Superman Stats

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Experiencing the 18th Annual Mumbai Film Festival

MAMI 2016

The 18th edition of the JIO MAMI Mumbai Film Festival just ended this week with a big bang and great pomp and circumstance.

This was my second ever film festival, my first being last years edition of MAMI. It has been a hectic, entertaining week that allows me to walk away with some new friends, awesome cinematic experiences and emotionally stirring moments.

As a whole I was lucky enough to not only watch the works of internationally renowned film makers, but meet a few such aspiring struggling film buffs from within the Hindi film industry and get an insight into the madness that is cinema and the numbers of individuals who have an unbridled passion for it.

It's both scary and refreshing to see.

Some of the greatest films of the year were on display and of the 175 unbelievable tempting choices, in a roller coaster 7 days; I witnessed 27 amazing films [technically 28, but I walked out of one]

Instead of however doing a top ten, as it becomes so damn difficult. I'm just going to detail each films from a daily basis and give a round up on what to catch, what to miss, what was absolutely phenomenal and more...

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Happy Birthday Tom Hardy!

The Essential 

Tom Hardy Collection

In honor of Tom Hardy's 39th Birthday, I've decided to open up with a terrific list of performances that signify the abilities of one of modern day cinemas great thespians and whom many have primed/championed as a successor to the crown held by none other than Marlon Brando.

Tom Hardy has been one of my favourite actors ever since he came into the limelight with his stellar show stealing turn in Christopher Nolan's Inception. He has since gone on to star in many terrific blockbusters, art house and independent fare as well as Oscar stalwarts.

It's always hard to truly peg what is Tom Hardy's finest performance as he constantly evolves and impresses in works of a myriad genre and theme.

So here's to Tom Hardy!

But first some honourable mentions;

Black Hawk Down/Band of Brothers: Both war film and television show saw Hardy in small roles in films that featured a ton of up and coming actors. Nothing to write home about, but these are the roles that one can say; "Hey I'd seen Tom Hardy before I knew Tom Hardy."

Star Trek: Nemesis: Yes, Hardy was a part of Star Trek. The much maligned final film in the New Generation canon saw Hardy play an evil clone of Captain John Luc Picard [Patrick Stewart] in a role that is raw and frankly boring...but it's a good look see into where everyone got their starts.

Layer Cake/RockNRolla: As Clarkie and Handsome Bob in two supporting roles in frankly similar films [after all directed by Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie], Hardy proved to be an entertaining addition to the ensemble and gave audiences as well as filmmakers the first signs of a potential top class actor.

Now here goes...

Friday, 12 August 2016

That's No Moon: Predictability is Rogue One's Secret Weapon!

Star Wars: Rogue One

Predictable for its own good

Just like much of the marketing has done, in the latest trailer for the Star Wars prequel [oh god! that's still a scary three words to say]; we are once again reminded of the impending doom that holds true in the time frame Rogue One sets itself in relation to the past and future of the Star Wars mythology. 

Barring any last minute twists or surprises [aka the heroes becoming the knights of Ren decades later]; the heroes of the Rebel Alliance tasked with the mission to retrieve the Death Star plans are dying. It's a sad inevitable that none of them are more than most likely to make it alive. 

In a blockbuster season that has been far underwhelming, this predictable ending comes as a bitter boon. 

In its latest trailer Rogue One promises a whole host of things. A slick recruitment process with a team that looks exciting not to mention the most unlikeliest of awesome droids to rival cute favorites BB8 and R2D2 as well as genuine cast camaraderie and chemistry. The grandeur of Star Wars sequences mixed with the grit of a war fought by soldiers on the ground and the return of the iconic Darth Vader; promising some terrible times ahead. 

Rogue One, like Force Awakens last year; promises to blow the mainstream gates of Hollywood out of the water in a year that has been far too timid or tepid even with Deadpool standards. 

Major deaths are promised, the ending is well versed across the galaxy yet ironically this is what will make Rogue One top dog this year. 

It's after all not the destination that matters, but the road taken to it and in the hands of a competent Gareth Edwards; Rogue One seems to be the Star Wars film no one asked for, but the one that probably is bound to pack the most punch [apart from that tearjerker of a Han Solo death scene].

So don't miss out on the next chapter in the Star Wars Saga. Rogue One in a theater near you this December 16th!

'Nuff Said,

Aneesh Raikundalia

Wednesday, 25 May 2016



Okay, so let me first just put this out there...

I'm not a homophobic person.

This statement is important before the pseudo liberal people bash me over any medium for being so for my next batch of statements. [Liberals sometimes you guys are just bad as the right wing trolls on the Internet, you give those who fight the good fight; a bad name.]

Some might say, the fact that I have to make that statement indicates otherwise but in this generation of people that will unnecessarily without sense try to torch you for the smallest joke or indignation, it's important to come out with it. 

 My statement above is in regards to my defense in a position that has currently taken twitter by storm; 


It's a trend that is making round on Twitter with a frenzy as of now. 

I have a really big issue with this. 

It stems from the first fact that as far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes, Captain America as a character is already in a romantic triste with Sharon Carter, seen by their kiss in this year's Civil War movie. 

Prior to this, Steve shared what is possibly one of the best superhero movie romances with Peggy Carter and is still in search for that elusive dance. 

So sure, it doesn't mean he cannot love another man; specifically the twitter trends clamor to see Steve and his long time friend Bucky to fall for one another. 

This is where the hashtag for me personally takes a dark turn. 

I'd like to take you back, to my own experiences. There are many times in my schooling years, I have shared great friendships and camaraderie with my male buddy's. More importantly I always had this thing where for some odd reason, I'd have a "Best Friend", the one person I was always seen hanging out with. 

Now as school, whether high or otherwise, it is school and since I was always such an oddball character, no doubt the insults came pouring in. My best friend became my "partner", it became common to find myself paired with the said person and laughed at what we did "behind the curtains". 

Truth be told, with my constant need to be alone; nobody could be considered my "friend" as such, I barely felt like I knew anything about my peers to make a true genuine connect. [This is an issue to tackle some other day]. 

The fact of the matter is, this kind of bullying is common place for many people and the tag is to even among two not so close friends. 

