Friday, Dec 19, 2014

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.

PK review: What keeps this movie afloat is Aamir Khan
Fri, Dec 19, 2014

PK review: Aamir Khan plays PK not only to his strengths, but adds something new: we’ve seen his earnestness several times before, but not artlessness.

Lingaa review: It is basically three hours of Rajinikanth doing his thing
Fri, Dec 12, 2014

Lingaa movie review: Like all his films, it is basically three hours of Rajini Saar doing his thing. And it is three hours of full-on 'masti' and 'mazaa'.

Badlapur Boys review: Suddenly, ‘kabaddi’, that old fusty thing, is sexy
Fri, Dec 12, 2014

A father gives up his life, a son is left moping, and a mother constantly crying. The ‘kabaddi boys’ are more ‘men’, and the treatment makes it banal and dull.

Main Aur Mr Riight review: Barun Sobti gets the hungry-actor look right, but Shenaz Treasurywala needed to be deeper
Fri, Dec 12, 2014

Main Aur Mr Riight Review: Varun Sobti gets the hungry-actor look right, but the smiley Shenaz Treasurywala needed to be deeper.

Sulemani Keeda review: Gives us a couple of struggling script-writers that makes us smile
Fri, Dec 05, 2014

'Sulemani Keeda' gives us a couple of struggling script-writers that makes us smile. But the film takes the 'slacker' part of its title (slacker comedy) a bit too seriously.

Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain movie review
Sun, Dec 07, 2014

‘Bhopal : A Prayer For Rain’ plays out like a much-delayed requiem for the thousands that were killed and maimed that night.

Action Jackson movie review: A straight-up disgusting fare
Sun, Dec 07, 2014

Action Jackson movie review: Ajay Devgn doesn’t need to stoop this low: so what if he can't dance, he can keep a straight face while delivering a joke.

What Filmmakers Actually Want
Sun, Nov 30, 2014

This year, big Bollywood names flocked to the NFDC-run Film Bazaar looking for the right project.

Movie review – Zed Plus
Fri, Nov 28, 2014

Zed Plus turns out to be a mildly engaging but overall patchy attempt at political satire from the man who gave us the memorable Doordarshan serial Chanakya.

Ungli review: Where to point the finger?
Sun, Nov 30, 2014

Ungli is empty, and left me collecting my jaw from the floor, where it lay through the film.

Movie review: Happy Ending – A series of been-here, seen-this moments and a wasted opportunity
Fri, Nov 21, 2014

'Happy Ending' piles up many more as it goes along, making the film a series of been-here, seen-this moments, and a wasted opportunity.

Marriage, movies and the meaning of ‘spousality’
Sun, Nov 16, 2014

Those who have heard us use it suggest we patent it because it says so much in so little. It resonates instantly with people who are or have been spouses, or have been in relationships which are akin to being spousal.

Kill Dil movie review: Ranveer, Parineeti are buried under despite their best efforts
Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Kill Dil movie review: This isn't one of those films that slides after a promising start. This begins badly, plods away the way it began, and ends worse.

‘The Shaukeens’ review: Nothing much lifts of in the movie
Fri, Nov 07, 2014

The Shaukeens movie review: Three dirty old men 'leching' at a pretty young thing is what ‘The Shaukeens’ sets out to show.

‘Rang Rasiya’ movie review: It feels like a choppy costume drama marred by false notes and static ‘acting’
Fri, Nov 07, 2014

‘Rang Rasiya’ feels like a choppy costume drama marred by false notes and static ‘acting’ .

Fireflies movie review
Fri, Oct 31, 2014

There are patches which feel well –observed, especially when they are based in Mumbai’s swish spots—pretty people talking about London flats, and well-attired investment bankers in their offices with a view.

Review of Super Nani: There is nothing to see
Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Movie Review Super Nani - Within a second of the film starting, I was clutching my ears, looking for something to stuff them with.

16th MAMI Film Festival: A Week at the Movies
Sun, Oct 26, 2014

The 16th Mumbai Film Festival was a triumph for all for a film festival that nearly did not happen, the 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival surpassed expectations.

