Stories about Bollywood

Does ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ have what it takes to rejuvenate Pakistan’s film industry?

There is a lot of spectacle, colour, emotion, singing and dancing in the recently released teaser of Punjab Nahi Jaungi. Two beautiful ladies, however, stand out amidst all the razzle and dazzle of the decidedly glitzy 75-second video. One is the glamorous Saba Waseem Abbas who walks ever so seductively, wearing pink, orange and purple, to welcome a triumphant Humayun Saeed to her home. The second is the perennially beautiful Naveed Shahzad who registers her regal presence in the teaser with remarkable grace and style. Photo: Screenshot There is, of course, no shortage of eye candy in Punjab Nahi Jaungi. The first collaboration of ARY Films and Six Sigma ...

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How to get away with murder in India? Blame a man for eating beef

A year and half after the horrific Dadri incident, Hindu vigilantes continue to “cry beef” and hunt for Mohammad Akhlaqs. The manager of a Jaipur hotel faced a similar hungry mob on Sunday night (March 19) that stormed the place over rumours of serving beef. According to a report in The Indian Express, the owner of Hotel Hayat Rabbani, Naeem Rabbani, has alleged that after taking his manager into custody, police brought him back among the cow vigilantes “to calm them down”. He was also slapped around and manhandled in police presence. Rabbani, who held a press conference with his staff a ...

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Are Pakistani dramas losing the plot?

I am a closet drama viewer. There I said it. I am even part of a WhatsApp group that discusses and disses with equal panache anything on either side of the border and beyond. I don’t exactly recollect when this love fest started, perhaps it was as a child in my hometown Jalandhar in Punjab where we would excitedly catch an erratic signal from across the border telecasting the black and white drama Sona Chandi or maybe the reception was so blurry that we couldn’t really tell any colours! Then came ‘Tanhaiyan’ followed soon after by the iconic ‘Dhoop Kinare’, which we ...

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Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut and male privilege

There is no doubt about Karan Johar’s immense talent. He sees Bollywood from a unique eye that captures its essence as well as its soul – what he creates on the big screen is nothing short of magical. In a gargantuan $4.5 billion industry like Bollywood, Johar and Dharma alone stand at $200 million. Johar combines the idyllic with the marketable. He is truly a dream merchant – whether it is when Shah Rukh Khan runs towards Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor dance at a wedding –Johar has a unique eye and an ...

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“Not sons, they are my daughters”

There is almost nothing Aamir Khan touches that does not turn into gold. Not just a shiny, yellow plating but a burnished, solid bar. There is no denying the fact that he is a genius and in this advertisement, he proves it yet again. It is poignant, and it is sweet. It touches upon an age-old, bitter dispute delicately, albeit tentatively. The constant war fought, particularly in the sub-continent, for women’s rights and against male chauvinism continues to grow increasingly aggressive with each generation. In my opinion, it has escalated to the extent that it has desensitised many from both ...

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Did India just say it banned Lipstick Under My Burkha because it was too “lady oriented”? Seriously?

The deliberate silencing of women’s voices is a universal phenomenon; only the extent of it differs in different parts of the world. In a country like India, where women face a multitude of challenges, a desperate re-writing of the dominant male-centric narrative is required. And what better medium in India than the film industry to challenge the dominant narrative? This is what Prakash Jha thought when he set out to produce his latest movie, Lipstick Under My Burkha. The film is a sexual comedy, revolving around four independent women who, tired of being shackled to misogynistic norms, decide to break ...

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Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya: Another DDLJ-inspired Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya?

I am all for nostalgia. I am all for reviving things which have been lost to oblivion. That still does not mean you bring back Rana Navedul Hasan and make him Pakistan’s Test captain and then make him centre of your team’s imagery. ‘Tamma Tamma’ is not as old as Rana. It is, nonetheless, 27-years-old. The current generation has recently been fed with many a song from the 90s and 80s in almost every other movie. The most recent one being ‘Laila o Laila’ where Sunny Leone tries to save a sinking ship called Raees. However, Leone is no Zeenat Aman, just like Alia Bhatt is no Madhuri Dixit. Rest assured, the recent ‘Tamma Tamma Again’ is ...

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I am a die-hard SRK fan, but I won’t watch Raees

The much-awaited Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Raees, released in January 2017, seems loosely based on the life of notorious Gujarati Mafioso Abdul Latif. Latif was a gambler, a hired assassin, bootlegger and extortionist par excellence. He was also involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and on the run till he was killed by the police in an encounter in 1997. Raees has, perhaps, sketched Latif’s life with all the charm and halo one expects from an SRK starrer. Like all other SRK fans, I wait for his films with bated breath. Such is my King Khan mania that I have never missed ...

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If you’re a die-hard Hrithik Roshan fan, watch Kaabil

The plot is simple. The clichés are common. There is an A-list actor in the lead. The Bollywood formula is locked and loaded. Aim at a public holiday and fire. Kaabil hit the screens on Indian Republic Day and gathered around 20 crores in its first week. *Minor spoilers ahead* Directed by Sanjay Gupta, of the Kaante (faintly copied from Reservoir Dogs), Zinda (Old Boy) and Jazbaa (the Korean film, Seven Days) fame, comes Kaabil which seems to be loosely adapted around the Korean film, Broken, where the protagonist’s teenage daughter is raped and murdered. In Kaabil, Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) vows ...

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Why did the Indian film industry churn out such horrendous movies in 2016?

The be all and end all of movies for some, while a bad joke masquerading as cinema for others, Bollywood is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. But yet, every single year, it manages to churn out films that are indisputably bad and 2016 was no different. So, in no particular order, let the bashing begin. 1) Fan: Rather watch a ceiling fan Fan is Shah Rukh Khan’s attempt to marry the only two characters he could act out, the wacky (Darr etc.) and the silly (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa etc.), before he became the irritatingly tiresome Rahul and the tediously boring ...

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