It's this kind of thing that eventually snowball's into the whole issue of Toxic Masculinity and that men have got to be men, there cannot be any affection of an elevated kind between two friends and two brothers until they're mature and old enough for this affection to be seen as nothing more than brotherhood. Yet that mentality of keeping a distance and just enjoying each others company and nothing else is maintained. 

You can't share your feelings with a "brother", they can't know how much you mean to them or for the sake of it share an emotional moment. The world is slowly changing as we mature things are becoming better to the point that the word 'Bromance' is used for such relationships, I love that word but once again the title insinuates a relationship beyond friendship. 

That's why it's fun to see the kind of dichotomy in a friendship between two soldiers. Being a soldier is such a macho, manly thing yet the camaraderie between brothers in the army could be misconstrued in another part of the world. 

The kind that has fallen onto the eyes of the so called twitter and hashtag spouting pseudo equal rights supporters. Rather than focusing their strength on major issues that affect the free rights of gay men and women, they go for this. 

Look I'm not saying having a Gay Superhero representative isn't important, heck I feel cinema and pop culture is such an influential tool; it should be used to improve our view of the world and if we can do something to influence that improvement, then the better. 

Better yet, rather than force an orientation into an already established character; why not push MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT to do the opposite and bring in one of their other originally gay characters to the forefront of the the Cinematic Universe. 

That would be a real #TRIUMPH!

For those spouting this ridiculous trend, are those with no idea of what character consistency means, what the in house universe that has been built in these Marvel films means and have no idea how true friendship between two men [and even women] works. 

In the MCU; Bucky represents everything that Steve has lost, it's a childhood friend who fought the fights for him when Steve never could as a scrawny kid, he wasn't always the sexy chiselled Chris Evans you know?! 

Bucky is Cap's blind spot and hence the reason he and Iron Man go to war this summer.

Go back and watch all three Captain America movies, go back and understand what Bucky truly means to Steve; it's more than a relationship that can be defined by any label. 

It's something transcendent and you just want to make them Boyfriends, for what satisfaction? That inner happiness that you "did something" for equal rights? 

Please, just go home. 

Cap and Bucky are hopefully never going to be in a relationship due to a silly hashtag. 

But Cap and Bucky will be together...

...till the End of the Line. 

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Warriors Wrestle World

Warriors Wrestle World

It's a game of storytellers, it's an art form unto itself and now there's a special place for me to write about it and for you to read about it. 

Come one, come all. A shout out to all wrestling fans of the world whether it be for the juggernaut WWE, the indie sensations ROH and NJPW or the quirky cinematic masterpiece that is Lucha Underground. 

This is the place to be...


'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Picture [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Picture



So here goes, the final award of the night!

Yes, I know Talvar made a hell of a statement with it's multiple big wins but this film also struck gold at important junctures and while might not be as technically brilliant was overall the better one.

I'd tell you why but then you'd say I'm bias, also you'd know then who the winner is.

Yet, the winner in advance in my opinion never should take away from the other nominees, it is after all a big deal to be nominated and get this far, maybe that's why I was always a loser at the annual Sports Day.

Still at least the nominees beat these ones to the cake;

Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar for Dil Dhadakne Do: Yes, a dazzling rich people problems film but one with some intriguing characters and ideas that burst through the seams of the comedic-ally inept and emotionally vulnerable family.

Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh for Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Khan takes a glorious slightly different turn reigning in his mass persona for a very sweet and likeable film that shines the message of peace this world sorely needs for this day and age.

Nila Madhab Panda for Kaun Kitne Panee Mein: The Little Indie that tried, KKPM is a fable like feature that highlights the profundity of true love in the backdrop of a satirical peer into water scarcity.

Those are it, but what of the big five...where do they stand in the scheme of things and who takes it all away...which distributor smiles his darnedest when their efforts bear fruit?

The HIndie Award for Best Picture [Comedy/Romantic] nominees are...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Picture [Drama]

Best Picture [Drama]

Drama is the life of cinema. 

At its core, every film in essence is a drama. That should highlight how profound every film is no matter which genre conventions it adheres to. 

Even when that dramatic stance takes a more comedic approache. Yet for a sake of genre respect and distinction of deserving films unfrotunately judged by a certain bias. 

So then by pure nature, these five films nominated may take a drama status they are indeed rife with different genre elements. There is a crime film here, an investigative thriller, a coming of age tale, a spiritual subversive revenge thriller and a poignant thematic film that would fit somewhere in realistic cinema. 

All in all some films ripe with great drama.

There are also some neat honorable mentions to consider...

Baby: Featuring Akshay Kumar at his finest and a film that takes the spy genre to another level in Hindi Cinema, Neeraj Pandey's interesting take makes great subversion of tropes as well as remaining patriotic but not jingoistic despite the Argo/Zero Dark Thirty inspirations in plot.

NH10: A shot in the arm for genre cinema with one hell of a protagonist boosting a thrilling horror ride.

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!: It falters with plot but there's no denying the cinematic quality is top notch in this noir thriller.

Bombay Velvet: It fails on many levels but the sheer audacity of Bombay Velvet is too hard to ignore.

Gour Hari Dastaan: An eye opener, Dastaan misses by a whisker because Mahadevan is unwilling to add some zap to what is an intriguing premise yet doesn't fail to be true and just to his subject which is admirable.

Main aur Charles: If only this could be a prequel to explore more of Charles Sobhraj, or be a mini-series because there is more material on the exciting serial killer despite how honest his portrayal is here through the eyes of Amod Kanth.

Now onto the big award of the night, the HIndie Award for Best Picture [Drama] nominees are...

Saturday, 9 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Director

Best Director

It's been a phenomenal year for film directors in Hindi cinema, specifically the debutantes/breakthroughs who shone so much that like I mentioned before; the five could easily have captured a spot here on the nomination ballot.

Outright the breakthrough direction winner; Neeraj Ghaywan was the best director of the year. That might read counterproductive, but it is the truth. It still doesn't take away from the fact that these five have accomplished a hell of a film with their efforts and in fact the five are so neck to neck, this is the only award I haven't pre-decided before I write [or before I wrote] this post.

Yet, it is not only these five that make the cut, here are some dazzling honorable mentions;

Neeraj Pandey for Baby: Making some neat subversion of film tropes and reeling tension from some terrific espionage moments, acting as a slick addition to the growing genre; Pandey once again proves he is one of the finest today. 

