India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Does Sanjay Dutt deserve sympathy?


(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.

As news of the court ruling trickled in, words of sympathy gushed from Bollywood, with film-makers such as Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar expressing solidarity with Dutt, and saying he did not deserve this.
Dutt was in his 30s when he was arrested, mature enough to know he was committing a crime. But do things change just because he’s an actor?

Everybody makes mistakes; some more serious than the rest. And we have to pay for them. Should Dutt be treated differently from other criminals just because of his position?

Rascals: Too much torture


David Dhawan must really hate us. Or maybe he wants to exact revenge on his audience. That must be why he subjected us to this three-hour monstrosity that is called “Rascals”.

At their best, David Dhawan comedies can be a little raunchy, but fun. This one is very raunchy, packed to the brim with provocative shots of women in bikinis and heaving bosoms, but there is no sign of fun. This is the kind of film that makes you wish it wasn’t your job to review movies week after week.

Double Dhamaal: Twice the agony


Indra Kumar’s “Double Dhamaal” is a sequel to the 2007 comedy “Dhamaal” and tells the story of four men whose plans to make a quick buck are foiled by their arch nemesis.

The story takes off from where the four, after having donated all the money they won to charity, are back to being jobless and penniless. But when they come across their arch nemesis Kabir Nayak (Sanjay Dutt) and see that he’s rich and successful, they decide to feed off his wealth. Riteish Deshmukh, Ashish Chowdhry, Arshad Warsi and Jaaved Jaafery play the roles of the four friends.

All the Best: Adding that Diwali sparkle


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“.

When I settled into my seat to watch Rohit Shetty’s “All the Best”, I was really hoping for some laughs. Thankfully, I got my share of them.

Blue: No colour this Diwali


When a film is pitched as a big-budget, big-ticket film and is a Diwali release to boot, expectations do shoot up.

Anthony D’Souza’s “Blue”, starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutta and Zayed Khan is supposed to be India’s first “underwater” film, has music by A.R. Rahman and is said to have a budget of 800 million rupees.

Luck: Don’t stretch your luck with this one


Sometime in April, I wrote an entry on this blog, lamenting the dearth of movies at the theatres during the producer-multiplex row. Fridays for me were just not the same without films.

But three months later, I want to eat those words.

Following duds like “Kambakkht Ishq”, “Short Kut”, “Kal Kissne Dekha” and now “Luck”, the movie going experience for me is becoming less enjoyable than ever.

EMI : A relevant message in a not-so-good film


I am about to take the first loan of my life next month. What with the

credit crisis and uncertainty all around, I am having second thoughts.

On the other hand, a newly married acquaintance celebrated Diwali by
buying her a pair of diamond earrings — bought on credit she
tells me, proudly showing off the studs.

I felt a bit old-fashioned. Here I was fretting about taking a loan and
this young girl is so much at ease buying a luxury item on credit.

Getting real in Bollywood


I am a bit wary when filmmakers announce Bollywood projects based on real life people. After all, the word Bollywood evokes images of glitzy song-and-dance routines in exotic locales. And that’s largely true even though the Mumbai film industry is showing signs of opening up to bolder, more realistic themes.

Bollywood postersTake “Rave Party” for example. The story of Scarlett Keeling, the British teenager murdered at a Goan beach, is being made into a film.