DDLJ: Cutting across 3 decades. My Personal Ode & Journey with the Film

20th October 1995 was the first time DDLJ released in cinemas. I was 7 when I first watched the film at G7 Cinemas, Bandra with my parents. Little did I know that I would end up getting lost in the magical world that I was experiencing on screen. Tears rolled down my cheeks when I saw Amrish Puri slap SRK right before the climax sequence and I held my mother’s arms as each slap echoed in the pin drop silence inside the cinema packed with thousand people. I felt ecstatic when Kajol ran towards the stretched arm of SRK extending from the door of a running train in the end. I was mesmerized by the story that I narrated the entire film to my friends in school. When the songs came on the television, I would stop everything and listen attentively. Couple of months later, we revisited the theatre to watch DDLJ again. It was the same scenario as the first – a packed house with the same emotions. As a kid, I knew this film would stay with me forever. Continue reading “DDLJ: Cutting across 3 decades. My Personal Ode & Journey with the Film”

On Working with Bejoy Nambiar on Taish and More: Actor Ankur Rathee Speaks

Actor Ankur Rathee who is currently geared up for his next big release, Taish excitedly recounts his experience shooting with Bejoy Nambiar. Rathee will be playing the role of a British Indian young man who discovers a secret about his fiancé amidst the chaos of their own wedding. Add to their precarious situation an emotionally tumultuous family and you get the revenge drama that is Taish.

Recalling how he bagged the role, Ankur said, “I got a call from Karan Mally and Nandini Shrikent, who recently cast me in Thappad. Bejoy liked my audition and asked to meet, but a few days prior I badly sprained my ankle playing basketball, ironically, with Jim Sarbh who had to carry me off the court! I remember limping my way into Bejoy’s office and awkwardly sitting with my crutches. He narrated the film and his enthusiasm was infectious. I felt transported.”


Ankur describes working with Bejoy Nambiar a dream come true. He said, “Bejoy gives a lot of creative liberty to his actors which is refreshing. It made us feel like it was just as much our story to tell as it was his. I remember there was one scene where Pulkit Samrat, Jim Sarbh, and I started improvising and building little moments that weren’t in the script. We just kept playing off of each other and Bejoy kept rolling. He would encourage that kind of experimentation, but also knew when to help us reel it back. His trust in us fed into our faith in him“.

Recently Ankur gave memorable performances in Thappad, Four More Shots Please, Undekhi, and Made in Heaven. The actor has worked with renowned directors like Bejoy Nambiar, Anubhav Sinha, and now Nagesh Kuknor on his next. Ankur said, “Whenever I’m mesmerized by a film I always tell myself ‘I want to work with this director’. You say that enough times and you end up with a wish list of filmmakers that have really pushed the boundaries of Indian cinema. I’m so grateful to God that as my career progresses, one by one I’m checking off directors from my wish list.”

The actor is currently busy shooting for Nagesh Kukunoor’s next and promoting Taish which is due to release on 29th October. Also in the pipeline is Rishi Deshpande’s much-awaited Marathi film, ‘Nirmal En Route’ which stars Ankur Rathee as the male lead actor.    

Ali and me share a Libran connection says, Mirzapur Actress Harshita Gaur

Harshita Shekhar Gaur who’s super thrilled with the views and feedback the trailer of Mirzapur 2 is receiving, spoke about her offline bond with her on-screen brother Ali Fazal. The trailer of the much-awaited show Mirzapur season 2 is out, launched at a virtual press conference. Harshita, who plays Dimpy, Guddu Bhaiya’s (Ali Fazal) and Bablu Bhaiya’s (Vikrant Massey), sister in the crime thriller Mirzapur revealed that the on-screen brother-sister duo have actually developed a sibling bond in real life as well. Continue reading “Ali and me share a Libran connection says, Mirzapur Actress Harshita Gaur”

Shayan Italia presents Sha La La; the most symbolic music video to “come out” of India on International Coming Out Day.

Debut Hinglish single Sha La La, backed by Hungama features 65 legendary musicians and 21 visual artists coming together to ignite India with a deeply pertinent message: Love. Without Boundaries.Continue reading “Shayan Italia presents Sha La La; the most symbolic music video to “come out” of India on International Coming Out Day.”

