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Mar 4, 2015

India’s censor blocks ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from cinemas

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s government censors have said they will not allow the big-screen adaptation of erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” to be shown in Indian cinemas, a decision most had anticipated in the largely conservative country.

The chief executive of the Central Board of Film Certification, Shravan Kumar, declined to say why the panel refused to approve the film adaptation, but said Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the film, could appeal the decision.

Mar 4, 2015
via India Insight

Fifty Shades of Grey’s future gets greyer in India

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Indian audiences might not be able to watch the erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey”, even though its producer, Universal Pictures, cut all nudity and several sexually explicit scenes in the film before submitting it to the country’s censor board for review.

An examining committee of the censor board objected to some of the language in the film after the studio made the voluntary cuts, according to a Universal source who is familiar with the film’s review process in India.

Mar 4, 2015
via India Insight

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood

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Bollywood is looking for its next superhero, one that can swoop in and provide entertainment to a business bereft of new ideas. Its name might be Franchise Man.

At least two studios are focusing on franchises, writing scripts and developing stories that will span at least three films.

Feb 27, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Dum Laga Ke Haisha

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

Sharat Katariya’s “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” (which roughly translates to “give it all you’ve got”) is one of those films that you have to pay close attention to if you want to enjoy it to the full. There is so much to like here – the attention to detail, the quirky characters; and you are likely to miss it if your attention wavers to your phone or your popcorn.

Katariya’s tale is one of old-world romance, punctuated by over-the-top 90s songs, stolen looks and passive-aggressive fights. It is also a tale of the dysfunctionality that is present in every family, often obscured by the cheery tone and the general good-natured ribbing that goes on when extended relatives gather.

Feb 27, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Ab Tak Chhappan 2

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

Shimit Amin’s “Ab Tak Chhappan” (“56 So Far”, which refers to the number of gangsters the protagonist has killed) was a slick film about an encounter cop with a heart of gold. Aejaz Gulab’s sequel to the 2004 police drama takes away all the good qualities but retains the film-making style of the original film’s producer Ram Gopal Varma – streaky shots, contorted camera angles, and ear-shattering background music.

Ab Tak Chhappan 2” picks up where the earlier one left off. Encounter specialist Sadhu Agashe (Nana Patekar) is wooed back by the same people who ousted him unceremoniously from the police force. Called upon to clear the “shishteem” (which is how everyone in this film pronounces “system”), Agashe hits the ground running, killing and shooting assorted “underworld” gangsters within days of rejoining the force.

Feb 25, 2015
via India Insight

Budget 2015: Tax reforms on Bollywood wishlist

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Bollywood is hoping that the Narendra Modi government will heed its long-standing demands for cuts on import duties and reforming the “archaic” entertainment tax at this year’s budget. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his first full-year budget on Feb. 28.

Representatives of the world’s largest film industry by output say they are burdened by an excessive tax regime, which is “the single biggest factor for a number of ills plaguing the industry.”

Feb 20, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Badlapur

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

On the surface, Sriram Raghavan’s “Badlapur” is a visceral revenge drama, tracing one man’s unraveling as he pursues a vendetta against the people who ruined his life. Probe deeper, and you will find that Raghavan questions the genre and turns it on its head, and asks uncomfortable questions.

Raghu (Varun Dhawan) is a young, successful advertising executive whose wife and young son are killed in the aftermath of a bank robbery. Unable to come to terms with his loss, Raghu channels all his anger and frustration at Liaq (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), the man who apparently pulled the trigger. Then there is Liaq’s unknown partner, who took off with the money and the gun, and has never been caught.

Feb 16, 2015
via India Insight

A Minute With: Varun Dhawan

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In his first three films, Varun Dhawan showed off his muscles, danced to elaborately choreographed songs and wooed girls. But in “Badlapur”, a dark racy thriller that releases this week, the actor goes to the other extreme, playing a tortured man who seeks revenge against the man who killed his wife and son.

Dhawan admits that his father, director David Dhawan who made a name for himself in the 1990s with risqué comedies, wasn’t entirely sure he should be doing a “serious” film like “Badlapur” so early on in his career.

Feb 13, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review: Roy

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

Vikramjit Singh’s “Roy” is a beautiful film – at least on the outside. It has gorgeous locales, a lead cast that looks like a million bucks, and a couple of very hummable songs. But you know what they say about beauty.

Singh tries hard to present an intelligent film by going beyond the mere aesthetics. There is the elusive thief who manages to steal from every high-profile museum in the world, there is the brooding director who gets inspired by the thief for his movie, and there is also the woman who catches his fancy while he is in the midst of writing his script. The real then merges with reel, and both the film and the director’s life follow similar trajectories, until finally, they reach their logical end.

Feb 13, 2015
via India Insight

Movie Review – MSG: The Messenger of God

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

Watching most Bollywood movies calls for a healthy suspension of disbelief, but if you dare make the trip to see the wonder that is “MSG: The Messenger of God”, make sure to leave behind every ounce of common sense or sanity that you possess, and submit yourself to the events unfolding on screen.

This is a movie meant for those who already believe that the protagonist, who is also the real-life spiritual leader of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, is God incarnate. If it hoped to convert others into believing so, it does a very bad job of it.

    • 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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