India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Agneepath: 20 years later?

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More than 20 years after he first mesmerised an entire generation with his baritone and signature dialogue, Vijay Dinanath Chauhan is going to be back on celluloid, but this time in a different avatar.

Producer Karan Johar said the original film which was produced by his father didn’t “meet commercial expectations” and he thought this one would hit bull’s eye. Directed by debutant Karan Malhotra, the film stars Hrithik Roshan as Chauhan while Sanjay Dutt plays dreaded villain Kancha.

“This isn’t a remake, it is more like a tribute to the original film, which has now achieved cult status,” Johar said.
At the launch of the teaser trailer on Monday, the entire cast was at pains to explain that the new “Agneepath” wasn’t a “remake” of the 1990 film, saying there were a lot of structural changes in the story.

One of those changes is that Mithun Chakraborty’s much loved Krishnan Iyer M.A. character won’t be seen afresh. Also Priyanka Chopra doesn’t play a nurse in the film and according to director Malhotra, “the only similarity is that the film begins and ends in Mandwa” (a port town near Mumbai).

Not A Love Story: Compelling tale, amateurish film-making

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If you didn’t know better, you would almost think Ram Gopal Varma made “Not A Love Story” just so he could give his audience motion sickness. Crazy camera angles that peer into everything from the leading lady’s skirt to hidden corners of a house dominate this film and that is what stays with you, even after you leave the theatre.

Varma draws inspiration from the sensational murder case of Neeraj Grover, a television executive who was murdered by aspiring actress Maria Susairaj and her then fiancé Emile Jerome. He even shoots in the same building where Grover was killed and makes only cosmetic changes to the actual story.

Aarakshan: A balanced take on reservation

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Aarakshan” gives a hurried yet comprehensive walkthrough of the educational system and sub-systems that currently exist in India.

It takes the issue of educational quotas as the basic plot and makes an attempt to comment on the premise of education as a means of politics, as an industry or as a higher end in itself.

Khap: Good intention but fails to register

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There is much to be said about “Khap”. Let’s get to the story first. The movie is about a village which adheres to the khap panchayat system under which two people from the same khap or clan cannot marry each other.

Whoever goes against the khap rule is killed to keep the gene pool from being spoilt and to keep the honour of the clan and tradition intact. The audience knows them as honour killings.

Singham: Ham, beef and not much else

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Rohit Shetty’s “Singham”,  a remake of a Tamil film, is a cop movie that is perhaps meant as a tribute to the 80s “angry young man” and the theme of the lone, honest police officer taking on the rotting system.

Ajay Devgn plays that honest cop — Bajirao Singham, a police inspector in a remote village in Goa who maintains peace and calm in the village by using his goodwill with the villagers. When he is transferred to “Goa city” (I always thought it was a state) after crossing paths with a don-turned-politician, Singham is confronted with a corrupt system, cynical co-workers and threats from the politician.

from Left field:

ICC name best test team of all time. Right or wrong?

The ICC has unveiled the best test team of all time as voted for by fans on the governing body's website. The ICC offered a shortlist to choose from.

Here it is:

Virender Sehwag

Sunil Gavaskar

Donald Bradman

Sachin Tendulkar

Brian Lara

Kapil Dev

Adam Gilchrist (wk)

Shane Warne

Wasim Akram

Curtly Ambrose

Glenn McGrath

Is it a bit 1980s focused? No Englishmen either but maybe that is not a big shock. Sehwag probably the biggest surprise.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Showcasing Spain

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At one point in Zoya Akhtar’s film, the three protagonists are sitting in a bar in Spain, celebrating the fact that they have just completed a daring sky-diving adventure, when one of them (Hrithik Roshan) starts talking about an old Doordarshan ad. He talks about the music, how the logo would unfold and finally, is asked by another protagonist — “Yeah, but could you please get to the point?”

That could be the tagline for the whole film. Don’t believe the filmmakers when they say “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” is not a rehash of Farhan Akhtar’s “Dil Chahta Hai”. It tries to re-create the same coming-of-age effect, the same clever lines, but with half the success of the earlier film.

Chillar Party: An entertaining band of kids

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“Chillar Party” is a fresh attempt at a children’s film, one that entertains thoroughly without getting preachy. That is often where most filmmakers go wrong.

The film is about a bunch of kids who are quite a gang in their own right, and move around like they own the housing society they live in. Each of them is unique in their own way and has a certain quality, rather a trait, earning them their nicknames.

Murder 2: The bad guy makes it good

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Mohit Suri’s “Murder 2” may sound like a sequel to the Mallika Sherawat starrer “Murder” but believe me, it is nothing like the earlier film.

While that one had what was at best a wishy-washy murder, this one goes all out — there is blood, sadism, a twisted mind and one of the most sinister villains you have seen in Bollywood in a long time.

Delhi Belly: You need to have the stomach for it

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Abhinay Deo’s “Delhi Belly” isn’t your average Bollywood film. For one, it can hardly be called a Bollywood film, because the primary language isn’t Hindi, it’s English. Like most Bollywood films, this is also not a “family film”.

All those cuss words and toilet humour would be tough to endure with your parents or kids sitting next to you — with friends, it might be funny though.

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