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Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set

Hachette’s The Bollywood Pocket Book Series, A 4-in-1 Set, by Diptakirti Chauduri: Get set Yes, it’s a pun. I mean you should get the set, buy the book, or rather, books. They look deceptively thin when ensconced in the hardcover box, but provide a substantial reading once you pull them out. Book one is about Iconic Dates, with Raj Kapoor and Nargis on the cover, under an umbrella. The author reminds us about the calendar of events that begin with Raja Harishchandra’s releas...

An Actor’s Actor-Sanjeev Kumar: The Authorised Biography of Sanjeev Kumar

An Actor’s Actor-Sanjeev Kumar: The Authorised Biography of Sanjeev Kumar A riveting black and white picture of the late actor, in mid-close, looking a little to his right, greets you on the cover of this eminently readable biography of the actor, who, arguably, was an actor’s actor. And so, the authors, Mumbai-based Hanif Zaveri and Delhi-based Sumant Batra, are not exaggerating when they give him that exalted title. As far as the ‘authorised’ bit is concerned, the du...

Heropanti 2: Tiger does not roar, but croons, courtesy A.R. Rahman

Heropanti 2: Tiger does not roar, but croons, courtesy A.R. Rahman Young, macho, human weapon and dazzling dancer Tiger Shroff has sung a song in his latest film, Heropanti 2, titles Miss Hairaan. Is that taking you by surprise and making you hairan? It shouldn’t, because this is not the first time that Tiger has ventured into musical territory. Jai Hemant ‘Tiger’ Shroff has lent his voice to a handful of tracks, including Casanova and Vande Mataram, which got very popular a...

Music Forever: Long performing music duo L-P, alias Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Music Forever: Long performing music duo L-P, alias Laxmikant-Pyarelal Ajay Poundarik is neither a writer nor a journalist. But if he is anything, he is a fanatic admirer of the work of the music composer duo of Hindi films, Laxmikant and Pyarelal, better known as L-P. LP, which, in music parlance, is an acronym for Long Playing Record, is a term that fits them like the proverbial glove. They were indeed a long-playing pair, to be sure. As a tribute to his ‘deities’, Poundarik ...

Dream Girl, Review: Lady Boy’s multiple nightmares

Dream Girl, Review: Lady Boy’s multiple nightmares Can one accuse film-makers of misleading audiences by describing their films as anything but what they really are? Dream Girl, dubbed ‘family entertainer by its makers,’ panders to below the belt viewers and frustrated loners, under the garb of showcasing the lead actor’s mimicking talent, and providing a telephonic helpline to lonely hearts. It is a series of stand-up comic jokes, with one-liners, puns and double ente...

Noblemen, Review: Merchant of menace

Noblemen, Review: Merchant of menace Children in a classy public school are preparing a play for Founders’ Day, and the work chosen for the occasion is William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Our protagonist has been selected to play Bassanio, after an audition, and is waiting anxiously for the staging. His mother, a former Wing Commander, now confined to a wheel-chair, is likely to be cured in a short time, and hopes to attend her son’s big day, for the first time ever. O...

Photograph, Review: Ode dear

Photograph, Review: Ode dear If only vignettes and mosaics could add up to a good script, Photograph would look refreshingly different. If improvised dialogue and incomplete scenes could substitute for a coherent narrative, Photograph would find its place in the album of memorable cinema. Forlornly, though, Ritesh Batra’s Photograph unpeels itself like the layers of an onion, offering emptiness at the end of the exercise, instead of discovery and resonance. Arriving with a sumptuous tr...

MAMI’s 19th Mumbai Film Festival, 12-18 November: Eleven brief reviews

MAMI’s 19th Mumbai Film Festival, 12-18 November: Eleven brief reviews April’s Daughter-Mexico(World Premiere)-Michel Franco Story of an immoral mother and her two daughters, one of who becomes pregnant at 17, this is really adult content, though more in terms of theme than skin show or sex. A single mother out to steal her own daughter’s baby as well as her lover is a theme not many would tackle. Co-producer, writer and director Franco leaves the ending open, and suitably ...

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 6

Aamir, Nasir, Tahir, Tariq, Mansoor, Amjad: Movies, Masti, Modernity, Flashback 6 To remind you, Aamir is indeed Aamir Khan, Amjad is definitely Gabbar Singh, and the triple M above is to acknowledge that it was Akshay Manwani’s biographical book on the cinema of Nasir Hussain that got me delving into the period of about 15 years, when I interacted with the Hussain Khans (first five) and the bare Khan (last, but the most imposing personality). Actually, Mansoor did not use his middle na...

Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, XIII: IM Kwon-taek’s 102 films and SPB’s 40,000 songs

Siraj Syed’s IFFI 2016 diary, XIII: IM Kwon-taek’s 102 films and SPB’s 40,000 songs South Korean film-maker IM Kwon-taek was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Indian singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam was felicitated with the Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year at the International Film festival of India, 2016. The 80 year-old, famed director talked briefly, even owning up to some of his work that wasn’t well-received. Regarded as the fath...

Siraj Syed reviews Tutak Tutak Tutiya: Horromedyance

Siraj Syed reviews Tutak Tutak Tutiya: Horromedyance What binds the Tutak Tutak Tutiya team is their south Indian connection. Most of the actors are either native to the lower regions of the country or got their breaks in films made there, before moving to their base to Mumbai. In addition, the story and direction are also credited to names that live there. It is a tri-lingual film though, milking the opportunity, and hoping to kill three birds with one stone. So, you have Devi in Tamil and A...
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