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Preview: Dhobi Ghat (2011)

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I’m through with getting excited by trailers of Bollywood films. Most films that seem interesting in trailers tend to disappoint me thoroughly. Recently released Guzaarish being a colossal case in point. So, I’ve decided to be cautiously optimistic about Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat. There are so few successful women filmmakers in the industry, that I sincerely hope the film can break the gender jinx.

Anticipating Peepli Live

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In an age when ‘India Shining’ is not only a catchy tagline coined by the ruling party but a fervently believed in mantra for most comfortably middle-class, urban Indians, my man Aamir Khan has done it again—he has defied convention and produced a film about India Whining!

Spring in the Colony: A Film About Kolkata

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It’s not often that one encounters a film from Kolkata that makes one truly proud of the city and its inhabitants—at least not anymore. There’s so much to say about Sthaniya Sangbad (Moinak Biswas & Arjun Gaurisariya 2009) that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Aamir: A Khan Among Men

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So my man Aamir has done it again—this time with a record-shattering blockbuster as well as one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the Indian state—the Padma Bhushan. The road has been long and arduous; this trail-blazing trajectory was never a certitude. In 1989 AK was a different man, a different star. He has grown up just as we have. A generation has come of age—we’re older, wiser, and better—just as AK is. Like good wine and superior Scotch whiskey, the man has gotten better (mellow, flavorful, complex) with time. This piece is more about my generation than about Aamir Khan. In a way it is a bildungsroman—a coming of age narrative tethered to the shifting fortunes of one of the most successful stars from Bollywood. 

Kurbaan Hua…aaaah!

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 Taran Adarsh, famous film critic, has gone completely bananas. He has gone on record saying that Karan Johar’s new venture Kurbaan (Renzil D’Silva) is the best release of 2009. You don’t believe? Wait until you get to the end.
And, gentle reader, hang on to the notion of Mr. Adarsh’s sad descent into insanity. This is one of those occasions when I’m glad I don’t write reviews—what my ravings and rantings (mostly the latter) are best termed are ‘observations’ or ‘ditties’ or ‘anecdotal reflections’ or some such. I’m glad because had I been a film reviewer, Kurbaan would have paralyzed me and ended my career.

Paranormal Activity: A MUST WATCH!!

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Okay, so those of us who love horror cinema had given up on Hollywood after Blair Witch. Saw and Hostel were huge hits but cater to a slightly different taste in cinema—torture porn and cannot properly be called ‘Hollywood’ I suppose.

DEV D—RECASTING THE ADJECTIVE

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Very rarely do I get to watch a Hindi film that makes me shake off my habitual torpor, sit up and say: gosh, there’s hope for Bollywood yet! Dev D (Anurag Kashyap, 2009) was one such rare treat. This happened last when I watched Welcome to Sajjanpur (Shyam Benegal, 2008) and No Smoking (Anurag Kashyap, 2007).  Both of those films gladdened my heart and restored my irresolute faith in Hindi cinema.

SLUMDOG Extraordinaire!

Click HereSo, by now we know all about Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a film that chronicles a young man’s rags-to-riches, fairy tale journey into love and wealth. Funnily, the trajectory of the film mirrors that of its protagonist Jamal: a little known, under-dogish movie with an unknown cast slowly generates a steady buzz which turns into a delirious worldwide cheer by the end of the award season. Beyond Danny Boyle’s wildest dreams I’m sure, not to mention the cast/crew’s stunned disbelief.

KHAN’T DO WITHOUT THEM

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I’m a sucker for Aamir Khan. Have been since I was 13 years old and he waltzed in to forever colonize my heart wearing itty-bitty shorts and high-topped sneakers in QSQT (Mansoor Khan, 1988).
 
 
 

Is Dostana a homophobic film?

Well, yes and no. I know I know. I sound like one of those critics who don’t   want to take a stance (political or aesthetic) either way. Those incurable fence sitters. But it’s true. I go back and forth on this film.
The first hour or so had me cringing: every joke smacked of homophobia, or worse still, elicited snickers on Auntiji’s less than perfect appearance.

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