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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...

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs

Parveen Babi, A Life--by Karishma Upadhyay: Break-ups and break-downs Appearing out of nowhere, Parveen Babi made her screen debut with the film Charitra, acting opposite cricketer Salim Durani, in 1973. That was not the first film she had signed, which credit goes to Dhuen Ki Lakeer, released the following year. Her career really took off with Majboor (1974, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan) and she was seen in some 58 films totally, the last one releasing in 1991, years after she had given up a...

Shimla Mirchi, Review: Chilly? Don't be silly!

Shimla Mirchi, Review: Chilly? Don't be silly! Several highs dot the career graph of director Ramesh Sippy, right from his debut in 1971 as a 24 year-old, with the remake of A Man and a Woman (Claude Lelouch, France, 1966) under the title, Andaz. Crests include Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay and Buniyaad (TV series), relative high points were reached with Saagar and Shakti, and troughs bogged him down when he attempted Shaan, Bhrashtachar, Akayla and Zamaana Diwana. Completed 19 years after Zama...

Helicopter Eela, Review: No copter, too much of Eela

Helicopter Eela, Review: No copter, too much of Eela An intriguing title, the film has nothing to do with helicopters. It is the story of a domineering and stubborn mother who has a fixation about her only son’s welfare and whereabouts. Trouble is he is twentyish and the last thing he needs or likes is being mothered all the time. Designed to showcase the talent of actress Kajol, and co-produced by hubby, actor Ajay Devgn, Helicopter Eela begins on a bright note and then peters down to ...

Hope Aur Hum, Review: Hoping against hope

Hope Aur Hum, Review: Hoping against hope Small-budget indies with clean, wholesome, slice of life content, surface regularly, taking you through bittersweet emotions, sans villains and super-heroes, animation and SFX. You appreciate the effort and admire the commitment. Some go on to win awards and renew your faith in alternate cinema. Some others sink without a trace, unable to match market demands and not measuring up to narrative benchmarks. Still others entertain and engage, raise hopes ...

Baa Baaa Black Sheep, Review: Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Baa Baaa Black Sheep, Review: Wolf in sheep’s clothing Director Vishwas Paandya is not serious. A confessional in the beginning dedicates Baa Baaa Black Sheep to the films he grew up on. He’s also asked his partner in crime (it’s a crime story), writer Sunjiv Puri, to strictly follow his brief. So, when the film was launched, in early 2015, they were probably referencing films of the 1980s-1990s. One character is named Charlie, in a tribute to the legendary comedian, who rul...
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