Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Yahoo Movies Review: Shahid

    ShahidCast: Raj Kumar, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Prabhleen Sandhu, Kay Kay Menon and Tigmanshu Dhulia

    Direction: Hansal Mehta

    Rating: ****

    Shahid Azmi’s life was both fascinating and tragic and Hansal Mehta renders his tale displaying exceptional craft. A taut narrative and commendable performances ensure that the director never loses grip despite a sometimes labored pace.

    The director does complete justice to a complex story like ‘Shahid’ that is at once disturbing and inspiring. We follow Shahid’s early life - his resistance to systematic brainwashing, his refusal to bow down to unfortunate circumstances and his undaunted will to rise above injustice and prejudice.

    There’s a big lesson to be learned here – our response to situations, no matter how unfair they might be, defines us and who we chose to become. Shahid dispelled the notion that succumbing to violence is probably the only fitting reply to discrimination by an apathetic state. He emerges an unlikely messiah, his own unfortunate

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Boss

    The 'Boss' is hereCast: Akshay Kumar, Shiv Pandit, Aditi Rao Hydari, Mithun Chakraborty

    Direction: Anthony D’Souza

    Rating: **1/2

    Anthony D’Souza blatantly panders to the typical Bollywood formula. Shoddy writing and mediocre performances do nothing to lift the sagging plot.

    The plot trajectory is something like this – action, song, drama. Repeat. For some variation we have, action, action, song, drama… more drama.  Once the story starts panning out in this predictable format and you realize that the plot is as new as any 1970’s potboiler, there is little to keep you hooked.

    Akshay Kumar’s action-and-comedy routine has been done to death and there is no attempt by the actor to infuse any novelty into his character. In fact, Akshay himself looks bored and sleep walks through most of the film. Wouldn’t he much rather risk taking on something different, a character that challenges his craft as an actor, a role that is layered and complex?

    Since, Akshay was introduced so late in the narrative, I had hoped that

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  • In conversation with Rajkummar Rao

    Shahid songIt’s a lazy Saturday afternoon but Rajkummar has a busy schedule. He is promoting his forthcoming film ‘Shahid’ based on Shahid Azmi’s life. Shahid was 32 when he was assassinated in his Mumbai office in 2010. Rajkummar Rao talks to us about his journey in a film like this one and the unusual challenges he faced.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    What are the challenges of doing a biographical role like ‘Shahid’?

    As an actor when I started the film, I didn’t think about the future or whether there might be any controversy or criticism surrounding the role. As an actor, my job is to…I have to be honest to my character, I have to give 200 percent of my craft to the character…more than a challenge, this film has been a responsibility for me, I think when you do a real life character there is lot of responsibility on your shoulder, especially in the case of Shahid (Azmi) when he is not around and a lot of people were not aware of his case. So, his family and the people who know you are going to

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  • In conversation with Prasoon Joshi

    Prasoon JoshiAward winning lyricist, screenplay writer and advertising copywriter Prasoon Joshi is a compulsive writer. He would write even if there were no takers for his work. At the Bangalore Film Festival, he exhibited his mastery with élan as he engaged in a poetic jugalbandi of sorts with Oscar winning lyricist Gulzar.

    Prasoon spoke to me about cinematic liberties and why the star system is important. Excerpts from the interview:

    Films like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘Madras Café’ are inspired by true-life events but they are criticized for taking cinematic liberties. Is that kind of criticism justified?

    No. First of all there has to be a difference between a documentary and a film. Film is celluloid and you want to mesmerize people. I can’t talk about ‘Madras Café’ though Shoojit (Sircar) is a very close friend of mine, but I can talk about ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ because I have written the story. For me, the whole thing was, am I able to hold on to people? I have to make sure that they sit there,

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Besharam

    Besharam: The filmCast: Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Jaaved Jaaferi, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh

    Direction: Abhinav Kashyap

    Rating: ***

    We have come to expect a certain amount of discretion and class when Ranbir Kapoor decides to do a film and it rankles when we realize that his latest work disappoints on various accounts. Ranbir does his best to rise above a flimsy plot but he gets no support from the other quarters.

    Abhinav Kashyap’s storytelling might not be nuanced but it usually promises to deliver on the entertainment quotient. However, the director falls short even on this account. While the first half of ‘Besharam’ holds promise, the second half quickly slips into a drag. The humour is forced and the romantic track falls flat with zero chemistry between the film’s lead pair Ranbir and Pallavi Sharda.

    Pallavi Sharda tries to play a feisty Punjabi kudi but comes across as loud, screechy and rude. With little grace and even lesser appeal she is no match for Ranbir, who oozes charm even when the role

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