Say you’re sent to a seven-day ‘bartending workshop’, learning how to shake, mix, serve, flip...can you restrain yourself from a sneaky sip, that wicked quaff to pick thing up faster. No? Learn then from lovely Rakul Preet, who went through the ‘fun’ thing for De De Pyar De (Oh! the demands of Method!). You don’t need a stiff one before watching this one.
At first glance, this could have been any Hollywood acting great in disguise, softly launching into a great spell—Al Pacino, Donald Sutherland, Erland Josefsson, Laurence Olivier...take your pick. It happens to be Bachchan, in the upcoming Chehre. Hope the director will give Big B moments of gravity.
The big screen is still high in the pecking order, but you wouldn’t cry yourself to bed if you don’t make it there. Streaming platforms are the younger tigers, inviting young actors like Anupriya Goenka to earn their stripes. She earned space in Tiger Zinda Hai and Padmavaat, but is banking on The Final Call and Criminal Justice to call herself a star.
If you’re 21, and called ‘a former beauty queen’, your ego will not let you be, but goad you to stomp into Bollywood and try to stamp your smile onto millions of gaping retinas. Since Manushi Chhillar looks fetching in yellow, leaning so against a rock, the debutante’s co-star Ranveer Singh (in a Yash Raj film) must really insist on the insertion of a similar scene.
He bided his time patiently, getting out of India, working the motor assembly lines in Detroit, on a film set in Hollywood, then in England, on the spoor of his prey—Michael O’Dwer, the Punjab Governor in 1919. On the occasion of the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Shoojit Sircar is out with a biopic of Udham Singh. Vicky Kaushal looks the part.
You’ve have ogled at the beauteous Kiara Advani cooing with pleasure in Lust Stories; here she wades into an emerald lagoon, sighing in a different sort of ecstasy. Shahid Kapoor and Kiara had just completed shooting their Kabir Singh, a remake of Telugu hit Arjun Reddy, a sad tale of a surgeon going bonkers after his heart is broken.
There’s no reason, we agree, to gaze again at the lovely faces of Ananya and Tara at another promo for Student of the Year 2. But this one is for that lithe, mean, dancing-fighting machine, Tiger Shroff. The man who can kick aside the whole lot of simpering actors is set to reprise his role (“a larger-than-life, shirtless hero”) in the next instalment of Baaghi.
Lanky (or is it a photo illusion?) and mighty purty, Ananya Panday, the debutante in Student of the Year 2, is enjoying top billing in...proud dad Chunky’s social media posts. The cute thing every schoolboy would love to love has just had her night curfew lifted.
Chinese audiences’ appetite for Bollywood drama rages unabated. The latest one to have the Peking boys stampede into the theatres and Shanghai’s dames squeal in pleasant fright is Sriram Raghavan’s suspense thriller Andha Dhun (marketed also as Piano Player, shades of Truffaut crime caper here) starring Ayushmann and Radhika. Rs 219 crore in two weeks is a handily handsome strike rate. Long live our ‘soft power’.
We suspect Alia Bhatt has that chameleon-like quality native to some truly great peformers (Alec Guiness being the presiding deity). Take the gaggle of shutters away...Alia, soaked in her character from Kalank, truly looks like she belongs to 1940s Lahore. Those Kathak sessions with Pt Birju Maharaj glitters through.
Doesn’t he seem to have owned the part already? An ageing patriarch, we imagine, with fading powers but swagger intact, a gamchha slung rakishly around his neck, portending a ready offer of offence taken. In accepting a role in Uyarntha Manithan (Tamil), Amitabh has done the best thing in years—leave his footmark amidst one of the most fanatical film-lovers in the world.
Laxmi Agarwal’s life has revolved around acid—decrying and lobbying for banning the sale of the stuff so that dangerous perverts don’t do to girls what someone did to her when she was only 15. Her indomitable courage is eminently filmable, and Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapak tells her inspiring tale. This is Deepika as Malti, a character based on Laxmi.
The Lok Sabha elections draw near, so does the biopic of the country’s prime minister. Perfectly timed its release might be, but PM Narendra Modi has earned the ire of lyricist Javed Akhtar—he was wrongly credited for work in a project he wasn’t involved in. Then there’s scepticism about how good a likeness is a shapely Vivek Oberoi for our most prominent politician. Ah, but just go in for the old-fashioned songs: Ye desh nahin mitne dunga, sings a patriotic Modi in the film.
Was the Kannada movie industry in mourning when Nidhi Subbaiah moved northwest to Bollywood to ply her moves in Oh My God and Ajab Gazabb Love? A siren call must have answered another—Nidhi is safely back in Bangalore.
