India Masala

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge: Contrived comedy

March 5, 2010

Atithi Tum Kab JaogeA moustache. That was the basis for one of the best comedies of Indian cinema — Hrishikesh Mukherjee‘s “Golmaal” — made in the 1970s.

A year at the movies

December 31, 2009

At the beginning of the last week of every year I head to my neighbourhood DVD store to follow a long-standing tradition of mine.  I review my favourite films of the year and then buy DVD’s of those films.

All the Best: Adding that Diwali sparkle

October 16, 2009

Watching three films in the space of 18 hours isn’t easy, especially when the first two are films like “Blue” and “Main Aur Mrs Khanna“.

Main Aur Mrs Khanna: A mindless romance

October 16, 2009

The other day a colleague asked me why I never seemed to like any film these days. I thought about it and wondered the same myself. Don’t they make good films any more?

‘Short Kut’ takes the long, boring route

July 10, 2009

Somewhere in Bollywood, there has to be a movie-making machine.

All you do is insert a reel, change a few specifications (perhaps the hero’s name and occupation or the reason for a romantic obstacle with his leading lady) and wait for a “masala” movie to pop up, fresh and ready to hit unsuspecting audiences.

‘Slumdog’ magic rubs off on India abroad

June 12, 2009

(Click here to watch video)

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

Partition: A not-so-epic love story

May 22, 2009

It’s unusual for Indian cinemas to screen a 2007 film that has already had its television premiere.

Videsh: Stark and unsettling

March 27, 2009

Watching Deepa Mehta’s “Videsh” is not a very pleasant feeling. Watching a woman getting bruised and beaten up never is.

Firaaq: A hard-hitting debut by Nandita Das

March 20, 2009

The camera moves breathlessly through the dark alleys, following the two men as one chases the other. An old man watches flickering images on television, his face revealing myriad emotions every second. A group of men argue in a dingy, ruined shop, even as a child watches wide-eyed.

Gulaal: Holds up the mirror to an unpleasant reality

March 14, 2009

“The free media serve as a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel. From us you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future. Sometimes the image you see in that mirror is not a pleasant one. But while you may grumble in the privacy of your armchair, the journalists who hold the mirror up to you do so publicly and at great risk to themselves.”