Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Teen movies in Bollywood have largely been restricted to candy-floss college romance (“Ishq Vishq”) or sporting tales but “Udaan” is a teen coming-of-age tale that defies all these genres and in doing so, touches you in a way that no other film has managed to for quite some time.
The film, an official selection at this year’s Cannes festival, is at heart a simple linear film about Rohan, a 17-year-old who returns home from boarding school to a tyrannical father and a home he hasn’t seen for eight years.
Forced to work in his father’s steel factory, study engineering and abandon his dreams of becoming a writer, Rohan also has to deal with a cold, demanding father who calls him a “bloody failure” and refuses to acknowledge his dreams. He also has to deal with a six year-old half-brother he has never met, but the scenes where the two boys form a gradual bond are some of the best in the film.
How Rohan deals with his dreary life and comes of age is the crux of “Udaan”, but there is so much more this film has to offer. Very few films manage to give you so much in such a simple movie. Every scene is carefully crafted and there are some scenes that won’t fail to touch you. Director Vikramaditya Motwane combines the angst and vitality of youth in an exhilarating manner.
Watching “Milenge Milenge” is like finishing an entire bottle of tomato ketchup. Ketchup that was manufactured a decade or two earlier. So eating it/watching this movie will ensure that a) you won’t enjoy it and b) it will be harmful to your health because the product is long past its expiry date.
This is one of those films that didn’t get released at a time when it should have — that is when Kareena Kapoor’s peroxide hair was in vogue, landlines were more in use than mobiles and sequined dresses were considered fashionable.
Football fever is taking over the world and Bollywood’s glamorous brigade hasn’t been left untouched.
Film stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Imran Khan and Lara Dutta are either headed to or are already in South Africa to catch a glimpse of football heaven.
As one of India’s most eligible bachelors tied the knot late on Sunday night, you could almost hear the sound of a million hearts breaking.
But along with that, you could also hear the sound of a million fingers typing furiously on their phones, so that they could tweet their best wishes to Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his bride.
At one point in Punit Malhotra’s “I Hate Luv Storys” one of the characters tells another to just follow all the clichés and go for it. That could well have been Malhotra’s motto while making this run-of-the-mill love story that drags on for what seems like forever.
Malhotra seems to take every single cliché you can think of and insert that into his film – while pretending that this is a different love story. Boy who is commitment phobic – check; girl who has an overdose of pink in her bedroom and believes in love at first sight – check; Hate turns to love – check; Boring boyfriend – check. IHLS is definitely not big on the originality factor and you know how it is going to end. You just wish the journey to the end was pleasanter.
The overwhelming feeling as one leaves the theatre after having watched “Raavan” is one of disappointment. Make that huge disappointment. Could it be that one of this generation’s finest filmmakers, is credited as director in this disjointed, mediocre effort?
Nothing in the two-hour film is reminiscent of Mani Ratnam’s class. Instead it is littered with shoddy direction, bad acting and long-winding but nonsensical dialogues. The only saving grace is Santosh Sivan’s magical cinematography, but the truth is even that cannot hide the flaws in this film.
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.
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.