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.
The only time Khuda Haafiz, streaming on Disney+ Hotstar VIP, lifts off the screen is when Vidyut Jammwal gets going, minus the weepy wife or the scenes in which he has to emote.
While the churails going all Charlie’s Angels is good for some fun-and-games, the real strength of the series comes from getting up close and very personal with the women.
Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl movie review: Janhvi Kapoor does get better as she goes along, but performance-wise, she is still clearly a work-in-progress. She was excellent in her small part in Ghost Stories, and going by that, I was expecting more.
Pareeksha movie review: An underdog-as-winner is an always-in-demand subject; a little less exposition would have made this well-intentioned film better.
The conversation around the need to revive interest in classical music, and the fact that there doesn’t need to be a rift between the classical and the popular, needs to be on-going. Despite its flaws, Bandish Bandits keeps up focus on this crucial theme.
It skips the money deals that greases alliances and the rules that keep women in check and only unpacks selectively what an upper-class, upper-caste Indian marriage entails
The length of the film begins weighing upon the plot, which starts stretching and flattening. A crisper plot and faster pace would have made Lootcase what it was aiming to be.
A few of the bits and pieces in Netflix's Raat Akeli Hai feel a bit contrived, but not enough to take the enjoyment away from a film which has a terrific sense of time and place, and a crime in which everyone has stakes.
Vidya Balan owns the material that she is given, course-correcting every time she tends to slip into being mannered. The supporting cast is fine.
Yaara should have been a uniformly fast-paced ride, studded with interesting performances, but it works only sporadically.
Geetha J’s debut feature opened the 20th edition of the New York Indian Film Festival
Dil Bechara movie review: It is the occasional sweetness that Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi Sanghi manage to rustle up that carries the film.
The time for a humane, enlightened cop, in and out of the movies, is here: is there a real-life example that the reel can borrow from? It is time to take a knee.
Under the guise of giving us a detailed look at a culture which privileges marriage amongst ‘equal’ families and not individuals, all kinds of classist, casteist stereotypes gets an airing.
By the end of Autumn de Wilde’s film, we move from exasperation to fondness, and that’s pretty much the path that author Jane Austen had set us on
Somewhere in there, in all the roiling and toiling, are the bones of a crackerjack thriller. But this loosely written season 2, bouncing in and out of a kidnapping drama, and the creation and search of a psychotic killer, gets mired in its own muddles, and ends up being plain preposterous.
Tom Hanks’ performances habitually do not call attention to themselves. In this one, he goes even more minimalistic, literally battening down on his hatches, as he takes split-second calls.
You think of Jagdeep, and the first thing that comes to mind is Soorma Bhopali, the Sholay (1975) character who became so wildly popular that it nearly eclipsed everything else he did.
There are some lax moments, and a bit of portentousness in the dialogue. But in the way of slick superheroes flicks, there’s enough wham-bam, guns rattling and bodies piling up, to keep things ticking over nicely.
Sufiyum Sujatayum review: It doesn’t help that the lovely Aditi Rao Hydari doesn’t really fill her part. For someone who doesn’t have spoken dialogue, the body language needs to be strong: Hydari has a few nice moments, but she is limited in the rest of it.
Saroj Khan was the first woman to become chief choreographer, before it was a thing, in Bollywood. She was an excellent dancer herself.
Not all 17 shorts work as well as the others. A few don’t really move very far away from the banal: how significant can one dish of spaghetti, split over several days, be? But almost every one tells us that for a filmmaker, having a phone and an idea, and the will to get out of bed, can be enough.
Eliza Hittman’s film uses an unwanted teenage pregnancy to tell a bigger story.
There are well-etched performances all-round, some with more depth than the others: Shruti Seth, Nupur Asthana, Tara Sharma, Palomi Ghosh, Chandrachoor Rai, all leave a mark.
The last time Manoj Bajpayee internalised a role as much was in 2017's Gali Guleiyan. Here he is even better. Bhonsle, streaming on SonyLIV, gives us an actor on the top of his game.