India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Chennai Express – Doesn’t reach its destination

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To get a sense of Rohit Shetty’s “Chennai Express,” wait for the closing credits to roll.

The film contains all the stereotypes that exist about those who live south of the Vindhyas, but narrated by someone who doesn’t live there. A South Indian film for those not living in the South, so to speak.

There are Kathakali dancers (from Kerala) in a song sequence, characters calling each other “Garu” (a Telugu term) in a movie that is supposed to be set in Tamil Nadu village, and references to eating idlis, vadas and dosas.

You even have a song called “Lungi Dance” which is supposed to be a tribute to Rajnikanth, sung by Punjabi rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh.

from India Insight:

His name is Khan and he is misunderstood

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Reuters)

When Bollywood heart-throb Shah Rukh Khan shared his views on religious stereotypes in an article in Outlook Turning Points magazine, it turned heads as the editors likely expected. Some media outlets criticized Khan, saying he sought "refuge in Muslim victimhood."

Don 2: Don’t expect too much

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It’s been a while since Bollywood dished out a slick, fast-paced action film. Wait, who am I kidding? Bollywood doesn’t do fast-paced action films any more, we just turn to Hollywood to get our share of those. So kudos to Farhan Akhtar that he thought of attempting it — not once but twice.

While the first was a remake of the 70s hit “Don”, the sequel is an entirely new story, and doesn’t have too many connections with the previous film, except for some of the characters who make a comeback.

Ra.One: This ain’t the one

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, it’s unlikely you’ve missed the “Ra.One” juggernaut. This superhero film has been everywhere, peering out at you from hoardings, blaring on the television, on your can of soda and pretty much in your face. It’s been non-stop marketing, persistent selling of a product you’ve been told that you have to watch.

That is how “Ra.One” the movie comes across as well. This is less of a movie and more of a product that is tailor-made to audiences looking for a Diwali movie. So everything, including the product placements, the songs, the dialogues and the story are all positioned to touch the right chords.

Shah Rukh Khan’s new look in “Don 2″

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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″, directed by Farhan Akhtar. “Ra One”, starring Khan and Kareena Kapoor, is set for a Diwali release while Don 2 is releasing on the Christmas weekend. Given his long absence from the silver screen and the muted response to his new TV show “Zor Ka Jhatka”, Khan will be banking on these two films to do well. “Don 2″, directed by Farhan Akhtar, is the sequel to his 2007 remake of ‘Don”, and stars Khan alongwith Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani and Lara Dutta. The film was shot in Berlin and the cast is currently shooting in Malaysia. Here are pictures of Khan’s look in the film. What do you think? Which avatar of Khan’s have you liked the most?

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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″.

World Cup mania hits Bollywood brigade

Football fever is taking over the world and Bollywood’s glamorous brigade hasn’t been left untouched.

Football World CupFilm stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Imran Khan and Lara Dutta are either headed to or are already in South Africa to catch a glimpse of football heaven.

My Name is Khan: Gimmicky, average cinema

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mnikThere is no easy way to say this. In spite of the hype surrounding it and for all the solidarity being expressed and the many, many hours of time and energy being spent  tweeting and talking about it — “My Name is Khan” is a very average, ordinary film that goes as haywire as the debate surrounding it has gone.

Subjects such as racial biases, the aftermath of 9/11 and war on terror are dicey topics to handle in real life, let alone on celluloid, and director Karan Johar falls in the same trap as films like “New York” and his own production “Kurbaan” — he oversimplifies the issue and overstates his message.

Is Bollywood’s unity a farce?

For more than a week now, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has been in the centre of a storm — after his comments supporting the participation of Pakistani players in the Indian Premier League.

In the same time period, we have BOLLYWOOD/also seen the half-hearted response that the Shiv Sena’s response evoked from Bollywood. Not a single producers’ body or any industry organisation has spoken out against the fact that the Sena might prevent “My Name is Khan” from being released.

IFFI 2009: Makrand Deshpande on “Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu”

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Filmmaker Makrand Deshpande’s new film “Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu” is about a flower girl in Mumbai whose life changes after a chance meeting with actor Shah Rukh Khan who tells her that she is beautiful.

Khan plays himself in a two-minute cameo in the film, which is a sort of tribute to the Bollywood superstar.

Shah Rukh and Aamir: Khan they?

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“We have to reach early,” I told a friend. “Or else we will never find a place to sit.”

Sure enough, even though we reached a good 45 minutes before the actual event, the seats in the first row were occupied.

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