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Is this the end of Bollywood Cinema?

Bollywood or Hindi cinema has been mainstay of entertainment for Indians since ages. The biggest stars even today are from Bollywood; Amitabh Bachchan’s films ran from Bihar to what was then Bombay to Bangalore while South stars had a limited market. Chiranjeevi does not have a market outside Telugu states, while a few Tamil stars have some market in Telugu states, but none of them have been consistent. Take the case of Suriya, Karthi or even Vishal, their last hit in Telugu was ages ago.  So Bollywood has been, is and will be the biggest entertainment medium of the nation.

Let me discuss a few points on why I feel Bollywood is still a force to reckon with and why it will bounce back.

Are Pan Indian films the way forward?

No, they are not. The only films which run across India are Bollywood films, a south film has to be dubbed even in other southern languages to reach out to the audience, A Hindi film can run housefull in Palakkad for weeks in regular shows while a Malayalam film without dubbing won’t find audience outside the native speakers when released in the other Southern states.

After Baahubali: The Beginning, there was lot of talk about how Pan Indian films are the flavour. Guess what which film did well after Baahubali, it was the second part, there was no South films which impressed the audience on such a large scale.

Films like Saaho, Radhe Shyam did not even bring in crowd even in their home state let aside their other markets. I am sure nobody remembers films like Prabhu Deva starrer Tutak Tutak Tutiya,  Rana Daggubati’s Haathi Mere Saathi, Mohanlal’s Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, Sudeep’s Pailwaan and Vikrant Rona, Chiranjeevi’s Sye Raa Narasimha and many more. No one even remembers them in their home market. Like in case of Sudeep and Chiranjeevi, they have attempted so many Pan Indian films that it got panned even by their home state.

Dubbing in four languages does not mean, the film is Pan Indian. The content has to be right and producers should have the money to pump it aggressively. Take the case of Har Har Mahadev, the makers claimed it was a Pan Indian film, yet no posters in Malayalam or Tamil were printed, nor was even the film released there.

There was, is and will be anomalies like Ek Duje Ke Liye, Hindustani but that does not mean Bollywood is in danger. For Telugu their biggest hit of 2022 was RRR. Films which starred their biggest stars were turned out to be dud right from Mahesh Babu, to Chiranjeevi to Nagarjuna none could capture the seats at the theatre.

Gangubai Kathiwadi made more money than Telugu’s Bheemla Nayak and Tamil’s Valimai which featured the biggest stars of respective industries and their collections could not match the female centric Hindi movies. In fact Valimai’s Hindi collections were so poor that they could not even recover the costs of poster printing.

Does Bollywood have to make more native stories?

There is no clear cut answer to this, because Bollywood has to cater to a wide range of audience from Kolkata to Chennai, in fact major parts of this area do not even have primary language as Hindi.

If you see the success of Baahubali and KGF series both of them are not rooted in specific milieu, so when people claim films with native or rootedness work, it seems a bit difficult to digest considering the data which is available to us.

Will only event films work?

The answer to this is also no. Gangubai Kathiawadi and Drishyam 2 are two of the biggest hits of this year, not only in India but also in overseas. Bollywood has to make diverse films with the right budget which can cater to large number of audience across various section.

Are ticket prices the reason for audience alienating?

Now this is again a complex issue, right pricing of ticket is something which is what producers, distributors and exhibitors have to figure out. One thing I am sure of is that the audience does not have to problem to pay for tickets if we look at collections of Brahmastra and lower pricing will not help a film, if you look at the collections of Chup.

These are my two cents on why Bollywood can still survive, I have avoided mentioning the points that Bollywood should do right as I feel that there are better and well informed filmmakers to do that.

To conclude I would like to say that, people like to simplify things and predict things, but then we need to look at the bigger picture and patterns, right now it is not indicating that this is the end of Bollywood. It is just a phase and am sure it will bounce back again

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Great Moments can Happen Anytime: In Conversation with Music Composer Sidhant Mathur

Sidhant Mathur is an Indian film music composer, who has also worked with popular independent music albums and productions (Shilpa Rao, Parikrama, Indian Ocean, Mrigya, Faridkot to name a few) as a Producer and Engineer from Quarter Note Studios, New Delhi which he co-founded in 2006. His notable work as a music composer includes feature films like Children of War (2014), Budhia Singh: Born to Run (2016), short films like Paroksh & Bete. Most recently he has been appreciated for his work in the popular Netflix series, Jamtara – Sabka Number Aayega” Seasons 1 & 2.

We recently caught up with Sidhant and had a chat on his journey so far. Here’s an excerpt from the same-

How has the journey into music composition & production been so far?

It has been nothing less than wondrous and exciting. There is so much music around to explore and learn from that, it’s overwhelming.

You’ve formally learnt audio engineering, so any specific reason behind choosing to produce & compose music rather than getting into audiography/sound designing, which is also a field that’s being looked upto now?

For me, the journey into sound started with music. Being a self taught musician, studying audio engineering opened up a whole new world of music production. Having said that, I have designed sound for some short films and theatre and it is also a lot of fun. But, composing music is where my heart is.

How did you get your first major break in the industry? Can you please share that experience?

