A monthly shower of Bollywood previews, reviews and my unsolicited views
by Arup Raha
If you believe you are a follower of “Bollywood”, do any of these names ring a bell in your mind – Pawan Kriplani, Shashant Shah, S Manasvi, Amol Gupte, Krishna DK, Raj Nidimoru, Prawaal Raman, Luv Ranjan ? Perhaps not (except may be Amol Gupte who almost directed Taare Zameen Par!). These are the names of directors of notable movies recently released or to be released next weekend. Gone are the days when a movie worth talking about would always have a stalwart director. Almost all the people I have mentioned above are debutant directors or one-film old, but by no means are their products b-grade. While not flawless, some of these movies should definitely not be missed e.g. Krishna and Raj’s Shor In the City (thriller/drama), Shashant Shah’s Chalo Dilli (road) and Amol Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba (themed on children). This is the NEW Bollywood. For us, this trend is both good and bad. It is good because talented film-makers now have the support, money and audience to make these awesome movies and bad because many of these awesome movies are low on budget, star-power and overseas reach. There is a deluge of good small-budget films today in India, most of which unfortunately never hit the big screens of AMC, Regal, Cinemark or even Reliance’s BIG Cinemas in US. Us desis in videsh never get to see them in the way movies are supposed to be seen (i.e. on a large screen, in a public theatre, munching popcorn, and by large I really mean large and not a 9.7 inch ipad screen in your bed or a 9.7 feet screen in the basement!)
So while we have to live with poor quality viewing of high quality movies, we still have enough of the star-powered (read khan-powered), big-banner movies that will hopefully be good enough to draw us to the theatres in US. Most of us can never give up on two things – Indian food and Indian cinema and to satisfy your appetite for Bollywood cinema, here is my shortlist of the soon to be released Bollywood movies you can pick from:
Coming soon to a theatre near you
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – expected 15-July release (from Zoya Akhtar/Farhan Akhtar family)
Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol – 3 of the best in the industry in a story around male bonding. This one has all the indicators on for a hit in the making. DON’T MISS IT.
Delhi Belly – expected 1-July release (Aamir Khan production)
Imran Khan and others – an entertainer but this one is going to be different, very different – it is likely to break all records for bad language spoken in Hindi cinema – you can leave your kids at home – it will be safer for them to watch some R rated Hollywood movie. (I am going to watch this one because Vir Das is playing a character who is my namesake ☺)
Ready – expected 3-June release
Salman Khan and Asin – this should be a comic entertainer – a complete Masala film – fans of Wanted, Dabangg would love this one from “Character Dheela” Salman(who is back as “Prem”). Let’s see if it can create The Bang of Dabangg.
Coming soon to a store near you
Bhindi Bazaar Inc – a thriller starring some great actors (including my favorite Kay Kay Menon)
Bheja Fry 2 – if you have seen Bheja Fry, I am sure you will watch this one !
(I will also be looking for another movie called Kashmakash, which has a good possibility of being boring but good)
Next time, I hope to have reviews for some of these movies, but I cannot close today without mentioning the movie I AM. I have not seen it yet but I can recommend this as a must watch for serious lovers of serious cinema. Starring Rahul Bose, Juhi Chawla, Nandita Das, Manisha Koirala, there are four stories in this movie, each of which will touch your heart and rock your mind. Watch I AM also because it has been co-produced by 400 people like you and me who connected on Facebook to fund this movie. That is the NEW Bollywood I have been talking about! And now, I close with a question for you . Please leave your answer in the Comments section. If your answer is correct, you will be rewarded with a feeling of being a proud Bollywood fan!
This movie initially was originally expected to have AR Rahman as the music director but he declined as he was busy with Lagaan. Someone else composed the music, which became a huge hit and made India notice another powerful force in Bollywood music today. Which movie am I talking about?