Monthly Archives: July 2009
From the early 70s till today, films around differently-abled characters always seem to evoke interest and most of the times critical acclaim.
Be it Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bhaduri playing deaf and dumb in 1972′s Koshish or Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas repeating the act in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Khamoshi.
Hrithik Roshan in Koi Mil Gaya, the actor’s first big hit after six solo flops, where he played a developmentally disabled character. And more recently Rani Mukherji walked away with all the awards from her portrayal of a deaf, dumb and blind girl in Black.
Currently there is already a lot of buzz around Kaminey – in which Shahid Kapoor essays a double role and both his characters suffer from a speech defect. One stutters while the other lisps.
Charismatic Jaipur royal Rajmata Gayatri Devi, a three-time MP and who was once named as ‘World’s Ten Most Beautiful Women’ by ‘Vogue’ magazine, died here on Wednesday following a prolonged illness. She was 90.
Gayatri, who became an extremely successful politician, breathed her last at Satokben Durlabh Memorial Hospital where she was readmitted on Tuesday for chest infection after she was discharged a few days ago.
“She recovered from her gastrointestinal problems but on Tuesday she was detected with a lung infection. Her condition deteriorated this morning and she breathed her last at around 1600 hrs,” said Dr Subhash Kala, who was attending on her.
Love needed to change Luck at Box office?
With Luck opening to a mixed response, expectations rise for Saif Ali Khanâ€™s maiden production Love Aaj Kal
The box office has needed a boost in fortunes ever since the multiplex strike came to an end but only New York has managed to bring some cheer so far. There was some expectation from last week’s release – the Imran Khan-Sanjay Dutt starrer Luck but the film met with disastrous reviews and its response in multiplexes has been lukewarm at best. The film has scored better at single screens though. However, the action thriller isn’t carrying good reports and may not sustain for long.
Gwoemul (The Host) is an incredible genre shifter. It starts as a creature-fest, gets into some amazingly goofball comedy and even attempts to make a political statement amidst all that. But the point is – which goes missing even in most mainstream Hollywood monster films – that this one doesnâ€™t let go of its human angle, even for a bit. Yes, its unusually funny at times, makes a strong statement on how silly people can get at the weirdest of situations, plenty of gore all along and even has a surreal scene where one of the lead characters who goes missing, silently materializes amidst the family and no one even reacts!
For most of us accustomed to straight, to-the-point monster movies, Gwoemul is a fantastic surprise. One moment youâ€™ll be laughing your guts out and the next, youâ€™re doing pretty much the same, in utter horror. Director Joon-ho Bong mixes the genres pretty well along with some very imaginative cinematography and effective background score.
The human angle – the child (Hyun-seo, played with quick-witted chutzpah by Ah-sung Ko) being carried away by the monster is indeed the mainstay around which the film revolves with a feverish pace. And that stays at the back of your, the monsterâ€™s and everybody elseâ€™s mind too. How the family grapples with the situation is something seen to be believed.
The Director gets his fingers on many seemingly disjoint things but makes a very strong point on the anarchy surrounding the country and how global forces lead the hapless country to react with both urgency and extreme insensitivity just because of the word â€˜virusâ€™! So, we have brief interludes on disjoint families, affordability, credit cards, American/ World aid in times of national emergency, mass hysteria lapsing into absolute comedy, a irreverent street-side tramp, tax on reward money and the best – an amazingly shot roadside reaction to virus infection, by a bunch of people waiting for a bus!
NEW DELHI: She will always be a benchmark for Bollywood beauty. No Hindi film heroine, with the possible exception of Madhubala and Suchitra Sen,
was as enchanting or entrancing as Leela Naidu, who passed away after a prolonged bout of influenza in Mumbai. She was 69.
Crowned Miss India in 1954 and named one of the 10 most beautiful women in the world by Vogue, Naidu acted in just a handful of films. But over the years that only added to her mystique.
Bollywood really doesnâ€™t have much sex.
Sure, raunchy webcam pictures appear in part in â€˜radicalâ€™ cinema like Dev D, but itâ€™s been barely a decade since we mustered up enough courage to show actors regularly kissing on screen. An actress donning a bikini is still breaking-newsworthy on our television channels, and it remains a fascinatingly morbid thought to imagine just what will happen once a mainstream A-list actress bares a breast.
Nope, weâ€™re a nation given primarily to euphemism, disguising intercourse with visuals of embracing daisies and lust with tremendous pelvic heaves, and we still keep the big screen relatively prudish. The new Bollywood generation claims transparency, but gives us only a very wet sari: there is the surefire suggestion that thereâ€™s something naughty right under that drenched white cotton, but damned if you can actually see a nipple.
