India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

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.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the angst-ridden ghost out to take revenge on his ex-wife by taking his daughter along to the world of the dead. Abhay (Siddiqui) haunts the house and his daughter’s school, killing anyone who dares to offend the child — whether it is the strict teacher or the class bully.

When his wife Maya (Bipasha Basu) realises what is going on, she and her mother (Shernaz Patel) enlist the help of a priest who reveals that the husband is back from the dead.

If only Bollywood had discovered Freida

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When Frieda Pinto made it big on the international stage with “Slumdog Millionaire”, there were quite a few who couldn’t quite believe her success. While she was feted all over the world, found herself on prestigious magazine covers, and on high-profile red carpets, in the country of her birth, there was some reluctant praise and a lot of silence, which is unusual for a country that “adopts” anyone who sounds remotely Indian and is a success in the West. After Slumdog, Pinto got to work with two of Hollywood’s biggest directors, Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel (“The Divng Bell and the Butterfly”), and I think I have seen more press about Anil Kapoor playing a bit role in the US series “24” than Pinto’s appearances in these two films. And now that the two films have done the rounds of the festival circuit, and the reviews haven’t been too good, there are media reports again, almost writing her off as an actor. I wish we would appreciate that she has been where even the biggest guns from Bollwyood tried to go and failed. She has shared the stage as an equal with names such as Anthony Hopkins and didn’t have to rely on being the geeky Indian friend/sidekick kind of roles to make her foray into Hollywood. I think we just can’t believe we didn’t discover her first.

friedaWhen Freida Pinto made it big on the international stage with “Slumdog Millionaire“, there were quite a few who couldn’t quite believe her success.

While she was feted all over the world, found herself on prestigious magazine covers and on high-profile red carpets, in the country of her birth, there was some reluctant praise and a lot of silence which is unusual for a country that “adopts” anyone who sounds remotely Indian and is a success in the West.

from MediaFile:

Bollywood to plagiarism: Bye bye?

Filmmakers in Bollywood, India's movie industry, are notorious for borrowing liberally from foreign films far and wide, especially Hollywood.

Even when they don't copy an entire film frame by frame, Bollywood directors often borrow from several films at once, melding story lines and adapting them to an Indian setting, complete with song and dance. They do this, of course, without buying the remaking rights. Despite a lot of original cinema coming out of Bollywood, plagiarism is rife.

Thank God it’s Friday

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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).

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