The first full length feature film I signed was Mrityunjay Devvrat’s ‘Children of War – Nine Months to freedom’, which was released in 2014. It was based on the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. It was a very intense subject and I could explore a lot of emotions musically including geographical elements and references. I believe every project brings its own learnings. Going through the whole technical and creative process of creating music for a feature film for the big screen is a mammoth task and achieving it flawlessly with all of your heart is the goal.

What have been the learnings from all the experience of working with noted bands & artists like Parikrama, Indian Ocean, Shilpa Rao etc.?

My biggest learning is that great moments can happen anytime and one must be ready to capture them in the best possible way. Every artist brings their own energy and style to the music. As a music producer, working with professional artists from different genres keeps me on my toes and in good form :).

How do you manage to dabble between multiple areas like films, series, theatre, independent music etc.? What do you find the most challenging of all?

Music connects all of these areas and I am equally fond of producing independent music as I am of scoring for films. The formats and genres may be different but the essence of all music is the same. However, focussing on one project at a time helps getting into the finer details.

What is more satisfying for you, composing songs or the BGM? Why? Could you elaborate a bit?

For me they are both the same and I enjoy doing both equally. They might be different forms of expressions and require different skills and tools but it’s about the narrative and the communication. Scoring background music is in context to the film and songs can often break away from that.

You’ve been around the film business for a while now. When do you see the transition from indie films to mainstream happening? Any process that you are following?

I like going with the flow and so far I have no reason to doubt it. I believe opportunities are infinite and you get whatever you are ready for. I’m grateful for all the projects that I’ve been a part of and hope that I can continue working with the greats of our time.

Is there any particular method that you follow to prepare for a project, be it a Jamtara or a Children of War?

There is a lot of research and work that goes into creating music for a film. Months of composing, arranging, finding the right musicians and technicians, studios, management etc. My method has been evolving ever since my first project but usually it includes thoroughly understanding the theme and characters and how those characters can be represented through different instruments and binding them into a musical journey.

How has the experience of working on Jamtara been? Any interesting anecdotes to share?

Working on Jamtara has been a great experience. It was a pleasure to work with director Soumendra Padhi and the rest of the crew. We had a great time brainstorming over almost every scene. He has a great sense of music and knows exactly what he needs.

What would your advice be for those who are wanting to take up a career in music?

I say go for it. There are many mainstream avenues in music now and looking at how much content is being created and consumed, it’s a great time to be in this profession. Especially with the technology at hand, one only needs great ideas.

Please tell us about your forthcoming projects.

I have been working on an interesting war documentary feature, among some short films. I’m hopeful of a mainstream movie in the pipeline soon.

Here’s wishing Sidhant all the very best for his forthcoming projects.

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I wish to be remembered as a Superstar in the future: In Conversation with Actress Srishti Shrivastava

Actress Srishti Shrivastava has been one of the more noticed faces on the big & small screen of late. Her performance in the Hindi film Maja Ma is still being talked about. In a freewheeling conversation with MAM recently Srishti spoke to us about her experience of working with Madhuri Dixit, her career so far and lots more. Here’s an excerpt from the same-

How did you land the role in Maja Ma & how was the experience of working with veterans like Madhuri Dixit & Gajraj Rao?

Continue reading “I wish to be remembered as a Superstar in the future: In Conversation with Actress Srishti Shrivastava”

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Govind Nihalani’s Party (1984): A Rare Beast

It starts with a rousing monologue. The revolutionary soliloquy leaves no space for ambiguity as far as the ideology of the filmmaker is concerned. But yet, it contains enough to indicate that he is also capable of unbiased introspection.

Continue reading “Govind Nihalani’s Party (1984): A Rare Beast”

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Prem Geet 3 (2022) Movie Review: Flatters to Deceive

What are the odds that a Nepali film would get released worldwide, including India? And what are the odds that the film would even get dubbed in Hindi and promoted reasonably well? Well, I was surprised to see that Prem Geet 3, the third film in the Prem Geet franchise (to be honest I had no clue of it’s existence until recently) has actually managed to do all of this and that too in a fairly impressive fashion. Hence, I was but curious to check it out for myself and figure out what’s working (if it is so) in it’s favour?Continue reading “Prem Geet 3 (2022) Movie Review: Flatters to Deceive”

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Bheeshma Parvam (2022) Malayalam Movie Review: When The Mahabharata Meets Godfather

The Godfather as a movie has been inspiring filmmakers across the globe even today. In India there have been many variations of Godfather which have been made right from Feroz Khan’s stylish Dharmatma, to Mani Ratnam’s gritty Nayagan, to Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar. 

Continue reading “Bheeshma Parvam (2022) Malayalam Movie Review: When The Mahabharata Meets Godfather”
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KGF Chapter 2 (2022) Movie Review: A Tale of Men & Mines

Kannada industry is known for remaking films from other languages. In terms of creativity it is not on par with the Malayalam film industry in terms of output. Similarly it does not have the scale of Tamil or Telugu cinema to execute large scale entertainers. But then things are improving to an extent in the last few years. KGF Chapter 1 when released was a surprise hit outside Karnataka as well. This first film went head on head with Bollywood’s ZERO which featured SRK. The audience lapped up KGF Chapter 1 and rejected the same old romantic Bollywood films.