Anand L Rai for Tanu Weds Manu Returns: To blame on a narrative front, a lot of repetition and enhancement of characters to unrecognizable decibels doesn't denounce the fact that Rai really is a master at handling ensembles and providing moments of true genuine emotional heft e.g. Ja Ja Bewafa sequence or the Meeting of Kangana's moment. 

Zoya Akhtar for Dil Dhadakne Do: It might be made for a selective market, but kudos to Zoya Akhtar for once again bringing together a cast of game actors into a very well distributed ensemble piece packaged with some beauty and not resting on the laurels of its locales but rather the drama within as well.

Those three didn't hit the mark, but these five did; the nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Director are...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Screenplay [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Screenplay [Comedy/Romantic]

Heading into the other half of the screenplay section, one can't help but see how effectively Comedy/Romantic films are all created in true essence on paper. There's no like resting on the laurels of simplistic gags, cliche tropes or even the improvisation of stellar actors. 

The films listed here are indeed a writers triumph and that's what makes the evolution of Hindi cinema so appealing. 

There's a plethora of writers here who are both making big head ways in Hindi cinema as well as newbies making a big crack. 

The difference of course however is that not all these five made a statement in the whole big picture ballot, that doesn't take away from how great this screenplays are or the fact that they aren't winners. 

Before that, here are a few that just didn't make the cut;

K.V. Vijayendra Prasad, Kabir Khan and Parveez Shaikh for Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Baradwaj Rangan puts it best, Southern filmmakers understand and respect Masala cinema much better and it shows in the story elements of Vijayendra Prasad's Bajrangi, however with some hiccups in its presentation level; it still maintains a good enough essence to be here. 

Imtiaz Ali for Tamasha: It has huge flaws no doubt on the scripting level, but Tamasha comes straight from the heart and how Ali bleeds the pen on paper is what makes this film a very innovative experience allowing the space for his visual flair to flow. 

And then there's these five, the HIndie Award for Best Screenplay [Comedy/Romantic] nominees...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Screenplay [Drama]

Best Screenplay [Drama]

It's all about the screenplay. 

Don't believe me? Ask the Writer that makes the script. 

Don't believe me? Ask the Director that visualizes this script. 

Don't believe me? Ask the Producer that approves that script. 

Don't believe me? Ask the Actor that translate this script. 

Without the script there is no film, or to put it better there's no good film at the least. Though yes a bad script can also make a bad film no doubt. 

Screenplay writing is it. 

Still don't believe me? then even watch these honorable mentions and see what the scripts can do...

Sudip Sharma for NH10: While it's "inspiration" becomes a bit to questionable, there's a lot of flavor that Sharma extracts from this screenplay by literally putting the target audience into the shoes of the protagonist in presenting both a hellish genre film but also a poignant reflection on regressive patriarchal traditions. 

Upendra Sidhaye for Drishyam: Destroyed by Nishikant's treatment of overblowing a very subtle and powerful film, it's buried by the screenplay itself of course but even amidst the butchering done by Sidhaye and his director sometimes the moral complexities of Jeetu Joseph's work shines through. 

C.P Surendran for Gour Hari Dastaan: Slowed down by some of the dry plotting of the film, that character exploration in Gour Hari Dastaan is however an interesting subject piece that is handled with dexterity and reverence for the subject. 

And now the five nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Screenplay [Drama]...

Monday, 4 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Female]

in a

Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]



Year by year, Hindi cinema is taking great strides in making sure female actors have prominent roles in cinema especially when it comes to headlining their own films. The Comedy/Romantic genres have always catered to this notion. 

This year once again, we have a list of five actors who comprise of women at the top of their game and some real genuine finds of the year. To this women and more, this award is dedicated. 

Speaking of the more, a small select of women couldn't make the top cut but their non-nominations are not a reflection on the flaws of their performance but rather how dazzling a year it has been in the progress of applause worthy female roles. Here are these honorable mentions; 

Sonam Kapoor for Doli Ki Dolly: She's growing from strength to strength, this one is a small step stifled by a terribly constructed film but still Sonam manages to leave a strong mark. 

Kangana Ranaut for Katti Batti: Mired by one of the most terrible films, Kangana doesn't manage to come out unscathed but kudos to her for trying as hard as she can [and this effort shows] with the material. 

Nushrat Barucha for Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: Stuck in a rut with bitchy girlfriend characters, Barucha's talents in general not just for comedic gold, are being wasted. She's a fine actor and with a few changes to her character from the prequel version, manages to give a different performance all together.

Alia Bhatt for Shaandar: With such an affable and charismatic persona, Alia Bhatt catches your eyeballs despite how tedious Shaadar is. Giving it a little bit of spark, unfortunately not enough to light up the film completely. 

Deepika Padukone for Tamasha and Bajirao Mastani: A career best year, each role of Padukone's this year takes a spot in the top three with these two slightly missing the cut .

As you can see with the above listed names, most of them were affected by their respective films and the content delivered to them. It's a telling sign that there are hungry actors busting with talent that can send this equality matter to the stratosphere and toss it away once great content [which is slowly growing] blooms. 

Anyways, let's turn our eyes to the five. Now, the fact is simple; whoever wins this award gave the best Leading Performance and to be honest, Best Performance of the past year in Hindi cinema. That's a great statement. 

Anyways onto the nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Drama]

Best Actor [Male]

in a

Leading Role [Drama]

This one's kind of obvious, the copius amount of great roles coming the way of leading men is no surprise. 

The past few years however, specifically this year has seen a great upheaval by young actors to make bold statements with bold roles, whether that is in drama or even comedy/romantic [which I unfortunately didn't mention]. 

These men are pulling out all the stops to shake the foundations of the set hierarchy, so much so that thankfully this year we get to see the big time stars take on challenging roles. Salman Khan is at the least trying something different with Sultan [apparently], Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan are returning to their usual star driver good content roles, Akshay Kumar is once again testing the waters and branching out with Rustom, Ajay Devgan is taking leaps in his roles as director/producer/actor for a magnum opus risk like Shivaay and finally and most excitedly...King Khan, Shahrukh Khan; the actor, is back!

