Lunchbox Nominated for (BAFTA) 2015

The year 2015 has started on a high note for Ritesh Batra’s internationally acclaimed and award winning film, The Lunchbox, which is nominated for the Film Not in the English Language category of the British Academy Film Awards 2015 non January 9.

 Ecstatic about this new achievement Batra says, “It’s an honor to be nominated alongside the finest films of the year, much credit to my whole team and the work we did together. It’s a good validation to tell Indian stories to the world, if we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.”Continue reading “Lunchbox Nominated for (BAFTA) 2015”

PK: Hirani needs Sanju!

Note: When I refer to Raj Kumar Hirani (RKH), I equally refer to his partner in crime Abhijat Joshi.

Rather than the obvious disappointment or anger I have towards a bad movie, I was rather disgusted by PK. It is that movie whose every beat serves a purpose, a purpose of proving a point so obvious, a point so dumbed down, a point already proved last year at the cinemas. It doesn’t have a single moment, which is just out there without any ulterior motive.Continue reading “PK: Hirani needs Sanju!”

PK Movie Review: That’s how Hirani Rolls

After two Munna bhai movies and one 3 Idiots, one knows what to expect from a Rajkumar Hirani film. His cinema inhabits a world where good triumphs over evil without the need for bloodshed violence or even as much as a mother-sister gaali. Problems themselves are not urgent in nature, not in the literal sense, and yet these are existential issues that are tackled, issues that otherwise we overlook in our daily lives. It is this “slice of life” side to his cinema that touches hearts, despite the fact that a lot of his treatment is silly, farcical even.

PK falls in this universe of Hirani fair and square. It is far-fetched, laden with conveniences and liberties that are unpardonable otherwise in a movie. Yet at its core is Hirani magic at work- as he brings up a very poignant issue to the fore with the subtlety on he can conjure.Continue reading “PK Movie Review: That’s how Hirani Rolls”

PK Movie Review (2014): Plan Asinine From Outer Space

Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Rating: *
While watching movies, I often wonder how the germ of the idea for the story came about. It must have started as a thought, and then more ideas added to it. Characters devised around which the story can revolve, scenes and situations imagined and finally dialogues put in. A similar thought struck me while enduring PK. The writers would no doubt have read about the spate of spiritual / religious babas going bust like dot com companies of late. So why not make a movie about it? The movie shall deliver a sucker punch to the concept of organized religion. But wait…hasn’t it already been done by Paresh Rawal in OMG: Oh My God and the play it is based upon? Hmmm, yes. But that’s where a human exposes the sham of blind faith. We shall bring a wholly original twist to it. Import an extra-terrestrial, throw him into the muck and let his naiveté bring out the God fraud.Continue reading “PK Movie Review (2014): Plan Asinine From Outer Space”

Aamir Khan Decoded Part V: 100 Crore Tag and Pre-PK Thoughts

Note- Aamir Khan Decoded is a 6-part series encompassing the Bollywood superstar’s journey in the last thirty years through different phases of being a heartthrob, a method actor, an Oscar hunter, a media contributor and a money-maker.Part I of the series is here , Part II is here, Part III is here, and Part IV is here.

If there is one movie that has played the most significant part in nearly each and every phase of Aamir Khan’s (AK) career then that is Holi (1984). Marking AK’s adult acting debut Holi was a student project by writer-director Ketan Mehta who would later on assume identical responsibilities for AK’s second attempt at Oscar with Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005). Two additional collaborations were born out of AK’s co-stars from Holi, (a) Ashutosh Gowariker wrote and directed AK in Baazi which was a flagship of AK’s physical method acting[i] and Lagaan (2001) which AK produced and would give him and Gowariker an opportunity to sit in Kodak Theatre amongst fellow Oscar nominees in the foreign language category, and (b) Amol Gupte who conceived the idea for Taare Zameen (2007) Par for which AK assumed the role of a director and bagged 4th official entry of India for Oscars. Continue reading “Aamir Khan Decoded Part V: 100 Crore Tag and Pre-PK Thoughts”

Aamir Khan Decoded Part III: The Resilient Parasite called Oscar

Note- Aamir Khan Decoded is a 6-part series encompassing the Bollywood superstar’s journey in the last thirty years through different phases of being a heartthrob, a method actor, an Oscar hunter, a media contributor and a money-maker.Part I of the series is here and Part II is here.

“There are certain rules and regulations to be followed while making a Bollywood film. Such as (1) it cannot be a period drama, (2) the protagonist cannot be in orthodox attire, (3) it cannot be based on any sport, (4) especially cricket.” The ache and hardship was palpable as Ashutosh Gowariker put it in so many words in the opening scene of ‘Chale Chalo: The Making of Lagaan’. No Bollywood fan is unaware of that 90 minute cricket match flickering on celluloid in what later turned out to be an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Language Category, Lagaan (2001, Tax), that broke all of the Bollywood norms and put Gowariker, writer-director, in the list of leading filmmakers of the new millennium. Gowariker had recited his passionate screenplay to multiple producers for a rejection, except one, Aamir Khan (AK). The documentary is a must see for the journey that AK and Gowariker and rest of the crew embarked on.Continue reading “Aamir Khan Decoded Part III: The Resilient Parasite called Oscar”

Bollywood: Where Has All The Quality Gone?

bollywood100croreclub-img-jun11Recently, the big news in Bollywood was about a certain film starring one of the Khans that broke box office records. Yet, all over the internet, people were abusing the film left, right, and centre. Even film critic and TV host Anupama Chopra, who confessed to be a huge fan of the star, found the film boring.Continue reading “Bollywood: Where Has All The Quality Gone?”

Registrations open for 3rd Mumbai Film Mart -MAMI 2013

3RD Mumbai Film MartIndian cinema, replete with our culture, aspirations and current trends is a craze not only in India but also abroad. Helping Indian films transcend their geographical boundaries and reach out to newer audiences over the last two years is the Mumbai Film Mart (MFM). Held during the Mumbai Film Festival, the MFM is a B2B platform that connects filmmakers, producers, distributors, buyers, sales agents and broadcasters from India and territories across the globe.

Registrations are open for the 3rdMumbai Film Mart to be held from 18th – 20th October 2013 at the Trident Hotel, Nariman Point, Mumbai. The Mumbai Film Mart has enjoyed the patronage of some of the biggest International Buyers & Sellers, especially from non-traditional markets like Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea, Sweden, France and Brazil with many visiting India for the first time. Growing global interest in Indian films is attracting many more reputed companies to confirm attendance at MFM 2013.Continue reading “Registrations open for 3rd Mumbai Film Mart -MAMI 2013”

Great Films

No, this is not a list. This is, ultimately, my own perception of what cinema is. I write this today, as I think constantly of a film called “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”, and it’s review by Ebert (especially now that he is gone and I, amidst our day to day lives and its activities, couldn’t write my own eulogy remembering him and his influence), in which he quoted “the story that is taking place under the surface and within these minds”. I didn’t like the film when I first watched it. But I could never understand why I couldn’t get it out of my mind.Continue reading “Great Films”