Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
“Luv Ka The End” is Yashraj Film’s first foray into a genre they call “youth films”, or films they think are tailor-made for the under-25 audience. But as all teenagers will know, there’s a thin line between being cool and trying too hard. This film is trying too hard, and there’s no two ways about it.
Unfunny gags, over-smart dialogues and one-dimensional characters do not a cool film make. Nor do obvious product placements, for that matter.
Shraddha Kapoor plays Rhea Dialdas, a spunky teenager, in love with her boyfriend, who happens to be rich and the most popular boy in school. On the eve of her 18th birthday, while she is making plans to take their relationship to the “next level”, she discovers that the man of her dreams is actually part of a secret rich boys club which scores each member on how many girls they can sleep with. What’s more he puts up the evidence on the net for the whole world to see.
Seething with rage, Rhea, with the help of her two best friends, decides to get even with Luv Nanda. The trio then proceed to do a whole lot of blatantly illegal stuff, including pretty much stealing his car, smashing it with baseball bats and stealing his credit cards. Is this really what it takes to get over someone?
It’s OK not to have too many expectations from “Shor in the City” — I know I didn’t. After all, it doesn’t have a great star cast, there hasn’t been too much buzz around it and except for the music (the lilting ‘Saibo’ number especially), the promos didn’t really stick in your mind.
The movie, however, is a whole other story. This is a smart film — one that hooks you from the get-go and doesn’t let up. Co-directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D K are sure of their craft and confident in their script and it shows.
The one thing you must appreciate about Onir’s “I Am” is the attempt to do something away from the trodden path — India’s first crowdfunded film. Director Onir and his team invited ordinary citizens and film lovers from all parts of the world to contribute to the film by donating as little as 1,000 rupees in return for a mention in the film’s credits as a co-producer.
Onir’s intentions are also obviously in the right place when it comes to this film, but if intentions were the criteria by which we could judge films, there wouldn’t be a bad film in the world. Through four intertwined stories, he raises issues like child abuse, displacement of Kashmiri pandits and discrimination against homosexuals. Where he does go wrong is in the treatment of those issues and their execution.
Rohan Sippy’s “Dum Maaro Dum” attempts to take a hard look at the drug mafia in the tourist haven of Goa through the eyes of a ruthless police officer.
Abhishek Bachchan plays the protagonist Vishnu Kamat, a once corrupt officer who mends his ways and is called on to “clean Goa of drugs” by an ailing minister. Sippy uses a non-linear mode of narration, zigzagging from one character to another, lending a zippy pace to the first half of the film.
At one point in director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s movie “Teen Thay Bhai”, one of the protagonists wakes up in a police van, looks around blearily and asks his brothers, “Where are these police constipators taking us?”
Of course, he meant constables. At that point, you will know or at least I did, that this film is beyond redemption.
I’m going to keep this one short because there’s really not much I can say about Anees Bazmee’s “Thank You” that I haven’t already said about films of this genre – in other words, the “leave your brains at home” films that we seem to churn out with alarming regularity.
This one seems to be a re-hash of Bazmee’s earlier “No Entry”, which at least had a couple of nice songs and some funny moments. This one has nothing but offensive dialogue, bad jokes and even worse acting.
Everybody loves a good murder – and unfortunately, Bollywood doesn’t do too many of them. Abhinay Deo’s “Game” tries to fill that void, with a murder mystery about a tycoon who is shot dead on his private island.
Anupam Kher plays the dead man, Kabir Malhotra, one of the world’s richest men who mysteriously invites four strangers to his private island in Greece, because he believes they have something to do with the death of his abandoned daughter Maya (Sarah Jane Dias).
Director Anand Rai’s “Tanu Weds Manu” is a romantic comedy about a meek doctor who falls in love with a feisty, rebellious Kanpur girl, as a result of which he finds himself in the middle of what can only be described as a sticky situation, and staring down the barrel of a gun.
R. Madhavan plays Manoj Sharma aka Manu, who in spite of having lived alone in London for more than a decade, wants an arranged marriage with a girl from the Indian heartland and falls in love with the first girl he sees, at one glance, while she is asleep.
The Union Budget is on everyone’s mind and affects Bollywood too. Here’s what people from the Indian film industry have to say –
Vipul Shah, Director
Vipul Shah, Director– “There have been a few burning issues that have plagued the industry for the last few years. Entertainment tax is pegged as high as 45 percent in Mumbai. There is always the impression amongst the general public and perhaps even the government that filmmakers rake in huge profits. The reality, however, is far removed. Films have an 80:20 success ratio — this itself is self explanatory of the plight of most producers.
It’s been a little more than a year since the last Shah Rukh Khan movie released but this year the star has two big releases — “Ra One” and “Don 2″.