Gautam Chintamani (for Info only, not official)

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Gautam Chintamani

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    ... The chances of feeling positive when one thinks of netas or elections as depicted in popular Hindi films would range from slim to none. Uncouth politicians, political murders, booth capturing, citizens utterly helpless in netas’ clutches, inundate one’s screen memories. Scratch just a little and you’ll see how elections and politicians in reel roles ended up as pure evil. One of the earliest films to showcase elections was 1964’s Leader, where Dilip Kumar, acting as a law student, who also moonlights as the editor of a tabloid, is accused of murdering a political leader amidst the country’s general elections. The timing of the film’s release played a major role in establishing the ethos of the neta on screen hereon. This was close on the heels of the India-China war of 1962 when the humiliating defeat the country faced brought certain failures of Nehruvian thinking to the forefront. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 24, 2017, 12:20 a.m.

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    ...Thakur warms up to his neighbour Samiulla Khan (Rishi Kapoor), a musician, who like him believes in doing the right thing even if means severing ties with his only brother, a feared don called Khushal Khan (Dharmendra). Falsely accused of robbing his employer Thakur loses his job and when everything fails, he turns to Khushal for help. Khan helps Thakur largely because of Samiulla and they become friends. Things take an ugly turn when a dejected Thakur commits suicide and Avinash turns to crime to support his mother. When Avi is caught picking pockets Khushal bails him out and chastises him for tarnishing his father’s memory. Things get worse as Avinash mistakenly kills a cop and Khushal advises him to leave the city till he can sort things out. ...

    ABP on Feb. 6, 2017, midnight

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    ...coming soon ...

    ABP on Jan. 31, 2017, midnight

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    ...Before horror was taken over by the Ramsay Brothers in the early 1970s and transformed into a staple hash of evil restless spirits or bloodthirsty monsters, the genre produced many memorable films that have transcended not just time but also the genre itself. Even though rare and in between when compared to most mainstream genres, horror nonetheless followed the traditional tenets of popular Hindi films such as recognized actors and most importantly good music when it came to production values. Some of the genre defining films included Madhumati (1958) and Bees Saal Baad (1962) and while these two nearly defined the template for the ones that followed there was one could have joined the pantheon of the great ones but came achingly close and… failed. ...

    ABP on Jan. 16, 2017, midnight

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    ...While most might think Hollywood largely started inspiring Hindi cinema in the late 1960s or early 1970s, it was as early as mid 1950s when Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934) and William Wyler’s Roman Holiday (1953) were merged to create Chori Chori (1956). The manner in many filmmakers are often lauded for ‘Indianizing’ the story such as Subhash Ghai for Karz (1980) seems to not just exonerate plagiarism but even inspire filmmakers to come up with the best version. ...

    ABP on Jan. 9, 2017, midnight

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    ...Bollywood rarely understands how to deal with the fine line between a mindless ‘care a damn’ laugh riot that could be politically incorrect in the name of good senseless fun, and something that is outright gross besides being gender or racially insensitive. Although there have been a few such as Shaukeen (1982) and Anubhav (1986) that explored the territory with some kind of thoughtfulness but this could largely because the narrative didn’t solely focus on you-know-what. In the recent past films like Masti (2004) and Kya Kool Hai Hum (2005) might have had a few good moments but the sum isn’t worth remembering. Interesting enough a single year, 1972, saw two films that perhaps sowed the seeds of the genre and also continue to remain the best that it had to offer. ...

    ABP on Dec. 20, 2016, midnight

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    ...With nearly 65% of India’s population under the age 25 it is apparent that none of them were around when Khanna was undisputed king of Hindi cinema. With seventeen blockbuster hits in a row, a feat that remains a never before and never since phenomenon, everything that Rajesh Khanna touched turned into gold. The man created his own parameters of stardom and such was the level of popularity that terms like ‘phenomenon’ were used for the first time in the context of a film star. And, then as suddenly as he hit unseen heights of stardom with the release of Aradhana (1969) within three years by 1972 everything started going south for him. The law of averages finally caught up with Khanna and he delivered six flops in a row- Dil Daulat Duniya, Bawarchi, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Joru Ka Ghulam, Maalik and Shehzada. ...

    ABP on Oct. 5, 2016, midnight

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    ...The parallel cinema of the 1970s might have created some of India’s greatest ever films but the fact that it had a ‘limited’ reach when compared to the mainstream films like the ones directed by Manmohan Desai during the same period ensured the former was never a priority for the trade. Middle cinema such as Rajnigandha (1974), Chhoti Si Baat (19750 and Baaton Baaton Mein (1979) broke this hoodoo but it ran out of steam when doyens like Basu Chatterjee and Hrishikesh Mukherjee reduced their output. The real breakthrough vis-à-vis trade and meeting of the popular and parallel in Hindi films arrived when ‘New Cinema’ came into its own in the mid-2000s. ...

    ABP on Aug. 29, 2016, midnight