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'Parched' seems a little too contrived

Handout still from "Parched"

In Leena Yadav's "Parched", three women in an arid village of Rajasthan fight separate battles and find reserves of strength in each other to help tide over tough times.  Full Article 

Handout still from the film "Banjo"
MOVIE REVIEW

'Banjo' cannot be rescued

If you saw Ravi Jadhav's "Banjo" without any knowledge of his filmography, you'd think this was an amateur effort rather than a film by an accomplished director. Jadhav, who made the wonderful "Balak Palak" and "Natsamrat" in Marathi, seems to have lost his mojo during the transition to Hindi films and slides deep into mediocrity and cliches.  Full Article 

Handout photo from "Pink"
Movie Review

'Pink' is largely a triumph

Some of the scenes in "Pink" are wonderfully handled and the acting, especially by the three lead actresses, is top-notch. But the lack of attention to detail makes you wish the makers had paid some attention to how basic court procedures are handled. The film is largely a triumph that talks about a burning topic and finds an entertaining way to do it.  Review 

Handout photo of Shootjit Sircar
Interview

Shoojit Sircar on what Bollywood is doing wrong

Shoojit Sircar is happy that his first project as a producer is being praised for boldly talking about the issues of sexual assault and consent. The film-maker spoke to Reuters about the significance of the message in “Pink”, whether or not he ghost-directed it, and what Bollywood is doing wrong.  Full Article 

Om Puri wants more 'socially conscious' films
Interview

Om Puri wants more 'socially conscious' films

The Indian film industry needs to break out of its mould and produce more hard-hitting films that challenge its audience, veteran actor Om Puri said. Puri, who has acted in both Hollywood and Bollywood and was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire), said Indian filmmakers should draw on the country's rich culture and history.  Full Article 

Handout photo from the film "Baar Baar Dekho".
Movie Review

Baar Baar Dekho

In Nitya Mehra’s “Baar Baar Dekho”, a young man on the cusp of a new life gets a glimpse into his future, giving him an otherwise impossible chance to go back and forth in time to fix the mistakes that we all seem to make in our relationships.  Full Article 

Handout photo from the film 'Freaky Ali'.
MOVIE REVIEW

“Freaky Ali” doesn’t quite “putt” it

Under the flimsy cover of a sports film, “Freaky Ali” is just another Bollywood ‘good guy versus bad guy’ movie. This is an unabashedly populist film that makes no attempt to actually understand the sport at the centre of it. Every character is a caricature and every plot point already seen in a thousand other films.   Full Article 

Handout stills from "Baar Baar Dekho"
Director's cut

Interview: Nitya Mehra on 'Baar Baar Dekho'

For a debutant director, Nitya Mehra has an impressive resume. The Amritsar-born filmmaker has assisted Mira Nair in “The Namesake” and Ang Lee in his Oscar-winning “Life of Pi”. She also worked on the Indian version of the TV series “24” and assisted Farhan Akhtar on the crime thriller “Don 2”.  Full Article 

Still from the movie "Akira"
Movie Review

"Akira" suffers from outdated treatment

In A R Murugadoss’ action film “Akira”, Sonakshi Sinha plays the eponymous protagonist, a feisty college student who is being chased down by four corrupt police officers. In an industry flooded with macho heroes who save damsels in distress, Akira is an exception – a girl who fights for herself and punches the men where it hurts, writes Shila Jamkhandikar.  Full Article 

Handout photo from the film "Island City".
Bollywood

Movie Review: Island City

In Ruchika Oberoi’s anthology, three strangers and their fates interconnect in unexpected ways, giving us an intimate and wonderfully observed film about people who are, in some form or the other, isolated and desperately looking for an anchor in their lives. Set in Mumbai but with characters that could belong anywhere, Oberoi manages to sketch the lives of three lonely people eloquently.  Read 

Movie Review: A Flying Jatt
Superhero Movie

Movie Review: A Flying Jatt

There are many limitations in Remo D’Souza's repertoire as a director but in “A Flying Jatt”, he combines humour, a social message and out-of-this-world fight sequences to give us a film that looks like a box-office winner, even though it won't win any prizes for film-making.  Full Article 

A still from the film "Happy Bhag Jayegi"
Review

Movie Review: Happy Bhag Jayegi

Mudassar Aziz’s “Happy Bhag Jayegi” is a romantic comedy about a runaway bride who wants to escape an unwanted alliance, but lands in more trouble than she bargained for. The plan goes awry and she lands not in the arms of the man she loves, but in another country.  Full Article 

Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor waves to fans at the gala opening of the film 'Chillar Party' in Brampton June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Cassese/Files
Interview

I love taking risks with my work: Anil Kapoor

Not many Bollywood film stars go from the big screen to television, but the Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor has not had a traditional career. "People say that movie stars and big movie stars don't do television because from the big screen you're in everybody's bedroom, it's small screen. So that risk was there," Kapoor told Reuters in an interview in London.   Full Article 

