Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed

Unsung auteurs of Bollywood

It’s an eternal mystery. So many stalwart directors who contributed immeasurably to Mumbai-produced cinema have neither inspired researched articles (forget books) nor any acknowledgement from the film industry associations which have lately rushed into the ever-ballooning phenomenon of award events.

Rebirth of the 19th century pure woman

Goodbye 19th century. A pure woman of England is reborn in current-day Rajasthan, hops over to New Delhi — and what do you know? — even takes classes in Bollywood dance moves in cool ’ole Mumbai. That’s yet another adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s timeless Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which has inspired a concatenation of American and British TV retreads, besides a take by Roman Polanski.

Savouring shudder with F.U. Ramsay

On a spooky rainy day, a phlegmatic, baggy-suited patriarch sat at the head of a table, encircled by his burly, rose-complexioned sons. He could have been a Don Corleone presiding over a strange cubist one-storey building on Mumbai’s busy Grant Road. Corleone Jrs refilled his mug of beer incessantly, insisting that I should keep pace with their old man, and filled in every pause in our conversation, with the offer of a bowl of cashewnuts. “Masala kaajus,” the Godpapa informed helpfully. “You will enjoy.”

Hrishida: The man and the legend

On August 27, he would have been 90. And if he were alive, spending long days and evenings on his bed, he would have been surprised but I suspect, amused as well, by the retread of his Gol Maal. The refined 1979 comedy of dual identities was lately dumbed down by Rohit Shetty for Bol Bachchan. Earlier, Shetty also hacked out a triptych of Gol Maal crowd-pleasers, no questions asked.

The magic of nawabs, begums & courtesans

Slowly but surely, they’ve become extinct. The genre had a quaint name: Muslim socials. And they would unspool stories about Nizams and nawabs, bahus and begums, crackling with Urdu dialogue, advancing the importance of piety, poetic discourses, and occasionally even critiqued social malaises like bigamy and the Islamic talaaq system.

Achcha toh hum chalte hain...

He made heads turn, but not of the moneybag producers, when he hung out on the pavement outside Churchgate’s once-trendy Gaylord restaurant. Girls would hang out from the balconies in the adjoining buildings to chat with the wannabe actor, but the movie merchants would say under their breath, “Hurry… or he’ll start pestering us again.”

Of superheroics & superheroines

He has done it again. The fourth edition of The Amazing Spider-Man has toted the highest box-office opening collections of `30 crore for a Hollywood product in India, repeating the wallop of Spidey’s previous super-heroics five years ago. In other words, Bollywood is being given a run for its moolah on its own turf by Hollywood.

A heavyweight charmer

It’s scary. Going by the way two overweight women are becoming the butt of ridicule and — entertainment — on the TV dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, we have regressed to the era when obesity and multi-tyred hips were used to evoke guffaws and hoots.

‘I could never say: I love you’

It’s his first death anniversary today. Artists and gallerists will commemorate the memory of M.F. Husain who passed away at the age of 95 in London.

Gabbar and the lost art of villainy

Gross villainy, that extremity of human nature, persists in Indian as well as international cinema.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.