Let me begin by honestly admitting that 2016 was a lukewarm year for Indian Cinema, at least that would be something that I firmly believe in. Be it Bollywood/Hindi cinema or any of the regional language film industries, things were largely subdued for a major part of the year. Be it businesswise or with respect to the quality of output, 2016 definitely seemed to lag behind 2015, forget going anywhere beyond that for a comparison. It’s not that the year was totally beyond redemption, there were some positives as well, but they were not sufficient enough to completely lift up the spirit of Indian cinema overall. Let’s begin by taking a look at Bollywood to start with. 2016 saw only 2 big blockbusters, Sultan and Dangal, none of the other successful films were runaway hits as such. So while Salman Khan and Aamir Khan delivered big time with Sultan and Dangal respectively, SRK came up with Fan which met with a mixed response, while gaining back some traction with one of the better Hindi films of the year, Dear Zindagi.Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2016: A Perspective”
2016 has turned out to be a slightly low key year for Malayalam Cinema overall, with strangely a decrease in the output, both in terms of quantity and quality. Talking of the number of releases there has been a sharp decline in terms of both straight as well as dubbed releases. From 153 releases overall last year (140 straight and 13 dubbed), 2016 saw the release count drop to 122 overall (118 straight releases and 4 dubbed films). And sadly the culmination of the year has ended on a really sad note for the industry, a pity considering the kind of promising films which were lined up for release in the Christmas-New Year festive season. What started off as a tussle between the producers and distributors/exhibitors over revenue sharing and was expected to get resolved well before the Christmas weekend has extended into a huge deadlock of sorts. As a result all the major festival releases continue to wait for a release and will now in all certainty turn out to be the first few releases of 2017.Continue reading “The Best of Malayalam Cinema in 2016: A Perspective”
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”
There 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”
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”
In today’s fast paced world we see tall skyscrapers housing residential or office complexes all around us. Gone are the days when this was a phenomenon restricted to the Metro cities alone, now it has even percolated down to all the State capitals & even further down. But have we ever bothered to know how these original cities once looked like? How the sites housing these large buildings once appeared to be as? A lot of these places were probably agricultural lands, wastelands or perhaps even slum dwellings where the poor lived, only to make way over course of time to these concrete jungles. Kochi or Cochin is one of those rapidly developing cities, a city that is becoming more and more cosmopolitan by the day. You hear people often say “Kochi ippol pazhaya Kochi alla” (Kochi now isn’t the same old Kochi like before) and perhaps Rajeev Ravi has kept all this in the back of his mind as he conceived his latest film Kammatipaadam, a tale that spans across three decades, taking us virtually into the underbelly of Kochi.Continue reading “Kammatipaadam Movie Review: A Crime Saga from the Underbelly of Kochi”
Note-IndieYogi’s posts are short/quick reviews,catering to the reader on the go. The attempt is to try something new in addition to the regular style of writing/reviewing.
Delightful, completely irrelevant, note about circumstance: I went into this movie completely uninitiated; all I knew that there was a new Anurag Kashyap movie coming out some time around now, and that it had Karan Johar. The plan was concocted over drinks at Irish House in Kala Ghoda, and we went to Regal because it was the closest theatre whose prices didn’t leave the insides of our noses sore; for the longest time I was wondering where I had seen the intersection in the movie before. (If this doesn’t make sense to you, I suggest that you resist the urge to find out and let it hit you while watching the movie.)Continue reading “Bombay Velvet Movie Review: Ellipses and Environment”
“Apan ko jo bhi mangta hai, sab log bolte hai apan ke aukat ke bahar hai. Apan ko apan ka aukat badalne ka hai.”
This was what Anurag Kashyap might have been going through inside his head, before making this multi-starrer blockbuster. And oh well, was it able to gain that aukat?
Set in a period of post-Independence, from 1949 to 1969, the film opens with a wonderful background score by Amit Trivedi and visuals of Old Bombay in a newsreel format against the song Aam Hindustani being sung by Dahlia (Raveena Tandon). Honestly, just that start there gives you a hope. An assurance that this might turn out to be the best film you have seen so far. But, oh wait!Continue reading “Bombay Velvet: Worth To Be A Big-Shot?”