September 15, 2019

"Nani's GangLeader" (Telugu)

Once in a while, a Telugu film comes with a winning script which defies genre, packs a punch and loads of entertainment in each scene, pulls you deep inside a pacy narrative with great story-telling, energetic performances and hits the bulls' eye with a non-formulaic approach. Director Vikram K Kumar is known for making films where the dimension of time is sliced in clock-wise and anti-clock-wise directions often confusing the viewers without any defined storyline. But in NG, he surprises us with a well-written script and simpler narrative nuanced as the story unfolds; he puts an unthinkable starcast and concocts an indigenous but rare story that can only happen in crime-fiction novels. Yet, the output is engaging, outrageous, funny and thoroughly entertaining, joined by cinematic twists and a social cause at the end. The story has an audacious premise to start with - a gang of five different-aged females come together to polish off a deadly killer who killed one each of their respective members. Enter Naani, the gang-leader who comes with his own agenda who offers to help the gang reach their targeted villain. What conspires later is a premium range of thrills audiences haven't been treated before in a long-time with lots of fun and fluent narration. The last time I experienced new thrills of this variety was when I watched Gunnam Gangaraju's "Aithe" which was a path-breaking film defying all genres and yet wholesomely entertaining. NG is still a few notches below Yeleti's "Aithe" but nevertheless good to watch once.

Naani pulls off another sensational performance sublimating his screen-presence to accommodate senior talents like Lakshmi and Sharanya and also sharing his screen space with a villain Karthikeya who is at his swashbuckling best. There are moments when Karthikeya steals the show over Naani, Lakshmi dominates Naani with her inimitable style of acting.   In over 157 minutes, director weaves a predictable story with intensity and adrenalin-pumping action - romantic track is subtle and neat. He takes time to build the tempo in the first half but makes up for lost time with a brilliant climax. Technically, the film should have been a clean "U" certificate except for the gaffe in the first half and second half about male dating - still draws good laughs thanks to Vennela Kishore. Naani deserves a pat for choosing a film where story is the real hero - no swagger, no female skin-show, no indulgent talk. His filmography reminds you of the Chiranjeevi's first fifty films where story defined everything - a lesson here for all the rising stars, superstars, power stars, omega stars and rebel stars whose self-centered dialogues and narcissistic camera angles have been depriving the audiences of great cinema. Naveen Nooli's editing seems like a masterclass in editing and provides good support to Anirudh's music score. There are only four songs in the film but the pacing of the songs and the BGM with music leveraged out of the four tunes make it a draw. After "Jersey", this looks like a film which will keep the cash registers ringing for Nani. Karthikeya, the hero who looks like an Adonis perhaps gets the most stylish villain role that Tollywood hasn't seen for a while. By insisting on better shot-selection and introduction and build-up of his character, Karthikeya steals thunder from Nani in the same way Vijay Deverekonda did in "Evade Subramanyam". Flaws of logic permeate the script on why police are kept in the dark, and how banks share CCTV footage so easily and so on. Despite all that and the predictability of the film, a Paisa-vasool film and a great family entertainer. Must watch.

Rating: 3.5/5

#Nani'sGangLeader #GangLeader #Nani #Lakshmi #Saranya #VikramKKumar #VennelaKishore #Anirudh #NaveenNooli #MaitriFilms #Tollywood #NaturalStarNani

August 31, 2019

"Saaho" (Telugu/Hindi/Tamil/Malayalam)

How do you evaluate 171 minutes of action flick laced with stunning background score, melodious songs, deafening-decibel graphic violence amidst a neat romantic track between Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhas, and intense villains strategically chosen from various languages? It is a mixed bag, and half-way through you realize you are in a dead-slow track with convoluted story-line which defies logic - its a story of a team of cops who set out to unmask the great gangster group of a walled city called Waji City (where the hell is this sky-scraper paradise?). The twists of director Sujith's screenplay are all about who is  the real cop, who is fake,  who is under-cover and who is finally uncovered.

As you see, there is limited room for maneuvre in the story plot - you will have to introduce a bevy of villains, the team of investigators, the hero, the heroine and then build the interplay with some concocted humor that doesn't register. Within the framework imposed by the director, and that is the right thing to evaluate the film rather than get swayed by the memes unleashed by anti-"rebel" forces on the social media, Sujith does a neat job in giving us an authentic film without the bells-and-whistles as seen in a "Dhoom" franchisee or the ultra-sophisticated stunts of a MI series. He is aided by two technicians who give life-support to the skeletal script - Ghibran's BGM score and Madhie's cinematography. Both of them give the surreal texture, feel and mood-mixing to the various high-octane scenes of the film. Subtract Ghibran's score from the film and see the movie rating drop by 1.5 points - his work is so priceless in the film with a range of techno-instrumentation.

