Blog Archives

Student of The Year: Class Is Out

In recent years Bollywood has developed a certain fascination with college movies. The fascination has been around for a while, truth be told, but it has taken on a new fervor thanks to the industry’s growing interest in youth movies to cater to the young modern crowd. One of the results of this was 2012’s Student of The Year, which starred three new debuts, and it did fairly well at the box office too.

Its not the best college movie I’ve seen from Bollywood, but it is definitely among the better ones. It has a lot of the youthful intensity that I expect from such a movie, and it entertained quite well, so I’m fairly satisfied with that. I wish it had been a little better overall, but that’s one of the drawbacks of working with debuts in such a case. They are still trying to find their feet and working together in a big movie like this, so hiccups are expected.

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Cocktail: Friends With Limits

Not one of the biggest successes of 2012, but still one of the best films that year was Homi Adajania’s second movie Cocktail, the story of three friends in London and the eventual love triangle that results between them. In many ways, it was a classic romantic story, but one that focused on character drama instead of cool action moments. It was certainly in the shortlist of movies that I’d classify as the best movies of the year. Newcomer Diana Penty pretty much rocked it while veterans Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone also turned in some great moments.

It is always nice to get a film like this in Bollywood, which these days is far too obsessed with the big and flashy. Cocktail is nothing of the kind, not by far, and I just loved almost everything about it. I would love for these three actors to work together again, particularly Diana Penty, and Homi Adjania to return with a third movie too.

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Agneepath: Fires of Revenge

Much as with Hollywood, Bollywood too has been a bit obssessed with remakes in recent years, although not quite to the same degree. The underlying difference is that the typical stories are far too ingrained in the psyche of Bollywood filmmakers for them to really branch out and do something different, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Peepli Live or what have you. But, we are getting there, slowly and surely. Regardless, a remake can be quite fun if it is executed properly, such as Karan Malhotra’s remake of the Amitabh Bacchan-starrer cult classic Agneepath, which failed at the box office on release, but since has really found a way into people’s hearts.

Now with a brand-new cast, and all top-notch talent involved no less, Karan Malhotra shows what that original movie could have been like. For the remake is all-around awesome, and I certainly enjoyed it more than the original. Here’s the review.

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Ladies vs Ricky Bahl: Art of Con

Ranveer Singh rocketed to fame with his 2011 debut Band Baaja Baarat, opposite co-star Anushka Sharma. A film about two friends who start a marriage planning company, it was a full-on desi movie with all the flavours and sights and sounds of Delhi. Ladies vs Ricky Bahl recreates some of that same magic, but with a bigger cast that includes newcomer Parineeti Chopra. As with the first Singh flick, I enjoyed this one too, and it has since stood up to several repeat viewings, which is pretty much Bollywood gold right there.

Ranveer and Anushka have done very few films to date in their respective careers and this is their second film together, but despite everything else, they pulled off a winner here. Great songs as usual, and a great script plus great acting made this a standout movie for me in 2011. And here’s the reasons why.

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Desi Boyz: Time To Party

Continuing on with the theme of Bollywood reviews, here’s one for one of my favourite movies in recent years. The movie stars some of my favourite actors and is a really good comedy, better by far than some of the others that the two lead actors have done previously. Great songs, great story, great everything, and directed by the son of one of my favourite comedy directors of the last couple decades. This movie pretty much had it all.

Akshay Kumar’s comedies can often be a little hit and miss, especially in recent years, but this one is definitely a hit for me. It has a good subject matter despite some wonky stuff in the second half, but that’s not such a big deal really. Here’s why.

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Rockstar: The Inner Pain

So this is the first ever review I did for a Bollywood movie. Coming home after watching Rockstar, I really wanted to do a review of it, to talk about it and present a different aspect of movies to the audience of Just Beyond Infinity (or 24FPS as it was known then). I certainly started a trend for myself with this review, although I’ve fallen off reviewing Bollywood films anymore.

Still, Rockstar remains one of the best films I’ve seen from Bollywood in the last five years, and I would really encourage you all to see it, should you get a chance.

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Writing Mewzak

Up until about a year and half ago, I never considered music to be all that helpful when doing any sort of writing. I was indifferent to what I would play when doing any creative work or anything else, rotating my playlists between anime, western pop and rock, J-pop, Bollywood, Indian pop and some other random music. And then I started to do some real creative writing and over time, I quickly learned to value some good writing music, inspired mostly by a thread on the Bolthole: A Soundtrack To My Writing. There were a hell of a lot of great suggestions there and I developed a real taste for Original Soundtracks (OST) from movies. Over time, that taste also grew to include a wide variety of video game OSTs and now, 18 months later, my music collection includes dozens of complete OSTs.

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