Shaikh Ayaz


Ayaz is a contributor based in Mumbai. He writes about Bollywood.

30 years of QSQT: The film that made Aamir Khan-Juhi Chawla overnight stars and changed the template for Hindi film hero
Sun, Apr 29, 2018

As Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak turns 30, we look back at the film’s tentative beginnings and its influential legacy. At a time when action stars and angry young men were a norm, Aamir Khan was a refreshing anomaly.

10 films from 2000s that foreshadow what audiences are watching today
Wed, Mar 07, 2018

2000s was a decade that began with Hrithik Roshan’s instant stardom and ended with Aamir Khan’s reinvention into a box-office behemoth. Somewhere in between, a new crop of filmmakers had also emerged – Anurag Kashyap and Vishal Bhardwaj to name a few – infusing new sensibilities and ideas into formulaic Bollywood.

Remembering Sridevi: Can you think of any other star who has continuously faced the camera for 50 years?
Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Sridevi’s comic timing was arguably the sharpest among her contemporaries and always gets mentioned in any discussion about the MOM actress. So does her legendary beauty. Though shy in person, she loved to face the camera.

Why Sridevi’s non-Bollywood work, especially in Tamil cinema, was ground-breaking
Wed, Feb 28, 2018

Before Bollywood appropriated Sridevi, the multilingual star who acted in over 300 titles was a major tour de force in all regional cinemas of the South including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

On Madhubala’s 85th birth anniversary, we revisit Mughal-e-Azam, a classic that truly belongs to the ‘Venus of Indian Cinema’
Wed, Feb 14, 2018

Madhubala’s powerful and confrontational scenes with Prithviraj Kapoor and romantic and tender moments with Dilip Kumar tie Mughal-e-Azam together.

Pran’s 98th birth anniversary: The man who gave the Bollywood villain a stylish makeover
Mon, Feb 12, 2018

Pran 98th birth anniversary: One of Indian cinema’s greats, Pran may have personified evil on celluloid (such was his reputation that new-borns weren’t named after him) but off screen, many vouch for his self-respecting ways and generosity.

Does Akki have a ‘Dharmendra problem’? The dazzling and unsurprising reinvention of Akshay Kumar
Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Here’s exploring the Padman star’s consistency and box-office bankability and why, just like Dharmendra in an earlier era, fellow Punjabi Akshay Kumar had to wait for years before, at long last, proving that he matters.

Love or hate it, 90s Bollywood is a goldmine of sweet nostalgia for a certain generation
Thu, Feb 01, 2018

In the fifth of our on-going ‘Hindi classics that defined the decade’ series, we go down the memory lane to examine the 1990s Bollywood hits and why they matter.

The music of Padmaavat director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s cinematic world
Thu, Jan 25, 2018

For a man whose childhood was spent listening to radio and whose first major assignment as a filmmaker was to be a “song director” on 1942: A Love Story, it is hardly surprising that music dominates Bhansali’s cinema – and life.

Is Mukkabaaz a return to form for Anurag Kashyap? More importantly, will it wipe out the bitter aftertaste of Bombay Velvet?
Thu, Jan 11, 2018

Anurag Kashyap’s latest, Mukkabaaz, is already being hailed as a winner. Perhaps, then, a good time to revisit Kashyap’s cinematic work, which is a fine balance of holding-mirror-to-society realism and Bollywood-style songs.

Om Puri: Unlikely hero who straddled twin worlds of Ardh Satya’s Anant and Narsimha’s Baapji
Sat, Jan 06, 2018

Great star of the parallel cinema movement, a character actor who did mindless movies, controversy’s child – Om Puri’s life was as colourful as his work. This unlikely hero, as his wife Nandita's biography, called him, took an unlikely exit from the world too.

1980s in Bollywood: The decade offered a dizzying array of cinematic delights
Sat, Dec 30, 2017

The 1980s didn’t really suck, as it has been made out to be. There’s no doubt that the decade offered a dizzying array of cinematic delights. Umrao Jaan, Ardh Satya, Khubsoorat, Arth, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and Mr India are among the kaleidoscopic treats that the Eighties gave us.

From Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to Newton, a roundup of the best Bollywood films of 2017
Fri, Dec 29, 2017

In a not-so-great year, there were nevertheless a host of ground-breaking films (one celebrating toilet humour, the ultimate idealist Newton, and two death-haunted family dramas) that reaffirm your faith in good and entertaining cinema.

Rajinikanth in Bollywood: Despite his lackluster outings, Thalaivar is still the most famous Tamilian in Mumbai
Tue, Dec 12, 2017

A look back at Rajinikanth’s Bollywood years and how the Amitabh Bachchan-inspired scripts helped him gain superstardom in Kollywood.

Dharmendra at 82: The five essential performances that prove Dharmendra’s versatile range
Fri, Dec 08, 2017

In the literary hands of Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Dharmendra delivered some of his most outstanding work. But no matter whatever character he was playing, Garam Dharam was always pure entertainment.

A Bollywood icon, champion of alternative cinema and theatre doyen, Shashi Kapoor was more than just “Mere paas maa hai”
Tue, Dec 05, 2017

Shashi Kapoor was dashing and classy, in an old-world sort of way. Born into the distinguished Kapoor family, he followed a different path than his famous brothers and father. His commitment to theatre equalled that of his father Prithviraj while his passion for meaningful cinema remains unsurpassed in the Kapoor clan.

1970s revisited: A decade that belonged to Amitabh Bachchan but equally to Rishi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha and Salim-Javed
Tue, Nov 28, 2017

A decade of huge cultural significance, the Seventies foisted the tag of ‘angry young man’ on Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor shot to overnight fame with RK rom-com Bobby and not to mention, Sholay – a curry Western that embodied everything that Bollywood stands for.

Zeenat Aman: Happy birthday to one of the sexiest, boldest and chicest leading ladies to ever grace Hindi cinema
Sun, Nov 19, 2017

Touted for her liberated and forward characters – she was a badass, mind you – Zeenat Aman was among the few actresses of the 1970-80s alongside Parveen Babi and Tina Munim who helped usher in a new kind of urbane heroine.

On Amjad Khan’s 77th birth anniversary, a tribute to the star whose portrayal of Gabbar Singh remains Bollywood’s pop-cultural apogee
Sun, Nov 12, 2017

For much of his life, Amjad Khan was branded as Gabbar Singh from Sholay – that ultimate personification of cinematic evil. But he was also a sadistic smuggler, a friend’s friend, a gum-chewing cop and a poetic Nawab. His colourfully kitschy characters made Hindi cinema of 1970s and 80s both memorable and enjoyable.

Hindi classics that defined the decade: 1960s Bollywood was frothy, perfectly in tune with the high spirits of the swinging times
Tue, Oct 31, 2017

Apart from timeless classics like Mughal-E-Azam, Bandini and Guide, the 1960s was also the era of Junglee, An Evening in Paris and Teesri Manzil. Buoyant in tone and light-hearted in mood, 1960s was made even more fun by the arrival of a livewire star called Shammi Kapoor.