Posts Tagged ‘Bollywood’

zz64c5954e1It’s difficult to avoid the influence of superheroes at the cinema today. The blockbuster comic book movies have become staples of not only the American box office, but international theatres as well. Despite the overwhelming visibility of comic book titans like Marvel and DC, many countries have put their own spin on the superhero movie. These are a few of the heroes that have had a lasting impact on the genre or are about to make their own splash.

Guardians

Russia is not one to be slept on when it comes to film. When they finally decided to try their hand at superheroes, the results did not disappoint. Guardians features a gigantic, musclebound, shirtless man with the head of a bear that fires a gatling gun—and makes American superhero films look positively tame by comparison. The movie focuses on a team of Soviet superheroes made during the Cold War who represent the different nationalities of the former USSR. And it manages to tap into the rich culture of the nation while besting the Americans at their own game for superhero spectacle. A recent trailer has the movie looking better than ever and it’s hard not to be excited for this level of cinematic extravagance. It’s officially being released on February 23, 2017 and promises to become an immediate cult hit, proving there’s more to superheroes than The Avengers.

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3 Dev Adam

Spider-Man

Spider-Man might be an American hero by origin but his popularity has spawned more than a few imitators throughout the world. Notable among these is the 1973 Turkish action movie, 3 Dev Adam, where Spider-Man is actually the bad guy and fights against Captain America and legendary Mexican luchador, El Santo. Other notable foreign takes on the beloved wall-crawler include the Japanese Spider-Man show where the hero is given his own giant robot and would go on to influence the show that would eventually become Power Rangers. The heroes from Marvel comics are famous worldwide and have long been ripe for licensing through various media, as evidenced through the varying Marvel titles detailed online that are available at popular casino sites. Comic book heroes are frequently used in games like this throughout the world, which only speaks to their incredible appeal. The fan-favourite continues to delight fans
in international markets and his upcoming film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is sure to be another success.

Krrish

Of course Bollywood was eventually going to offer its own take on the superhero genre with its trademark flair—but it’s also amazing. The franchise has become the second-highest grossing film series in Bollywood (no small feat) with a fourth film set to come out in 2018. The series began with Koi…Mil Gaya in 2003 before going on to become the incredible franchise it is today. 2013’s Krrish 3 was praised for its spectacular visual effects and broke many box office records upon its release. Those records will likely be shattered upon the release of Krrish 4 as the series manages to combine the song and dance staples of Bollywood with the visual explosiveness of American superhero movies.

These are only a few of the heroes that have helped to showcase the international influence of superhero cinema, but there are many other countries that have offered their own unique spin on the genre. There’s far more to the genre than just what hits the American box office, and the trend of more films like this sprouting up around the world is likely to continue.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 16.34.25Late in the day it may be, but one of the most visually sumptuous films to arrive in 2015 is surely Bajirao Mastani, by legendary Bollywood director Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Devdas, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.)

The film features stunning visual work by Cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee and three Production Designers: Saloni Dhatrak, Sriram Iyengar and Sujeet Sawant. It certainly looks like a herculean cinematic effort and is expected to break box office records this Christmas.

Set in Mughal India and based on the true story of Peshwa Baji Rao (Ranveer Singh), one of India’s greatest warriors, the film follows the fortunes of the ‘Warrior Prince’, his first wife Kashibai (Priyanka Chopra) and the love of his life, his second wife Mastani (Deepika Padukone).

For a look at the film, check out the trailer below:

And for more see the song Deewani Mastani:

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Few contemporary directors walk the line between the sublime and the ridiculous as closely as Tarsem. Mirror Mirror sees the artsy Indian director, whose previous credits include The Cell, The Fall and Immortals tackle the potent but unsettling fairy tale Snow White (which tells the story of a young princess, cast out by her vein stepmother only to be saved by a group of dwarfs and the prince she loves) with a campy sarcastic comedic style; a welcome approach given the story’s old fashioned subtext, hinging on the value of pale skinned youthfulness.

Combining laughs with Tarsem’s meticulous surrealistic aesthetic might seem a little odd, but it works surprisingly well. However, the film gets off to a something of an uneasy start with the narration by the evil Queen (Julia Roberts). Tarsem plays with the idea of whose story Mirror Mirror actually is, the Queen’s or Snow White’s (Lilly Collins). The Queen insists the story belongs to her, but we all know it is Snow White’s – this gives us a feeling akin to starting off on the wrong foot.

As soon as the Snow White character is established though Tarsem gets the storytelling on track. Lilly Collins, for what its worth, is charming as Snow White and refreshingly she doesn’t possess a sickly facade of innocence – this bolsters the film’s self-knowing irony. Collins also plays counterpoint to Roberts’ vein and frankly annoying Queen, giving the dynamic an essential sense of balance.

In line with his tongue in cheek interpretation Tarsem turns the ‘prince saves the princess’ cliche upside down; Collins’ Snow White becomes the motivating hero of the story, saving Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer). This is a significant choice as it undermines Snow White’s beatific innocence and makes her a much more robust female lead. This creates substantial laughs for the female section of the audience, at Armie Hammer’s expense.

Despite its sardonic modern wit Tarsem’s take on Snow White still leaves us feeling slightly uneasy, as we remember that the story’s ultimate horror is to become anything but youthful and pale skinned. It is strange to see that the film doesn’t tackle the plot conclusion with ridicule, while the majority of the film is gladly tongue in cheek. With this said the film does end on a slightly bizarre and unexpected high with a fun Bollywood-style credit sequence – a unmistakable nod to Tarsem’s Indian contemporaries.

Feeling like a mashup of slapstick comedy, Bollywood excess and surrealist pastiche Mirror Mirror is a film that just about comes together stylistically. However, in its treatment of the Brothers Grimm’s irrefutably dark story it would have still benefited from a more acidic kind of wit. It will be interesting to see how this film compares to Snow White and the Huntsman, Rupert Sanders’ darker cinematic take on the same story, due for release in the summer.

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