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Jul 3, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Guddu Rangeela

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

Subhash Kapoor’s “Guddu Rangeela” is one of those films that are middling, unremarkable, and trivialize a serious matter.

The story starts with Bollywood’s oldest cliche: two scruffy, kind-hearted conmen who rob people to fund their Good Samaritan schemes. But the director’s indecision about whether this should be a film about the larger social evil of honour killings, or just about these two men and their adventures shows in the half-hearted and haphazard manner in which the film comes together.

Jun 24, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Kareena Kapoor Khan

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Kareena Kapoor belongs to Bollywood royalty. The Kapoor family tree has produced some of India’s biggest actors and stars, but the actress and her sister Karisma were the first women from the family to act. In her 16 years in the business, Kapoor has shown natural talent that few of her peers can claim. Often, she doesn’t showcase that talent, and instead appears in films that have big-ticket male stars and where leading ladies are reduced to damsels in distress.

Kapoor, 34, spoke to Reuters about why she works in films like “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” (“Brother Bajrangi”) which comes out next month, and in which she has a small part, instead of choosing meatier roles. The interview has been edited.

Jun 19, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: ABCD 2

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[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKUtAC-dwFM]

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

The underdog story is a guaranteed trope in movies, in which characters overcome adverse circumstances and make it big. But in Remo D’Souza’s sequel to “ABCD – Any Body Can Dance”, you’d have to look really hard to find that story, hidden as it is under layers and layers of gauze, outlandish costumes and an assembly line of flashy dance routines.

Jun 9, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Vidya Balan

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For all her success in Bollywood, Vidya Balan stands on the periphery of the world of cinema. The 37-year-old actress says she doesn’t have any friends in the industry, nor does she go to work hoping to make some.

Two years ago, Balan was hailed as the new heroine that Bollywood needed. Since then, three of her films have flopped. Balan spoke to Reuters about coming off a great run at the box office, why she isn’t on social media, and her latest film “Hamari Adhuri Kahani” (“Our Incomplete Story”).

Jun 5, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Dil Dhadakne Do

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

Zoya Akhtar’s strength, evident in her last two films, has been her fly-on-the-wall perspective – the ability to observe the foibles and faults of her characters, without over-explaining them. In her third film, “Dil Dhadakne Do”, she chooses not to observe but preach and tell, and gives up her biggest strength.

Jun 3, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Zoya Akhtar

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Zoya Akhtar believes in looking good – at least when it comes to her films. Two films old, with a third on the way, Akhtar’s style of making films about places and people she is familiar with has earned her acclaim from critics and cinema-lovers.

Her third film, a family drama set aboard a luxury cruise liner, about a wealthy family that is celebrating an anniversary, is set for release this week. Akhtar, 42, spoke to Reuters about “Dil Dhadakne Do”, (“Let the Heart Beat”) why she shot aboard a ship and why she never compares herself with brother and fellow director Farhan Akhtar.

May 29, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Welcome 2 Karachi

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

For a movie that starts off with a Gujarati party song by nubile foreign extras and has Jackky Bhagnani thrusting his pelvic muscles like there is no tomorrow, “Welcome 2 Karachi” gets progressively better.

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.

    • 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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