Stories about Bollywood

Made in Heaven shows modern India a mirror, and it’s beautiful, warts and all

The stories a society tells reveal a lot about its character, its maturity, and its willingness to look itself square in the eye and embrace the entirety of not just its beauty, but also its abundant blemishes. Indian cinema has been a window to contemporary India for a while now. It has produced some quality work but has also contributed a lot of pure mindless drivel. It has entertained, educated, and exasperated audiences the world over, but through it all, it has carved a place for itself, much like the country it represents. Traditionally, Indian content creators have been hampered by ...

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A mall, a lady, and some slut-shaming – another sad day in India’s ‘rape capital’

They say sometimes a woman is a woman’s worst enemy. In this instance, they have hit the nail on the head. In a mall in Delhi’s suburb of Gurugram, a middle-aged lady allegedly slut-shamed a bunch of young women openly. She was not their mother, or even someone they remotely knew. No, this was a random ‘aunty’ who was simply not pleased with the way the girls were dressed. According to her, their outfits were indecent and they deserved everything nasty that came their way. When the girls retaliated, saying they were comfortable in their skin and in their shorts, ...

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How Modi sold India’s reputation to get his Masood Azhar ‘trophy’

Most of Indian media is portraying Masood Azhar’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) terrorist designation as a long-sought victory for their country, one that was only brought about by Narendra Modi’s campaign of pressure on Pakistan which supposedly got China to reverse its position on this issue and finally agree to the sanction. While that narrative is easily believed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) hyper-nationalist Hindutva base, the political opposition immediately pointed out that the global body’s official statement made no mention of the many attacks that New Delhi accused him of masterminding. The conspicuous omission of the 2001 Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai ‘false flag’ ...

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Mystery, thrill and Amitabh Bachchan, Badla promises to be as spectacular as Teen

Over the years, Amitabh Bachchan has appeared onscreen with many leading ladies. Who can forget his pairings with Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Rekha, and many other leading ladies of Bollywood? To his credit, he’s kept going strong and still commands a sizeable pull at the box office. After the success of Pink, it looks like Bachchan is forming a new hit pairing with the immensely talented and significantly younger Taapsee Pannu, albeit not of the romantic kind. A second movie, Badla, featuring these two actors is set to release this year. There’s once again a legal angle to the plot ...

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More sinister than meets the eye: Connecting the dots behind the Pulwama attack

Every time a state is attacked by some non-state actor, the main casualty after the number of lives lost is the truth, which is usually the case when a lot of noise is made after an attack to find an easy target to blame for one’s own mistakes. Realities are subtle. In India, every ill of the society, every negative result of their foreign policy and military adventurism can just be dumped on Pakistan. These laughable tactics are too old, too boring, and have the least substance, just like Bollywood movies. This time blaming Pakistan is not just to sanitise India’s ...

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Gully Boy may be your first soul-shaking cinematic experience of 2019

It’s easy to forget that beneath the cultural sludge of mainstream hip hop marked by vanity and misogyny, there is a thoughtful undercurrent that gives meaning to the genre. Gully Boy is the cinematic acknowledgement of this important undercurrent. Gully Boy is a film best enjoyed without prior knowledge of its synopsis. Although generally considered a film about hip hop and rap battles, Gully Boy is a gritty commentary on class warfare. The gauntlet is thrown in its very first scene in which our protagonist – Murad, played by Ranveer Singh – lambasts mainstream rapping artists, who only appear interested ...

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As India enters election year, The Accidental Prime Minister is more relevant than you think

Movies can be a vehicle for entertainment, escapism and fantasy. However, they are increasingly delivering a dose of realism, reflecting the world we live in while being packed with drama, intrigue, and emotion. When it comes to drama, can there be a spectacle grander and more gripping than the power games played in high-level politics? That’s the space occupied by the recent Bollywood release, The Accidental Prime Minister. The movie is based on the memoirs of Sanjay Baru, an Indian policy analyst, and explores the 10-year tenure of Dr Manmohan Singh as India’s prime minister. Even before its release, the movie ...

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Audacious, hypnotic and intense, Kangana Ranaut was made to play the Queen of Jhansi

Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi chronicles the tale of one of India’s most prominent historical figures. Manikarnika, better known as Lakshmibai or the Rani of Jhansi, was one of the foremost freedom fighters of the 1857 rebellion. The allegory of Rani of Jhansi has personally fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Hence, writing even a review of a film based on her gallantry gives me great bliss. A warrior queen riding a horse, a sword in her hand, a child strapped onto her back, Manikarnika is an old-fashioned, simplistic film underlining the core values of bravery, valour and ...

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With Madhuri-Anil sharing the screen after 19 years, Total Dhamaal promises to be a comedic treasure

After the success of Dhamaal and Double Dhamaal, Indra Kumar proved that he knows the art of producing hilarious movies, and now he is back with chapter three of his major hits. The upcoming comedy-adventure, Total Dhamaal, will see Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor paired together yet again. Photo: Screenshot The on-screen pair of Kapoor and Dixit was the most sought after pairing in the 90s and they will be sharing the screen space after 19 years (their last film was Pukar in 2000). From the trailer, it looks like Dixit is in her usual perfect form ...

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Is Gully Boy the desi 8 Mile?

In early 2016, rumours started circulating that Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh will be starring together in Zoya Akhtar’s next directorial venture. Having previously directed Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do, films deemed both critical and commercial successes, there was a lot of speculation and excitement surrounding news of her latest venture. Akhtar’s films always have an ensemble cast which makes us all the more eager to watch them. According to some reports, Ranbir Kapoor was also initially meant to star in the movie, but it didn’t pan out. Sara Ali Khan, Bollywood’s newest female lead, was also rumoured to make ...

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