Who fails Sujith? It is the editor Sreekar Prasad who seems to have gone for many breaks instead of chopping chunks of mindless violence. You don't need too many stunts to project heroism and Prabhas has shown it so well in "Mirchi" his last film before the blockbusterization of his career started. These stunts, and many dragging scenes in the first half make it boring to watch - and they don't sit easy with whatever little messaging Sujith and Prabhas wanted to give.

The best part of the film is not Prabhas but "others" including a cute-looking Shraddha Kapoor who gets her most meaty role as a cop who can also prance around in vest-applied shining skin in exotic bridges wedged between snow-capped mountain ranges. But the real "others" who shine the most are Arun Vijay, Prakash Rawalade and Chunky Pandey. Normally, Tollywood directors can inter-mix three dozen villains in six frames without anyone being remembered beyond their names but Sujith has characterized each of the mean-looking men so well that every one of them right from the man who played villain in "Pandem Kodi" to  Mandira Bedi to the one who played the bad guy in "Chatrapati" has a space to die for in the film - and that is no mean feat. Entertainment cannot be a given in a film of this genre - fans and reviewers must note.

Prabhas could have easily settled for a cool Telugu film after the monstrous success of "Baahubali" but he re-invested another 1000 days into the making of "Saaho" and backed it with his home production team. Hitherto, nobody from the South - Kamal Hasan, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, Nagarjuna, Dhanush or Rana Daggubati - has ever scaled this kind of altitude with so much audacity before - with back-to-beat hype. Even if the film fails to deliver as per the audience's expectations, Prabhas deserves a pat - so what if he fails grand. He could have shied away like NTR or Mahesh Babu but he stood there like a rock knowing all the brickbats and bouquets will come his way. Those few dialogues in the film about hitting six out of the park in a stadium or that dialogue by Murali Sharma that Saaho is like a feel-good ad that comes before a film - visuals can be disturbing even if the content is good - they pretty sum up South India's most audacious challenge to Bollywood. No, this is not as bad as "Rebel". No, this is not as repetitive as "Dhoom". No, this is not as bad as "2.0". No, this is not as bad a film as the herds are branding. If you can sit through the first half till the first twist comes, you may find the second half interesting and pleasing to watch, never mind the elaborate overlay of action stunt excesses that the director relies upon. A reviewer cannot convince anybody but having seen far more worse films from the South including Shankar's "I" or Muragadoss's "Spyder" - I must say this: the makers of the film UV Creations didn't hide the genre of the film in the teaser, they didn't mislead the audience in the trailer (unlike Shankar's "I" where a lion-man is shown as if it is the third role of the hero), they never projected it as a message-oriented film, they gave the right high-octave moments of the film without giving away the plot till the movie released. They packed quite a punch in this screenplay based film. For all that and taking away what could have been missed opportunity, I stick to my rating. Audience can check my ratings of other Prabhas films on my blog and elsewhere where my reviews abound.
Go with an open mind, and decide if you can experience the thrills of an action thriller.

Rating: 2.75/5

#Saaho #Prabhas #Sujith #Ghibran #ShraddaKapoor #ArunVijay #ChunkyPandey #PrakashRawalade #JackieShroff #MandiraBedi

August 16, 2019

"Mission Mangal" (Hindi Film Review)

ISRO's evolution of the last fifty years since inception couldn't have been better celebrated than the successful Mission Mangalyaan circa 2014. The film "Mission Mangal" captures that exciting milestone in 133 minutes of unbridled entertainment laced with energetic screenplay, peppy starcast and loads of cinematic Pax Indiana that will get animal spirits of "Made in India" back roaring. And who better to drive the narrative than Akshay Kumar, our hero for films with patriotic fervor releasing on national holidays - a metrosexual version of Manoj Kumar!

