Saturday, December 8, 2012

TALAASH: A Puzzle Unsolved

**Review contains spoilers**
After queueing for tickets unsuccessfully a few times, today I was finally able to enter the cinema hall to watch Talaash, a film that had remained mysterious through its filming and even during its promotion for me and which I was patiently waiting to unveil.
Let's cut to the chase: The film starts with a fine cinematic glossing over Bombay’s underworld, sung masterfully by Suman Sridhar in what I believe is the most original song in the soundtrack. The poor, the gamblers, the prostitutes, the forgotten are all shown through a skillful lens… Once the tone has been set, a car falls into the sea in an accident that will become the object of investigation for inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan). A few scenes later, the audience realizes that the inspector has lost his young son in an underwater accident too. This has affected his relationship with his beautiful wife (Rani Mukherji). The plot is set to deliver a profound psychological suspense drama. The audience’s curiosity is piqued as to how the main character will be freed from his grief through the findings he will make in his crime investigation.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

LIFE OF PI: Depths of a Soul's Ocean

Not having read the book Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, I was skeptical about taking the “theatre leap” to watch a film based on such a universally praised novel. Facebook echoes of pleased viewers in India and the talent-studded cast of Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Gérard Dépardieu and Adil Hussain however ended nudging me towards watching the tigersome adventure.
I can joyfully say I was not disappointed. Apart from a few lengthy areas, the story had my companion and me hoping, feeling, smiling or speechless for the protagonist. And just when you think all has been said and done in the story, Pi’s ark provokes more thoughts and feelings than you expected.

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Friday, October 12, 2012


More than one 90s queen of Bollywood has set her sights on making a "comeback" with a film that showcases her middle-age talent and beauty. Madhuri Dixit's Aaja Nachle and a more recent Aiyyaa starring Rani Mukherjee have received lukewarm responses, however a rare jewel of Hindi cinema was still to appear with the comeback of Sridevi, who held the coveted role of India's sweetheart for many a year.
I believe I have less words to express how strongly I recommend watching English Vinglish than for any other review I have written before. Quite simply because English Vinglish is much better watched than read through another viewer's eyes, as colorful or detailed critics as they may be.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

BHOOTER BHOBISHYOT: Spooky Wit Unleashed!

Today's film review may be coming a bit late but when the Hindi Cinema Blog comes across witty and fun cinema, we tend to say "better late than never"! Bhooter Bhobishyot is a witty tale that gives us food for thought as it tells us the story of ancient Calcutta mansions which are being increasingly demolished to make way for the construction of modern shopping malls. The catch is that ghosts that inhabited and happily haunted the capital's heritage properties are finding themselves homeless without the civil society or the government doing anything about it! Ayan (Parambrata Chatterjee, who, for Bollywood buffs unfamiliar with Tollywood, is the pitch-perfect actor who starred opposite Vidya Balan in Kahaani) is an aspiring feature film maker. He listens to the story of a motley crew of ghosts from all social backgrounds, times, creeds, tastes and even nationalities in the search for the perfect plot to make a super hit movie.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Masterful Kapoor in BARFI! - Film Review

Long before Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D'Cruz and Priyanka Chopra faced a stampede in Bangalore a few days ago, Barfi! had entered my consciousness with its adorable trailer. Having watched it at its release, I have searched my words for several hours and would say that the film does not end when one comes out of the cinema hall. This one stays with you well beyond.

Barfi! is the story of Murphy/Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) set in 1970's Darjeeling and Calcutta. Barfi is a mischievous and clever deaf-mute youth who falls in love with Shruti (Ileana D'Cruz). While Shruti feels affection for Barfi, she prefers to marry a man approved by her parents. When several years later, Shruti and Barfi meet again, he lives with Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra), his autistic childhood friend who suddenly goes missing. As Shruti helps Barfi find the girl he now loves, she understands that she has never stopped loving him. Love and the pursuit of happiness are delicately portrayed by all three actors.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

