Shubhra Gupta

Shubhra Gupta is film critic and senior columnist with the Indian Express. She watches world cinema for delectation, Hollywood for fun, and Bollywood for work. She has a huge capacity to sit through terrible Bollywood movies, but no patience at all with bad Hollywood. And world cinema has to be really cutting edge to grab her attention, and keep it. When she began reviewing, over 20 years ago, people would commiserate and say, “oh, you poor thing, you have to watch Hindi cinema”. But soon, Bollywood became cool, cool, cool. So now she hears this more often “oh my god, you watch Bollyood films, can you introduce me to Shah Rukh Khan”? No, she can’t, sorry, though she can vouch for the fact that he is really sharp and good fun in conversation. But what she can do, and has done week after week, month after month, year after year, without a break, is to lead you into the magical world of movies, and share her experiences of watching all those hundreds of films over the years. In her reviews and columns, she lets you into what she likes, and doesn’t, and invites you to be bewitched. And to know how to choose between the good ones and the turkeys, and how you can take away something from even the really ghastly ones. Because life is a movie, isn’t it? Bahut picture baaki hain, mere dost.

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil movie review: This brand new film feels same old
Fri, Oct 28, 2016

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil movie review: You can’t get better-looking actors than Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and Fawad Khan. But Karan Johar stuffs the film with old Bollywood references and offers less fresh plot points.

Oh, the Things You Can See
Fri, Oct 28, 2016

With back-to-back screenings at the Mumbai Film Festival, cinema itself emerged the winner

Shivaay movie review: Ajay Devgn film is a bloated star vehicle
Fri, Oct 28, 2016

Shivaay movie review: Ajay Devgn film is a monumental drag. While you think how much lower it can sink, it slips a few more notches.

Why MAMI? Because without cinema, you cannot see
Thu, Oct 27, 2016

I have returned from the latest edition of the Mumbai Film Festival all filmed out, but raring to get back again.

31st October movie review: It has nothing we didn’t know
Fri, Oct 21, 2016

31st October movie review: This Vir Das, Soha Ali Khan film has nothing – neither narrative nor engaging characters—on offer.

Beiimaan Love movie review: This Sunny Leone film is as C grade as it gets
Fri, Oct 14, 2016

Beiimaan Love movie review: With this cringe fest, wave bye bye to Sunny Leone. When a film sinks this low, it’s hard to climb back up again.

Tutak Tutak Tutiya movie review: There is no comedy here, only horror
Fri, Oct 07, 2016

Tutak Tutak Tutiya movie review: What happens when Prabhu Deva is not given enough dance numbers but is expected to act and Tamannah Bhatia is turned into a sari-clad frump? Horror!

Mirzya movie review: Harshavardhan Kapoor, Saiyami Kher come and go minus impact
Sun, Oct 09, 2016

Mirzya movie review: Harshvardhan Kapoor and Saiyami Kher's film brings together a highly talented team. The final result, however, is disappointing.

MS Dhoni The Untold Story movie review: Sushant Singh Rajput’s MSD is reduced to singing, romancing
Sat, Oct 01, 2016

MS Dhoni The Untold Story movie review: Despite Sushant Singh Rajput and rest of the cast's efforts, the film fails because it is not Mahendra Singh Dhoni's biography, it is his hagiography.

Parched movie review: A good end to a problematic journey
Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Parched movie review: Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla and Tannishtha Chatterjee's film is failed by too much violence and unnecessary gloss. Some things are better left to the imagination.

Banjo review: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri film has no redeeming features
Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Banjo movie review: Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri's film tries your patience and sanity. Full of shouty dialogues and expected situations, even most of the songs fail to live up to its theme.

Raaz Reboot movie review: This mystery is better left unsolved
Sat, Sep 17, 2016

Raaz Reboot movie review: Move over garlic buds and religious symbols, this Emraan Hashmi film can drive out the evil spirits – and paying audience -- with the power of mangalsutra.

Pink movie review: A blazing indictment of all that’s wrong with us
Sat, Sep 17, 2016

Pink movie review: The film starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu sledgehammers the message that when a woman says no, she means no. It underlines a woman’s freedom to her own sexuality.

Freaky Ali review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s masterstroke can’t save this silly film
Mon, Sep 12, 2016

Freaky Ali review: Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a light-hearted role is a delight. Now only if this film could have lived up to his performance.

Baar Baar Dekho review: This Katrina Kaif, Sidharth Malhotra romance is feeble
Sun, Sep 11, 2016

Baar Baar Dekho movie review: Katrina Kaif’s limited emoting abilities, Sidharth Malhotra’s one-note performance and a banal script, this is not a match made in heaven

Akira movie review: Sonakshi Sinha can’t save this film alone
Sun, Sep 04, 2016

Akira review: Sonakshi Sinha kicks butt in the A R Murugadoss film but is limited by her role. Despite Anurag Kashyap's deliciously bad performance, Akira falls into a sinkhole.

Island City movie review: When you are alone and lonely in a big city
Fri, Sep 02, 2016

Island City movie review: Ruchika Oberoi's film focusses on how impersonal and transactional life in a big city can be. It reaches a point when the one capable of any human warmth, is, ironically, a robot.