Screengrab from UnIndian
Movie Review

UnIndian is the quintessential film for expats

Anupam Sharma’s “UnIndian” is the quintessential film for Indian expats - full of great locations, pretty houses and a thousand clichés about Indians and their ways. Set in Australia, but mostly among the Indian community there, the film is a somewhat clunky effort at a cross-cultural romance, with a predictable conflict and resolution, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article 

Handout still.
'Baar Baar Dekho'

Bollywood twist on time and love

It is not easy fusing a cocktail of genres including music, comedy and time travel into a movie, but the leading stars of new Bollywood film "Baar Baar Dekho" hope to convey a multi-faceted love story.  Full Article 

Handout photo
Period Drama

Movie Review: Mohenjo Daro

Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Mohenjo Daro” is supposed to be a historical epic that recreates one of the oldest-known civilizations and one that can still give us important lessons on democracy, the environment and good governance. Unfortunately, those lessons hardly get a chance to come to the fore, hidden behind tacky sets and a singularly one-toned film that never manages to create enough drama or entertainment.  Full Article 

Handout photo
Movie Review

'Rustom' stays true to its time

For a story that is replete with so many layers, director Tinu Desai handles the narrative with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop. His actors are loud, the set design is garish, and courtroom scenes are devoid of any drama.   Full Article 

Bollywood actor Salman Khan arrives in a car at a sessions court in Mumbai, India, May 8, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files
Acquittal

Salman Khan acquitted in poaching case

The Rajasthan High Court on Monday acquitted Bollywood actor Salman Khan in an 18-year-old poaching case, overturning a lower court’s order which found him guilty of killing an endangered species of gazelle.  Full Article 

Handout photo
Movie Review

'Dishoom' has ridiculous plot elements

In Rohit Dhawan's "Dishoom", the opening credits roll to a rap song mouthed by two brawny protagonists who describe themselves as "simple" men disappointed in love who prefer home food to eating in five-star hotels. With one disclaimer: these otherwise meek men turn violent if someone doesn't stand up while India's national anthem is playing, criticizes the country or harasses a woman.  Full Article 

in 'Madaari', Irrfan is a man who lost everything
MOVIE REVIEW

in 'Madaari', Irrfan is a man who lost everything

With "Madaari", Nishikant Kamat goes back to the film that first brought him in the limelight. In "Dombivali Fast", a man suffers at the hands of a corrupt administration before turning into a vigilante. In "Madaari", Kamat again explores this aspect of social justice, pitting one man against a rotting political establishment, and advocating street justice.  Full Article 

Queen Latifah (L) looks on as Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performs at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo December 11, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files
MUSICAL LEGACY

Khan unites Bollywood and Qawwali in UK

Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, known for both Bollywood hits and Qawwali, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years, is taking the two genres to Britain in August for three concerts.  Full Article 

Handout photo of Ali Abbas Zafar
DIRECTOR'S CUT

Q&A: Ali Abbas Zafar on the success of 'Sultan'

Film-maker Ali Abbas Zafar has hit the jackpot with his third Bollywood film. "Sultan", a 170-minute wrestling saga starring Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma, is breaking box-office records this month and looks set to become the most successful Hindi film of all time.  Full Article 

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India take charge after Kiwi meltdown in Kanpur

KANPUR, India Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin made the most of a turning pitch in Kanpur to rip through New Zealand as India racked up a commanding 215-run lead on day three of the first test on Saturday.

Photo

India signs deal for 36 French Rafale fighter jets to counter China, Pakistan squadrons

NEW DELHI India signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France on Friday for around $8.7 billion, the country's first major acquisition of combat planes in two decades and a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to rebuild an ageing fleet. | Video

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Arsenal beat Chelsea 3-0 after first half blitz

Sept 24 Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday, scoring all three goals in the first half to claim their first Premier League victory over their London rivals in 10 attempts.

Pakistani air force jet crashes, killing pilot

ISLAMABAD A Pakistan Air Force jet crashed on Saturday while on a training mission in the country's northwest, killing the pilot, the military said.

Warplanes press attack on rebel-held eastern Aleppo

BEIRUT Warplanes mounted a new wave of heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo on Saturday, rebel sources, a rescue worker and a war monitor reported, pressing a major offensive by the Russian-backed Syrian military to take back the whole city.

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Polished Pogba leads United's rout of Leicester

Jose Mourinho's reshaped Manchester United destroyed Premier League champions Leicester City 4-1 with a performance that thrilled Old Trafford on Saturday and justified his decision to leave out Wayne Rooney.

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Syrian government makes Aleppo advance in major attack

BEIRUT The Syrian army and militia allies seized ground north of Aleppo on Saturday, tightening a siege of the city's rebel-held east while warplanes bombed it relentlessly in a Russian-backed offensive that has left Washington's Syria policy in tatters. | Video

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