“Azhar” is an unmitigated disaster only because of its relentless idolization of an obviously flawed man. A more subtle, honest and casual admission of the cricketer’s repeated lapses in judgments would perhaps have made him look less greedy, and more deserving of sympathy and forgiveness, writes Anupriya Kumar. Full Article
“Nil Battey Sannata” (a slang for incompetent) is a charming little film that shines a light on people we tend to overlook in movies and in our daily lives – domestic helps. The screenplay can’t escape a few bumps, and some scenes come across as gimmicky. But these are small hiccups in what is otherwise a film that is bound to bring a smile to your face, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Review
Syed Ahmad Afzal’s “Laal Rang” is supposed to be inspired by true incidents surrounding illegal blood trade in India. The narrative is thin and repetitive, and the film relies mostly on the charms of its two leading men to carry the burden of a middling screenplay. The dialogue lacks spark and the director takes his own sweet time getting to the conclusion, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar Review
Maneesh Sharma counts himself as a Shah Rukh Khan fan. He met the Bollywood superstar when he was a struggling screenwriter and dreamed of making a film about a fan obsessed with an actor. Nearly a decade later, Sharma’s film starring Khan in a double role as an actor and his lookalike fan opened in Indian cinemas. Read | Review
R.Balki fills "Ki and Ka" with more stereotypes than you can count. In the guise of a film about a progressive man who stays home while his wife lives the corporate dream, we get a movie that makes sweeping generalizations about both genders. Why make a real film about real people when you can stereotype, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar Read
A fantasy epic billed as India’s most expensive movie was named the best film of 2015 at the National Awards, while Bollywood swept the acting and directing honours in a rare triumph for the Hindi film industry. “Baahubali“ captured the imagination of audiences across India with its top-notch special effects and grossed nearly $90 million at the global box office. Full Article
A remake of the Korean film “The Man From Nowhere”, Nishikant Kamat’s “Rocky Handsome” stars John Abraham as a hulking man-robot who seems capable of the most complicated stunts and ruthless killings, but is unable to muster up basic emotions. The movie is solid proof that Bollywood can ruin even the most straightforward of remakes. Full Article
Shakun Batra‘s “Kapoor and Sons” is a beautifully shot, perfectly airbrushed family drama set in the hill station of Coonoor in southern India. The word ‘dysfunctional’ has made its way to the publicity material for the film, but film-maker Batra’s version of dysfunctional is superficial at best, almost as if he is afraid of getting his hands too dirty and sullying the near perfect visage of his film. Read | Interview
If the publicity material of Prakash Jha’s “Jai Gangaajal” is to be believed, this is the story of a woman police officer trying to take on and win against the system, but the biggest twist in this tale is that it’s not. Priyanka Chopra’s face adorns every poster of the film, but the real hero and the one who gets the most screen time is Jha, playing Chopra’s subordinate, a crooked police officer. Review
Director Mozez Singh chooses to fuse two rather diverse narratives into a two-hour film and ends up doing justice to neither. Despite the markedly unoriginal scenes and predictable story, “Zubaan” might have been a coherent film if the director wasn’t so confused. As it stands though, this is a film that cannot overcome its split-personality disorder, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Read
The 2-hour runtime of “Aligarh” is not long by Bollywood standards, but there is a meditative quality to it that seems to stretch time. The film will take some time to sink into; but once you do, it becomes an immersive experience, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Read | Review
Indian film-makers love Barack Obama. He appears in “My Name is Khan”, played by someone who looks almost nothing like him, and “Phas Gaye Re Obama” (“Obama, We Are Trapped”). But no Hindi film can come close to portraying the most powerful man in the world like Abhishek Sharma’s “Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive”. The film is a singularly unfunny farce, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar. Review
Sanjay Dutt, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, walked out of prison on Thursday morning after serving the remainder of a five-year sentence for acquiring illegal guns from the men convicted for the 1993 Mumbai bombings. Dutt, clutching a file and a duffel bag, turned and raised his arm in a salute before walking through the gate of Yerwada prison near Pune. Full Article
LIGHTS, CAMERA ... CASH!
With smartphone sales booming and India preparing for nationwide 4G Internet access, India's film and TV industry hopes the ease of tapping your phone for the latest release will generate profits at last, overcoming the problems of woefully few cinemas and rampant piracy. Full Article
The Indian film industry is changing and films no longer have to have a song and dance sequence to be successful, superstar Shah Rukh Khan said. "The younger filmmakers and everyone, they know that, you know, we don’t need to just shove in a song anymore," he said. Full Article | Video
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Floods in Sri Lanka which have forced more than 350,000 people from their homes have left some families with nothing, the Red Cross said on Wednesday as it launched an emergency appeal to deliver relief to tens of thousands of people in the country.
Indian shares jumped more than 2 percent on Wednesday to post their best gain in nearly three months, as companies with big rural sales rose after a private weather forecaster predicted more monsoon rains than initially estimated.
MUMBAI The head of India's capital markets regulator said on Wednesday it would increase monitoring of brokers and auditors and issue draft proposals for high frequency trading, laying out an ambitious agenda for itself in the year ahead.
SEOUL South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co said on Wednesday that it is launching a new tablet device in India for government and enterprise use equipped with iris-recognition technology.
BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A wildlife official in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday rejected claims that tribes living in a tiger sanctuary inspired by Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" were being forced from their ancestral land to protect the endangered animals.
NEW DELHI The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stepped up fund injections in the two months since Governor Raghuram Rajan pledged to gradually erase a cash deficit in the financial system, but commercial banks say it is still not enough for them to sharply lower interest rates.
KABUL/PESHAWAR, Pakistan The Afghan Taliban named an Islamic legal scholar who was one of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour's deputies to succeed him on Wednesday, after confirming Mansour's death in a U.S. drone strike at the weekend.