India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Gippi: The pains of growing up

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)

Handout still from "Gippi"Sonam Nair’s “Gippi” is the coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl who stumbles through life dealing with the typical crises of adolescence. Boys, parents, body image, acne and Shammi Kapoor come together to form the crux of this story, one that was probably written with the help of a handbook on how to script a teen movie.

Nair’s film is predictable and devoid of any surprises but also charming in parts. Gippi’s relationship with her mother (Divya Dutta) and brother are where the charm kicks in and Nair deals with these moments well.

But, like a bad driver, she also careens into clichés, using them in plenty while telling her story. There is the bad boy who spells trouble, the good boy who appears meek but turns out to be a hero, the unglamorous but loyal best friend and the mean but pretty rich girls who exist just so the heroine can make them feel small in the climax.

Go Goa Gone: Die laughing

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)

A handout still from "Go Goa Gone".To enjoy Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK‘s “Go Goa Gone“, you have to ignore the tacky effects and the bad make-up and concentrate on the wisecracks and repartee between the main characters. Once you’ve done that successfully, get ready to buckle in for what is an unexpectedly fun ride.

from India Insight:

Which is the greatest Bollywood film ever?

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It's been a hundred years since the first Indian feature film "Raja Harishchandra" in 1913. Since then, Bollywood has made tens of thousands of films – good, bad and middling.

Tell us the movie that you feel is Bollywood's best. To help you make that choice, we have compiled a list of 100 films we have seen and loved, films that are sensitive and sensible in their own way and films that brought ‘larger than life’ into our living rooms.

Aatma: No soul in this horror flick

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

The real test of a good horror movie, at least in my book, is when you can’t stop thinking about it and feel a shiver down your spine at night. All the great horror movies do that to you.

Suparn Varma’s “Aatma”, about a violent man who abuses his wife in life and in death, is one film that doesn’t scare you most of the time. Instead, there is much twiddling of thumbs as you wait for the next predictable twist and yet another person to die on the way to the climax.

Does Sanjay Dutt deserve sympathy?

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

First, the facts — the 1993 Mumbai blasts killed 257 people, more than 100 people were convicted, and it took more than 20 years to deliver justice in a case that has all but faded from the nation’s collective memory.

And yet, if you looked at the headlines on Thursday, you would be forgiven for thinking the Supreme Court ruling was only about actor Sanjay Dutt. And the only tragedy was the one that had befallen Dutt and his family members.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns: Rerun of the quirky and violent

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

A politician learning to video chat, a man trying to draw blood with a rusty knife and a newbie MLA who doesn’t know what a police FIR is - moments that make Tigmanshu Dhulia’s “Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns” a film that successfully marries the quirky with the violent.

Special 26: The heist that almost worked

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

Bollywood hasn’t had an impressive track record with thrillers. Most have been slow and predictable while some were downright preposterous.

Vishwaroopam: Saga of faith in troubled times

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

For a spy thriller that has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, “Vishwaroopam” is surprisingly tame.

from India Insight:

“Vishwaroopam” touches yet another Indian nerve

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

Actor and filmmaker Kamal Haasan’s film "Vishwaroopam" was supposed to open in cinemas last Friday, but that's not happening in Tamil Nadu after Muslim groups protested against scenes that they consider offensive.

from India Insight:

His name is Khan and he is misunderstood

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(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

When Bollywood heart-throb Shah Rukh Khan shared his views on religious stereotypes in an article in Outlook Turning Points magazine, it turned heads as the editors likely expected. Some media outlets criticized Khan, saying he sought "refuge in Muslim victimhood."

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