In Essence, My 3 Favourite Dharma Movies Of Recent Times

I was having this conversation with my sister and I thought I’d share with you all too.

Shakun Batra and Ayan Mukerji have made my favourite Dharma movies of recent times. In essence, they’re coming of age films. And the hope that you’ll be loved for who you are. Family plays a very important role in these discoveries.

To that effect, you already know what I think of Kapoor And Sons (Since 1921).

@dhruvis tweets about Kapoor And Sons (Since 1921)
@dhruvis tweets about Kapoor And Sons (Since 1921)

Are you following me on twitter @dhruvis yet? I might have gone a little nuts out there.

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu has been one of my favourites for a very long time. I loourve Shakun Batra and Ayesha DeVitre’s writing.

Kapoor And Sons tweets

And finally, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. I don’t want to say much more.

What are your favourite Dharma Movies from recent times? Share with me in the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat (at alicewandering).

Kapoor And Sons Movie Review & Everything Else!

It’s not every Friday that I book an afternoon show of the released film. But I had to make an exception for Kapoor And Sons because I loved Shakun Batra’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. And Kapoor And Sons looked like a movie that would leave me emotional. When ever anyone asks me what kind of movies I like or how I critique a film, I only tell them this. It should be an experience that moves me. It can’t bore me or not have any effect on me. It should have some sort of impact. That’s my only criterion.

Kapoor and Sons
Kapoor and Sons

So, what about Kapoor and Sons? In one line,

it will make you cry a little, smile a lot and be grateful for your family

because they are the only ones who are truly yours.

Just like a family portrait which is never perfect despite carefully considering all conditions, the family itself isn’t either. But there is a lot of love, hopefully. And the nuances and imperfections that make it uniquely yours.

Kapoor & Sons Poster

Let’s start with the painstakingly crafted characters essayed by an excellent range of actors. Right from Rishi Kapoor, the Kapoor (whose first name is irrelevant) who heads this esoteric family and helms the reel Kapoor And Sons. To Rajat Kapoor, the seasoned Ratna Pathak Shah and the delectable Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra. And the completely hot and charming Alia Bhatt who proves no role is big or small for an actor. I want to give all of them (characters and actors who play them) a big, big hug. Except Rishi Kapoor, who I just want to kiss, with his prosthetic make-up in tact.

Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons
Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor And Sons

To give away any plot points of Kapoor And Sons is to take away from the experience of watching it and doing injustice to the review. Watch it, with a family member, if you can, and revel in the experience.

I’d like to point out that I have been grooving to Let’s Nacho every day (more than once) and you will too after you’ve watched the movie, not knowing which ‘step’ to choose. You’ll definitely want to ‘bust some moves’ to Kar Gayi Chull as well.

Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

There are some absolutely hilarious moments in the film when the audience clapped and laughed too. There are some candid moments that everyone will identify with. And there is a hell of a lot of attention paid to detail. It all comes together so beautifully, it made me want to write this blog even more.

Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons
Fawad Khan and Sidharth Malhotra in Kapoor And Sons

I strongly believe one of the film’s many strengths is it’s very very clever and passionate writing. Kudos to Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon. I want that for myself.

And I want to wrap up this blog by saying you don’t come across a Kapoor And Sons every other week. A film that doesn’t even have title credits and gets right to it is a gem. It tells a heart-breaking story with ease and beauty.

Book your tickets already!

