […]

“Ab Tak Chhappan 2.”… A needless sequel that feels like a relic from another age

February 27, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… News is just out that they’re planning a sequel to Blade Runner, which was released in 1982. So as belated follow-ups go, Ab Tak Chhappan 2 isn’t all that belated. Still, the decision to add another chapter to Shimit Amin’s 2004 film (this one is directed by Aejaz Gulab) is a curious one. […]

“Badlapur”… A stunning thriller about PTSD

February 27, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… The tag line for Sriram Raghavan’s new film Badlapur is “Don’t Miss The Beginning,” and we wonder, first, what’s so missable about it. Everything’s so… ordinary. We’re on this side of a street in Pune. At the other end, there’s a bank. There are a few passers-by. There’s the noise of traffic and […]

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