Prakash Jha’s new movie Chakravyuh showing at Gold Coast Int. Film Festival on Long Island

Prakash Jha is one of my favorite Indian filmmakers, and I am happy to see that his new movie Chakravyuh starring Arjun Rampal, Abhay Deol and Om Puri will be presented at the Gold Coast International Film Festival in Manhasset,  Long Island, Oct 27th at 1pm . It will be the only Indian film showing this year. So,  if you live in the area and love Indian films don’t miss this chance!
Prakash Jha is technically considered a Bollywood filmmaker, but since Bollywood movies are often viewed, in the West particularly,  as entertainment that’s  laced with song and dance,  his movies are content-driven and don’t fit the masala Bollywood mold. He is political. socio-critical.  I haven’t seen all of his films, but the ones I watched were phenomenal.
Manhasset Clearview Cinema Sat, 10/27 1:00 PM Buy Tickets

Film Info
Type of Film: Drama
International Films
Release Year: 2012
Running Time: 152 min
Production Country: India
Original Langauge: Hindi
Subtitles: English
Cast/Crew Info
Cast: Abhay Deol
Arjun Rampal
Manoj Bajpayee
Director: Prakash Jha

Straight from the headlines about India’s outlawed Naxalites, comes this Bollywood action epic about Kabir who goes undercover for his friend, the head of the local police, and infiltrates the ranks of the left-wing revolutionaries. But Kabir falls in love with one of the ultra-violent leaders, a beautiful woman called Juhi. His allegiance begins to change as he gets new insight into the relations between the poor local villagers and the local land-grabbers. Prakash Jha’s characteristically balanced handling of controversial topics, the strong characters, and the robust script and sharply executed action sequences make for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Dirctor Bio
Prakash Jha is a multiple award-winning independent filmmaker from India, has produced and directed sixteen feature films, over. Known for his films with a political themes about contemporary India, including Apaharan, Damul, Rajneeti. His latest film Chakravyuh premiered at the 2012 London International film Festival. He is based in Mumbai but is involved in development and health projects among the more disadvantaged in his native state of Bihar.

Check out Jha’s impressive filmography at  nm0422552

Gold Coast Int. Film Festival:


Here is  the link to the website:



Dibakar Banerjee on the roll with Shanghai

I was anticipating something great from  Dibakar Banerjee, the writer/director,  who brought us Khosla Ka Ghosla, one of my favorite Indian movies,  and LSD: Love Sex Aur Dhokha.  Again he delivered a smash hit with his new film Shanghai which kept us crazy-glued to our seats from the first to the last minute.  Just like Khosla Ka Ghosla, where Anupam Kher gives his life to his role together with a rocking group of actors, also here with Shanghai it’s really the brilliant cast who makes the film come to life.  One of the weaknesses in Indian movies is that you got one or two A-listers, one or two B-listers and then a terrible supporting cast, which can easily ruin a perfectly fine film. In a good movie, every single actor from top to bottom is chosen carefully. I am giving Dibakar Banerjee a lot of credit for choosing again such a wonderful team.

Emraan Hashmi, who when given the right role, proves himself to belong to Bollywood’s big league. I like him less as romantic hero but roles like this one here as pimp photographer  or as crook in Once Upon in Time in Mumbai and film director in Dirty Picture  show us how gifted he is and what a fantastic range he has.

Abhay Deol nailed his role as investigator, who is initially miffed at being given an assignment to document seemingly an accident of a political dissident and how his conscience slowly awakens to take a stand for what he believes is right.  I just love him as an actor and what he brings to his roles. By far the most gifted actor of the entire Deol clan.

Well, and Kalki Koechlin is so unique and enigmatic. She is at the same time difficult and intriguing to watch. Her performances are edgy and uncomfortable and brings a new intensity to any film you put her in. You will always remember in what roles you saw her, even if you can’t recall any of the other actors!  She is a blast. One of the most interesting actresses you can find in India, besides the fact that she is white and Indian :-)


Not everything we would like to know about gets explained in this movie. We learned little about the background of the characters, we learned little about the political figures or the corporation that robbed people of their land. Information was stripped down to the bare minimum but the fact that we had to fill in the voids in our imagination didn’t impact on the pace of the movie nor its quality. We got drawn in by the characters and in a way I was even glad not everything was spelled out.

It makes movies drag easily when you get voice overs or lengthy explanations by the actors as they inform each other – with the only underlying aim to inform the viewer.

If there was a weakness:  the multiple repeats of the “accident” in slow motion  as eye witnesses report what they had seen- a tad over the top.

The ending felt a little rushed and we leave the theater with a few more questions to ponder. Overall though, a movie I would highly recommend.

Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor teaming up again, yay!!! :-)

Good news!!

