Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • 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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  • Yahoo Movies Review: The Lunchbox

    Irrfan in 'The Lunchbox'Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqqui

    Direction: Ritesh Batra

    Rating: ****1/2

    ‘The Lunchbox’ is a delectable love story, made exquisite because it’s a most beautiful rendition of the most fundamental need of an individual – the need for companionship.

    Sometimes loneliness becomes an abstract concept and yet, a very real issue and you find yourself establishing an unlikely intimacy. An intimacy with someone you have never met. It then becomes possible for you to share your innermost insecurities, the little joys, the mundane happenings and thoughts about an almost implausible escape.

    You look forward to the little joys of opening an empty lunchbox, an affirmation of the fact that your experiments with new recipes are working. And in the quiet acknowledgment you find a sense of self-worth. It gives you a sense of liberation from the detached void that exists in your own marriage.

    Your daily lunch hour is now a time you look forward to because along with the delicious food, a

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  • Yahoo Movie Review: Phata Poster Nikla Hero

    Movie Stills: Phata Poster Nikla HeroCast: Shahid Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Padmini Kolhapure, Sanjay Mishra, Saurabh Shukla

    Direction: Rajkumar Santoshi

    Rating: ***

    After last week’s ‘Grand Masti’, ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ almost has a cleansing effect on your palate. The film is not a laughter riot but it’s definitely a one-time fun watch.

    ‘Phata Poster Nikla Hero’ cannot boast of a strong plot, strong performances or ingenious humour but the film is peppered with moments of genuine situational comedy and some great acting by the supporting cast. Sanjay Mishra and Saurabh Shukla shine, displaying their flair for wit and are spot on with their comic timing.

    Shahid Kapoor has an inherently charming personality but at this point of his career, he desperately needs a successful film. His previous big releases ‘Mausam’ (2011) and ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ (2012) bombed at the box office and there’s no scope for error this time around and you can sense this tension in Shahid’s performance.

    While he is confident in the dance and action

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  • Yahoo Movies Review: Grand Masti

    Grand MastiCast: Riteish Deshmukh, Vivek Oberoi, Aftab Shivdasani

    Direction: Indra Kumar

    Rating: 0

    Indra Kumar might want to pass this off as an adult comedy but ‘Grand Masti’ takes crassness in cinema to a whole new level. Even if you were to surrender yourself to the shock value of the cringe-worthy jokes, they are repetitive and unabashedly unoriginal.

    ‘Grand Masti’ is not only offensive but regressive cinema. Sample this:

    1)   The film starts with our heroes eliciting how A, B, C has been taught all wrong and then cut to tight close-up of body parts to enunciate their real meaning.

    2)   Riteish has an infant child and is always complaining about the lack of a sex life and to elaborate his desperation he doesn’t refrain from using abusive language against his newborn.

    3)   A buxom former girlfriend has no qualms about announcing that she now owns a milk factory and over again and over again they crack innuendos surrounding “milk production”.

    Some would say the film is insulting because it

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