Those who found Madhuri Dixit a little out of sync with the milieu in Dedh Ishqiya were in for a surprise when during the intermission the promo of Gulab Gang played. Suddenly, Madhuri seemed pitch perfect. Give it to the setting or the canvas painted by director Soumik Sen, it sounded like a genuine clash of interests between two women. Maybe it is because of the fact that it is set ‘somewhere’ in the Hindi heartland where you can generate your own dialect and mannerisms. At some places it reminds of Mirch Masala as Rajjo (Madhuri Dixit) has set up an Ashram where women armed with axes and sickle and dressed in pink nine yards, mete out the evil and seek out justice for one and all while making hand-ground spices, hand-woven baskets and hand-woven saris. When the party she was campaigning for reveals its true colours, Rajjo has a whole new battle on her hands and the evil comes in the form of another strong woman Sumitra Devi played by Juhi Chawla, who seems to be in a mood to get dirty this time. This Holi, Gulab could well be the colour at the box office.

Style files

There was a time when Vidya Balan’s sense of styling was a matter of Internet humour. But a series of hits have ensured that costume designers are taking her inputs in sketching the outfits for her character. Once her styling sense was called outdated; today individualistic yet believable is the description for her. The latest to praise her is Jayati Bose, who has designed her look for Shaadi Ke Side Effects. “Vidya had a really realistic perspective when it came to styling her characters onscreen. She helped me keep the character of Trisha real,” says Jayati. Director Saket Chaudhary says, “Styling Vidya Balan in the film was relatively easy since she knew her character inside out and knew exactly the kind of clothes to wear with every situation in the film. Her inputs took the character to an all-new level.” Perhaps he is forgetting Ghanchakkar, where her penchant for dressing according to the quirks of the characters took an ugly turn.

Tadpole gets a fresh life

The restored version of Kamal Swaroop’s Om-Dar-Ba-Dar is finally here. Made in 1988 with the help of NFDC, the film made it to the festival circuit and then shuffled out into obscurity like its character Om. Teachers in film schools talk about the rebellion of tadpoles but the students don’t easily get to the depth of this avant garde film which has assumed cult status over the years. Mixing politics with mythology and techno music with biology, its imagery of the exuberance of adolescence has withstood the test of time. This week PVR Director’s Rare has brought it to cinemas. One hopes Swaroop will finally get his due.

Mall fear

They started as the shining example of the country’s booming economy but once the recession hit the roots of the economy, many malls started giving a ghostly vibe. Eerie silence and dim-lit parking started to scare the patrons. It was a matter of time before a filmmaker got inspired. So we have Darr@The Mall releasing in a multiplex soon. As the title suggests it is shot in various malls and storyline suggests that these are haunted by spirits. Directed by Pavan Kripalani of Ragini MMS fame, it has Jimmy Shergill, Nusrat Bharucha and Arif Zakaria in lead roles. Jimmy says the film has an international feel to it and it is time horror stories start getting respect in the country.