So thus it's not surprising to view the list of great roles this year for the men, whether nominated or just so close;

Akshay Kumar for Baby: Before this year, Baby turned out to be Kumar's finest performance...he just topped that a few months back with oh my is this man making statements. 

Kay Kay Menon for Rahasya: Terrific as the cop on the hunt, Menon with his own sense of wry humor and histrionics is a hell of a delight. 

Ranbir Kapoor for Bombay Velvet: In the hard hitting sequence of forcefully cutting his dead friends body, Kapoor is once again a revelation, proving that no matter the film; he is a genius.

Vicky Kaushal for Masaan: If it weren't for his breakthrough win then Kaushal might have no doubt been in the top five and possibly even won. 

Akshay Kumar for Brothers: I hated Brothers because of its remake status for my beloved Warrior and the butchering of that fine film but even I can't deny that Kumar pumped me up in this film, keeping me invested at least until my ticket price value washed away. 

Vinay Pathak for Gour Hari Dastaan: The sixth man. An underrated actor in one hell of an underrated performance. 

Rajat Kapoor for X: Channeling his best, Kapoor as the asshole and conflicted K feels like it comes from somewhere true and deep within him.

So that's quite a list, which makes the next five a tantalizing delight...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Drama]

Best Actor [Female]

in a

Leading Role [Drama]

So onto the next award of the evening, this time it's the women that take the stage. 

Dramatic roles of great importance are hard to find for great female actors, it's why the five women here were a hard find. To be honest, both Tabu and Gujral don't necessarily count as leading but they get through on the length's of their roles. 

The fact that I cannot get five this year like last year isn't a good sign, but I assure you; the times they are a changing. 

There is one silver lining, if it weren't for the fact that I couldn't catch the film, this woman would have made it six great performances; 

Meenu Hooda for Kajarya. 

So for this one, let's jump right into the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Drama] nominees...

Friday, 1 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Male]

in a 

Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Apologies that the awards have segued into the new month, but some personal emergencies kept me away from the event. 

Well, now I'm here and we can move onwards to the four leading acting awards that just delight the fans, am I right?

This years male performances have been a doozy, I will admit; it was hard to fill the five slots this year with competent performances and in fact this thus becomes a highlight of the year itself, that hasn't really been at its best. 

Not to take away from the top five below, who have weaved together some great work allowing for five genuine candidates. This is also thanks to the latter half of the year that saw some great turns as well as the switch to Romantic in the genre acting category. 

Anyways onto those actors that just barely missed the cut, they were good performance just not on the level one expects from a top five nominee ballot;

R. Madhavan for Tanu Weds Manu Returns: When you're the sober lot of a crazy cast, it's completely easy to be overshadowed and go unnoticed. When it so happens that you're character is diluted to the point of no recognition, it's just hard to fight back. 

Ranveer Singh for Dil Dhadakne Do: Singh misses out cause of the new double nomination ruling, but his performance is great as mentioned here

Salman Khan for Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Putting aside the propoganda hints and all the backstage stuff, looking right at a performance; one can still say that Salman doesn't as much as "Act" as be himself, but here a slight genuine side to Pawan adds a nice and different touch. 

Omkar Kapoor for Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: He doesn't reach the hilarious heights of Divyendu Sharma and Liquid, but Kapoor as the affable Chauka is the delight of a dull repeat film. Adding a zing to some great dialogues, proving that the messenger is as important as the message.

And well now onto the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic], and the nominees are...

Monday, 28 March 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Supporting Role [Drama]

Best Actor [Male]

in a

Supporting Role [Drama]



As with any year, the male supporting character in drama especially is littered with some fine actors and fine performances. Some make the cut, others just barely miss out. Below are the men, that just couldn't hold on till the end but deserve a mention; 

Anupam Kher and Danny Dezongpa for Baby: One brought some much needed straight faced levity while the other added a smidgen of surprising gravitas to the film, giving the Khiladi Kumar a run for his money. 

Ashish Vidyarthi for Rahasya: He wasn't part of the better of the two murder case based on reality films this year, but he was the better of two; echoing a range that has been lost since years for this underrated actor. 

Kumud Mishra for Badlapur: A former nominee in the parallel category, Mishra is a riot to watch in subtle bits but an interesting study in his final mad blowout. 

Darshan Kumar for NH10: Simmering as the villain of the piece, in a relentless pursuit he is lost; but when the film pauses for moments, Kumar manages to leave a mark. 

Kay Kay Menon and Karan Johar for Bombay Velvet: Returning to the fold of Anurag Kashyap, Menon is effective in doses as the cop on the tail of every crime. Overlooking the real and paparazzi image of Johar is difficult as the character evokes many shades of it, but in an objective sense Johar adds a nice touch to the pizazz of Bombay Velvet with some dark levity and creative emotional moments.

Rajkumar Rao for Humari Adhuri Kahaani: While his brash persona grates at times, Rao is the only saving grace of this dud film when he is left to play with his emotions. 

Sanjay Mishra for Masaan: See Ensemble Post

Rajat Kapoor for Drishyam: An apt support for Tabu, Kapoor stifled by bad dialogue still manages to turn around and be an unheard voice of reason; particularly making a statement in the final scene. 

Prakash Belawadi for Talvar: See Ensemble Post

Adil Hussain for Main aur Charles: Playing the Main in Main aur Charles, he is particularly genius in his delivery of dialogue and adds a great deadpan and dramatic point in conflict of Hooda's charismatic Charles. 

That's quite a list, with some actors who are stalwarts. So the five chosen then must be really superb. 

The HIndie Award for Best Actor [Male] in A Supporting Role [Drama], nominees are...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Female] in A Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Female] 

in a 

Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]



It hasn't been that great a year in terms of quantity, but the quality has sure been out of this world. 

Yes there is quite a few performances in the same film that shine, or the same expected actors that leave a mark. But that mark is like one great big whollop that just immerses the viewer into the film. 

Before that, take a look at those punches that were just a little to light;

Seema Pahwa for Dum Laga Ke Haisha: A former nominee, she doesn't get to do as much this time round but in this film, she's equally hilarious when she opportunity strikes.

Zarina Wahab and Anushka Sharma for Dil Dhadakne Do: Mention in Ensemble Cast

That's it...yeah!