Director R.Balki, the creative brain behind the film helps director Jagan Shakti pace a well-written script which has a good prologue, middle story and an epic finish which though predictable gives some tense moments before the Mission becomes a success lauded by the world including NASA. But if you were to chronicle the saga of how a resource-starved ISRO built this mission like a bootstrapping startup entrepreneur, you need more cinematic ammunition than just being a minutuaeing National Geographic docu-maker. That is provided by a killer cast of two men and four women (played by the likes of Tapsee Pannu, Nithya Menen, Sonakshi Sinha, Sharmaan Joshi) and the worlds they inhabit (at home and in their minds) - they create a panorama of world views which first limit the mission and later unbottle their true potential for Mission Mars. But Akshay Kumar as Mission Director needs a shepherd to rein in these micro-Indians who run amok with their own agendas - one wants to migrate to NASA, one believes in astrology and was told to avoid Mangal planet if he has to get married, one just wants to pass time to vest superannuation benefits, one just underwent infertility treatment to become a mom, one wants to re-unite with her Army husband and so on. That shepherding is done brilliantly by Vidya Balan, let's call her the master of the project who steers the team to meet the deadlines and the deliverables. With her mercurial and multi-nuanced acting, Vidya Balan steals the show one more time acing up each scene with her own inimitable style - sparkling eyes, face as a pointer and modulation worth its weight in gold. She fights the many battles shown in the film that Indians, argumentative Indians fight every day in life with their biases, fears, doubts, naysaying beliefs, debilitating concepts at home and office - whether it's her son turning to Islam out of blind love of aping AR Rahman or a retiree who sees Mission Mangal as just as a job not as a mission.

Director Jagan Shakti and writer R.Balki must be complimented for creating a multi-layered script that shows India as an improbable bundle of flaws and contradictions to be overcome before anything great can ever be achieved - it is a cinematic feat that makes Space Mission theme seem more colorful and exciting to watch than a tik tok documentary reel. In between there are excursions into astrology (thought not well-explored because Astrologers in India predicted everything from World Wars to World Cup defeat in Semi Finals to Kumaragowda government collapse in Karnataka and are a happy punching bag in the quest for "scientific temper"), parenting (let the new gen be themselves!), call of duty (why any job than serving in army is no less!), bootstrapping (how long ISRO pulls off financial miracles without going public or crowd-funding!)and so on. The film is  nothing short of achieving a miracle in convincing pundits and masses about the odds that ISRO goes through before you see a tense countdown of -15 on live TV. Akshay Kumar has given another fine performance of being a Director who takes all the brickbats on failures and then pats the team when met with success - those one-liner songs of Dev Anand hummed at critical points in the film tell a lot through hidden subtexts, do not miss them! Music by Amit Trivedi gives the exhilarating fuel needed to punctuate the right emotions throughout - one hardly feels a lag moment ever and the subtitles for Hindi is a welcome initiative to ensure nothing lost in translation. Cinematography by Ravi Varma and the VFX are also quite pleasing. A few more outer world shots would have made the film more immersive in experience.

Without explaining the complexity of fuel tanks and orbiters and what goes on in rocket science, the directorial team uses simpler narratives of how the final execution of Mission Mars looks like in the initial scenes to make the audience tether to a surcharge of emotions later and then make them go through the drama and believe some outlandish logic too (like using wolverine clothing for the outer covering and using non-recyclable plastic as light-weight fuel and so on!).

On the whole, the film is immensely watchable and achieves multiple goals of appreciating what ISRO does without sounding theoretical or boring. Hollywood has paid more tributes to NASA  and made space shuttle travel a routine affair! Instead of making looney comic stories about life on moon (like some Telugu films did), this is a good attempt to bridge the gap between Astronomy and Public. A film like this will do more education than a hundred trips to Birla Planetorium.   

Rating: 3.75/5

#MissionMangal #RBalki #JaganShakti #AkshayKumar #AmitTrivedi #VidyaBalan #RaviVarman #ISRO #SpaceMovies #MissionMars #NASA #IndianSpaceMission #Chandrayaan2

July 27, 2019

"Dear Comrade" (Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam/Kannada) Film Review

The most hyped Vijay Deverekonda in recent times comes with an elaborate buildout of 169 minutes about a love story which has many overt and subtextual messages - of which the main message is about how a lady cricketer fights sexual harassment at work with help of her lover who stands like a wall for her - whom everyone calls "Dear Comrade". Bharat Kamma directs this colorful film with dazzling cinematography and enchanting musical score by Justin Prabhakaran. The film takes you into the world of Bobby and Lilly (played by Vijay Deverekonda and Rashmika) whose journey has many fateful turns, most of them predictable and self-created. Performances-wise, the film's honors go to Rashmika first and Vijay Deverekonda next for raising the bar. Rashmika gets a role of a lifetime which even top-paid heroines don't enjoy these days, she seems to speak a lot with her eyes and packs quite a punch with classy costumes and neat acting without much ado. Vijay must be complimented for taking on a role that supports the heroine's character throughout.

