Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

“Tamasha”… For Imtiaz Ali fans, another rich, messy, imperfect love story

November 29, 2015


Spoilers ahead… About fifteen minutes into Tamasha, the new film from Imtiaz Ali, I’d got my money’s worth. We’re in Corsica, France – the first of many places we run into Ved (Ranbir Kapoor). Others include a future trip to Tokyo, Japan, and a back-in-time excursion to Simla, Flashback – yes, written that way, as […]

The side-effects of speaking one’s mind

November 26, 2015


Why should everyone, including Aamir Khan, say the most perfectly worded, politically correct, lawyer-vetted things in public, even if they may think otherwise privately? Before Aamir Khan, there was Kamal Haasan. Frustrated by forces that were preventing the release of his mega-budget production Vishwarooopam in Tamil Nadu, the actor said he was contemplating leaving the […]

How I wonder what you are…

November 21, 2015


Thoughts on stars, those people who keep making us go to the theatres even if, sometimes, we wish better sense had prevailed. Why is Vedalam, Ajith’s Deepavali release, doing such boffo business at the Tamil Nadu box office? A lot of people have asked me this question, including a Delhi-based journalist who’s doing a story […]

“X: Past Is Present”… High concept, low returns

November 21, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Some films are so abstracted that they exist fully only in their makers’ heads, and if we are to engage with them at all, it isn’t to know what happens next but to dive in for the experience – something like accepting a dare to stare at a lava lamp unblinkingly for a […]

Emotion capture

November 14, 2015


A quick trip through the nine moods – nava rasas – of the Indian film song. Which song would you pick as a depiction of Śṛungāram (Love)? There are hundreds. Abhi na jaao chhod kar, for instance. He’s saying don’t leave me yet, the heart hasn’t had its fill of you. She protests. It’s late. […]

“Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”… Salman scores in unexceptional Barjatya formula

November 12, 2015


Spoilers ahead… What could explain my affection for Sooraj Barjatya’s work? My sweet tooth, definitely. But also his rootedness in an ethos that we think of – maybe “imagine” is a better word – as “Indian.” We may not be that “Indian” anymore, and we may squirm, sometimes, at his insistence on serving us orange […]

Festival dates

November 7, 2015


Thoughts from a few days when Fassbinder rubbed shoulders with Rajinikanth and Guru Dutt…. How do you plan your viewing schedule at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival? One way is to simply let the film find you. Earlier this year, at the Berlinale, the documentary Fassbinder – To Love Without Demands was one of […]

Coming soon, and not just to theatres

November 7, 2015


Baradwaj Rangan reports on a film market at the Mumbai Film Festival, which hopes to help directors like Vetri Maaran target the screens on your laptops and smartphones. On the second day of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, the producer Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur, Shaitan) screened a two-minute trailer of her […]

“Main Aur Charles”… A slick, not-bad thriller

November 4, 2015


Spoilers ahead… We remember Charles Sobhraj as a serial killer, but Prawaal Raman’s biopic (though it doesn’t actually call itself one, or use the name “Sobhraj”) Main Aur Charles isn’t very interested in murders and gore. It follows the time-tested Godfather or Don strategy of hinting at a bad side but focusing on the things […]

“Guddu Ki Gun”… Not enough meat

November 4, 2015


Spoilers ahead… A monumental sex comedy could be erected from the premise of a young man who finds, one day, that his “man power” has transformed into a “sone ka tower” – but Guddu Ki Gun isn’t it. It isn’t for lack of trying, though. Kunal Khemu is game as ever – he must have […]

“Titli”… A sharp portrait of family traps and flights to freedom

November 4, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Violent films usually invite us to take off our politically correct hats and indulge our inner atavists. The spurts of blood in the work of Scorsese and Tarantino are like the money shots in porn films – we get off on them. There’s a very different kind of violence in Kanu Behl’s Titli […]

“Shaandaar”… A misfire, but an interesting one

October 23, 2015


Spoilers ahead… When we say “fairy tale” in the context of a certain kind of narrative, we usually refer to the deliberate unrealness, the escapist-wish-fulfilment-happiness of it all – but Vikas Bahl seems to take the term literally. His earlier film, the pleasant enough though over-praised Queen, was one. I wrote in my review that […]

“Wedding Pullav”… Stale doesn’t begin to describe it

October 20, 2015


Spoilers ahead… The most interesting aspect of Wedding Pullav is that it’s been directed by the great cinematographer Binod Pradhan, who has done stellar work with Rakeysh Mehra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. I still remember watching 1942: A Love Story on a massive 70-mm screen. It was the beginning of the song Pyar hua chupke […]

The lost world

October 17, 2015


Remembering Ravindra Jain, and the India he made music for. When I heard about Ravindra Jain’s demise, I thought of Naseeruddin Shah. Not the most obvious association, I know, but think of Jain’s title song for Sunayana, the 1979 Rajshri Productions’ romance, and recall Shah trying to do the romantic-hero thing, flailing his arms about in […]

“Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2.”… A string of funny bits in search of a movie

October 16, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Luv Ranjan, the director of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, would probably make a good stand-up comedian. He thinks in terms of snappy bits. There’s a bit about the futility of honking in a traffic jam. There’s a bit about our parents’ obsession with the first-IIT-then-MBA course plan. There’s one about who pays for […]

“Jazbaa”… Irrfan kills it in a just-about-watchable pulp thriller

October 11, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa is the mature actor’s answer to those star-son launch pads that tell us this boy can dance and ride a horse and isn’t allergic to glycerine. This is about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan announcing she’s back. She’s first seen in a track suit, stretching and running and generally posing against the […]

The invisible man

October 10, 2015


Thoughts on the often-overlooked producer of a film, occasioned by the passing of Edida Nageswara Rao. When I heard that Edida Nageswara Rao had died, my first thoughts were about the three films – Shankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam (Salangai Oli in Tamil), Swati Muthyam (Sippikkul Muthu in Tamil, Eeshwar in Hindi) – that defined him as […]

“Singh Is Bliing”… Very funny in parts, until it gets painfully serious

October 4, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Singh is Bliing isn’t a movie so much as a collection of colourful bits (the real bliing is in the cinematography) in the style of what one may call a nautanki or a vaudeville performance – and for a while, that’s the film’s strength. Some bits are brilliant in the way a Mr. […]

“Talvar”… Superbly written and performed

October 4, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Meghna Gulzar owns the directorial credit in Talvar, but this is really Vishal Bhardwaj’s baby. He’s the writer – the film is based on the Aarushi Talwar murder case that transfixed the nation even as it left some of us wondering whether a similar tragedy in areas of the country not named Mumbai […]

“Calendar Girls”… Bleurgh!

September 25, 2015


Spoilers ahead… Why is Madhur Bhandarkar still making movies? This is not a question about craft, for it is evident that the word means to him something that flies in the sky or sails in the sea. This is more about his interest in exposing the seamy underbelly of dance bars, jails, the fashion industry, […]


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