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firstcut - Mon 20 Oct, 2014 3:53 PM IST - Actor Rajkummar Rao, who won his first National Award this year for his role in Ha…

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  • Veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor on his films, Indian cinema, and why he is still prefers a pen over keyboard

    “I like the romance of the pen making its mark on the paper,” says Pankaj Kapoor as we are ushered into his office in Versova which is devoid of any latest gadgets. “When people see me writing, they advice me use an Ipad or a laptop as it is easier. I don’t belong to that world but I am trying to cope up and keep pace with it.” Dressed in casuals, he sips a cup tea and politely offers us refreshments as we sit for a quick chat about his upcoming film ‘Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola’. His directorial debut 'Mausam' may have failed to impress the audience but Pankaj Kapoor is still unfazed with the failure. "I think the film was 15 to 20 minutes longer for today's audience," he feels. At 60, the actor is choosy about the characters he portrays and is a self-acknowledged stickler for perfection. After graduating from the National School of Drama, Pankaj came to the limelight with Gandhi

    Read More »from ‘Still nervous while facing the camera’
  • Rajdhani Express castCasting: Leander Paes, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Jimmy Shergill, Sayali Bhagat

    Direction: Ashok Kohli

    Rating: .5

    There are a lot of stories that go wrong, that don’t play out the way the director conceives it, that has drawbacks that pull down the pace of the film but this one is so disjointed and incoherent that it makes you wonder what was Ashok Kohli thinking when he decided to make ‘Rajdhani Express’.

    Actually it took me a while to wrap my mind around the actual premise, if any. A fashion designer (Sudhanshu Pandey), an item girl (Pooja Bose), a scriptwriter (Priyanshu Chatterjee) and an impostor (Leander Paes) are all aboard the Rajdhani Express. Since they are all traveling in the same compartment, they decide to get drunk and play a game where they will reveal each other’s secrets. Each secret reinforces every Bollywood stereotype possible – the item girl has sex for money, so much so, that she starts soliciting her co-passengers, the fashion designer says he is gay but has no

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Rajdhani Express
  • Movie stills: Dabangg 2Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Prakash Raj, Arbaaz Khan

    Direction: Arbaaz Khan

    Rating: ***

    Arbaaz Khan knows that he owns a very successful franchise and to score big with ‘Dabangg 2’ he needed to do more than just replicate the same format. ‘Dabangg 2’ tries to deliver on its promise as much as possible and our hero indulges his fans in true Salman Khan-ishtyle.

    Chulbul/Robinhood Pandey (Salman Khan) has now taken a transfer to Kanpur where goon-turned-politician Thakur Bachcha Lal (Prakash Raj) needs to be tamed. There are quite a few encounters between Chulbul and Bachcha bhaiya’s men and every time our supercop manages to beat the bad boys to a pulp in his inimitable style.

    Chulbul has made peace with his stepbrother and stepfather and is a more domesticated man now. He is no longer the brash, presumptuous lover but a more romantic and understanding husband. While some of the interaction between Chulbul and his once-estranged father and brother is endearing, I somehow liked

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Dabangg 2
  • With Dabangg 2 set to hit the screens next week, here's why Bollywood always places its bets on sequels

    A Robinhood like cop with a great sense of humour in a small town in UP is the biggest recall value Salman Khan ever got in his two-decade career. Cashing in on the popularity of the first part, Salman and team is back with the sequel and Dabangg 2 is the story going ahead. "Salman and Sonakshi's couple is married now and this film stresses on how a married couple can also be romantically inclined to each other," says Arbaaz Khan.
    Behind the scenes: Dabangg 2

    In 2012, Bollywood has churned out as many as seven sequels of its earlier hits, ranging from already released Jism 2, Jannat 2 to upcoming Dostana 2. While the former had nothing common with its original part other than the lead actor Emraan Hashmi, Dostana 2 will see Abhisekh Bachchan and John Abraham fight for Katrina Kaif. When asked why he chose to play with the 'Dostana' title again, Karan Johar was quick to tell the

    Read More »from Will Dabangg 2 score at box-office?
  • Movie stills: Khiladi 786Cast: Akshay Kumar, Asin, Himesh Reshammiya

    Director: Ashish R Mohan

    Casting: **

    This is Ashish R Mohan's directorial debut but having assisted on the 'Golmaal' series, he is quite familiar with the shortcut to the 100 crore club; sign up a popular Bollywood actor, pack in a few well-choreographed Matrix-style action sequences, pepper the narrative with clichéd slapstick humour, throw in an item song complete with pelvic thrusts and you have the perfect blockbuster that will set the cash registers ringing.

    'Khiladi 786' has a plot, okay may be a mishmash of several other plots that we have seen before. Khiladi 786 aka 72 Singh (Akhshay Kumar) belongs to a family of thugs who work in collusion with the police in Punjab. While the brave fake cop has a heart of gold, his search for a life partner is proving futile. On the other hand, underworld don TTT (Mithun Chakraborty) is looking for a suitable alliance for his sister Indu (Asin).

