Monthly Archives: October 2017

Dabangg 3: Salman Khan starrer to kick off by middle of 2018, says Arbaaz Khan

Mumbai: National Award-winning filmmaker Arbaaz Khan, who produced the Salman Khan-starring, commercially successful Dabangg series, says that he has started scripting the new sequel of the franchise that will go on the floor in the middle of 2018.

“Yes, we have started scripting the film and I think we will start shooting Dabangg 3 by the middle of the next year,” the actor-filmmaker told the media at the trailer launch of his upcoming film Tera Intezaar.

As Sunny Leone, who is the co-star in the film, was also present, Arbaaz, asked if he is planning to cast her to do an item number like ‘Munni Badnaam’, said, “Yes, why not? And why would she be a Munni, we can cast her for something different, but for that, we have to finalize something.”

Salman Khan in Dabangg (left); Arbaaz Khan (right). Image courtesy: Facebook

Arbaaz has shared his screen space with Sunny for the first time Tera Intezaar and according to him, “one of the reasons I did the film, was to spend some time with Sunny. She is wonderful and we had a great time shooting in abroad”.

Asked about if he is planning to promote the film in Bigg Boss 11, which is hosted by his brother, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, Arbaaz said, “Well, I think that is the producer to decide. If we have the opportunity, and the Colors channel allows us to do so, why not.”

He added, “Though I do not watch Bigg Boss every day but I like watching the show. Earlier, few seasons, I followed; I watched all episodes when Sunny (Leone) was in the show.”

Secret Superstar, Newton, Shubh Mangal Savdhaan: It’s the year of real stories, engagingly relevant content

For many years, Hindi Cinema has been about aspirations, and it being the sole driving force to pull in audiences to theatres.

Everyone wants to go to the snow-capped mountains in Switzerland, dance around, and hashtag DDLJ in their photos. A lot of them do the trip for that one photo only. For years we’ve been following the norm of hero-and-heroine-ism in our films.

However, for a long time, we have made films that either generalise things or dilute them from their authenticity, so it reaches a larger audience and can be relatable for many cultures. The truth is — how many times can you weave a film around the same situation? How many “love stories” can we rehash?

A welcome change has been brought in by a lot of people who have come from various places and joined the madness of movie-making. They have their own stories, own struggles, which makes them unique. Directors like Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar, Sriram Raghavan, Sujoy Ghosh, Dibaker Banerjee, Shakun Batra, Imtiaz Ali, Nitesh Tiwari, Ritesh Batra, Tigmanshu Dhulia and many more, have been at the forefront of bringing a personal flavour to Indian cinema, far away from formulas.

They have been influential enough to change the craft, which has been breathing the same year for many years. Take 2017 for example — Who would have thought that a film about erectile dysfunction would have done a fantastic job at the box office (and otherwise)? Shubh Mangal Savdhaan was loved by not just the youth but people went to watch the film with their families and came back elated.

Secret Superstar, a film about a 16 year old girl who aspires to be a singer in a world which is suffocated with patriarchy, will possibly be the most-liked film of the year. These films are miles away from the flimsy tropes we have come to terms with, dealing with emotions that are real and not elevated for the heck of it.

In Secret Supertsar, Zaira Wasim convinces us that she is Insiya from Vadodara who is tied down with the shackles of patriarchy and is looking for freedom through music. Her father is a middle class abusive man who believes in reprimanding his wife and daughter for anything under the sun, but loves his son immensely. Insiya is innocent, sincere and is full of so much anger. Frankly, full marks to the director Advait Chandan, who has managed to nurture this film and the talent of Insiya. He has handled so many tricky scenes so sensitively, for example we never get too much of the actual voilence in the film.

The terrain changed because of a bunch of new writers, directors and actors taking the baton in their hands. Seeing how rewarding it has been, our megastars have finally decided to follow the path. We are not selling films anymore but reality and that is why more people are buying it.

