By Sheela Lal and Keertana Sastry
A Twitter-inspired look at Bollywood, January-March 2012. See Part 1.
Yet another month with no impressive films to showcase. Moving on.
140 character review: A violent, political, sectarian take on Romeo and Juliet. Parineeti Chopra + newcomer Arjun Kapoor = wild chemistry.
Long Review: The premise presented by the trailer had me assuming a very different plot line – one that was strictly about the characters’ relationship.
This movie starts violent and ends even more so. It is set in rural north India, where Muslim-Hindu relations seem to be stuck in the 1950s and everything religious is everything political. It’s about two political families trying to win an election and, more importantly, about pride.
I really cannot write much more about the movie without giving away the twist, and the reason the movie works, but to assuage any doubts, I came away from the film having to debrief a bit, and impressed with how Yash Raj Films is progressing in its storytelling.
Look no further. This is THE Bollywood movie to watch this year so far.
Wow. Films about politics or class warfare in Bollywood are hard to make. Just ask Prakash Jha who made waves with movies like Damul and had great success with 2010’s Raajneeti but failed with Aarakshan just one year later.
But Dibakar Banarjee has struck gold with this new political thriller. Without giving too much away, Abhay Deol, Emraan Hashmi and Kalki Koechlin star as people from three very different socio-economic backgrounds and ideals who all stumble across a major secret within the government that has to do with a dream called “Shanghai.”
Dark, exciting, and shockingly, morbidly funny at times, Shanghai is a real feat of Indian cinema and with four very different films under his belt, Banarjee is a talented director to watch in the future. Deol, Koechlin and especially Hashmi are phenomenal. Don’t miss this film.
Gangs of Wasseypur (Keertana)
A two-part crime series film directed by the brilliant Anurag Kashyap, Gangs is brutal, difficult to watch and wonderful.
The amazing Anurag Kashyap finally got some recognition from world audiences this year when this two-part crime saga debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
A brutal film about three crime families spanning several decades, Gangs of Wasseypur showcase the directing talent we know and love from Kashyap and gives us stories that we can relate to, be shocked by and shake our heads at.
In my opinion, the best movies are those that are tough to watch and feature plots and characters that have real flaws and dark secrets. If Bollywood keeps making these kinds of films, it’s not going to be known as cheesy any longer. With a cast led by the flawless talent of Manoj Bajpai, Gangs of Wasseypur is a film that India can be proud to showcase to the world.
1. Housefull 2- If you liked the ridiculousness of the first Housefull film, watching the second is a no-brainer. Featuring a super-sized cast, the same physical humor and even more crazy antics, Housefull actually doesn’t disappoint as a family comedy romp. It’s just not going to be considered one of the better films of the year as a whole.
2. Teri Meri Kahaani- I know I may shock you with what I’m about to say: I didn’t hate this movie. In fact, it was kind of fun. Sure, there are a LOT of problems with it (The hackneyed meetcutes! The ridiculous love triangles!) but the performances of Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra almost make up for everything else that goes wrong. It may not be a great movie, but it’s decent. And given the way this year in Bollywood cinema has gone so far, that’s saying something.
Top photo via