Films are all the same: Long or Short

The anxiety on the eve of your feature film’s release is pretty similar to giving birth to a child! In fact a little more I would say because if the child is mischievous or has any problem, you have a lot of time for course correction but with a film it’s pretty much become like a do-or-die over the opening weekend. Gone are the days when you would release a film and in case it didn’t do well on the Friday-Saturday, you could give it some time and expect it picks up by word of mouth. In fact Bollywood folklore has it that India’s most famous film ‘Sholay’ was a disaster when it released and was on the verge of being pulled out of theatres but subsequent word of mouth and the support of theatre exhibitors gave it that extra rope for a few more days. The rest as they say is history! Even the legendary Meena Kumari starrer ‘Pakeezah’ was a flop when it initially released but her untimely death and a sudden sympathy wave resurrected it in its 10th week to make it the iconic hit that it became.Continue reading “Films are all the same: Long or Short”

Love and Hate in Baahubali

I read somewhere that the Baahubali (Bb) films will be hard to forget anytime soon. This is true for a number of reasons, both good and bad. One of the better reasons, in my opinion, is that the film’s director S.S. Rajamouli has got the attention of the “Non-South” through sheer force of will and some interesting creative choices. As advertising types like to say, Rajamouli has us by the eyeballs. Love them or hate them, the films tell a yarn, and do not apologize for how they tell it. And of course, while the rest of us have just gotten acquainted with the Telugu folklore genre thanks to its new, slick avatar, Rajamouli and his producers have laughed their way to the bank and back. It’s a great coup. Rajamouli and crew have been more than polite in thanking Dharma Productions for the worldwide reach of Bb, but they need thank nobody but themselves for the product. If you don’t see yourself as a lover (or promoter) of kitsch, you can still be moved by Bb to a point where you begin to question your aesthetic presuppositions. That in my view is a bigger coup.Continue reading “Love and Hate in Baahubali”

Lone brother of the seven sisters …

I still remember my first (aborted) attempt to visit Sikkim – also known as the lone bother of the northeastern states of seven sisters – way back in 1996. We, a bunch of friends from across India, boarded a train from Guwahati on a cold night in the end of December with a plan of spending the New Year in Sikkim. But, ironically we had to return halfway as the railway connectivity to the NJP station – in the foothill of Sikkim – was cut off due to a blast by the insurgent…Continue reading “Lone brother of the seven sisters …”

BookMyShow sells over a million tickets for Baahubali 2 – Clocks highest ever advance sales revenue

BookMyShow sells over a million tickets for Baahubali 2

Clocks highest ever advance sales revenue

BookMyShow today announced that it has already sold well over a million tickets in just over 24 hours for the one of the most anticipated movies of the year- Baahubali 2: The Conclusion. Even though the bookings have not yet opened across all cinemas, especially in the South where the film is expected to receive an incredible response, BookMyShow is witnessing a phenomenal traction across the country for Baahubali 2.  Continue reading “BookMyShow sells over a million tickets for Baahubali 2 – Clocks highest ever advance sales revenue”

Regional Cinema: What Prevents it from Reaching out to a Wider Audience?

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s recent Malayalam film Angamaly Diaries has become an online favourite over the last couple of weeks or so. Thanks to screenings supported and promoted by filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar, people at 1018mb went on to organize a few screenings of the film in Mumbai. And there are already a couple of screenings lined up later this month. One has seen audiences thronging these screenings, this includes members of the film fraternity as well as media circle, and nearly everyone has only good things to talk about the film. It also helped that Lijo Jose Pellissery himself and a few others from the Angamaly Diaries team have been present for these screenings, indulging in a Q & A with the audience later on.  This is not the first time that something like this is happening. It has happened in the past with Lijo’s own Malayalam film, Amen (2013). Once again it was thanks to a screening arranged by Bejoy Nambiar that people started talking about the film.Continue reading “Regional Cinema: What Prevents it from Reaching out to a Wider Audience?”

64th National Film Awards (2017): List of Winners

The 64th National Film Awards for Indian Cinema of 2016 has just been announced a short while ago.  The awards will be distributed in early May this year. Given below is the list of winners-

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Breaking News: RGV and Aamir Khan to Join Hands for a Biopic on Narendra Modi,Mann Ki Baat

While the quality of most of his recent releases might be debatable, there is no doubt about Ram Gopal Varma aka RGV‘s ability to stay in the news. He is also someone who is quick to realize the potential in a topic that could be of relevance for a feature film. A recent example being his revelation on Twitter in terms of his intent to make a film on Sasikala, after all the controversial happenings in Tamil Nadu politics following the passing away of the former CM, J.Jayalalitha. But this latest news beats everything else in terms of whatever he has done so far. As per informed sources from his production house, RGV is now planning to announce a biopic on none other than Narendra Modi. Tentatively titled “Mann Ki Baat”, what is even more surprising is that RGV is already in talks with Aamir Khan to play the lead role of India’s PM. As we all might remember, RGV and Aamir Khan had earlier collaborated on Rangeela. While the film did turn out to be a commercial success, they had almost sworn not to work together again.This makes the news appear even more interesting and the project will soon be the most talked about film over the next few months for sure.

Continue reading “Breaking News: RGV and Aamir Khan to Join Hands for a Biopic on Narendra Modi,Mann Ki Baat”

The Case of Rangoon

Vishal Bhardwaj is probably one of the best directors we have in the Hindi Film Industry. His latest, Rangoon, just hit the theaters this past weekend, but on Monday morning, all we could talk about was the Oscars. Fairly so, because Rangoon had a dismal weekend at the Box Office collecting under 15 Crores across three days. The underwhelming response to the film is quite disappointing, especially to someone like me, who is an ardent (read almost blind) admirer of Bhardwaj. With the Oscars, our perennial obsession with Hollywood takes over and no matter how many awards they get wrong every year, our media and we, the people, crazily follow the ceremony with social media timelines getting spammed with every miniscule event occurring at the Kodak Theater. Incidentally, we don’t see such madness for any of our award shows, under the pretext that our award shows are shit because they always get them wrong and eventually the trophies are handed out to people who did not deserve it but lobbied enough to get one. But then Oscars are no different. If it isn’t lobbying, it could be something else but the end result is that the trophy does go to the non-deserving nominee quite often. If that were not the case, Spotlight would never win Best Picture over Mad Max:Fury Road in 2016 and Di Caprio would have gotten an Oscar much before his far-from-best performance in The Revenant.Continue reading “The Case of Rangoon”

89th Academy Awards (The Oscars 2017): The Complete List of Winners

Earlier today the 89th Academy Awards were given away at a glittering ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Awards in a total of 24 categories were given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with La La Land winning 6 out of the 14 nominations it received and Moonlight winning 3 big awards as well, including for Best Picture. Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester by the Sea won two awards each. Other winners include Fences, Arrival, Zootopia, The Salesman, O.J.: Made in America, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Suicide Squad, and The Jungle Book, with one.Continue reading “89th Academy Awards (The Oscars 2017): The Complete List of Winners”