How good is the film? To be fair, the treatment is honest and leisurely but the director misses out in leveraging the right mix of emotions at crucial moments. The first half is painfully slow and listless, takes too much time to establish the character of Bobby and Lilly, their divergent paths, their friends and their world views with too many songs. The number of songs and scenes in the college could have been cut down brutally just like the 'canteen song' which got removed n the film. After a series of lovely films on cricket like "Jersey" and "Majili", here's an opportunity to create a feast of visuals about Women's cricket (and what ails it from taking off?) but crucial moments fall flat as the director jumps-cut to another scene. Like in the first half, when Lilly begs to play in gully cricket played by the boys, the director should have shown how she batted then itself instead of jumping to the stadium scene where she plays with a flourish to win in a big match. Cricket is an adrenalin-pumping game for Indians which can surcharge emotions in any scene but in the entire second half, Lilly's cricketing exploits were missing in action. Moments like this were under-capitalized which makes the film drop into a lower orbit of a routine love story where hero's antics are shown more mileage than a lady cricketer's struggles to build her dream innings. In both the first and second half, many scenes give you a deja vu sense of earlier films of Vijay like "Evade Subramanyam", "Geeta Govindam" and "Arjun Reddy"; most of the early scenes seem a modern version of Nagarjuna's "Shiva". For Vijay Deverekonda, this film doesn't add much to his powerhouse acting skills that he seems to possess because at times he subtracts the film's intensity with his performance. Focus on him in the first half is the fatal flaw which deprives the audience of that extra wow factor. Add to that there is an unexplained inconsistency towards the end where the hero is unrepentant, impulsive and emotional throughout the film but capitulates to admission of guilt in the end in a crucial courtroom scene - could that be better handled to raise the heroism quotient or was it necessary to get the "heroininism" we leave at that. Despite that Vijay's histrionics and stunts come out good but he has to quickly re-invent himself to change the diction and body language lest it fall into the zone of lazy acting, for want of variety. His dancing skills have definitely got better, it must be said.

Technically, film's editing and dialogue-writing departments are lackluster and could have done a lot better with sharpness. Director Bharat Kamma has good sensibilities to create stories with strong underlying messages but he has to somewhere overcome a struggle between commercial intensity and visual aesthetics a'la Mani Ratnam. The films which became cult classics are usually films with intensity, laser-sharp focus on main plot without detours and distractions. Unfortunately, "Dear Comrade" touches upon many small themes like student politics, communism, anger-management, career aspirations of modern lovers and finally kicks the can down too late with the main theme of sexual harassment in cricket's highest echelons. If this was driven home earlier, it would have created a massive impact. It doesn't. Music composer Justin Prabhakaran deserves a hat-tip - his album will sail through the tunnel of time for its versatility and melody. His music has more maturity, finesse and balance between Indian and Western music than some of the new-age composers we have heard. His BGM with half-violin strings and rhythmic percussions shows his class and makes it one of the most exciting scores in recent times. One cameo that stands out is co-producer Yash Rangineni's outburst as a BCCI chairman - that whole episode upholds the dignity and seriousness of the world's richest cricketing body. On the whole, you can watch it but once though with lots of patience but don't go with great expectations and let it sponge on you.

Rating: 2.75/5

#DearComdrade #RashmikaMadanna #VijayDeverekonda #YashRangineni #BigBenCinemas #MytriMovieMakers #JustinPrabhakaran #Tolllywood #Mollywood #Kollywood #Sandalwood #Telugufilms

July 18, 2019

"Oh Baby!" (Telugu Film Review)

 Apart from consuming Korean smartphones for years, we Telugus have been served Korean film content indirectly in many of our films - mostly unacknowledged. But "Oh Baby" is the first official remake of a Korean film "Mrs Granny" now brought to you in India by a crew of producers including D.Suresh Babu who is now famous for entering a good script film late like a Series A Venture Capitalist. Nandini Reddy, one of the most endearing directors who is known for DVD Classic catalogue films variety crafts a delightful family entertainer. The film runs for 160 minutes but you rarely feel the duration as it takes you on an improbable though intensely emotional roller-coaster ride of an old woman who can reverse-age.

