NAACHGAANA
  • Gloriously vague, but not dismissable, Sandy’s views on JTHJ

    Saw the film today at Inox, was nearly 55-60 per cent full. The feeling I have is that the film is doing reasonably well, but clearly is no blockbuster success. Personally I quite liked the film and I believe it will age well. I thought Shah Rukh was wonderful, very consistent and in character throughtout. This is one thing I have to hand him compared to the other Khans. As an actor I believe he has been the most effective and he tends to pitch his characters correctly, something which Aamir has not managed to do all the time. The story too worked for me. I didnt find it puerile as some others did…perhaps my expectations were lower. I found the story perfectly plausible, but

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  • Sandy’s Review Of The Dirty Picture

    The Dirty Picture Starring: Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, Emraan Hashmi, Tusshar Kapoor Director: Milan Luthria By Sandhya Iyer Ekta Kapoor and Milan Luthria, as producer and director respectively, get many things right about ‘The Dirty Picture’. Firstly, this was a smart subject to chose. When you make a bio pic on Silk Smitha, automatically a large part of the film’s screen time can legitimately belong to the lead’s heaving, bountiful breasts, that are captured in all its glory through its running time. Vidya Balan’s casting is another master-stroke. The actress, though a very attractive personality, has never been viewed as a sex symbol., and with her roles in ‘Paa’ and ‘Parineeta’, she’s always had a halo of respectability around her. ‘The Dirty Picture’ subverts this.

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  • The Dark Room and The World Of Nagaraj – Share your favourite story by R K Narayan

    http://sandyi.blogspot.com/2011/10/r-k-narayans-dark-room-and-world-of.html Very few readers will dispute the talent that R K Narayan was. He was the first Indian writer in English to acquire such a name for himself both among native as well as foreigners readers. V. S Naipaul has written how his image of India was entirely shaped by reading R K Narayan’s books and all that happens in Malgudi, the fictional small-town in South India that the author set his stories in. His tales came with a parochial delight, yet encompassed a world of human emotions and characters. This was enchanting as much as it was universal in appeal. Still, every now and then one hears of a not-so-flattering comment about Narayan’s prose. At times it cannot be completely dismissed as it comes

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  • Sandy’s review of Mausam

    An uninspiring Beauty Mausam Starring: Shahid Kapur, Sonam Kapoor, Aditi Sharma Director: Pankaj Kapur Stars: **1/2 Much was expected from Pankaj Kapur, given his own credentials as an intense actor and the meaningful films he’s been a part of. The promos of Mausam, though a bit affected, did evoke some curiosity, given that the film seemed to have been put together with a fair bit of effort, ensuring that it is a treat for the eyes. But this is one of the prime reasons for the film to also become unbearable to watch after a point. Only a psychologist can perhaps analyse why Kapur might be so obsessed with framing pretty frames all the time. His whole focus seems to be to make a good-looking

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  • Vital or fatal – Which way will ‘Ra. One’ go?

    http://expressbuzz.com/entertainment/news/vital-or-fatal-which-way-will-%E2%80%98ra-one%E2%80%99-go/314217.html Sandhya Iyer Express News Service Last Updated : 16 Sep 2011 01:27:19 PM IST It happens once or twice in a decade that one witnesses a real epic, dream project. These ventures are generally so high-budget and so crazily-hyped that while under production they are viewed with a mix of curiosity, hope and skepticism. As can be expected, a dream project always involves a top star or a veteran filmmaker, attempting something grand and unforgettable. It’s natural that every famous artist in his lifetime should desire to create an extraordinary piece of work, that posterity can remember him for.

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  • The Lion King (3 D) review

    Sandhya Iyer There is a great deal of nostalgia one attaches with The Lion King – Walt Disney’s animation film of 1994 that was hailed as an instant classic when it released. Over the years, the spell-binding music, story, characters have all became part of cinematic lore. The movie now returns with a 3 D makeover, and if this ends up introducing a fresh new generation to The Lion King – the effort would be completely worth it. All it takes are a couple of scenes for a first-time watcher to realise he/she’s watching a great film. The rapier sharp wit, the nuanced characters, the simple but universal story-line — all make a deep and profound impression.

