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Monday, May 23, 2022

Shaikh Ayaz


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

How Girish Karnad’s iconic plays have redefined Indian theatre
Thu, May 19, 2022

Remembering the thespian Girish Karnad's passion for playwriting and his significant contribution to the world of theatre on his 84th birth anniversary today.

Naved Jafri remembers dad Jagdeep: An iconic comedian who found it hard to smile after life’s tough knocks
Tue, Mar 29, 2022

Naved Jafri, of the TV dance show Boogie Woogie fame, shines a flashlight on the life and times of his late father, veteran comedian Jagdeep, on his 83rd birth anniversary today.

Aamir Khan is the perfect fit for OTT, so why is he missing on streaming platforms?
Tue, Mar 15, 2022

The Laal Singh Chaddha star is known for possessing a good nose for storytelling, smart marketing chops and always springing a surprise on his audiences — all the things that might make him useful on video-streaming

40 years of Satte Pe Satta: This Amitabh Bachchan film is one of RD Burman’s last great soundtracks
Sun, Jan 23, 2022

All the songs of this 1982 hit suit their setting and are choreographed with aplomb. It helps that in many of them the comic instincts of actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Paintal and Shakti Kapoor shines through, taking Rahul Dev Burman's composition to a madcap level.

Rajesh Khanna’s obsession with death and his songs that celebrated mystery of life
Wed, Dec 29, 2021

The Rajesh Khanna phenomena wouldn't have been possible without the chartbuster music that his films carried. On his 79th birth anniversary today, capturing his stupendous stardom, swift downfall and the mellifluous and melancholic music.

83, Lagaan, MS Dhoni: Why cricket and Hindi movies are a match made in commercial heaven
Fri, Dec 24, 2021

In a nation where Bollywood stars are demigods and cricketers are gods, two of India's most lucrative industries have shared a great artistic relationship that has endured. Ahead of Kabir Khan's 83, here's revisiting this match made in heaven.

Geeta Dutt and her relationship with Guru Dutt, love of her life and reason for her downfall
Thu, Nov 25, 2021

Before she became known as Guru Dutt's wife, the great songster of Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Anubhav was a more famous name. Would the world of Bollywood playback have been different if she hadn't died relatively young at 41 in 1972?

Kamal Haasan turns 67: Meet the actor as a dancer, one of his dasavatharam
Mon, Nov 08, 2021

Focusing on a lesser-known aspect of his legacy today, we look at Kamal Haasan's dancing genius and how it has illuminated many of his great roles, most spectacularly Sagara Sangamam.

Simi Garewal’s rendezvous with primetime: India’s Oprah who asked Rekha about Amitabh Bachchan, Jayalalithaa about MGR
Mon, Oct 18, 2021

Often more glamorous than the celebs she interviewed on Simi Garewal with Rendezvous, few would believe that the star of movies like Mera Naam Joker and Karz, in fact, had her roots in the Bengali avant-garde classics like Padatik and Aranyer Din Ratri.

Hindi cinema mirrors India’s reality: Tracing how real translated onto reel, from Independence to now 
Wed, Oct 13, 2021

Bollywood and its changing mores: The 1950s was a time for nation-building, the '60s was swinging but by the '70s a disillusionment had crept in as captured by the angry young man aka Amitabh Bachchan. And then the economic liberalisation brought in the NRI gloss and today, it's all about how patriotic is our valley.

Naseeruddin Shah as Bollywood’s most blistering polemicist: Hate him, love him, you can’t ignore him
Sat, Sep 25, 2021

The acting guru doesn't mince words and is known to harbour strong opinions. Though despite the occasional foot in the mouth, there's a case to be made of Naseeruddin Shah as a voice of reason in the age of empty noise, political correctness or in some cases, golden silences.

Satyajit Ray’s ‘cruellest’ film to date, Sadgati, turns 40: The searing Om Puri starrer holds up the mirror to Dalit atrocities
Wed, Sep 15, 2021

Satyajit Ray asked Om Puri to walk gingerly into the priest’s house in Sadgati’s first scene. Puri didn’t know what gingerly meant, so Ray said, "When a dog or a goat enters an unknown house, he enters gingerly." That anthropomorphic instruction acquires an unsettling resonance in the film's climax.