Except for the droopy eyes, everything in the person of the grizzled Sanjay Dutt has put on age since he loped so memorably in Khalnayak and Thanedaar. His co-actor in those, Madhuri Dixit, seems untouched by Father Time, as ever. The pair makes another sally together in Kalank. Root for them.
Danny Denzongpa looked a natural amidst his generation actors as they grew seadily angrier; his son Rinzing, who combines heavy-lidded freshness with massive biceps, might be just the dose of diversity we need. His debut action film will have seven stunt teams under Keir Beck (Matrix, Mad Max: Fury Road). Yeah, take care of this boy, do.
If ever there was a sudden, sucked out vaccum of absence from Bollywood glamour, it was Nargis Fakhri’s six-month sabbatical. Pouting afresh like a rare blood moon, she emerges from the shadows, stunning poise intact, in Amavas. Was it tough out of the spotlight? Look at her; the query dissolves into irrelevance.
Actor John Malkovich, left, dressed in papal robe, and Italian film director Paolo Sorrentino, second from right, are seen on the set during the filming of the tv serial 'The New Pope' in Venice, northern Italy. A sequel to the 2016 'The Young Pope', it stars John Malkovich and Jude law among others.
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar and hockey player Balbir Singh at Dhyan Chand National Stadium, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Kumar's upcoming film 'Gold', directed by Reema Kagti, is based on true events about India winning its first Olympic gold medal in hockey as a free nation in 1948.
Security personnel stand guard outside a cinema hall after the release of film 'Padmaavat', in Delhi, Thursday, Jan 25, 2018. The movie was mired in controversy after various Rajput groups, including Rajput Karni Sena, raised their objections towards the content of the film.
Give fulsome credit to make-up artistes, if you marvel at how authentically period-Punjabi Parineeti and Akshay look in this still from Kesari. We imagine the duo would cavort around the central theme: the Battle of Saragarhi in 1897, when 21 Sikh soldiers fought off 10,000 Afghan invaders.
State BJP leaders complained about the hero criticising high GST on medicines, and even took pot shots at (Joseph) Vijay’s religion. With the media latching onto this attack, the film became a hit. But the GST reference was dropped in the Telugu dub.
This film, in which Vijay succeeds his father, a don, was promoted with the tag line Born to Lead. CM Jayalalitha didn’t relish the loaded line, and Thalaivaa was released only after the line was removed from all publicity material and the on-screen title.
A 2012 hit, remade in Hindi with Akshay Kumar as Holiday, this film drew objections from Islamic groups
in Tamil Nadu for portraying Muslims as terrorist sleeper cells. Vijay and his father had to mute a few dialogues to placate them.
Ahead of the release, Vijay tried to join the Youth Congress (but was overage) and tried to share a platform with Rahul Gandhi, but the ruling DMK kept him away. They also blocked the release until Vijay’s father met Karunanidhi and waved the white flag.
As if to emphasise the shape that’s inevitably summoned up by the mere mention of his next film’s name, Shahrukh tucked in golgappas in Mumbai on his birthday. But Zero—about a vertically challenged man—has now fallen afoul of some Sikhs, who think the film disrespects the kirpan. We hope they would forgive old SRK.
Namaste England, the film was to be called, and its (possibly) oafish director thought a corny desi name gave him the licence to misbehave with a beautiful ingenue by promising her a lead role in it. Iranian actor Elnaaz Norouzi’s pained allegations scorched the front pages of a tabloid in shame. Till the charges are acted upon, we stand by the petite Sacred Games star.
Amit Masurkar’s movie about a young, upright government employee entrusted with the task of holding polls in a Maoist-infested district met with critical and commercial successes. It was also the official Indian entry in the best foreign film category for the Oscars.
Its positive nationalism went much beyond the nation in terms of influence, creating huge collections in China. Towering over the film, actor-producer Aamir pushed Bollywood boundaries in terms of scope and content, à la Raj Kapoor.
A testament to the technological prowess of Telugu cinema, Baahubali (1 & 2) moved much farther than being a regional film.Filmmaker S.S. Rajamaouli has raised the bar in fantasy cinema so high that Bollywood isn’t even trying in that direction.
Salman Khan’s movies have all been about himself in recent times, but it was this tale of a simple soul who risks his life to reunite a little girl with her family in Pakistan that will stay in public memory. This rare one from the Bandra boy goes beyond muscle-flexing.
An indie movie at its best, it had everything—a gripping plot, riveting performances and superb direction. A drama exposing caste and gender inequalities, Masaan engaged with small town reality in a sensitive manner, making it a modern classic.
A cracker of a film which underlined woman power in Indian cinema like never before. In the maverick Kangana Ranaut, Bollywood finally discovered an actress who was capable of delivering Rs 100-crore hits without the prop of any male superstar by her side.