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  • Whimpers more than roars – Sandy’s review of Singham

    Singham Director: Rohit Shetty Starring: Ajay Devgan, Kajal Aggarwal, Prakash Raj, Anant Jog, Sachin Khedekar, Sonali Kulkarni Rating: ** Hindi Sandhya Iyer Even considering that South remakes are in vogue and have given Bollywood huge hits by way of Ghajini and Wanted, the announcement of Singham did seem somewhat odd. The Tamil film that starred Suriya in the lead (he was the hero in the Ghajini original as well) was purely a showcase for the lead actor who has become a rage down South in the last few years. As is the case with such endeavours where the star is the point of the film, the Tamil Singham peddled an extremely workaday story that somehow passed muster thanks to the lead star’s appeal and a

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  • Two beautiful songs from Shreya Goshal. Singham and Nauka Dubi

    The first is from Singham. Music is by Marathi composers Atul-Ajay who are extremely popular after their score for Natrang – the National award winning film. This song is so lilting and the antara is one of the most sweetest Ive heard in a long time. And Shreya is easily the nightingale of this generation. The second song is one of my favourites. It is from Nauka Dubi (Kashmakash), Manwa. Such pathos and melody.

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  • Hit Melegi Dobara – Sandy’s review of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

    Director: Zoya Akhtar Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Kalki Stars:***1/2 Sandhya Iyer Zoya Akhtar’s latest, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – after a promising debut with Luck By Chance – is a film driven by atmospherics and chemistry of its lead character rather than any real drama. But the tone of the film is so subtle, the direction so seamless, the texture so unique and warm, you don’t necessarily miss the lack of dramatic movement for a very long time. The film holds your attention, thanks to its freshness and main players. There’s only one moment in the beginning where you worry whether Zoya might have brought her heavy-handedness to the filmn (displayed in Luck By Chance) – wherein she tends to

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  • ‘Market reality is the only reality’ – Sandy’s interview with Mahesh Bhatt

    Excerpt Mahesh Bhatt is all about quotable quotes. You ask him about the blood and gore in Murder 2 and he simply says ‘That which bleeds, leads’ The Bhatts might have been butchered by the critics but the boxoffice figures have come as a vindication, and they can’t stop talking about it. Ask him about the blatant commercialism his banner seems to have embraced and he says he has stopped pandering to the soul. ” We are carering to the senses now. We are not deluding ourselves. I’ve always said I am a prostitute standing with a rate card, a circus clown, a snake charmer. We are all about spectacles. Cinema is about spectacles ,” he says. Sandhya Iyer chats up with Mahesh Bhatt and

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  • A rare film with conscience (Deepa Gahlot) – review of Chillar Party

    Directed by Vikas Bahl & Nitesh Tiwari Cast: Naman ]ain, Divij, Sanath, Vedant, Aarav, Chinmay, Sherya, Rohan, Visshesh and Irfan and others Rating: Three stars There used to be—still is—a Children’s Film Society of India that was supposed to make films for kids. For years the CFSI has been plodding away, with its dismally low budgets, making wholesome moral-flaunting films, usually too boring for its target audience. If the CFSI had bigger budgets and/or a star like Salman Khan to back their films, then Chillar Party is probably what it would come up with. Let’s not forget kids in India now get high-powered entertainment from Hollywood (the last Harry Potter movie comes up next week) and are used to sophisticated animation and 3D. So a

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  • Delhi Belly and the recurring theme of retribution

    Sandhya Iyer This is something that occured to me when I saw the film, but it took me a while to really gather my thoughts and pen it down The fact that this Akshat Varma penned script, stylishly directed by Abhinay Deo is a tightly-woven, smartly executed one is something all reviews have agreed. Varma – probably on account of having studied script-writing abroad – follows one of the essential rules of filmmaking – not to waste details. Every scene and reference in small or big ways adds to the development of the film – sooner or later. The story by itself is not novel, but it is this adherence to a simple scripting rule that makes this mad-cap, irreverent flick seem instantly fresh and

