Talaash: the search is on for paranormal activity

Aamir Khan and Kareena give real  powerhouse performances in Talaash. Aamir is fantastic as the dutiful but uninspired cop, Surjan Singh Sekhawat, who battles silently his private demons. And Kareena has never been better than as the enigmatic streetwalker “Rosy”,  who turns up at every corner. or would she be spelled “roz-i”.. Rani Mukherjee as Aamir’s wife, gives a finely nuanced performance as grieving mother, who lost her child in a  freak accident and looks for solace. The movie portrays so accurately what happens in a family where a child dies, it gets deep under your skin.

A movie star dies, apparently a suicide. Search is on for the motive. It gets murky pretty fast and leads us into Mumbai’s underbelly. Simultaneously alluring and revolting. I bet it’s pretty realistic, touching upon the fate of the poor and undeserved. Aging prostitutes, brutal pimps, cripples who haven’t got a fair shot in life. We feel for them, even though not with pity, just as  observers and as we are counting our blessings.

Talaash claws you into your seat without external props which are so popular these days. There are no flying fighting bravura acts, no muscle flexing, no car chases knocking over vegetable charts and mowing into crowds. None of it. Refreshing. (almost none of it…)

And I loved the twist, the brush with the paranormal. The medium was as scary as the aunties in Rosemary’s Baby.  Even though that part lost its luster pretty fast and it felt like gliding back into the familiar: Bollywood’s plot holes. More could have been done with that.

But I couldn’t get over Kareena’s performance, as convincing as streetwalker as she was as a ghost. Her costumes were priceless, vampy, sophistication with a good dash of hood, cheap enough to be making us believe in her metier, but classy nonetheless. Only Kareena can pull that off!

Aamir’s cop is straight-forward, the cop you want to have on your murder or suicide case. I am no friend of the moustache, but it fit his role perfectly.

I think this is one of Aamir’s best performances to date. Good script. Great direction.

Directed by Reema Kagti.

Screenplay: Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti

produced by Aamir Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani

the sex tape saga and my 5cents on Heroine..












Help!!  Are sex tapes invading Bollywood, too, now? I wanted to google the topic but didn’t want to expose my pc to a virus by visiting dubious sites. So from what I could see, the only thing that kept coming up on first search was Bipasha Basu and Malika Sheravat and I don’t know if any of those are real to begin with, and/or certifiably leaked anythings :-)

If you check out Hollywood’s sex tape scandals, the list is LONGGGG! Paris leading the pack with her famous entree. Even I can remember the scandal and how her career took off subsequently. Miley Cyrus, formerly known as goodie girl, has made quite a turnaround and I guess her leaked stuff hasn’t done anything good to her career. Scarlett Johansson? I was surprised. Ke$sha? didn’t check it out but UGLY squared.  Rihanna? prob leaked it herself..haha. Kanye West? geez. who wants to know?  tattooed Pete Wentz? brutally ugly. Chris Brown? omg, I’ll get slapped!  All I could think of is, rule of thumb, I like my celebrities better with clothes on.

Decades after Paris Hilton (was she the first one?) rose to notoriety because of a leaked sex tape, Kim Kardashian’s mom now being accused by some of leaking her own daughter’s to achieve the same goal (if she did it or not, it proved to be a mega success turning all her daughters into cash cows).

Finally the sex tape saga has reached Mumbai’s shores, making it a climax in an unsympathetic movie about Bollywood’s film industry, Heroine. I hope Madhur Bhandarkar didn’t start a fad here! I love my beautiful actresses in saris and salwar kamiz, or ok mini skirts and I am not in the least curious with whom they share their intimate moments. I hope our beautiful Indian heroines will never have to steep that low to fare well at the box office. But maybe I am naive.

I think if Bhandarkar had made a satire and dressed up the subject as a comedy it might have fared better altogether, because if that’s BW reality, then it’s pretty pathetic. Poor famous girl. How my heart goes out to you…. :-) last resort a sex tape? oh dear how scandalous. naughty naughty.

None of the characters in Heroine came across as likeable which made it hard for me to get emotionally involved. If you can’t touch my heart I can’t follow your pathos. Halfway through the second part of the movie, you just want it to END, but no. You’ll have to sit through several “2months later” “2years later”. As I am reaching the peak of my patience, our heroine, Mahi, played by Kareena Kapoor, drops the bombshell.

