Jagga Jasoos – One of a kind Bollywood Musical

How do you give a star rating to a movie that is one of its kind? So, let’s not do that for Jagga Jasoos. It is one of kind Bollywood musical, an experiment, a fresh take on Indian cinema.

The story of Jagga Jasoos is heartfelt, interesting and universally appealing, though set up in a fantasy land. It’s characters are extremely likeable especially Jagga, played by Ranbir Kapoor; he looks innocent & endearing and has done a marvelous job. I am not a fan of Katrina Kaif‘s acting but I have to say, this may be one of the rare times where she was given an adorable character to play and she did a great job. All the supporting actors did extremely well as well. Movie length, editing and direction were fine, however the musical nature was overdone. I get why it was made into a musical but there were portions which could have used dialogues to balance a bit.

Sceneries are simply beautiful, especially that one shot where the giraffe colors the screen when it walks from right to the left side of the screen. The movie is shot in places such as Manipur, that are not particularly shown in Hindi cinema. In fact, there are a lot of creative things that are a first in this movie.

One thing is for sure, you need some patience and an open mind to watch Jagga Jasoos. It definitely has its moments and is not your cliche movie, but it could have been better if some of the musical portions were cut down. I am not sure what kind of box office business it will do, but it definitely gets an A for being experimental and creative!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: “The Big Sick” is emotional and funny!

I have seen Kumail Nanjiani’s work in HBO sitcom, Silicon Valley, therefore I was very curious to see his movie, The Big Sick. And I wasn’t disappointed. This movie is based on Kumail‘s life story and very beautifully told. The movie is equal part touching and funny! There are some scenes which inherently are very intense and emotional but even in those scenes, the dialogues are written so beautifully that you can’t help laughing. I believe I also heard clapping in the theater for couple of dialogues.

Every actor has done a fabulous job of acting but I was particularly impressed by Holly Hunter. Movie length, direction and editing are quite impressive. If you like comedy and drama, you should definitely check this one out, you won’t be disappointed!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Alia & Varun excel in Badrinath ki Dulhania!

Badrinath ki Dulhania‘s trailer might seem frivolous but the movie is surprisingly substantial as well as entertaining. A dose of feminism provided to us in a very light-hearted and entertaining way!

Alia Bhatt is amazing as usual. I believe that after her previous mind blowing performances, people expect great acting from her. But what amazes me how is she able to get into the skin of her character so effortlessly? She pretty much becomes the person that she is playing on screen and makes us root for her character. The surprise, however comes from Varun Dhawan. This is probably his best acting job so far! He is believable and endearing. As much as Alia is the hero of this film, you fall in love with Varun’s character. Well done!

Music is great especially the Tamma Tamma song and the title song. Other songs are melodious and visually appealing. Story has a wide appeal in terms of connectivity with the audience and dialogues are smartly written. There is ample humor in the first half and endearing emotions in the second half. Although the ending resolution seems a bit too easy, the movie overall is tightly edited and beautifully told.

Overall a great entertaining watch with a meaningful message.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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SRK shines in and as Raees!

Ever since Raees‘s trailer came out, it looked promising and the movie sure does deliver! Well directed and researched, it has a realistic flavor and boatload of acting talent! Very different from a typical Shah Rukh Khan movie.

I went with the assumption that Nawazuddin Siddiqui being such a fine actor will surely perform better than Shah Rukh Khan but I was pleasantly surprised. While Nawazuddin performs graciously, Shah Rukh Khan definitely shines in this acting oriented role. His demeanor and facial expressions were spot on and he looked the part. It kind of reminds you of his much talked about acting in Baazigar movie. Mahira Khan fitted her character and performed realistically.

Music is awesome, especially the Laila mein Laila song, the visuals and the striking music is too good to ignore! Other songs are fairly good as well.

Based on the realities of Gujarat state, this movie is gripping and story line is pretty strong. One could argue that the ending could have been a bit stronger but it doesn’t take away from the extremely well woven plot.

I’d say definitely a watch for Shah Rukh Khan‘s fans and those who like realistic cinema and good acting…

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review: The Founder!

The likes of successful corporations such as Starbucks and McDonalds have always fascinated me. There is always a big-thinking entrepreneur behind such phenomenal corporations. Therefore I had to watch the movie The Founder to learn more about how McDonalds came into existence and became a sensation.

The Founder starring Michael Keaton is a well directed and a very telling story told from the perspective of Ray Kroc, the man with an ambitious mind. I really liked learning how the corporation was started and how the various events led to what McDonalds is today.

The Founder is a very well acted and directed movie! A must watch for those interested in business and inspiring stories!

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Movie Review – XXX: Return of Xander Cage!

Got a chance to watch XXX: Return of Xander Cage today! I haven’t watched any of the previous movies of this franchise but I wanted to watch this one for Deepika Padukone.

I am not a fan of action movies…I hate to admit that at times they are difficult to follow such as the Avengers (I may have slept through one..) Having said that, XXX: Return of Xander Cage was easy to follow and had a clear cut storyline. Vin Diesel was majestic and all the other characters were perfectly casted and performed well. I was quite impressed with Donnie Yen.  Deepika held her own and looked gorgeous!