EK THA TIGER Review: Romancing Masala

Once upon a time there was Tiger... A Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif starrer... a full-blown masala entertainer... what could rake in more box office success?
Ek Tha Tiger has been the press' favorite phenomenon this week due to its record breaking success figures and most media is likely to praise and recommend it.The film is a Yash Chopra production with Salman Khan as its main man and therefore makes the movie an entire Salman Khan centered affair, with a fresh-as-a-flower looking Katrina Kaif as his befitting love interest.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Independence Day in India: AP Photo from
As I wake up this 14 of August to merry music outside and talented high-pitched voices coming from a street sound system at 6am, there is no doubt. Festivities have been launched to celebrate India's independence.
Later, as the day subsides, evening streets are filled with people, honking vehicles, colored lanterns and sweet smelling flower garlands hanging from every imaginable corner and at every roundabout. The air smells of delicious fried snacks, spice, incense, smoke and excitement. Fleeting fireworks thunder here and there and the thumping of the latest movie hits sweeps through the trees. Movie soundtracks are such an integral part of the Independence Day celebration that I am compelled to draw a parallel between the nation's freedom and it's cinema's “independent” essence. Indian cinema to me has long represented that which has dared to create larger than life or over the top scenes or characters that have become legendary symbols... The temptation to do a recap of Indian cinema's unique and independent character is too pressing!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012


Post by: Narendra Kusnur
The Hindi Cinema Blog would like to thank Narendra Kusnur for accepting to have his article, celebrating Rajesh Khanna's life, talent and career, featured in our blog. Narendra is passionate about music and has turned his passion into his activity through music journalism and handling music projects for important labels in India. He writes informative and clever musings on Indian and international music at Kaansen Kalling and we music buffs at HCB continuously learn from him. It is a true pleasure to feature your thoughtful tribute to Rajesh Khanna, Narendra!
Ten days after leaving Mother Earth, Rajesh Khanna is wondering how he will settle in Paradise, when he is escorted to a door marked ‘Hindi Film Superstars’. It is one of many rooms given to newcomers based on their achievements in life. There, residents are allowed to spend exactly a year, before they move to a larger place called ‘Super Heaven’.
Before knocking the door, Khanna is very keen to visit the neighbouring room called ‘Musicians’, where Mehdi Hassan, Bhupen Hazarika and Jagjit Singh are rehearsing a song, composed by Ravi and featuring Sultan Khan on sarangi. But the director-general of Paradise insists that he can only enter the ‘Hindi Film Superstars’ room.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012


Guest post by Amer Shoib from The Cinema Journal
Amer Shoib has been a huge fan of cinema from childhood and has always been a huge Amitabh Bachchan fan. Amer works in London and has made his dream of becoming a part time entertainment correspondent come true. As such, Amer has interviewed some of the biggest figures in entertainment, the media and major celebrities and is an avid cinema watcher and reviewer.
The trailers of Kunal Kohli's Teri Meri Kahaani made us all think that the film was a reincarnation drama. Seeing the three different looks of the lead pair Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra over three different eras, there were speculations that the film might have the lead pair reborn again and again. However, "Teri Meri Kahaani" is not a reincarnation film. It's a love story of three different pairs spread over three generations". Can Kunal Kohli strike gold with this hatke love story?
Can we truly luv one person throughout our life and hope that fate makes us meet with the same person in every life of ours? 
The story of the film takes us through a journey of eternal love between a couple who have vowed to love each other not only in this life but in every life to follow. Their love is so strong that destiny wants to bring them together. The story starts in 1969 Bombay with Govind and Ruksar, then moves ahead to present times, 2012 England with Radha and Krish and then goes back in time to Punjab, 1910 with Aradhana and Javed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Guest post by Dolce from the Dolce and Namak Talk Indian Movies blog
Dolce (Italian for “sweet”) is an Eastern European movie addict (Indian movies to be precise) who has made Toronto, Canada her home over the past few years. She has an endless infectious enthusiasm for movies, songs, settings, dances, badassness and everything else that makes Indian movies a world of their own. You may visit Dolce's blog by clicking here..
One of the biggest disadvantages of having a group of friends where everyone is 3-5 years younger than you is that you're always waiting for people to grow up. You keep making excuses for them and keep saying: they'll grow up when they get a real job, they'll grow up when they find a steady girlfriend/boyfriend, they'll grow up when they move out, etc. And there is some truth to that because that is usually how people learn responsibility and maturity. In fact, on the opposite end, the most telling sign that someone is refusing to grow up is that they will do anything (and I mean ANYthing) to not get a full-time job, or what we call a "real" job.
In a way, Bollywood is like these friends of mine: it keeps refusing to let its heroines (and heroes sometimes) grow up. In real life, if someone is responsible enough to keep a real job and live on their own, we also expect them to be emotionally mature. (Of course that expectation can backfire horribly, but that's for a different day to discuss.) But Bollywood, as I have discovered, doesn't like emotionally mature characters. It follows logically that they cannot have jobs (or if they do they're in the artistic realm), live on their own or make reasonable (read: mature) decisions. So... they don't.