Anyways here are the nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Male]

in a 

Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]



The funny men of the business created an all out riot this year with some returning favorites and some newbies to shine. One star came back after a decade of mediocrity to prove that he still is a stalwart actor while the other four character actors built to their stellar resumes. 

However a few men missed out by a whisker; 

Amitabh Bachchan for Shamitabh: Utilizing his famous baritone for a film that is a meta dissection of the grand Bachchan voice and its importance in Hindi cinema history, Mr. Bachchan as ever with R. Balki, is at the top of his game. 

Sanjay Mishra for Dum Laga Ke Haisha: Playing the patriarch once more but with a slight twist, Mishra is slowly growing from strength to strength. 

Jimmy Shergill and Mohammad Zeeshan Ayub for Tanu Weds Manu Returns: Two genuine actors that add genuine moments of comedy with some genuine chemistry between their confrontations. 

Rajiv Gupta for Guddu Rangeela: As the antakshri playing dim witted cop with some slow comic timing, Gupta is a riot among other things in the tepid revenge comedy. 

Gulshan Grover for Kaun Kitne Panee Mein: The other half of the patriarch, in spades Grover echoes his much more serious and villainous side without ever going full blown over the top but always retaining a touch of humor

Shadab Kamal for Meeruthiya Gangsters: The beer bottle head bashing lunatic is an interesting silent comedic force, constantly mucking up when the pint sized fella builds a hulk sized rage. 

So there they are, and here they are; the nominees for HIndie Award Best Actor [Male] in A Supporting Role [Comedy/Romantic]...

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Female] in A Supporting Role [Drama]

Best Actor [Female]

in a

Supporting Role [Drama]



We are finally here, the section most people adore; the actors awards. This year has seen a mixed bag of winners at major Indian Awards, particularly in the acting category as usual with some shock winners in the supporting category as well. Though not that shocking. 

One of my biggest gripes is the number of times, some awards shows give one award to two people, it devalues the system of nominees and award winners greatly. 

Anyways, overlooking my gripes. Some of the key moments last year, in the evolution of progression in cinema came both from the outside and inside of film, from women. 

The much lauded speech on equality by Oscar winner Patricia Arquette, began a landslide into probing into the issues of equality for women in the cinema structure both in Hollywood and back home. 

Also, slowly but surely; Hindi cinema probed further in their focus on female oriented stories, but that also doesn't mean that certain male dominated or overall star dominated films; didn't have meaty roles for not just supporting men but women to chew on. 

The five below made staggering strides with the little time they had on screen, these other few just ran late to make the cut; 

Tapsee Panu for Baby: So she really doesn't get to act per se, but Panu is so brilliant in her subversive damsel in distress sequence, she deserves this mention. 

Huma Qureshi and Divya Dutta for Badlapur: The duo are great highlights in a film that doesn't do the women characteristic justice in great fashion. 

Raveena Tandon for Bombay Velvet: Ok so she barely has a character, but she's so fantastic as the jazz singer, she completely overshadows Anushka Sharma in a matter of minutes.  

Shweta Tripathi for Masaan: See Ensemble Cast

Shefali Shah for Brothers: The only good thing in this tepid remake, Shah is brilliant in understanding the pitch of melodrama and echoing it as best as she can

Ridhima Sud for Kajarya: I haven't seen this one yet, but heard some great things about the two performances. Sud would have been for supporting. 

So those three are it, now let's move onto the nominees for HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in a Supporting Role [Drama]...

Friday, 25 March 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Breakthrough Director

Best Breakthrough Director

My oh My, what a year it has been for young much so, that one nominee was just not enough. In fact, the situation is such that a couple of them on the fringes missed out in a big way [which I list below later]. 

Another thing to note is that any of these five especially the winner could have actually replaced any of the other five nominated for Best Director this year, they're that damn good. However, these five do not get to do that due to the new rule set. 

Anyways, before we jump right in; here are those directors that missed the cut and why...

Chaitanya Tamhane for Court: Not for the lack of trying, but how many more awards can Tamhane win? So along with his fellow directorial nominees [barring SS Rajamouli, the veteran], he misses the cut here because then it wouldn't be a competition at all. He just deserves the mention once more. 

Harshavardhan Kulkarni for Hunterrr: Tackling a quirky and lambasted subject in such a fashion, you can't help but be interested and invested through and through. The directorial touches are not too flashy and maybe a bit to subtle to possibly rate or analyze.

Sharat Katariya for Dum Laga Ke Haisha: He makes a few missteps no doubt there, with dull patches taking out the film that reigns on a certain acceptable energy level; yet Katariya manages to helm one of the finest films of the last year. 

And now onto the nominees for the HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Director...

Navdeep Singh for NH10

Starting his career with the underrated Manorama: Six Feet Under [inspired by Roman Polanski's Chinatown], Singh didn't get the upheaval he was probably looking for with one hell of a noir film.

Tackling with bravery, another new genre in Hindi Cinema with this rooted Slasher Thriller, Singh reaches another level. Though the film is inspired by the Michael Fassbender starer Eden Lake, NH10 has a depth unwarranted from the genre film due to its Indian sensibilities.

The film tackles the subject of a lawless Gurgaon, the city in perpetual limbo; with one side seeing rapid development and the other facing a tragic regressive trajectory. The film based around honor killings turns south for its protagonist Meera [Sharma] when she and her husband collide against nefarious elements including their leader on the verge of murdering his own sister and her lover.

It's brutal, vicious, paints a stark and harsh honest picture of society. It never lets the protagonist rest nor come off as a one sided light of goodness, nor does it delve into labels of backward class violence and regressive or feminist actions.

Singh tightens the reigns of his film as best as he can, though the climax does go overboard. It becomes a showcase for the director, to present what he can bring to the table in terms of new content to an ever changing cinema. It also helps that he is able to push his leading star; Anushka Sharma, to her career best.

Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan

Tackling weighty issues of Patriarchy, Casteism, Fate, Loss, Depression and Redemption amidst the backdrop of one tattered love story and another just blossoming;

Neeraj Ghaywan makes one hell of a statement. It's not easy, Masaan is a film that follows two threads among other smaller plot points.

To put it poetically, Ghaywan's efforts in Masaan are like diving right into the banks of the Ganga river in Benaras [where ironically the film is shot as well] and trying to purify it back to its original state.

