News Column

Celebrating century of Hindu film-making [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

May 31, 2013


stood the test of time in an arcade.

INDIAN Cinema is the world's biggest film industry, easily recognisable for its distinctive music, dance and melodramatic performances.

However, after years of destruction, Ralph yearns to be the hero for once. So Ralph abandons Felix (Jack McBrayer) and the other residents of his computerised world for a futuristic first-person shooting game called Hero's Duty, serving under the command of ballsy space trooper Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch).

Commonly known as Bollywood, these Hindi language films made in Mumbai reach millions of audiences worldwide with a huge fan-base in the UK concentrated heavily in the Midlands region.

The very first production, titled Raja Harishchandra, was India's first silent film, released on May 3, 1913.Since then the industry has come on in leaps and bounds with annual worldwide turnover of approximately Pounds 2.5 billion.

Ralph escapes the game and unwittingly transports an alien Cy- Bug from Hero's Duty into the neighbouring Sugar Rush racing game. While the creature lays eggs and prepares to overrun the realm of King Candy (Alan Tudyk) and his subjects, Ralph befriends diminutive misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and helps the sassy tyke beat her rivals to the chequered flag in her modified go-kart.

But India is not only home to Hindi-based films. Movies are also made into 20 other languages including Tamil, Malayalam and Telegu with Bollywood taking the biggest box office share.

The past two decades have seen slick productions with exotic worldwide locations catering for the overseas market.

With the availability of higher budgets come better quality films with state of the art special effects matching very closely to Hollywood standards of filmmaking.

FLIGHT (15) FOLLOWING a night of excessive boozing, Captain William "Whip" Whitaker (Denzel Washington) takes charge of a SouthJet flight to Atlanta alongside co-pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty). En route, the aeroplane suddenly hurtles towards the ground at terrifying speed.

In recent times the film industry has seen collaborations with Hollywood studios such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Disney, bringing to life a wide range of genres including thrillers, horrors and whodunits.

Smaller budget movies with strong, hard-hitting scripts including little known actors are making it big at the box office, showing Bollywood is diversifying from its normal formula of musical love stories.

Whip is forced to perform a daredevil manoeuvre to halt the rapid descent before crash-landing in a field. A subsequent investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, led by Ellen Block (Melissa Leo), threatens to expose Whip's alcoholism. Union rep Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) and attorney Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) promise to help Whip survive the fallout on the proviso that he changes his self-destructive ways.

Thanks to the advent of better worldwide film distribution, Bollywood has become a globally known phenomenon enjoyed by millions of people in Western countries.

India's long and illustrious contribution to world cinema was celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival with an event entitled 100 Years of Indian Cinema and a glitzy, red carpet premiere of the film Bombay Talkies.

I GIVE IT A YEAR (15) NAT (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) enjoy a whirlwind romance and look forward to getting to know each other better as husband and wife.

The film features four short stories directed by four generations of directors - Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibakar Banerjee.

The cast includes popular Bollywood actors such as Rani Mukherji, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Randeep Hooda and Saqib Saleem and cameos by Atoe-curling speech from best man Danny (Stephen Merchant) at Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif.

Director Johar's film focused on Rani Mukherjee who is caught in a love triangle with her husband, played by Randeep, and her gay intern Saqib.

the wedding is the first bad omen and nine months later, the couple agree to counselling sessions with a sardonic therapist (Olivia Colman). A depressed Josh seeks refuge in the company of old flame Chloe (Anna Faris), who has been abroad for years and clearly still adores him.

Manish Gajjar is the Bollywood consultant for VUE Cinemas based at Vue Birmingham - the No.1 choice for Hindi movies in the West Midlands. For more information on film times and to purchase tickets in advance visit or call 08712 240 240 (calls cost 10p per minute from BT, other network may cost more).

Meanwhile, corporate high-flier Nat is wooed by charming American businessman Guy (Simon Baker).

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