Tag Archives: Bombay Talkies

Streaming Video News: June 15, 2018

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the worldwide debut of Lust Stories, a followup to 2013’s anthology film Bombay Talkies (also available on Netflix), featuring new short movies from the same four directors: Karan Johar, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Anurag Kashyap.

I also updated my list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with the addition of the April theatrical release Blackmail, starring Irrfan Khan. Other recent additions include the Tamil films Rombha Nallavan Da Nee, Saivam, Vetri Selvan, and Yaamirukka Bayamey.

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Streaming Video News: May 1, 2017

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with a ton of new additions to the catalog. More than thirty titles were added today, some for the first time (like Tanu Weds Manu) and some after a prolonged absence (like Kahaani). In addition to the Bengali film Abby Sen, the TV show Ramayan, and the documentaries Fire in the Blood, Mostly Sunny, and Saeed Mirza: The Leftist Sufi, the following Hindi movies are now available for streaming:

For everything else new on Netflix (Bollywood or not), check Instant Watcher.

Streaming Video News: July 2, 2014

Two Hindi films were recently added to Netflix for streaming. The 2013 anthology Bombay Talkies celebrates 100 years of Hindi cinema. The second and third of the four short films are the best.

Also new to Netflix is the 2013 comedy Fukrey. It doesn’t translate well from Hindi to English, so much so that I couldn’t tell what lines of dialogue were supposed to be funny.

To view the rest of the massive collection of films just added to Netflix, check Instant Watcher.

Movie Review: Bombay Talkies (2013)

Bombay_Talkies3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

Bombay Talkies is a collection of short films by four young directors, created to honor one hundred years of cinema in India. The results are mixed, but the two best shorts make the whole film worth watching.

Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh by Karan Johar

Johar’s short — a story of a gay tabloid intern (played by Saqib Saleem) who upends the life of his married boss (Rani Mukerji) — is the least successful of the four films. It doesn’t feel like a complete story, but rather a subplot of a full-length feature. The events depicted in the short would’ve made a nice catalyst for the further development of Mukerji’s character or an interesting interlude in a longer movie about Saleem’s character, struggling to find his way both as a young adult and as a gay man who’s been cast out from his family. The short film as it stands doesn’t work.

Star by Dibakar Banerjee

Banerjee’s effort is much more polished and showcases the incredible talent of Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Siddiqui plays Puradev, a failed actor who hops from job to job while waiting for his big break. Banerjee’s narrative includes some charming whimsical elements, such as Puradev’s pet emu and the disappointed ghost of his acting mentor. Siddiqui shines in a great scene in which Puradev pantomimes the events of his day for his daughter’s amusement.

Sheila Ki Jawaani by Zoya Akhtar

Akhtar’s short is the best of the bunch. Her story concerns a little boy named Vicky (Naman Jain) who wants to be a dancer, much to the chagrin of his macho father (played by Ranvir Shorey). Vicky’s idol, actress Katrina Kaif, appears to him in a vision, encouraging him to follow his dreams covertly. He gets further support from his understanding older sister, Kavya (Khushi Dubey).

Like Banerjee’s short, Akhtar’s movie includes some fantastical elements, celebrating the way in which movies allow us to envision a more magical version of reality. Hindi movies rarely feature child protagonists, so it’s refreshing to see a story that focuses on the concerns of children. Jain and Dubey are terrific.

Kaif’s advice to Vicky — be true to your dreams, but don’t broadcast them — seems like a bit of a bummer until her audience is taken into consideration. Vicky — like all children — has so little control over his present circumstances that there’s wisdom in trying to make his day-to-day life easier until he’s an adult and can do what he wants. It’s also a warning to parents to remember that children need respect as individuals as much as they need guidance and protection.

Murabba by Anurag Kashyap

After Akhtar’s delightful short, Kashyap’s film is a downer. His story follows a rural guy named Vijay (Vineet Kumar Singh) on his quest to meet Amitabh Bachchan and get him to take a bite of a piece of preserved fruit. Vijay’s father believes he’ll be cured of his ailments if he eats the rest of the fruit blessed by Bachchan’s bite, and he sends his son on a fool’s errand. Given the security retinues of modern stars, Vijay’s task is practically impossible to complete, and much suffering is inflicted upon the dutiful son in the process. It’s not fun to watch, and the payoff isn’t worth it.

“Apna Bombay Talkies”

The quartet of films is followed by a cheesy song-and-dance number featuring clips of old films and lip-syncing by current Bollywood stars. It’s almost as painfully self-congratulatory as the celebrity role-call song “Deewangi Deewangi” from Om Shanti Om, but it’s not as well choreographed. Check it out:

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Opening May 3: Shootout at Wadala

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area on May 3, 2013. Sadly, it’s not Bombay Talkies*, but Shootout at Wadala looks like it could be a cool action flick. The trailer features Anil Kapoor using wet laundry to beat up a guy, for Pete’s sake!

Shootout at Wadala opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 25 min.

Fans of Hindi films may want to check out Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which features Bollywood vets Om Puri and Shabana Azmi in supporting roles. It opens locally on Friday at Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema in Chicago.

Other Indian movies playing locally this weekend include Greeku Veerudu (Telugu) at both the Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge and the Golf Glen 5, which also carries Ethir Neechal (Tamil), Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde (Telugu), and Immanuel (Malayalam).

*Director Karan Johar tweeted that Bombay Talkies will release internationally after it premieres at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19.