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.

Articles By Shubhra Gupta

De De Pyaar De movie review: This Ajay Devgn-Rakul Preet film is a mixed bag

De De Pyaar De review: You wish the film had been braver in its intention of creating a really cracking rom-com, instead of playing its clichés for a laugh.

Chhota Bheem Kung Fu Dhamaka movie review: A delightful animation film

Chhota Bheem Kung Fu Dhamaka review: What struck me about this newest addition to the adventures of little Bheem is the surprisingly terrific quality of the animation: except for a flash or two which harks back to the bad old days of clunkiness, this is world class.

Student of the Year 2 review: Everything is dispiritedly familiar

Student of the Year 2 review: The running time is too long for what is, essentially, yet-another-buffed-up-version of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander crossed with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. This class of 2019 has predictable beats, which is to be expected in an underdog story, but that it is so stilted is disappointing.

Setters movie review: A tedious watch

Setters movie review: Setters lays all its cards on the table in the first act itself: the follow-up is over-long and tedious. And, barring a few sharp moments, flat.

Blank movie review: Far too generic

Blank movie review: Blank which emphasizes its over-used thrust - Islamic ‘aatankwaad' threatening the unity and integrity of ‘akhand’ Bharat - comes off as far too generic

Hazarika’s khwahishein aisi

After bagging a National Award for his debut Assamese feature Kothanodi, filmmaker Bhaskar Hazarika comes out with Aamis, a staggeringly original contemporary morality tale.

Kalank movie review: All show and no go

Kalank movie review: Kalank doesn’t really lift off the screen. The whole feels like a giant set, stately and ponderous and minus impact; the cast all costumed and perfumed and largely life-less, sparking only in bits and pieces.

The Tashkent Files movie review: This Vivek Agnihotri film is a series of eye-roll moments

The Tashkent Files movie review: The entire film is a series of eye-roll moments, pockmarked by dialogue that’s unintentionally hilarious. We don’t really have to wait for the big reveal to see the purpose of the film.

Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai? movie review: This remake will make you angry

Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai movie review: This new Albert, both the character and the film, is all over the place. Manav Kaul tries hard to make something of his character, who chucks up a steady job to turn into a killer.

Super Deluxe is dazzlingly, unapologetically feminist

Super Deluxe, Kumararaja’s sophomore act, which comes eight years after, is a fitting follow-up. It is both similar and different. It has the same disparate threads-plotting pattern; the characters are as messed up and messy.

Romeo Akbar Walter movie review: A drab affair

Romeo Akbar Walter review: The John Abraham starrer suffers from its length, and the pall of dullness that hangs over the proceedings. A spy needs to be a patriot. That’s why he does what he does, knowing that he is ‘deniable’.

No Fathers in Kashmir movie review: A tale of loss and hope

No Fathers In Kashmir review: A fresh entrant helps No Fathers In Kashmir to ask questions in order to make the film relevant to audiences unfamiliar with the conflict.

Lucifer movie review: A fanboy tribute to Mohanlal

Lucifer movie review: Lucifer proves that Prithviraj does have a flair for direction, and the ability to amp up the drama, and keep things moving briskly.

The Least of These The Graham Staines Story movie review: A wasted opportunity

The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story movie review: The intention--of setting the record straight--is noble, but The Least Of These makes no attempt at delving deeper.

Notebook movie review: Nothing to write home about

Notebook movie review: Militants and insurgency and the contentious presence of the armed forces are kept at a minimum, shown in only scant, sanitized glimpses: the rest of it is focused on Kabir (Zaheer Iqbal) and Firdaus (Pranutan Bahl) and their relationship.

Junglee movie review: Too comic-book simple

Junglee movie review: Vidyut Jammwal is a dab hand at action, and those bits are watchable. He is fluid and graceful and believable as he kicks and chops his way in and out of trouble.

Notes from Distant Lands

In Doha, film experts on their craft

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota movie review: A nostalgia-doused nod to Bollywood masala

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota movie review: Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota works best when it is klutzy and bouncy and light on its feet, and those are the parts which help us go past the occasional flatness. It is the kind of film in which you are not supposed to dig deep for meaning or logic.

Kesari movie review: Akshay Kumar delivers the goods

Akshay Kumar is the film. And he pulls it off, keeping that ‘kesari pagdi’ aloft right till the end, delivering thundering speeches while keeping his men’s morale up.

Delhi Crime review: Crime and Punishment

Delhi Crime review: Where this Netflix show scores is in the portrayal of a beleaguered police force, which is easy to point fingers at, but whose quality of life is so low that they are forced to do some questionable things.