Hindi Cinema has been churning out wonderful content this year and the frequency of it is increasing by the day. Who would have thought a mega star like Akshay Kumar would be the face of a film which discusses the problem of sanitation in the country? Toilet- Ek Prem Katha was a wonderful way to propagate what the nation is still lacking. Akshay will now he takes it a notch higher with Padman co-starring Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor.

Topics that have taboo for many many years are coming out in the open and taking advantage of the popularity that mega stars have, they are creating awareness.

We don’t need to be hush hush anymore — menstruation in Padman, erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Savdhaan, sanitation in Toilet- Ek Prem Katha or a dark comedy about a fair election in a conflicted part of the country in Newton, all now exist in the same space as Golmaal Again and Judwaa 2.

While Golmaal 4 is entertaining the audiences at par with the festive spirit of Diwali, Newton is making us proud internationally. As commercial films are still making the stupendous bucks that they do at the box office, the happy thing is that budgets are now being created for projects that might look risqué at first. Even studious are showing trust in scripts that might have not seen the light of day a decade back.

Tera Intezaar trailer: Sunny Leone, Arbaaz Khan starrer sees the former on (some sort of) a quest

Indian movie-goers have been vehemently rejecting films that lack content, with just a few exceptions here and there. Now, it is time for Tera Intezaar, the Arbaaz Khan and Sunny Leone starrer to take the test and show us what it’s got. The trailer of the film has been released and it looks like the film centers around the disappearance of Khan, which forces Leone on a hunt.

Sunny Leone in Tera Intezaar. YouTube screengrab.

A few actors who have been out of the limelight for quite a bit now, make a comeback in this film — namely Arya Babbar, Salil Ankola. Accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer Sudha Chandran plays a pivotal role in the film, guiding Leone in her quest.

Although the teaser of the film had given us an insight into the story, the trailer makes it clear that the film is going to be a Sunny show all the way. It also features a dance number, where she dances “like a Barbie doll”.

Between a painting that paints itself and a car which suddenly breaks down after all four tires burst at the same time, you get the sense of some paranormal activity. Khan is nowhere to be found while his lady is dealing with abusive men, which makes you wonder — Is he responsible for the notoriety?

The film releases on 24 November.

Manoj Bajpayee thinks Bollywood is in a healthy space: ‘If Golmaal Again has done well, so has Newton’

From his breakthrough role in Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya (1998) through Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), two time National Award winning actor Manoj Bajpayee, who won a standing ovation in Busan for his searing portrayal of a persecuted gay professor in Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh, has consistently forged an independent path.

Strangely enough, there was a time when he wanted to pack his bags and go back to his hometown in Bihar due to lack of offers, whereas today, Bajpayee is among one of the busiest actors, with his upcoming film Rukh being his seventh feature film since 2016. He plays father to an 18-year-old boy in debutant directorAtanu Mukherjees film.

“It’s a complicated character and we have shown a very unique way of exploring the relationship between father and son. When the father is not there, the son’s relationship and the bond with his father keeps growing as he wants to find the reasons behind his father’s death. Also, there is a hint of suspense and intrigue and the viewers will keep guessing the reason behind the father’s death. I felt like I was reading a fantastic novel while reading the script. It mesmerised me completely in the manner it was written — simple yet without losing the beauty of telling the story,” says Bajpayee.

And he’s is all praise for the director, “Atanu has treated his film like a novel. He is a brave storyteller. He is not somebody who will welcome anything you give him, without hurting or offending anybody. It is always a great experience when you work with a director whose clarity is absolutely high. There was no moment of confusion and he pushed his actors to achieve what he wanted from them.”

Off-late, Bajpayee has been quite successfully balancing between commercial and alternate cinema. If on one hand he is doing films like Rukh and international projects like In The Shadows (psychological drama), on the other hand he’s also part of an out and out commercial ventureTiger Shroff-starrer Baaghi 2. He also just wrapped up Neeraj Pandey’s Aiyaary, which has Sidharth Malhotra in a significant role

“I am very clear about the commercial films I take up. I do only those in which I have a good role. I accepted Baaghi 2 because I share a good relationship with Ahmed Khan (director). Then, I’m really excited about Aiyaary. Neeraj Pandey is a fantastic director. This will be my fifth film under his production. And after that I have Devashish Makhija’s Bhosle,” reveals Bajpayee.