I have already discussed in my blog that a fair percentage of the male characters have become manchildren (without actually getting to the bottom of why that is, but we might get there in this post), so it's only right to now discuss what type of female characters will suit these boys. Not surprisingly: girls! Not women. Girls. Sometimes (not very often, thankfully!) manic pixie dream girls and other times just girls in the process of growing up along with their hero. But girls nonetheless.

Look around at Bollywood movies from the past two decades: how many women can we count and how many girls? And of those women, how many are the heroine? Moreover, how many of those heroines end up with the hero? Three questions, each worth exploring in some detail.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

VICKY DONOR: More than a Find... a Hit!

Backed by John Abraham's production and cool promotional video, Vicky Donor surprises by thinking out of the box in all departments: its subject, its excellent acting (Yes! No humongous stars in this one but still lots of bang for your buck!), cute and funny script and last but not least, a pleasant soundtrack. With all this working for the film, there is no going wrong with Shoojit Sircar's comedy.
New Delhi is the setting of Dr Baldev Chaddha's (Annu Kapoor) failing fertility clinic and sperm bank. Dr. Chaddha's problems seem solved when he meets Vicky Arora (Ayushmann Khurrana), a handsome young man who lives with his mother struggling to make ends meet. Dr. Chaddha is convinced that Vicky is the donor who would erase all his sperm bank woes. His duty remains to convince the young man, and once this happens, one wonders what the future love life of Vicky will become.

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Friday, March 16, 2012


Guest post by: Arnab Maity
Arnab is at simultaneously a photographer, a seasoned traveler and a software analyst from Bangalore who also delights his readers and photography enthusiasts regularly at his own blog: His never ending wanderlust has contributed to making him develop a keen taste for road movies. Fly away with him and his list of Top 10 Road Trips of the Century from all over the world, which features a couple of our own Hindi language favorites.
We all love our road trips, don’t we? That orifice to vent out the vapors of our day to day chores, to bring us out into the open, sometimes gifting unusual sights and sometimes making us meet unusual people, who leave a mark throughout our lives.

We all have such road trips in our lives, which had changed many a thing about us and there are many such movies which have inspired us to leave our couches and get onto to the road!

This compilation consists of those movies, which had left us thinking and made us pack our bags, to explore the unexplored and meet the unknown.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

An Unmissable KAHAANI! - Film Review

Shah Rukh Khan once said about his co-star Madhuri Dixit: "Madhuri is the most solid man I've met in the industry. Yeah, you heard right. She's truly like a man. She's the most solid thinker, solid emotionally, solid believer (...) She's the complete Indian film heroine."
The above quote today inevitably brings to the mind current "hero-ine" Vidya Balan. In a male centered film industry, her sound script sense and her talent currently make her one of Bollywood's most regarded professionals, up there with the sharpness of the market-savviest male stars or the talent of the best actors in the industry. She has turned the audience's focus to women characters with a solid hand, making men and women alike love her for it. After Ishqiya, No One Killed Jessica and The Dirty Picture, it is today Kahaani's turn to blow the spectator away with Balan's ability to subtly perform within a team, focusing on her characters as individuals more than as female roles, while intelligently allowing her co-stars to shine along with her too.
Kahaani is the story of Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan), a 7-month pregnant woman who arrives in Kolkata from London to look for her missing husband but is confronted with clues that her husband in reality does not exist. It is natural to feel for a Vidya who struggles to know who is telling the truth while the story effectively morphs into a suspense-thriller, with the audience hanging on to every moment hoping to unravel the mystery and wishing that the main character will manage to keep her and her unborn baby safe.