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BEAST (2022) Tamil Movie Review: Guns, Swag and Vijay in a Nelson world

Commercial cinema in India is a tricky issue, especially so in Tamil and Telugu where directors need to tread a path wherein they need to balance their storytelling and pander to fans. While Vijay has been consistently among the most popular stars in Tamil cinema, with a solid mass fan following, Nelson on the other hand is a director who is known for dark comedy, a genre which has not been explored much in Tamil cinema. I was looking forward for this combination, expecting something exciting to emerge out of it.

Continue reading “BEAST (2022) Tamil Movie Review: Guns, Swag and Vijay in a Nelson world”
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RRR (2022) Telugu Movie Review: Andhra Extrrravaganza

RRR has been in the news since the time it was announced and rightly so as it is not everyday you see two superstars of Telugu industry coming together. Facing numerous delays due to the pandemic the film has finally hit the theatres today.

Continue reading “RRR (2022) Telugu Movie Review: Andhra Extrrravaganza”
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Bob Biswas (2021) Movie Review: Ei Toh Jibon

Kali da, played by Paran Bandhopadhyay, is the most profound and earthy character of the movie. He spouts wisdom of the ages, like Oogway from Kungfu Panda, as he has seen life from close quarters. His oft repeated line “Ei toh jibon” as response to questions about morality and ethics that Bob Biswas poses to him, has the much needed calming effect on Bob.

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Sooryavanshi (2021) Movie Review: This Needed More Masala

I decided to watch Sooryavanshi at a theatre near my home as the theatre had just opened 3 days before lockdown and was soon shutdown. Strangely during the pandemic I was consuming a lot of masala films and rewatching films which gave me comfort and gave a sense of poetic justice to me.

Sooryavanshi could not have come at a better time when one of the most celebrated cops in the country has been under scrutiny and there is a slugfest around him due to politics and an ex-commissioner is missing . thus the film comes at the right time when it gives us hope that Mumbai will bounce back and so will Mumbai Police.

Rohit Shetty started his career with the actioner Zameen which was a Bollywood take on Kandahar Hijack, but Rohit changed his tracks later and met with success due to his comedy films. As far as I know Rohit Shetty hasn’t worked again on original scripts (apart from Zameen) as most of his film have been adaptations of Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films but with his take on it.

Sooryavanshi to be fair in most parts is an original film but has strong shades of Thuppakki, with Akshay Kumar having featured in the Hindi version (Holiday) of the same. Now let us be honest, politics or subtlety is not a strong point of Rohit Shetty. This is where Rohit flatters the most.

Sooryavanshi starts with this idea where Pakistanis are marrying Hindus and waiting to carry of sinister plan against India. Love Jihad check. The film mentions that Bombay/Mumbai has been under attack since ’93 by Pakistani sponsored terrorists, which is true and also tells us that the hero had lost his parents due to the Bombay Blasts, the largest attack ever carried by terrorists pre 9/11.

We have Kabir Shroff (Javed Jaffrey) obviously an ode to one of Mumbai’s supercops, Rakesh Maria, who along with his team from Mumbai police solved the case within a record time. But strangely there is no mention of Bombay riots, it is as if the makers are scared to utter the incident or that they think that it did not affect millions of Mumbaikars. But then I guess this is now part of rewriting history.

Then for some reason the makers confuse ISIS with Pakistani terrorists and terrorism. This is followed by a mention of Padgha where these religious teacher is recruiting Indian Muslim youth to fight against the state, strangely we all know how the so called accused or perpetrators of crime were declared not guilty by the court but then I guess we need to toe the line of propaganda and our hero needs to deliver sermon on who is a good Muslim or bad Muslim.

Surprisingly the much touted helicopter scene is marred with bad vfx and compared to this I would still say the action sequence in 1994’s like in flms like Sab Se Bada Khiladi had much better aerial sequence.

Also Bollywood needs to stop remixing old songs, Tip Tip Barsa Pani is one of the worst picturised songs of late and it does not do any justice to the original and Katrina is nowhere near the league of Raveena. Also do not know why Katrina looks jaded in the movie.

In Singham and Simmba despite being alpha action movie, the lead female character had an objective to support hero here that is totally missing and in one scene it becomes misogynistic also when Sooryavanshi glances accusingly his wife when the security lapse was on the part of his team.

Now that we have done with the bad parts, let me come to the good parts. It emerges when Rohit Shetty stops taking himself seriously and goes full on Bollywood masala mode, beginning with the Hum Hindustani song and you know it is cheesy but that is the time when you start to enjoy the movie. From here on Rohit is in full control, bringing back Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Simmba (Ranveer Singh) to set up his cop universe.

This where we see Farhad Samji with their witty one liners like ” aa gaya Dev leke Gun”, wordplay reference to Ajay Devgn. From here on the film is irreverent with a bomb disposal scene which includes fun and tense moments in parts.

It is where the movie shines, when the focus is on Simmba and Singham and the action shifts to hand to hand combat and punchlines and boy it is what we missed about our movies, in the end hero saves the day.

