Excerpt: “While Priyanka Chopra ended up playing Kom, Laishram bagged a role of the boxer’s friend and sparring partner. “Two years ago, when I spoke to the director, I think they were looking for someone from the Northeast. Only much later did they decide on PC, and I completely get that — to be able to make a movie saleable and a hit, you have to cast big stars,’’ says the actor, who is in her twenties. There are other actors from the region in the film, like Rajni Basumatry from Assam who plays Mary’s mother. “They are key members of the cast, and they made Priyanka Chopra’s character seem real and rooted,” says Omung Kumar, who has directed Mary Kom (the film releases in September) . … But she has very few illusions about how the system works. When she enters an agency to audition for an ad film, she ticks the box which says “foreign” because she knows she won’t be considered for the Indian roles.”
Read the complete article HERE.
Watched this truly dreadful Bengali film at the London Indian Film Festival. It’s about the 1971 Bangladesh issues, but is simply awful – a screechy female lead, an entirely uncharismatic male lead, jarring background music, and a villain straight out of a bad 80’s film.
As part of the above festival I also went to the short films session, which was really good. And also an interview with Farhan Akhtar (Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his wife Anupama were both present in the audience too). Farhan was just like in his tv interviews.
A friend has given me a few Ratnam DVDs so I’m looking forward to seeing them. This first one was enjoyable – certainly not as ‘refined’ as his later work, but Revathy was charming and her ballsy character was awesome, especially in the climax. The fights/songs were a bit annoying but I acknowledge that Ratman had constraints to make the film within.
Excerpt: “Today, online archival material has given us a chance to see pre-Independence India as it was once seen by the rest of the world. Hundreds of scratchy newsreels, documentaries and amateur films, most of them unremarkable but for the possibility of their containing some vital clue to our social or cultural DNA, can be found on film company websites, in assorted archives, and scattered across YouTube. The British Film Institute’s YouTube channel hosts the Cardiff-Nieter films, as well as some very early documentary footage shot in India: Panorama of Calcutta (1899)—Varanasi, actually—and An Indian Washing the Baby (1906). Harappa Bazaar, a website with a twin focus on the Indus Valley civilisation and the British years in India, collates old Universal and March of Time newsreels about the freedom struggle. Videos presented online by the Colonial Film Database, when they work, include bulletins of the Indian News Parade, the only pre-1947 newsreel series produced in India, and the historical (not to mention hysterical) fiction of The Relief of Lucknow (1912), a retelling of the events of 1857. But the best place to start gazing into the past is the British Pathé archive, which hosts over a thousand India-centric videos, and which recently threw its virtual doors open on YouTube.”
Read the complete article HERE.