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Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set

Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set Yes, it’s a pun. I mean you should get the set, buy the book, or rather, books. They look deceptively thin when ensconced in the hardcover box, but provide a substantial reading once you pull them out. Book one is about Iconic Dates, with Raj Kapoor and Nargis on the cover, under an umbrella. The author reminds us about the calendar of events that begin with Raja Harishchandra’s releas...

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ

Wonder-dancer AJ stakes claim as India’s answer to MJ Amit Jadav, aka AJ, a Mumbai prodigy, is a singer-dancer who can leave you wonder-struck with moves that are leaves right out of Michael Jackson (MJ)’s work-book, including the moonwalk and spin. At the performance on 07 May at the Birla Matushri Sabhagar, South Mumbai’s prestigious hall, a packed auditorium found their jaws dropping when he wowed them with act after act, syncing hundreds of moves with video-projection of...

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President

Gangubai Kathiawadi, Review: Guess what is the oldest profession in the world, and meet its President Gangubai, a variation of Ganga, is the most common name of Maharashtrian maid-servants in Mumbai. Ganga becoming Gangu is quite normal, while the Bai here refers to her designation as maid. An engaging film was made in 2013, with the maid as the central character, only it was spelt phonetically more correct, Gangoobai. In other parts of the country, Bai could mean a courtesan, a classical sin...

Thappad, Review: This slap is going to cost you dear

Thappad, Review: This slap is going to cost you dear A simple, significant, timely and relevant story line might be too thin to stretch into a full-length movie. Having settled for such a plot, the options would include spreading the narrative thinly across the pages of a tight screenplay, or padding it up with sub-plots and characters that might not be vital to the theme. Thappad (Slap) opts for the latter choice, and, in the process, dilutes its impact. What emerges is a well-made film that...

Malaal, Review: Tragic love saga, with cause for introspection, and some regret

Malaal, Review: Tragic love saga, with cause for introspection, and some regret Sanjay Leela Bhansali, producer-director of many a box-office mojo-maker and purveyor of a certain kind of stylised cinema, picks a 2004 Tamil film and sets it in 1998, the year of Titanic, and his own Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. If you can take a hint, three in this case, you will know that this is going to be a romantic tale of a disparate couple, with a tragic ending. That he casts two debutants and asks another d...

Magnum Opus Padmavati adds a, drops i, eyes release on 25th January

Magnum Opus Padmavati adds a, drops i, eyes release on 25th January It will now be called and spelt Padmaavat, from its original moniker of Padmavati. The deletion of the i is in deference to the wishes of many Indians who hold the folklore of Rani Padmavati very dear, and would not allow a film that shows the actor playing her dancing, midriff exposed, to be released. Protests led to a delay of eight weeks in rescheduling the release, and even now, entire states, like Rajasthan (where the st...

Gabbar is Back, Review: No, he’s not

Gabbar is Back, review: No, he’s not In his first incarnation, he was called Ramana. When the Tamil film was remade in Telugu, they called it Tagore. Then came the Kannada version, called Vishnu Sena (deriving its title from the lead actor, the late VishnuVardhan). Now, 13 years after the first film, we have a fourth version, called Gabbar is Back, starring Akshay Kumar, and hitting cinemas 40 years after Sholay, which starred late Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh, the ultimate villain. Gabba...
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