Overall a nice watch if you like action movies. Some of the stunts were really fun to watch especially the chase in the ocean and the airplane climax scenes.

Aditi Chopra is an author of NRI fiction and non-fiction books.
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Interview with Sasha Singh!

I am extremely excited and proud to be interviewing Sasha Singh today! I have seen Sasha grow from a talented dancer to an inspiring choreographer and now an actress in the Indian film industry! Her Telugu movie titled Appatlo Okadundevadu has released recently. Lets chat with her about her creative endeavors.


Sasha Singh


  • Welcome Sasha! Please tell us what inspired you to act in movies?

I was lucky enough to have many motivators in my life. Firstly, my experiences have given me the inspiration to dream and live those dreams. I would go to the movies with my family on a weekly basis and watch all kinds of actors and actresses paint their stories on the screen. Watching Bollywood movies regularly really opened up my eyes to the world of cinema and formed my views towards acting. Furthermore, there were many influential people in my life who encouraged me to pursue my passion of acting. My family especially has been my biggest rock. They stood by me and supported me throughout the whole process. They were there for me at all times and their belief in my capabilities inspired me everyday. If they could sacrifice so much to see my dreams come true, why couldn’t I do everything in my power to achieve them?

Other people who inspired me were my Gurus and mentors. Meenakshi Sheshadri was someone who guided me when I first realized I was serious about doing movies. She offered her knowledge and time to help me. Anyone who ever taught me acting also taught me many useful life skills. My theater teacher Rene Harris pushed me to do my best in school and really sparked a flame in me. A flame of love for acting. Neeraj Kabi also trained me when I lived in India and gave me a lot of gyan for lack of a better word. In conclusion, the people and activities around me as I was growing up were my biggest inspirations.

  • Its really wonderful to see that you had such amazing supportive people as your inspiration. Please tell us a little bit about your character in Appatlo Okadundevadu and how you prepared for this role?

Appatlo Okadudevadu is a complex and engaging film which is set mostly in the 90’s and is based on a true story. It has a little bit of all flavors of genres; action, romance, comedy, drama, and suspense. My character is guiding the story along and she (Riya) is searching for the main character (Railway Raju) in present time. My character links everything together and is sort of putting all the puzzle pieces together. I am a cricketer in the film so that was definitely what I had to prepare for the most. I would practice in a casual and fun way with my family and tried watching some famous cricket games/techniques. I also prepared for the role by watching and listening to Telugu films/songs in order to get used to the language that was so new for me.

  • That’s wonderful. Cricket and movies are the two biggest passions for all Indians and you got to combine the two in your very first role! Besides acting, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

Besides acting, my passion for dance is what keeps me going. I love to use my body as a tool to portray a story or message through song and movement. Even when I was a kid, if I ever felt upset, or had any strong emotion, I would close my room door, put on my favorite music, and just dance my heart out. It didn’t matter if I was angry, hurt, excited, etc. All that mattered was that dance gave me the ability to express my self and let out my feelings. It has always been my way of keeping myself happy and calm. I continue to dance even now. I am a choreographer for Masti Dance Academy which also allows me to explore another one of my hobbies i.e. working with kids. Each time I am in charge of or need to teach kids dance or something, I feel as though I am the one that is actually learning. I have always found that being around kids is not only a stress relive, but also it brings out my inner child. I believe that being with kids constantly gives me different perspectives on things, and it always brings a smile to my face.

  • Having achieved your dream, what advice do you have for an aspiring actor?

For any aspiring actors, I would say to have your own little mantra. That is definitely what has gotten me this far and what I think will help me in the future. It may seem silly, but every day, I say a little chant to myself about what my goals are, and what I will do when I achieve them. This is a constant reminder to keep my aspirations in mind in every little thing that I do. This puts out those thoughts into the universe and before you know it those thoughts become a reality. Of course, acting is a complex and unique art form. There are so many techniques and practices out there. Finding what does or doesn’t work for you, and constantly exploring and practicing those techniques will prepare you for any role that comes your way. I try to make time in my schedule on a daily basis to learn something new about acting, the history of cinema, cinematic techniques, or something which will expand my knowledge in acting. Being proactive and checking for casting calls is another must.

  • Thank you for the inspiring advice, I’m sure that aspiring actors will find it very helpful. Tell us, what was the most challenging aspect for you while performing in front of the camera?

I have had experience in theater and I always knew that acting for the camera is different, but it wasn’t until now that I realized just how different it really is. A camera will catch your every detail, a wrinkle when you smile, a tooth which is slightly crooked, or anything else you wouldn’t normally notice. Once I realized this, the most challenging part of acting in front of a camera for me was fully immersing myself into my character, so that every little detail about me, reflected what my character was feeling. Because the camera picks up every minute detail, the challenge for me was making sure every little eyebrow raise or lip twitch would work and enhance my character at that moment.

  • Do you want to share some information on your other acting projects?

I have a couple of projects coming up which I can’t release information about yet. I will be posting about these and other future projects once they are finalized on my Facebook page.

Thanks Sasha for stopping by. It was a pleasure and I wish you great success in all your creative endeavors!


Sasha’s Movie Poster (Appatlo Okadundevadu)