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  • It seems Delhi Belly is on its way to be a cult film – Komal Nahata

    http://www.koimoi.com/box-office/delhi-belly-23-crore-bbuddah-6-crore/ Delhi Belly had a very good weekend at the box-office. The Aamir Khan Productions’ film made a total of Rs. 23.25 crore (all-India net collections) in its first weekend (July 1 – 3, 2011). The Imran Khan starrer had a good opening on Friday (Rs. 6.25 cr) and collections picked up on Saturday (Rs. 7.5 cr) and Sunday (Rs. 9.5 cr). Some theatres saw packed houses even on Monday! It seems that ‘Delhi Belly’ is on its way to be a cult film for the youth. Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, on the other hand, did not fare well, as predicted by Koimoi.com. After taking a slow start on Friday, the collections barely inched up on Saturday and Sunday. The Amitabh Bachchan-starrer made Rs. 6.65

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  • Outstanding, outrageous – Mayank Shekhar – 4 stars (Delhi Belly)

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Mayank-Shekhar-s-review-Delhi-Belly/Article1-716183.aspx Delhi Belly Director: Abhinay Deo Actors: Imran Khan, Vir Das, Kunal Roy Kapoor Rating: **** Delhi Belly, most would know, is a fairly common bowel problem. Usually firangi, low-budget backpackers get these loosies, when they hang out in Third World countries (like ours), where their food and water supposedly comes mixed with 10 per cent shit. It’s called the Traveler’s Diarrhea. Which is what Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) is apparently suffering from. You’re not surprised. Along with his two lazy buddies, Tashi (Imran Khan) and Arun (Vir Das), this fat beardo lives in a serious dump. Even the apartment’s ceiling could collapse with gentle persuasion, it seems. The room should be healthy habitat for rodents and insects. Water’s in short supply. Nitin relieves himself

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  • ‘One of the smartest scripts to hit the horizon’ – Nikhat Kazmi (Toi) 4 stars

    Critic’s Rating: **** http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/moviereview/9049864.cms Cast: Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Shehnaz Treasurywala, Poorna Jagannathan, Vijay RaazDirection: Abhinay DeoGenre: ComedyDuration: 1 hour 36 minutesAvg Readers Rating: Rate this movie 1 (Poor) 1.5 (Below average) 2 (Average) 2.5 (Above average) 3 (Good) 3.5 (Good +) 4 (Very good) 4.5 (Very good +) 5 (Outstanding) Smart and intelligent entertainer Story: Three young professionals who happen to be roommates — Tashi (Imraan Khan), Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapur), Arup (Vir Das) — inadvertently become couriers for a cache of diamonds, smuggled in by a Russian gangster. The diamonds have to be delivered to a local gangster, Vijay Raaz. Unfortunately, a strange mix-up causes a weird package to be delivered to him instead. This is the beginning of the

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  • Of motion and emotions …Sandy’s review of Delhi Belly

    Of motion and emotions Direction – Abhinay Deo Starring: Imran Khan, Vir Das, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Poorna Jagannath, Shenaz Treasuryvala Stars: ***1/2 Hindi/English Sandhya Iyer This tightly-woven film gets to business rightaway with the strains of Saigal Blues (excellent) in the title credits – as the camera takes you nook by nook through the bachelor pad of the three room mates – Tashi (Imran), Nitin (Kunal) and Arun (Vir). The house is in a terrifying mess – the roof is crumbling, the tap water runs unattended, crumbs of food lie scattered as smug cockroaches abound. This setting itself offers some lush possibilities for humour, before each of these characters get into problems of their own.

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  • Twice, not so nice – Sandy’s review of Double Dhamaal

    Director: Indra Kumar Starring: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Riteish Deshmukh, Mallika Sherawat, Kagana Ranaut, Jaaved Jaffery Stars: **1/2 Double Dhamaal, a sequel to the well-received Dhamaal, that seemed uproariously funny in the promos turns out quite tame in the end. Full credit to those who cut the trailers smartly, but the film itself relies too much on the regular tricks and centres around a not-so-interesting plot-line. Of course, bearing in mind how low the bar for comedies is in Bollywood, Double Dhamaal at least has a semblance of a story and structure. And Indra Kumar — even at his worst — knows how to deliver a fairly passable film. The director has had a terrific record with romantic comedies like Dil and Beta, after which

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  • ‘I think Delhi Belly has a fair chance of being a hit’

    Imran Khan believes that Delhi Belly is once in a life-time movie and he would have given anything to be a part of the film. Sandhya Iyer chats up the actor You seem to be really enjoying yourself with Delhi Belly judging from the promos… Yes, it was very enjoyable thanks to my two co-stars, who are very fine actors and cool people to be around with. Personally as an actor, how important is Delhi Belly to you?

