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Jan 23, 2015

Nativist film targets outsiders in cosmopolitan Mumbai

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A film looks set to whip up sentiment against immigrants in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, by lionising a deceased right-wing politician and endorsing his often divisive policies.

“Balkadu”, or “Bitter Potion”, produced by a prominent lawmaker of the Shiv Sena political party, opened in India’s most cosmopolitan city on Friday, the birthday of the party’s firebrand founder, Bal Thackeray, who died in 2012.

Jan 23, 2015

Nativist Indian film targets outsiders in cosmopolitan Mumbai

MUMBAI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – An Indian film looks set to whip
up sentiment against immigrants in Mumbai, the country’s
financial capital, by lionising a deceased right-wing politician
and endorsing his often divisive policies.

“Balkadu”, or “Bitter Potion”, produced by a prominent
lawmaker of the Shiv Sena political party, opened in India’s
most cosmopolitan city on Friday, the birthday of the party’s
firebrand founder, Bal Thackeray, who died in 2012.

Jan 22, 2015
via India Insight

Shiv Sena stokes the anti-immigrant debate on celluloid

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A new film that lionizes late right-wing leader and popular Mumbai politician Bal Thackeray and endorses his often divisive policies and philosophies looks ready to stoke more anti-immigrant feelings in the city.

Balkadu” (a bitter potion given for digestive problems) is produced by Sanjay Raut, leader of the Shiv Sena (Shivaji’s Army), and is set to release on Friday, Thackeray’s 89th birthday. The film contains plenty of venom against outsiders who come to Mumbai, and even justifies violence against those that don’t support the cause of Marathi people, those who come from Mumbai’s state of Maharashtra.

Jan 22, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Dolly ki Doli

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

The best thing about Abhishek Dogra’s new film “Dolly ki Doli” is that it is all of 100 minutes long. Whatever flaws the script might have, whatever acting that goes haywire, goes by in such a flash that you don’t have time to dwell on it.

Sonam Kapoor plays Dolly, a sweet-faced con who is a serial runaway bride. She charms men, convinces them to marry her and then splits, looting them of everything before she goes.

Jan 20, 2015

Modi gets more sway in new-look movie censor panel

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Politicians, writers and Bollywood film-makers linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party have been named to the censorship panel, battling allegations they were hand-picked by a pro-Hindu government with a partisan agenda.

Pahlaj Nihalani, a movie producer, was chosen as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification on Monday along with nine new members to replace incumbents who quit last week citing government interference.

Jan 20, 2015

Modi gets more sway in India’s new-look movie censor panel

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian politicians, writers and Bollywood film-makers linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been named to the censorship panel, battling allegations they were hand-picked by a pro-Hindu government with a partisan agenda.

Pahlaj Nihalani, a movie producer, was chosen as chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification on Monday along with nine new members to replace incumbents who quit last week citing government interference.

Jan 19, 2015
via India Insight

Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani is new censor board chief

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Film producer Pahlaj Nihalani was on Monday appointed as head of the country’s censor panel, days after his predecessor Leela Samson quit after accusing the government of interference.

Nihalani, whose last film production was in 2008 titled “Khushboo: The Fragrance of Love”, is seen as being close to the ruling BJP party. He made this music video during campaigning for last year’s general election.

Jan 16, 2015
via India Insight

‘I am very disillusioned.’ India’s film censor quits over ‘MSG’

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India’s film censor board chief Leela Samson quit her post on Friday after a government tribunal reversed the board’s decision to prevent the release of a film about a Sikh religious leader for portraying him as a god, which they fear could offend other Sikhs.

Samson accused the government of coercion and interference in the censor board’s affairs in interviews with several publications and with Reuters. Rajyavardhan Rathore, minister of state for information and broadcasting, denied this charge, which came to a head over the film “MSG: Messenger of God.” Other members of the board are expected to quit.

Jan 15, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Bipasha Basu

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In an industry that typically sidelines actresses as they age, Bipasha Basu has reinvented herself, going from sex symbol to the queen of Bollywood horror movies, a genre that most mainstream stars avoid. Basu, 36, has found success in several horror films in recent years. Basu’s latest is a remake of the Thai film “Alone,” about a woman whose dead twin comes back to haunt her and her husband. She spoke to Reuters about the film, why she does horror, and her worst fear in real life.

Q: Can you talk about your role in “Alone”?

A: “Alone is a triangular love story. It is a little unique and different from other films because, owing to the horror genre, the third element is a dead person. There is a husband, wife and a dead girl. The dead girl is the wife’s sister and both of them love the same guy. It’s interesting for me to play conjoined twins. As it is, twins are difficult to play because make-up, styling, body language, everything needs to be different. But conjoined twins was even tougher because you are attached to a body double. In my case it was an action double who was attached to me, and she wasn’t even an actress, so she couldn’t even give me my cues. It was a tedious process to do the scenes where I had to play the conjoined twin. They are two different girls, one who is going through a crisis in her marriage, and the other who is a little crazily in love. She happens to be the dead one.

Dec 25, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Ugly

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

Anurag Kashyap’s “Ugly” is a dark thriller about the aftermath of a child’s kidnapping. The characters in the film are dysfunctional and messed up in many ways. Yet, they don’t invoke the audience’s sympathy.

The film is about people who are ugly on the inside. They are shallow, self-centred and completely oblivious to anything that doesn’t serve their own interests, even when a missing child is concerned. As a result, it is not a pleasant watch.

    • 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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