When Amitabh Bachchan, the lover, lost to Amitabh, the action star: Revisiting Big B’s banner year
Wed, Sep 01, 2021

The year 1981 saw six Amitabh Bachchan releases (Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Naseeb, Silsila, Kaalia, Yaarana and Laawaris). Four out of these were among the year's top grossers.

Independence Day 2021: Bollywood’s flag-bearers of patriotic cinema, from Manoj Kumar to Akshay Kumar
Tue, Aug 17, 2021

India at 75: Patriotism or jingoism? A look at why the Indian flag is flying high in today's Bollywood movies, from Uri to Shershaah to Bhuj and looking back at the original Bharat Kumar.

Dhanush: The Trojan horse of Karnan is among the most exciting actors at work today
Thu, Jul 29, 2021

All of 38, Dhanush has notched up a stellar body of work so far. Even more impressively, his recent films have unambiguously addressed issues like land and caste politics, feudalism, exploitation, inequality, injustice and police violence.

On Guru Dutt’s 96th birth anniversary: Why the Master of Gloom fascinates us even today
Sat, Jul 10, 2021

The maker of iconic Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool died when he was only 39. Though he made few films and according to many accounts, led a depressed life he continues to intrigue decades after his death.

The enduring greatness of Dilip Kumar and what he means to Hindi cinema
Wed, Jul 07, 2021

Jaaved Jaaferi shares his memories of spending time with Dilip Kumar in the 1990s and what makes the Devdas star a benchmark in Hindi cinema. Dilip Kumar passed away on Wednesday at the age of 98.

Who will finish Sushant Singh Rajput’s sweet song of life now?
Mon, Jun 14, 2021

A year after Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide, the flame of his death remains very much alive. We revisit a number of his films to see what his most popular characters tell us about him.

Mani Ratnam at 65: Made in Madras, his superb songs enthral all of urban India
Wed, Jun 02, 2021

The Mani Ratnam-Ilaiyaraaja-AR Rahman combo has created a gold-standard repertoire of Tamil-Hindi film soundtracks. As realistic as Ratnam's films are, his songs are the absolute opposite — illogical, grand and dream-like. Presenting a quick guide to his music.

India’s DeMille: Remembering Mehboob Khan on his 57th death anniversary
Fri, May 28, 2021

We know him as the ambitious maker behind Bollywood's greatest ode to Indian womanhood (1957's Mother India) and perhaps as the founder of Mumbai's iconic Mehboob Studio. But Mehboob Khan was more than that.

Before Radhe The Most Wanted Bhai, tracing Salman Khan’s evolution from loverboy to punchy showman
Wed, May 12, 2021

The mounting court cases, string of flops, the ultimate bad boy image — despite the many downs, Salman Khan has rolled on over the decades. If the Salman Khan of early years was a shy charmer, today he's a box-office juggernaut and a demigod of Hindi movie masses. Here's decoding the 'Bhai' myth.

100 years of Satyajit Ray: Manikda and the little songs of his cherished road
Sun, May 02, 2021

The centenary celebrations of India's greatest filmmaker have begun in earnest. Born on this day in 1921, Satyajit Ray changed cinema with poetic realism and humanist concerns, turning the medium into an art form.

Jallianwala Bagh’s 102nd anniversary: Looking for traces of the massacre in Bollywood
Wed, Apr 14, 2021

More than a century ago, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre shook the nation and the world. Here's how the firing on unarmed innocents has been shown in films.

How greed became good: From Shree 420 to The Big Bull, Bollywood’s evolving relationship with money
Tue, Apr 13, 2021

Abhishek Bachchan's The Big Bull and its big bucks ambition raise a pertinent question: how does Hindi cinema show wealth and why the rich are always the villain?

DD days: Exploring the prime-time middle-class adventures of Wagle Ki Duniya
Fri, Mar 26, 2021

The great RX Laxman and Kundan Shah came together to create the well-loved sitcom that looked at an ordinary family and their ordinary situations. Here's taking a trip down the memory lane.