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.
Akshay Indikar's Marathi feature, which won two awards at the International Film Festival of Kerala 2021 and was screened at Berlinale 2020, is a delicate evocation of how childhood can be full of pain and pleasure
Ajeeb Daastaans review: The best film comes from Neeraj Ghaywan, one of the most exciting young voices working in Bollywood today, and Kayoze Irani.
The Father review: What do you do with the abiding love and the constant guilt of abandoning a life that brought you into life? It's one of the hardest places to be.
Aarkkariyam movie review: The film presents lives in disarray, looking for moorings and closure, in the most natural way in a most unnatural year where we all were forced to live in isolation.
The Big Bull movie review: In comparison to Scam 1992, The Big Bull comes across badly with authenticity being a major issue in Abhishek Bachchan-Kookie Gulati film that is out on Disney+ Hotstar.
Joji review: Scriptwriter Syam Pushkaran, director Dileesh Pothan and actor Fahad Faasil are long-time collaborators, and the smoothness in their latest coming together is proof that story is king.
Govind Nihalani’s 1984 NFDC-produced film shows how differences and discussions were welcome at gatherings in the ’80s
Koi Jaane Na review: The film’s title is prophetic because no one seems to know what is going on for every painful minute of two hours.
Irul review: The set-up of this Fahadh Faasil and Soubin Shahir starrer has promise and the actors are up for it too. However, the story-telling lets them down.
Silence… Can You Hear It review: Manoj Bajpayee takes the lead in this Zee5 police procedural as he solves a tricky murder.
Saina review: Parineeti Chopra gives us a good, solid Saina Nehwal. When she raises her racket after a hard-fought win, you cheer.
Pagglait review: With an ensemble cast and its heart in the right place, this Sanya Malhotra film only veers off-course when it becomes too heavy-handed.
On lockdown’s first anniversary, we look at how the year of isolation changed our film-watching habits. As cinema theatres lurch back to a new normal, is the magic back?
Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar review: Dibakar Banerji, who has a nuanced eye when it comes to depicting power play and class differences in the NCR, should have given us a tighter film.
Mumbai Saga movie review: In Sanjay Gupta’s better films, the bad guys used to be more interesting, the action used to be classy. This John Abraham-Emraan Hashmi film, however, feels jaded.
A new documentary presents how her five-decade career is a story of trials and triumphs
Roohi review: What’s missing is a coherent plot and writing. All we get is one cringe-inducing sequence after the next.
Bombay Begums review: The most powerful element in Alankrita Srivastava’s films is the recognition of women’s desire, and how its absence can create permanent hollowness.
Rysuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy’ has won the Silver Bear grand jury award at the just concluded 71st (virtual) edition of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Celine Sciamma’s ‘Petit Maman’ was screened during the virtual edition of the Berlin Film Festival.
With I’m Your Man and Language Lessons, the Berlin International Film Festival, which is being held virtually this year, puts the focus on intimate bonds that humans need to survive.
Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude’s Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn is a hard-to-classify, thought-provoking film which opens up space for conversation around so-called taboo subjects.
After a beguiling ‘Introduction’ to a virtual festival via Hong Saan-soo’s film, Ferit Karahan’s ‘Brother’s Keeper’ is a blast of reality. Here are the films that stood out on the first day of the 71st Berlin International Film Festival.
The Girl On The Train review: Overstated writing and choppy contrivances make Parineeti Chopra film go off the rails.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month, is a gorgeously-shot, authentic slice of Indian life