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May 22, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Tanu Weds Manu Returns

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

Director Aanand L Rai seems to believe in the adage “Well begun is half done.” With both “Tanu Weds Manu” (2011) and its sequel, Rai starts with a great idea, some sparkling dialogue and interesting characters. But what you get in “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” is the cinematic equivalent of a car wreck.

The first film ended with the unlikely union of Manoj Sharma (R Madhavan) and Tanuja (Kangana Ranaut). Four years later, Manu still has the personality of a block of wood while Tanu appears to have become more dramatic. The film begins with the two in front of a mental asylum – one that looks like it’s straight out of “Shutter Island” – complaining to a group of psychiatrists about their marriage.

May 22, 2015
via India Insight

‘Bombay Velvet’ debacle adds to Bollywood woes

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It’s being called the biggest debacle in recent Bollywood history. Anurag Kashyap’s “Bombay Velvet” could not have come at a worse time for an industry that has been struggling to find some magic at the cinemas for more than a year.

The film, made on a stated budget of 800 million rupees ($12.5 million), made around 160 million rupees ($2.5 million) in its opening weekend, a dismal figure for a film that had A-list stars like Ranbir Kapoor, Karan Johar and Anushka Sharma in lead roles and a huge publicity campaign behind it.

May 8, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Piku

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

In Shoojit Sircar’s “Piku”, after a particularly graphic conversation about constipation and bowel movements, Rana (Irrfan Khan) asks the film’s protagonist (Deepika Padukone), “Is this all you’ll talk about?” Yes, she says.

Indeed. That is all Piku and her septuagenarian father, Bhaskor Banerji (Amitabh Bachchan), talk about throughout the film. Just like their first venture “Vicky Donor”, Sircar and co-writer Juhu Chaturvedi make another funny film about a “dirty” topic. There is no obvious toilet humour. The dialogue is smart.

May 6, 2015

Bollywood star Salman Khan gets five years for hit-and-run

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A court on Wednesday sentenced Bollywood film star Salman Khan to five years in prison, for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident, the latest twist in the tumultuous career of a hero of India’s silver screen.

The sentencing drove down shares of firms connected to the actor and, if upheld, will derail major projects in the pipeline of the world’s most prolific movie industry.

May 6, 2015

India’s Bollywood star Salman Khan gets 5 years for hit-and-run

MUMBAI, May 6 (Reuters) – An Indian court on Wednesday
sentenced Bollywood film star Salman Khan to five years in
prison, for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident, the latest
twist in the tumultuous career of a hero of India’s silver
screen.

The sentencing drove down shares of firms connected to the
actor and, if upheld, will derail major projects in the pipeline
of the world’s most prolific movie industry.

May 5, 2015
via India Insight

Bollywood holds breath as Salman Khan faces jail

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(UPDATE: Salman Khan sentenced to five years in prison in hit-and-run case)

A guilty verdict for Salman Khan on Wednesday in a 13-year-old hit-and-run could derail some of Bollywood’s most prized projects if India’s most bankable actor is put behind bars.

(Click here to see a picture profile of Salman Khan)

Khan faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted of causing the death of a person after allegedly driving over five men sleeping on a Mumbai pavement in September 2002.

May 1, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Gabbar is Back

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

If you need proof that the Indian film industry is stuck in a time warp, then “Gabbar is Back” is it. It’s a flashing, neon sign that proclaims just how regressive and asinine our films can be, even when the subject is a noble one.

Apr 20, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Radhika Apte

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Ekta Kapoor once asked sardonically, “Who is Radhika Apte?” This year, Indian audiences found out.

The 29-year-old actress came under the spotlight after playing a scared but protective wife in Sriram Raghavan’s revenge drama “Badlapur” and a liberal city girl in Harshavardhan Kulkarni’s “Hunterrr”, which earned her acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

Apr 17, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Vidhu Vinod Chopra on ‘Broken Horses’

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The producer of Bollywood’s highest grossing film made his debut as a Hollywood director this month.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra hasn’t directed an Indian film since 2007, but couldn’t resist the lure of foreign shores for his latest project “Broken Horses“.

Apr 17, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Mr X (3D)

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

Twenty-eight years ago, there was “Mr India” – a film about an invisible man who helped bring down the bad guys. It is now 2015, and we have Vikram Bhatt‘s “Mr X“, which again is a film about an invisible man who fights crime. You would think, given how much Bollywood has progressed in the intervening years, that the 2015 film would beat the 1987 one at least on the technical aspects,  if not the creative ones.

On the contrary, Bhatt’s film makes the special effects of the 1980′s look good with tacky 3D and amateurish special effects. The plot isn’t much better either. Emraan Hashmi plays Raghuram Rathod, a taciturn police officer forced to kill the chief minister of the state at the bidding of his corrupt police commissioner (Arunoday Singh).

    • About Shilpa

      "Shilpa covers Bollywood and entertainment for Reuters India since 2008. She has previously worked with DNA and the Press Trust of India, covering train blasts in Mumbai, a constitutional crisis in Goa and protests in New Delhi. On Twitter, she's @shilpajay."
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