He furthers, “Now I have too many options and choices to make, which is such a great sign. I am getting all kinds of offers, from all genres. I don’t mind even entering the digital space if something interesting comes up. After Satya (in which he played the iconic Bhiku Mhatre), I sat at home for eight to nine months. I finally chose Ram Gopal Varma’s Shool because I wasn’t getting work outside. Today, I don’t have time for my family and my family can never complain because all these years I was very much with them but now I am absent. I’m compensating for the free time I had in the past (laughs).”

“Rajkummar Rao, Nawazuddin, and actors who are really good will get their due now. If these actors are getting a chance to showcase their talent, it is a good sign for a very healthy industry. This is the time when so much varied content is being produced on so many different platforms – digital, television or cinema. People are ready to put their money where there is experiment happening,” adds Bajpayee.

“Earlier, when I started my career, the industry was ruled by commercial, formula films. I didn’t have any option. I used to run from one studio to another, one director to another thinking I will get some good roles but I would land with small itsy-bitsy roles. I was living in frustration. Private television channels had just started coming in. Survival had become difficult and many times I felt that I should just pack my bags and go home but I was destined to be here. The success of Satya gave me the strength to carve a path for myself,” he says.

Whatever be his choice and experience, that hasn’t stopped Bajpayee from appreciating mainstream films. “I have always enjoyed watching masala films. In fact, I was the one who was chasing David Dhawan after Satya released and I would plead with him to make a film with me. I would tell him, ‘Please do one film with me as well’ and David would reply, ‘You’re a very serious actor. Your image of a serious actor is far too strong. You will ruin my film’,” Bajpayee recalls and laughs out loud.

The other reason that makes Bajpayee positive about the industry is the happy co-existence between commercial and off-beat cinema.

“Look, as long as cinema is there, stars will always be there. Our efforts should be to make films with great content so that they can also co-exist with the commercial, star-oriented films. If one genre has a monopoly, it will never help the audience as they will be devoid of choices,” said the actor. He furthers, “ If Golmaal Again and Judwaa 2 have done well, so has Newton. Films like Lipstick Under My Burkha, and last year Aligarh, managed to create a lot of buzz. I am in favour of all genres running parallel and doing well, to have a healthy industry,” he explains.

Secret Superstar’s musical discovery Meghna Mishra says response to film is ‘a dream come true

In an exclusive interview with Firstpost, the 15-year-old singer from Mumbai spoke about her life, her advent into the music industry and her plans in the future.

Mishra was born and raised in Mumbai, and although she originally hails from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, she calls Mumbai her home. Born to Sanjay Kumar Mishra, who is a Hindustani classical music teacher, and Aarti Mishra, a tabla player and kathak dancer, Mishra has always been around a musical environment since her childhood. She has been taking vocal lessons from her father.

“It is always musical. There are students who come at my place and learn music from my dad. I live in a musical world. I have been singing since childhood. But I started music regularly when I was ten or eleven. My dad trains me,” says Mishra.

Meghna Mishra.

Mishra is an ardent fan of old Bollywood songs and considers Lata Mangeshkar a major influence. Speaking about her choice of songs, Mishra says, “There are many old songs that are based on Indian classical music; they come under the genre of  semi-classical music, which are finished songs. If I learn old songs, I only learn filmy classical. I listen to Lataji, Ashaji… all the old singers. That generation’s music was so cultural and there was a classical touch in the compositions.”

Her favourite Lata songs include: (in random order) ‘Man Mohana’ (Seema [1955]), ‘Kaise Din Beetey’ (Anuradha [1960]), ‘Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat’ (Sharmilee [1971]), ‘Ja Ja Re Balamwa’ (Basant Bahaar [1956]), ‘Lag Jaa Gale’ (Woh Kaun Thi [1964]).

