Blog Posts by Rummana Ahmed

  • Yahoo! Movies Review: English Vinglish

    Photos: Sridevi's all new avatarCast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain, Mehdi Nebbou, Priya Anand

    Director: Gauri Shinde

    Rating: ****

    When buzz got around that Sridevi was making her Bollywood comeback after 15 years, I was a little wary. 'Return of the (once) divas' after marriage, childbirth or a brief hiatus, marked with lot of publicity and fanfare, hasn't historically set the cash registers ringing (remember, Madhuri's 'Aaja Nachle', Rani's 'Dil Bole Hadippa' and more recently, Karisma's 'Dangerous Ishq'). However, Sridevi has chosen a director who manages to competently exploit her craft and she delivers with poise and aplomb.

    Like the promos have made it evident, 'English Vinglish' is about a housewife whose only handicap is that she does not know English. It's a small problem but it has huge ramifications for Sashi (Sridevi) who feels isolated and disconnected from her own family because of the language barrier. When we inadvertently make fun of people's accents and pronunciation, we operate on the premise that

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  • Y! Meta Review: OMG Oh My God

    Akshay's high octane shootUmesh Shukla's 'OMG Oh My God' makes very pertinent points about commercialization of religion, religious symbolism and the farce that "devout" godmen manage to pull off. The intention was good but was that enough to make a good film?

    Baradwaj Rangan in his review says:

    Actors, sometimes, can annoy us with their omnipresence. At one time, Paresh Rawal was everywhere, and because our mainstream cinema does not offer a character actor too many notes to hit — it's either the well-intentioned friend of Baghban, or the shrill comedian trying to outshout everyone else in a Priyadarshan comedy — we began to tire of him. Cutting down his assignments has done the actor a world of good. He is in rip-roaring form as Kanji Bhai in Umesh Shukla's Oh My God. Kanji Bhai is a cheerfully unscrupulous wheeler-dealer, whose shop in Chor Bazaar specialises in religious memorabilia, ranging from Draupadi's sari to bottles of Gangajal whose contents come from the tap. (Kanji Bhai is an equal-opportunity

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  • Yahoo! Movies Review: OMG Oh My God!

    Akshay plays godCast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty

    Direction: Umesh Shukla

    Rating: ***

    Umesh Shukla's film, 'OMG — Oh My God!' is a well-intentioned film but the execution could have been better. Shukla very competently succeeds in conveying the message that God has been reduced to mere symbolism in the modern world.

    Inspired by a Gujarati play, the plot is simple. Kanji Bhai (Paresh Rawal) is an atheist who owns an antique shop, he manages to cash in on the gullibility of blind believers to make a few extra bucks on the sale of their favourite deities. All is good till one day; the Gods decide to destroy only Kanji's antique shop after an earthquake. Even his insurance claim is rejected because of the "act of God" clause, which basically means since there was no theft, fire or fraud, there is no coverage for a victim of a quake or tsunami. When Kanji bhai's livelihood is at stake, he decides to sue God and claim compensation either from the various Godmen (who evidently run a

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  • Y! Meta Review: Heroine

    Acid test for Kareena's stardomMadhur Bhandarkar dabbles with blacks and whites in 'Heroine', as usual his protagonists are a study in the extreme and therefore, there is very little scope for anything unpredictable. Bhandarkar's so-called 'realistic' portrayal of the Hindi film industry blatantly stereotypes Bollywood.

    Raja Sen says in his review that "Heroine is an unbelievably trashy film":

    It's called stereotyping, and Madhur Bhandarkar has parlayed it into a career. Film after film he embraces cliches -- about businessmen, models, journalists -- and exaggerates them, revelling in caricature and tacky dialogue. It's like a recreated dramatisation on a sensationalist television crime show, with marginally better actors and production values.

    It's almost like Bhandarkar enjoys sensationalizing his plot and 'labelling' is characters to a point where they start looking like caricatures. Baradwaj Rangan says in his review:

    Acknowledging the positive dimensions of fame would leave Bhandarkar with nothing to expend his

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  • Review: Heroine

    Spotted on the sets of HeroineIf you have seen one Madhur Bhandarkar film, then you have seen them all; there is not even a feeble attempt at novelty. It is surprising how such blatant stereotyping of the glamour world is not offensive to the celebrities who the director claims to be 'realistically' portraying. In Bhandarkar's films there is no one place for the grey: celeb town just consists of people who are psychotic, adulterous, do drugs and are homosexual.

    There is a passing mention that Bhandarkar's protagonist in 'Heroine' has bipolar disorder; if the central character of the film is psychotic then whether she is a heroine or a housewife, she will be insecure and hysterical. Fame, or the lack of it, has nothing to do with it. Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is an A-list heroine whose insecure relationship with her co-star drives her to desperation and she puts her stardom at stake. Every attempt at reviving her sinking career fails which further pushes her to the edge.

    It is hard to look for a silver lining in a

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Pagination

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