Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Randeep Hooda Interview

    Randeep Hooda with his 'Highway' co-star Alia Bhatt

    Randeep Hooda is riding high on the phenomenal success of Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Highway’. Critics have unanimously lauded his performance as the Haryanvi truck driver, Mahabir Bhati. Hooda hasn’t had a steady career graph but he has managed to find interesting roles every now and then. Clad in blue jeans and a grey ‘Highway’ jacket, Hooda exudes raw charisma. In a small room in Mehboob Studios we settle down for a quick chat.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    In the past few years, you have managed to do varied roles. How have you managed to stay away from being typecast?

    I do a ‘Bombay Talkies’ in between all these macho gunslingers that I am playing and I will do something else in between. Wherever I am at in my career and I am not doing the conventional things like dancing and all that, I have to keep picking things and leaving things, the ability to say ‘no’ to the same role that is coming to me again in a bigger production also.

    The ability to pick and leave roles, which keep the filmmakers

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  • Yahoo Meta Review: Gulaab Gang

    Cast: Madhuri Dixit Nene, Juhi Chawla Mehta, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Priyanka Bose, Divya Jagdale

    Direction: Soumik Sen

    The biggest feat that Soumik Sen has accomplished with ‘Gulaab Gang’ is that he managed to cast once arch rivals, Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Juhi Chawla-Mehta as the hero and villain in his film, the rest is just backdrop.

    Baradwaj Rangan
    says in his review, that he was expecting a “fiery feminist drama” but what he watched instead was a “Tamil/Telugu mass-hero masala movie – only, with women.” He explains:

    As with the heroes in those films, we are teased with flashes of the heroine’s (Madhuri Dixit-Nene, playing Rajjo) presence before finally getting to the scene that reveals her face. We get the moment where she issues a challenge to the villain and walks away in slow motion. (It’s a villainess, really, a scheming politician named Sumitra, and played by Juhi Chawla. We get a glimpse of her feet first, which is only right given that that’s where she wants the men around

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Queen

    Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao, Lisa Haydon

    Direction: Vikas Bahl

    Rating: ****

    The best thing about ‘Queen’ is that Vikas Bahl has crafted memorable characters that don’t conform to Bollywood stereotypes. The story weaved around these characters stays always relatable, luring you into Rani’s (KanganaRanaut) world fuelling your wanderlust.

    Yes, weddings are the most overused canvas in contemporary Hindi films but there is a touch of relatability in this one. This wedding is chaotic unlike our typically glossy Bollywood weddings and you spot a touch of authenticity when you see our winter bride wearing a slightly oversized sweater over her sequined dress for the mehendi ceremony. When ‘London Thumakda’ plays out on the big screen, you do feel like joining the fat aunties and doing your own little jig with them.   

    The promos did prepare us for it but when Rani is dumped at the altar, your heart goes out to her character. You can see the initial shock register on her face and as the truth

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  • Interview: Vikas Bahl

    Vikas Bahl with Kangana

    It’s a busy Mumbai evening but it is very quiet when I walk into the premises of Phantom, the distribution company run by Anurag Kashyap to interview Vikas Bahl, co-director of the National Award-winning ‘Chillar Party’.

    Bahl has much going on -- his team is busy promoting the forthcoming Kangana Ranaut-starrer ‘Queen’, even as Bahl, dressed casually in blue jeans and grey shirt, juggles details of another event. The phone is rarely out of his hand; in between calls, he offers me steaming tea and we settle down for a chat.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    The promos of ‘Queen’ seem to have an instant connect with the audience. How did you manage that?

    I think it is very relatable. It’s relatable yet funny, that combination is what makes it interesting. You can immediately see that you can connect with the girl and then you connect with the way she talks and then you connect with the humour that’s in it. So it seems like it’s straight out of your life, which I think works.

    Bollywood brides

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects

    Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan, Ram Kapoor, Vir Das, Purab Kohli

    Direction: Saket Chaudhury

    Rating: ***

    Saket Chaudhury’s ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ is a classic example of a director approaching a topic that he is quite obviously not convinced about. The narrative is peppered with genuine humour but the plot baffles you with the many theories it throws up and immediately debunks.

    Gender roles are being redefined daily, and contemporary marriages are complex entities. Throw into it a metrosexual male, who is not the traditional MCP husband but one who wants to make an honest attempt at becoming a good father. Instead of making an example out of a man who is trying so hard, the director makes him apologise for the lifestyle choices he makes, which is merely to also seek private space in a marriage.

    We are handed this ridiculous notion that pursuing your own passion/hobby/alone-time is tantamount to adultery. Unless your marriage is this all-consuming entity where every bit of your time is

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