Alas the last act comes tad too late, but it entertains.

Also a request, if you are watching this in a cinema hall, please follow the guidelines issued by local authorities and listen to the cinema ushers. They are doing their duty to keep a safe environment for you and other film buffs, show your vaccine certificate when asked, be seated in your allotted seats, keep your masks on and do not argue as to why you want to eat inside the theatre.

Be safe, stay safe and welcome back to the movies.

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10 Years of MAM (Mad About Moviez): An Exciting Journey Despite Many Glitches

Earlier this month our website Mad About Moviez (MAM as we fondly refer to it) turned a grand decade old, having started operations way back in 2011 around this time. Back then the portal came up to fill a void of sorts, after the fantastic PFC (Passion For Cinema) shut down in the summer of 2011. With like minded film buffs like Ashwin Varma, Ajay Nair and Aditya Savnal joining me with the same mindset and enthusiasm, we began MAM in a small way. Though we did not set out with any particular goals, we soon realized that a portal like ours needed one or more focus areas. Covering conventional Bollywood and Hollywood cinema was thus relegated to the background, as we realized that doing justice to these broad areas would be tough. We were anyways late entrants and there were big, popular film websites with whom we would have to compete with.

Continue reading “10 Years of MAM (Mad About Moviez): An Exciting Journey Despite Many Glitches”

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Palm Springs (2020) Movie Review: Old Fashioned Love in the New Age

Haven’t most of us wondered how lovely it would be if we could go back to an immediate past and in the process getting to alter something that we had done or got into earlier? Imagine if that were to happen and you end up making a difference to the event in the past. Now hang on, even before you manage to start rejoicing, you see the same thing happen again and again. You are transported into the recent past repeatedly, leaving you clueless of what is happening to you. Now is the pandemic making me go crazy? Or am I probably watching way too many sci-fi movies of late (now this is definitely true) and hence dreaming of a time machine? Oh! No, its nothing like that, though I wouldn’t say no to getting access to a time machine.

But after watching Max Barbakow’s Palm Springs (directorial debut) it is difficult not to allow one’s thoughts to flow in such a direction. Having had its World Premiere at Sundance last year, the film went on to find a digital release on Hulu as well as a release in select drive-in cinemas in the U.S in July 2020. Winning a lot of critical acclaim, I was a bit intrigued about the film as not many rom-com’s of late have have received so much appreciation. On November 9 (the year is never referred to) in Palm Springs we get to attend Tala (Camila Mendes) and Abe’s (Tyler Hoechlin) destination wedding. In attendance at the wedding among others are Nyles (Adam Sandberg), his girlfriend Misty (Meredith Hagner) and Tala’s elder sister Sarah (Cristin Miloti). Nyles and Sarah get friendly and just as they are about to get intimate, Nyles is attacked by someone and gets injured. In an attempt to save himself Nyles crawls into a cave, followed by Sarah out of concern for him, despite his warning to stay away from the cave.

Sarah is sucked into a vortex, wakes up soon and finds herself back in the same day (November 9) and sees the same things happening to her again. On confronting Nyles whom she believes to be responsible for this, Sarah gets to know that she has now got stuck in an infinite time loop of sorts along with him. Yes, this isn’t the first-time loop-based movie, be it the iconic Groundhog Day or the more recent Edge of Tomorrow, this is a plot device that has been comfortably used by Hollywood filmmakers across various genres. Thus, it is to the credit of Max Barbakow and his co-writer Andy Siara that the writing has enough meat in it to keep the audience entertained all the way. Yes somewhere in between as we see a desperate Sarah and a casual Nyles go through various situations in trying to live the day differently, there’s this feeling of oh! what else is possible. But the film ensures that this just remains a passing thought in our minds (if at all) and not something that becomes a concern in any manner.

The proceedings are certainly spunky, the situations that Nyles and Sarah find themselves in are funny and inventive. The film makes light of the sci-fi aspect, for example the way reference to heavy duty subjects like quantum physics and general relativity is shown in a casual manner. Credit certainly to both Adam Sandberg and Cristin Miloti for the way they play Nyles and Sarah with an easygoing style and complimenting each other. Having spent so much time in the time loop it is not a surprise that Nyles would be bored or indifferent to the situation and Adam Sandberg brings out these traits in Nyles in an assured manner. Sarah on the other hand on realizing the situation that she is stuck in, doesn’t want to accept the situation and is desperate to break out, leading to various situations, hilarious and engrossing at the same time. Cristin Miloti brings out the necessary vulnerability and heft to the character.

The supporting cast is also effective, especially J.K.Simmons who has a blast portraying Roy and his scenes with Nyles are certainly a highlight. The arid locations of Palm Springs and the wild outdoors soon add a lot of depth to the proceedings, nearly assuming the status of a character. Eventually it is no surprise to find yourself looking at Sarah and Nyles’ time loop from an internal viewpoint (as perceived) and that by itself is a victory for the film, certainly no mean feat that Max Barbakow and his team have managed to achieve. The film is not just one with a heart, it is all about literally letting your heart celebrate the vagaries of love in an unexpected fashion.

