India Insight

Movie Review: Happy New Year

October 24, 2014

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

A still from the movie "Happy new year"If there is one person who loves Shah Rukh Khan more than Shah Rukh Khan, it has to be Farah Khan. Right from her first film, the director has been enamoured with the Bollywood star – at least on screen. It isn’t a surprise that the biggest dud in her career was a film that didn’t include the actor (Tees Maar Khan).

“Margarita, with a Straw”: dissolving hatred of homosexuals in India

October 24, 2014

Modern India is walking slowly towards a general acceptance of homosexuals and lesbians. Shonali Bose in her new film, “Margarita, With a Straw,” tries to pick up the pace. The film, which premiered and won the NETPAC award at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this year, is about a teenager with cerebral palsy who is unabashed about her sexuality, much to the horror of her middle-class, conservative mother.

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”

October 24, 2014

Picture taken from the official Facebook page for the movie https://www.facebook.com/MargaritaWithAStraw  Kalki Koechlin is one of the few actresses in recent years to build her star power while proving her talent in indie and mainstream Indian cinema. Last year, she played what many would consider a side role in one of Bollywood’s biggest romantic movies, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, decked in designer, slinky outfits and danced to peppy dance numbers.

Movie Review: ‘Sonali Cable’

October 17, 2014

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

Handout picture from the movie "Sonali Cable"Charudutt Acharya’s “Sonali Cable” telegraphs its intention in the title: it’s a communications movie, focusing on the Internet, that part of Indian urban life that has become indispensable to the growing ranks of India’s middle class. Grandparents use it to speak to their grandchildren living a continent away, bored housewives surf for erotica, and pot-bellied businessmen use it to run their businesses from home.

Movie Review: Tamanchey

October 10, 2014

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

The producers of “Tamanchey” (“Guns”) are being sued by a man who claims to have directed the film but hasn’t been credited for it. This is hardly new or surprising in an industry not known for respecting writers and directors. What’s really baffling is that someone would want to take credit for this appalling gangster film.

Book Talk – Ten years on, Chetan Bhagat says better prepared to face critics

October 10, 2014

Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. If you’re in India, the chances are that there’s at least one of his novels on your bookshelf or one of his columns in the newspaper in front of you on the table. If you still haven’t escaped from him, there are tons of interviews lately like this one showing up in front of you.

Movie Review: Bang Bang!

October 2, 2014

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

There’s a scene in Siddharth Anand’sBang Bang!” when Katrina Kaif as a woman in danger worries that Hrithik Roshan’s pistol, cradled in her worried hands, isn’t big enough to do the trick. Roshan produces a gigantic gun from just off camera and shows it to her. “In shock?” he asks. You bet. It’s just what she’s been hoping for.

Movie Review: Haider

October 2, 2014

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

In retelling William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet” against the backdrop of war and sectarian strife in Indian-administered Kashmir, Vishal Bhardwaj’sHaider” starts off promisingly. It’s too bad that the promise never delivers.

And Then One Day: Naseeruddin Shah on his memoirs and life

September 26, 2014

It’s difficult to hold back your surprise when Naseeruddin Shah, one of India’s foremost art house actors, says the film industry doesn’t interest him greatly. In a career spanning almost four decades, Shah has worked with Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning director Shyam Benegal and James Bond actor Sean Connery, won acclaim for his movie roles and continues to dabble in theatre.

Movie Review: “Chaarfutiya Chhokare” is dull, incoherent melodrama

September 26, 2014

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

In “Chaarfutiya Chhokare“, the principal of a countryside school is shown taking a bath on the school premises while classes are in session. Later, he says that the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal emperor Akbar. He is not one to spare the rod either, resorting to corporal punishment for disobedience.