Bollywood Review: Ram-Leela

336747,xcitefun-ram-leela-posterStarring: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Supriya Pathak, Richa Chaddha, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhimanyu Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Sveta Salve, Raza Murad

Directed by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

The basic premise of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, two lovers from enemy families, has been used numerous times in Bollywood, whether filmmakers acknowledge the play or not. Even in the past couple of years we’ve had Issaq and Ishaqzaade, both essentially versions of Romeo & Juliet set in modern India, which is what Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest is as well, but while those two went for more gritty realist approach, SLB sticks to what he does best: grand, colourful, full-on musicals.

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Music Review: Ram-Leela

Ram-Leela Poster

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next, a modern day romance set in Gujarat based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Ram-Leela, is releasing next month, and the soundtrack for the film was released this week. For a second time, Bhansali has composed the songs for his own film (or third, if you consider the one song he did  for Saawariya), and the lyrics are by Siddharth-Garima. The album has 10 songs, thankfully no remixes, and no versions of songs either, though that’s not something Bhansali usually has in his films anyway.

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Bollywood Trailer: Dhoom 3

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I know a few people who refuse to watch Bollywood movies, but will happily watch an Aamir Khan film, and so his next, Dhoom 3, will no doubt be one of the biggest films of the year, if not all time, in India. Especially since we’ve been kind of deprived of good films in mainstream Hindi films this year.

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Bollywood Review: Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai Dobaara

1157633_556814831022266_902611348_nStarring: Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Chetan Hansraj, Sonali Bendre, Sarfaraz Khan, Pitobash Tripathy

Directed by: Milan Luthria

Director Milan Luthria returns to the gang-world of Mumbai, with a completely new cast, and a change of era. This time the ruler of the city is Shoaib, previously played by Emraan Hashmi, but now replaced by a bigger name, Akshay Kumar. Shoaib spends a lot of his time hiding out in Oman, but when one of his own men plot to kill him, he returns to his city to deal with the matter himself. He has a chance encounter with Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha), and falls in love, however he’s not the only one with feelings for the wannabe actress. One of his own, Aslam (Imran Khan), becomes his rival over affections of Jasmine.

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Bollywood Review: Chennai Express

imgStarring: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Nikitin Dheer, Sathyaraj, Priyamani

Directed by: Rohit Shetty

Despite all the hype around it, whenever I saw a promo or heard of song from Chennai Express, I couldn’t get excited for it. I probably went into the film having half made up my mind, but a part of me was hoping to be surprised. But no, there’s nothing in Rohit Shetty’s latest which could properly excite or thrill me.  Continue reading

LIFF Closing Night: Bombay Talkies

Bombay-Talkies-posterStarring: Rani Mukherji, Randeep Hooda, Saqib Saleem, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Ranvir Shorey, Katrina Kaif, Vineet Kumar Singh, Amitabh Bachchan

Directed by: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian Cinema, producer Ashi Dua brought together four exciting directors of Bollywood, giving each a chance to tell a story in 25-30 minutes. Given that the four stories are essentially four separate short films, I will review them individually as well.

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Bollywood Review: Lootera

Lootera-PosterStarring: Sonakshi Sinha, Ranveer Singh, Vikrant Massey, Barun Chanda, Divya Dutta, Arif Zakaria, Adil Hussain

Directed by: Vikramaditya Motwane

The automatic comparison to make to Vikramaditya Motwane’s second film Lootera seems to be his first, the brilliant coming of age drama Udaan, but I’m not sure I agree that it’s fair. Apart from his obvious skill and talent for visual storytelling, the films aren’t similar enough to warrant the comparison. Lootera is as moving and beautifully made as Udaan was, but it’s part of a different genre, set in a different time, and made on a bigger scale.

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The 4th London Indian Film Festival – Preview

liff_press_logo (1)Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema returns to London next week, as the London Indian Film Festival opens its fourth edition on 18th July 2013. The festival will be bigger than ever this year, with films in many different languages, featuring their first Urdu film, and screening will take place across the city, as well as touring Bradford and Glasgow as well.

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Bollywood Review: Raanjhanaa

20130621-173149.jpgStarring: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Swara Bhaskar, Shilpi Marwaha, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub
Directed by: Anand L. Rai

The Hindu boy, Muslim girl love story has been done to death in Bollywood, and from the trailer Raanjhanaa seemed to be a sweet, possibly fun, version of that template. Thankfully, there’s more to the story than just the issue of a inter-religion romance, however it’s not just sweet and romantic either. There’s much more to the plot than the promos let on, and for that alone, the film deserves a chance, but it’s also quite a satisfying watch.

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Bollywood Review: Fukrey

532135_235465303263311_1906000126_nStarring: Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Ali Fazal, Manjot Singh, Richa Chaddha, Priya Anand, Pankaj Tripathi, Vishaka Singh

Directed by: Mrigdeep Singh Lamba

Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment is one the production houses in Bollywood from which you can expect good films, but they’re also usually associated with big budgeted affairs, with foreign locations and big names. Fukrey is a bit of a departure from that, it’s a much smaller film, set in Delhi, with the cast consisting of relatively new names. The change of pace hasn’t effected the quality of their productions though, Fukrey is a well made and fun film.

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