With Hollywood films warming up to the scenario of theatrical release in India once again and with a steady flow of American films being seen in India (despite cinemas in Maharashtra and Kerala still remaining closed), over the last few weeks, it is good to see a small but largely entertaining film like Palm Springs also making its way to cinemas in India (released on 24th September). Contemplating a weekend movie date? Well now you know what to do.

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Dil Chahta Hai: Time to acknowledge the Sameers around us

It’s been 20 long years since the movie released, and the trio made a trip to Goa. But the characters are etched in our minds forever. And I was just thinking about everyone, especially the character Sameer.

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The Flight Attendant (2021) Season 1 Review: It’s a first class murder mystery

The life of air hostesses or flight attendants has always been of interest. From reel life in movies like Garam Masala and Anjaam to real life where Monica Bedi was spotted and offered a film, their jet setting life has enamored quite a lot of people. But no one has actually got down to understanding their daily routine and how they beat jetlag, as they change flights and move from city to city. The series based on booky by same name authored by Chris Bohjalian, tries to throw some light on this profession.

Continue reading “The Flight Attendant (2021) Season 1 Review: It’s a first class murder mystery”

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Nobody (2021) Movie Review: Bob Odenkirk On A Death Wish

I was channel surfing on a boring day, not sure what I wanted to watch, my eyes fell on “Nobody”. There was Bob Odenkirk, probably lying on the ground, and many fists landing on his contorted face. Images of Saul Goodman from “Better Call Saul” & “Breaking Bad”, who usually got roughed up or picked up by gang members, started popping out of my memory. I had never seen Bob in a movie before, so I felt, this was as good a time as any, to watch a full fledged movie of Bob Odenkirk.

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Sherni (2021) Movie Review: Man vs. Wild

Right in the middle of the movie, Nangia, played by Neeraj Kabi, delivers a lecture in a seminar on how development and environment does not go hand in hand. Hence, we should strive for a balance, where both can coexist, exclaims Nangia.

Continue reading “Sherni (2021) Movie Review: Man vs. Wild”

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Friends: The Reunion (2021): A Candyfloss Get-together

It has been 20 years since I graduated from high school. We wanted to have a reunion of few close buddies who are still in touch. The last such reunion we had was in 2019, when a pal from Canada and another from Australia were visiting India during the year-end holiday. Of course, soon Corona virus hit us and we all were trapped in our homes.

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Short Film ‘Infected 2030’: Fear & Loathing in the Pandemic

As the title suggests, the movie is set in the future 2030 AD, where people are struggling with a virus for which there is still no cure. The short film starts with a couple, in a high rise in Mumbai, overlooking the Worli Sealink, where the wife Shivika is lying infected in the bed, while hubby Manik does the daily chores and takes care of her.

It’s a very depressing tale where the couple has zero interaction, as Manik places the breakfast on her side table and just leaves, while Shivika is cooped up in the room that’s covered with plastic sheets, from wall to wall. It probably means that, the plastic is disposed off every few days, and fresh ones placed, so that the doors, walls, windows and ceilings remain clean. That itself paints a grim picture of how life would be, if we are not able to find a cure for the current pandemic which has clenched the entire globe.Continue reading “Short Film ‘Infected 2030’: Fear & Loathing in the Pandemic”

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Aakrosh(1980): The Anger of the Voiceless

India is facing a challenge, we do not have vaccines, the Government is busy building a palace for Prime Minister Modi, while Indians all over the country are dying due to lack of oxygen, beds and vaccines. The Government is not paying heed to it has made this crisis worse and has hit the middle class and cities. This makes me wonder, what about people who do not have access to technology? How do they air their grievances? The prologue is related to the theme of the movie Aakrosh. What do the voiceless do when they are failed by the very system which is supposed to protect them?

Aakrosh begins as a legal thriller where we see Lahanya (Om Puri) being accused of murdering his wife and the film directly does not answer the question for a major part of the film. The film is not interested in the crime or condemning it, but more interested in how of it and not the why of it. 

Then we have Dusane (Amrish Puri) who is from the Tribal community but has been assimilated into the upper class society because of the position he holds. He knows he is a part of the society and shares the table with bigwigs because of his position. He is sure that he may be welcomed socially, but will never be a part of the upper caste club. 

Then we have Bhaskar Kulkarni (Naseeruddin Shah) a rookie lawyer whose father has groomed Dusane and is an idealistic who is navigating the world of caste, politics, and justice. The film is mostly depicted through the viewpoint of this protagonist 

At first, he is more concerned about his career and how it will affect his career as a lawyer. He is frustrated by what he thinks is a lack of cooperation by his client. He is met with silence everywhere he goes, he thinks that it is their arrogance or ungratefulness on how these people cannot work with this great system. What he does not know is the system is just to give a moral and legal cloak for those who are in power and can oppress those who do not have a voice. 

Bhaskar is an interesting protagonist. He is not someone who is trying to change the system, his belief in the system is intact. You cannot fault him, for the person he is. And because of the genetic advantage of being born in a certain caste, he does not have to face discrimination in his life. When he discovers the gutter of corruption and greed, he is shaken and scared at first. He gets to fight the system in his way only to be greeted with disillusionment. 

