The producer of Bollywood’s highest grossing film made his debut as a Hollywood director this month.
In his first three films, Varun Dhawan showed off his muscles, danced to elaborately choreographed songs and wooed girls. But in “Badlapur”, a dark racy thriller that releases this week, the actor goes to the other extreme, playing a tortured man who seeks revenge against the man who killed his wife and son.
In the history of India’s economic reforms, rhetoric has often proved to be a stronger force than substance. Scrutinizing The Indian Growth Story, a facile phrase casually tossed about by newsmakers and newswriters, reveals that. Historians, however, have documented the liberalization of the economy in 1991 — the pole around which the Story spins — furtively. A good chunk of Mihir S Sharma’s gripping first book, Restart, delves into the events of that hot summer of 1991: the colicking infancy of a reformist India and how a missed opportunity and internalised mistakes have plagued the economic agenda ever since.
Karan 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.
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.
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.
When Danis Tanovic chose Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi to play a Pakistani whistle-blower in his new project, the Oscar-winning Bosnian film-maker wasn’t aware of the actor’s notoriety as Indian cinema’s “serial kisser”.
Tanovic eventually watched some of Hashmi’s Bollywood hits and found it funny that the actor had such a different image in India.
Priyanka Chopra is not a Bollywood actor who waits around for assistants to mic her up, set a TV camera’s white balance and tell her where to look during an interview. When I met her on Tuesday at a posh hotel in Gurgaon, she used the paper I brought with my questions on it for the white balance, told the assistant how and where to set up the mic and opened a bottle of cough syrup, sparing the poor staffer who was struggling with it for her.