Blog Archives

Dangal (2016)

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You can’t keep a good man down. Or a good woman. Especially if the good woman is the daughter of the good man. That about sums up the energetic crowd-pleaser Dangal, for better or worse — but overwhelmingly better.

Having only seen one film from India before (two if you sneak in Slumdog Millionaire) and being only vaguely familiar with the behemoth that is the Indian film industry and all its sub-categories, Dangal came across this cinematic explorer’s … (read more)

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3 Idiots (2009)

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There are three guys in this film trying to make their own independent, free-thinking mark in life. Apparently that’s what makes them idiots according to their elders. Only an idiot would give up a high paying engineering career to become a photographer. Only an idiot could possibly fail to overcome the fear of failure that stops him from achieving high grades when his impoverished family’s future is at stake. Only an idiot would want to take a conceptual approach to … (read more)

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Rang De Basanti (2006)

It would be a rare film indeed to be inspirational, to transport the audience into its world, to be carried away by its idealistic fervour and winds of patriotism AND be a great film. So Rang De Basanti didn’t turn out to be this awe-inspiring film I expected. Boohoo. Serves me right for having high expectations and buying into the hype. Unfortunately RDB just didn’t have the complete package. Plus I forgot to take into account that I am a … (read more)

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Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)

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Being an Aussie male, it is pretty much mandatory socially, if not legally, to know something, anything about cricket. It is pretty hard to grow up in Australia and have not swung a bat or bowled a ball at least once. Or even have a conversation related to cricket in some fashion (as men will do to avoid talking about their feelings and such, so I’m told, of course) over a beer in the summer. That, I can say, I … (read more)

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Dil Chahta Hai (Heart’s Desire) (2001)

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Bollywood is now the only film culture in the world to resist Hollywood, and if Heart’s Desire (aka Dil Chahta Hai) is anything to go by, it will resist it for some time yet. This was 2001’s biggest Bollywood film, and its easy mix of appealing characters and lightweight melodrama will appeal to anyone with any sense of fun.

Watching it I was reminded of the Hollywood of the 1940s, where movies simply aimed to please. The major difference … (read more)

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