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Thompson on Hollywood

Raavan's Bachchan and Rai Do The Ramayana: Badly

Raavan's Bachchan and Rai Do The Ramayana: Badly
Big-budget Bollywood adventure Raavan, starring the golden couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai--from writer-director Mani Ratnam, director of Guru, with a rousing score by Slumdog Millionaire Oscar-winner A.R. Rahman--is a big overwrought dud. It's one of those dead-serious over-scale extravaganzas that boasts lavish resources--visual effects, swirling cameras, stunning scenery and lavish musical numbers--and comes up short. It's basically India's Robin Hood in more ways than one--all that money can buy in the way of production value and star power, but a big so-what? In some ways, Bachchan is playing chest-beating primitive King Kong to Rai's lovely Fay Wray.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2010 5:02 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Bollywood Star Amitabh Bachchan Suffers Liver Disease

Beloved Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, age 67, admits on his blog that he is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. He writes that he received tainted blood after a 1982 set accident that caused hepititis and scarring.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2010 10:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Shahrukh Khan Hits America, Berlin, Meets Leo DiCaprio

Shahrukh Khan is everywhere these days. He gave an interview for NPR on his recent swing through America to promote his latest, My Name is Khan, which Fox Searchlight opened strongly this weekend as it debuted in Berlin. The big question is whether this Bollywood superstar will ever make the move to star in a Hollywood movie. While the studios are chasing him, like fellow star Aamir Khan, he's got it pretty good back home, where Bollywood's insular filmmaking community is a family affair.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2010 9:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

#Sundance: Aamir Khan Talks 3 Idiots, May Release Peepli Live Himself

#Sundance: Aamir Khan Talks 3 Idiots, May Release Peepli Live Himself
How strange that I should land my first interview with my favorite Bollywood star, Aamir Khan, at Sundance. That's because he came to town as the producer of an indie political satire, Peepli Live, which is the first film from India to be accepted at Sundance-- in the world cinema competition. Khan read the script from rookie director Anusha Rizvi and agreed to back it. She cast the film largely with unknowns, including theater actor Omkar Das Manikpuri. (Here's a review from The Hollywood Reporter.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2010 3:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Holiday Movie Watching: Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots Hits Big

Holiday Movie Watching: Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots Hits Big
Like everybody else, I've been catching up on movies over the holidays. By far the most fun movie was the big-budget Bollywood comedy 3 Idiots, starring 44-year-old Aamir Khan as a geeky engineering student.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2009 9:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Bollywood: Love Aaj Kal

Bollywood: Love Aaj Kal
The Naz in Artesia on Saturday night was packed with a crowd unlike any you'd see at your local multiplex on a standard opening weekend. Entire families of every age and both sexes--from ancient crones to young moms rocking infants in baby carriages in the aisles--turned out en masse to see Love Aaj Kal, the latest Bollywood musical starring sexy leading man Saif Ali Khan. He plays two characters, one a lovelorn man in 1965 trying to win a young beauty from her resistant family, the other a "modern" hipster seeking success and a laissez-faire attitude to marriage who finally sees the error of his ways. Willowy Deepika Padukone plays his love interest. Directed by Imtiaz Ali, the romance opened huge on 2800 screens last weekend all over the world, breaking Hindi-language boxoffice records in the U.S., Australia and the U.K..
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 4:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

India Splendor: Bollywood Stars Shine in L.A.

I had a blast Saturday at India Splendor's tribute to the late great Raj Kapoor, who spawned a dynasty of Bollywood talent, including the delightful star Rishi Kapoor. Variety's Shalini Dore reports:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2007 9:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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