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Monday, February 27, 2012


A movie buff usually plans the Oscars soirée in advance and spends hours glued to the TV screen rooting for his/her favorites.
I am however one movie buff who barely remembers the last time she sat down to watch the Oscars. My love for films and good stories currently only motivates me to follow the Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Picture and then the list of actual winners for all categories once the gala is over.  "Why?", I have been asked time and again. This would seem a simple question to answer but, upon second thought, it sort of opens a pandora box of thoughts regarding cinema in general, Academy award policies and, last but not least, Indian cinema.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

EK MAIN AUR EKK TU: When Kareena met Imran (and vice versa)

It had been talked about long and plenty. Ever since Imran Khan had graced the screen in JTYJN, he had expressed his wish of starring alongside Kareena Kapoor in the future while Kareena remained nonetheless religiously faithful to the sure career-building value of the older Khan heroes whether it be Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir or her beau, Saif Ali Khan.
When she finally and fortunately agreed to sharing screen space with a male lead of her age once again (her last great performance with a co-star her age having won her many Jab We Met accolades), Imran Khan was thankfully the natural choice. And we the audience have absolutely no regrets.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


 Guest Post by: Diwali
Diwali is an enthusiastic Sanjay Dutt supporter who has agreed to give us her take on Kancha, Sanjay Dutt's newest character in the acclaimed Agneepath, directed by Karan Malhotra. The Hindi Cinema Blog thanks her for her valuable contribution to more literature on this amazing actor and is glad to leave more detailed introductions to Diwali herself. :-)
Okay, for the record and for those who don't know me: I love Sanju. However, I do not call myself a "fan" – I prefer the attribute "supporter" for that is what I do: I support Sanju for better and for worse. Sure, you might point out that I was crazy enough to fly down to Mumbai from Germany for only a two day stay (!) two years ago just because I got an invitation to meet Sanjay Dutt. On the other side, this meeting confirmed my opinions about the human being Sanju (I always cared more for the human being than for the actor) and so I keep on supporting him running my website and my Twitter fanclub SanjayDuttFC for him. Even a series of flops (not undeserved in the case of those mindless comedies in 2011) cannot change my affection for him given that, as I said, the man means more to me than his movies.

When the news was out that Sanju would play the role of the villain Kancha in Karan Johar's Agneepath I got the immediate feeling that this could turn out to be one of his best movies. My confidence grew when I heard that he should go bald for Kancha for this sounded just too good. I guess I should add that I do not belong to those film fans who always want their favorites to look good/dashing/sexy/hot or whatever on screen. I love actors who don't care about how they look in their films and who do not shy away from ugliness if the role requires it. And Sanju is such an actor. He has proved it again and again since his early years in the industry. He never wanted to be a star given that, as he once said, stars fade while actors stay forever.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

DON 2 - THE CHASE CONTINUES: Shah Rukh is Back!

  DON 2: The Chase Continues review by Diana (Italian Cinema Hindi Blog)
Rating: *****
Have you been on holiday and have totally relaxed? Have you been enjoying the seasonal festive banquets, oblivious to whatever is happening in other parts of the world? Or have you returned to normal daily life, becoming absorbed in the same everyday boring duties? 

In case you did not know: THE KING IS BACK. 

Drop it all and take the first plane to Mumbai, London or any other place in the civilized world (Fiji, for example!) And without stopping for food, sleep or even calling your mother to tell her you have landed safely, head to the nearest cinema to watch Don 2: The Chase Continues. You will never be the same again.