Interviewing movie stars is usually a cut-and-dried affair. When a new film is about to open in cinemas, entertainment reporters get a call from the publicity agency. A couple of days later, you are ushered into a room with a dozen waiting journalists, and after an hour or so, you are taken to the celebrity for the promised interview. With the warning: 15 minutes only.
A dubbed fantasy epic that charmed millions of Hindi-speaking moviegoers this month has startled the Indian film industry, with box-office analysts viewing the movie’s record-breaking run as a wake-up call for Bollywood.
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.
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.
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.