The highlight of the film is the characterization of four actors - Samantha (in the lead role), Lakshmi (as the Granny), Rajendra Prasad as Granny's best friend and Rao Ramesh as Granny's son. The rest of the crew hang around with their lines but the soul of the film revolves around these awesome four who treat us with their range of nuances deftly directed by Nandini Reddy. I have never figured out how Nandini Reddy gets such a fine balance between poignancy (in showing weighty family sentiments), subtlety (in caricaturing moms and dads like we find in our midst) and light-heartedness (in painting heavy emotions with a humorous touch). But she indeed pulls off a coup this time with iconic and experienced actors. For example, the delicate and platonic friendship between Rajendra Prasad and granny (find out who she is really in the movie!) is a rarity in Telugu films who are used to typecasting a man and a woman as either lovers or as friends. Similarly, Rao Ramesh's presence in the film and the magical outburst on at least two occasions in the film make you squirm and cry at the same time. Then I realize the word magic is created by Lakshmi Bhupal who has been minting for Nandini Reddy in all her films so far. Samantha definitely steals the show all the way right from her first appearance on screen and this film will get her more accolades than "A.AA". It must go to the credit of Nandini again for reining in Lakshmi's over-acting urges to give sublime performance. Otherwise, any crossing the line would have made this film no different than "Jeans" performance for madam Lakshmi. Naga Shourya is effective as Samantha's brief lover and carries potential to hold his own screen presence against a Diva's. One point to note: this is perhaps another rare occasion where mother (Lakshmi) and daughter (Aishwarya) act together!

Technically, the film's songs by Mickey J Meyer were average and could have been better except for the title song. One expected special output from Mickey after the enchanting score in "Mahanati". What he slipped in songs, he covered up in BGM. Editing by Junaid Siddiqui is quite sharp and different without seeming like a commercial format - only in the second half, some chopping would have energized the overall output. Personally, I felt the film's intrinsic value and the messaging deserve to get picked up by Annapurna Films more than Suresh Films - because the overall stardom of Samantha and the cameo by her darling would have been picture-perfect for ANR family production. Overall, "Oh Baby" is uproarious, intense yet light-hearted, clean and classy, and soul-satisfying film for all generations of family audience. Missing the film will mean missing a part of your childhood and memories with loved ones. I hope the film by Nandini Reddy will soon be celebrated in all South Indian and other languages. Go watch it!

Rating: 4/5

"Super 30" (Hindi Film Review)

 Films about academicians and pedagogy rarely make an interesting script, least of all from Bollywood's point of view which seeks drama in every real story. But Hrithik Roshan's "Super30" achieves that rare distinction. In 154 minutes, director Vikas Bahl re-constructs the surreal life story of a living legend Anand Kumar who's academy in Bihar has been handpicking thirty students every year for making it to the IITs for the last decade or so. From that point itself, the film deserves appreciation - because a subject of how a poverty-stricken passionate Mathematician finds his mojo in life after failing to muster all the money to go to Cambridge University, and later strikes gold by getting paid a bomb at corporate coaching centers where the rich pay princely sums to get their inert kids through the IIT entrance and finally, leaves all that addictive remuneration to start an academy which proves a leveler, on behalf of the poor students from humble backgrounds. The story of the film is an exaggerated cinematic depiction of that struggle of Anand Kumar (who is today celebrated all over Bihar and India as a poor man's passport-giver to the rigorous IITs) but Vikas Behal creates an exciting screen output of a story that needed to be told, aided by the Roshans (minus their in-house music director), a sharp technical crew of writer (Sanjiv Dutta) and editor (Sreekar Prasad) and an acting ensemble who know their lines well (including Pankaj Tripathi and Aditya Srivastava).

What makes the film authentic is the attention to detail in every frame, even if parts of that are dramatized for emphasis. And in doing so, the director never misses an occasion to milk emotions - whether it is the fleeting romantic moments with Mrunal Thakur (she shines even in the briefest lover role ever in a Hrithik film), or with father (Virendra Saxena) or the brief but frustrating encounters with the librarian, or the home which takes papads from him and immediately thrusts his Cambridge letter into a fire pyre (but how did Hrithik have the heart to wrap his papads into it?). The director's precise thinking can be seen from just one scene in the library: Hritihik smuggles himself into a corner of a library trying to steal visuals of one Mathematical Gazette that could be his passport to glory. Any other film-maker could show another corner of a library, but Hrithik is shown in the corner of books about Post-War British History and Economics ( a corner which we can safely assume will be undetected by the librarian who later yanks him out). Throughout the film, visuals like these show a director in command of his craft and wants to pack as much excitement into telling an inspiring story. The build up to the interval is interesting as are the different episodes in the second half which show his innovative pedagogy (methods of teaching concepts in maths, physics and chemistry), the Holi sequence (which is the only lovable item song in the film) and the electrifying climax (where the students distract and destroy an enemy camp out to eliminate them).

