Dangal Movie Review: Patriarchal Smackdown

There is something about a sports film that ends up being an enjoyable watch in spite of the predictability of most films that come under the genre. You have your standard tropes, the grizzled mentor, the talented underdog, the merciless system ever ready to crush their spirits, the smug opponent with a sneering coach, the adrenaline rush of the training montage, and all of it culminating in a nail-biting and eventually mood elevating victory against all odds.Continue reading “Dangal Movie Review: Patriarchal Smackdown”

The ‘I’ word

This whole business of Aamir, an actor, and a citizen as IMPORTANT as you or me – irrespective of the class he enjoys – saying something and the way people are reacting has truly reached a circus-stage where you have carnival-barkers standing in front of every freak-show with their own costumes and placards. It is as if people have nothing ‘constructive’ to talk or write about and are using this episode to vent their frustrations: some genuine, most knee-jerk.Continue reading “The ‘I’ word”

Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival hosts the ‘Women In Film’ panel discussion with eminent women from the world of cinema

On Tuesday, November 3rd, Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India brought together distinguished women from Indian and international cinema.  Shabana Azmi, Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra and American filmmaker Ava DuVernay took part in a conversation on Women in Film that was powered by Lifebuoy and their initiative ‘Help a Child Reach 5’  that examined the position of women in film today.Continue reading “Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival hosts the ‘Women In Film’ panel discussion with eminent women from the world of cinema”

Rendezvous with Anupama Chopra: Part 2

This one has been long overdue. I had met Anupama Chopra in the first week of June and published the first half of the interview in the first half of July. However, thanks to writing work related to Masaan promotions on MAM and the post production of my web-series, the second half got inordinately delayed. When in mid-September I finally could take out time to transcribe the interview, I decided to hold it off till MAMI, for what better occasion is there to write about the festival director of arguably India’s biggest film festival.Continue reading “Rendezvous with Anupama Chopra: Part 2”

Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India celebrates ‘Women in Film’

Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India will feature a discussion on ‘Women In Film’, where leading women from the world of cinema will come together and share their insights and learnings on the experience of being a woman in the field of filmmaking. The panel discussion which will be held on Tuesday, November 3rd at 2 p.m. at PVR Juhu, will see a host of accomplished attendees like Ava DuVernay, Zoya Akhtar, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Kati Outinen, Jyoti Deshpande, Vidya Balan, Kangana Ranaut and Christina Voros.Continue reading “Jio MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival with Star India celebrates ‘Women in Film’”

Rendezvous with Anupama Chopra: Part 1

Let me start this write-up with a bias, just like the disclaimer I put up whenever I write a review. I believe that Anupama Chopra is the most credible film reviewer we have in India right now. She is honest, fair but never mean – three qualities every person with a mouthpiece should have. There are critics who express polarising reviews, albeit very well written pieces, but she is possibly one of the most balanced reviewers. Thanks to Raja Sen, I got her email id and sent her the request for the interview. Within an hour I got a reply, and she agreed to take out time soon. However, at that point of time (early May) she was getting ready for Cannes and had too many things on her plate to squeeze out time for a one-on-one interview. On the other hand, I was insistent on not doing a telephonic conversation because that is almost never fruitful. So, I decided to wait till she came back from France. In the meanwhile, I got busy with the shoot for my web series and my vacation with friends. So, the moment I set foot on India again, I sent her an email to kindly schedule an interview in the first week of June. This time, she promptly replied yet again, and confirmed the meeting.Continue reading “Rendezvous with Anupama Chopra: Part 1”

Aamir Khan Decoded Part IV: Brand Name for Film and Television Making

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 and Part III is here

I vividly remember watching a scene from Satya (1998). Manoj Bajpai’s character is talking to Saurabh Shukla and Chakravarthy right after one of the gang members was shot in a police encounter. Bajpai’s character asks, “why did those damn cops kill him?”. The Hindi word uttered for damn was “saale” where in fact when the scene was shot clearly you can see Bajpai’s lips mouthing a much profane word, “chutiye”, loosely translated as assholes. In other scenes Bajpai’s character could use that more profane version but not for the scene when he was referring to cops. This was a clear cut case of Indian Censor Board exercising their right to interfere in what could be argued as artistic integrity. Moreoever I remember veteran actress Asha Parekh’s, who was at the top seat of Censor Board, interview in Filmfare magazine when she mentioned that when Satya’s script was submitted all of the f-words and intense profanity was cut. Now cut to 13 years later, a movie was released in both English and Hindi and what looked like each and every kind of profanity was released uncut. That was Delhi Belly (DB, 2011). The first thought that went through my mind when I was enjoying DB was what if Satya’s raw uncut version be released. That was the impact of DB, released under Aamir Khan (AK) production.Continue reading “Aamir Khan Decoded Part IV: Brand Name for Film and Television Making”

P&A in Hindi Cinema: The Current Perspective

Traditionally P&A (print & advertising) in Hindi films is a big determinant in determining the success of films. While earlier the producers were more content in terms of looking at the COP (cost of production) and then deciding the P&A depending on the kind of distribution deals struck, things have been changing a lot in this aspect in the recent past. Earlier one wasn’t always sure of whether the film would have a definite same day all India release or a staggered release. Also even in case of a same day All India release the producer had to take a call on P&A keeping in mind the number of prints being distributed across territories. But with the physical print system slowly fading away and digital distribution now being the norm more or less everywhere, today’s P&A budgets are mostly meant for promoting the film only.Continue reading “P&A in Hindi Cinema: The Current Perspective”

“Why do you call him Rohit sir, yaar?”

rohitsharmaHaving been in advertising for a long time, I haven’t addressed anyone as a ‘sir’. Call it the arrogance or the informal nature of the business that I have been in for about a decade now, I call people by their first names. Continue reading ““Why do you call him Rohit sir, yaar?””