Few Indian movies in recent years have created as much buzz at the international festival circuit as Ritesh Batra’s love story of an ageing widower and a young housewife who are connected because of an innocuous delivery of a lunch box to a wrong address.
Set in a godforsaken place in erstwhile Bihar, the two-part film did not open with ticket windows on fire, but quickly attained cult status. Revolving around the coal mafia, it is arguably Bollywood’s best gang war movie.
LSD unfolded before three eyes: CCTV, handycam, spy cam, and exposed what was about to be laid bare anyway very soon—breakdown of the personal, acceptable and the ethical, behind a ubiquitous lens. Salute.
Until Anurag Kashyap’s breakthrough, Sharat babu’s Devdas was wallowing weightily in the 21st century, the Bhansali version having only added opulence to a cliché. Dev D exhumed him from film city and brought him to the raw and real city with stupendous style.
Rajkumar Hirani underscored his credentials with his Munna Bhai movies but 3 Idiots catapulted him into a league of his own. Based on a Chetan Bhagat bestseller, the film consolidated Aamir Khan’s reputation as a superstar who could do no wrong.
Shahrukh had by now begun to be known as only the hero of feel-good musicals. But this movie, where he played a hockey team coach who grooms a bunch of gutsy girls to fight for the country’s glory, gave glimpses of an actor trapped in a star image.
An Othello from western UP! Vishal Bhardwaj took Shakespeare to the dusty badlands of the Hindi heartland and conjured a powerful film. The surprise of surprises was Langda Tyagi, played to perfection by an otherwise metro-centric Saif Ali Khan.
A hand-held camera loitering inside a Punjabi wedding house captured the revelry as well as complications of personal narratives in both intimate and voyeuristic ways. Mira Nair blended Hollywood and Bollywood to make one that appealed to different time zones.
This dose of gabru jingoism tugged at the audience’s heartstrings rather forcefully. And to spectacular effect. Although, nestled within this saga of aggression is an inter-faith love story that could stand separately. Gadar worked both in single screens and multiplexes.
The script was initially rejected by Aamir Khan, but good sense prevailed and Ashutosh Gowariker’s veritable ode to the never-say-die spirit of rural India under the Raj became a landmark film. Just what the doctor ordered for an escape from the tired romantic musicals!
A coming-of-age film that redefined ‘bromance’ and signalled the arrival of a new-age audience that was not ready to carry forward the tropes of Hindi cinema. A game changer, it spawned an era of urban-centric cinema fully compatible with the emerging multiplexes.
Shot on real locations in Mumbai, the film underlined the plight of the city’s bar dancers. Madhur Bhandarkar’s peek into the darker side of the megapolis was as close to reality as possible. No wonder, it won four national awards, including one for a brilliant Tabu.
This one truly took Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s dreams of grandeur to the Indian household. The minutely detailed illusion of a temporally unbothered Gujarati haveli seemed to make for unavoidable indulgence.
For many future cinephiles, Ram Gopal Verma’s visceral magnum opus came as antidote to ’90s Bollywood’s arrow-through-the-heart mush attack. The guerilla frames of Satya announced the arrival of a genre many auteurs would craft their careers around later.
The first of Deepa Mehta’s trilogy loosely based on Ismat Chugtai’s Lihaaf kicked up a storm over the depiction of lesbian relations. It also fuelled a fierce freedom of speech debate. Beyond all the controversies, it was a nuanced film about love and longing.
By the time Raj and Simran made it through the tulip gardens of Keukenhof to the mustard fields of Kapurthala, superstardom had already pecked their sunkissed faces. A mandatory entry to any Bollywood list, DDLJ added the ‘king’ to the Khan 23 years ago.
We don’t know, but maybe Salman Khan has set himself a goal—to follow in Dev Anand’s hallowed footsteps and launch actresses. The one he is promoting has A-list genes: the comely Pranutan Bahl, grand-daughter of Nutan. No, don’t compare, just accept her as she is.
At times, actors are overwhelmed by their just-canned film, and their character within it. Taapsee Pannu, who is on a fairly good run, is enveloped in the world of Anurag Kashyap’s Manmazriyaan and the difficult, garrulously adorable Rumi. See it to share her enthusiasm.
Fans hike up Pulpit Rock where Paramount Pictures organised a special screening of "Mission: Impossible - Fallout", in Forsand, Norway. The film's last sequences were shot at this location, where the makers recreated India's Kashmir.
(L to R) Actor Jimmy Shergill, Dir. Tigmanshu Dhulia, actress Mahie Gill, film producer Rahul Mittra, actress Chitrangda Singh, actor Sanjay Dutt during Film promotion Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3 in DLF Mall of India, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.