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  • 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
  • Chashme BaddoorCast: Ali Zafar, Siddharth, Taapsee Pannu, Divyendu Sharma

    Direction: David Dhawan

    Rating: ***

    ‘Chashme Baddoor’ is exactly like any other film David Dhawan film, it is a good time pass. There is no clever humour but there is enough comedy to assure a few genuine laughs.

    Omi (Divyendu Sharma), Jai (Siddharth) and Siddharth (Ali Zafar) are three close friends who fall for the same girl. While the other two are just looking to have fun, Siddharth is genuinely in love with the new next door neighbor. Omi and Jai decide to play villains when they realize that their best friend has managed to win over the girl that they both had set their eyes on. Confusion and misadventures ensue as we try to figure out a way to get the lovers back together.

    ‘Chashme Baddooor’ cannot boast of any smart writing, the comedy is mostly situational. The plot seldom digresses from the point except to include the sub-plot about Joseph (Rishi Kapoor) - Josephine (Lillete Dubey) romance. The problem, however is

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Chashme Baddoor
  • A still from Raja HarishchandraA still from Raja HarishchandraTurning 100 is special, and it takes on an altogether different connotation when it comes to the showbiz. Our great Indian song and dance factory, Bollywood, is 100. And the Indian media is all set to celebrate it

    We have decided to start at the very beginning. By cashing in on a list of firsts put together by Abhishek Raghunath in Forbes India.

    The list gives you five firsts. There are no prizes for guessing the first full length film – it was Raja Harishchandra by Dadasaheb Phalke.

    Watch this video if you want to know more about Dadasaheb Phalke

    However, the list has some interesting facts. The first instance of a movie running into trouble with the censors happened in 1921, with a flick called Bhakt Vidur. The movie was also banned in Madras and Karachi.

    The very first on screen kiss was shared between AVP Menon and Padmini in a Malayalam flick, Marthandavarma in 1933, which hit the screens just a couple of months before Devika Rani kissed Himanshu Rai in Karma.

    The first

    Read More »from 5 Firsts Of Indian Cinema
  • HimmatwalaCast: Ajay Devgn, Tamannaah, Mahesh Manjrekar, Paresh Rawal

    Direction: Sajid Khan

    Rating: **

    The problem with Sajid Khan’s ‘Himmatwala’ is the director can’t make-up his mind whether he wants to make a spoof or whether he wants to recreate the nostalgia of the 1980s. The film thus hangs in a precarious balance vacillating between the two extremes.

    Ravi (Ajay Devgn) is a street fighter who discovers that his widowed mother and sister are in dire straits in his native village. He returns to Ramnagar to avenge the death of his father and seek justice for the people of his village. Sher Singh’s (Mahesh Manjrekar) daughter is equally spoiled and walks around the village in very small dresses, brandishing a whip. The spoilt brat soon falls for Himmatwala Ravi and is then swishing around in salwar-kameez plotting her father’s downfall.

    A very typical Bollywood revenge saga like this one in the hands of a better director could have become a laughter riot. Sajid Khan however, hopelessly

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Himmatwala
  • When Holi played a spoilsport

    The rape scene in ‘Damini’ or Gabbar Singh’s attack in ‘Sholay’, here’s how Holi played a supporting role

    Compared to Dushera’s good-over-evil theme, the festival of colours is considered less dramatic and more convenient for plot development leading to the most crucial scene in the film. For decades, Bollywood has used the festival to conjure images of passion, love, happiness and even violence to some extent. Indian Cinema’s first tryst with the festival came in ‘Aan’(1950s) when the director went gung-ho about exploring Holi’s cinematic potential. From V Shantaram’s Navrag to Vijay Anand’s Guide, Holi has been evocatively to display the emotions of love and joy. But the festival has also been used to break the stereotypes thereby using the festival to darken the plot. Here’s our list.

    Damini: This is perhaps the most disturbing scene associated with the colourful festival. Director Raj Kumar Santoshi uses Holi as the dramatic turning point in his film where the son of a high-societyRead More »from When Holi played a spoilsport
  • Cast: Bipasha Basu, Nawazuddin Siddique, Doyel Dhawan

    Direction: Suparn Verma

    Rating: **

    Suparn Verma makes sure that he has incorporated every horror film cliché in ‘Aatma’. The film’s linear narrative follows a very predictable plot trajectory that hardly delivers on the thrill quotient.

    Maya (Bipasha Basu) is a single mother, just divorced from her abusive husband Abhay (Nawazuddin Siddique). Abhay dies in an accident and his ghost is haunting Maya because he wants his daughter Nia (Doyel Dhawan) back. What follows is a very obvious series of events where anyone who offends the daughter meets a gruesome end. Maya has to battle with not only the cruel intentions of her dead husband but she also has to fight for her daughter’s life.

    I understand that horror is a difficult genre to get right but we can’t expect special effects to compensate for the lack of a good script. The story progresses with very little thought to character development, actors are introduced so that they can

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Aatma

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