Former cricketer Kirti Azad with actress Sonam Chhabra during a special premiere show of their coming film 'Kirket: Bihar Ke Apmaan Se Samman Tak' in Patna.

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Huma Qureshi

Photograph by Yash Bhadauria

Actor Al Pacino, from left, director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert De Niro pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Irishman' as part of the London Film Festival, in central London.

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Bollywood actors Prateik Babbar and Subha Rajput during the promotion of upcoming film ' Yaaram', in New Delhi

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Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff and Vaani Kapoor cut a cake during a promotion of their upcoming Hindi film ‘War’, in Mumbai

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In this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh pose for photos during the promotion of their film 'Gully Boy', in New Delhi. Director Zoya Akhtar's "Gully Boy", featuring Ranveer Singh in the lead, has been selected as India's official entry in the International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sept. 22, 2019.

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Actress Penelope Cruz poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Wasp Network' at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice

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Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor during the promotions of her upcoming Hindi film 'The Zoya Factor, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Kapil Sharma, Archana Puran Singh and Kiku Sharda cut a cake during trailer launch of Hollywood film 'The Angry Birds Movie 2' in Mumbai. The trio has voiced for the characters Red, Leonard and Zeta respectively for it's Hindi Version.

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Rima Das’s Assamese feature Bul­bul Can Sing enthralled audie­nces at Berlin, Osaka and Edin­burgh. The ine­vitable happened at the Indian Film Festival in Melbourne, where it won ‘Best Indie Film’. Chief guest SRK, as can be seen, was moved by the talents of one of the best film-­makers working in India now.

They might be exultantly posing around a broodingly resplendent red planet, but do you, pati­ent assessors of Bolly­woodian verisimilitude, see determind space scientists in Sonakshi, Nithya Menen, Taapsee, Kirti Kulhari, Vidya and ‘mission director’ Akshay? Mission Mangal’s cast, who impersonate the ISRO team which sent Mangalyaan on its way, had better stick to the antakshari made pop­ular during its promotion. What next? Spuds growing on Akshay’s poop on Mars?

A still from Dangal

Debutant Karan Deol lunges in front of the camera but, ins­tead of his dad’s distinctive curling lips and vengeful snarl, graces his scenes with a loving vulnerability. Even Sunny, beh­ind the cameras, has to bow before the times. Pal Pal Dil Ke Pas (borrowed from a song featuring grandpa Dharmendra) also stars newcomer Saher Bamba, a girl with Bambi eyes.

Bollywood actors John Abraham and Mrunal Thakur, starcast of movie 'Batla House', pose for photographs, in New Delhi.

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Anand Kumar

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Hrithik Roshan in Super 30

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut poses for photos as she attends the promotion of her upcoming Hindi film ‘Judgementall Hai Kya’, in Mumbai

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Visitors at an exhibition on the film.

Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee

People watch a free outdoor movie at the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris.

AP Photo/Michel Euler

People watch a free outdoor movie screened on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris.


Bollywood actors Katrina Kaif and Shilpa Shetty pose for a photograph during the promotion of the upcoming film 'Bharat' on the sets of Super Dancer Chapter 3, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actor Salman Khan during the promotion of his upcoming film 'Bharat', on the sets of Super Dancer Chapter 3 in Mumbai

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Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi with Union Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari during the poster launch of his upcoming film 'PM Narendra Modi', in Nagpur.

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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.

Bollywood actor Ananya Pandey during a promotional event for her upcoming film 'Student of the Year 2', in Mumbai.

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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.

Photograph by PTI

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’.

Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan during a promotional event at Juhu, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit, Sonakshi Sinha, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Aditya Roy Kapur promote their upcoming film 'Kalank', in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actors Ananya Panday, Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria pose during the trailer launch of their upcoming film ‘Student of the Year 2’ in Mumbai

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Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan during a promotional event for their upcoming movie 'Kalank' at Lovely Professional University, in Jalandhar.

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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.

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Bollywood actress Vidya Balan at Critics' Choice Movie Awards, in Mumbai.

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Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit and Sonakshi Sinha pose for a photograph during the promotion of their upcoming Hindi film 'Kalank', in Mumbai

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Bollywood actors Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Sonakshi Sinha and Aditya Roy Kapur during promotion of their film 'Kalank' on the set of TV show Rising Star 3, in Mumbai.

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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.

Joe Russo, director of the movie 'Avengers: Endgame' speaks at the launch of Marvel Anthem for Indian fans, in Mumbai.

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John Malkovich lifts a baby during the filming of "The new Pope" the sequel of Paolo Sorrentino "The young Pope", in Rome.

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

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.

Photograph by PTI

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.

Photograph by PTI

Fans wear ghost masks at a marcprotesting the fate of Bhobishyoter Bhoot

Photograph by PTI

A view of the red carpet at the world premiere of "Captain Marvel" at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

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.

Photography by Getty Images

Cast members Priyanka Chopra and Rebel Wilson arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Isn't It Romantic" at The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and party leader Sanjay Raut during the special screening of film 'Thackeray', in Mumbai.

PTI Photo

Actresses from left, Freida PInto, Mrunal Thakur and Richa Chadha pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Love Sonia', in London.

Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP

Actress Rosa Salazar arrives for a press conference to promote her new film "Alita: Battle Angel" in Seoul, South Korea. The film will be released in South Korea on Feb. 5, 2019.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut poses for the photographers during the special screening of her upcoming film 'Manikarnika', in Mumbai.

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Police personnel keep vigil on the first day of the release of 'The Accidental Prime Minister', in Bhopal.

PTI Photo

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.

AP Photo/Luigi Costantini

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.

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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.

PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary

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.

Bollywood actors Katrina Kaif, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma during a promotional event for their upcoming film 'Zero', in New Delhi.

PTI Photo

Producer Mike Scully appears at Fox's "The Simpsons" 30th anniversary celebration at the Empire State Building in New York.

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Nicole Kidman arrives at the premiere of "Aquaman" at TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.


This image released by Warner Bros Pictures shows a scene from "Aquaman."

Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

This image released by Warner Bros Pictures shows Jason Momoa in a scene from "Aquaman."

Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

This image released by Warner Bros Pictures shows Amber Heard in a scene from "Aquaman."

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

This image released by Warner Bros Pictures shows a scene from "Aquaman."

Warner Bros. Pictures via AP

Hindu Sena activists stage a protest against the film 'Kedarnath' at south avenue mall, in Jabalpur

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Actress Sara Ali Khan at an event in Gurugram

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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.

Photograph by PTI

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.

Oscar winner A R Rahman, Oscar winner Resul pookutty at the trailer launch of "2.0" in Chennai.

PTI Photo

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.

Unspoken fear of the censor board (or the ruling regime) had always dissuaded directors from tackling anything related to the Emergency until Sudhir Mishra pulled off a fascinating film.

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.