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Siraj Syed


Siraj Syed is the India Correspondent for FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. He is a Film Festival Correspondent since 1976, Film-critic since 1969 and a Feature-writer since 1970. He is also an acting and dialogue coach. 

 

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Ticket to Paradise, Review: Destination rom-com that loses track of both the rom and the com

Ticket to Paradise, Review: Destination rom-com that loses track of both the rom and the com When you have actors of the calibre of Julia Roberts and George Clooney on board, you can pretty much get them to do anything. And when you ask them to deliver motor-mouth dialogue, full of love-hate content, it becomes a long spat that is occasionally funny but, at times, unfortunately, predictable. Pretty Woman Julia and Batman (1997) George have a ball, as do the co-actors, for most of the action i...

First episode of mini-series Happy Got Lucky canned

First episode of mini-series Happy Got Lucky canned Director Param Kalra has canned the first episode of the mini-series, Happy Got Lucky. Commissioned by SBT entertainment, of Jalaj Dave and Hiren Bhoi, it consists of three episodes. Happy Got Lucky stars Vidit Sharma (MTV roadies fame, Aaja Tujhe Chaand Pe Le Chalun) and two pretty girls, Anjali Krishna and Bushra Shaikh (Mika Di Vohti fame). The series revolves around modern day youth issues, like commitment phobia. There are many causes ...

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 03 Shoot at sights in Rajasthan

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 03 Shoot at sights in Rajasthan Anand Tripathi, Additional Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan invited the members of film fraternity to come and explore the hidden gems of Rajasthan and shoot in Rajasthan. Addressing the session 'Come, Shoot in Rajasthan' at FICCI FRAMES FAST TRACK 2022, in Mumbai, on 28 September, the second and last day of the convention, Tripathi highlighted the strength of the state the rich culture and legacy th...

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 02: Delhi High Court Judge sees enormous opportunities

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 02: Delhi High Court Judge sees enormous opportunities Addressing the two-day ‘FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022’ on the second day, 28 September, Hon’ble Justice Ms. Prathiba M Singh, Judge, Delhi High Court said, “There are enormous opportunities that the Indian Creative Sector provides for expansion, and leaving a global footprint of the country.” Speaking on strengthening India’s IP Ecosystem, Justice Singh highlighted, “...

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 01: A comeback of sorts

FICCI FRAMES Fast Track 2022, 01: A comeback of sorts It was overdue. Usually held in March, it was first postponed at the eleventh hour, and then cancelled. The year was 2020. And everybody remembers what was happening in March 2020. The Ides of March plagued the world in 2021 too, and only relented after March 2022. An eagerly awaited annual event, FICCI FRAMES is the definitive convention of the Media and Entertainment (M & E) Sector of the country. Industry giants assemble, there are ...

Vikram Vedha, Review: Gang gang, bang bang

Vikram Vedha, Review: Gang gang, bang bang There are only a handful of characters in Vikram Vedha who do not wield guns, swords or any ‘weapon’ they can lay their hands on. Almost all of them die. And what about those who do wield guns and makeshift weapons? They meet their fate too, except for…Rarely has a film let loose a such a fusillade of bullets, from all sorts of hand-guns as well as AK47s, as in this film. And rarely have we seen so many corpses tumble left, right a...

Varun Dhawan holds sway at Amazon Prime Video bae

Varun Dhawan holds sway at Amazon Prime Video bae Events starting on time is a rarity in the entertainment circuit of Mumbae….oops, Mumbai, but for once the exception proved the rule. A smartly dressed young lady greeted me at the desk, took my name, which I spelt out to her loud and clear. Then she took my picture on an ipad and told me to collect my identity badge a few minutes later. As I entered the Grand Sangam Ballroom at the J.W. Marriott hotel, Juhu, there was loud dance music ...

Prime Video’s first original film, Maja Ma, Trailer launch: Mad about Madhuri

Prime Video’s first original film, Maja Ma, Trailer launch: Mad about Madhuri One afternoon in 1984, I was invited to the Natraj Hotel, Marine Drive, Bombay, to the release get-together of Rajshri Productions’ Abodh. My benefactor, writer-director Gobind Moonis, who had wanted to cast me as the blind boy in Dosti, had now discovered a girl with a very pretty face who had learnt kathak too. But the star of the day was Gyan Shivpuri, an actor who came with a reputation. When I trie...