Many wouldn’t know that Secret Superstar isn’t Mishra’s debut in playback singing. She had sung two songs in the 2014 Marathi film Vitti Dandu. And it is how the journey of her newly-found fame germinated.

“The music director of the film Santosh Mulekar is a family friend. One day we were sitting in the hall at my place. My mom received a call from Santosh uncle and he asked her how old I was. My mom said that I was 15 running. To that he informed that we would receive a call from a certain lady, which we did. That lady asked me to send her two songs — both in raw formats. I sent her a song and a YouTube link of a western song that I had uploaded sometime back then. Then after sometime, she sent me an address. I, along with my dad, upon reaching that address, entered a studio and we were asked to sit in the waiting room.”

“We were then called inside and we met a person who gave me a writing pad, a page and I filled it. I didn’t even look what it was. Then the man asked someone, ‘Sir ko bulao.’ One or two minutes later Amit [Trivedi] Sir entered. I didn’t recognise him at first, but I could feel I had seen him somewhere; he resembled someone. He then said, ‘We have chosen you as a singer for an Aamir Khan Production film.’ I was so confused; that was my first reaction… I took the paper that I had filled and looked at it and then I realised that ‘Oh my God! I just signed the contract of Secret Superstar,” she exclaims.

How does it feel like to be a playback singer in Bollywood? “Whenever I think about the fact that I have sung for an Aamir Khan film, I still don’t believe it. It’s more like a dream come true. There was a time when we doubted the whole thing because the teaser released after a long time; it released in December. But once the teaser was out, we were assured. I have sung five out of eight songs in the album.”

“It is a special feeling for me and my family, as I am the first one in my family who has sung in a Bollywood film. I feel I am so lucky that I got selected for this, because if nobody had heard me sing at the first place I would not have sung in the film. I will always be grateful to Amit Sir, Aamir Sir for this,” says an ecstatic Mishra.

The makers of Secret Superstar had called Mishra to Panchgani for ten days while they were shooting the film there. And that is where most of the compositions were made, and the final recordings were done in a Mumbai studio. “Amit sir used to teach me the songs in the morning; I would learn them and practice them all day; and later in the evening we would record it. Amit sir had a small recording set up in his room. After recording the song, he would mix it and make Aamir Sir listen to the composition,” she says.

One of the major highlights of the film is the resemblance of Mishra’s voice to Zaira Wasim’s vocal texture.

Talking about that Mishra candidly says, “Some people asked how Zaira sings so beautifully; later they realised that somebody else has sung them.”

Initially she wasn’t sure whether her voice would work for Wasim or not, because when Mishra met Wasim, Dangal had not released. She adds, “I had met Zaira much before Dangal’s trailer release. It was around September-October when I was called for the shooting of Secret Superstar. Aamir sir wanted me to guide her with expressions, hand movements, standing postures, etc. I rehearsed with her five six times and she used to follow me and observe keenly. I didn’t even know that she was the heroine. She is so cute and beautiful; I wasn’t even sure that my voice would suit her.”

Meghna Mishra along with Aamir Khan during Secret Superstar music launch (left); Zaira Wasim in Secret Superstar. Picture courtesy: Facebook

Mishra specifically mentions Wasim’s acting proficiency, which is another remarkable highlight of the film and Wasim has been receiving rave reviews for her performance. Mishra adds, “Zaira is very talented. She observed some of the most minute things and implemented them in her scenes. She would ask me to sing and then would observe how I stand; second time she would notice where I was shutting my eyes; then she would also notice where and when I took breaths and she implemented all of that. That is really a difficult thing, but she did everything and delivered the final output and you can see the result.”

And now, after Secret Superstar, Mishra hopes for some good projects to come in, and adds, “I wish that all my projects are pure — just like Secret Superstar — all the songs, all the lyrics are so good.”

Panchlait teaser: Prem Modi’s directorial might leave you with more questions than answers

The teaser of Prem Modi’s Panchlait has been released. The film is based on a story by Phanishwar Nath Renu, one of the pioneers of modern Hindi literature. Set in a small village in Bihar, the film brings back memories of the original story by aptly recreating the characters and the setting.

