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Saturday, June 06, 2020

Shaikh Ayaz


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

Ayushmann is not the only one: Bollywood’s top five LGBTQ films
Wed, Feb 19, 2020

Before Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, we have had queer characters that have touched hearts and made us think. (By and large, the rainbow is missing in cinema, but still the recent spike in LGBTQ films is a welcome change). Here's a list of gay/lesbian movies that you ought to see if you haven't already.

Film of the Month: Amitabh’s Agneepath is more than mere Scarface, maloom?
Sun, Feb 16, 2020

Amitabh Bachchan's widely-parodied Vijay Dinanath Chavan turns 30 today. The crime drama holds a special place in the hearts of fans but did you know it was an epic flop on release? Trashed as a middling Scarface copy, today it is an oft-quoted cult film.

A look at how Kartik Aaryan-Sara Ali Khan compare to the original Love Aaj Kal’s Saif Ali Khan-Deepika Padukone
Thu, Feb 13, 2020

Here's revisiting the original cast and idea of Love Aaj Kal (2009), even as its sequel releases this Friday.

Song of the Month: 10 years of Ishqiya’s puckish Dil toh baccha hai ji
Wed, Jan 29, 2020

The Naseeruddin Shah-Vidya Balan romantic number plays out like a fantasy of an old man loopy in love. On Ishqiya's 10th anniversary today, director Abhishek Chaubey says, "Gulzar saab is the finest lyricist of this country, but even he can surprise you sometimes."

Film of the Month: 1975’s Deewaar
Fri, Jan 17, 2020

Lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar was once a part of the renowned writing duo Salim-Javed — best known for Zanjeer, Sholay and Don among more. But critics call Deewaar (1975) their finest hour at the movies. Even Amitabh Bachchan thinks so.

Partners in crime: Tracing Ajay Devgn-Saif Ali Khan bond over the decades
Fri, Jan 10, 2020

Handcuffed to fate: We revisit Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan's previous screen collaborations and mutual friendship over two and a half decades.

Rajinikanth in uniform: Darbar actor’s Bollywood years glisten with ‘cop’ roles
Thu, Jan 09, 2020

In today's big release Darbar, Rajinikanth plays Mumbai's police commissioner. But did you know that in his initial years in Bollywood the Thalaivar made a mark with campy portrayals of police officers, most famously in 1991 films Hum and Farishtay.

From Kangana Ranaut’s tax remark to Citizen Akshay Kumar, 2019’s joshila Bollywood moments
Tue, Dec 31, 2019

There was just enough this year for everyone's needs, from Kangana Ranaut's loose cannon shenanigans and Citizen Akshay Kumar's Bharat-mode to the internet-breaking Khans-Modi selfie and Hrithik Roshan-Tiger Shroff bromance in War.

Film of the Month: Revisiting Bawarchi and Rajesh Khanna’s uncomplicated simplicity
Mon, Dec 30, 2019

Anand (1971) may be Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Rajesh Khanna's most iconic collaboration, but it is their second movie Bawarchi that remains truly special.

Song of the Month: The shocking relevance of Sahir Ludhianvi’s rousing Jinhe naaz hai Hindi par
Thu, Dec 26, 2019

Amidst the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, the politically-charged "Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahan hai?" from Guru Dutt's 1957 classic Pyaasa is a reminder that poets and writers have always held a mirror to the ruling order. I wonder how the Left-leaning Sahir Ludhianvi, who braved Partition, would have reacted to the contentious bill and threats to India's long-cherished secularism and freedom of speech.

Kamaal karte ho, Pandeyji: Revisiting the original Dabangg
Thu, Dec 19, 2019

An ode to 1970s masala entertainers, Dabangg's memorable protagonist could have been written by Salim-Javed. To mark the release of Dabangg 3, we look at how Salman Khan brought Chulbul Pandey alive in the original and ended up making an indelible mark.

Five best Bollywood films of 2019
Tue, Dec 17, 2019

What was your favourite Hindi movie this year? Here are the ones we think made the cut. There's Bala which once again proves Ayushmann Khurrana's knack for locating humour and humiliation in small-town India, Gully Boy's dreams and disappointment, Uri's 'How's the josh?' belligerence and more.

Ahead of the epic Panipat, every Ashutosh Gowariker film ranked
Thu, Dec 05, 2019

Best known for his period spectacles, Ashutosh Gowariker's Panipat follows a familiar script. Before you watch Gowariker's ninth film as a director pitting Arjun Kapoor against Sanjay Dutt, read about his eight previous films that we have ranked in the order of worst to best.

Film of the Month: What Uddhav Thackeray can learn from Nayak’s Shivaji Rao
Sat, Nov 30, 2019

Recently, a fan, who may have seen S Shankar's Nayak (2001) far too many times, suggested Anil Kapoor's name as Maharashtra's CM. It's true that Kapoor played the most ideal Chief Minister there could ever be. The film follows the rollercoaster ride of a journalist who accepts the challenge to become CM for a day and how the rookie deals with the dirty demands of politics.

Song of the Month: Revisiting Roja’s Chinna chinna aasai, a dreamy tune from pre-liberalisation India
Sat, Nov 30, 2019

Today, A R Rahman is known for putting Indian music on the global map. But as most music buffs will tell you, some of the Oscar winner's best works belong to the '90s, especially in Mani Ratnam's sensitive relationship-based films. One of them was Roja, Rahman's genre-defying debut that revolutionised film music in India.

On your way to watch Bala? Here’s a quick glance at Ayushmann Khurrana’s taboo-breaking subjects for you
Fri, Nov 08, 2019

Ayushmann Khurrana's latest is a satire on balding. 'Unusual' subjects are not so unusual for the Chandigarh-born star, as we compile a list of his many quirks and complexes that make for a laugh riot on Bollywood screen.

Song of the Month: In praise of Gulzar’s Tujhse naaraz nahin and the puzzling joys of life
Thu, Dec 26, 2019

Penned and composed by the indomitable Gulzar-RD Burman team, "Tujhse naaraz nahin zindagi" from Masoom (1983) plays out in two different versions (Anup Ghoshal and Lata Mangeshkar), suggesting the helplessness of a father on one hand and narrating the emotional state of a woman dealing with her husband's illegitimate child, on the other.

As Shah Rukh Khan turns 54, here’s celebrating the Zero star’s magical aura and ever-enduring stardom
Sat, Nov 02, 2019

American chat show host David Letterman, whose recent My Next Guest with Shah Rukh Khan is currently the talk of the town, was taken aback by the Bollywood superstar's mass popularity. "This is beyond anything we ever imagined," he exclaimed. Sure enough, King Khan may be box-office poison these days but nobody can deny that he can still command an audience.

Film of the Month: Catch ‘Humans of South Bombay’ in action in Govind Nihalani’s biting satire Party
Thu, Oct 31, 2019

With an awful lot of serious talks and fascinating arguments and counter-arguments, this ensemble skit that released 35 years ago is still extraordinarily relevant for having the audacity to expose the pettiness and pretensions of the educated elite. Party's fundamental question, 'What is the role of art (and artists) in society?' remains just as intriguing today.

Why Chhote Nawab is the most exciting Khan, who is blazing his way like a dark horse
Sat, Oct 19, 2019

From Ole Ole to Omkara and from Surakshaa to Sacred Games, meet Saif Ali Khan 2.0. For those planning to watch Laal Kaptaan this weekend, here's a lowdown on SAK's eventful journey.