In essence Ghaywan weaves these two narrative strands together to provide an emotional catharsis amidst his commentary on certain issues that affect small town India.

The icing on the cake;

He brings out the best of his young team along with himself; allowing the young performers to shine through including Avinash Arun, Richa Chadda, Shweta Tripathi and Vicky Kaushal. As well as leaving a stamp of his own, without a yet distinguishable style that happily doesn't conform to any of his mentors own.

Prawaal Raman for Main aur Charles

More of a comeback then a breakthrough, Raman finally finds his footing with a film that lets his vision fly. Prawaal Raman takes on the story of iconic serial killer Charles Sobraj [Hooda] from the eyes of the man hunting him for years on end Amod Kanth [Hussain].

It gives his film a purpose, setting it around one major sequence around Sobraj's colorful criminal life while peppering it with montages of his other conquests. It's an interesting character study that allows the viewer to see a cold and detached look into the mind of Sobraj while also adhering to a stylistic charm of the setting through the lens of the character.

At the same time Raman's choices allow it to be slightly low key, as the hazy view of the world is filtered through the eyes of Kanth rather than the seductive Sobraj himself.

It's a murky edge to the film, that is just as seductive and Raman makes it his own. While at times it grows dull, Raman as a director brings a voice so refined and well documented that his efforts despite causing minor niggles, stand strong and change the game.

Kanu Behl for Titli

Coming from the heart and his own experiences, Kanu Behl's Titli is a stark look into the horrifying effects of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

He takes it up a notch from his mentor Dibakar Banerjee, to hit deep into the bylanes of Middle Class Delhi and dissect the violent natures of a family burdened by their silent dominant father [played in a meta-hilarious fashion by Behl's own father].

Behl most likely conjures up his own nightmares, playing with some questionable characters who still remain tight and emotional and true when it comes to family. It's a powerful notion that remains on the balance between morality. At the center Behl is able to reflect this semi-true story and open himself out to the world, a reason why film makers make films.

Shonali Bose for Margarita with A Straw

Sensitivity is at times the greatest weapon a filmmaker can have, yet some filmmakers fall into the honey trap of turning sensitivity too sweet and simple. This type of a director is the prime example of why certain undeserving films are much loved by the Academy.

A certain sensitivity requires an edge of reality, thus the equation allows it to become; Humanity. That innate human quality to understand different people, people done wrong by circumstance but people nonetheless. Shonali Bose gained that experience through her understanding of her cousin Malini Chib, who is afflicted with cerebral palsy.

It pushed her to make this infinitely sweet [but not diabetic] and simple coming of age tale of a woman with a natural desire to love and be loved in a condition [of Cerebral Palsy] that in reality has made invisible to her plight.

We can help her with her issues as she is unable to, we can say we understand her as human and a person but we in our infinite wisdom choose to ignore her base desires, thus denouncing her as anything but human. It's a profound thought that Bose subtly runs through her passionate and breezy but emotionally heft film.

It's a wonder of art that she constructs from the heart, without ever begging and pleading for the audience to care. A great director is one that trusts her/his audience because they trust their own work, and Bose does this through and through. 

And the Winner is...

Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan!

That marks a third huge win for Masaan. Is this a sign of things to come?!

Moving on, now we go to the most popular section of the awards; the staggering 8 main Acting Awards!

Up Next: First up are these five women...A woman embroiled in the investigation of the death of her daughter, while shifting between perspectives. A blind girl discovering love and betrayal in her lovers coming of age. A hard working mother finds acceptance among younger women during the celebration of her friends upcoming wedding. A mother struggling with her own pains as her disable daughter reveals her own sexuality. A sweet voiced Matriarch with a ruthless cold heart...

the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Supporting Role [Drama]

'Nuff Said


HIndie Awards 2016: Best Breakthrough Actor [Male]

Best Breakthrough Actor [Male]

Though Radhika Apte had some quality performances this year and a fair bit of quantity, nothing matches the staggering quality produced by Vicky Kaushal in Masaan. 

So let's just dive right into it, the winner for the HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Actor [Male] is...

Vicky Kaushal as Deepak for Masaan!

Credit where credit is due, his friend and director Neeraj Ghaywan deserves credits for bringing out the best in him, as well as his co-stars for supporting him in this venture. 

Debutante Vicky Kaushal makes an unbelievable impact with his performance in Masaan. He is a near showstopper and definitely its finest bit, with his performance towering over not only the actors around him but being etched so finely that no one else could fill his shoes [and mind you the initial choice was a certain National Award Winning Rajkumar Rao]. 

In one of the most haunting scenes, Kaushal is seen as is with his caste (Dom, deplorable social conditions); crushing the bones of the dead bodies on a funeral pyre [so as they turn to ash much easier] when he hears that these funeral pyres are of a collective on a bus trip gone haywire. Included among those on the bus trip was his love. 

He is distraught, taken down. It's a moment of silence punctuated perfectly by his expression of horror. The next we see him, he is completely breaking down; ruing his fate. In that moment, an actor can slip but all we see is Deepak completely brought down to his lowest. 

In the uneasy moments of his developing relationship; Kaushal is excellent, fidgeting, nervous and even his outburst regarding their caste differences is genuine. 

Here is an actor that makes a bold statement in his first film and continues it forward in his second. 


I have seen Zubaan and Kaushal is no mere fluke, his next performance in fact heralds his coming and also indicates that he is here to be a mainstay in the HIndie Awards to come. 


Up Next: One was not enough so now we have five and what a five!...the HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Director

'Nuff Said


HIndie Awards 2016: Best Breakthrough Actor [Female]

Best Breakthrough Actor [Female]

Though having made her debut quite long ago, this particular winner had a break out year in the industry with five massive releases among other superb performances in small films to regional films and beyond. 

Her current film; Parched, is making the rounds of festivals to great acclaim and she is catching on like wildfire.

Here is the HIndie Award winner for Best Breakthrough Actor [Female]...

Radhika Apte

(Kanchan/Koko, Tripti Gokhale, Phaguniya, Paro, Rija


Badlapur, Hunterrr, Manjhi: The Mountain Man, Kaun Kitne Panee Mein, X: Past is Present

So let's begin because this is one hell of a list, however it's not all about quantity only but some damn fine quality performances from the actor.

