Category Archives: Bollywood

Bollywood 2014: Films to Watch Out For

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I am a self proclaimed Bollywood junkie! In my childhood, and to a certain extent even now, I can tell you about about all the latest movies, their directors, who is sorta dating who, and what the red carpet verdict for a person was. With the Cannes 2014 in full swing, and the Hollywood “Summer” just starting, what better time to look at some of the promising movies Bollywood has to offer.

The first half of the year was actually quite uneventful. There were actually only 2 movies that I thoroughly enjoyed: Hasee Tho Phasee and Queen. Two States and Highway come next in my list. But with the “big” directors like Anurag Kashyap, Raju Hirani, Dibarkar Banerjee, and Farah Khan all having films lined up for films this year, it will surely be an interesting and exciting year at the movies.

So I present my list of movies to watch out for in 2014

1) P.K. (Mid-December)

When did Raju Hirani ever go wrong? I can still watch MunnaBhai M.B.B.S, Lage Raho MannuBhai and 3 Idiots numerous times. I mean I even know the lines to some of the scenes, especially the one from 3 Idiots when Kareena sneaks into Aamir’s room and jokes about all the funny names Gujarati food has 🙂 With Aamir and Raju Hirani teaming up again, one surely just expects MAGIC on the screen. Anuskha Sharma joining the duo just makes it more intriguing. Another Aamir movie that I await for!!

 Aamir Khan


Aamir Khan

 

2) Bombay Velvet (November End/December)

Directed by Anurag Kashyap and set in the 1950s is this drama about love, violence, and jazz. Now when, at least in the past 20 years, did India have jazz a theme? Anurag Kashyap has said that he wanted to make this film for the past 9 years! now that must be one crazy interesting story! I think Ranbir is a fabulous actor and I have actually missed him on screen since the monster hit of 2013, Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. There is quite a few stories revolving around this movie- from Katrina and Virat frequenting their significant others on the movie sets to Anuskha new “make-up” technique for her lips. But in all honesty, even more than the movie, I am actually waiting for the songs 🙂

 

3) Bobby Jasoos (July 4)

Vidya Balan donning the role of a detective. I love detective dramas/thrillers and so wished that Bollywood turned out more of these. I loved Talaash and Kahaani! The movie description of being a detective had me sold from get go!

First Look of Bobby Jasoos

First Look of Bobby Jasoos

4) Bang Bang (October)

The official Bollywood remake of an unnoticed Knight and Day , starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, with Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif. I know I differ from several people when I say that I actually enjoyed Knight and Day and will watch the movie for the story. Most people I know will probably go for this to see the intense chemistry between Bollywood’s most good looking actors, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif….and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

5) Detective Byomkesh Banerjee (December/Feb 2015)

I know this movie might not see the silver screen till next year, but I just wanted to let everyone know about it! Another detective drama is there!!! YEEEESSS!!! I want to see how Dibarkar Banerjee brings alive the first Indian detective.

So these are my top 5 Bollywood movies to watch out for. Do you agree to disagree?

 

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Bollywood Beats

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For some odd reason I need to be listening to Bollywood music when I am working out. And if you ask my friends they will all tell you that most of the time I tend to like the really trashy Indian songs. Also known as items songs, or the kind that you will likely forget in a couple of months.

I am starting to work out again after a gap of more than a year, and I need all the motivation that I can get. Pre-pregnancy I would be on the rowing machine for at least 20 minutes, do abs and leg exercises, and skipping. During the pregnancy it was primarily walking, with a little bit of squatting.

Now, my baby is seven months old, and though I have lost all the pregnancy weight, I need to exercise not only to tone up but for a healthier body.

This is what is on my current work out playlist, and so far it has been quite effective in getting me awake and in the mood:

  1. Boom, Boom, Boom (Lip lock)- Ajab Gazab Love
  2. Tu Mera Hero- Desi Boyz
  3. Lat lag gayee- Race 2
  4. Balma- Khiladi 786
  5. Hookah Bar- Khiladi 786
  6. Radha- Student of the Year
  7. Khuda Jaane (Remix)- Bachana ae Haseeno
  8. Desi Girl- Dostana
  9. Bakhudi Tumhi Ho (Remix)- Kismet Konnection
  10. What Makes you Beautiful- One Direction
  11. Best Song Ever- One Direction

What can I say I am a huge One Direction fan!

I think I speak for both of us when I say that it is indeed difficult at times to get yourself out of bed early in the morning, when you really could do with an additional 30 minutes of shut eye. So, we would love to know how you motivate yourself to work out regularly.

Movie Master Weekend: Hangover 3 & Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani

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Hello, Hello, Hello!! Summer is here (well, almost over in India as we are preparing for the monsoons to start) and unfortunately I did miss a lot of the summer movies as a result of training, but this weekend reversed that trend! I was able to watch both Hangover 3 and Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. Both movies were amazing! I can’t remember the last time I was able to watch two movies in the theatre and both movies being great. While Hangover 3 was a the complete, leave your brain behind comedy, Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani was a the perfect Indian chick flick with great songs, sizzling chemistry between the lead pair and gorgeous scenery.

Hangover III

Hangover III

So an interesting tidbit about Hangover-I actually saw Hangover 2 two years ago during a quick trip to Chicago with my husband (we were just dating then) and even though I didn’t find Hangover 2 as entertaining as the first part, the movie has been embedded in my mind because of it’s tie to our Chicago trip. For me, Hangover 3 was much much better than the 2nd one. There was a decent storyline to follow and not just some crazy scenes thrown in together. Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms are best in roles that are pretty much tailor made for them. Ken Jeong as Leslie Chow is definitely the show stealer in the movie. Yes, the movie does take the Wolf Pack to Vegas, but there are some interesting twists and turns in the screenplay that saves it from being identical to the first movie. The movie made me laugh out loud, cringe at some scenes, and even get a tiny bit emotional (just watch it and you will understand what I am alluding to).

Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani

Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani

Now, having watched one movie in the theatre for a weekend might have been sufficient, but my husband and I found ourselves back in the sold out theatre for the screening of Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani. I have been dying to watching this movie since the first promo was aired back in April. The combination of Ranbir, Ayan Murkerji, and Karan Johar (the same team that made Wake Up Sid-one of my favorite movies) was the key driver and they didn’t disappoint second time around either. Without giving out too much of the story, Yeh Jaaani Hai Deewani basically chronicles the life of Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), his two best friends (perfectly essayed by Kalki and Aditya Roy Kapoor), and Naina (Deepika Pakodune) over a span of 8 years. The movie can be a bit predictable, but director Ayan Mukerji keeps its fresh and interesting with giving the audience some great songs, witty humor, profound messages on friendship, and sizzling chemistry between Ranbir and Deepika. Ranbir carries this movie on his shoulders (I know I can’t refrain from using these cliches)-just watch his expressions in the song “Ghagra” and you will know what I am referring to.

Did I find watching two movies a bit too much? Nope, not at all! In a silly way, I find myself more connected to the real world after having indulged myself in a weekend of just crazy and absolutely fun movies. One the of the most awesome things in life is watching a good movie and this weekend I did just that….twice!!!

And if you all still need a validation to watch both movies…Go for them!!!

Holi Ke Songs

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On the festive spirit of Holi (it’s also my first Holi in 10+ years), let me share some of my favorite Holi songs that make this festival of colors so special and unique. Holi, usually held in March, the beginning of the Indian summer, is the perfect festival to drench your friends and yourself with colors and water. Dancing to some favorite and classic Bollywood tunes makes Holi complete.

Here are some the classic songs that should be on everyone’s playlist:

1) Rang Barse (from Silsila)

Amitabh sang this infamous tune that still is probably the most popular holi song. It makes you get into the Holi spirit instantly.

Amitabh singing the tunes of Rang Barse

Amitabh singing the tunes of Rang Barse

2) Holi Ki Din (Sholay)

Hema Malini, Damendara, and even Amitabh dancing and having a blast right before Gabbar attacks their village, who can forget this movie sequence? I probably think this is the song that made Holi songs a grand part of Indian movies.

The song that started the Holi craze.

The song that started the Holi craze.

3) Ang Se Ang Laga Na (Darr)

Have you ever seen Sunny Deol (known for his two left feet) dance? If no, this is the perfect song for it. Yash Chopra did it again (first with Rang Barse) in making an evergreen Holi song. Who can also forget Shahrukh disguised as the angry dhol wala (drummer) in this song?

Shahrukh partaking in the Holi spirit

Shahrukh partaking in the Holi spirit

4) Holi Khele Raghuveera (Baghban)

I think Amitabh Bachchan is the face of Holi in Bollywood. Almost 20 year after he drove the nation crazy with Rang Barse, he danced to Holi Khele Raghuveera with the dreamgirl herself, Hema Malini.

Amitabh and Hema Malini recreate the Holi magic in Baghban

Amitabh and Hema Malini recreate the Holi magic in Baghban

I am looking forward to dancing to these classics for Holi. What are you favorite Holi songs?

Interesting tidbit: the popularity of Holi can be witnessed in the 5K Color Runs being organized in numerous cities across the U.S., where runners are doused in different colors.

Special 26: Filmy Friday Nights

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Special 26

Special 26

Wow! What an intelligently made movie! Those were my first thoughts as I left Fame  Cinemas in Fatimanagar, Pune yesterday. The film that left me thoroughly entertained was none other than Special 26. As many know, Bollywood churns out almost double the amount of movies a year as to Hollywood, however not much can  be said about the films’ quality. I didn’t know much about Special 26; usually I am up-to-date on all movies and Bollywood gossip, however Special 26 was completely under my bollywood gossip radar. In one way I am glad about this because I went into the movie with almost no expectations.

Special 26 is an excellent con/heist movie made by Neeraj Pandey, famed director of A Wednesday. Unknown to me, the story is inspired by the true incidents of 1990s when cons, poised as CBI agents, would raid business men, politicians, and other well off personas and walk away with a whole lot of money. As a viewer, I was constantly at the edge of my seat, wondreing who is conning who.

The movie started off at a feverish pace and successfully maintains that pace throughout. The story keeps you hooked till the last moment. Some might argue that the romance track and two songs were unnecessary, but I am a bollywood movie lover, and therefore even enjoyed that side track. What I enjoyed most in the movie were the witty dialogues and subtle humor. I thought the humor was quite similar to that displayed in Ocean’s Eleven or Spielberg’s classic con movie, Catch Me if You Can.

Thank-you Akshay Kumar for choosing a right movie to display your looks and acting talent. This is the first movie in the past three years (after Patiala House)were you are tolerable on screen. Akshay played his part with finesse and restraint. Even though he wore quite oddly paired clothing, I couldn’t help but awe his good looks at times (especially in scenes when he is walking to and from the airport). Anupam Kher was a pleasure to watch again (I just recently saw clips of him in Silver Linings Playbook). Manoj Bajpayee, who has lost a lot of weight, probably had the best part. I was just glad to see him in a role which was not his a political or rural village drama (unfortunately I have started to accociate him with those films).

Bottom line: I enjoyed the film a lot! From one movie lover to another, go watch the movie! For our international readers, you can watch the movie with subtitles if it’s playing near you.