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Beyond Bollywood

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Bollywood: the very word conjures up images of larger-than-life, luridly colored, Photoshopped posters advertising the latest releases from studios in Bombay. Replete with clichéd stories, stereotypical characters, catchy music and impossible dance and karate moves, these movies have sometimes entertained, and sometimes bored many of us.

Once in a while, there would be an "arty" offering for the discerning viewer. In the last ten years, however, there has been a steady trickle of commercial movies with solid storylines, believable characters, excellent acting and superb editing, all pointing to a crop of directors who know how to combine intelligence, information, and entertainment.

The last two years have been great for Hindi cinema—directors like Anurag Kashyap, Shoojit Sircar, Sriram Raghavan, Neeraj Ghaywan, and actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Irfan Khan, Deepika Padukone, and Bhumi Pednekar clearly take their art seriously. If you are tired of the same old, or have never tried Hindi movies before, you may want to check these out soon. They will entertain you, make you think, and inform you about the lives of ordinary Indians in an extraordinary country and culture.

Beyond Bollywood DVDs

Gangs of Wasseypur I and II
"Towards the end of colonial India, Sahid Khan loots the British trains, impersonating the legendary Sultana Daku. Now outcast, Shahid becomes a worker at Ramadhir's Singh's colliery only to spur a revenge battle that passes on to generations. At the turn of the decade, Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man of Wasseypur. "

Masaan
"Four lives intersect along the Ganges: a low caste boy hopelessly in love, a daughter ridden with guilt of a sexual encounter ending in a tragedy, a hapless father with fading morality, and a spirited child yearning for a family, long to escape the moral constructs of a small-town."

Piku
"A quirky comedy about the relationship between an ageing father and his young daughter, living in a cosmopolitan city, dealing with each other's conflicting ideologies while being fully aware that they are each other's only emotional support."

Badlapur
"Raghu's indefectible life is devastated, when a robbery episode kills his wife and son. The culprit Liak refuses to let out the truth and is imprisoned for 20 years. Refusing to move on, Raghu harbours in him the tryst for truth. Can he avenge the deaths of people who meant the world to him?"

Queen
"Queen is an ignorant Delhi girl who finds herself on a 'honeymoon' all by herself. What happens along the way forms the crux of this sweet, sensitive, fun social drama."

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