American Murder-The Family Next Door (2020): Till Murder Do Us Apart

As another Netflix crime documentary streams on our screens, is there fatigue which audience is facing? Going by the slate of Netflix it seems that the audience is lapping it up. American Murder relies solely on footage from cops and friends to narrate and it does away with voiceover completely. This becomes the major plus for this documentary as we are placed right in the middle of happenings.Continue reading “American Murder-The Family Next Door (2020): Till Murder Do Us Apart”

A Perfect Crime (2020): Who Killed Rohwedder?

A Perfect Crime is the first documentary to come out from Netflix’ German production team. It deals with the assassination of Detlev Karsten Rohwedder.  As Indians for us, the early 90’s was a period of turmoil with socialist policy combined with licence raj that had crippled the nation on the verge of bankruptcy, forcing the Indian government to open up to the market. In three decades after the forced reforms, India still grapples to maintain balance with socialism and capitalism due to vote bank politics. Even the recent right-wing government of India has embraced a more socialist approach.Continue reading “A Perfect Crime (2020): Who Killed Rohwedder?”

Serious Men (2020 Netflix Original) Movie Review: The Angst of India’s Voiceless

Serious Men releases at a time, when the Uttar Pradesh state machinery has gone all out and try to cover up the Hathras tragedy that has been in the headlines of late. It is also interesting that it comes at a time when filmmakers like Pa. Ranjith and Nagaraj Manjule are giving voice to the Dalits of India. 

Serious Men is based on the novel of the same name by Manu Joseph. It tracks the journey of resourceful Ayyan Mani (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) who works at a prestigious scientific organisation in Mumbai as a PA for his boss Acharya (Naseer). Both come from different class and different caste while Ayan is from the lower caste, his boss belongs to the uppermost caste.Continue reading “Serious Men (2020 Netflix Original) Movie Review: The Angst of India’s Voiceless”

Natashaa Iyer debuts with a music video – ‘Sauda’

Actress and Model Natashaa Iyer who is a celebrated digital artist marked her debut with a music video titled ‘Sauda’ which released digitally on the Knockking Beat Youtube channel. The music video — shot in locations across Mauritius — chronicles the self-exploration and adventurous journey of a free-spirited newly married bride who feels ignored by her workaholic husband on their Honeymoon. Having worked in more than 50+ TV/ digital commercials and now with Sauda Natashaa has embarked upon a full-fledged career in acting.

Shot over three days in Mauritius, Sauda is a Punjabi folk-inspired song composed by Samir Saptiskar and directed by Samir Khan. Natashaa along with the crew shot for three days and talking about her experience on the same, Natashaa said, “Acting is instinctive, it is many lives in one. I have been working in television commercials for a long time now and making this transition has been a fulfilling experience. While advertisements are more purpose-driven communication, a music video has more scope for an actor. Any form comes with a learning experience and I am trying to make the most of it, I am eager to explore longer roles now”.

Talking about the concept behind the music video of Sauda and her experience, she shares, “Sauda is an excellent combination of a folk tune with a touch of chic. It is an ode to all the free-spirited women. The concept is about a girl, who leaves her workaholic husband on their honeymoon to go out and explore a new city all by herself. I don’t know if it is appropriate to say this but I feel it has some essence of Kangana Ranaut’s character Rani in the film Queen. It is the most loved character of all time and it almost gave me an adrenaline rush when the director narrated the story, it was like a moment of epiphany.”

Natashaa Iyer has worked in television commercials for host topline brands like Pizza Hut, Byjus, Royal Enfield, TVS, B4u Network, Big Bazaar, Hyundai, and many more.

Here’s the music video-

Kadhalan (1994): The Beginning of Shankar’ Extravaganza

The second film of every director is special, considering it is a make or break situation for most of them. Kadhalan came right after Gentleman made a splash at the box office counters of Tamil Nadu & the rest of South India. The film was remade in Telugu with megastar Chiranjeevi donning the lead role. The soundtrack of Gentleman was super popular and thus everyone was looking forward to seeing what the director will make after this solid debut. This was before Brahmandam (grandeur) and Shankar became synonymous. Continue reading “Kadhalan (1994): The Beginning of Shankar’ Extravaganza”