Nothing is black and white in this Govind Nihalani directorial debut where he is aided by the genius Vijay Tendulkar. This is not a film that gives any comfort. It is a film that causes you discomfort and makes you think that we all are part of the system and in a way, we also play an active part in this action. 

Om Puri as Lahanya delivers one of the finest performances in his career. The anger which comes due to helplessness is solely conveyed through his eyes, and way he cries at the end of the movie is so haunting. Om went on to do another angry man role with panache in Nihalani’s next Ardh Satya

Smita Patil‘s role sadly doesn’t have much scope to offer and it is sad she is just used as an ornamental piece in the film. 

Amrish Puri cast in a role that is a far cry from his usual Bollywood roles reminds me why he is such a good actor. Naseeruddin Shah as a young lawyer is a delight to watch. But to think of a him as a Marathi Brahmin guy requires suspension of disbelief. 

Govind has cast Marathi actors for non-important roles, but surprisingly for lead roles he went with a non-Marathi cast who do not look or talk like Marathis. Not that I am holding a grouse against him for this, but casting Marathi actors in key roles would have helped the film a lot.

That aside, Aakrosh is one of the best films to come out of India. Do give it a try. 

The film is streaming on Amazon Prime India and Hotstar (in a censored version)

 

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Karnan (2021) Movie Review: The Missing C Factor

I remember watching Fandry in a packed theatre and the audience laughing at the character and his mishaps, but then came the gut-wrenching climax and the audience went numb because it exposed them. I cannot remember such a stunning silence after a movie, here I thought was a director who has failed but then he has done a much bigger job as he had shown us the mirror. 

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Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban (2021) Movie Review: The System and the Common Man

Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban (KUN) has been making some noise since it was released and it is presented by one of India’s best directors, Vetrimaaran I was waiting for the film to stream on OTT. The film is now streaming on Zee5. 

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Collective (2019) Documentary Review: Deeply impactful, highly relevant

‘Fuck all your wicked corruption
It’s been there since our inception, but we couldn’t see
All the times we’ve felt so hollow
As our hopes were hanged in gallows
All this time we’ve been locked away
And there was nothing left to say
Until today’

Goodbye to Gravity – a heavy metal band – performs this song at a concert in what seems like a clip recorded on a phone. Given the genre, the song is more a roaring cry. Fittingly, the end of the high octane performance is met with a fireworks display. As the vocalist is acknowledging the applause, he notices that a spark from the firework has lit the sound proof ceiling of the nightclub named Colectiv that they are performing in. “That’s not part of our performance”, he quips. Wit then gives way to fear as he asks if there is a fire extinguisher around. He receives no response. Flames start erupting from the ceiling. Chaos and cries of fear engulf the arena. The handheld device shakes violently, screams and wails can be heard, silhouettes are barely discernable in the blaze of the fire. And then suddenly the screen goes blank.

The name of the song performed – The Day We Die.

Continue reading “Collective (2019) Documentary Review: Deeply impactful, highly relevant”

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Radhe (2021) Movie Review: Old Wine in an Even Older Bottle

Some stars have made careers out of making “masala” entertainers, like Rajnikanth, Mithun, Akshay to some extent; and audiences don’t really care for reviews or others opinions on their movies, since they want to watch unadulterated entertainment. Our most wanted bhai’s movie, also falls in this category.

Continue reading “Radhe (2021) Movie Review: Old Wine in an Even Older Bottle”

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Stowaway (2021) Movie Review: Space, Time & Moral Dilemma

I had read couple of accounts in newspaper of how stowaways used to cling onto the wheels of the airplane or hide someplace in the cargo containers of ships, and sometimes in toilets; just to escape from whatever they have been facing. It was never for thrill of it, but always for a specific need like illegal emigration to better pastures.

Continue reading “Stowaway (2021) Movie Review: Space, Time & Moral Dilemma”

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Nayattu (2021) Movie Review: The use of Formula to Experiment

Nayattu is a tale of the hunters being hunted. We have 3 cops, a by-election and hit-and-run case, and the death of a Dalit, this makes for an interesting concoction for Martin Prakkat’s new film. 

Continue reading “Nayattu (2021) Movie Review: The use of Formula to Experiment”

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Another Round (2020) Movie Review: Cheers to Good Health and More

They say that life imitates art and vice versa, last night I ended up thinking of the same in a strange manner. I took a nostalgic trip back in time, to a period when I was in my final year of college and discovering the joys of alcohol. It was the first time in my life that I had a lot of freedom. With my family having shifted to another city, I chose to avoid the college hostel, preferring instead to living with 5 other friends in a compact independent house. I was specifically reminded of a month where all of us ended up experimenting with alcohol consumption, just for fun of course, going on to learn and unlearn a few things in the process. If you are wondering, why am I ranting about an old story, don’t worry as that is not what this post is all about. But its hard not to watch Thomas Vinterberg’s latest film Another Round (Danish title-Druk) and not reflect upon one’s own tryst with booze.

Continue reading “Another Round (2020) Movie Review: Cheers to Good Health and More”

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The place where you have a tune as your name…

As Guns & Guitars recently made its debut in the OTT platform MUBI India, it seems like a good time to revisit our sojourn in Shillong, the rock capital of India, during the shoot of the film.