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  • Heartbreak House – Sandy’s review of West Is West

    Director: Andy DeEmmony Starring: Om Puri, Aqib Khan, Linda Bassett, Ila Arun, Vijay Raaz Rating: *** English In East Is East we saw a harried Jehangir Khan aka George (Om Puri) with his dysfunctional Anglo Pakistani family, running his shop along with his firang wife Ella (Linda Bassett), and trying fruitlessly to instill a sense of Muslim rootedness and tradition in his 7 children. The family lives in Salford, UK in lower middle class circumstances. Twelve years later, the makers have come up with the sequel to the British comic-drama, where Jehangir is disappointed over most of his children turning completely English. The period is still 1970s. His last hope rests with his youngest son, Sajid (Aqib Khan). He is keen that the teenager should

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  • First Day First Show: Book Review

    Author: Anupama Chopra Pages: 376 Publisher: Penguin Price: 499 It wasn’t exactly fashionable to be a film journalist when a 20 something Anupama Chopra set her mind to write on Bollywood. Her intellectually inclined family was taken aback by her decision. Even more bemused was the India Today editor Arun Poorie who took her interview. “So you came back from America with a journalism degree to write about Bollywood?’ he asked incredulously, giving her the job anyway. Through the 90s and mid-2000, she wrote extensively on Hindi cinema, covering various aspects of Bombay’s dream factory. In the course of this time, she also wrote two books, one on the epochal Sholay and the other, her all time favourite film, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Currently, as

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  • Ram Gopal Varma’s reaction to D K Bose – ‘It’s brilliant!’

    I thank Aamir for forcing us to grow up: RGV http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/I-thank-Aamir-for-forcing-us-to-grow-up-RGV/articleshow/8771362.cms Priyanka Dasgupta, TNN | Jun 8, 2011, 10.46am IST After singing “Baba badnaam hui” on his micro blogging site, RGV says the explicitness of the lyrics of “DK Bose” will unleash a new genre of films. Trust Ram Gopal Varma to come up with a unique way of expressing his opinion. With everyone sharing their opinions on the Baba Ramdev’s actions, RGV has come up with his own take. The director, who is as known for his controversies as his movies, had earlier written in his micro blogging site that he didn’t know who Ramdev was since he was not into Babas.

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  • ‘I was struggling at the fringes’ – Sandy’s interview with Ram Sampat

    The success of D K Bose and Delhi Belly’s soundtrack has elated music composer Ram Sampat. He talks to Sandhya Iyer about getting a new lease of life, and takes on director Anubhav Sinha for making remarks about Aamir Khan The first time one really heard of Ram Sampat was when he took on the might of the Roshans and dragged them to court over a plaigirism issue. Rakesh Roshan had to cough up four crores for the Krazzy 4 number, which angered a section of Bollywood hitherto not used to being held accountable. Though Sampat was a known name in advertising circles, the period after the controversy proved to be an especially trying one for him. “I was out of work for a while.

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  • Ready, unsteady – Sandy’s review

    The first half bored me terribly, while I was okay about the second, even liking some of it. The film feels harmless while you are watching it, but if you do a rethink, the utter stupidity and pointlessness of it hits you hard. So on hindsight – though I didn’t exactly hate the film – I found it difficult to be kind to it in a review. Director: Aneez Bazmi Starring: Salman Khan, Asin, Paresh Rawal, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sharat Saxena, Akhilendra Mishra, Anuradha Patel, Arya Babbar Stars: ** Ready is exactly the kind of film that gets made when a lead star is going through a lucky purple patch in his career. The script then moves along with a smug consciousness of having a superstar

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