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  • Ek Thi Daayan spooks youCasting: Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Huma Qureshi, Kalki Koechlin

    Direction: Kannan Iyer

    Rating: ****

    To be honest, I was a bit weary when walking in for ‘Ek Thi Daayan’, another Bollywood horror flick and the director Kannan Iyer among his other noticeable work had co-written RGV’s ‘Daud’. However, what lured me to watch the film was the fact that it boasted of some awesome collaboration; Konkona Sen Sharma playing the female lead, music by Vishal Bharadwaj, lyrics by Gulzar and the original short story had been written by Mukul Sharma (Konkona’s father).

    Konkona is back on the big screen after a brief hiatus and she has just got better. She had said in her interview that she had enjoyed playing a dark, twisted character and it is quite obvious. The way her character evolves from the kindly governess, it is like watching each layer peel away to reveal a completely new layer of the talented actress. Konkona is a dusky seductress – gentle and vicious at the same time, essaying

    Read More »from Yahoo! India Movies: Ek Thi Daayan
  • Emraan Hashmi is an antithesis of his over-the-top screen image. In real life, he has a wicked sense of humour, for only those who get it. When he debuted in 2003, critics were quick to write him off due to his non-hero looks and his choice of films. It has been a long journey and not a smooth one for him since his ‘Murder’ days. From a mass hero catering to mostly frontbenchers to bankable star super-hit potboilers, he has coursed the long mile. His performance as Jogi Parmar in 'Shanghai' made the critics sit up and take notice of him. With Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Ek Thi Daayan', Emraan's filmi graph has taken a new turn as he stars along with Huma Quereshi, Kalki and Konkona Sen Sharma. In a candid chat, the star tells us about his role and why he wants to get rid of his ‘kisser’ image.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    How did ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ happen?
    I was drawn to the story and the subject, written by Mukul which was adapted by Vishal. It was fascinating because thematically

    Read More »from 'Ek Thi Daayan doesn't propagate witchcraft’
  • Huma QureshiBANGALORE: In the city for her forthcoming film ‘Ek Thi Daayan’, Huma Qureshi is full of optimism. Not only is she soaking in her new-found stardom after the phenomenal success of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, her enthusiasm and positive approach is infectious.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Q. Some would say you had a dream debut with ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. How does it feel to get critical acclaim for your very first role?

    A. It’s very strange, before ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ released everyone was telling me that it’s not a dream debut because you are there with three other actors and it’s not a typical hero-heroine film. Would you rather have a debut like that? And today, it’s very nice and it’s very gratifying that you are asking me that it does seem like a dream debut now. These things you cannot really plan or say, you just go with an instinct.

    When I came to Mumbai, I just knew one thing that there were certain people who I looked up to and wanted to work with. Right on top of that list was

    Read More »from Huma Qureshi Unplugged
  • Ayushmann and Kunaal in 'Nautanki Saala'Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Pooja Salvi

    Direction: Rohan Sippy

    Rating: ***

    While walking in for ‘Nautanki Saala’ I was wondering what was Rohan Sippy’s claim to fame; ‘Bluffmaster’ is the only movie on his filmography that had some recall value. The film essentially worked because the film’s male leads (Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh) shared awesome comic timing. Unfortunately, Ayushmann Khurrana and Kunaal Roy Kapur have no such chemistry in ‘Nautanki Saala’.

    Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) is a bumbling idiot - abandoned by the love of his life, declared a ‘loser’ by his doting grandmother with nothing more than a few failed suicide attempts to boast of. The thing is even to play a successful dimwit, you need some kind of character – imagine Govinda in ‘Partner’. Kunal Roy Kapur is regrettably inept at playing this role with either style or zest.

    Ram Parmar aka RP (Ayushmann Khurrana), the protagonist is a compulsive do-gooder who is the director and the main

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Nautanki Saala
  • Konkona Sen SharmaClad in a grey cotton saree Konkona Sen Sharma looks completely poised as she takes on questions about her forthcoming film ‘Ek Thi Daayan’. As we settle down for a quick chat in a dimly lit auditorium, Konkona talks about playing wicked for the first time and how it is to balance motherhood and acting.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    Q. You are doing a Hindi film after a two-year break. Isn’t ‘Ek Thi Daayan’ an unusual choice?

