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Siraj Syed


Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. 

 

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Blind Date, Review: A ‘play’ upon words, in which the blind lead the blind

Blind Date, Review: A ‘play’ upon words, in which the blind lead the blind Film and TV professionals got together to present a play at the RangSharda Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai on August 12, under the title, Blind Date. It was about two blind persons alright, but there was no ‘date’, blind or otherwise. Punning on the concept, actor Pranav Tripathi wrote the original version in Gujarati and got Hindi film, TV and theatre veteran Raman Kumar to translate and adapt it in...

Shayan Italia and Farhad Vijay Arora recreate Indian National Anthem in 8K Ultra HD

Shayan Italia and Farhad Vijay Arora recreate Indian National Anthem in 8K Ultra HD In just 48 hours, the Indian National Anthem #IWouldStandForThis version became the most successful Indian National Anthem video on YouTube securing over 8.6 million views. #IWouldStandForThis honours the Indian National Anthem (Jana Gana Mana), performed by Shayan Italia in 8K Ultra HD, on the world’s grandest piano, to pay homage to his mother. #IWouldStandForThis brings together multinational cross-cu...

Christopher Robin, Review: It’s always a sunny day, When Christopher Robin comes to play

Christopher Robin, Review: It’s always a sunny day, When Christopher Robin comes to play Christopher Robin was seen by us critics on the day when he was much needed in England as the day’s play in the cricket test match between India and England was washed out due to rain. There was no sun around. It is this sunny demeanour of helping people--living by principles and loving animals as if they were people--that is at the core of Christopher Robin. And with Winnie the Pooh at the ce...

The Spy Who Dumped Me, Review: Jumped, Pumped, Slumped, Stumped

The Spy Who Dumped Me, Review: Jumped, Pumped, Slumped, Stumped Pre-credit scenes à la James Bond, the JB theme variation in a couple of scenes and a title that is a clear Ian Fleming lift—remember The Spy Who Loved me? This one is an action comedy, with both components in equal measure. Action is fast and furious and the comedy punctuates the thrills, with the help of a comedians+mimics cast. The Spy Who Dumped Me is funny enough to make you chuckle and laugh at regular interval...

The Redrum-A Love Story, Review: Tell-tale heart has no tale, no heart and little story

The Redrum-A Love Story, Review: Tell-tale heart has no tale, no heart and little story Did you notice? Edgar Allan Poe just turned in his grave. And what might have caused that change of posture, you might ask. Valid question. He learnt from his underground network of informants that a short story he wrote 175 years ago called Tell-Tale Heart has been made into a film. Not just any film, a ‘psychological thriller’ called The Redrum. Curiosity aroused? For those without a murdero...

ConnecTechAsia/BroadcastAsia 2018, XIV: “Three sectors poised for IoT disruption in 2018”--SOTI

ConnecTechAsia/BroadcastAsia 2018, XIV: “Three sectors poised for IoT disruption in 2018”--SOTI Businesses across a number of industries stand to benefit from adopting IoT technologies Despite the huge rise in connected devices, there are still some industries that are hesitant to adopt new technologies, regardless of the business benefits. With nearly 20 billion devices predicted to be connected to the IoT by 2020, it is essential that organisations invest in new IoT technologie...

ConnecTechAsia/BroadcastAsia 2018, XIII: Wohler’s Signal Monitoring For Every Requirement

ConnecTechAsia/BroadcastAsia 2018, XII I: Wohler’s Signal Monitoring For Every Requirement Whether you are looking to replace their existing signals with IP completely or simply want to bridge between both classic and IP infrastructures, Wohler’s IP monitoring solutions can help you solve their challenges today. AMP2-16V – The World's Finest Audio/Video Monitor™ now has modules for AoIP including Dante and Ravenna /AES67. Already own a unit? Their simple modular u...

Karwaan, Review: Falls just short of its destination

Karwaan, Review: Falls just short of its destination Quite predictably, the two primary reasons for wanting to see Karwaan would be the Hindi debut of Kerala’s superstar, Mammooty’s son, Dulquer Salmaan, already a heart-throb, and a chance to watch the (these days) seriously ill Irrfan, in a major role. Director Akarsh Khurana’s second outing comes after the forgettable High Jack, released a few months ago, so that is not an attraction. Both, the debutant and Irrfan, impress...