As Koko in Badlapur, Apte's character is probably the only genuine person caught in the quagmire of this revenge tale that Raghu [Dhawan] concocts. It's a thankless role but one played with an energy and determination that allows Apte to convey a heartbreaking innocence as the toxicity of these men in her life consumes her. She's evocative and despite the high brow sequences she is placed in, she brings a notch of class to it.

In Tripti, Apte gets to go quite a bit loose when possible. One of the key moments of the dry comedy is as Mandar [Devaiah] and her discuss the idea of an open marriage. Spoilers; it's a dream sequence from Mandar's perspective [of course] and as the equivalent of a male fantasy; Apte is a bundle of fun. It presents a side of her unseen and signifies that if given the chance in a full blown comedy, she could shine. Of her performance overall; she is natural as the sophisticated women straddling her own issues of commitment and finally realistically transforming as Mandar's revelations come to the fore. It's her best of the lot here among the feature films.

In Manjhi we spend a rare few minutes with Apte, but her genuine spirited effort allows her to echo through the plot. Her turn though limited is so charming and her presence is so affable that it justifies the passion with which Manjhi [Siddiqui] conquers the mountain for her.

Kaun Kitne Panee Mein doesn't let its lovebirds much time as it does their patriarchs but in those fleeting moments once again Apte rises above her predicament. She shoulders much of the chemistry of the film, not only providing a good ensemble performance but also elevating that of her co-star Kunal Kapoor.

In X: Past is Present, Apte makes two appearances. The first is in her own short with Rajat Kapoor's K. In Rajshree Ojha's piece of the anthology [one of the better ones] Apte stands toe to toe with the veteran Rajat in delivering a restrained and well together attached showing on a dense point. Apte returns as a flash later as well, showing both character and actor etch an impact on the film.

While Hunterrr is her best performance on the feature film level, it's not her best performance of last year overall;

Instead it is in Sujoy Ghosh's short thriller, Ahalya. Her turn as the mythological character is transcendent. The role is changed to that of a seductress rather than an innocent woman and it makes all the difference in Apte's performance. She could have just as easily crawled into the skin of the original Ahalya, yet here her wide eyed, sly smile and liquid like body language entrances not only the unsuspecting protagonist but the viewer as well. She molds her performance with such effect that one is captured watching her, stiff as a china doll.

The fact that Apte has secured a massive role opposite the great Rajnikanth for her next, shows she is heading places. She is also the standout lead in the aforementioned Parched and is making different headways everywhere she goes.

Radhika Apte deserves the applause.

Up Next: A young debutante that runs away with one of the finest films of the year, which is no mean feat...The HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Actor [Male]

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Ensemble

Best Ensemble

Sholay is one of the most iconic films of all time, because of its action, its dialogues but also because it has a collected cast of some of the finest actors and the biggest stars in the history of Hindi Cinema. Count them;

Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan and Amjad Khan. 

That's just the main cast, we're not even counting; AK Hangal, Sachin, Jagdeep, Leela Mishra, Asrani, Viju Khote and Mac Mohan. 

No wonder the poster reads 'The Greatest Star Cast Assembled Ever!'

This year's Academy Award winning Best Picture might not be everyone's cup of tea, but nobody would bat an eyelid if the Academy was to award it a win for Best Ensemble Cast. After all each stalwart actor is better then the next. 

Whether one likes it or not; stars make a film in some sense but so do real actors and when you have a collective of them to shoulder a narrative, then the film just skyrockets into the stratosphere. Some of the most iconic films of all times have had the most iconic casts. 

These five films are no different, so here are the HIndie Award for Best Ensemble, nominees...

Dil Dhadakne Do

Casting Director: Nandini Shrikent

Cast: Anil Kapoor as Kamal Mehra, Shefali Shah as Neelam Mehra, Priyanka Chopra as Ayesha Sangha nee Mehra, Ranveer Singh as Kabir Mehra, Anushka Sharma as Farah Ali, Rahul Bose as Manav Sangha, Zarina Wahab as Smita Sangha, Vikrant Massey as Rana Khanna, Ridhima Sud as Noorie Sood, Pawan Chopra as Prem Mehra, Ayesha Mishra as Indu Mehra, Parmeet Sethi as Lalit Sood, Dolly Mattdo as Naina Sood, Manoj Pahwa as Vinod Khanna, Preeti Mamgain as Vandana Khanna, Shireesh Sharma as Jamal Hashmi, Divya Seth Shah as Saira Hashmi, Ikhlaque Khan as Amrish Gill with Farhan Akhtar as Sunny Gill and Aamir Khan as Pluto Mehra

Foregoing the fact that Aamir Khan's performance as the doggy Pluto, nearly sinks the ship of this film [though that's a writing and directorial fault as much as it is his voices fault]. Much of the cast in small doses are a riot to see, despite never being characteristically well defined. 

It helps that a lot of the plot revolves around the four pillars of the film. Anushka and Farhan occasionally pop up with roles they could act in their sleep and they perfect them here. Particular stand outs of the supporting cast are; 

Ridhima Sud and Vikrant Massey who make their romantic entanglement breezy, with some fresh chemistry and examples that the young duo could do with their own romantic film. It's a thought film makers. 

Rahul Bose as the annoying loud mouth husband and mommy's boy with a complex is efficient while his snobbish mother Zarina Wahab is a delight in her role and her delivery sharp. 

I'll speak of the trio of individual nominated performances later. Onto Ranveer Singh. He outdoes himself by a margin in Bajirao Mastani but the mad cap Ranveer Singh seen in the paparazzi glare is very much evident here. However he also manages to reel in that persona and channel it into a fun performance that also hits some great emotional beats. 

Singh is just as good as the other three Mehra's who keep this ship steady through some heavy waters. 

In tune with her director's sensibility, Nandini Shrikent collectively brings together one hell of a good looking star cast just what this Dil demands. 


Casting Director: Mukesh Chhabra

Cast: Richa Chadda as Devi Pathak, Vicky Kaushal as Deepak, Shweta Tripathi as Shaalu Gupta, Bhupesh Singh as Sikander with Pankaj Tripathi as Sadhya Ji and Sanjay Mishra as Vidyadhar Pathak

A relatively small cast [though not everyone is listed, here] but still an effective ensemble. 

