Stories about Bollywood

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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Why is ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ giving Congress sleepless nights?

Bollywood is changing. The era of larger than life stars and over the top melodrama is giving way to relatable characters in stories of substance. It’s what the audience wants. Many topics that were considered taboo and were spoken of only in hushed tones or through oblique references are now shown in an ‘in your face’ manner. As India matures, so does the content it consumes. As a result, Bollywood movies have started pushing the envelope in terms of crafting narratives that reflect not only a much broader spectrum of human experiences, but also go a lot deeper in the exploration ...

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In Simmba, a half-baked message is buried deep under Rohit Shetty’s typical potboiler

Loosely based on the Telugu film Temper, the cop action saga Simmba is directed by Rohit Shetty, produced by Dharma Productions and Rohit Shetty Picturez, and stars an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Sonu Sood and Sara Ali Khan. The film is about Sangram ‘Simmba’ Bhalerao, a poor orphan who aspires to become an unscrupulous police inspector. As an officer of the law, he unapologetically indulges in corrupt practices to have his pockets lined, as he believes that corruption and dishonesty are indispensable to live a perfect life. The film starts on a comic note and is mostly about fun, tricks and games, ...

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8 game changers of Bollywood that wowed us in 2018

The year 2018 has been one of the most surprising ones in recent Bollywood memory, for it has been one where content ruled above all other elements in films. This year in particular, movies with unique content found solidification in Bollywood. While big-budget films (those with a lot of expectations associated) tanked at the box office, smaller films with lower budget and lesser known faces triumphed massively. One of the most shocking things about this year was that films with massive stars such as Salman Khan and Aamir Khan underperformed against the hopes and excitement of their fans, while lesser known faces ...

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Zero: Too many flaws and not enough ink

Newly released Zero, starring Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles, reminded me strongly of Shahid Kapoor’s Mausam. Similar to Mausam, Zero has a strong premise.  However, the 20 subplots it takes to explore this subject in a lengthy 165-minutes narrative makes it a tedious watch. It is a film with a good heart but the body of the film has a more acute case of cerebral palsy than the lead character of the film does. Zero has a misleading title. It should have been called six. Or seven. This is the number of stories the ...

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From ‘possessed’ to the ‘crazy ex’, do Bollywood horror movies have a gender stereotype problem?

Bollywood cannot be credited with producing the most sensitive of films, and although there has been a welcome change in the recent past, there is still a long way to go in terms of appropriate and sensitive representation across genres. While genres such as romance and comedy are actively dissected regarding how they often portray skewed gender relations on screen, one genre which probably needs to be spoken more about is that of Bollywood horror films. The roots of horror as a genre in mainstream Indian cinema can be traced back to the Ramsay family production during the latter half of the ...

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Simmba may not bring something new to the screen but it definitely feels like a paisa vasool entertainer!

The trailer release of Simmba has fans incredibly excited, and it seems that this Rohit Shetty-Ranveer Singh collaboration will end the year for Bollywood on a high note. Simmba, starring Singh, Sonu Sood and Sara Ali Khan, has been directed by Shetty, who has given us films like Chennai Express and Dilwale.  The trailer begins with Bajirao Singham (Ajay Devgn) narrating the story of an orphan, Simmba (Singh), who aspires to one day become a corrupt and dishonest police officer. Simmba is later shown as a bribe-hungry hoodlum who believes that in order to live an ideal life, corruption is indispensable. ...

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Not even Aamir-Amitabh could save Thugs of Hindostan from sinking in deep waters of hollowness

Thugs of Hindostan, a period drama film, is directed and produced by Vijay Krishna Acharya and Aditya Chopra respectively. The film stars an ensemble cast including Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Katrina Kaif and Fatima Sana Shaikh playing key roles. Thugs of Hindostan is highly inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. The film is set against the backdrop when the British East India Company started colonising the country. The British Company manages to annex Ranakpur by assassinating its ruler Mirza (Ronit Roy) and his son Aslam. The trusted Lieutenant of Mirza, Khudabaksh Azaad (Bachchan), flees from the British’s impending hegemony and takes along Mirza’s young ...

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With the King of Bollywood in an avatar never seen before, Zero has the potential to become a hero

On his birthday, Shah Rukh Khan released the trailer of his much anticipated film, Zero. The wait was certainly worth it.  Ever since the release of the trailer, fans have gone wild with excitement. Directed and written by Aanand L Rai and Himanshu Sharma respectively, the three-minute long trailer shows the journey of Bauua Singh (Khan), a vertically challenged man looking for a bride. Then there is Anushka Sharma who is essaying the role of a scientist with cerebral palsy while Katrina Kaif plays the role of an actress struggling with alcoholism. Bauua lives with his abusive father. His one dream in life ...

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Saif Ali Khan’s Baazaar may not be extraordinary but it surely is different

Baazaar is heavily inspired by the 1987 Michael Douglas-Charlie Sheen film, Wall Street. The movie revolves around Rizwan Ahmed who recounts his experience of the Mumbai stock market. The film chronicles the world of influential and calculative power brokers, business tycoons and industrialists. Rizwan (Rohan Mehra) is an educated and ambitious boy from Allahabad who comes to Mumbai to fulfil his dream of making it big and cracking the stock market. He idolises Shakun Kothari (Saif Ali Khan), who is a conniving and virile tycoon known famously for his business acumen in the world of the stock market. Rizwan sets off ...

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