India Insight

Telugu cinema’s “hit-machine” Rajamouli comes to Bollywood

July 8, 2015

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The hero of S.S. Rajamouli’s most recent film was a fly – a garish, computer generated pink fly which caused traffic accidents and blew up houses. “Eega” (Fly), which initially released in Telugu and later dubbed as “Makkhi” in Hindi, was one of the most successful films of 2013, breaking all records in the Telugu film industry and gathering quite a decent amount for the Hindi version as well.

Why Kiran Rao wants to focus on Indian cinema rather than international films at Mumbai festival

July 6, 2015

Handout still of Kiran Rao
For an event that once made little impact on the international circuit, the Mumbai Film Festival has come a long way. Last year, after the main sponsor Reliance Entertainment pulled out, the festival relied on contributions from individuals. This year, after a revamp and the addition of a new sponsor (the other Reliance, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries), the festival seems to be on firmer footing. Re-christened Jio MAMI (after the Reliance brand which is the main sponsor), the festival has a new committee and a new chairperson – film-maker Kiran Rao.

Movie Review: Guddu Rangeela

July 3, 2015

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

Subhash Kapoor’s “Guddu Rangeela” is one of those films that are middling, unremarkable, and trivialize a serious matter.

A Minute With: Kareena Kapoor Khan

June 24, 2015

Kareena Kapoor belongs to Bollywood royalty. The Kapoor family tree has produced some of India’s biggest actors and stars, but the actress and her sister Karisma were the first women from the family to act. In her 16 years in the business, Kapoor has shown natural talent that few of her peers can claim. Often, she doesn’t showcase that talent, and instead appears in films that have big-ticket male stars and where leading ladies are reduced to damsels in distress.

A Minute With: Vidya Balan

June 9, 2015

Jury Member actress Vidya Balan arrives for the screening of the film "Inside Llewyn Davis" in competition during the 66th Cannes Film Festival

For all her success in Bollywood, Vidya Balan stands on the periphery of the world of cinema. The 37-year-old actress says she doesn’t have any friends in the industry, nor does she go to work hoping to make some.

A Minute With: Zoya Akhtar

June 3, 2015

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Zoya Akhtar believes in looking good – at least when it comes to her films. Two films old, with a third on the way, Akhtar’s style of making films about places and people she is familiar with has earned her acclaim from critics and cinema-lovers.

Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

May 22, 2015

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

Director Aanand L Rai seems to believe in the adage “Well begun is half done.” With both “Tanu Weds Manu” (2011) and its sequel, Rai starts with a great idea, some sparkling dialogue and interesting characters. But what you get in “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” is the cinematic equivalent of a car wreck.

‘Bombay Velvet’ debacle adds to Bollywood woes

May 22, 2015

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It’s being called the biggest debacle in recent Bollywood history. Anurag Kashyap’s “Bombay Velvet” could not have come at a worse time for an industry that has been struggling to find some magic at the cinemas for more than a year.

Movie Review: Piku

May 8, 2015

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

In Shoojit Sircar’s “Piku”, after a particularly graphic conversation about constipation and bowel movements, Rana (Irrfan Khan) asks the film’s protagonist (Deepika Padukone), “Is this all you’ll talk about?” Yes, she says.

Bollywood holds breath as Salman Khan faces jail

May 5, 2015

(UPDATE: Salman Khan sentenced to five years in prison in hit-and-run case)

A guilty verdict for Salman Khan on Wednesday in a 13-year-old hit-and-run could derail some of Bollywood’s most prized projects if India’s most bankable actor is put behind bars.