Music by Ajay-Atul is one of the most haunting scores in recent times which meet the criteria of a real-life reel drama - measured, melodious, heart-stringing and comprehensive. All the five songs show the class, range and mettle of the composer duo as they have the ability to trigger the right emotions, capture the ethos and yet make the music sound so distinct and clear. Reminded me of the times when Amit Trivedi burst on the scene many years before. If the songs are good, the BGM score is a different class apart - using sanskritised voice-overs of prayer song to invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswati, the composers build a crescendo in the second half throughout that is at once piercing, soothing and brilliant in orchestral magic. That song that culminates in the climax and throughout the second half is unfortunately, not in the OST but will surely linger on long after you leave the theatre. Performances-wise, Hrithik Roshan is apt and comes out alive after a long time since there is no iron-pumping or Greek beauty to show - he practiced his Bihari accent well and delivers a neat performance that should get some brownie points (pun intended). What subtracts from the film is that the kids (whom you wanted to know more about after the Basanti Song) should have been highlighted more in flesh and bone. But I fully subscribe to the view that the film is dramatized to full measure because of which it has become so engaging to watch - any other treatment would have rendered it less exciting. If only the director spent a little more time to dig into the pedagogy happening in these money-spinning corporate centers, and the suicides happening into IITs, this would have been a seminal film. But overall, a soul-satisfying film and one for the Roshans to be remembered for. Never a dull moment, even for the kids. Go all out for it!
Rating: 3.5/5
#Super30 #Bollywood #HrithikRoshan #VikasBahl #AjayAtul #MrunalThakur #PanjajTripathi

July 9, 2019

Dear FM, Please remove customs duty on Imported Books

As a compulsive book-buyer and an avid book-collector, I strongly protest the imposition of customs duty on imported books. Earlier, it used to be Nil duty on imported books but now we have to pay five per cent. This is quite absurd and ruinous for those who love books and share knowledge. One of the greatest good that India's first Prime Minister Nehru did for our country (himself being a book-lover) was that he said NO to imposition of even Sales Tax on books. Because he felt knowledge should move seamlessly and cross borders and nobody should think twice about buying books. Books never attracted sales tax or any other indirect tax. If the NDA government thinks that books should also follow the MAKE IN INDIA doctrine, it is making a grave mistake with regard to knowledge acquisition in particular, and book-buying in general. As it is, most books now imprinted by global publishers like Random House, Hatchette and Bloomsbury follow the simple INR pricing model where global titles are assumed at a static foreign exchange conversion rate. This is because these publishers play on large volumes which ensure the absorption of royalty to foreign authors, a higher currency rate etc. Imposing customs duty and getting GST through the backdoor on imported books will eventually hit Indian publishing industry growing at 30 per cent annually and is the second-largest in English-speaking world. Publishers like Pearson, Cambridge, Oxford etc have so many reciprocal arrangements with concessional pricing in South East Asia with India as a major hub - now a lot of that trade will shift out of India. That makes educational books a tad costlier for Indian students as well. Only an uninformed and short-sighted policy maker will take such an extreme step of bringing books under customs duty and nipping a booming book trade in the bud  - at a time when paper costs are high and digital trends are disrupting many publishers out of business. Getting customs duty on books is also a gross violation of a constitutional commitment that Jawahar Lal Nehru made  - never to tax books. You can tax imported items like Gold, liquor, cigars and cigarettes, even petrol and diesel, but please do not tax books and get GST through the backdoor. Start thinking like a knowledge-worker and do what it takes to create a knowledge-economy. Otherwise we will only be reading the glorious books of the past and history books. By the time you read this post, there will be a knowledge-intensive imported book that is waiting to be opened in the container ship in India or so many new imported books just released for purchase on Amazon.

 #CustomsDutyonImportedBooks #ImportDutyOnBooks #GSTonBooks #NehruVsModi #KnowledgeSociety #KnowledgeEconomy #IndianPublishing

"Nani's GangLeader" (Telugu)

Once in a while, a Telugu film comes with a winning script which defies genre, packs a punch and loads of entertainment in each scene,...