Mulk, Review: Half-baked attempt at addressing a burning national issue

Mulk, Review: Half-baked attempt at addressing a burning national issue Right in the beginning, the makers tell you that the film is inspired by real-life incidents, as reported in Indian media, and that they have no intention of suggesting that some acts of some persons are representative of the entire community. Mulk addresses the burning issue of terrorism and tries to convey the triple messages that perpetrators of terror should not be identified on the basis of their religion, that terr...

Mama Mia 2! Here we go again, Review: ABBAsolutely delightful--See that film, enjoy the scenes

Mama Mia 2! Here we go again, Review: ABBAsolutely delightful--See that film, enjoy the scenes Co-incidences and flashbacks galore dot the story of Mama Mia 2! Here We Go Again, a sure-fire recipé for disaster in so many films. Not here, though. Here, they are never one too many. And linking them all are some delightful songs and dances, in a 114 minute long ode to bittersweet things called life and love. A jukebox romantic comedy it is, but so well executed and integrated that it almo...

ConnecTechAsia 2018, XII: American, APAC business turns to HokuApps for enterprise mobility

ConnecTechAsia 2018, XII: American, APAC business turns to HokuApps for enterprise mobility  Organisations in the US and APAC are increasingly choosing HokuApps’ Enterprise RAD model to build the right kind of enterprise-level app eyeing digital business transformation. HokuApps’ uniqueness lies in its data integration platform that offers rapid connectivity to suit all API specifications at 10X faster speed and at a surprisingly affordable price. Businesses can choose from m...

Nawabzaade, Review: One woman, three men, infinite boredom

Nawabzaade, Review: One woman, three men, infinite boredom No, I did not do that! Really! Why would a conscientious critic invert half the picture from the poster? It’s there, on their Facebook page. See for yourself. Those three upside down bodies belong to young bachelors, who go under the euphemism of princes’ sons, but are paupers in real life. They are desperate to find suitable girls to marry, but who will even look at them, let alone marry them? Enter a family that moves i...

ConnecTechAsia/CommunicAsia 2018, VIII: AsiaSat collaborates with KBZ to provide OTT via satellite in Myanmar

ConnecTechAsia/CommunicAsia 2018, VIII: AsiaSat collaborates with KBZ to provide OTT via satellite in Myanmar Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat – SEHK: 1135), Asia’s leading satellite operator, has announced its collaboration with KBZ Gateway Company Limited (KBZ) to explore business opportunities for providing OTT (Over-the-Top) via Satellite video service in Myanmar. This initiative will initially support the free to air distribution of national TV chan...

Pipsi, Review: A Fish Called Faith

Pipsi, Review: A Fish Called Faith Maharashtra state in western India has faced several years of successive droughts in its Vidarbha area. This has led to farmers committing suicides, unable to repay loans and faced with humiliation and recurrent demands from banks and money-lenders, being recurrent defaulters. Pipsi is set in Raakh village of Vidarbha and tells the touching tale of a two kids, a girl and a boy, Chaani and Balu, who go all out to keep a small, dying fish alive, in the belief ...

Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3, Review: Russian Roulette, House of Lords, the Nautch Girl and Privy Purses

Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster 3, Review: Russian Roulette, House of Lords, the Nautch Girl and Privy Purses Here’s a film, about two hours long, that has some great cinematography and imaginative camera angles, impactful music, classy sets and décor, an ambience that lays the foundation of a riveting saga of ‘deceit conspiracy, greed and lust’. You wait anxiously for some great lines of dialogue, some battle of wits, some royal clashes…Alas! You wait in vain. When t...

Mission Impossible-Fall Out, Review: “The greater the suffering, the greater the peace”

Mission Impossible-Fall Out, Review: “The greater the suffering, the greater the peace” Sixth in the TV series-to-big-screen franchise, Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible is aptly titled Fall Out. Besides the threat of a triple nuclear fall-out, there are falls, and fall outs of/from all possible kinds, in the universe of CIA operative Ethan Hunt: Motorcycles, cars, trucks and helicopters constitute one bunch; land, water and snow are the nature division; CIA-spurned rogue orga...