    A. From my point of view, it was very hard to say no to this film because the original short story was written by my dad (which was just a 3 page story, it’s the essence of the film) and also there is Vishal Bharadwaj. Which actress wouldn’t want to work with Vishal Bharadwaj? I have worked with him before and I really like his sensibility. And Balaji is producing this film; as far as scary movies are concerned they have done ‘Ragini MMS’ which has been quite successful in terms of horror. And then there is Huma, Kalki and Emraan. So I think altogether it was a

    Read More »from Interview: Konkona Sen Sharma
  • Pic Courtesy: Dharma ProductionsThe universal appeal of Bollywood is quite evident. War correspondent Jason Burke said, "It seemed that the greatest bulwark against the resurgent Taliban was not the US-led 'Operation Mountain Thrust' but the extraordinary popularity of Bollywood soundtracks." During his stint in Afghanistan, he recalled the frustration of the Afghan fighters in Tora Bora when their shortwave radios tuned into "the drums and the flutes of local traditional music" and their complete "joy if they found Bollywood soundtracks".

    Joyce Mariel, spokesperson for RTL2 in Germany, said, "Despite the cultural differences that separate people from the West with people from India, there are the feelings of joy, pain and passion which bind people together and moreover, people can relate to human failings and feelings which are the same everywhere."

    The response to the Bollywood 'effect' can be understood in context to globalization. Bollywood has internalized and internationalized the film-making process in its

    Read More »from Why NRIs love Bollywood

  • While the villains have transformed through the decades when it comes to plotting, sadly their magnificiant lairs have gone missing. Here's why

    In the last scene of Rowdy Rathore, the Hindi remake of 2006's Telugu hit Vikramarkudu, Akshay Kumar goes to Chambal-like hideout of the villain to rescue his family. Apart from the sassy nautanki girls and loud dialogues, the film is a tribute to the 80s with its raunchy and raucous content featuring a done-to-death plot, voluptuous heroine and a villian's lair which can compete with Gabbar's from Sholay. Well, almost.

    The 70s and 80s were the time when each Bollywood villain competed with the other when it came to having a hideout which resembled a space ship or may be a house in Pluto, the more imaginative, the better for the art department The lair is a delineated space for malevolence and was given meticulous detailing to amplify of his power and strength of the evil as the hero's nemesis. Perhaps, this is why in Karan

    Read More »from The villain’s change of heart

  • In the 1950s, Indian cinema saw the emergence of neo-realism films which were perceived as vehicles of social change

    A still from Ray's 'Pather Panchali'

    While most film historians believe that the birth of parallel cinema took place in 1969 with Mrinal Sen’s FDC financed 'Bhuvan Shome', the informal foundation had already taken place 20 years ago when a graphic designer began making a low-budget realistic film about the struggles of a poor family in a West Bengal village in the 1920s, with a team comprising a cinematographer who hadn't operated a video camera before and a cast ranging from an 80-year-old thespian who hadn't appeared on screen for 30 years and a five-year old making his debut in the lead role. With 'Pather Panchali' in 1955, Satyajit Ray marked his entry into the film world. This period saw the emergence of neo-realism which was closer to reality and early examples of films include Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar (1946), Ritwik Ghatak’s Nagarik (1952), and Bimal Roy’s Do Bigha Zameen (1953)

    A still from 'Bhumika'What was common

    Read More »from Tracing Parallel cinema
  • A still from Paresh Mokashi's 'Harishchandrachi Factory'

    Phalke’s own history serves as an exciting backdrop in terms of understanding the man who is the founder of Indian Cinema

    The man who laid the foundation of Indian cinema had died a dejected man and was probably the first Indian to taste success and failure in the show business. Phalke’s films, as was the norm during that time, were based on mythological characters and were instant successes. The audience, who till now, were only privy to the foreign films that would be screened in the theatres. “No much is known about Phalke’s early life and I , like most people, was oblivious to his eccentricities, “ says Paresh Mokashi, the director of the acclaimed Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory. “While researching about his first film, I came across interesting trivia about him and go to know the man who was a sucker for adventure.”

    At the age of 15, Phalke left his home at Tryambkeshwar near Nashik and travelled all the way to Bombay to enroll himself in J J School of Arts. After that,

    Read More »from Decoding Dadasaheb Phalke

  • 'The Life of Christ' captivated Phalke so much that he gave up everything at the age of 40 to make the film

    On April 21, 1913, the editors of selective newspapers along with some imminent personalities of Bombay queued up at the now defunct Olympia Theatre to witness a phenomenon, which eventually marked the birth of Indian Cinema. The 40-minute long film was called Raja Harishchandra and the plot was based on a mythological character. Not having witnessed anything of this sort earlier, the film was a success when it was opened to the public on May 3, 1913 heralding the era of silent films in Indian Cinema.

    Passion of the Christ
    But this wasn’t a mean feat to accomplish but so captivated was Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (Dadasaheb Phalke) with the silent film, The Life of Christ, in 1910 that he decided to give up his career as a printing press owner and travel to London to learn and procure film making equipments. In the 1917 issue of Navayug, Phalke writes, “While witnessing Christ on

    Read More »from Raja Harishchandra’s French connection

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