Continue reading “The place where you have a tune as your name…”

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Breaking News: Leading OTT Platforms to Offer a One-Month Free Subscription for Indian Audience, Move Aimed at Widening Subscription Base

By now we all know the importance of OTT/digital platforms and their impact upon our lives, the pandemic having the environment around us. With cinemas remaining closed for several months & with several issues plaguing the entertainment sector even today, it’s very unclear as to how things would turn out for the industry for the rest of 2021 as well. While the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has been in the news of late for the development of a ‘toolkit’ by 17 major OTT platforms, in line with the implementation of the self-regulation code that was introduced in 2020, now they have made a major announcement, all these 17 major OTT platforms will offer one month’s free subscription to Indian consumers.Continue reading “Breaking News: Leading OTT Platforms to Offer a One-Month Free Subscription for Indian Audience, Move Aimed at Widening Subscription Base”

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67th National Film Awards (for films from 2019): List of Winners

The 67th National Film Awards were announced earlier today in New Delhi. This was after a long delay of a year or so due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The awards are for films from the year of 2019. The announcement event was organised by the Directorate of Film Festivals, which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.Continue reading “67th National Film Awards (for films from 2019): List of Winners”

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Master (2021) Movie Review: Vijay Shines, Lokesh Flatters to Deceive

Covid-19 has given a break to theatre-going experience across the globe. Even though Indian cinema halls have opened up slowly from October 2020 onwards, there has been no tentpole release which has revived the fortunes of cinema halls so far. December saw the release of Telugu film Solo Brathuke So Better which indicated that the audience in Southern India is willing to watch movies in the theatre. With this being the Pongal/Sankranti week in India, we have two films in Tamizh and three in Telugu (plus Master’s dubbed version) hitting marquee in a span of less than a week. If we go by the initial response, it is sure that cinemas are here to stay and co-exist with OTT. Continue reading “Master (2021) Movie Review: Vijay Shines, Lokesh Flatters to Deceive”

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Vanguard (2020): Another Wolf Warrior Propaganda film

China is a country which is known for stealing ideas and not respecting copyrights of anyone in the world and also known for deliberately hiding the spread of China Virus aka Covid 19 and putting the entire world to the risk for years to come. Like the typical Chinese mentality which is to knock off better products and make cheaper replacements, the Chinese Communist Government has been encouraging propaganda films. There is no harm in it, the Nazis and Russians did it too and it worked for them. Propaganda films can be interesting if it is engaging otherwise it just is another press release from the Government which no one bothers to read but mainstream media is forced to carry out due to the pressure from higher-ups. Continue reading “Vanguard (2020): Another Wolf Warrior Propaganda film”

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AK vs AK (2020 Netflix Film): Bas Kar Bey

The world has moved on but clearly Anurag Kashyap and his coterie have not. Way before one of our most influential leaders (whose followers are known to be bhakts), Kashyap cracked the formula on Twitter by abusing everyone and he could do better, but when it came to delivering Kashyap does not have a great record. Testimony to this fact is this movie (AK vs AK) where talks more about Allwyn Kalicharan, his shelved film than the films that he made. Continue reading “AK vs AK (2020 Netflix Film): Bas Kar Bey”

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Coolie No 1 (2020- Amazon Original): The Curse of Nepotism in Bollywood

A good part of the 90s was a golden time for David Dhawan and Govinda most of which were remakes of Tamil and Telugu films. For example Coolie No 1 is a remake of the Tamizh film Chinna Mapillai. 

David Dhawan is now on a quest to position his son as the next Superstar of Bollywood remaking his own remakes, but then this time it flatters to deceive. Coolie No 1 (1995) itself is a problematic film if you look at it. There is a person who catfishes a female to marry her and the film does not show any remorse on his part and justifies it by saying that as her father wanted her to have a secure life, the daughter deserves to be cheated. Continue reading “Coolie No 1 (2020- Amazon Original): The Curse of Nepotism in Bollywood”

Mumbai Pride March by the Color Positive Foundation is a huge success

Parade, pride and party came together after 2 years of the pandemic in Mumbai’s iconic march celebrating solidarity in gender and sexuality diversity. Mumbai’s queer community organised a Mumbai Pride March last weekend in Carter Road, Bandra. Around 2,000 colourfully dressed people took to the streets for the Pride Parade, after 2 whole years of the Pandemic. The Mumbai Pride Parade was organised by the Color Positive Foundation which saw around 2000+ people from the LGBTQ+ community. EORTV, countrys biggest OTT platform showcasing LGBTQ content and stories, was on board as the official streaming partner. The day was a celebration of solidarity and pride and saw people come together and make their voices heard and celebrate their identities.

Continue reading “Mumbai Pride March by the Color Positive Foundation is a huge success”

EORTV releases ‘Aamchi Mumbai’, a tribute to an Indian martyr

On Martyrs Day 30th Jan 2023, a web series called ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ inspired from the real life incidents of martyrs who sacrificed their life for their country was released on EORTV. In the marathi web series which is dubbed in Hindi as well, actor Abhijeet Khandkekar will be playing the lead character and showcase the valour on duty. The 4 episodic web series also starring Marathi actress Tejaa Devkar pays homage and a heart-touching tribute to the nation’s brave sons. A mix of fact and fiction, inspired by true events, the series focuses on the human side of the most horrific terror acts our country has witnessed.