    Enter Mansukh (Himesh Reshammiya), his father runs a

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Khiladi 786
  • Says Karan Johar as he tells us why he chooses to make films on relationships

    Karan Johar's repertoire as a director of 'family' films, endorsing Packed To The Rafters was the right choice. The film maker is seen promoting the soon-to-be launched show and says that he 'Connected with each character in some level.' The director is unfazed that his teeny blooper Student of The Year failed to make a mark at the box-office. Ask him why he chooses to stick to romance in his films, he is quick to reply, "We like to watch what is aspirational and perfect love is aspirational and that's why we enjoy it so much." In a candid chat, Karan Johar talks about his favourite tv shows, why he loves making films on relationships and his definition of a successful film.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    When you watch a film, Can you step back from being a director to enjoy it?

    Sometimes it is a bit difficult you are a part of the medium and profession which makes you a bit judgmental towards other pieces

    Read More »from ‘True love is aspirational’
  • Talaash: The movieCast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor

    Direction: Reema Kagti

    Rating: ****

    Reema Kagti's 'Talaash' is a suspense thriller that not only boasts of a taut script but has a multi-layered structure that manages to pack in enough surprises to keep the viewer hooked till the very end. The storyteller's craft lies in the fact that the modus operandi of the plot seems as intriguing as the motive of the crime.

    Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) is investigating the death of actor Armaan Kapoor (Vivan Bhatena) whose car seems to have suddenly veered out of control and plunged right into the sea. Considering the actor was neither under the influence of alcohol/drugs nor was he suicidal, the death throws up a lot of unanswered questions. The plot thickens when Armaan's widow informs the police that the actor had withdrawn Rs 20 lakh on the day of his death, raising suspicion that he might have been a victim of blackmail or extortion.

    One of the prime suspects in this case is a pimp and

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Talaash
  • ‘I never watch my films'


    Says Rani Mukerji as she talks about 'Talaash', her choice of films and why romance always works in India

    As we are ushered into Rani Mukerji's tastefully done up office, we are strictly told that Rani won't be available for photo shoot. Few minutes later we find out why. Sitting with a freshly scrubbed face with minimal makeup, the actress looked relaxed and very much at peace (Is a certain Chopra responsible for it?). Her last release Aaiyaa may have got mixed response but Rani is nonchalant about it. Ask her if she is disheartened and Rani is quick to retort, "It can't bother me because as actors, we are meant to do projects and not meant to forecast whether it will work or not." Her latest release Talaash is a suspense-drama with Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Rani is one of the very few actresses who never had any qualms about working in a multi-starrer. "Multi starrers are infact lot of fun as it like a picnic with s many stars working together," she says. In a candid chat, Rani

    Read More »from ‘I never watch my films'
  • Photos from 'Life of Pi'Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

    Direction: Ang Lee

    Rating: ****

    Ang Lee takes on the arduous task of translating Yann Martel's 'Life of Pi' into cinema, a book that deeply philosophizes faith, hope and illusion. Ang Lee transports you into Pi's world; as a viewer you might be captivated by the visual spectacle that the director has managed to create on screen but you are also fascinated by the young boy who is struggling to survive at sea and is trying to come to terms with his relationship with God.

    Photos: Special screening of 'Life of Pi'

    Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) is quite a spiritual boy from his childhood. His family runs a zoo in Pondicherry and Pi is distraught when they decide to relocate to Canada. As the family sets assail in a ship with the zoo animals, a terrible storm leaves Pi (Suraj Sharma) shipwrecked, stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. They manage a miraculous feat of surviving 227 days at sea braving storms, hunger and a carnivorous island among many

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Life of Pi
  • Behind the scenesCast: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt

    Direction: Ashwni Dhir

    Rating: *1/2

    Ajay Devgn's Diwali gamble didn't quite pay off this time. A film like 'Son of Sardar' can work on two accounts, either on the merit of star power or on the quantity/quality of amusing gimmicks that the makers can pack in. However, with a flimsy plot and inadequate humour, the story fails to take off.

    Simply put, it is a bloody revenge saga where Jassi (Ajay Devgn) and Billu (Sanjay Dutt) belong to the opposite camps. Jassi comes to India to sell off an ancestral property and wants nothing to do with the existing family hostility but the Sandhus are still waiting to settle the score. Predictably he falls in love with Sukh (Sonakshi), the girl from the enemy camp and he must now, not only fight for his life but also his love.

    Jassi discovers that the only way to save himself is to remain a guest in the Sandhu household and thus, follows tedious hide-and-seek sequences where the Sardar tries to pull off one

    Read More »from Yahoo! Movies Review: Son of Sardar

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