Sonchiriya Movie Review: Dakus in the Dust

There used to be a time when the Daku movie was a staple in Bollywood. Right from the 40s, with Mehboob Khan’s Aurat (which he remade as Mother India), into the 60s with Dilip saab’s Gunga Jumna, it was the 70s when the genre hit its peak with blockbusters like Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Ganga Ki Saugandh, Khote Sikkey and of course, the baap of them all, Sholay!

But while the genre flourished right up till the late 80s (Mardon Wali Baat, Aag Hi Aag), the resurgence of the family film through directors like Sooraj Barjatya, Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra led to daku movies being slowly relegated to B-grade cinema in the 90s, and relative obscurity in the 00s, what with a more urban brand of cinema coming in, save for the Paan Singh Tomar biopic, or the brilliant Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru from 2 years back.

Therefore, when the promos of Sonchiriya showed up with an ensemble cast and a brilliant soundtrack, the only thought that entered one’s mind was if this was going to be a throwback to old school Daku dramas, or would it be a more contemporary take on the lives of dacoits?Continue reading “Sonchiriya Movie Review: Dakus in the Dust”

Abhishek Chaubhey on not allowing Alia Bhatt to shampoo her hair for 20 days during Udta Punjab, on Pahlaj Nihalani & lots more on Talk Shop episode 2

The 2nd episode teaser is out where director Abhishek Chaubey, talks about how Alia Bhatt was not allowed to shampoo for 20 days– This and a lot more insights by director Abhishek Chaubey on the second episode of Talk Shop, all new directors only talk show with some of the best film directors of the country. Continue reading “Abhishek Chaubhey on not allowing Alia Bhatt to shampoo her hair for 20 days during Udta Punjab, on Pahlaj Nihalani & lots more on Talk Shop episode 2”

Talk Shop, an all-new Directors-only talk show to launch this June!

India Film Project’s newest initiative, Talk Shop, is all set to launch on June 9th. In a country celebrating cinema, where we praise our movie stars, much has not been said about the person who puts in his sweat to make a film happen.Continue reading “Talk Shop, an all-new Directors-only talk show to launch this June!”

Udta Punjab Movie Review: A Film That Flew for the Stars but got the Moon

Directed by: Abhishek Chaubey;   Written by: Sudip Sharma

Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh

Udta Punjab would go down as one of the most talked about movies from Bollywood even before it was actually screened, our own desi version of Passion of the Christ, if you will. So instead of delving on the entire saga from CBFC’s preposterous treatment of the film for so-called “profanities and mature content” (I didn’t know Udta Punjab was a pioneering film in this regard, but let’s stay politically correct, shall we) to the controversial leak at the time of release, let’s instead review the film itself for a change.Continue reading “Udta Punjab Movie Review: A Film That Flew for the Stars but got the Moon”

Udta Punjab Movie Review: Flight Of the Phoenix

udta-punjab-movie-poster-3There is nothing quite as entertaining as a good controversy. And if this controversy involves Bollywood and the Government, you can be sure of the news channels having their fill of this TRP fodder until the movie finally releases (Or if it does, in most cases). Abhishek Chaubey, who made most viewers sit up and take notice with a crackling debut in Ishqiya, and followed it up with Dedh Ishqiya, a sequel that outshone the original, moves away from the badlands of Uttar Pradesh into the lush green fields of Punjab, and shows us the underbelly of the drug mafia that seems to have eaten away at the Punjabi youth and in the process, drives away in the opposite direction of the Yash Chopra school of filmmaking. But, is Udta Punjab a piece of mediocre cinema trying to stay in the limelight through a never-ending stream of controversies, or is it truly that subversive piece of mainstream cinema that has the censor board frothing at the mouth?Continue reading “Udta Punjab Movie Review: Flight Of the Phoenix”

Udta Punjab Movie Review: The High of Coming Out of a Theater Feeling Low

So, who was scared/wary of Udta Punjab and its supposedly ‘damaging content’?

When I saw the film today, midst all the surround sound and fury, this question kept coming to my mind every now and then – like how ‘hurt’ keeps coming back to haunt fragile Indian sentiments. Because an hour into the film and you realize that it has nothing, absolutely nothing that can damage the reputation of Punjab or the dwellers of that state. More importantly, the film never ever glorifies substance abuse, it rather showcases horrors of addiction in such a naked, brutal manner that even an average cigarette smoker (cigarette that contains only tobacco and nothing else) would also be shaken.Continue reading “Udta Punjab Movie Review: The High of Coming Out of a Theater Feeling Low”

Imaging Cinema 2014: Screenwriting and Filmmaking Workshop at IIT Madras

Imaging Cinema Poster_For Web (4)IIT Madras is presenting  Imaging Cinema 2014, a Screenwriting-cum-Filmmaking Workshop from 7-14 June. The focus is on various aspects of screenwriting. Sessions on screenwriting will be conducted by experienced resource persons. Special session on aspects of direction and screenwriters will be conducted by established names from Mumbai and South Indian cine industries. Continue reading “Imaging Cinema 2014: Screenwriting and Filmmaking Workshop at IIT Madras”

Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review: Delicious Dedh Guna Zyaada

Dedh-Ishqiya-MovieAt the outset, Dedh Ishqiya is more than just a sequel to Ishqiya. It does carry forward the story of Khalu and Babban, but at the same time it also rips itself apart from the world that Ishqiya created. Director Abhishek Chaubey in his second film creates a world that is distinctly more grand, ambitious and complicated than the first part. What is retained though is all the masala that made the first part delectable, dedh amount zyaada.Continue reading “Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review: Delicious Dedh Guna Zyaada”

Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review: Love and a half

Sanwaar nok palak abruon mein kham kar de,

Gire pade hue lafzon ko mohtaram kar de

Dedh_Ishqiya_Teaser_PosterThis is one of the few couplets from many a Dr. Bashir Badr’s poems this film borrows. And no, I am not someone who is strong at literature. And no, had Abhishek Chaubey and co. not mentioned during the credits that poetry is taken from Dr. Badr’s literature, and acknowledged it during a scene, there is no way one would understand this homage. Makers assume most of the members of the audience won’t recognize Badr’s poetry. And so will many of them not, in the film as well. I didn’t. I returned home, googled this line and landed on this website.Continue reading “Dedh Ishqiya Movie Review: Love and a half”