MUMBAI (Reuters) – There was a time when Rohit Shetty and his brand of cinema came in for much ridicule from critics and the Indian film industry. The critics don’t seem to have stopped, but the industry certainly has. After delivering two billion-rupee hits, Shetty is Bollywood’s new darling.
Everyone, including Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, wants to work with the director. Shetty’s new film, “Bol Bachchan”, which opens in cinemas next month, stars Abhishek Bachchan and Ajay Devgn.
Towards the end of Rajesh Mapuskar’s “Ferrari Ki Sawaari“, as the protagonist and his son are re-united and embrace each other, cry and wipe the tears off each other’s cheeks, an onlooker hesitantly asks “aap jaldi karenge zara?” (would you please hurry up?). It might sound like an insensitive thing to say, but perhaps that is what someone should have said to Mapuskar as he went about making this film.
Perhaps he might have restrained himself from writing a convoluted and at times contrived script that seems to stretch on for longer than its 2 hour 15 minute duration.
Just before I clicked on the ‘delete’ button at the top of my spam folder in Gmail, I spotted the name. Asha Rajaratnam, it said, and the mail was titled ‘Namaste’ (a traditional Indian greeting).
There are some films that you watch, not because you want (as Vidya Balan claims in ‘The Dirty Picture’) “entertainment, entertainment, entertainment”, but because they are a reflection of the times we live in, and if these movies didn’t get made, these chaotic times wouldn’t be chronicled for eternity.
Dibakar Banerjee certainly seems determined to be that chronicler for India. In his fourth film “Shanghai”, Banerjee keeps the grittiness of “Love, Sex Aur Dhokha” or “Khosla Ka Ghosla“, but gets more ambitious, with his canvas, dealing with murkier issues like urbanisation, development and the politics of today’s India.
MUMBAI (Reuters) – If you watched the crime thriller “Footpath” nearly a decade ago, and noticed the lean actor playing Raghu on screen, you would be forgiven for not recognising Bollywood’s rising star.
When he made his debut in 2003, Emraan Hashmi was hardly considered leading man material, and the film industry was happy to label him as part of the “Bhatt camp” — where he worked in films made by his uncles Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt.
MUMBAI (Reuters) – When Bollywood film-maker Kunal Deshmukh set out to make “Jannat 2″ (Heaven 2), a raunchy tale about arms dealing with plenty of swearing and bare skin, he ended up shooting two versions – one for cinema audiences, and the other for television.
Deshmukh was not being extravagant. Like many Indian movie producers and TV broadcasters, he walked a tightrope of catering to the tastes of a rapidly modernizing but largely conservative country, whose censors have scant tolerance for adult content.
When Akshay Kumar fashions himself a sudarshan chakra (the ultimate weapon of destructive in Indian mythology) from a broken bamboo stick and some construction equipment and uses it to slay 20 men with axes and knives, you know “Rowdy Rathore” isn’t aiming for realistic cinema.
Once you reconcile yourself to that and realise that director Prabhu Deva is channeling his inner Rajnikanth, you can sit back and enjoy the Ray-Bans, nubile dancers and a pretty liberal use of cinematic liberties.