In Conversation with Actor Maanvi Gaagroo: “I am a Sucker for Drama”

For those spending hours online, watching YouTube series or liking sharing funny Facebook videos, Maanvi Gagroo needs no introduction. Most commonly identified as the best ideal girlfriend thanks to her stint in the immensely popular TVF series, Maanvi is also a popular name in the theatre circuit. In a freewheeling interview, she spoke her mind on internet content, her Australian-Indian project and of course, TVF. Read on-Continue reading “In Conversation with Actor Maanvi Gaagroo: “I am a Sucker for Drama””

Watched PK? Now here’s CK, an Animated Spoof Video on Rajkumar Hirani’s PK

YouTube’s popular comic channel Shudh Desi Endings has released its spoof on Rajkumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan starrer PK, which has become the highest grossing Bollywood film of all time. Bracing for the challenge to spoof a film that’s been both meaningful and controversial, team SDE has once again used their funny bone to make an original, animated take on PK. Titled CK, the spoof has references to Virat Kohli, Bollywood’s first alien Jaadu, SRK and Salman Khan’s blue bracelet.Continue reading “Watched PK? Now here’s CK, an Animated Spoof Video on Rajkumar Hirani’s PK”

The Worst Of Bollywood: 2014

Most of these films are no longer playing in the cinema halls. Thank God for that. But don’t even bother watching them when they play on television. You can thank me for that.

This is not Sajid Khan’s worst. That honour still belongs to Himmatwala. The trouble with his movies is that he casts his actors in his own mould. He makes them behave in the exact same way he himself did when he used to appear on TV. Which is more goofy than witty. Few jokes, very few, hit the mark. But the ones that don’t, miss the target by a mile. Sajid has virtually patented the multiple-characters-leading-to-exaggerated-confusion formula. Each time, it’s tiresome after a point.Continue reading “The Worst Of Bollywood: 2014”

The Best of Indian Cinema in 2014: A Perspective

At the very outset I wish to express that I personally felt that 2014 was overall an ordinary year for Indian Cinema. It was largely devoid of truly path breaking content and Hindi Cinema in particular was very disappointing, especially the second half of the year. This is even more alarming considering that the 1st quarter of the year saw some decent films like Dedh Ishqiya, Hasee Toh Phasee, Highway, Queen and true blue indie films like Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, the long pending Om-Dar-B-Dar of Kamal Swaroop and Rajat Kapoor’s Ankhon Dekhi. The last among the films mentioned (Ankhon Dekhi) in particular was a delight, more on that later. But with subsequent weeks throwing up disappointment after disappointment, I had almost given up on the year but thank goodness for the last 2 Fridays of the year which brought in some relief. 19th December saw Raj Kumar Hirani’s Aamir Khan spectacle PK release, one of the most awaited films  of the year while 26th December saw Anurag Kashyap’s long pending Ugly release. PK for me is Raj Kumar Hirani’s weakest film, but it is still an earnest film and Aamir thankfully is good in the film. So while I have no problem with the film’s spectacular success, I do oppose the way the so called moral and religious police are dragging it into an unnecessary controversy.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2014: A Perspective”

PK: Why you should watch it

PK has been one of the most anticipated films of the year, I am one of very few people who did not like 3 Idiots and felt Hirani was getting formulaic. PK’s plot has been a close guarded secret till its day of release . By the time the reviews came, we had a section of so called self appointed Hindu guardians who got offended by the film, not because it showed the blind rituals practiced by Hindus, but these fringe elements felt that movie should have criticism of Islam. The same argument was forwarded by people, when Haider was released how it is anti-Indian army and that it is one sided.Continue reading “PK: Why you should watch it”

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”