First a big shout out to Bhupesh Singh, who has been a fascinating nameless character actor to watch for years. Here as the elder brother to Kaushal's Deepak, the lazy Sikander is an interesting side character made infinitely worth watching thanks to Singh. He adds a weariness and a hint of jelousy [due to the opportunities affored to his brother, to escape the hell of the Dom castes cremation work]. It adds another layer to the films ideologies and themes and Singh is front and center of it. Plus he and Kaushal do look like brothers, so top notch casting as well.

I'll talk of the two leads later. On the other front, both Chadda and Kaushal have other great supports to their narratives. 

Shweta Tripathi is genuinely sweet and touching as the naive but also head strong and smart Shalu, she might live in her own bubble but she has control of it as well. Having seen her give another astounding performance at the Mumbai Film Festival [in Haraamkhor], it's easy to say; here is an actor with variation to her performances and hence this sort of role isn't her forte or who she is, making her efforts that much more sweeter. 

On Richa's end is Sanjay Mishra, going from strength to strength; the actor excels in another fatherly role with much more subdued dramatic meat that actually doesn't rely on his penchant for humor or his histrionics.

But the supporting stand out is the late entry of Pankaj Tripathi. An oft overlooked dynamite and simply sublime as nefarious characters, here as the sweet and simple Sadhya Ji he takes a complete 360 degree turn. He is in form with his soft delivery and innocent body language that for a moment you step away from the narrative to just follow him. 

Mukesh Chhabra is a veteran of the business and his cast exemplify their characters to a tee, he even knows the best sides that makes a complete whole of a cast. 

Bajirao Mastani

Casting Director: Shruti Mahajan and Parag Mehta

Cast: Ranveer Singh as Peshwa Bajirao Ballal, Deepika Padukone as Mastani, Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, Tanvi Azmi as Radhabai, Mahesh Manjrekar as Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj, Aditya Pancholi as Panth Prathinidi, Milind Soman as Ambaji Panth, Ayush Tandon as Nana Saheb, Vaibbhav Tatawadi as Chimaji Appa, Yatin Karyekar as Krishna Ji Bhatt with Raza Murad as the Nizam of Deccan and Irrfan Khan as Narrator

It's said that if you're part of a Bhansali film, you better be on your toes. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone are the first repeated couple in Bhansali's films [which all are in essence romantic] and rightly so. He's a task master and the duo are able to match his level of intensity through and through. 

Singh we will discuss later, like his fellow nominees Azmi and Chopra. 

Deepika Padukone like her real life beau barely, just barely loses out on an individual nomination because she was just better in Piku. Even then, Padukone is an illuminated frenzy in Bhansali's magnum opus. She is blisteringly brilliant as the warrior princess, evoking a great strength and power as well as a grace and elegance unlike ever seen. 

She might not be Madhubala in her heyday, but she convincingly wields a sword to battle as well as smolders in her lovers arms or dances in his devotion. 

Rounding out the cast are some miniscule roles played by some real heavyweights. Pancholi brings great menace though it never amounts to anything. Soman is restrained as the friend. Tatawadi shines as the brother frustrated with Bajirao's actions. Karyekar is thrillingly theatrical as need be. While Ayush Tandon leaves a mark as the villain towards the climax. 

Mahajan and Mehta bring together a cast at the top of their games and raring to prove with no doubt why they make this film such a strong contender this year.  


Casting Director: Atul Mongia

Cast: Shashank Arora as Titli, Shivani Raghuvanshi as Neelu, Ranvir Shorey as Vikram, Amit Sial as Pradeep with Prashant Singh as Prince and Lalit Behl as the Father

This one's for Arora and Raghuvanshi who might not make the breakthrough awards but are really good that they deserve the recognition. Both young actors are on point, taking control of much of the film and pulling through. The disturbing sequence of Titli hammering Neelu's hand to protect her and her money is effective because the actors gain a grasp of reality of the situation. 

Shorey and Sial are however the standouts and rightfully individually nominated. Towering over them is Lalit Behl, his presence is silent but evokes a menace and iron grip or fear at one point in the brother's lives, that is masked by a meek facade. Director Kanu Behl said this film hits close to heart and relies on his own harsh experiences of his childhood with his father. 

Out of spite or guilt, his father Lalit Behl evokes this with a specter like form. 

The cast is then littered with some great small actors who make small impacts when needed. 

An underrated aspect of casting in Hindi film is having a family actually look alike [see the difference between the Mehra] and my god does Atul Mongia nail it on the head.


Casting Director: Honey Trehan

Cast: Irrfan Khan as Ashwin Kumar, Konkona Sen Sharma as Nutan Tandon, Neeraj Kabi as Ramesh Tandon, Sohum Shah as Vedant Mishra, Atul Kumar as Paul, Gajaraj Rao as Inspector Dhaniram, Shishir Sharma JK Dixit, Sumit Gulhati as Kanhaiya with Prakash Belawadi as Ramashankar Pillai and Tabu as Reema Kumar

Talvar relies on the prowess of its eyes, Irrfan Khan as Ashwini Kumar. Beyond that it lets Sharma and Kabi play with one scene in different ways to highlight why they are top class actors. Tabu is in a cameo that relies on her and Khan's brilliant chemistry. 

Onto the men that make the film around Khan. Gajaraj Rao is such a delight to watch in those smarmy roles of a man punching above his weight. Atul Kumar as Paul plays a great contrast to Irrfan in every which way, carrying himself with the opposite brilliance that Khan reflects. Shishir Sharma, a damn fine veteran, stands staunch in his role. Sohum Shah is a masterclass actor who is yet to get his due and once again shadows Irrfan in a nice twisted turn. 

Finally Prakash Belawadi is just going from strength to strength, he has some sharp comic timing but is also able to deliver great dramatic punches, holding the words in his tongue with weight. 

Honey Trehan brings together one of the finest cast of thespians assembled to prove the changing view of cinema in India. 

And the Winner is...

Nandini Shrikent and Co. for Dil Dhadakne Do!

Here's a win for Dil Dhadakne Do, it was a tough choice and maybe it might not seem the right one. But somewhere quantity and genuine quality wins out. 

Up Next: She slams it across the park with more than five fascinating performances...The HIndie Award for Best Breakthrough Actor [Female]

'Nuff Said