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.

Gold review: This Akshay Kumar film is an emotion-laden drama
Fri, Aug 17, 2018

What makes Gold worth a watch, despite some problems, are the flashes of well-done humour, the skirmishes between the players, and the rousing finale.

Satyameva Jayate movie review: The John Abraham film revives forgotten horrors of 80s B-grade cinema
Thu, Aug 16, 2018

Satyamev Jayate movie review: We can get why John Abraham is in this film: he’s done this kind of movie before, and this looks like an extension, but what possessed the excellent Manoj Bajpayee, who can lift a film just by his presence, to do this?

Remembering Sridevi, a genuine 24 karat star in films that often didn’t quite match her wattage
Mon, Aug 13, 2018

For our generation of movie-lovers, Sridevi was, and will always be, pure electricity, bonafide 'bijli', who, at her best, lit up the screen.

Vishwaroopam 2 movie review: The Kamal Haasan and Andrea Jeremiah film is an incoherent mess
Sat, Aug 11, 2018

Even Kamal Haasan can’t rise above the shockingly inept script, which he rescues only in a few places, when his trademark intelligent, wry self-awareness manages to kick in. The rest can be safely ignored.

Mulk movie review: The Rishi Kapoor starrer is an important film
Sat, Aug 04, 2018

Mulk Movie Review and Rating: Any film that does not demonize, that talks of peace and brotherhood, in these dark, cynical times, is to be lauded. Mulk is Anubhav Sinha’s best film, and it concerns us all.

Fanney Khan movie review: This Anil Kapoor film is unbelievably awful
Sat, Aug 04, 2018

Fanney Khan Movie Review and Rating: A film starring a bunch of our top star-actors can be so off the mark is a sobering, dismal thought. This film, based on a Belgian film Everybody’s Famous, is unbelievably awful.

Karwaan movie review: Watch it for Irrfan Khan and Dulquer Salmaan
Fri, Aug 03, 2018

Karwaan review and rating: Karwaan is aiming for an easy, offhand charm, and we get that only in bits and pieces, especially when Irrfan hits his stride on occasion, or when Dulquer proves just how good he can be by not doing much at all.

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 movie review: The weakest link is Sanjay Dutt’s gangster
Sat, Jul 28, 2018

Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster 3 movie review: It’s a crowded film, and several characters get short shrift: Soha Ali Khan, as the permanently inebriated ‘second wife’ of Saheb, is blink-and-miss. There’s too much scatter-shot action, with the plot all over the place.

Dhadak movie review: There is no ‘dhak dhak’ in this Janhvi Kapoor starrer
Fri, Jul 20, 2018

Dhadak review: The Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor film has neither requisite drama nor authenticity. Dhadak doesn’t work, not as an official copy of Sairat, nor as a standalone Bollywood romance.

Soorma review: Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh is spot on
Sat, Jul 14, 2018

Soorma movie review: Diljit Dosanjh as Sandeep Singh is spot on. And that is the film’s biggest triumph. Whenever Dosanjh is on screen, we are with him.

Sanju movie review: The Ranbir Kapoor starrer is a tamer version of the real-life hellraiser
Sat, Jun 30, 2018

Sanju movie review: Ranbir Kapoor's Sanju, is mostly engaging, and some of it good enough to make you laugh out loud in pleasure, especially when Rajkumar Hirani is killing it.

Veere Di Wedding: Why should just boys have all the fun?
Sun, Jun 17, 2018

Unlike female friendships, male bonding has always had a special place in Hindi films. But why should boys have all the fun?

Race 3 movie review: The Salman Khan starrer is scattershot snoozefest
Sat, Jun 16, 2018

Race 3 review: The movie is nothing but a recycled bin of too many car chases, explosions, buffed up characters strutting in slo-mo, and wilted lines.

Kaala Karikaalan movie review: Pa Ranjith’s sensibility and Rajinikanth’s charisma work wonders
Fri, Jun 08, 2018

Kaala Karikaalan movie review: Pa Ranjith’s sensibility and Rajinikanth’s charisma work together to give us something that’s gone missing from big-budget starry tentpoles: a strong feel for the underclass as the main focus.

Veere Di Wedding movie review: The Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor starrer is a fun ride
Sat, Jun 02, 2018

Veere Di Wedding movie review: The four 'veeres', Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor), Avni (Sonam Kapoor), Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar) and Meera (Shikha Talsania), are a solid bunch despite their riches and their entitled troubles.

Phamous movie review: Much ado about nothing
Fri, Jun 01, 2018

Phamous movie review: Why did the ladies sign up for this mess? Shriya Saran wears deep pink lipstick and a pout, while Mahie Gill is to be seen in precisely two-and-a-half scenes, with the camera hovering suggestively over both their bosoms.

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero movie review: The Harshvardhan Kapoor film suffers from having too much to say
Sat, Jun 02, 2018

Bhavesh Joshi Superhero movie review, rating: The film clearly intends to be dark, edgy and cool. Trouble is, it spends too much of its time underlining its purpose, even getting a character to say these three adjectives.

Bioscopewala movie review: The Danny Denzongpa film realises only some of its great potential
Tue, May 29, 2018

Bioscopewala movie review: The casting of this Danny Denzongpa film is inspired, just being able to watch the wonderful Danny on screen should have been good enough. But the film is choppy, especially in the way the father-daughter relationship is fashioned.

Book Club movie review: A delightful premise gets marred by a dull plot
Fri, May 25, 2018

Book Club movie review: You smile as you see these women laugh out loud, try on gravity-defying undergarments, and try on their dates for size: this is a demographic which needs to be seen so much more because they are so much more at ease with who they are

Solo A Star Wars Story movie review: The Han Solo film never quite blows you away
Fri, May 25, 2018

Solo A Star Wars Story movie review: There are moments when you admire the dexterity with which Solo squeezes by yet another fast-closing dark star, or out-runs yet another fizzy missile, and then you are back to looking for something new.