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Gulzar

Chhapaak, Review: Aesthetic and prosthetic

Chhapaak, Review: Aesthetic and prosthetic Laxmi Agarwal had acid thrown on her face and body in 2005. She survived, and lived to identify the attackers. What’s more, she succeeded in getting amendments made in the Indian Penal Code that recognise acid attacks as a separate category, and increasing the maximum penalty for the crime from seven years to ten years. India’s Supreme Court also ruled that the sale of acid should be regulated. So why has Meghna Gulzar made a film on her ...

Chhapaak song released with a splash bash

Chhapaak song released with a splash bash Exactly a week before the film’s release, the makers of Chhapaak released the title track at a media get-together held on Friday afternoon, at the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai. Present on the occasion were Gulzar, Meghna Gulzar, Deepika Padukone, Vikrant Massey, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonca. Chhapaak, the word, means the sound created when a liquid is splashed, is a film about a woman who had acid splashed on her face, ...

IFFI 50: Meghna Gulzar is a very lazy writer

IFFI 50: Meghna Gulzar is a very lazy writer Film-maker Meghna Gulzar, screenwriters Juhi Chaturvedi, Pooja Ladha Surti, cinematographer, Modhura Palit and columnist Sumedha Verma Ojha spoke on Nuances and Process of Filmmaking at the In-conversation session in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa. The session was moderated by Indian film journalist and critic Madhureeta Mukherjee. Writer Juhi Chaturvedi, who has written films like Vicky Donor, Piku and October among others s...

MFF 21, 2019, 3: Excellence in Cinema Award goes to Deepti Naval

MFF 21, 2019, 3: Excellence in Cinema Award goes to Deepti Naval Mumbai Academy of Moving Image(MAMI), organisers of the Mumbai Film festival, 17-24 October 2019, have chosen Deepti Naval as the recipient of the Excellence in Cinema Award, in the Indian section. Fernando Meirelles is the recipient in the International section. Born in Amritsar, Punjab, India, in 1952, Deepti Naval is an acclaimed actor. After her schooling, she migrated to the United States, where she was educated at the C...

Prassthanam, Review: Loyalty, integrity and legacy, to see or not to see, that is the question

Prassthanam, Review: Loyalty, integrity and legacy, to see or not to see, that is the question When you have classics like the Mahabharat, Ramayan and Shakespeare’s works, why look elsewhere for inspiration? Update the setting and references but retain the blood and gore, conceit and deceit, loyalty and betrayal, vice and avarice, and above all, good and evil. You now have a story that every lover of mythology, every cinephile identifies with, and the figure could be well above a billio...

Yomeddine, Review: Disability or this ability?

Yomeddine, Review: Disability or this ability? Unlikely companions embark on an impossible journey, to trace their roots, hundreds of miles away, on a donkey cart, with little money and barest of supplies. Both, the journey and the destination, hold many surprises for the two, some pleasant, some very unpleasant. On the way, they offer you a tribute to the indomitable human spirit, but also make you realise that in a society of regulars and normals, the irregular and abnormal cannot find thei...

Super 30, Review: Inequality, equality and variable quality

Super 30, Review: Inequality, equality and variable quality Two basic tenets form the paradigm of Super 30: a real-life story about a nondescript do-gooder who is a super achiever must strike a chord with audiences, and, secondly, any tale of a low caste and poverty-stricken protagonist, sacrificing his lady love and filthy lucre for the cause of educating fellow under-privileged ‘untouchables’ in his society, will have them rooting for the unlikely hero. How these doctrines pan o...

Final day of Sanhita’s theatre festival: Language of Hindustani theatre, and ode to an iconic Hindi poet

Final day of Sanhita’s theatre festival: Language of Hindustani theatre, and ode to an iconic Hindi poet August 17 marked the end of the three-day Natya Mahotsav (theatre festival) organised by Sanhita Manch, an initiative of Being Association, at the P.L. Deshpande Auditorium at the Ravindra Natya Mandir Complex in central Mumbai. The festival included several interactive sessions and staging of three Hindi/Urdu plays selected from 77 entries. Held for the second year in succession, th...

Hope Aur Hum, Review: Hoping against hope

Hope Aur Hum, Review: Hoping against hope Small-budget indies with clean, wholesome, slice of life content, surface regularly, taking you through bittersweet emotions, sans villains and super-heroes, animation and SFX. You appreciate the effort and admire the commitment. Some go on to win awards and renew your faith in alternate cinema. Some others sink without a trace, unable to match market demands and not measuring up to narrative benchmarks. Still others entertain and engage, raise hopes ...

Raazi, Review: Lying and spying, willing and killing

Raazi, Review: Lying and spying, willing and killing As spy thrillers go, Raazi is, at best, average fare. During the first half, it runs the risk of becoming a pedestrian assemblage of trope followed by trope followed by trope. Then, just in time, the writers and the director took booster shots and shaped out the human dilemma, counterpoising it with murder and mayhem. In scale and mounting, Raazi can pass off as a modest Spielberg vehicle, but the total experience remains just about watchab...

The Black Prince who walked the Red Carpet at Cannes

The Black Prince who walked the Red Carpet at Cannes Very little is known about Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of Punjab with his capital at Lahore, who is said to have gifted the invaluable Koh-i-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria, while a young boy. Time and again, a lobby is raised in India to try and get it back from Britain, only to fizzle out. Dalip Singh remains an enigmatic figure, a missing chapter from India’s colonial history. All that is set to change with oncoming rel...

Siraj Syed reviews Kaagaz Ki Kashti: Paper-boat ride across oceans of melody

Siraj Syed reviews Kaagaz Ki Kashti: Paper-boat ride across oceans of melody         When you are making a biopic, you first need to narrow down on either a famous person, or a commoner who has led an uncommon and highly captivating life. Jagjit Singh was an extremely popular singer, with dozens of albums and hundreds of songs to his credit. Next, it always helps if the person is alive, or has passed away not too long ago, because material used in the ...

Talvar, Review: Whodunit? Doesn’t matter!

Talvar, Review: Whodunit? Doesn’t matter! Like the 1950 Japanese cult film Rashomon, directed by Akira Kurosawa and often rated as one of the greatest films ever made, remade n number of times in India, Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar (sword) presents three contradictory accounts of a nation-rocking real life double murder, which variously portray the prime accused as guilty or innocent. It fictionalises names and dates, amalgamates some characters into a single entity and does not take a ...

Drishyam, Review: Missing Corpse, Hissing Cops and Habeas Corpus

Drishyam, Review: Missing Corpse, Hissing Cops and Habeas Corpus What would drive producers to make and remake a film in five different Indian languages in a span of two years? Box-office success of preceding language versions and a potential remake goldmine at hand, or the merits of a script that tries to turn the killer v/s cops genre on its head, and could have viewers gasping for breath? In the case of Drishyam, whose Sanskritised title can be approximated as Drishya (scene/sight in Hindi...

Masaan (a.k.a. Fly Away Solo), Review: Burning bodies, tormented souls and a minor classic

Masaan (a.k.a. Fly Away Solo), Review: Burning bodies, tormented souls Set in a city known as the holiest cremation ground in India, Masaan is made with fired-up creativity, and has won encomiums it richly deserves. Seven years ago, a documentary was made on life at the ghats (banks) of Varanasi (Banaras), of which Kashi is a part, where a large number of Hindu devotees from all over India bring their dead for cremation, and immerse the ashes in Ganga, their holiest river. The rites are perf...

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