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Jul 26, 2013
via India Masala

Issaq: Doomed love story

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What director Manish Tiwary was trying to achieve in “Issaq”, his version of Romeo and Juliet, only he can say. If you didn’t know you were watching a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, you’d be forgiven for walking out halfway through the film.

The movie starts with a bizarre killing on a deserted bridge and then moves on to more bizarreness. “Issaq” is a disjointed effort, one that ceases to make any sense after the first few minutes.

Jul 26, 2013
via India Masala

Bajatey Raho: Much ado about nothing

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Shashant Shah‘s “Bajatey Raho” is a comedy about a motley group of people who try to con a businessman out of the millions he made by cheating gullible clients.

Ravi Kishan plays evil businessman Sabharwal, who owns everything from schools to dairy farms and treats his staff like dirt.

Jul 25, 2013

Hollywood primed for film on Indian math genius Ramanujan

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A new Hollywood film starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan will put the spotlight on the Indian math genius best known for his work on the theory of prime numbers.

Ramanujan, who died in 1920, was considered one of the brightest minds in mathematics, despite his lack of a formal education.

Jul 19, 2013
via India Masala

Ship of Theseus: Looking for the right answers

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During an interview about his 2012 film “Shanghai”, director Dibakar Banerjee spoke about the difficulty of asking existential questions and portraying them coherently on the big screen.

Anand Gandhi, director of “Ship of Theseus”, has the same problem but is able to execute it almost perfectly, a task most filmmakers would have found difficult.

Jul 18, 2013
via India Masala

D-Day: Gripping enough

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

The search for India’s most wanted criminal and a fictitious operation to capture him in Pakistan is a great idea for a Bollywood movie. Filmmaker Nikhil Advani uses this premise in “D-Day” and exploits it to maximum effect.

Advani builds a gripping tale that chronicles a covert operation to bring back Goldman, a fictional mafia don undoubtedly based on Dawood Ibrahim. He lives in Pakistan, masterminds terrorist attacks in India, is protected by the government of the country and speaks to his henchmen in Marathi (The real-life Dawood Ibrahim is from Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra).

Jul 12, 2013

‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ a rare sports film from Bollywood

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A new Bollywood film brings to life the story of one of India’s greatest track athletes in a rare sports movie from a country obsessed with cricket.

“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” (Run Milkha Run) is a three-hour biopic on Milkha Singh, known as the Flying Sikh, who finished fourth in the 400 metres at the 1960 Rome Olympics, missing the bronze medal by a hair’s-breadth.

Jul 12, 2013
via India Masala

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: The game is over

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra‘s biopic of Milkha Singh is one of the few sports movies to come out of the Indian film industry. It is also a perfect example of how not to make a sports biopic, and a telling comment on the compulsion of most filmmakers to “Bollywoodise” what starts off as an unusual subject and premise.

It seems Mehra and writer Prasoon Joshi started off with the noble intention of making a gritty film on India’s most successful athlete, but fell back to their Bollywood ways. They added a bit of romance here, a song there, topped off with over-the-top melodrama, and convinced themselves that this was the heart-wrenching story of a man who fought against all odds to succeed at the international level.

Jul 9, 2013

Bollywood star Shah Rukh welcomes new baby with surrogate

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan announced on Tuesday that he and wife Gauri were parents of a baby boy born with a surrogate, putting to rest rumours swirling around the latest addition to the actor’s family.

“Amidst all the noise that has been going around, the sweetest is the one made by our new-born baby, AbRam,” Khan said in a statement.

Jul 5, 2013

Bollywood adapts O. Henry’s ‘Last Leaf’ for ‘Lootera’

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Vikramaditya Motwane first caught the attention of Bollywood in 2010 when his debut film made it to the Cannes film festival, competing in the “Un Certain Regard” category for emerging directors.

“Udaan” was a small-budget film about teenage angst and three years later, Motwane is wooing audiences with a big-ticket period romance inspired by “The Last Leaf”, a short story by American writer O.Henry published in 1907.

Jul 5, 2013
via India Masala

Lootera: This one steals your heart

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

If there is one thing to be said about Vikramaditya Motwane’s craft, it is that he makes melancholy look beautiful. In his debut film “Udaan”, and now in “Lootera”, the filmmaker depicts angst-ridden and tormented characters and creates the perfect environment for them. The lighting is muted, the setting is an isolated house, the music is haunting and you cannot help but feel as tormented as the characters in the film.

Motwane is undoubtedly one of the few Indian directors who has mastery over the craft of filmmaking. Everything in “Lootera”, the detailing, sound design and pretty much every aspect is picture perfect. From a small village in the Bengali countryside in the first half to the quaint hill station of Dalhousie for the more sombre part of the movie, Motwane chooses his locations well.

    • 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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