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.

Last Tango in Paris: A rape by any name or for any reason, is still a rape
Mon, Dec 05, 2016

Last Tango in Paris: That graphic rape sequence in the Bernardo Bertolucci-directed multiple-award-winning film is horribly disturbing.

A Different Education
Sat, Dec 03, 2016

This modern day cowboy and me, we had a good thing going.

Open for Business
Sat, Dec 03, 2016

As NFDC’s Film Bazaar completes a decade, a look at the bustling platform that brings together passionate filmmakers and new, exciting cinematic voices.

Kahaani 2 movie review: Vidya Balan’s performance is the saving grace of this predictable thriller
Sat, Dec 03, 2016

Kahaani 2 movie review: Despite a taut first half and a well-rounded performance by Vidya Balan, the film fails the audience when it does away with subtlety and starts telegraphing its punches.

In a Rich Man’s World
Sun, Nov 27, 2016

Once upon a time in Bollywood, wealth was derided, until liberalisation embraced it. With demonetisation, what will be the latest cultural currency?

Moh Maya Money movie review: An apt film in these times of demonetisation
Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Moh Maya Money movie review: Munish Bhardwaj’s debut film nails a certain sector of the national capital with an unerring eye, and gives us two very Delhi creatures.

Dear Zindagi movie review: Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan film offers bumper-sticker self-help
Sat, Nov 26, 2016

Dear Zindagi movie review: Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt film could have been a solid drama with emotional heft but despite great performances by the two stars, the feature remains strictly boiler-plate.

Tum Bin 2 movie review: It’s an instant throwback to the first film with similar plot-lines
Sat, Nov 19, 2016

Tum Bin 2 movie review: Neha Sharma and Aditya Seal star in a love story which is an instant throwback to the first film. But unlike Tum Bin, it fails to mix the elements wisely despite delivering some well executed moments.

Force 2 movie review: John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha film is overlong and overstretched
Sat, Nov 19, 2016

Force 2 movie review: Neither John Abraham's hot bod nor Tahir Raj Bhasin's interesting portrayal of the villain can force this film out of the 'obvious' territory. The long car chases will tire you out too.

This Star Should Abide
Sat, Nov 12, 2016

According to the grapevine, the film was made as a showcase for the leading lady; the hero was a struggler, and was meant to play second fiddle.

Mahayoddha Rama movie review: It is the same old story
Fri, Nov 04, 2016

Mahayoddha Rama movie review: If you are telling the story from Raavan's perspective, why would you call the film Mahayodha Rama?

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil movie review: Karan Johar needs to deliver a newer, sharper film
Sat, Oct 29, 2016

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil movie review: Anushka Sharma is familiar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan catches the eye but it is Ranbir Kapoor who lifts the film. He is terrific as the fellow who crumbles, and cries and shoves his aching heart on his sleeve.

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 is still in Singham mode
Sat, Oct 29, 2016

Shivaay movie review: Ajay Devgn does everything we have seen him do before in his south remakes. His Shivaay is grim and unsmiling, with no hint of the vulnerability or humour to give him depth.

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.