India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Rockstar: Ranbir, Rahman are the stars


If you want to watch the rockstars in action in Imtiaz Ali’s “Rockstar“, look out for the “Kun Faya Kun” number in the first half — both A. R. Rahman and Ranbir Kapoor are at their best here — the lilting melody of the song and Ranbir’s range of expressions remind you of how good the two are at what they do.

They are the stars of “Rockstar” — the reason why you leave the movie with a somewhat positive feeling. Everything else, including the script, the direction and other performances are found wanting, much to your disappointment.

Director Ali attempts to chart the tumult that tears apart an aspiring musician, Janardan Jakhar, aka Jordan played by Ranbir Kapoor. Janardan belongs to a regular middle-class family and, as he himself says, has lived a remarkably ordinary life, except for his love for music and his desire to make it big. On the advice of his college canteen manager, who tells him that all great art comes out of pain, Janardan decides to propose to the beautiful Heer, the most popular girl on campus, and then feigns heartbreak when she rejects him.

When that plan backfires, the two become friends, and Heer, who is soon to be married, makes a list of “crazy things” she wants to do before she “settles down”. Of course, as in most Imtiaz Ali films, both characters realise they have fallen in love with each other — after one of them is married. Janardan becomes Jordan, gets thrown out of his house, develops angst and grows a beard.

Is ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ A.R.Rahman’s best score?


A.R.RahmanWaking up on a Monday morning is so much nicer when you wake up to good news, isn’t it?

A.R.Rahman winning two Grammys for “Slumdog Millionaire” certainly made my day, but as television channels played its theme song “Jai Ho” over and over again, I found myself wanting to hear some of his other compositions.

‘Slumdog’ magic rubs off on India abroad


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Bollywood and Indian culture is getting plenty of attention worldwide — thanks to the “Slumdog Millionaire” effect.

Danny Boyle’s rags-to-riches romance about a poor Indian boy competing in a TV game show scooped eight Academy Awards earlier this year.

Every ‘Slumdog’ has its day


Dilshad Qureshi, Rubina’s aunt, is a happy woman. She got up at five this morning, finished her household chores and dressed up in her nicest clothes.

For this woman from a Mumbai slum, the Oscars were coming home.


I was there at Rubina’s (the youngest Latika in the film) cramped quarters, located in a slum by the Bandra train tracks, since six in the morning.

Is an Oscar next, Mr Rahman?


His voice is soft over the phone, almost inaudible. He has just done a lot of interviews, and the tiredness in his voice is clear.

There are no niceties, no formal hello; instead he plunges straight into the agenda of the day — that’s a typical A. R. Rahman interview for you. The 43-year-old music composer is as humble as he is talented, as unaffected by success as he is successful.

Yuvvraaj: A brilliant score let down by a lacklustre script


Setting out to create a Bollywood blockbuster? Just make sure you have all the right ingredients — big budget, famous actors, foreign locales, fabulous music.

Wait, something’s missing — yes, the script.

Unfortunately for Subhash Ghai, the era of formula films has long gone and even the most ambitious project can’t afford to take it easy in the writing department.