India Masala

Which is your favourite Rajesh Khanna moment?

July 18, 2012

The image that came to mind when one heard of Rajesh Khanna’s death was, of course, the pivotal scene in Hrishikesh Mukherjee‘s “Anand” where the words “babu moshai” ring out.

Cocktail: The mix isn’t right

July 13, 2012

You know that time when you chance upon this new product at the supermarket? Maybe it’s a new drink or a bottle of jam — it comes in a really nice looking bottle and looks so enticing that you have to pick it up and bring it home. And then you open it and realise it only looks good on the outside. The product is past expiry, the fizz has gone out of the drink and all you are left with is a nice looking bottle. Yes, that.

Bol Bachchan: All talk, no substance

July 6, 2012

A one-line review saying “this is a Rohit Shetty” film would suffice for most movies this director churns out with billion-rupee regularity, but “Bol Bachchan” is different. This time, Shetty has attempted to remake one of Hindi cinema’s most iconic comedies, one which shares its name with the series of films that gave Shetty his first hits in the industry.

from India Insight:

Cleaning up TV’s dirty pictures

June 25, 2012

I was watching a documentary on Greta Garbo on television. The film was in English with English subtitles for people more comfortable following written English than quick spoken English. Every time the word "sex" or something related to it would come up, the subtitles avoided it. "Heterosexual" became "hetero." "Her sexuality" became "her femininity." Dedicated channel surfing revealed similar evasions. In a conversation about breast cancer on an English channel, the station inserted an asterisk to partially mask the word "breast" in the subtitles, even though you could hear it onscreen.

Teri Meri Kahaani: A love story that needs direction

June 22, 2012

As they sit sipping coffee at a roadside café in London, Radha (Priyanka Chopra) tells Krissh (Shahid Kapur) “sometimes life is a suitcase but you feel like it’s a lunch-box” (or was it the opposite?), and if you are sitting in the audience, you might be forgiven for going “Huh? Did she really say that?”

Gangs of Wasseypur: Visceral revenge saga

June 21, 2012

Anurag Kashyap’s revenge saga “Gangs of Wasseypur” starts off in the most innocuous way — a shot of actress Smriti Irani opening the door and inviting the audience in with a beaming smile. It’s a scene millions of viewers are familiar with, thanks to the popularity of the soap, but definitely not something you’d expect to see in the first frame of a revenge drama.

Ferrari Ki Sawaari: Would you please hurry up?

June 15, 2012

Towards the end of Rajesh Mapuskar’s “Ferrari Ki Sawaari“, as the protagonist and his son are re-united and embrace each other, cry and wipe the tears off each other’s cheeks, an onlooker hesitantly asks “aap jaldi karenge zara?” (would you please hurry up?). It might sound like an insensitive thing to say, but perhaps that is what someone should have said to Mapuskar as he went about making this film.

Shanghai: The story of India

June 7, 2012

There are some films that you watch, not because you want (as Vidya Balan claims in ‘The Dirty Picture’) “entertainment, entertainment, entertainment”, but because they are a reflection of the times we live in, and if these movies didn’t get made, these chaotic times wouldn’t be chronicled for eternity.

Rowdy Rathore: South Indian remix

June 1, 2012

When Akshay Kumar fashions himself a sudarshan chakra (the ultimate weapon of destructive in Indian mythology) from a broken bamboo stick and some construction equipment and uses it to slay 20 men with axes and knives, you know “Rowdy Rathore” isn’t aiming for realistic cinema.

India: More than just call centres

May 28, 2012

India is the land of colours, sound, and call centres — or at least, that is what Western popular culture has been trying to reinforce over the past few years. “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel“, starring Judi Dench, is Hollywood’s most recent expedition to India, and it sticks to the formula.