Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
If there is one thing you have to credit Alankrita Shrivastava’s latest film with, it is that it throws open the lives of women in a way that we rarely see on Indian celluloid.
Variety is key for Ratna Pathak Shah. The veteran theatre actress has made her presence felt in Bollywood, television comedies and indie cinema - even directing plays for her theatre group.
In Sabbir Khan’s “Munna Michael”, Tiger Shroff is an all-conquering Michael Jackson fan who dances just as fluidly as he fights. With the signature black felt hat and a bandana on his wrist, Munna waltzes his way through nightclubs and dance venues in Mumbai but fails to find fame or money.
Konkona Sen Sharma is regarded as one of the best actors in Bollywood, but ironically doesn’t act in many Hindi films - her last full-length movie was 2015’s “Talwar”. She directed her first feature film, “A Death In The Gunj”, last year and is now back with a role in Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha”.
When she made her film debut in 2015, Bhumi Pednekar was the antithesis of the Bollywood heroine – playing an overweight bride whose husband refuses to accept her and her body type. In her second film, Pednekar plays another newly-wed, but this time she is a feisty woman who leaves her husband after discovering he doesn’t have a toilet in the house.
In one the first scenes in “Shab”, a young man from a small town comes to Delhi to take part in a pageant. He struts confidently in front of the judges, unaware that his small-town accent and gauche demeanour put him at a serious disadvantage in the competition. The film exemplifies its protagonist. It is so blind to its faults and so engrossed in what it thinks is profundity that it doesn’t realise it is unintentionally hilarious.
Ravi Udyawar’s “Mom” is another iteration of the mother-on-a-rampage revenge saga that we saw earlier in the year with “Maatr”, which in turn was inspired by the South Korean thriller “Don’t Cry Mommy”. A mother, shattered by the gang rape of her teenage step-daughter and disillusioned by the criminal justice system, sets out for revenge.
In a new film on the life of Punjab’s last king Duleep Singh, actor Shabana Azmi plays Rani Jindan, the queen mother who stood up to the might of the British empire and fought to regain her son’s kingdom.
When Ashim Ahluwalia was asked to direct “Daddy”, a film based on the life of one of Mumbai’s most feared gangsters, he was clear about two things – it would not be a “clean-up job” and he would do it on his own terms and not the way Bollywood usually treats mobster films.
In 2014, when a producer came to Arjun Rampal and proposed a movie about gangster Arun Gawli, the actor was a little puzzled. Which role would he play? “The title role, of course,” was the answer. Rampal didn’t see any resemblance between him and Gawli, but that meeting planted the seed of an idea in him.