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Monday, May 16, 2022

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.

‘Conversations With Friends’ feels like a heart-to-heart with BFFs
Sat, May 14, 2022

A new show, based on Sally Rooney's debut novel, mines the rocky terrain inhabited by close friends

Jayeshbhai Jordaar movie review: Ranveer Singh tries hard, but the film has no ‘jor’
Sat, May 14, 2022

Jayeshbhai Jordaar movie review: The intentions of this Ranveer Singh-Shalini Pandey film may have been noble, but it comes off as a babble of characters flailing about in a plot which makes you grit your teeth.

Modern Love Mumbai review: Amazon Prime series makes you fall in love with the city, all over again
Sat, May 14, 2022

Modern Love Mumbai review: This city is perhaps India’s only true ‘mahanagar’. The anthology may not inspire the same awed-affection as the Maximum City, but each story does have something uniquely Mumbai about it.

Indigo boy, my child — Travelling with autism
Wed, May 11, 2022

Shubhra Gupta writes: How long will it take for us to realise it is not just about him, that we all need the wind beneath our wings?

Is the success of recent films from the south teaching Bollywood a lesson or two in positioning and storytelling?
Sun, May 08, 2022

Films, be they big or small in scale, what works across the board finally is attitude, vision and conviction

Thar movie review: The setting is the real hero in this Anil Kapoor, Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor film
Sat, May 07, 2022

Thar movie review: This is one of those films where the setting is the real hero-- the ‘marusthal’ (desert) stretching as far as the eye can see, crumbling forts, bare trees providing meagre shade, implacable, hard beauty.

Home Shanti review: Supriya Pathak, Manoj Pahwa series comes off as Gullak lite
Sat, May 07, 2022

Home Shanti review: This is your 'halka-phulka parivarik' space; relatable and mildly amusing.

Heropanti 2 movie review: Even Tiger Shroff can’t leapfrog over this worn, moth-eaten storyline
Sat, Apr 30, 2022

Heropanti 2 review: This film has no plot. It’s basically a series of set pieces featuring Tiger Shroff prancing, romancing, and dancing, when he is not mowing down bunches of baddies.

Runway 34 movie review: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan film crash-lands in a dreary court room
Wed, May 04, 2022

Runway 34 movie review: Ajay Devgn manages to deliver a somewhat effective pre interval portion despite its inelegant, underlined bits; but the film plummets as the curse of second half hits.

Guilty Minds review: All-desi, hugely entertaining and thought-provoking
Mon, Apr 25, 2022

Guilty Minds review: What’s most striking about this all-desi, hugely entertaining show is how real it feels despite the dollops of drama inherent in its stories.

Jersey movie review: Shahid Kapoor film is sincere but lacklustre
Sat, Apr 23, 2022

Jersey movie review: Shahid Kapoor-Mrunal Thakur-starrer film, an official remake of the 2019 Telugu hit of the same name and by the same director, has all the elements of an inspirational sports drama.

London Files review: Arjun Rampal series unravels after a promising start
Fri, Apr 22, 2022

London Files review: The six-episode ‘London Files’ sets up a brisk pace from the get-go. The rise of feeling against potential immigrants is a hot-button subject, and gives the series a sense of immediacy.

Mai review: Sakshi Tanwar shines in Netflix series
Tue, Apr 19, 2022

Mai review: Despite the elements that stretch our credulity, Sakshi Tanwar manages to hold our attention.

KGF 2 movie review: Too much sound, a lot of fury, little impact
Thu, Apr 14, 2022

KGF Chapter 2 movie review: The trouble with films busy working on their look is that they forget about plotting. KGF 2 swings haphazardly between the past and the present.

Gullak Season 3 review: Heartwarming SonyLiv series shows what’s true money in the bank
Fri, Apr 08, 2022

Gullak Season 3 Review: While sometimes you can see the life lessons carving themselves out in broad brush-strokes, the sheer affection with which the characters play off each other wins you over.

Dasvi review: Abhishek Bachchan film has some great ideas, sirjee. It’s a pity they get lost
Fri, Apr 08, 2022

Dasvi review: Abhishek Bachchan is a perfect match for the kind of character he is playing. It’s a pity that the material never quite knows whether it is an exaggerated parody or a sharp comedy with realistic overtones.

Drive My Car review: Love, loss and a journey in light and shadows
Fri, Apr 08, 2022

Drive My Car review: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s three-hour film, based on a Haruki Murakami’s short story, is a masterful examination of what it is to be human.

Attack movie review: John Abraham does all the heavy-lifting in this 2-hour actioner
Fri, Apr 01, 2022

Attack movie review: We know exactly how things will pan out, no strain on the brain. Everything is straight-forward, no complicated characters, no morally ambiguous situations.

Sharmaji Namkeen review: Rishi Kapoor shows us how to live in this delightful swan song
Fri, Apr 01, 2022

Sharmaji Namkeen movie review: Rishi Kapoor is truly namkeen in this film, showing us how it is done, light on his feet, light in his eyes, a will to live. Jeena isi ka naam hai.

The marvels of a missus
Sat, Mar 26, 2022

The series 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' never strays too far from its leading lady and her struggles to break into the all-boys comic club

RRR movie review: SS Rajamouli delivers an epic mythological action superhero bromance
Sun, Mar 27, 2022

RRR movie review: The film casts not just one super-star, but two of them – Jr NTR and Ram Charan. The biggest super-star among them all is SS Rajamouli and the audience also saved the loudest ‘taalis’ for him.

Bachchhan Paandey movie review: Akshay Kumar film is too much pain with zero gain
Sat, Mar 19, 2022

Bachchhan Paandey movie review: Nothing about this Akshay Kumar-Kriti Sanon film reaches the level of hilarity plus inspired lunacy of the original, Jigarthanda.

Bloody Brothers review: Despite a fine cast, watching this thriller is a task
Fri, Mar 18, 2022

Bloody Brothers review: Bloody Brothers is an adaptation which never seems to be fully at ease with its setting and characters, who feel as if they have parachuted in for the shoot.

Jalsa movie review: Shefali Shah rescues the film in the final act
Fri, Mar 18, 2022

Jalsa movie review: Vidya Balan, Shefali Shah film has one of the most tightly-executed beginnings, which develops the odd bump as the plot progresses, until it reaches a cathartic end.

The Kashmir Files movie review: Anupam Kher is the emotional core of this overwrought film
Mon, Mar 21, 2022

The Kashmir Files movie review: The film may not be interested in nuance but what stays with us are the flashes of genuine pain we see in the person of Pushkar Nath, played by Anupam Kher in a credible, moving turn.