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 ...Read Full Post
With grandeur that leaves audiences a teary mess, has Sanjay Leela Bhansali replaced Shakespeare as the king of tragic romance?
If there is a synonym for visual opulence, it is none other than the great auteur, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. With only nine directorial ventures under his belt so far, Bhansali’s career as the main man behind the camera has not been less adventurous than a roller coaster ride. From being an assistant director to the crafty Vidhu Vinod Chopra, to his debut directorial flop; from successfully taking risks to creating a national level controversy, Bhansali has probably seen it all in his career. Yet he always strives to deliver a magnum opus like never before, with Padmaavat being the latest ...Read Full Post
When you are a young boy, you tend to hang pictures of people in your room whom you admire and love. Whose picture goes up on your wall depends on how old you are. When you are between five and 10, it is normally superheroes like Superman, Batman and so on. Then, as you age beyond 10, posters of superheroes get replaced by real life figures, like sportsmen and male movie stars. Then, at a certain time, normally when you are well into teen years, pictures of female movie stars also start appearing. Of course, it coincides with adolescence and ...Read Full Post
Padmaavat has been one of the most controversial movies to be released in recent memory. Right from the time its shooting began, it has been plagued by protests and disruption. This hostile reception of the movie is not entirely surprising, given that for some Indians, it invokes the memory of an extremely traumatic time in their history. Interestingly, it is not known for sure whether events actually unfolded the way they were portrayed in the poem, Padmavat, which happens to be inspiration for the film. Yet, with the almost divine status enjoyed by Rani Padmini in certain communities, a magnum opus ...Read Full Post
The year is 1303 AD. We are in the lush scrub jungle of Mewar, which surrounds the Chittorgarh Fort watered by the rains from previous months, and are witnessing Sultan Alauddin Khilji lay siege. Much that exists here in 1303 will cease to exist in the year 2018. A pride of Asiatic Lions are witnessed moving further away from the rough and tumble of the scene of battle, disappearing from our view. By 2018, they would have disappeared from Mewar entirely. The mind’s eye, however, looks for someone who is conspicuous despite her absence. And yet, by 2018, the Mewar of 1303 ...Read Full Post
A 21st century movie based on the mythology of the 16thcentury about a 14th century queen has ruffled political feathers in India. The members of Karni Sena, a politico-cultural group of Rajputs, man-handled Padmavati’s director, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, vandalised cinema halls, and openly threatened high intensity violence if the movie is released. The protesters allege that the movie distorts the Rajput history, glorifies a barbaric invader as a lover and a brave warrior. Rumours are galore that the movie shows a love affair between the Queen Padmavati and the invader Alauddin Khilji. However, the truth is far more complex than what appears on the surface. Eminent journalists like Dr Ved Pratap Vedic and Rajat ...Read Full Post
Announcing a bounty for beheading Deepika Padukone proves that India is not as ‘democratic’, ‘liberal’ and ‘tolerant’ as it claims to be
The ideology of the Taliban is in an expansionist mode – it is no longer confined to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but has started capturing territory in India as well. And it is being ably assisted by none other than the ruling party in Delhi. How else can you explain the announcement of head money for the director and the lead actress of the upcoming movie, Padmavati, by a senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)? How else will you explain the open endorsement by some members of the BJP for the fringe militant caste group, Shri Rajput Karni Sena, which has threatened to create ...Read Full Post
I recently came across the news regarding the ban on Verna, Shoaib Mansoor’s upcoming film, and was shocked, to say the least. Mansoor has played a monumental role in the revival of Pakistani cinema, delivering masterpieces like Khuda Kay Liye and Bol. Not only were both great films, they were also centred on very important issues that plague our society today. Bol highlighted the practice of having innumerable children in the name of religion, especially when you cannot even feed them, giving us the legendary line, “Jab paal nahin saktey, tou paida kyun karte ho?” (When you cannot provide for them, why do you give birth to them?) Likewise, the movie Khuda ...Read Full Post
The trailer for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati released on Monday, and it broke the internet. From a layperson to celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, no one could stop raving after watching it. #PadmavatiTrailer is very terrific. Looking forward to 1st Dec! Good Luck @SanjayLeelaB & team! @FilmPadmavati — Ninad Kamat (@iamninadkamat) October 11, 2017 Awstruck by the padmavati trailer.#fanart #PadmavatiTrailer #Padmavati #deepikapadukone #ShahidKapoor @shahidkapoor @deepikapadukone pic.twitter.com/y94cDe80SI — Masroor shah khan (@Masroorsk) October 11, 2017 T 2573 – HOW DOES HE DO THIS ..?? Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 'Padmavati' and the trailer .. the gift of extraordinary vision !👏👏👏👏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/9UvVzEqO3Y — Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) October 9, 2017 With over 21 million ...Read Full Post
Body-shaming Kareena Kapoor’s “fat legs” post pregnancy? Because giving birth to a human being isn’t painful enough for women?
To think that after the global backlash against the shamers of Mahira Khan, the world of shamers would take the back seat, is indeed just a hopeful thought. Khan got slut-shamed over her choice of clothes (the dress, by the way, is really sexy!) and for smoking a cigarette because smoking cigarettes automatically turns women into ‘unreputable women’. Kareena Kapoor was shamed on Instagram shortly after the Khan incident for having ‘fat legs’. The Indian actress, who just gave birth to her son Taimur Ali Khan, has remained an inspiration for new moms as well as moms-to-be. During her pregnancy, she flaunted her baby bump unapologetically when ...Read Full Post