I don’t know what Abhay objected to but I happened to love Aisha. I thought they had a wonderful chemistry. Fashionista, elegant as ever,  Sonam was a joy to watch. She filled the cinema with scent of flowers in that role. Abhay was perfectly cast. It was a light entertainer, appealing to women probably more than men. But still, I thought it was a sweet movie.

I am very happy to read that these two will be cast again together in Anand Rai’s next film. I truly hope the hatchet stays buried forever because these two make a winning screen couple. Whatever Abhay might have said that has inflamed Sonam’s heart, I am sure he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.  Let’s hope it’s all forgotten, forgiven. Bollywood is a small family with a big heart at the end of the day. People fight. People make up. Just like in any other family.





Abhay Deol, Sonam Kapoor bury the past

Thursday, April 26, 2012 (Mumbai)
Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor seem to have buried the hatchet and are teaming up once again in Tanu Weds Manudirector Anand L Rai’s next film.Abhay is doing a small but significant role in the film, which marks the Bollywood debut of the South star Rajnikanth’s son-in-law and Kolavari Disinger-actor, Dhanush.Abhay Deol and Sonam Kapoor had a fall-out during the shoot of Sonam’s home venture, Aisha. Reportedly, Mr Deol was not too happy with the way his role and the film had turned out. He was even quoted saying some unflattering things about Anil Kapoor.The actress didn’t take it lightly and reacted strongly against him. After their initial outburst, both the actors later claimed all was well between them and that they were open to working together again.

A source said, “Abhay and Sonam are very professional actors. They won’t let personal differences come in the way of their professional lives. Both share mutual respect for each other as actors. When the director told Sonam that he was considering Abhay for the role, she was more than happy. Abhay is also comfortable working with Sonam again.”

Without divulging much on their roles, the source informed that both the actors will share screen space in the film. “All I can say is that they will come face to face and their chemistry is amazing in the scene,” the source revealed.

The source also said, “Abhay took it up because it’s a beautiful role and he loved it.” The film, which is going on floor by the end of May, will be shot in Benaras.


looks gritty awesome.

There are two kinds of people among Bollywood lovers: those who limit themselves and see ONLY a Salman, Shahrukh or Aamir Khan movie and those who think, hmmm, Abhay Deol... must be a good movie. chalo!

Shanghai is based on a novel by Vassilis Vassilikos and it’s got a brilliant cast, besides Abhay Deol we got the very interesting Kalki Koechlin and Emraan Hashmi who is steadily growing as an actor…

Okay, it’s moustache time for Abhay now (I don’t know what men in the Indian police force  find so appealing about them. It must be the identifying mark. So much I figured out. I should go back to India and take a survey who wears it and why. I think in general the South is more heavily moustached than the North, hai na? but okay, let’s get back to Shanghai.

One thing we know. The director, Dibakar Banerjee, makes interesting off-beat movies.

Actually, my absolute favorite of his is Khosla Ka Ghosla with Anumpam Kher, a brilliant satire about a common man’s dilemma. After retirement he wants to invest his life savings in a house for his entire family and becomes the victim of crooks. A tale of revenge, fortunately.  Anupam Kher’s best role.

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye! is the story of a notoriously prolific thief, who starts to become cocky after thinking he’s the best,  played like a charm by Abhay Deol.

LSD: Love, Sex aur Dhokha. Three stories captured by a security cam and a video recorder. good movie. got excellent reviews. must see.

So, not understanding Hindi and just watching the trailer of Shanghai gives me a good idea about the movie is about and that I want to see it.

Please, please, pretty please, would you be so kind in Bollywood to add subtitles to trailers on a more regular basis? The only one who always thinks of that is Aamir Khan, our perfectionist. I was hoping that by now it would have rubbed off and generalized. but no.:-)

Shanghai comes out June 6th. Gosh, I hate these long waits for movies i want to see NOW, TOMORROW!

Socha Na Tha

Just the other day I was re-watching for the nth time Socha Na Tha (2005) where sweet Ayesha  proves that she can turn into a fiery feisty fighterIf you haven’t seen the movie and have never heard of Ayesha Takia,  this is the time!  She turned me instantaneously into a super-fan of hers. Of course it helps the movie that she has an amazing chemistry with another favorite actor of mine, Abhay Deol –my manpasand Deol of Bollywood’s Deol dynasty.



Not the most sophisticated teaser, and couldn’t find a  trailer,  but the movie rocks.  It’s a fresh take on an old theme:  Shaadi=Marriage and Sweet Love vs Arranged. A lot of the beauty of the Indian culture transpires in this  soft-hearted romcom, which makes you feel for the characters, caught between stones and hard rocks, where endearing  Indian core values are clashing with a more modern sense of empowerment of India’s gen Y.  We know how it will end but it comes with surprising twists and turns. Ayesha and Abhay play off each other with grace and lots of fire.

Well written and directed by Imtiaz Ali. Great fun to watch.