A still from Panchlait. Screengrab from YouTube.

Starring Amitosh Nagpal, Anuradha Mukherjee, Rajesh Sharma, Ravi Jhankal and Brijendra Kala among others, the film brings forth several issues which are still faced by people of the lower rung of the economy. Shortage of electricity is the overarching issue which has been presented in a lighthearted manner. However, the teaser will leave you with more questions than answers.

The original story revolves around a village and its inhabitants who are so innocent and inexperienced that they do not know how to light a simple lamp. Their lack of knowledge leads to hilarious situations, something which has been projected in the teaser too. The makers have made sure to put across the conundrum of the villagers as much as possible which explains the frequent shots of villagers gathered around the lamp, examining it intently.

Secret Superstar: Aamir Khan’s character in the film inspired by Anil Kapoor, Jeetendra

Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s quirky character Shakti Kumaarr from his forthcoming movie Secret Superstar has been inspired by Jeetendra and Anil Kapoor.

Anil Kapoor (left); Aamir Khan in Secret Superstar (centre); and Jeetendra. Image courtesy: Facebook

Aamir said in a statement: “One of the secrets from Secret Superstar is that in this film, I have used some lines that film actors usually use in their personal life and whenever I meet them. I tend to remember some lines from it, and I have used those lines while playing my character in the film.

“For example, when I met Jeetuji (Jeetendra) for the very first time, I found him as a very humorous person. He had come to visit Nasir (filmmaker Nasir Hussain) sahab once and I was sitting with them that time. I was an assistant to Nasir sahab then. Jeetuji said, ‘Nasir sahab, I have been offered a film which has a double role’. Jeetuji laughed and said I can’t do one role properly and I have been offered two roles.

“Further, he said that it’s perfectly fine, I’ll do it well and said ‘Buck up India’… The way he said ‘Buck Up India’, I found it so charming that time that it remained in my mind, and now also if we meet somewhere, he says, ‘Son, you have a release now… Buck Up India! It will do very good’. The way Jeetuji uses that phrase ‘Buck up India’ is something I like and I have used that in Secret Superstar.”

What about Anil?

“One thing about Anil Kapoor I have noticed is that whenever he is done talking on call, he doesn’t say bye once, he says bye about 15-20 times on call. So while speaking with him on call when I say, ‘Anil, see you bye’, he says ‘Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye’ in series. My character uses this trait also.”

Secret Superstar is a film which brings out the inner superstar of a teenage girl who is dreaming to become a singer and how she fulfils her dreams by keeping her identity hidden.

Today in Wait, What — Yo Yo Honey Singh reportedly offered Rs 25 crore to write biography

Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh is apparently being offered Rs 25 crore to write a tell-all novel and it better make us meet God.

Yo Yo Honey Singh in all his glory. Image from Twitter/@khina7092

As an afterthought, we don’t know what’s more surprising — the money or the possibility of him writing a book because, you know, he thinks it’s okay to rhyme ‘paani’ with ‘sunny’.

The ‘Brown Rang’ rapper, who suddenly disappeared from the music scene, has been offered this whopping amount by a publication house, which is currently pursuing him to write about

biography
EntertainmentFP StaffOct, 17 2017 14:37:19 IST
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Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh is apparently being offered Rs 25 crore to write a tell-all novel and it better make us meet God.
Yo Yo Honey Singh in all his glory. Image from Twitter/@khina7092

Yo Yo Honey Singh in all his glory. Image from Twitter/@khina7092

As an afterthought, we don’t know what’s more surprising — the money or the possibility of him writing a book because, you know, he thinks it’s okay to rhyme ‘paani’ with ‘sunny’.

The ‘Brown Rang’ rapper, who suddenly disappeared from the music scene, has been offered this whopping amount by a publication house, which is currently pursuing him to write about his life, according to a DNA report. The report also suggests that the biopic might be turned into a film later.