Dhokha Round D Corner, Review: True lies, deception-perception and betrayal-portrayal

Dhokha Round D Corner, Review: True lies, deception-perception and betrayal-portrayal Way back in 1940, a British film was made under the title Gaslight. It had an American version in 1944. Since then, it has inspired a lot of psychological thrillers, in India too. In the film, a man plots to convince his wife and all around them that she is mad, in order to recover the jewels that he had tried to steal from her late aunt, who he had just murdered, but had failed by the sudden arrival of the ...

I’m Gonna Tell God Everything, Pre-Review: May peace be on earth

I’m Gonna Tell God Everything, Pre-Review: May peace be on earth A special screening of the award-winning film - 'I'm Gonna Tell God Everything', produced by Jay Patel and Abhishek Dudhaiya, and presented by Sanjay Dutt, was held earlier this week at the PVR Icon Multiplex, Andheri, Mumbai. Among the invitees were film journalists and actress Mandakini, of the film Ram Teri Ganga Maili fame, who came with her son, a young man who is about a foot taller than her. She was ther...

Chup: Revenge of the Artist, Review: Critickill analysis

Chup: Revenge of the Artist, Review: Critickill analysis Film critics, run for cover! Better still, seek police protection. Take a cue from the one renowned film critic already has police protection, and comes to our press previews with an armed escort, in uniform. The reason for this shield is not known to me. But all the other reviewers are mere mortals, some senior, some junior and some newbies. Some of them are well paid, some are paid much less than what they deserve, some are well-to-do...

Modi Ji Ki Beti, Trailer launch: What’s in a surname?

Modi Ji Ki Beti, Trailer launch: What’s in a surname? Modi is not a common a surname as Shah, Patel and Mehta in India and Smith in England. But, in India, it happens to be the surname of Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India. That should work in favour of persons with such a surname, only Narendra Modi has no children. Film, TV and theatre actress Avani Modi, who comes from a small town in Gujarat, and has worked mainly in Tamil and Gujarati films, faced a queer situation when it...

The Scorched Forest-Part I-The Kindling, Review: The Killing Fields

The Scorched Forest-Part I-The Kindling, Review: The Killing Fields A twenty-one years old man, whose father died in an accident, is at the bottom end of the class pyramid. Living in abject poverty, he, his mother and sister, work as daily-wage labourers and have a huge debt to repay to a money-lender. The ‘man’ of the house chops (removes) harmful thorns from the plants and trees in a field, for a paltry sum, which is barely enough to help keep the kitchen fires burning. This beg...

Siya, Review: We didn’t see ya

Siya, Review: We didn’t see ya A man who has produced 12 films, including masterpieces like Masaan and Newton, over the last eight years, decides to make his directorial debut under his own banner, Drishyam Films (Drishyam means ‘scene’), at the age of 49. His name is Manish Mundra. All eyes are on him. What subject has he chosen? Who are the actors? How will be his treatment of the script, and so on. And then comes the invitation to attend the première of Siya. There...

Jahaan Chaar Yaar, Review: 4 oppressed wives and 1 dead, naked, male stripper

Jahaan Chaar Yaar, Review: 4 oppressed wives and 1 dead, naked, male stripper Sometimes, you don’t realise you have made a fairly good beginning and deviate into unnecessary trappings. Sometimes you don’t realise that it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it. Sometimes you start tinkering with the engine, and don’t realise that the problem is that you have run out of petrol (read ‘ideas’). On the other hand, you might realise that you have run out of petrol an...

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Review: Good, bad and worse, All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once, Review: Good, bad and worse, All at Once Trying to define Everything Everywhere All at Once is like trying to define a feature film itself. A narrative. A beginning middle and an end, an assembly of actors, some known some unknown, some from one country, others from other countries, playing roles or characters, an entity shot by a camera, consisting of motion and still pictures, mainly motion pictures. Of 70 minutes+ duration. Can currently be viewed on cine...

Prime Video holds a press conference, unveils trailer, but remains Hush Hush

Prime Video holds a press conference, unveils trailer, but remains Hush Hush A new web series begins 22 September on the Prime Video platform, in seven episodes, and is titled Hush Hush. It is not about gossip, as some might conclude, but a murder mystery. A trailer was released and shown twice in succession, as is the norm, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai, yesterday. The series marks the OTT debut of film director Tanuja Chandra (Dushman) and film actress Ayesha Julka (Jo Jeeta Wohi...

Small Scale Industries play a crucial role in the country’s productivity

Small Scale Industries play a crucial role in the country’s productivity Laghu Udyog Bharati (LUB/ Small Industries of India) focusses on and works towards uplifting and strengthening the Medium and Small Medium Enterprises MSME sector. There are multiple levels at which LUB operates, including targetting policy adversity, policy intervention, guidelines, entrepreneur development programme, exports, power, industrial land and property, banking and finance, etc. At a press meet held at t...

