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.
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 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: 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.
‘Udta Punjab’ in the theatres is a victory for those whose job it is to create, provoke
Finding Dory movie review: This one is touchy-feely-weepy, underlining the movie's big theme — home is where the heart is.
Dhanak movie review: It’s hard not to be moved by the two kids — Krish Chhabria and Hetal Gadda — and their heart-warming story, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor.
Udta Punjab movie review: This is the kind of film which has something to say, and it says it with both flair and conviction.
Do Lafzon Ki Kahani movie review: The only point of interest in this Randeep Hooda, Kajal Aggarwal starrer is that it is set in Kuala Lumpur, a city Bollywood doesn’t much get around to.
TE3N movie review: Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vidya Balan starrer TE3N is a dark story with vicious undertones.
It is time now to ask that question, and to keep asking it till some clarity emerges: Is there any need for censorship in an age when everything is available on the Internet?
The chief problem with the Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) is that it has never really embraced the change in its name, from `censorship’ to `certification’, with any seriousness.
Thithi is set in Mandya, a village in Karnataka.
Housefull 3 movie review: Jacqueline, Lisa and Nargis playing lassies in short skirts going by the name Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati.
Phobia movie review: The Radhika Apte starrer is a genuine frightener, so far away from those unintentionally comic monstrosities Bollywood keeps slinging out that you feel like cheering.
Veerappan movie review: The dizzying camera angles which have marred so many of RGV’s recent outings may have mercifully gone missing but the ear-shattering background music is right there.
Waiting movie review: Both Naseeruddin and Kalki Koechlin are good fits for their parts in a film which segues easily between English, Hindi and a smattering of Malayalam.
Sarbjit movie review: Randeep Hooda nails the look and the accent, letting neither overpower him, and is the only reason to sit through this sagging saga.
Dear Dad movie review: There are a few moments between father and son which feel as if something real is going on in this Arvind Swamy film.
Emraan Hashmi is earnest, and the only saving grace here. Prachi Desai is rouged and demure and distressed.
In its second coming, socially-conscious cinema is demanding mainstream privileges.
Traffic movie review: This enterprise, bloated by needless saccharine and background music, has its moments but stays, overall, strictly serviceable.
One Night Stand movie review: Right now, Sunny Leone is gorgeous to look at, but we know that already, and struggling to emote, which has been her bugbear in her last few outings as well.
That great American tradition of a Mother’s Day is around the corner and it gives a bunch of celebrated Hollywood names an excuse to get all weepy and sentimental.
Baaghi movie review: Why does a film with a new hero, who can reveal a beautifully muscled chest, and do such jaw-dropping stunts, not go for broke and create freshness all around?
Laal Rang movie review: Randeep Hooda starrer is meant to be based on two `real life’ incidents, but it doesn’t tell us which.
Nil Battey Sannata movie review: The film starring Swara Bhaskar has a strong message about how education can change your life.
Bollywood moms are finally getting real: This year, two mothers have re-written the rules of the game. There’s Sampat. And then there is a real triumph in Kapoor and Sons, played again by Ratna Pathak Shah.
Fan movie review: Fan is an out-and-out SRK show, in which the star proves again that he can greenlight roles completely out of his comfort zone, and deliver.
Love Games movie review: The Bhatts’ long-standing promise of giving us fully adult men and women bursting with carnal desires and twisted motives used to be backed by storylines. This one gives up quickly.
Ki and Ka movie review: The film starring Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor is fun when it is setting up the roles. But the execution, as it goes along, gets rocky.
Rocky Handsome movie review: John Abraham only appears bad, see, he’s actually a good guy with a terrible past. The rest of the space is filled with an eight-year-old who’s made to talk like she’s double that.
Kapoor and Sons review: Sidharth brings to the table a loose-limbed pleasing vulnerability which he reveals slowly. Fawad plays his straight, and he doesn’t lift off the screen. Rishi gets some laughs in.
Teraa Surroor review: The focus stays firmly on Himesh Reshammiya, who remains blank-faced through it all, never cracking a single smile, not even when he is with his girl.
Zubban movie review: The writing is patchy, with Kaushal not coming off as striking as he was in ‘Masaan’ : he’s good yes, he makes us watch, yes, but is already familiar.
Jai Gangaajal movie review: Priyanka Chopra’s too-sophisticated unmade-up-make-up is very distracting, even in her few convincing moments. And the film goes on for far too long, even when we know how all of it will end.
All-White Hollywood to all-savarna Bollywood, the fight still needs to be fought.