Shilpa's Feed
Nov 17, 2012

Bal Thackeray, firebrand Indian Hindu-nationalist, dies at 86

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Bal Keshav Thackeray, one of India’s most polarizing politicians and leader of an influential right-wing Hindu nationalist party that has dominated politics in the country’s richest city for two decades, has died aged 86.

Thackeray died of cardio-respiratory arrest on Saturday at his home, one of his doctors, Jalil Parker, said. He had been ill for some time and was rumored to have died earlier this week.

Nov 13, 2012
via India Masala

Jab Tak Hai Jaan: Unending romance

Photo

It is difficult to judge “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” solely as a movie. Like it or not, it is the swansong of one of the defining directors of the Indian film industry and you cannot help but think of Yash Chopra’s legacy as you watch his last film.

There are shades of “Kabhi Kabhie”, “Dil To Pagal Hai” and “Veer Zaara”, and as you watch Shah Rukh Khan kissing Katrina Kaif on a lush, green meadow, you cannot help but think that this man knew his romance.

Nov 13, 2012
via India Masala

Son of Sardaar: Calculated entertainment

Photo

In a recent interview, a film-maker described a movie as one “made with a calculator”. He might just have been talking about Ashwni Dhir’s “Son of Sardaar”. For a film that talks of heart and emotion, this is a movie made with cold-hearted calculation.

“Son of Sardaar” is a Diwali film, made with the sole intention of making money during the festival of lights, and stuffed with what Bollywood thinks is the complete package — romance, comedy and action all in one movie. But what is it they say about being a jack of all trades?

Nov 8, 2012

Bollywood’s Diwali releases pit Shah Rukh Khan vs Ajay Devgn

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Bollywood is counting on emotions, star power and the festive spirit to rake in money at the box office this Diwali, capping an already good year for the Hindi film industry.

Shah Rukh Khan’s “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” and Ajay Devgn’s “Son of Sardaar”, both big-ticket movies that open on the festival of lights next Tuesday, are expected to easily cross the billion-rupee benchmark.

Nov 2, 2012
via India Masala

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana: A dish with heart

Photo

The Punjabisation of  Bollywood has meant that on-screen depictions show a very polished version of Punjab. Fluttering dupattas, lush fields, glitzy weddings and lively dancing are what Punjab is all about, but Sameer Sharma’s “Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana” doesn’t stick to any of the stereotypes, which is a relief.

The streets are bumpy, the women aren’t flawlessly dressed and the men do not break out into bhangra or slap each other on the back at every given opportunity. Sharma’s film is simple and shorn of any plasticity, and even though the recipe does go haywire a couple of times, Sharma manages to salvage the dish in the end.

Oct 31, 2012
via India Insight

How to insult people, Indian politician-style

Photo

If you were a reporter covering the Shiv Sena in 2006, the place to be was a nondescript restaurant located midway between party offices and those of Bal Thackeray’s nephew Raj, who rebelled and formed a new party after a fall-out with his uncle.

At this hole-in-the-wall eatery, party workers from both sides would let it all out — the vitriol would flow freely against Raj, the Thackerays and the Congress party. A lot of these barbs were never repeated outside those four walls, but some of that vitriol certainly seeped into the public speeches of their leaders.

Oct 31, 2012

“Life of Pi” teen star Suraj Sharma lives out his own fairy tale

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Suraj Sharma went from being a regular teenager growing up in New Delhi to starring in Ang Lee’s big-screen adaptation of the bestselling novel “Life of Pi”.

The 17-year-old Sharma was picked from more than 3,000 hopefuls to play Pi, an Indian boy who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal Tiger.

Oct 31, 2012

“Life of Pi” teen star lives out his own fairy tale

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Suraj Sharma went from being a regular teenager growing up in New Delhi to starring in Ang Lee’s big-screen adaptation of the bestselling novel “Life of Pi”.

The 17-year-old Sharma was picked from more than 3,000 hopefuls to play Pi, an Indian boy who finds himself stranded on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal Tiger.

Oct 26, 2012

A Minute With: Ashim Ahluwalia

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Ashim Ahluwalia’s “Miss Lovely”, a quirky look at the porn industry in Mumbai, won the award for the best Indian movie at the city’s annual film festival on Thursday.

The film had been screened at Cannes and Toronto this year but its 40-year-old director was especially pleased by its reception in Mumbai.

Oct 24, 2012
via India Masala

Chakravyuh: Cliched and clunky

Photo

I have suspected it for a while now and I’m afraid it might be true. Film-maker Prakash Jha is well on his way to becoming the Madhur Bhandarkar of political films.

I imagine Bhandarkar should keep his cupboard of clichés under lock and key because Jha is dipping into it liberally. He is also helping himself to simplistic storylines, dumbing down sensitive issues, and of course, adding a song or two in between as the police battle Maoist rebels.

    • 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."
    • More from Shilpa

    • Follow Shilpa