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Oct 12, 2014

India’s Modi seeks state election wins to support reform agenda

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded his party’s campaign for elections later this week in Maharashtra state, knowing that victory in the home of India’s financial hub Mumbai will make it easier to push through economic reforms.

The smaller northern state of Haryana also votes on Wednesday. But it is the western state of Maharashtra that will provide the best test of how well Modi’s appeal is holding up, five months after he stormed to power in a general election with promises to mend a country battered by corruption scandals, high inflation, and sharply slowing growth.

Oct 10, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Tamanchey

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

The producers of “Tamanchey” (“Guns”) are being sued by a man who claims to have directed the film but hasn’t been credited for it. This is hardly new or surprising in an industry not known for respecting writers and directors. What’s really baffling is that someone would want to take credit for this appalling gangster film.

As on-the-run prisoners Munna and Babu, Nikhil Dwivedi and Richa Chadda seem to be competing to see who can come up with the most ridiculous line delivery. (Dwivedi’s faux Bhojpuri accent sounded like he spent an hour learning the language before launching into monologues)

Oct 2, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Bang Bang!

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

There’s a scene in Siddharth Anand’sBang Bang!” when Katrina Kaif as a woman in danger worries that Hrithik Roshan’s pistol, cradled in her worried hands, isn’t big enough to do the trick. Roshan produces a gigantic gun from just off camera and shows it to her. “In shock?” he asks. You bet. It’s just what she’s been hoping for.

Bang Bang indeed.

The film is a remake of the Tom Cruise action comedy “Knight and Day”, a fun caper about an unlikely couple on the run from the U.S. Secret Service. In the Bollywood version, the single-line plot gets expanded to include all the baubles and ornaments that India’s mainstream cinema can’t seem to do without. Patriotism, brotherly love, romance, exotic locales, cut-cut-cut shots, pounding techno music, sexism? You name it and they are all there, larding up this film to the 160-minute mark.

Oct 2, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Haider

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

In retelling William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Hamlet” against the backdrop of war and sectarian strife in Indian-administered Kashmir, Vishal Bhardwaj’sHaider” starts off promisingly. It’s too bad that the promise never delivers.

A tense, beautiful 10-minute opening sequence introduces Kashmiri doctor Hilal Meer, who thinks nothing of hiding and treating a wanted militant in his house, and his wife Ghazala. Meer does it for humanitarian reasons, telling his wife, “I support life over death.”

Sep 19, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Daawat-e-Ishq

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“Daawat-e-Ishq” is one of those infuriating films that seem to go on for ever, getting more monotonous by the minute. For a movie that is supposedly about food, there is surprisingly little of it on screen.

Instead, director Habib Faisal chooses to populate his movie with asinine plotlines, a lead pair whose romance is stone-cold, and characters who are neither funny nor interesting.

Sep 19, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Khoobsurat

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

If you are looking for a modern version of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s much-loved film of the same name, then Shashanka Ghosh’s “Khoobsurat” may disappoint you.

Mukherjee’s film was centred on Manju (incidentally the name of the main character’s mother in the remake), a rather effervescent heroine who steamrolls her way to everything and takes it upon herself to change the lives of a rather dull family.

Sep 12, 2014
Sep 12, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Finding Fanny

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

In Homi Adajania’s version of Goa, there are winding pathways, crumbling mansions, and the sleepy village of Pocolim where “life doesn’t pass you by, it passes you by at the pace you want it to.”

There is an oddball cast of characters to add to the picturesque location, and some lovely lines. The setting is perfect for a road movie with quirky characters, but Adajania’s film falters for want of a strong premise and its inability to see these characters and their story to some sort of a rightful conclusion.

Sep 5, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Mary Kom

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

At a crucial point in Omung Kumar’s biopic of MC Mary Kom, the boxer’s husband urges her to get back to the sport after giving birth to their twin sons. He eggs her on to train while he handles household responsibilities and in one scene, tells his wife to have a glass of milk to gain strength. Mary Kom stops him right there and says, “Don’t add any sugar, I am going to use Sugar Free.”

Immediately, any empathy you were feeling for this character and her struggle is lost. Kumar’s retelling of one of India’s sports success stories is replete with such examples. Not only do they take away from the story’s authenticity, but also cheapen Mary Kom’s real-life struggle, reducing it to a hackneyed Bollywood script.

Aug 29, 2014
via India Insight

Movie Review: Raja Natwarlal

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

Kunal Deshmukh, going by his filmography, loves two things – Emraan Hashmi and cricket. After “Jannat” – a movie about cricket and match fixing – and the caper film “Jannat 2″, director Deshmukh seems to have combined the storylines for his latest offering – a caper film about cricket starring Hashmi.

Raja Natwarlal” is a flimsily written and half-heartedly directed film, which falls short of its lofty ambitions because no one associated with it seems to have any concern for detailing or authenticity on celluloid.

    • 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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