Gold Cinema ad

Talking Shop With Actress Shweta Tripathi & Falling In Love

She goes by @battatawada on Twitter and has been bagging all the awards at the shows for her debut in Masaan. It was also the recipient of the Best Film prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Today, a short film featuring her, Koi Dekh Lega releases on the Y Films channel on YouTube. I’m talking about the extremely spirited actress, Shweta Tripathi. Incidentally, the year before I was features writer at Filmfare, Shweta did her internship at Femina. That’s how a common friend introduced us on Facebook. At the time we became ‘friends’ online, she was helping with casting for Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar. She innocently asked me if I knew any Kashmiri looking girl and I felt really bad for not knowing one. Of course, Nargis Fakhri eventually did that role and Rockstar became one of my favourite films. Fast forward some years and Shweta is shooting for an ad film in Bangkok and I’m on a FaceTime call with her, talking about everything under the sun. It took a lot of co-ordination and lighting (Shweta was actually sitting in front of the television to catch light, so I could see her) but once we got talking, a little more than an hour just flew by.

Shweta Tripathi
Shweta Tripathi

Here’s what you need to know about her: She’s not changing her twitter handle from @battatawada to @ShwetaTripathi449 or something else anytime soon. She doesn’t believe in losing her quirkiness to make herself easily searchable. (I love that.) She follows Robert Downey Jr. and Jim Carrey and likes to think people on Twitter follow her because she is herself even on social media. It is interesting to follow people who have opinions on things like movies or topics that interest a user.

@battatawada twitter snapshot
@battatawada twitter snapshot

Her twitter DP is also making me extremely nostalgic. Remember this?

I’m the tomato sauce to your #spaghetti. #LACMA

A photo posted by Dhruvi Shah (@alicewandering) on

Continue reading Talking Shop With Actress Shweta Tripathi & Falling In Love

In Conversation with Christina Marouda about IFFLA – Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Most of you already know that I went to Los Angeles at the end of December 2014 to study screenwriting at the New York Film Academy in an 8 week program ending February. I spent about 10 weeks total in Los Angeles and I loved it! The city, made up of smaller counties, felt just like home. It was the “Hollywood” version of Mumbai. Everyone I met was aspiring to be a part of the film industry. Of course, it made me all nostalgic. I wouldn’t leave any opportunity to tell people about Bollywood – my first love.

Recently, I spoke with Christina Marouda, Founder of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Following are some snippets from our conversation:

Christina Marouda
Christina Marouda

Dhruvi: How do you want Indians to know IFFLA?
Christina: We are in our 14th year. We have established ourselves as the first Indian film fest to put Indian cinema on the global map. It is known to discover critically acclaimed filmmakers before the rest of the world did. Newer filmmakers are eager to submit their films. This year, we have an excellent programme and the festival is taking place from April 6th to 10th in L.A.

Continue reading In Conversation with Christina Marouda about IFFLA – Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

Tripping on Y Films’ First Short The Road Trip Feat. Tahir Raj Bhasin & Nimrat Kaur

Keeping aside the fact that I have huge huge crush on Tahir Raj Bhasin. I mean, have you seen this guy? A special mention to Shanoo Sharma for introducing him to me. I’m really excited that one of the most prolific and celebrated production houses in the country has ventured into short films, directed by Ankur Tewari, with its youth division, Y Films. I had the privilege of previewing 3 of the 6 Love Shots on Monday and asking Ashish Patil the question that was on my mind.

A still from The Road Trip
A still from The Road Trip

My memory of watching short films, especially, in the theatre is Pixar’s shorts at the top of some of their most iconic films. I still remember the one attached to Wall-E and most recently, Lava, played before Inside Out. I wondered if Ashish had the same concept in my mind. To my assumption, he said I was bang on. That was absolutely the inspiration for him. He wants to experiment with content and format as much as possible with a platform like Y Films (currently a subscriber base of 2.5 lakhs approx. on YouTube). He hopes there will be short film festivals, short film awards and what not in the future.

I just gotta say that if anyone can do it, it’s YRF. Short films are usually the first attempt by a feature filmmaker and a gateway to festivals and awards, etc. Heck, the Oscars have a category for short films too.

If you’re as excited about this development as I am. Check out The Road Trip here:

And the teaser for Koi Dekh Lega feat. another one of my favourites, Shweta Tripathi here:

Tweet me your thoughts, comments or feedback @dhruvis