(A tutorial and reality check for some media superstars from a sureshot, future superstar!)
First: Please donâ€™t call me a star. I think the term is used too loosely these days. I can call myself a star only when I …
Film Information Scans from 25th July issue
Mumbai: Looks like Aishwarya and Shah Rukhâ€™s seven year old cold war is soon going to end. The two will reportedly be seen in Shah Rukh Khanâ€™s next home production.
According to reports, the clash of the two titans …
THE HOST is a film that people have been talking about a lot during its production and the teasers and posters I’d seen to date had gotten me pretty interestedâ€¦and three years later I was lucky enough to find it in my local video store.
I had hopes for NEW YORK as it was made by the same Kabir Khan who directed the highly compelling and thoroughly researched KABUL EXPRESS in 2006. KABUL EXPRESS gave viewers superb insights in to war torn Afghanistan after 9/11 and the aftermath of the War on Terror. The filmâ€™s ability to remain objective and not take sides brought to life some colorful yet credible characters and merged fact with fiction. This is what set KABUL EXPRESS apart. I was happy to see Yashraj sign Kabir Khan for another film, however, given their ability to make â€œsafeâ€ films in exchange for creative freedom, I was somewhat skeptical. Surprisingly, NEW YORK turns out to be a highly engaging and extremely topical thriller.
Starring: Imran Khan, Shruti Haasan, Sanjay Dutt, Mithun Chakraborty, Danny Denzongpa, Ravi Kissen, Chitrashi
Directed by: Soham Shah
Stars: 1 Â½
Knowing that the director of Luck is the same guy who directed the god awful Kaal, one was always going to tread with some caution. And yet, this film from the Shree Ashtavinayak (the production house that gave another big dud in the form of Kidnap last year) stunningly manages to lower the bar further, coming up with a film that is both silly and revolting.
We know of films that progressively get bad but Luck wastes no time in this regard. So within less than a minute your heart sinks thinking of the torturous hours before you. The very first scene has Sanjay Dutt and a group of men hand-tied and blindfolded running through railway tracks even as a douzen trains go rushing by. Most of the men get killed and only Dutt survives. This is what Soham and Renzil D’Silva’s idea of luck in the film is!
Sample some more scenes meant to show you how Dutt is a lucky chap since childhood. He’s the only surviving kid in a riot or some such thing. In another scene as a child, he jumps from the fourth floor with his friends and ends up being the only one to live. This is the sort of crude definition Soham has for the word luck.
The Bollywood machinery loudly proclaims ownership of its exclusive filmic property or design â€“ that of the masala, and justifies the existence of all its inanities by using an assumed â€˜poor and hungryâ€™ audience who they have to provide weekly escape routes from their lives. Do they even have an idea about their audiences as such?
Which audiences are our films made for? Whose existence do they show? If cinema is a notion of reality, which reality is our cinema a notion of? What the producers in Mumbai do not realize â€“ is that cinema is cinema not because of an innate unidentifiable quality â€“ but because of an easily discernible and well, pretty obvious one â€“ that of permanence, immortality. Cinema is cinema because it will be there, forever. Cinema is cinema because a large part of its charm lies in its ability to allow a viewer from one era to reflect on the peculiarities of another, and then be stung by simultaneous feelings of nostalgia, loss, love, happiness, and confusion. A beautiful confusion.
Films of an era are not merely wedges cut from a cake called entertainment, served to people on Fridays, eaten, and then forgotten. They are symbols. Representations of the moods of the era. Representations of the existence during the era. No film that is called a classic today is identified purely by its quality as cinema, but also because the cultural evidence it stores within itself remains relevant even today. Cinema is cinema, thus, because it contains within itself â€“ a way of life. People tend to emphasize on the importance of narrative, characterization and such, but what they do not often talk about is that the element that affects us most within a film is the odd way of life which the film contains that appeals to us. You love Sholay for adaptation of Leone in India, BlowUp for its trippy England, Taxi Driver for a rain-soaked, back-alley New York, Deewar for on-the-verge-of-explosion Mumbai, Satya for its gritty Mumbai, Rangeela for its dreamy Mumbai, Casablanca for well, Casablanca. In that, a film is an evidence. The point is, all the above films are escapist fantasies. But they are not Buddha within his palace â€“ unaware, unknowing, assuming, bourgeois, blissful in their ignorance â€“ but beneath the tree of salvation â€“ aware, faced by a revelation, reveling in it, dealing with it.
