Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Coming as it does nearly three months after a big-ticket Bollywood release — Kabir Khan’s “New York” is a relief.
The story of three friends whose lives change in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York, the film manages to hold your attention for the most part, mainly because of some astute direction and its performances.
Sam (John Abraham), Maya (Katrina Kaif) and Omar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) are three friends who lead a carefree life on the grounds of New York State University.
Omar harbours a secret crush for Maya and is devastated to learn she loves Sam. He moves away from their lives, only to re-enter it seven years later, in totally different circumstances.
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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.
The last Hindi film I watched in a theatre was Nagesh Kukunoor’s “Tasveer”, an improbable tale about a man who has ‘photographic visions’ and can revisit the past. Then Bollywood took a break and I hoped it would serve the industry well.
I have spoken to her several times and she has always been extremely polite, composed and not given to overt displays of emotion.
That is why, at a Mumbai event to unveil the first look of her forthcoming film “Love Aaj Kal”, I was surprised to see the 21-year-old at a loss for words.
Now that the dry spell is over and the movies are back on screens, a lot of us are making plans for the weekend that include a movie theatre (at least I am).
Producers are making sure there are enough movies to keep you occupied for the rest of the year, and given the fact that half the year is over, there are now more movies up for release than weeks to release them.
‘Archie proposes to Veronica!’
That headline sent shockwaves and started heated debates in many parts of the world this week, with most fans of one of the longest-running love triangles despairing that Archie Andrews has chosen the rich and glamorous Ronnie over the sweet and simple Betty.
But is it really that different a story from those dished out by Bollywood or the many TV serials? Perhaps the guy is rich. Perhaps the girl is wealthy and doesn’t tell the guy. Perhaps the guy has a wealthy father and doesn’t know it. But the end result is always the same. The guy/girl with the rich dad gets the girl/guy. Every time.
“We are just good friends” has to be the most overused phrase in Bollywood (or even Hollywood) for that matter.
A couple of years ago, each time rumour mills started working non-stop about a “friendship” between celebrities, the two concerned parties were sure to come up with a statement about how they were just good friends.
It’s unusual for Indian cinemas to screen a 2007 film that has already had its television premiere.
But the stand-off between Bollywood producers and multiplexes has resulted in a slew of otherwise straight-to-DVD films getting a chance at the box-office.
For most people, Friday is just another day to get over with before one settles down for the weekend.
Not so for a film journalist. Friday is the day you watch the releases of the week (sometimes as many as three in a day), form an opinion about each of them and then put that opinion to paper (and then wait for everyone to disagree with you).