Salman Khan Gets Five Years In Jail In 2002 Hit-and-run Case

The Mumbai sessions court and judge DW Deshpande has sentenced Salman Khan to five years in jail for the 2002 hit-and-run case. He will be taken into custody now and the police will decide which jail he will be placed in. Reports suggest that he may be taken to the Arthur Road jail tonight. Khan can appeal to the high court but not before he is taken to jail. The court has also ordered Khan to stop paying compensation to the victim’s family.

Salman Khan jail

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Video: ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ Trailer

Check out the much awaited trailer of Dil Dhadakne Do featuring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Anil Kapoor & Shefali Shah. The movie is directed by ‘Zindagi Na Milega Dobaara’ director Zoya Akhtar. It is produced by Excel Entertainment. The movie is all set to get released on 5th June. The trailer promises that it’s going to be an entertaining family drama.

Dil Dhadakne Do poster

Dil Dhadakne Do poster

Masala Films & Bollywood’s Existential Crisis!

There was a time when Hindi speaking audience used to mock masala movies of Rajnikanth (by the way, they still do). I’m talking about the period post 2000s where Aamir Khan single-handedly changed the face of Bollywood with milestone movies such as ‘Lagaan’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ & ‘Rang De Basanti’. Despite making formulaic romance movies (DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai & so on) & silly action movies (remember the Khiladi series & those Ajay Devgn action flicks?) up to that point, Bollywood always used to play the superiority card. They made fun of the over-the-top action sequences and dialogue baazi in Rajnikanth movies. For them, south Indians were totally substandard species. 4 different states and four different languages – yet, South Indians were just Iddli-eating ‘Madrasis’ for Hindi speaking viewers.

I’m sure those who mocked South Indian movies have a hard time watching Bollywood movies these days. Not even Rajnikanth movies have such outrageous action sequences that we see in Bollywood today! How fast tables turn! Take a look at the most successful movies (or in other words, the list of 100 crore, 200 crore & 300 crore movies) in the last 10 years. You will see that most of them are masala flicks with gravity defying stunt scenes and over acting (except for couple of honourable mentions like PK, 3 Idiots etc.). Without thinking twice, this trend of mindless masala flicks have reduced the quality of Bollywood movies (I’m being generous here!).

When did this unhealthy obsession with masala movies begin? Blame it on Aamir Khan! It all started with Aamir Khan’s Ghajini in 2008! The same Aamir Khan who opened many new possibilities with new age movies started the masala movie trend as well as the unhealthy 100, 200 and 300 crore clubs! Aamir Khan proved that the south remakes can be a lucrative business. So who cares if the stunt scenes were little beneath your taste? Luckily for Aamir Khan, he quickly moved on with other genres once he was done experimenting with masala genre. Unluckily for us, Salman Khan took note of the vast untapped potential of the masala movies. That quickly led to spate of hugely successful masala movies from Salman Khan including ‘Wanted’, ‘Dabangg’, ‘Dabangg 2’, ‘Ready’, ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ etc. These movies created new records in the domestic market (it was a different story in the overseas markets, where they preferred mushy Shahrukh Khan romance & sensible Aamir Khan flicks). When viewers and trade pundits discussed about the 100 crore and 200 crore clubs day and night, every big star felt the pressure to explore the masala genre despite being unconvinced about it. Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, who were part of borderline B-grade movies in the 90s (even in 2000s), got inspired quickly to explore the masala movies. Akshay Kumar gave us movies such as ‘Rowdy Rathore’, ‘Khiladi 786’ etc. in this period, where most of them turning out to be huge money spinners. Ajay Devgn also tasted success in the masala genre with movies such as ‘Son Of Sardaar’, ‘Singham’, ‘Singham Returns’ etc.

Shahrukh Khan, who was known for his romantic flicks, didn’t show much enthusiasm in the beginning. However, he finally succumbed to 200 crore pressure by doing Rohit Shetty’s ‘Chennai Express’. At least in Shahrukh Khan’s case, he insisted on a fresh script than a South remake. His gamble paid off and Chennai Express became his ticket to the elusive 200 crore club. Later he appeared in Farah Khan’s masala flick Happy New Year as well, which turned out to be yet another money spinner.

Even young stars are smitten by the masala genre. After a slew of flops, Shahid Kapoor had a hit in Prabhu Deva’s masala film R.. Rajkumar. Many critics felt that the movie was so crass that it trivialized rape. Arjun Kapoor – Sonakshi Sinha starrer Tevar, which got released last week, is yet another masala film from the young brigade.