The identity of the publishing house has not been revealed, obviously, otherwise we would’ve been writing a pitch instead of this piece.

Just in case the publication house is reading this — we’re willing to sell our soul to you. We will write a tell-all, draw the illustrations, design the cover, develop a marketing strategy — both for digital and on-ground and we will also arm-twist friends and family into buying the biography once it touches the stalls. Not to mention the incessant spamming on family groups.

And we are ready to do all this in just Rs 5 crore. Rs 2 crore will also work since it’s Diwali time and we love Diwali discounts irrespective or our economic well-being. You can get in touch with us if you are interested (pls get in touch pls pls pls*insert Hi5 emoji which is being used as a praying emoji for decades now*).

As for the singer, he has had his share of highs and lows. After breaking into the music scene with ‘Lak 28 Kudi Da’, which is also every Delhi-ite’s guilty pleasure, he went on to become one of the highest paid music producers of the country. However, towards the fag end of 2014, he disappeared, to announce in 2016 that he is suffering from bipolar disorder.

Our lives might not be as interesting as Singh’s but hey, we swear our biography will be read by all people of different skin colours — black, brown, yellow, white, Yami Gautam, orange — everyone!

Aamir Khan on Thugs of Hindostan co-star: Watching Amitabh Bachchan on-screen is ‘fulfilling’

Mumbai: Superstar Aamir Khan, who is working with Amitabh Bachchan in the upcoming film Thugs of Hindostan, says watching the megastar on the big screen is “a fulfilling experience”, and his superstardom can’t be re-created.

Asked if working with Big B was surreal, Aamir, an admirer of the veteran actor, told media here on Sunday: “Watching Mr Bachchan on screen in a theatre… His aura, action, every nuance of his acting was such a fulfilling experience in cinema.”

Picking his favourite from Amitabh’s filmography is a tough one for Aamir.

“I have many favourites like Natwarlal, Don and Namak Halaal. In fact, I remember after watching Namak Halaal in the theatre, I called up Mansoor (Khan) and asked him to come with me to watch the film. We went to watch its next show again.”

Talking about Big B’s stardom, he said: “I think the superstardom of Amitabh Bachchan can’t be re-created. It is so unique, the charisma he has….I mean imagine, there was a time when seven of his films were running in the theatre for months.

“Films like Don, Mukaddar ka Sikandar and Trishul in the same year! He used to date clash with his own film!”

As times are changing, and social media culture is playing an important role in building the public image of Bollywood film stars, Aamir says the definition of stardom has also changed.

“The fabric has changed. There was a time when access to a star was so limited, especially in the 1950s-60s era when there was no television, and fans used to wait for their stars to appear in cinema or a film’s premiere. They used to wait outside houses.

“Then came television when the interview started and people got the access to see how they looked and talked when not acting….That apart, of course, there were magazines and newspaper interviews. Now everything has changed, and how…,” said Aamir.

Now movie stars, he feels, are more communicative, accessible to their fans and it’s more interactive.

“It has changed from waiting outside the house to one click away….Everything about your favourite star is on the phone, and the phone is in your pocket. So you have the favourite star in your pocket,” he said.

The actor is excited about the Diwali release of his film Secret Superstar, also featuring Zaira Wasim. It will hit the screens on October 19.

Movie Munchies: Like Saif Ali Khan’s Chef, a good food film should make you hungry

When I stepped out of the theatre after watching director Raja Krishna Menon’s Chef earlier this week, I hoped that Roshan Kalra’s (Saif Ali Khan) food truck Raasta Café was parked outside. Even though I have never tasted a Rottza (a desi version of quesadillas made with rotis instead of tortillas that Roshan describes as his invention), I was craving that with a side of banana and potato crisps.

A remake of Jon Favreau’s 2014 sleeper hit, Chef has Saif Ali Khan playing a frustrated three Michelin-star chef in New York. A very public meltdown, where he ends up assaulting a customer, results in him being fired. In a bid to reconnect with his habitually disappointed son (Svar Kamble) and to get his cooking mojo back, Roshan reinvents himself with a food truck.

