India Insight

Bollywood wakes up to real life in 2016

January 21, 2016

Cinema goers watch Bollywood movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (The Big Hearted Will Take the Bride), starring actor Shah Rukh Khan, inside Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai December 11, 2014. The movie, released in October 1995, has set a record of completing 1000 weeks of continuous screening at a cinema, a feat unmatched by any other Bollywood movies. According to Manoj Desai, owner of the theatre, the movie, which is still being screened, enjoys at least 50 to 60 percent occupancy on weekdays and full house on weekends at his theatre. The movie is screened only in the morning and the ticket price ranges from 15 to 20 Indian rupees ($0.24-$0.32). Picture taken December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui (INDIA - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY) - RTR4HQDE

Bollywood, that perpetual dream peddler, is waking up to the allure of real-life stories. An Indian villager stuck in a Pakistani jail, a brave flight attendant, India’s cricket team captain, a wrestler who pushed his daughters to greatness Рexpect to watch films like these in theatres this year.

Raja Krishna Menon on ‘Airlift’, Akshay Kumar and the biggest human evacuation in history

January 21, 2016

Raja Krishna Menon grew up in Kerala, where politics is dinner table conversation and Che Guevara and Simon Bolivar are household names. The film-maker says this background not only drew him to the subject of his new film “Airlift”, but also helped him tell the story.

The best and worst of Bollywood in 2015

December 24, 2015

Cinema goers watch the Bollywood movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" inside Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

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

Movie Review: Bajirao Mastani

December 18, 2015
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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Please release me: Bollywood blockbuster pileup could cost millions

December 17, 2015
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Handout photo of “Dilwale”.Two of the year’s biggest Bollywood releases debut in cinemas this weekend, setting up a clash over ticket sales that could hurt both films’ chances of success.

Court acquits Salman Khan in hit-and-run case

December 10, 2015
Bollywood actor Salman Khan sits in a car as he leaves a court in Mumbai, India, May 6, 2015. An Indian court sentenced Bollywood film star Khan on Wednesday to five years in prison for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident, the latest twist in the tumultuous career of one of the country's biggest box-office draws. Khan later secured two days of interim bail from Mumbai's high court and will return to court on Friday for a hearing on having the bail extended. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade  - RTX1BTC3

Bollywood actor Salman Khan sits in a car as he leaves a court in Mumbai, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

Movie Review: Angry Indian Goddesses

December 4, 2015

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

Movie Review: Tamasha

November 27, 2015

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

If there is one thing to be said for Imtiaz Ali’s films, they are intensely personal statements. Whether you identify with his films or not mostly depends on whether your life experiences match those of his characters. If you’ve been slighted in love or had a long-distance relationship or missed a train, you are likely to show empathy. If not, he can be difficult to decipher – at least if his recent films are anything to go by.

Movie Review: Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

November 12, 2015

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In the 10 years or so since we last saw a Sooraj Barjatya film, the world according to Rajshri (his production house) seems to have changed, albeit superficially. The women are still coy and chaste, but dress up in western wear and have a semblance of a career. The men are still virtuous and patronising, but cloak the attitude in jokes about virginity and skinny-dipping.

Bollywood finds political voice in intolerance debate

November 6, 2015

The Indian film industry finds itself unexpectedly swept up in a debate over growing religious intolerance that critics say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has failed to contain.