Though masala movies lack quality, one cannot overlook the fact that such movies provide entertainment to a marginalized section of the viewers. India is still a developing country and only a small percentage live in the cities, which appreciate sensible, middle-of-the-road movies. The growing gap between the rich and poor in the country plays a major role in such polarising genres in Bollywood. Most viewers in the interiors find over-the-top action scenes, cheap dialogues and scintillating item-numbers entertaining. Bollywood came to realize that this section of viewers contribute heavily to the overall box office revenue in India (which is thrice as big as overseas revenue). So no wonder why Bollywood, where business takes precedence, is eager to please the masala loving audience – it’s all about money, honey!

But it’s convenient for Bollywood film makers to underestimate the intelligence of the viewers. The success of ‘P.K.’ or ‘3 Idiots’ is an example. This movie did well with all the sections of the viewers. A well-made movie attracts all sections of the viewers no matter what. They don’t need cheap thrills in the name of entertainment. Bollywood doesn’t want to acknowledge this fact and they care only about making money. Above all, they are lazy to walk that extra mile!

However, things are not as rosy as you would expect. Of late, few of the films in the masala genre got a dose of reality. Few of those movies failed to make it big at the box office. Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn & even Salman Khan tasted failure in the recent times. Akshay Kumar’s ‘Boss’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Joker’ etc. bombed at the box office; so did Ajay Devgn’s ‘Action Jackson’ & ‘Himmatwala’. Though Salman Khan’s 2014 release ‘Jai Ho’ crossed the 100 crore mark, the movie failed to live up to expectations, thereby giving a reality check to Salman Khan.

Right now, Bollywood is in a dilemma – whether to proceed with their masala films or not, considering the growing scepticism. But one thing is clear – Bollywood has realized that the usual tricks up the sleeve are not enough to survive!


Why Bollywood Award Shows Struggle To Stay Relevant?


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of ‘Oscars’ or ‘Golden Globes’? Prestige. It’s not the same when it comes to desi counterparts like the 60 year old ‘Filmfare Awards’ or the much younger ‘Life OK Screen Awards’ (21 year old). ‘Oscars’, ‘Golden Globes’ and ‘Filmfare’ have one thing in common – a long legacy spanning over a half century. Oscar celebrates 87th year in 2015 whereas Golden Globes celebrates 72th year. Hollywood awards are known for their fair and transparent process in selecting the winners. Over 6000 elite Academy members vote for Oscars to select the yearly winners. As for Golden Globes, it constitutes 93 prominent journalists from all over the world, who are members of Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), in the voting panel. When looking back, we can see that these two major awards had a smooth run without many controversies questioning their legitimacy & the selection process. Of course, a calculated campaigning can still sway the Oscar & Golden Globe voters – to some extent (as we witnessed in the case of Shakespeare In Love in 1999 and Crash in 2015)! Brushing aside such minor hiccups, these awards continue to stay relevant and prestigious. The same cannot be said about the Bollywood awards. Especially since we have a dozen new award shows, the prestige is the last thing they are bothered about.

Where are Bollywood awards heading?

Well, it’s not heading to a nice place – that’s certain! Controversies and corruption make it very hard for the Award shows to stay relevant & significant. Speaking of Filmfare awards, it’s a popular award. The subscribers of the Filmfare magazine decide the winners through voting (however, they introduced critic’s choice awards for few major categories to make it less dull). As we all know, public is not always the best judge when it comes to quality of movies, acting and technical prowess. As Oscars realized, the people who work in the business are the best to judge the merit of a movie or artist. Now it’s too late for Filmfare awards to change their format. So, let’s not hound them on that matter. However, at least they can be honest and fair in the manner in which they select the popular awards. If you take a closer look, despite giving good performances and milestone movies, Aamir Khan and his movies always missed Filmfare awards. Same can be said about Ajay Devgn as well. To refresh your memory, both Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn spoke against the politics behind award shows. Aamir Khan boycotted all the award shows (of course, except National Awards and Oscars). Time and again, we hear allegations that these awards are ‘fixed’. It’s not just stars, fans also have spoken against the dirty picture behind awards.

