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SANJU (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director Rajkumar Hirani (“PK”, “3 Idiots”, “Monna Bhai M.B.B.S.”) creates a viscerally stunning film based on the legendary Bollywood “bad boy”, Sanjay Dutt (1959-) son of iconic parents , Sunil Dutt (1928-2003) and Nargis (1929-1981) a love partnership commencing with the filming of “Mother India” (1957); multi-proficient, Sunil, acted, directed, played a dominant role in politics; Sanjay felt emotionally dwarfed ... Read More »

VEERE DI WEDDING (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Bollywood is massively productive in releasing, at a minimum, a thousand films a year; the vast majority with a predictable happy ending; an escape from the banes of tedium and angst. But the tragic conclusions, forever resonate in the consciousness of those who experienced them: “Devdas”, “Anand”, “Rang De Basanti, “Kal Ho Naa Ho”, are a few classics. It is ... Read More »

RAAZI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Diminutive, dazzling Alia Bhatt conquers stardom with her dynamic performance as  “Shemat” a Muslim girl willing (raazi) to sacrifice her life for the love of India; marrying a Pakistani man “Iqual” (Vicky Kaushal), she fills her dying father’s (Rajit Kapoor) wish, to take his place as a spy for India; the story revolves around the Indo-Pakistani 1971 war. “Raazi” is ... Read More »

OCTOBER (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Director/producer Shoojit Sircar and actor Varun Dhawan have created the unexpected from Bollywood; “October” is a quiet, introspective film, centering on two young people, training at a five-star hotel in Delhi, India. “Dan” (Dhawan) is flippant, “Brahminesque” in his attitude toward his employers and patrons; at twenty-one, the world is his lotus flower and he assumes it always will be. ... Read More »

PADMAVATI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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For twelve years Peneflix, along with Hollywood and Foreign, has focused on the Bollywood genre; mastering the salacious gaze, nubile, partially clothed, perpetually running, tearful heroes and heroines now rank on the entertainment scale of Western audiences. Ancient, epic poems, myths, tales: “The Ramayan”, The Mahabharata”/ “The Bhagavad Gita”, reference the way one should conduct one’s life, mimicked by The ... Read More »

PENEFLIX BEST AND NEAR BEST FILMS OF 2017

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As I peruse other critics best and worst films I feel fortunate that, because of my pay grade, have rarely seen many of the “worst”; no matter the product, each year there are enough quality films, that in retrospect my passion  is satiated. Granted I have not seen, “The Post”, “Phantom Thread” “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”.  So here ... Read More »

TIGER ZINDA HAI (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Here is a mixed marriage, not seen since the Jodha/Akbar era; fifty-one-year-old, pneumatic, perennial bachelor Salman Khan (“Tiger”) paired once again with Katrina Kaif (“Zoya”) as East Indian and Pakistani agents sent to battle militants in Tikrit, Iraq; based on an actual event in 2014, terrorists took over a hospital and held 46 nurses (Indian and Pakistani) captive; the rescue ... Read More »

SIMRAN (ENGLISH/HINDI)

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Directed by Hansal Mehta, filmed entirely in the U.S. cities of Atlanta and Las Vegas, loosely based on a true story, “Praful/Simran”  a thirty-year-old, divorced, Gujarati, housekeeping employee succumbing to a gambling addiction and resorting to robbing banks to salvage her debt. The film is immensely fun, racy, infused with satisfying, marvelous manipulation; imbued with “Pretty Woman”, “Bonnie and Clyde” ... Read More »

A GENTLEMAN (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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Predictability can be totally refreshing especially with the “dog” films of summer; watching “A Gentleman”, tumultuous reality, gritty politics and crime were suspended in favor of a raucous romp through Miami, Mumbai and Goa; gorgeously-paired Sidharth Malhotra and Jacqueline Fernandez, destined to bond, flirt, sing and dance, creating a sugary confection of romance and intrigue, ubiquitous on the Bollywood screen. ... Read More »

JAB HARRY MET SEJAL (HINDI: ENGLISH SUBTITLES)

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How can an actor of superior renown, a winner of fifteen Filmfare Awards (Bollywood’s equivalent of the Academy Awards) willingly plummet, with a resounding thud, into such a deplorable scenario? Shah Rukh Khan has intrigued audiences with his stunning versatility, his fearless choice of roles: from inebriated Lothario (“Devdas”) to stalker (“Fan”); from antihero (“Baazigar”) to coach (“Chak De India”); ... Read More »

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