Continue reading “EORTV releases ‘Aamchi Mumbai’, a tribute to an Indian martyr”

Srushti Barlewar lends her voice for EORTV’s I Love Us 3

EORTV’s new series I Love Us 3- Tu Meri Aashiqui Hai released its second song sung by Srushti Barlewar, the multilingual singer and songwriter. The song titled “Aankhon main Teri dub jau main”, is a visual treat to your eyes, as it beautifully portrays the chemistry between two female lovers in the show. The series is directed by Digvvijay Siingh, music composed by LK Laxmikant and the song’s beautiful lyrics are written by Imaan. The soundtrack’s theme is about two souls discovering and falling deeply in love with one other.

Continue reading “Srushti Barlewar lends her voice for EORTV’s I Love Us 3”

Manoj Manchu to make a comeback with WHAT THE FISH

The Hindi title for the film is WHAT THE FISH …When The Crazy Becomes Crazier!

Telugu star Manoj Manchu is back after a 6-year hiatus with WHAT THE FISH which is all set to hit the floors. The film is originally in Telugu language but will also be dubbed and released Pan India in Hindi, English and multiple other regional languages. The Hindi title for the film is WHAT THE FISH …When The Crazy Becomes Crazier! The actor, director and the production have dropped the announcement poster on their social media wowing all the fans.

Continue reading “Manoj Manchu to make a comeback with WHAT THE FISH”

EORTV’s Latest Venture, Launches EORToK, a Talent Sharing Feature on the App

After beta testing, users will now be able to access EORTok and create short videos showcasing their talent from 17th January 2023

EORTV, India’s premiere OTT platform focusing on LGBTQ storytelling has now launched a new feature called EORTok where users can post short format videos and engage, interact and build an audience like any other social media application and above all participate in EORTV’s ongoing auditions across vocations. After the beta testing stage, EORTok is now open to all and is designed with the aim to help skilled individuals follow their passion acts as the perfect stage for individuals who wish to exhibit their prowess in a certain field and select users will get the opportunity to work in EORtV’s upcoming original web series.

Continue reading “EORTV’s Latest Venture, Launches EORToK, a Talent Sharing Feature on the App”

“The Script made me jump and want to start shooting soon”: Aahana Kumra on working on “Cancer”

Bollywood roots for Cancer

Recently, US based entertainment production house Lonestar films announced its first Hindi feature film titled ‘Cancer’. The film starring Sharib Hashmi and Aahana Kumra will be directed by Faisal Hashmi who is known for Gujarati language films like Vitamin She and the award winning Short Circuit. Talking about bagging this project, Actress Aahana Kumra shared, “Once in a while a script challenges you and makes you want to jump up and shoot the film right away. That’s what I felt after reading the script of Cancer and I can’t wait to shoot it with my wonderful co actor Sharib Hashmi and our Director Faisal. I’m excited for this incredible collaboration with Lonestar films.”

Cancer, written by Faisal Hashmi and Gary Rowlands is touted as a mind bending thriller, and is in pre-production. The film will go on the floors early next year. The hunt for the third lead has begun and will be announced soon. 

As the film was announced, prominent Bollywood figures have shown their support to Cancer through social media. Director Hansal Mehta along with Manoj Bajpayee, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Chandan Roy Sanyal took to Instagram to congratulate the cast of Cancer and Lonestar Films. Additionally, Shreyas Talpade on twitter said, “Congratulations on this new venture brother @PatelDevansh. Chief creative officer saheb..wishing you success for this one”.

Milap Zaveri’s quoted tweet said, “Mubarak ho bhai” Shreya Dhanwantary tweeted, “Congratulations to my talented dost log @PatelDevansh @sharibhashmi @AahanaKumra and the whole team for this! So cool!!!”
Jamie Alter Alter tweeted, ” Woot! This is amazing, @PatelDevansh And look at the cast so far… @sharibhashmi bhai @Aahana Kumra with more to follow, I am sure. Congratulations to all involved.”

Incorporated in the USA, Lonestar Films is promoted by Pankaj Mamtora who is a serial entrepreneur with business interests in healthcare, IT, real estate and wealth management. Lonestar Films has already set up operations in India (Mumbai) hiring ace journalist Devansh Patel as its Chief Creative Officer. Patel will handle the creative mandates alongside the project Directors and oversee India operations.

In Conversation with Actress Luviena Lodh

Luviena Lodh is an Indian actress, who recently played the lead role in EORTV’s recent offering ‘You Complete Me’ alongside Raj Kumar and Punit Bhatia. Luviena is also a trained Bollywood and Jazz dancer. She has also worked in various movies in the Kannada and Telugu industry. Luviena was also a part of a short film called Girl On Heels streamed on Sonyliv and a web series called Humse Na Ho Payega on ULLU.

Continue reading “In Conversation with Actress Luviena Lodh”