Saif Ali Khan in a still from Chef. Image from Twitter

Even before the father-and-son duo bond over cheese-laden (paneer, egg burfi and kheema) rottzas, Roshan takes Armaan on a culinary journey from the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk to the world’s largest communal kitchen in the Golden Temple and dhabas of Amritsar. The film opens with the crusty surface of an aalu tikki being broken open before being slathered with the usual chaat paraphernalia of cold yogurt, tangy tamarind and fiery mint chutney and juliennes of ginger. And, every single shot of food being cut, prepared and served is a feast for the eyes.

Imagine this – the theatre is dark; the film is rolling and, you are dreaming of chugging a chilled glass of lassi in Amritsar or a mouth-water grilled cheese or marching into the nearest patisserie for glorious gateaux or charming choux pastries.

Some movies make you fall in love, some movies make you cry, and a handful of them make you very, very hungry.

Roshan Kalra is not the only desi celluloid chef returning to his roots this year. In director Pratim D Gupta’s Bengali film Maacher Jhol, Dev D (Ritwick Chakraborty), a Parisian chef comes back to Kolkata to see his ailing mother (Mamata Shankar). Her only request – maacher jhol (film curry) like how he used to make it. It’s been more than a decade after he had last made jhol for his mother so Dev struggles to get the flavors right. He tries different combinations of cauliflowers, peas and potatoes with fish in mustard broth but his mother tells him ‘it’s not ‘that’ maacher jhol’. On his last attempt, Dev dazzles his mother with Katla Komola, a jhol with orange juice and no vegetables and garnished with fried curry leaves.

Like Maacher Jhol, director Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam gangster film Angamaly Diaries also celebrates local culinary traditions. Unlike the previous two films, it seems that unlikely that food could be an integral part of a gangster film but it is. The food is always there in the background, being prepared or eaten. The main conflict between the two gangs is over pork; Pepe (Antony Varghese) describes his first love as Kappayum Muttayum (mashed tapioca with eggs) in the local thattukada; and a pivotal fight breaks out over the last plate of rabbit stew. And, all of this is washed down with abundant supply of home made arrack (toddy).

Poster of Angamaly Diaries.

Malyalam cinema has delivered some delicious food films in recent years. In Ustad Hotel, a man takes baby steps toward repairing his relationship with his grandfather by perfecting the flaky kerala porottas. The duo cement their relationship over cups of fragrant sulaimani chai on the beaches of Kozhikode. The tagline of direct Aashiq Abu’s 2011 film Salt n’ Pepper is ‘Oru Dosa Udakkiya Kadha’ (A story born out of a dosa).

In the film, the love for dosa brings together two strangers.

Internationally, there’s a food film out there for every palate. Watching Jiro Ono, the subject of the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, lovingly mold fish and rice together will make the pickiest eaters hungry. Food is an integral part of the Chinese culture and the opening sequence of Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman, features some of the most breathtaking shots of traditional Chinese cooking.

In I Am Love, a much married Emma (Tilda Swinton) falls in love with an Italian chef after he whips up a shrimp dish for her. Helen Mirren and Om Puri’s The Hundred Food Journey is all about the clash of the cuisines when an Indian restaurant opens opposite a world-famous French one.

Ready for dessert? There’s enough dessert porn in films to satisfy everyone’s sweet cravings. Watching artfully arranged plates of petit fours in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette will definitely trigger a hankering for the pastel-coloured delicate confectionaries. Remember the satisfying crack when Amelie (Audret Tautou) hit the caramelized top of a crème brulee with the back of her spoon? In The Grand Budapest Hotel, Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) bakes courtesan au chocolat, the three-tiered chocolate-creme-filled pastry glazed with pastel colours.

When food is done well on the big screen, you can almost hear the audiences dreaming about what to eat or even cook once the credits roll. Hopefully, some day taste-o-vision will become a reality and we’d be able to taste all the food we can see on screen.