She can avoid her looming professional demise, she confides to her PR manager, by leaking a holladi hi-holladi-ho sex tape to the press!  Sex tape which A) just shows a grainy cellphone video recording of her in an embrace with B) her co-star, Aryan (Z-gorgeous Arjun Rampal), who really, we find out, deep down is just a repenting sorrytushie  who’s trying to salvage her from the inevitable death sentence handed to actresses past 30.  Loverboy Aryan, sex-tape-humiliated, has to use the last resort: delete Mahi’s phone number from his handy. Duh! That’s harsh. The poor guy has to hold back his  tears. ( were you counting the number of guys u deleted from ur contacts within the last few years? and without shedding a tear? :-)

Okay, so Aryan was giving it his best shot to come up with a make-or-break movie with ‘babes’ Mahi, (who btw starts resembling more and more Linda Blair in The Exorcist ), who not being aware of his last minute heroism, deviously pulls out 20 seconds of their raw cellphone passion and leaks it to public.

‘If I fail at reviving my career I can still buy a cricket team?’ Was that godforbid geared at our poor Preity? All these little bits and pieces you could pick up and see where they fit in the gigantic 50,000 piece Bollywood gossip puzzle..made my head spin. I don’t know but I was just turned off by this movie. Honestly. Bhandarkar, Try it again Sam.


BTW This film is coming at a time when every weekend we are seeing a new release with a lead actress in her 30s, 40s, 50s!!! which hopefully makes this movie look dated.






2 months later…

Kareena Kapoor and Paris Hilton have been spotted plotting their comeback, making out in the backseat of a limo in an unspecified European location.



2 months later…

Madhur Bhandarkar goes back to the drawing board. Heroine blames him for flop and deletes him from her contacts.


The End.




Song: Saiyaan (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan). Music – Salim and Sulaiman Merchant

Watch the official trailer of “Heroine” which releases on 21st September, 2012. The film is based on the life and times of a superstar heroine from the dream factory we call ‘Bollywood’. The film is a daring, shocking, glamorous, scandalous behind the scenes account of the reality behind the world of glitz and glamour that our film stars inhabit.

Cast Crew :- Kareena Kapoor , Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami
Directed By :- Madhur Bhandarkar
Produced By :- UTV Motion Pictures, Bhandarkar Entertainment
Music By :- Salim-Sulaiman

I am a big fan of Madhur Bhandarkar. His films are always interesting. Sometimes I find him too stylized, the ambiance a tad sterile. Something he shares with the Mahesh Bhatt’s type of movies. I am always looking forward to his next film though :-)  and I can’t wait for Heroine.

New York, NY! get ready for some hot Bollywood action

The NY Indian Film Festival is marching with trumpets into town. And Kareena Kapoor is coming? How much bigger can it get? :-)

Kareena Kapoor set to rock America

admin May 8, 2012 Comments Off

Kareena Kapoor and Madhur Bhandarkar are expected to attend the upcoming New York Indian Film Festival, which will showcase over 40 award-winning films by directors like Rituparno Ghosh, Anurag Kashyap and Pakistan’s Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

The 12th annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), presented by the city-based not-for-profit arts organization Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC), will run from May 23 through 27 in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca theatre, considered the home for independent films.

The festival’s schedule includes an impressive line up of internationally acclaimed and celebrated films like director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Nana Patekar-starrer ‘Shagird’, ‘Dekh Indian Circus’ which won the Audience Choice Award at the 16th Busan International Film Festival 2011, Rajan Khosa’s ‘Gattu’, Ashvin Kumar’s ‘Inshallah Football’, a documentary set in Kashmir and winner of the 2011 National Award.


Also on the festival’s schedule is ‘Azhagarsamy’s Horse,’ winner of the 2011 National Awards for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Best Supporting Actor. “To commemorate the 100th year of Indian cinema, our 2012 line-up celebrates all that NYIFF finds inspiring about great films depth, character study, ingenious plots, and riveting messages,” IACC Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani said. “

These movies have already won National Awards in India, at Cannes, Sundance and the Berlin Film Festivals. We are proud to share our entire schedule with New York cinephiles,” Shivdasani added. Celebrities expected to attend the festival include Kapoor and Bhandarkar, director Mira Nair and model and television host Padma Lakshmi.

