MAY 2013
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Shephali Rele

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The world’s largest producer of films celebrates 100 years in cinema this year. Dadasaheb Phalke, regarded as the father of Indian cinema, released his first production “Raja Harishchandra” in 1913. Recently, I saw “Harishchandrachi Factory,” a Marathi film by director Paresh Mokashi, which tells the story of Dadasaheb Phalke’s ground-breaking production. “Harishchandrachi Factory” won many accolades and was selected in 2009, as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in the Foreign Film category. It’s a heartwarming, simply told story of events surrounding the making of this first Indian film. Nandu Madhav plays Phalke, who abandons a printing press business , forcing his family to struggle for survival. One day, he happens into a tent showing a silent picture. Mesmerized, he decides to make his own feature film. Vibhavari Deshpande plays his wife, who along with their children, offer him unwavering support. He travels all the way to England to learn about the new medium. Upon his return to India, he assembles a team to make a film about the story of Raja Harishchandra. Through all their hard work, the movie becomes a hit, marking the beginning of Indian cinema. Remarkably, the film is shot in the style of movies made in Dadasaheb Phalke's time. Except for a few zooming shots, there was hardly any camera movement, actors would move in and out of view. “Harishchandrachi Factory” is a great family film, definitely worth a watch, in case you missed it.


Aamir Khan
“Bombay TalkiesStarring Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Katrina Kaif, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Saqib Saleem, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor; directed by Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, and Anurag Kashyap; music by Amit Trivedi.

On India’s centennial year in film, with the tagline “Celebrating cinema,” four of India’s top directors come together in this anthology celebrating the emotions of cinema. Karan Johar tells the story of a seemingly happy urban couple, until the wife meets a new colleague at work. Zoya Akhtar introduces a young boy from a middle class family who is inspired by a film star to follow his dreams while breaking societal conventions. In Dibakar Banerjee’s film, an unsuccessful actor struggles to make a living after his father’s death. He stumbles upon one last chance to prove himself to the world and more importantly, to his daughter. Anurag Kashyap presents a story about a man from a small town in U.P. who comes to Mumbai to fulfill his ailing father’s last wish. Kashyap has created a cute music video titled “Give it up for Bachchan,” which features several kids dressed as classic Amitabh Bachchan characters from his super-hit films. The title track is also a must watch with special appearances by many stars, including Aamir Khan, Sridevi, Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor and more.

Aamir Khan

Gippi” Starring Riya Vij, Sivya Dutta, Doorva Tripathi, Arbaz Kadwani, Jayati Modi, and Taaha Shah; directed by Sonam Nair; music by Vishal-Shekar.

Karan Johar produced this coming-of-age story. Riya Vij is Gippi, a 14-year-old girl from Simla, who lives with Divya Dutta as her mother, Pappi, and little brother Booboo, played by Arbaz Kadwani. Chubby and awkward, Gippi is unsure how to handle the physical, emotional and social changes in her life. At school, she sits in the back and is bullied by the popular Shamira, played by Jayati Modi. At home, she's trying to figure out how to deal with changes at home. In the middle of this, she falls for an older, brooding heartbreaker. However, her love story soon comes to a humiliated end. Then Gippi decides to take charge and accepts Shamira's challenge to run against her in the school elections. Whatever the outcome may be, Gippi has a great time along the way as she learns to love herself for exactly who she is. Although it does not have stars, debut director Sonam Nair says “Gippi” is for everyone; full of comedy, fun, drama and music. Short videos with young actors such as Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Parineeti Chopra introducing audiences to the title character were released to promote the movie.

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