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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Shalini Langer

Associate Editor

The Mauritanian movie review: A powerful drama that brings home the horrors of Guantanamo
Fri, Apr 09, 2021

The Mauritanian movie review: The Mauritanian is a grim reminder, at a time when the US is long past its Bush-Obama binary, that the Guantanamo facility still stands despite promises to shut it.

Minari movie review: An experience difficult to forget
Fri, Apr 09, 2021

Minari review: This Oscar nominee is unique in many ways – in its perspective of an Asian family finding its roots in rural America and its piquant observation on the ways of the West and children.

Nomadland review: The other side of the American dream
Sat, Apr 03, 2021

Nomadland review: The film's biggest accomplishment is putting a woman at the centre of this voyage of the self, relieving herself in the open, revealing herself in the open, driving her own destiny.

What is the worth of a woman’s household work?
Sun, Mar 28, 2021

There is actually just one word that would suffice for all of us. The right for women to say “no” — not clean up, put clothes in, take them out, monitor the pantry, plan the menu, watch the children, and do this keeping to everyone’s schedule.

The Courier movie review: An intimate portrayal of spies and secrets during the Cold War
Fri, Mar 19, 2021

The Courier movie review: Watch this film for the story of Penkovsky and Wynne who went into history not knowing they had saved a disaster, and performances of Merab Ninidze and Benedict Cumberbatch who play them.

Judas and the Black Messiah movie review: A film about here and now
Fri, Mar 05, 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah movie review: There are no greys in this film that hits the cinemas at the time of Black Lives Matter. It's about choosing sides and ‘heightening the contradictions’.

‘Bad’ girls leave everyone very, very uncomfortable
Sun, Feb 28, 2021

For, laden with the burden of “good”, their wants whittled into “shape”, girls are not allowed to be “bad” in small, everyday, casual ways — seeking friends over family, lovers over husbands, phones over cooking, and yes, casual sex in the fields over the cows munching nearby.

Let’s not be crybabies: the eyes have it
Sun, Feb 14, 2021

Whatever that moment in Parliament might or might not have meant, for a few very long minutes, a nation and its MPs stood still, as PM Modi struggled through several muffled sobs and breaks for sips of water, before a drop seeped out.

Monster Hunter review: A mindless video game adaptation
Fri, Feb 05, 2021

Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa are dragged through some superhuman challenges, lot of physical harm, and monsters that keep coming and coming. However, it is ultimately Anderson's mumbo jumbo effort to clothe this ordeal in "reality" that does the film in.

Misbehaviour review: About impossible dreams and improbable leaps of faith
Fri, Jan 22, 2021

Post-MeToo, Misbehaviour seems a dash too polite, and a little too hesitant, in asking to change the world.

The Secret Garden review: A messy adaptation
Fri, Jan 08, 2021

Marc Munden's The Secret Garden takes an inordinately long and circuitous route to the point of the story, with the secret garden and its significance not likely to be clear to people who haven't read the book.

The baaghis of Bharat & their love stories
Sun, Jan 03, 2021

If governments have to step in as monitors of love, and be forced to continuously amend their laws so as to “tighten” them, always couched under other names, how resilient love is.

Wonder Woman 1984 review: A lacklustre sequel
Thu, Dec 24, 2020

When Gal Gadot swings, swishes, slides and sashays into a fight, and slings the bad guys with her lasso, she remains a delight to watch. However, the story takes too long to get around to fights worth fighting for, wasting its first punches and precious screen time on two-penny, amateur robbers.

The Midnight Sky review: George Clooney directorial misses the mark
Wed, Dec 23, 2020

The Midnight Sky drifts along almost meaninglessly, between space and Earth, not able to decide what it wants to be except an elegy to heroism.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom review: Viola Davis-starrer hits all the right notes
Fri, Dec 18, 2020

Chadwick Boseman is as eloquent in this role of the thin upstart as he was in the latent power of his Black Panther -- both characters unable to shake off their pasts. Levee's ambition makes you feel for him, and be as scared for him.

The Prom movie review: A headache-inducing musical
Sat, Dec 12, 2020

The Prom movie review: You can be pardoned for expecting more than this headache-inducing, blinge-blinding, tone-deaf musical where all that glitter adds that up to so little zazz (yes, not jazz)

A Call to Spy movie review: Radhika Apte-starrer is un-showy and un-bombastic
Sat, Dec 12, 2020

Director Lydia Dean Pilcher uses Radhika Apte well in the role of Noor Inayat Khan, not overplaying or undermining her Eastern ancestry, placing the talented actor shoulder-to-shoulder among her contemporaries.

Mank movie review: David Fincher film revels in the grey
Sat, Dec 05, 2020

Mank movie review: Mank captures the life of Herman Mankiewicz between essentially 1933 and 1940, when America was in the midst of the Depression and watching uneasily, but from far, the gathering clouds of World War II.

Tenet review: Christopher Nolan’s film is underwhelming and confusing
Sat, Dec 05, 2020

The most impressive Tenet gets is people simultaneously walking in opposite directions, and cars seemingly in reverse in our timelines, which makes for one helluva ride but not even a great car chase on screen.

We may already be living ‘with’ the virus, like we live with those other risks
Sun, Nov 08, 2020

Do we have an answer for the voter who told this paper in Bihar that he can’t understand why he was paying the price for the lockdown... “I don’t know of anyone who has died of corona.”

Give me Rhea’s fortitude any day
Sun, Sep 13, 2020

What the world still wants is a sacrificial Sita, not the demanding Draupadi, who called out her husband’s cowardice and avarice in subjecting her to a public stripping.

Explained: How the Oscar Awards are going to be different once again, and why
Tue, Jun 16, 2020

The Academy is aiming to develop new “representation and inclusion standards” for awards, with a task force to come out with these by July 31.

May 19-June 7, Delhi: A Covid diary
Sun, Jun 14, 2020

As the Centre and Supreme Court raise alarm over the Capital, where numbers are surging and hospital facilities falling short, Shalini Langer on her family’s story — from a testing centre to an ICU, sanitisation to house inspection, officials to RWA, and infection to recovery.

Why Rahul Gandhi’s interview with Raghuram Rajan was the unkindest cut
Sun, May 17, 2020

As those two good-looking, rich-looking, well-meaning men worried politely about lesser mortals, one couldn’t take one’s eyes off that young-again, old-again; president-again, not-president again; stubble again, no-stubble again, leader of the Congress.

What will we even tell our children? How long before they can take the Metro or hug a friend
Sun, May 03, 2020

Social distancing now has medical legitimacy.