Ghosh’s ‘Chitrangada’ will have its world premiere at the festival. The National Award winning director faces the camera again in the role of a choreographer who plans to stage the dance drama Chitrangada on the occasion of Rabindranath’s 150th birth anniversary.

The festival will also pay a special tribute to the legendary Dev Anand and showcase the colorized version of his cult hit ‘Hum Dono.’ Director Shyam Benegal will also be honoured with a retrospective of his movies – ‘Zubeida’, ‘Mammo’ and ‘Sardari Begum’. Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, the Manoj Bajpai-starrer movie going to the Cannes festival this year, would be the closing night film while Bedabrata Pain’s directorial debut ‘Chittagong’ will open the festival.

Set in the turbulence of the 1930s British India, ‘Chittagong’ is the true story of a 14-year-old boy and of his journey to find where he belongs. An inductee to the US Space Technology Hall of Fame, Pain gave up his career as a NASA scientist in 2008 to pursue his passion of filmmaking.

Pain was the executive producer of the 2005 national award-winning film ‘Amu’ and author of ‘Behind the events in Kashmir’. Regional language films in Tamil, Bengali, and Marathi will also be showcased, notable among them being the Tamil film ’3′ directed by Rajnikanth’s daughter Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush and featuring Dhanush and Shruti Haasan.

Other highlights of the festival include Obaid Chinoy’s Oscar-winning documentary ‘Saving face’, ‘Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret’ and award-winning films from South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka.

NYIFF is the longest-running showcase of Indian films in the US. It was born in the aftermath of 9/11 in response to then New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s call to New Yorkers to help rebuild a limping city.


Thank you, Bollywood Eye, for the reminder!

Walk of Stars inaugurated with Kareena Kapoor

I don’t know why, but this makes me happy.  You wonder why it is happening only now.  It will be a major tourist attraction, actually,  a desi shrine!!  Although, they should have maybe inaugurated it with Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, no? They will all join soon, I am sure. It will be a party every week :-)

Randhir Kapoor with daughter Kareena

Bollywood’s ‘Walk of Stars’ unveiled in Mumbai


28 March 2012 Last updated at 14:03 ET Help

Indian cinema’s ‘Walk of the Stars’ has been officially opened, in the Bandra district of Mumbai.

The new pathway will bear handprints and signatures of numerous actors, and the Kapoor family are the first to be honoured on the street.

The BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan had a first look at the walk, and spoke to MK Anand from UTV, the television channel that created the walk. 

source:  entertainment-arts-17539921

Agent Vinod aka Speedy Gonzalez

Agent Vinod aka Agent Speedy Gonzalez zooms so fast around the globe that if you looked on your watch to see how long this movie is going to be you lost track of two continents… I had to take a bathroom break so I missed another three and good part of the plot. If you thought Kahaani was moving you too fast through Calcutta, that was Kindergarten. They prepped us in Kahaani, I realized,  for the pace of this movie.

I regretted through the first half not sitting further in the back of the theater. I keep forgetting that this is preferred seating in the action movie genre. If you sit too close have advils handy.

Having said that, getting it out of my way, I liked our Vinod. He is different from the Bond characters, who are kissed by entitlement and different from the earthy type Matt Damons.

Agent Vinod is not a man you will fall in love with, easily,  he looks more like a well-trained Navy Seal who storms through the movie dressed like an office clerk. No big laughs in this BW action-thriller, with the exception of one come-on scene with a male stewardess and one where our Navy Seal pretends to be gay for the duration of a short taxi ride.

I loved the beginning of the movie, although it was an unapologetic combo of Spy Game and Once Upon A Time in the West, the famous scene with the harmonica. Not so effectively used here but evoking a sweet memory of Sergio Leone’s masterwork, a tribute of sorts.

So the movie starts somewhere in Afghanistan (or where was it) and then zigzags around the globe, the mission staying in the dark until the very end almost but numerical clues dropped throughout the first half of the movie, until you almost don’t care anymore what 242 means and the sound of it starts looking ridiculous. That’s when the mystery gets revealed.

