Saturday, Apr 18, 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.

‘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.

Hawaizaada movie review: This could have been an imaginative flight of fancy, but it is anything but
Sat, Jan 31, 2015

For a film that is about the joy of flying, ‘Hawaizaada’ fails to take off from frame one, failing to sprout any wings.

Sacrificed at the Altar
Sun, Jan 25, 2015

There are few Hindi films that deal with the real pain of marital estrangement.

Dolly Ki Doli review: Sonam Kapoor film starts off well, but falls into a familiar trap
Sat, Jan 24, 2015

Sonam Kapoor is in almost every frame, and should have filled them all. But the treatment of the character shows up her limitations.

‘Baby’ movie review: This Akshay Kumar film is as simplistic as its title
Sat, Jan 24, 2015

Baby movie review: This is Akshay’s most credible performance in a long time, and reminds us the actor he can be.

How Can We Allow This?
Wed, Jan 21, 2015

...should not be the question. The CBFC needs to — has so far failed to — bring certification, not censorship, to the fore

Movie review: Paddington
Sat, Jan 17, 2015

A movie based on a childhood favourite book can usually never measure up.

Crazy Cukkad Family movie review
Fri, Jan 16, 2015

'Crazy Cukkad Family' promises a lot of fun cock-a-doodle-do, but delivers much too much cockamamie, instead.

‘Alone’ Movie review: There’s not much anyone can do
Mon, Jan 19, 2015

Bipasha Basu starrer quickly becomes a tussle between the scenes that want you to be scared and the sequences where you are supposed to slurp at all the eye candy.

We Don’t Need No Intermission
Sun, Jan 11, 2015

For a Hindi cinema familiar, The Interval is a sacred space, arriving bang in the middle of the film.

Tevar review: Arjun Kapoor does a backslide to his ‘Gunday-Ishaqzaade’ mode
Sun, Jan 11, 2015

Tevar review: It makes you a couple of promises : that it will be violent, vicious and crude; and that it will do nothing new.