Award shows have become a huge televised event in India involving big money. So TRP matters. Who brings TRP? Big stars, who else! Don’t think that it’s different in Hollywood. ABC, which is under contract to broadcast Oscars until 2020, resorts to all sorts of circus to increase the TRP of Oscars (did you forget Ellen Degenerator’s selfie stunt during last year’s Oscar Ceremony?) However, in Hollywood big stars don’t ask for money or favours to attend these awards. If they are nominated they will definitely show up at the red carpet and graciously cheer the winner despite their bitter losses. They understand the fact that maintaining a healthy ecosystem of awards is a necessity for ensuring quality. In Bollywood, we hear all sorts of stories about the insane demands of stars when it comes to attending award shows.’ If you are not going to give me an award and then don’t bother sending an invitation’ – this seems to be the motto of most of the major stars, according to various reports. This leads to hilarious award categories. For the ‘best actor’ category, some award shows give up to 5 different awards (best actor in a thriller, best actor in a drama, best actor in a comedy and goes on)! Then they invent very creative award categories to accommodate a certain demanding actor! There was a recent controversy regarding music awards, where Honey Singh was given best music director award ignoring A R Rahman & Amit Trivedi!

Bollywood fans have been discussing about the pointlessness of Bollywood awards on social media like Twitter and Facebook. It looks like everyone except award show organizers is aware of this growing criticism. Speaking of Oscars, we have something similar in Bollywood. IIFA (Indian International Film Awards), which came in to existence in 2000, is a global Bollywood award show where nominations & winners are selected by peers in the industry. The glossy award function is usually held at an international venue outside India. Nevertheless, they keep honouring the least deserved winners. Moreover, they are not far behind when it comes to hilarious categories.

In short, Bollywood award scene is a big mess right now. This can be largely attributed to the fact that industry is disorganized to the core. They don’t have unity – they don’t have functional organizations for the actors and technicians. If they had, it would have been easier for them to conduct their own award show modelled on Oscars. In that case, a trusted outside agency (an agency named PricewaterhouseCoopers has the responsibility for tabulating Oscar votes) can handle the voting process to avoid politics and corruption. Also, it would force the stars to attend the awards without asking for favours. Such a move could clean up the system. But who is going to do that? The leading actors are at loggerheads all the time. They fight over everything and their cold wars and camp systems are infamous in Bollywood. So it would be too much to expect them to do something about this mess.

But who will bell the cat?

That’s the biggest question. Until we find an answer, we will have to deal with the nonsense in the name of awards!

Stardust Awards – How Did Honey Singh Beat A R Rahman?

We have a fresh controversy regarding Bollywood awards! When it comes to credibility, Bollywood awards have nothing much to offer. It’s been the case for many decades. Ever since the award season kicked off in December last year, we have been waiting for the controversy. And we finally have one.

Stardust Awards is the latest culprit. The award, which gives prominence to upcoming talents, landed in a fresh controversy last week when they announced the winners. Though fans are shocked about number of categories, they are all fuming about the music category.

Honey Singh, the hugely popular rapper, who churned out hits after hits, walked away with ‘Best Music Director’ award with 4 other music directors for the songs in Yaariyan. Notably, Yaariyan wasn’t a great musical. Just that one song titled “Sunny Sunny”, composed by Honey Singh, had became a huge chart-buster. Pritam also composed a song for the movie. Surprisingly, Yaariyan received the award beating A R Rahman’s score in Highway & Amit Trivedi’s winning songs in Queen.

Soon after the awards, there were rumors that Stardust Award organizers were forced to give awards to Yaaryan. According to rumors, T-Series, which own the music of Yaariyan, threatened the award organizers last minute by saying that they will take legal action against the illegal use of T-series songs for the performances scheduled for the award. Fearing the cancellation of the awards at the last minute, they were forced to give awards to Yaariyan. Well, we don’t know about the legitimacy of this claim.

All that we know is that Bollywood awards are getting uglier by the day!

Fan Speak: Why People Look Down On Masala Movies?

Hi all! My name is Anirban and I’m a Bollywood fan. For the last 6-7 years I’ve been to many social networking sites. I’ve seen so many endless fights and debates on politics, religion, cricket, football, Bollywood etc. However, I’m not here to talk about all, but bollywood. Despite the presence of Hollywood and other regional films, Bollywood has its own fan base and Bollywood fans worship Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, Hrithik, Akshay etc. For the past 4-5 years, the trend of Bollywood films has completely changed; be it releasing strategy,box office returns and experimental genres targeting new audience.


Masala movies

Masala movies

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