Movie Review: ‘Happy New Year’ is a cross between an ‘Oceans 11/12′ and ‘Flashdance’
Sun, Oct 26, 2014

At nearly three hours, ‘Happy New Year’ is a long showreel of what Khan the director and Shah Rukh Khan the superstar can do, which is this : put on display rippling eight ( or is it twelve?) packs whenever you get the chance.

Sonali Cable movie review: It could have been a modern day fable
Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Rhea tries for perkiness but comes off as a weak link, her foul-mouthedness is more forced than natural. Anupam Kher is over-the-top.

Look beyond the stars: Why one should not go strictly by review ratings
Sun, Oct 12, 2014

Because the stars, those pernicious little things twinkling away above the review where your eye can see them even before you’ve gotten started on the first line, do not tell you everything.

Tamanchey movie review: Serve the dish with ‘Zero’ stars
Fri, Oct 10, 2014

For this dish, you need to assemble the following. Read on.

‘Bang Bang’ review: Hrithik Roshan is the film’s eye candy, Katrina Kaif is more giggle than sizzle
Fri, Oct 03, 2014

Hrithik is the film’s eye candy and the prime shooter, all rolled into one, and gives you some amount of bang. The rest is burble.

Haider review: Shahid has a couple of break-out moments, Shraddha fresh-faced but unexciting
Sat, Oct 04, 2014

Vishal Bharadwaj’s third Shakespearean adaptation,` Haider’ urf `Hamlet’ is a spectacular looking film, each little detail of set and setting perfect.

As Good as it Gets
Sun, Sep 28, 2014

Why every city needs a good film festival.

Desi Kattey review: Suniel Shetty looks drawn, Ashutosh Rana catches the eye
Fri, Sep 26, 2014

Sunile Shetty looks gray and drawn. The only one who catches the eye is Ashutosh Rana but bites into it with relish

Chaarfutiya Chhokare review: Does any kind of logic or reasoning go into making these kinds of films?
Fri, Sep 26, 2014

Movie Review Chaarfutiya Chhokare - Not one thing rings true. Not the leading lady, not the young chokras.

Daawat-e-Ishq review: Aditya, Parineeti’s film is an unpalatable snoozefest
Sat, Sep 20, 2014

Daawat-e-Ishq review: The coming together of Gullu and Taaru feels like left-overs.

‘Khoobsurat’ review: Sonam Kapoor is suitably perky and giggly, Fawad catches the eye
Sat, Sep 20, 2014

Its biggest strength is that it keeps it consistent, becoming one of those films that over-delivers because it under-promises.

Creature 3D movie review: Is this what poor Bipasha Basu has come to now?
Sat, Sep 13, 2014

The 3D in the title is positioned such that it draws your eye immediately, and you know why as soon as the film begins.

Finding Fanny review: Arjun Kapoor makes the best of Savio, Deepika Padukone is getting to be a relaxed performer
Sat, Sep 13, 2014

Finding Fanny review: It is an unlikely bunch, getting together for an unlikely reason, and we are supposed to fall in love with the characters.

‘Mary Kom’ review: Film gets bloated by extraneous songs
Sun, Sep 07, 2014

'Mary Kom' is biopic which starts with the caveat `based on the life incidents of’ immediately makes you suspicious.

What’s a hit got to do with it
Sat, Aug 30, 2014

How well a film does at the box office has nothing to do with its intrinsic worth.

Raja Natwarlal movie review: It is a limp con job
Sat, Aug 30, 2014

You go in hoping for a fun ride. What you get is a limp con job.

Silence of the Lion: Will the reliable star-actor Ajay Devgn please stand up?
Sun, Aug 24, 2014

Have you seen a star vehicle that renders its lead attraction invisible? Singham Returns manages to do exactly that.

Film review: Katiyabaaz
Fri, Aug 22, 2014

The subject could have easily become a turgid documentary. But the treatment makes it much more interesting.