Vivek Anand Oberoi turns Chief Strategy Officer, and it is not for a film role

Vivek Anand Oberoi turns Chief Strategy Officer, and it is not for a film role Renowned actor and son of another thespian, Vivek ‘Anand’ Suresh Oberoi has donned a new hat. He is partnering retired Colonel Rajendra Prasad Nadella, an army veteran who has chosen to fight at new frontiers, in an enterprise called BlendEd, which coaches students for competitive exams. And he is taking on the role of a CSO. BlendEd 2.0 was held at the Novotel Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai, yesterday. The coachi...

MISMFF 2022, 06: Sweat, anxiety, sleepless nights and dedicated hard work

  MISMFF 2022, 06: Sweat, anxiety, sleepless nights and dedicated hard work A film festival cannot be held without a team of dedicated organisers and workers. Many of them spend sleepless nights, are at a high level of anxiety months before the event and spend sleepless nights, once the inauguration date approaches. This is true of the Mestia International Short & Mountain Film Festival (MISMFF) too. And if the team is relatively small, as is the case at MISMFF, the responsibilities a...

MISMFF 2022, 05: Silence! Here comes the Founder-Director, Dr. Khatuna Khundadze: Exclusive interview, by Siraj Syed

MISMFF 2022, 05: Silence! Here comes the Founder-Director, Dr. Khatuna Khundadze: Exclusive interview, by Siraj Syed       Q.: How was the first festival conceived and why? A: If you are in Georgia, in Mestia, and standing on the Terrace Theatre, the first word that come to you will be “mountain”. In Georgia, and in the Caucasus, there was no mountain film festival. I, and my partner, Gegi Paliani, there should be a mountain film festival, and so ...

Karthikeya 2, Review: “Ptolemy told me”

Karthikeya 2, Review: “Ptolemy told me” A pilgrimage for followers of Lord Krishna, and a mosaic of breath-taking locales awaits those who venture into theatre territory and buy tickets to see Karthikeya 2. Add to that some impressive VFX and animation. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is little else to justify making of the film per se. Combining religious events that occurred 5118 years ago, and much earlier, with a present day atheist doctor, it chronicles...

Laal Singh Chaddha, Review: A run for your money, in branded underwear

Laal Singh Chaddha, Review: A run for your money, in branded underwear It’s been fifteen years after Aamir Khan acted in and directed Taare Zameen Par, about a dyslexic child, and 28 years after Tom Hanks captivated our hearts as Forrest Gump, who had an IQ of 75 and needed braces to correct what was believed to be a curved spine. In 2022, here comes a film that is the official remake of Forrest Gump. It could be among the warmest, heart-tugging tales you’ve heard being told, or i...

Odd Couple, Review: Tying the not

Odd Couple, Review: Tying the not It’s nice to be taken by surprise, especially if the film is not a suspense thriller. And Odd Couple does just that. Borrowing its title from the 1965 Neil Simon comedy play, The Odd Couple, made into a film (1968) starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, in which one of the two bosom friends does all the household chores that you would normally associate with a woman, this film has the man, of a man-woman couple, doing the laundry and the cooking, and ...

Haryana, Review: But for Alia

Haryana, Review: But for Alia She is not in the film. Reading the names of the cast, you will realise and confirm this fact. But then why this head-line? Because Alia Bhatt is the premise of almost one-third of the film, the last one third, that is, and her name is mentioned at least 100 times in the dialogue. Now that is not fair, you might grumble. The film is titled Haryana, isn’t it? Well, there is a lot of Haryana and a lot of Aliana in the movie. A well-intentioned film, with seve...

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About Siraj Syed

Syed Siraj
(Siraj Associates)

Siraj Syed is a film-critic since 1970 and a Former President of the Freelance Film Journalists' Combine of India.

He is the India Correspondent of FilmFestivals.com and a member of FIPRESCI, the international Federation of Film Critics, Munich, Germany

Siraj Syed has contributed over 1,015 articles on cinema, international film festivals, conventions, exhibitions, etc., most recently, at IFFI (Goa), MIFF (Mumbai), MFF/MAMI (Mumbai) and CommunicAsia (Singapore). He often edits film festival daily bulletins.

He is also an actor and a dubbing artiste. Further, he has been teaching media, acting and dubbing at over 30 institutes in India and Singapore, since 1984.


Bandra West, Mumbai

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