Shilpa's Feed
Nov 6, 2015
via India Insight

Bollywood finds political voice in intolerance debate

The Indian film industry finds itself unexpectedly swept up in a debate over growing religious intolerance that critics say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has failed to contain.

Bollywood has traditionally stayed away from politics and not taken a stand on hot-button topics. This time around, the film industry is at the centre of the debate.

Oct 30, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Main Aur Charles

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

If you grew up in Goa in the 80s (as I did), then there was no escaping O’Coqueiro. It was almost a ritual to take visiting friends and family to the restaurant and say, “This is where Charles Sobhraj was caught, you know!”

Oct 30, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Titli

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

One of the recurring images in Kanu Behl’s “Titli” (Butterfly) is that of the eponymous protagonist sitting on a two-seater bike, squashed between his two brothers and unable to move an inch. His face has a defeated expression as the trio ride along the wide roads and grimy alleys of Delhi. That is Titli in an essence – always trapped and desperate to break free.

Oct 28, 2015
via India Insight

FTII students end four-month strike; filmmakers return National Awards

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Students at Indias most prestigious film school agreed on Wednesday to end a four-month strike and return to classes after the failure of a final round of negotiations with the government over its controversial appointment of a new chairman.

Classes have been suspended since June at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), with students protesting the selection of Gajendra Chauhan – a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party – to head the 55-year-old film school in Pune.

Oct 22, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Shaandaar

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

There is an old, but oft-repeated joke about a Bollywood producer who decided in a fit of misplaced rebellion to make a flop film with Amitabh Bachchan when the actor was at the peak of his career. The film had none of the ingredients that go into a hit Bachchan movie – no drunken scene or songs, and his voice was dubbed. The moral, old industry hands will tell you, is that you can make a flop with Amitabh Bachchan, but it will take a lot of hard work.

Oct 21, 2015
via India Insight

‘Aligarh’ rooted in reality of homophobia in India

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Marathi-language professor Shrinivas Siras killed himself in 2010, a few days after Aligarh Muslim University suspended him for having consensual sex with a man.

He is the subject of a new film called “Aligarh,” starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, which will open the Jio MAMI festival in Mumbai later this month and come out in India sometime early next year. Bajpayee plays Siras and Rao plays the fictional role of a journalist who comes to write about the protagonist and later befriends him.

Oct 16, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2

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

Luv Ranjan
‘s “Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2” is a glossier version of the 2011 Bollywood film. It is, in effect, a “Sex and the City” – for men. This is a world where men are perfectly turned out, live in luxurious apartments, and are preoccupied with the women in their lives. It is also a world where women are the enemy – you might sleep with the enemy, but in the end, it’s the brotherhood that is your true comfort and solace.

“Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2″ is not a sequel. Director Ranjan is telling us the same story – only this time it is airbrushed, thanks to a bigger budget and better production design. Our three heroes – Gogo (Kartik Aaryan, reprising his role), Thakur (Omkar Kapoor) and Chauka (Sunny Singh) – fall in love at the same time, but find their ardour fading fast.

Oct 16, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Wedding Pullav

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

Binod Pradhan
‘s “Wedding Pullav” is a romantic comedy featuring one of the classic tropes of the genre – the best friends who aren’t sure they are in love until a rival appears on the scene. Despite the tried and tested theme, “Wedding Pullav” is insipid and uninspiring in every frame.

Director Pradhan milks every cliché, including the tomboyish heroine who morphs into a svelte, feminine woman; the escape from the mandap (wedding pavilion); and the older, wiser man who sets their affairs right. But even a cliché, if executed well, can create magic. There is nothing magical about the 123 minutes of “Wedding Pullav”.

Oct 2, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Singh is Bliing

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

Having first captured the south Indian movie market and then Bollywood, prolific director Prabhudheva is now turning his eyes towards the unofficial adopted home of India’s film industry – Punjab. In “Singh is Bliing”, a 141-minute tribute to the awesomeness of the Punjabi gene, Akshay Kumar repurposes the same role he’s done in millions of other films – the sometimes bumbling but loveable rascal whose only purpose in life is to beat up the bad guys, save the good ones, and fall for a beautiful girl along the way.

The fact that Kumar has this down pat is obvious from his entry in the film. He’s perched on a tractor, wearing shades, a shirt, a lungi (a sarong-like garment worn by men) and sneakers. And he seems completely at ease. Prabhudheva makes no attempt to draw his leading man out of his comfort zone. And why would he, since this formula has seen so much success at the box office.

Oct 1, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Talvar

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

In their pre-release interviews, the makers of “Talvar” have emphasized a point over and over again – that their film is an impartial attempt at reconstructing the murder of a teenager and a servant in suburban Delhi.

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Director Meghna Gulzar and writer-producer Vishal Bhardwaj are taking sides. Their slant, like an errant slip, shows right from the first few scenes and becomes more prominent towards the conclusion. It is the only thing that leaves a bitter aftertaste in this otherwise well-constructed, gripping film.

    • 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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