India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

See you around — on India Insight

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To our readers,

This is a short message to let you know that we are closing the India Masala blog, but we aren’t saying goodbye. We will continue to write about Bollywood and the wider world of India’s cinema at our India Insight blog. You still will be able to search for older posts in the India Masala archive, of course. Thanks for reading India Masala over the past few years, and please do bookmark India Insight for news and views from us and our contributors on the world’s largest democracy.

Sincerely,

Tony Tharakan, Aditya Kalra, Robert MacMillan and the Reuters India online crew

from India Insight:

Kids rule the roost as Bollywood woos audiences

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

Mumbai resident Gopal Das doesn't usually go to the movies. It's the children who drag him and his wife to the cinema to watch the latest Bollywood film.

Das's 8-year-old son Shubham insisted on watching Shah Rukh Khan's "Chennai Express" on his birthday this week. His teenage sister had recommended it.

Satyagraha: This revolution does not awaken anyone

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

In “Satyagraha“, director Prakash Jha attempts to show a divided society and the chasm between the people and their leaders.

But Jha seems to give in to the same kind of consumerism and greed that his film’s holier-than-thou characters look down on.

Madras Cafe: An intelligence failure

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

After last year’s clever and heart-warming comedy “Vicky Donor”, filmmaker Shoojit Sircar switches genres with “Madras Cafe”, a thriller about the Sri Lankan conflict, India’s role in the civil war, and the repercussions of that war on India’s politics and history.

To try and deal with such a controversial subject is commendable and Sircar and co-writer Juhi Chaturvedi should be complimented. Unfortunately, intentions aside, “Madras Cafe” doesn’t deserve too many compliments.

Bachchan upset over fake video that shows him praising Modi

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Amitabh Bachchan has threatened legal action over a YouTube video that apparently shows the Bollywood actor championing Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister.

Bachchan described the online video as “fake” on Wednesday and expressed outrage on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara: All talk, no action

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

Milan Luthria’s tongue-twister of a movie “Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!” is a hark back to the gangster films of the 1980s, the ones with mafia dons, their tempestuous love lives and all the complications that came with it.

But director Luthria and writer Rajat Arora are apparently convinced that they’ve come up with something original and clever. Their smugness shows on screen and gets on your nerves. For a gangster film, “Mumbai Dobaara” has just about three action scenes and even in the most crucial action sequence, the characters are busy delivering long-drawn-out homilies on loyalty and friendship. That is what this film is, really – all talk and no action.

Chennai Express – Doesn’t reach its destination

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To get a sense of Rohit Shetty’s “Chennai Express,” wait for the closing credits to roll.

The film contains all the stereotypes that exist about those who live south of the Vindhyas, but narrated by someone who doesn’t live there. A South Indian film for those not living in the South, so to speak.

Issaq: Doomed love story

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What director Manish Tiwary was trying to achieve in “Issaq”, his version of Romeo and Juliet, only he can say. If you didn’t know you were watching a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, you’d be forgiven for walking out halfway through the film.

The movie starts with a bizarre killing on a deserted bridge and then moves on to more bizarreness. “Issaq” is a disjointed effort, one that ceases to make any sense after the first few minutes.

Bajatey Raho: Much ado about nothing

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Shashant Shah‘s “Bajatey Raho” is a comedy about a motley group of people who try to con a businessman out of the millions he made by cheating gullible clients.

Ravi Kishan plays evil businessman Sabharwal, who owns everything from schools to dairy farms and treats his staff like dirt.

Ship of Theseus: Looking for the right answers

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During an interview about his 2012 film “Shanghai”, director Dibakar Banerjee spoke about the difficulty of asking existential questions and portraying them coherently on the big screen.

Anand Gandhi, director of “Ship of Theseus”, has the same problem but is able to execute it almost perfectly, a task most filmmakers would have found difficult.

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