But I am talking here as if I didn’t like the movie.  I did!  I thought it was elegantly done, very stylish,  with hints of film noir elements transcribed in color. Great action scenes. Fantastic locations. Saif pounces on his role with a meat hammer. He means business and has a short attention span. We never get to see him relaxed once. A man on the mission.That he shares with Western espionage figures but Saif makes his Vinod look very hardcore realistic and the unraveling plot supports it. It touches upon a raw nerve when we think of the scenario and we walk out of the movie theater slightly more concerned than we walked in.

Kareena looks hotter than ever with a little bit of flesh.. So hot indeed that when Saif  proposes to her we have to believe he means business this time around. But then, given what happens next to her character, snaps. Maybe not :-)

Supporting cast members were wonderfully chosen, I thought. Some great characters. then again, not so well developed because of the pace of the movie. Btw, outstanding performance by the camel. short but highly effective scene. We get a lot of memorable moments here and for that reason I would see the movie again.

Personally, I think they should have done more editing, cutting out more of the unessential, and one or two songs, that didn’t really contribute.

Altogether though, bravo, Sriram Raghavan, creating a wonderful legacy after Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddaar, this was a really good story. Well-told and well-acted.

Happy returns.







Happy Birthday, Rani Mukherjee!



Born in 1978,  in Calcutta, Rani Mukherjee has graced the silver screen since she’s 18 years old.   Known for her beauty as well as her distinctive husky raspy voice, she has been the IT girl in Indian cinema until pretty recently.  Her break-through role by which she will be always lovingly remembered was  in Karan Johar’s directorial debut, the wildly successful Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

From there on her career took the stellar path.  Chori Chori,  Chalte Chalte,  Kal Ho Naa Ho,  Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham are only a few of the wonderful films in which she delighted us with her charm and warmth.  She is a natural in front of the camera and just as beguiling now as she was 20 years ago.  I hope some good roles will come her way.

Talaash is already looming at the horizon, where she will play alongside Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Genre mystery, with  illustrous writers like  Zoya Akhtar and Anurag Kashyap,  it could just catapult her back into the limelight and front-covers of magazines.



She’ll be also starring alongside the Malayalam  movie star Prithviraj  in  Aiyaa,  another movie co-produced and written by the man [ whose yearbook,  if there was one,  was signed most likely insomniac]  Anurag Kashyap,  directed by  Sachin Kundalkar.



So for all the Rani Mukherjee fans, who deplored her scarce appearances of late or some not so impressive movies she was part in, this promises to be a good year!


chalte chalte… loved the movie xcept for the lil geographic screw-up (driving from Mykonos to Athens, without drowning)

Rajeev Masand’s review of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu — and mine

… Rajeev Masand,  ( www.rajeevmasand.com),  notoriously feared and revered critic,  who looks a bit  like a pirate and writes with a pen in one hand and a swagger in the other,  for once, gives an uplifting review. He reserves the right usually to polished foreign movie productions, American, mostly. That is, for as far as I can think back, in my six years of Bollywood infatuation. So, as the movie opens  (unfortunately)  to a lukewarm response, his review looks pretty encouraging.


Actually, his reviews are usually pretty much right on and it’s the first one I would turn to.



Here is my review:

So we watched EMAET this weekend with a group of Bollywood fans and we all loved it.  Most gave it an 8/10.  It’s light, breazy, and refreshing. With a bite. A nuanced look at the fringes of Indian society. We are not looking at India the way we know it, and so the story is placed strategically in Vegas, mostly. Even when it continues in India you feel you are looking at a different culture.  The movie doesn’t have a distinct Indian identity, I guess that’s why it’s not so warmly embraced at the box office in India.

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is actually a wonderful character study with a hint of Oscar Wilde, if you consider what he poked fun of, and if he would have time-traveled to modern-day India.  Relationships can take all forms.  What is love anyway?  and parents come only in two garden varieties: those with rules and those without.

Riana Briganza and Rahul both need therapy and that’s where they meet:  at a shrink’s office in Vegas (btw, office that looks like more of an assembly-line of shrinks..) And when we get a (brilliantly picturized)  look at Rahul’s past, we  immediately understand why he needs therapy. Raised in a  top-dysfunctional  super wealthy Indian family, he is battling OCD and finding his own voice.  Imran Khan is a blast to watch!!  this is a genius performance on his part.