ConnecTechAsia/CommunicAsia 2018, VIII: Brightcove Releases OTT TV Report on OTT Adoption Preferences for India

ConnecTechAsia/CommunicAsia 2018, VIII: Brightcove Releases OTT TV Report on OTT Adoption Preferences for India Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV), a leading global provider of cloud services for video, announced at ConnecTechAsia 2018, Singapore, findings from its market study, Asia OTT Television Research Report 2018, in partnership with YouGov, an international data and analytics group, and conducted a study that polled 1,000 participants in India. The purpose of study was to discover how co...

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, VII: Zoom Launches New F1 Field Recorder

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, VII: Zoom Launches New F1 Field Recorder Zoom Corporation has a new F1 Field Recorder + Shotgun Mic that mounts to DSLR cameras that have a hot shoe. With a compact design engineered to keep a low profile, and Zoom’s reputation for quality audio equipment, it offers film-makers and videographers an easy way to capture professional quality audio, to meet the demands of their video action. With more filmmakers, vloggers and journalists using portable DSL...

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, VI: Transvision Selects Irdeto as Security Partner for DTH Android TV

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, VI: Transvision Selects Irdeto as Security Partner for DTH Android TV Transvision, Indonesia’s leading provider of pay TV services, has selected Irdeto to securely deliver direct-to-home (DTH) content through its Android TV platform. Open platforms are playing a pivotal role in the future of TV distribution and Android TV is one such example that offers tremendous benefits to operators. According to a survey conducted by Irdeto in 2017, 72% of video se...

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, V: Huawei offers Innovation and Digital Transformation for Vertical Businesses

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, V:  Huawei offers Innovation and Digital Transformation for Vertical Businesses  Huawei takes part in ConnecTechAsia 2018, Singapore, the region’s significant Information and Communications Technology (ICT) showcase, every year, with a series of cutting edge innovations and valuable business practices for customers and partners in Asia. Sharing more than 30 solutions, it caters to over 10 vertical industries, including government and public se...

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, IV: JMA Wireless Showcases Solutions

ConnecTechASia/CommunicAsia 2018, IV: JMA Wireless Showcases Solutions JMA Wireless, a global leader in wireless communications solutions, exhibited at NXTAsia a part of ConnecTechAsia, June 26-28, at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. This leading international communications and technology conference expects to attract over 2,000 exhibitors from around the globe.   “The advent of massive IoT and 5G will require wireless networks to offer greater speed, provide increased in...

Skyscraper, Review: The Rock climber’s burning issues

Skyscraper, Review: The Rock climber’s burning issues Disaster films have been appearing on the screen for decades. In some of them, it is the earth that plays the villain (earthquakes), in others, it is water (floods), in still others it is wind (tornadoes, hurricanes) and fire, naturally occurring or man-made, is the burning issue in some of the movies. Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, tackles impossible odds in Skyscraper and onlookers applaud his bravura. As we see the crowds playing t...

Dhadak, Review: Kiss kiss kill kill

Dhadak, Review: Kiss kiss kill kill A noun form of the verb dhadakna, which means ‘beating of the heart’, Dhadak re-introduces us to Ishan Khattar and gives us the much-awaited first look at Jahnvi Kapoor. Both have acting parentage, and that comes with a lot of weight. In the first half of the film, the two succeed in captivating the audience with their sheer freshness and electrical chemistry. Then, sadly, formulae and tropism take over, the pulsation of early dhadaks get blocke...

Delhi 47 km, Review: Keep safe distance

Delhi 47 km, Review: Keep safe distance Title-wise, Delhi 47 sounds like Bombay 405 Miles, made in the 70s. That one did not have a great run, in spite of a star-cast and a reputed director. This one neither has a star cast nor a reputed director, but it does have an actor-writer-producer-director who either lacks knowledge about his responsibilities, or is incompetent and inept at executing them. And the odds that this will run or not run are 47: 1. 35 year-old Shadab Khann earlier wrote an...

Actors celebrate FIFA World Cup live, with fans and fanfare

Actors celebrate FIFA World Cup live, with fans and fanfare Producer and Celebrity Manager Santosh Gupta of Pinnacle Celebrity Management, has teamed- up with Ali Merchant and Sakshi Jhala, to launch a company, Milagro, that will be managing various pubs and lounges across the Mumbai. In a first, the company started managing Kube Lounge, in Andheri West, where they organised screening of FIFA finalé on a giant screen. The nail-biting telecast of the match between France and Croatia had ...


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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.


Bandra West, Mumbai

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