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.
In his films, the actor was more the common man with middle-class aspirations than the guy who felled 20 baddies with one blow.
Pati Patni Aur Woh movie review: If only this new triangle had made more of Vedika’s spunk, and Tapasya’s spirit, it would have been a much more interesting take on contemporary marriages and mores.
Ashutosh Gowariker has the right to creative license, and he has chosen the line which bends both fact and credulity. But did Panipat, which clocks in nearly three hours run time, need to be quite such a drudge?
The two leads aren’t bad, Shivaleeka Oberoi pulling off her part with some amount of confidence and Vardhan Puri (the grandson of Amrish Puri) showing a glimpse of promise, minus the grandpa’s towering build or the gravelly voice.
Commando 3 movie review: Though Vidyut Jammwal does the heroic things, like thumping thugs and rescuing fair maidens, it is Gulshan Devaiah who steals the show in this patchily plotted, predictable actioner.
Aamis movie review: Not for the faint-hearted or squeamish, Aamis is an unusual, brilliant film, and Bhaskar Hazarika one of India’s most gifted filmmakers. I came away gobsmacked, in the best way possible.
Bypass Road checks all the boxes of a murder mystery-cum-thriller. But the film is just another botched attempt at a genre Bollywood has never excelled at.
Satellite Shankar movie review: This very Forrest Gump-ish intent could have been better realized if the plot had been less simplistic, and the lead actor a little more versatile.
Bala movie review: Ayushmann Khurrana’s Bala is an achievement. He’s perfected the art of playing people who are not instantly likeable, and he works the characters’ kinks to the point where we can see them, and yet sympathise.
As the sequel of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining releases today, a look back at the film that continues to define horror for many.
Drive movie review: Drive seems to have been strung up with influences from Hollywood films featuring sharp racing, sleek cars, and canny 'chors’, but has none of the smarts it is aiming at.
Ujda Chaman movie review: If the point of the film is to tell us that external appearances have nothing to do with our inner selves, it needed to have done it better. Much, much better.
Housefull 4 movie review: The Akshay Kumar starrer offers nothing that makes sense.
Saand Ki Aankh movie review: Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar's body language is wrong. Their faces are made old by latex, but their hands and necks are young. Crucially, at no point do they make us suspend disbelief.
Made In China movie review: The initial bits keep up the light tone and there are some laughs to be had, but all too soon, as it happens so often in Bollywood, everything goes limp.
Prateek Vats spoke about the making of his first feature film after its world premiere at the just-concluded Pingyao International Film Festival. It had its India outing at the ongoing Jio MAMI festival in Mumbai.
Pingyao International Film Festival is a boutique festival, with multiple screenings of about 56 films spread over nine days so that everyone, international delegates as well as local film enthusiasts from nearby towns (the nearest big city is Taiyuan), has a chance to catch everything.
Jallikattu movie review: The film works as both real-time exploration of the human psyche as well as a parable, and we are left both laughing and gasping, as the animal seems to be one-up on the collective smarts of the humans.
Laal Kaptaan movie review: There are flashes when you feel the film will finally say something important, but then it lapses back into stodgy set-pieces which go on and on.
The Sky Is Pink movie review: Occasionally, the combined charm of the star cast does lift the film, especially when they are goofing off in their fancy farmhouse-type home, keeping in sync with the family’s rise in fortunes.