A Flying Jatt review: Tiger Shroff film is electric blue-clad promo of Swachch Bharat
Fri, Aug 26, 2016

A Flying Jatt review: Tiger Shroff plays the bumbling, fumbling superhero with panache. What could have been a rollicking film falls prey to too much song and dance.

UnIndian film review: This side, that side
Sat, Aug 20, 2016

Brett Lee, surprisingly, isn’t bad at all, and manages the emotional bits quite well, though he does flatten in bits.

Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: A comedy that loses the plot
Sat, Aug 20, 2016

Happy Bhag Jayegi movie review: Diana Penty, Abhay Deol film begins well but soon the laughs are few and far between. A weak script fails this film and its cast.

Sakshi Malik bronze: Let’s dump ‘ma-behen-beti’ discourse and celebrate her feat for what it is
Thu, Aug 18, 2016

Sakshi Malik is a sportsperson first and foremost. Do you have any notion of what it takes to get where she has?

Mohenjo Daro movie review: Hrithik Roshan, Ashutosh Gowariker ditch old for seriously antique
Sat, Aug 13, 2016

Mohenjo Daro movie review: Hrithik Roshan and Ashutosh Gowariker excavate the past but can't dig up a proper comeback for both of them. Pooja Hegde sparkles but is failed by Mohenjo Daro.

Rustom movie review: Akshay Kumar tries hard but the film is a dreary piece of work
Sat, Aug 13, 2016

Rustom movie review: Akshay Kumar plays a betrayed husband in a film inspired by the Nanavati murder case. Spicy enough, right? Only Rustom attempts to spice it further, resulting in actually diluting the plot.

‘He may have been a bookseller, but what he spread more was knowledge’
Thu, Aug 11, 2016

A tribute to Anil Arora, owner of Bookworm, who passed away on Tuesday.

The Legend Of Michael Mishra review: What were they thinking?
Fri, Aug 05, 2016

The Legend Of Michael Mishra review: This comedy will make you cry for the wasted talent of Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani and Aditi Rao Hydari. And all the missing 'h' in the film.

Budhia Singh Born to Run review: Can the film pull the real Budhia Singh back on track?
Fri, Aug 05, 2016

Budhia Singh Born To Run review: Manoj Bajpayee plays coach Biranchi Das with just the right mixture of truculence and affection. Mayur Patole plays Budhia without an ounce of artifice in this zesty film.

Chauthi Koot movie review: You’ll watch this marvelous film with your heart in your mouth
Fri, Aug 05, 2016

Chauthi Koot movie review: The narrative of this Gurvinder Singh film unfolds unhurriedly and still you do not stir from your seats. You watch with a growing sense of dread, praying for safety of innocents in the frame, both two and four-legged.

Dishoom movie review: This John, Varun film fails to zip-zap-zoom
Sun, Jul 31, 2016

Dishoom movie review: John Abraham and Varun Dhawan's movie is designed like a fast-paced caper but lacks impact. It shines in bits and pieces but the rest is a stretch.

Kabali movie review: This Rajinikanth starrer is a drag
Sun, Jul 24, 2016

Kabali movie review: This was the time when Rajinikanth should have reinvented himself for his directors have long stopped bothering about plot and characterisation. For when Rajinikant is on and at it, who cares?

Madaari movie review: Even Irrfan Khan can’t rescue this patchy film
Mon, Jul 25, 2016

Irrfan Khan is happy to be ‘ruled’ till one day when the rule of law is destroyed. He sees injustice and anarchy around him and decides to extract revenge.

Great Grand Masti movie review: This offensively unfunny, grating thing’s not a film
Sun, Jul 17, 2016

Great Grand Masti movie review: To spice up the by now wrung-out-to-dry formula of sex-starved husbands and stand-offish wives, Great Grand Masti script has added on a female ghost who died a virgin.

Sultan review: Salman Khan cracks and bleeds in his most real performance
Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Sultan review: With Sultan, Salman Khan has given his most human performance. He breaks free from the bondage of Bhai-giri and is ably supported by Anushka Sharma.

Fireflies in the Abyss movie review: A sombre look at the lives of Nepali miners struggling to get somewhere
Fri, Jul 01, 2016

Fireflies in the Abyss, out in a limited release this week, gives us a window into the people who spend their lives in darkness, to eke a living.

Shorgul movie review: A toothless, clichéd melodrama with bloody clashes
Fri, Jul 01, 2016

Shorgul review: Jimmy Shergill and Ashutosh Rana starrer is a kind of film that sadly requires political intervention for it to release.

Raman Raghav 2.0 movie review: With few mesmeric bits, Anurag Kashyap’s film is atmospheric yet hollow
Sat, Jun 25, 2016

Raman Raghav 2.0 movie review: There are some mesmeric bits in here, which belong to Siddiqui. But those are not enough. Without those crucial elements, the film is rendered atmospheric yet hollow, and we are turned into cringing voyeurs, into reluctant participants, without redemption.

High on reality
Wed, Jun 22, 2016

‘Udta Punjab’ in the theatres is a victory for those whose job it is to create, provoke