Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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.

Same Old Story: When a great actor turns into a set of predictable mannerisms
Sun, May 24, 2015

What happens when an actor plays a character like a set of tics? You get just that, a set of tics.

Tanu Weds Manu Returns review: Buy a ticket for Kangana Ranaut
Sun, May 24, 2015

Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Kangana Ranaut plays it beautifully, mixing up the familiar with the new.

‘Bombay Velvet’ review: Ranbir, Anushka shine only occasionally
Sat, May 16, 2015

Bombay Velvet review: Ranbir Kapoor looks perfect for his Cagney-esque part, Anushka Sharma shines only occasionally.

Sunny Leone turns 34: Are we ready to accept a former porn star as Bollywood’s leading lady?
Wed, May 13, 2015

Can Sunny Leone become an A-list Bollywood leading lady Or will she be forever consigned to show-skin?

When the Mountains Call: In a homestead near Manali, the Himalayas are a blazing presence
Sun, May 10, 2015

The Himalayas are revealed in all their glory every morning, and the edge of the precipice leads down to the mighty Beas.

Salman Khan: The One And Only Bhaijaan
Tue, May 12, 2015

Does being a star allow you to buy into your own myth?

Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Irrfan Khan’s ‘Piku’ review: has delightful laugh-out-loud moments
Mon, May 11, 2015

'Piku' movie review: Big B, Deepika and Irrfan's movie sparks in moments. But the rest of it stays only mildly amusing.

‘Gabbar is Back’ review: Akshay Kumar does everything he has done before
Sun, May 03, 2015

‘Gabbar Is Back’ review: Akshay Kumar starrer shows up severe limitations all around, of the juiced-out South -'masala'-genre.

Movie review: ‘Kaagaz Ke Fools’ – Story is cut-rate, acting and sets shabby
Fri, Apr 24, 2015

You keep wanting 'Kaagaz Ke Fools' to ‘ho ja shuru’, but it doesn’t have the feet for it.

Movie review: ‘Jai Ho Democracy’ – The movie drowns in obviousness
Fri, Apr 24, 2015

'Jai Ho Democracy' criminally wastes an array of good actors: Kapoor, Puri, Hussain, Biswas, Bashir raise their decibel with zero impact.

‘Mr X’ review: Emraan Hashmi starrer turns out to be a disaster
Sat, Apr 18, 2015

A valiant officer who is part of an anti-terrorist squad transforms from a flesh-and-blood human to the mysterious Mr X.

‘Margarita With A Straw’ review: Kalki Koechlin pulls it off, and makes us believe in her Laila
Sat, Apr 18, 2015

Laila is not a 'bechari'-- that poor thing : she acknowledges her difficulties but doesn't let them overwhelm her.

Court movie review: It is a searing, unmissable film​, the best you will see this year
Fri, Apr 17, 2015

'Court' is a searing, unmissable film​, and is one of the best you will see this year​ . If you feel any other way, well, go ahead, sue me.

‘Ek Paheli Leela’ review: All the movie wants to do is exploit Sunny Leone
Sat, Apr 11, 2015

Ek Paheli Leela review - Why pretend towards a plot, when all this film wants to do is to exploit its leading lady?

Dharam Sankat Mein review
Fri, Apr 10, 2015

Dharam Sankat Mein review: It's much too long, saying the same thing over and over again.

Thank Your Stars
Sun, Apr 05, 2015

Do the messages that actors communicate through ads and campaigns get drowned by their popularity?

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! movie review
Mon, Apr 06, 2015

Detective Byomkesh Bakshy's biggest weakness is its leading man: Sushant Singh Rajput.

Movie review: ‘Barkhaa’ – Mothballed plot and an even more mothballed treatment
Fri, Mar 27, 2015

Maybe the intention of 'Barkhaa' was to tell us that ladies who dance for a living also have the right to respectability but a mothballed plot and an even more mothballed treatment isn’t the way forward.

Lights! Camera! Bakwaas! – A film critic’s guide to enjoy the so-bad-it’s- good movies
Sun, Mar 22, 2015

A film critic’s guide to enjoy and survive the so-bad-it’s- good movies.

‘Hunterrr’ movie review: The film is about a guy who can’t keep it in his pants
Mon, Mar 23, 2015

‘Hunterr’ could have been a genuinely ‘adult’ comedy of manners, but it stays right where it begins, the phrase ‘coming-of-age’ functioning more as eliciting an embarrassed titter than reaching the goal-post.

In Their Shoes Review: Can’t Hang Those Boots
Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Atul Sabharwal diversifies his portfolio with an informative documentary on the shoe-making tradition of Agra, with ‘In Their Shoes’.

NH10 movie review: Anushka Sharma movies is so horrifying that you can’t blink
Mon, Mar 16, 2015

NH10 movie review: It’s not that Anushka Sharma, who has also produced the film, is not trying hard. She is, and up to a point, she is in fine fettle.

Weighing In
Sun, Mar 08, 2015

Is the dominance of size zero in Bollywood about to come to an end?

Movie review: Against The Sun
Sat, Mar 07, 2015

The filmmaker’s challenge is to keep us with his lads, without being overcome with a feeling of familiarity.

Dirty Politics Movie Review
Fri, Mar 06, 2015

Ostensibly this is a film which is supposed to put the spotlight on how politics is the preserve of perverts and goons

Ab Tak Chhapan 2 review – This kind of film can work if it has a new spin on an old story
Sat, Feb 28, 2015

The beginning of Nana Patekar's 'Ab Tak Chhhapan 2' is promising, but the film soon palls.

‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ review: A couple that wins you over gradually but surely
Sun, Mar 01, 2015

‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ knows where it’s coming from, and where it wants to go.

Under the Covers
Sun, Feb 22, 2015

The film, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by all accounts, is a little funnier and smarter than the books.

Qissa movie review: Irrfan Khan film is lambent, lovely and seductive
Fri, Feb 20, 2015

'Qissa' review: The Irffan Khan, Tillotama Shome film is lambent, lovely, and completely seductive.

Badlapur review: You are hooked by the beginning, the rest of the tale is choppy
Sat, Feb 21, 2015

Badlapur review: This Varun Dhawan and Nawauddin Siddiqui starrer is so riveting you don't even want to blink.

Roy review: What is Ranbir Kapoor doing in a movie like this?
Sat, Feb 14, 2015

Roy movie review; I haven’t seen something as fuzzy and dreary as ‘Roy’ in a long time : just what is Ranbir Kapoor doing in a movie like this?

‘MSG’ review – The ‘film’ is excruciatingly awful only for non-believers
Sat, Feb 14, 2015

MSG: The Messenger Of God - The 'film' is long and excruciatingly awful only for non-believers. For his adoring followers, each scene is a super-hit.

Just for Laughs
Sun, Feb 08, 2015

Everybody should have the freedom to watch comedy, participate in it or do it

‘Shamitabh’ movie review: Amitabh Bachchan’s voice powers the movie
Mon, Feb 09, 2015

'Shamitabh' has a few moments which sparkle, and we laugh in acknowledgement. But the rest of it is overpowered by unabashed reverence.

Rahasya movie review: It has only a couple of dark moments
Sat, Jan 31, 2015

Its is an attempted mish-mash of a crime-of-coiled-passion- cum-police procedural, the confusion only serving to confound.

Khamoshiyan movie review: It does exactly what you expect
Sun, Feb 01, 2015

A lonely cottage, a beautiful girl, a fresh-faced fellow wrapped in a bunch of sufi-suffused songs which have already captured the airwaves.