MUMBAI/BENGALURU Early this year, a dozen of Bollywood's biggest names took a private jet from India's film capital of Mumbai to New Delhi for a private audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
MUMBAI/BENGALURU, April 10 Early this year, a
dozen of Bollywood's biggest names took a private jet from
India's film capital of Mumbai to New Delhi for a private
audience with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“It’s all a little too obvious”, a character in Robbie Grewal’s “Romeo Akbar Walter” quips while discussing an espionage operation. He might as well be talking about the film.
In "Junglee" (Wild), elephants share equal screen space with the all-conquering hero in a tale about preserving forests.
In Nitin Kakkar’s “Notebook”, the stunning landscapes of Kashmir prove the perfect backdrop for a less-than-perfect romance story.
If Anurag Singh had cut down the number of slow-motion shots in his film by even half, “Kesari” (Saffron) would have been at a bearable length. But much like the battle in this period war drama, Singh stretches proceedings interminably.
Nostalgia and a love of movies shine through in every scene of Vasan Bala's "Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota" (The Man Who Feels No Pain), a wonderfully whimsical, Wes Anderson-style homage to superhero films.
Ritesh Batra’s “Photograph” is based on the present but yearns for the past. In the age of mobile phones, social media and fast-paced romances, Batra’s film harks back to Bollywood of the 70s, quaint romances and a Mumbai that is still stuck in time.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s “Mere Pyare Prime Minister" (My Dear Prime Minister) is another one in a long line of Hindi films with the urge to highlight India’s open defecation problem. From Akshay Kumar “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” to Nila Madhab Pandya’s “Halkaa”, Bollywood seems to have discovered that toilets and the lack of them make for a compelling narrative.
Aijaz Khan’s “Hamid” is about the unusual connection between a precocious boy and a soldier in conflict-ridden Kashmir. It is a heartfelt - if a little naive - attempt at depicting the futility of war and the consequences of militancy, one that is uplifted considerably because it is narrated from the perspective of a child.