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With a physique his contemporaries could only dream of, Bollywood’s original action hero Dharmendra says he was almost like Salman Khan in his early days when it came to leading life on his own terms.
“Salman reminds me of myself. I was almost like him in my early days. I like his attitude and the way he leads his life. He has a great body too,” the actor said.
Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker has roped in his sister to croon a song that will be picturised on Priyanka Chopra in his forthcoming movie What’s Your Raashee? He hopes audiences appreciate her voice.
“My sister Aslesha sang the song Aa le chal for my film. I could’ve brought her vocals out earlier, but there’s a right time for everything. In What’s Your Raashee? I had the right situation for Aslesha,” Gowariker told IANS.
In the last few years, a wave of fresh ideas by a new crop of directors has taken Bollywood by storm. And amongst these directors, four seem to have carved their own niche.
So while Siddharth Anand and Tarun Mansukhani have masala films on their CV, Sriram Raghavan and Raj Kumar Gupta boast of coming up with more experimental cinema. Together, they make for a heady mix and not surprisingly, the quartet eagerly gets down to discussing the current state of the industry and its transformation.
Raj, who made the critically acclaimed Aamir, feels that the idea is to stay patient as change takes its own time. “Change can’t be brought about in one day or a year. But the process has started and the last one year’s films spoke volumes about the forthcoming change,” he says.
Have you heard the news? Avatar is going to make the blind see. It’ll stop you catching swine flu. It’ll make you irresistible to potential partners, rich beyond your wildest dreams and, heck, probably immortal.
OK, nobody from 20th Century Fox has actually come out and said that yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The hype surrounding Avatar has been slowly building for years now. This weekend, a 25-minute Avatar preview was shown at Comic-Con by director James Cameron. 21 August is going to be named Avatar Day, and it’ll be marked by every Imax cinema in the world (or as many as Fox can commandeer) showing 15 minutes of Avatar to fans for free. The Avatar videogame and action figure set will also be unveiled. And that’s all happening four months before Avatar is even released (it’s out in December). How can Avatar manage to ramp up expectations even further in the ensuing months?
James Cameron seems like a man seldom troubled by self-doubt. Every time he’s nudged the movie industry forward with films such as Terminator 2 or Titanic â€“ or women’s rights back with films like True Lies â€“ he’s done so with a swaggering, cocksure, king-of-the-world confidence. And rightly so, you might say, given his track record.
A few days after the Taliban were toppled in 2001 I was in Kabul. The city was jubilant and full of hope for the future, and I remember talking to some laughing teenage girls in the street. One was excited because she could now go back to school. Another sang terrible disco songs and showed me dance steps she had been practising for five years in secret. A third debated whether to take off her burka. “Is it safe enough yet?” she asked me. “For five years, I lived inside this prison.”
Eight years later I returned, but the Afghanistan I found was far from jubilant. Despite the money poured into reconstruction and development, it is one of the five poorest countries in the world. There is 40% unemployment â€“ nearly 80% in some parts of the country. A third of children under five are malnourished. Life expectancy is 43 â€“ and it is one of only three countries in the world where women die earlier than men.
I arrived to meet women before the presidential elections next month and to talk about a new law, which if brought in, could have drastic repercussions for women. The Shia Family Planning law was signed last March by President Hamid Karzai in an attempt, many believe, to appease powerful mullahs. The Afghan constitution allows Shias to have a separate family law from the Sunni majority based on traditional Shia jurisprudence, and some think the law is linked to the August elections and the Shia electorate who would have to abide by it (they could form up to 20% of the electorate).
The proposed law led to furious protests from women’s groups. It sanctioned marital rape and brought back Taliban-era restrictions on women by outlining when a woman could leave her house and the circumstances in which she has to have sex with her husband; Shia woman would be allowed to leave home alone “for a legitimate purpose” only which the law does not define, and could refuse sex with their husbands only when ill or menstruating.
JK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah resigns
(Lo bhaiyya self respecting banda gaya, chichori ke chakkar mein. Koi fayeda nahi Omar bhai. Mehbooba is frustrated after she removed support but could not get back in power. The whole nation saw her sophistication in the assembly as she threw the mike)
Srinagar, July 28 (PTI) On a day of dramatic developments, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today resigned after a senior PDP leader alleged in the state assembly that he was involved in the 2006 sex scandal, a charge dismissed by him as false.
An emotional Omar drove to Governor N N Vohra’s residence at 3 PM shortly after announcing in the assembly that he will tender his resignation and stay out of office till his name is cleared.