Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
For someone who came into the Indian film industry as a former beauty queen, Aishwarya Rai has done her fair share of unglamorous roles in Bollywood.
From playing an abused wife in “Provoked” or the middle-aged wife of an industrialist in “Guru”, Rai has always let her acting do the talking.
In her latest film “Raavan”, she plays Ragini, the wife of a police officer who is abducted. It’s a role which involved negotiating tough terrain, heavy rains and the creatures of the jungle.
Rai spoke about her role in Mani Ratnam’s “Raavan”, the challenges of working in a bilingual film and why she feels bad when she is criticised for her dressing sense.
Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood and Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood are looking over the shoulder of Ridley Scott’s Robin Longstride.
So rather cleverly, the movie is a sort of prequel to these and may justly be titled “The making of Robin Hood”. It ends at the beginning.
Every year at IIFA, people crib about how badly organised the event is but somehow the glitz and glamour of the awards always makes you forget all these unpleasant issues.
When I left Mumbai for Colombo, I was going to cover a film awards function but two days into IIFA and I can hardly see any “film” in the event. Instead there is politics, business and even cricket, but films are missing from the scene entirely. Is that the way it is supposed to be?
Films were definitely not part of the agenda at the FICCI India Sri Lanka Business Forum on Friday morning, with the focus mainly on promoting bilateral business ties.
The first day of the 11th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend has been as chaotic as it has been revealing. From early morning chaos over accreditation and access to venues, by evening it had turned into excitement as the stars starting pouring in for the three-day event.
The centre of the chaos — the Cinnamon Grand hotel has become the ideal ringside location if you want to catch a glimpse of your favourite star and Bollywood crazy Sri Lankans weren’t letting go of any chance. By afternoon, the sprawling lobby of the five-star hotel was packed with eager fans, cameras ready to click and craning their necks to see if any star had arrived yet.
It has been such a long time since Bollywood has made a true-blue romance that purely on that merit alone, “Kites” is worth a watch.
Passion, chemistry and the cruel world against true love have become secondary when it comes to matters like reforming our education system or discovering new worlds.
The lines “arre o Sambha” (hey Sambha) bring back instant memories to a whole generation of Indian moviegoers.
The person they were addressed to, perched on a craggy rock toting a rifle, played a miniscule role in the film but his character went on to be one of the most loved of our times.
Gurinder Chadha’s “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife” (‘Hai Marjaawaan’ in Hindi) is a comedy about a harassed Indian mother, who is so obsessed with marrying off her only daughter that she kills off anyone who dares to reject her.
Those killing methods are so corny, you want to puke when you see a victim’s stomach burst open due to an overdose of curry and another one stabbed with a skewer of chicken tikka kebabs. The victims come back to haunt her, chicken tikka skewers intact. They cannot be reincarnated unless their killer dies but Mrs Sethi doesn’t want to kill herself before her daughter is “settled”.
There is a song in Sajid Khan’s “Housefull” with the lyrics “volume kam kar” (turn down the volume). Wouldn’t it be nice if the director and actors had imbibed this simple message? That would have made this alleged comedy easier to tolerate.
Instead every character in the film either screams, laughs or cries so loudly, and for seemingly no reason, that you want to hit the mute button.