India Insight

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV

December 19, 2014

Priyanka Chopra might be one of the most sought-after stars in India right now, but she has set her sights far away across the Atlantic. After cutting a single with rapper Pitbull, singing at the NFL, and being signed on by the clothing brand Guess as their top model, the 32-year-old actress is all set to star in an American television series this fall, developed around her by the ABC TV network.

Movie Review: PK

December 19, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

First things first. All those guesses about who PK is were right after all. Aamir Khan’s bulging eyes, pointy ears and unblinking stares do mean that he is an alien from a planet far, far away, who lands on earth to “research” us human beings.

A Minute With: Rajkumar Hirani

December 17, 2014

A Minute With: Rajkumar HiraniKaran Johar calls him a legend and a genius, the only filmmaker in the country who is capable of achieving the perfect blend of commercial and meaningful cinema. But a laughing Rajkumar Hirani shrugs it all off. The 52-year-old, who is as big a brand as some of Bollywood’s A-list actors, is also one of the highest paid in the industry.

Russia’s ambassador to India: the quotable Alexander Kadakin

By Douglas Busvine
December 9, 2014

(Russian President Vladimir Putin is coming to India this week to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to discuss ways to improve relations. Moscow and New Delhi enjoyed warm ties during the days of the Soviet Union, when India was a member of a non-aligned bloc of nations. The friendship recently has become strained as India relies more on U.S. and French companies to meet its defence needs, something that chafes Russia as it deals with sanctions from western nations over Ukraine. Russia meanwhile has alarmed Indian public opinion with a recent visit by its defence minister to Pakistan. Russia’s ambassador Alexander Kadakin, a veteran diplomat first posted to New Delhi more than 40 years ago, discussed Putin’s visit at a press conference on Monday. Here are some of his remarks.

Short skirts, bad stars, chow mein: Why men in India rape women

December 6, 2014

Demonstrators from All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the recent killings of two teenage girls, in New Delhi May 31, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

The 2012 Delhi bus rape case and an ever-longer list of rapes and murders in India have prompted politicians and public figures in India to cite plenty of implausible reasons why rape happens and why men brutalise women or portray women in ways that suggest they had it coming. Many people, when speaking out, tend to minimise the crime or rationalise it in ways that sound ludicrous to many. We created this list of such comments more than a year ago, but it seems like it’s time to add some new entries.

Movie Review: Action Jackson

December 5, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

There’s a scene in the rock music mock documentary “This Is Spinal Tap” in which Christopher Guest, playing the brainless guitarist Nigel Tufnel, shows off his amps to a documentary filmmaker. One special amp, he says, is so loud that its dials don’t just go up to 10, they go to 11.

Movie Review: Sulemani Keeda

December 5, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Sulemani Keeda“Sulemani Keeda”, a slacker comedy about two struggling writers in Bollywood, seems like an inside joke that only a few people are let in on. Produced on a shoe-string budget, it almost seems like the director is describing his own struggling days through the film. And while it might be an engaging story, most people may not be able to relate to it.

Interview: Amin Jaffer of Christie’s on the art scene in India

December 3, 2014

India is falling behind China as an emerging powerhouse on the global art scene because it rarely turns up at international art fairs or invests in new museums to promote its artists, an official at auctioneer Christie’s said.

New venture hopes to bring dormant Indian plays to life

December 2, 2014

A new venture hopes to document and popularise Indian plays by turning them into movies. CinePlay, the brainchild of businessman Subodh Maskara, will film contemporary and older Indian plays, and make them available for viewing online as well as in cinemas.

Movie Review: Ungli

November 28, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

 Rensil D’Silva’s “Ungli” (The Finger), about a gang of vigilantes who set out to right the wrongs in a rotting system, seems to take off from where “Rang De Basanti” (a film he co-wrote) ended. Young, angry and frustrated, four friends form a secret organisation that aims to get rid of every single pet peeve that the Indian urban middle class has – from corrupt government officials to errant rickshaw drivers and bribe-seeking traffic policemen.