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

Festival Diaries: Ajyal Film Festival 2018

Ajyal, a film festival in Doha, curates meaningful cinema for audiences ranging from 5 to 21.

Kedarnath movie review: Sushant Singh Rajput-Sara Ali Khan’s film is a weepie minus the tears

Kedarnath review: In trying to please everyone, Kedarnath loses edge, and leads to a tepid cop-out. It’s a weepie minus the tears.

2.0 review: Not worth all the sound and fury

2.0 is dull as ditchwater in the first half, perking up a little in the second, with a half-way watchable Akshay Kumar, and a Rajinikanth coming into his own right towards the end, for a bit.

Bhaiaji Superhit movie review: One of the worst films of 2018

Bhaiaji Superhit movie review: On paper, this is not a bad bunch to be spending a couple of hours with. On screen, the whole thing is beyond terrible.

Mohalla Assi movie review: The Sunny Deol film is a missed opportunity

Mohalla Assi movie review: Mohalla Assi is not much of a film. It’s just a collection of choppy scenes, making it seem that it was censored heavily.

Thugs of Hindostan movie review: Thuggery on a large scale, with viewers at the receiving end

Not only do you end up picking up on past films, scenes and references, you are left struggling with staleness and boredom.

‘There’s more than one India in India’

Even a few years back, the world was confined to the big screen and the box. Today, you can’t think of viewing choices without taking into reckoning Netflix and Amazon and Disney.

MAMI 2018: From being buffeted by the #MeToo movement to solid programming across all sections

The latest edition of Mumbai Film Festival will be remembered as the one which was buffeted by the #MeToo movement, and in which some excellent films became “collateral damage”. Ironically, it is also the one which showed solid programming across all sections.

Lupt movie review: The Jaaved Jaaferi starrer is plain horrible

Lupt movie review: Lupt is meant to be a ‘supernatural horror’ flick, but what it is, is plain horrible. The plot, driven by a relentlessly ambitious businessman (Jaaferi) whose family holiday goes off the rails, should have been good for a brisk 30 minute TV installment.

Baazaar movie review: An uninteresting film

The treatment of Baazaar is moth-balled (a line in English is translated immediately after in Hindi) and hackneyed. Bad songs punctuate the proceedings. Background music is used to buoy almost every scene.

Vada Chennai movie review: A gripping gangster drama

Vada Chennai movie review: The nearly 2.45 hours long film unspools an ambitious, roiling story about a place, North Chennai, and its people, over a period of time. It feels appropriate to call it a saga.

Namaste England movie review: The Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra film is cliched and charmless

Namaste England is just plain awful, in which the 'desis' who live in the UK are poor misguided souls, and the real 'desis', especially those from good ‘ol Punjab, will rescue the world.

Badhaai Ho movie review: Watch it for Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao

Badhaai Ho movie review: Badhaai Ho doesn’t quite know what it wants us to do more, laugh or cry. And parts of the film sink into sitcom flatness, especially when Sikri overdoes her grumpy 'saas' act, though some of her lines are laugh-out-loud.

Fryday movie review: The Govinda film fries your brain

Fryday movie review: No one seems to have the first idea of what to do, apart from going around in circles, and spouting dialogue which is meant to be funny but instead fries your brain.

Helicopter Eela movie review: Kajol starrer is saddled with banal story-telling

Helicopter Eela movie review: Helicopter Eela is so saddled with banal story-telling, stretched sub-plots and exaggerated performances, including and especially from the lead actress, that it never really takes off.

Tumbbad movie review: A gorgeous looking, intriguing morality tale

Tumbbad movie review: Debutant director Rahi Anil Barve has a distinct voice. Tumbbad is a gorgeous looking, intriguing morality tale which both entrances and repulses: it’s not something I will forget.

Loveyatri movie review: The Aayush Sharma film is smothered in silliness

Loveyatri movie review: While you are waiting for the time to pass, and it does with torturous slowness, you ask the obvious question: if the leading man wasn’t Salman Khan’s brother-in-law, would an entire film be made just to launch him?

Andhadhun movie review: The Sriram Raghavan film is racy, pacy and appropriately pulpy

Tabu is marvelous, Sriram Raghavan finally having created a fitting role for this uber-talented actress, whom we really should be seeing much more of. Ayushmann Khurrana is wonderful, too, sinking into his part.

Sui Dhaaga movie review: The Anushka and Varun starrer is nice, safe and staid

The only trouble with the Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan's Sui Dhaaga is its total predictability: you know what’s coming miles before the characters do.

Village Rockstars movie review: A beautifully told coming-of-age-story

Village Rockstars movie review: As a coming-of-age-story alone, Village Rockstars is a beauty. As a one-woman-enterprise, the film is a marvel. Das has single-handedly created this film: written, filmed, directed, produced and edited it.