That the movie got just a lukewarm response in India just proves how conservative she still is at heart and I don’t think that will change so fast. Oh Karan Johar, my heart goes out to you. You are trying so hard to break the crusty shell of boy meets  girl, they fall in love, marry,  and will have at least two children.  And in this movie, they do marry, but it’s a mistake.

That’s not the way India likes it.  We want a traditional shaadi at the end and no promiscuity talk in families. We don’t like girls who go for what they want, or boys who don’t know how to handle love. Rahul is not exactly imbued with masculinity and Riana needs a break from love. On his journey to self discovery Rahul still remains the nerdy guy at the end, who women don’t take seriously, only in  a dost-dosti way.  But he is content, for the first time in his life.  His OCD falls off like a ripe plum…on his way to normality  (by the way, THAT doesn’t happen in real life…haha).  Is he perfectly average? I don’t think so. He comes with heavy baggage… but I guess, after the credits roll, he will be all right.

I also enjoyed Kareena’s performance in this movie.  Riana is the life of the party but she comes with introspection too, and her own little baggage. We learn a little bit less about her in the movie, her role more limited.  She is still the little steam engine from Jab We Met, but it’s hot HER story. So we get only glimpses of what her life is all about. Because of the unusual lenience of her parents, she was placed in a (pretty gross) Christian minority household in the movie so that people wouldn’t take offense at alcohol consumption and relaxed standards about how to raise a girl… That was a clever little touch, Karan :-)

the movie is wonderfully shot.  Rahul’s dysfunctional, ambitious parents were a joy to watch.  Boman Irani as strict and ambitous father is as funny as he is scary!  well done playing the father figure no one wants to have in life.

The last supper had me in stitches. Forks and chopsticks all have a place at the dinner table but can serve various uses. The movie is packed with clever situational comedy, which makes it so easy to watch.

One question I had at the end:  the haute volee in India,  is that a realistic picture? I am afraid yes..  it felt like watching a desi light-hearted version of a Fellini movie. and as such I kept thinking of these colorful characters long after the movie ended.

Bravo, Imran Khan. Thank you, Karan Johar, who might not have directed the movie but his signature is everywhere..

Ek Kareena aur Ekk Imran

Ek Main aur Ekk Tu  promises to be a  mellow fun ride, with the eternally pretty Kareena Kapoor and ubercute Imran Khan. Coming from  Karan Johar’s  corner, it also promises to entertain us with a dash of sarcasm and  hint of cynicism, so subtle, though,   it could get lost in translation.



I hope this movie  will come with some surprising turns and with a happy ending, for a change. I am really curious to see how Kareena and Imran play off each other. It’s a novel combo. That’s always refreshing.

It’s kind of funny, how my first Bollywood converts  will point with their fingers for example at Katrina Kaif and then say “wasn’t she in…”  at Hrithik “wasn’t he in that movie we just saw. Hey weren’t they both in that movie you took me to..? Yups, the Bollywood gene pool might not be as grand and extended as Hollywood’s acting brood, but hey, we  Bollywoodies  can come up too with novel pairings like Kareena and Imran once in a while,  yaar…  Anyway, it will be fun. Pretty sure.



Shakun Batra wrote and directed this one. He worked as assistant director on Rock On! and Jaane tu… Ya Jaane Na,  so this is a big step for him career-wise. I hope it will be a success. I like to see first time directors burst with a boom onto the scene.  Bollywood needs to nourish a bunch of new talent and expand their repertoire. Audiences are getting more critical, which is good because it hones the skills of filmmakers and production houses.  A movie must have a good script, good actors, good director, good sountrack, good cinematographers. Until now Bollywood had a wide field to play with, ok, if the script wasn’t so good or the actors played over the top, didn’t  have that much importance. But now you have a new generation of well educated young people who have much higher demands. And they want quality movies, cuz if they pan a movie, and that goes viral fast, it’s a huge financial loss.  So I think Bollywood is moving towards a more interesting and more  professional cinema.

It’s happening, I think.  Original, well written scripts will become a true necessity. they won’t be optional anymore.   I hope Shakun Batra will join the club of  Promising New Directors. With Rock On! and Jaane Tu, even only as an Assistant Director, but  he’s got some experience to show for.