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 Italian actor-director on the relevance of Pinocchio even today, and how life, as incomprehensible as it may be, is still beautiful
Maska review: The best parts of Maska are filled with food, the cooking and eating of it: the textures of baking fresh bread, the buttery ooze of the maska, the other classic dishes you may find in an Irani establishment, and the golden lights that fill up the kitchen.
As his new film Angrezi Medium releases, a look at how Irrfan has time and again stepped into his characters like a chameleon, wearing them like second skin, to play a thief and an addict, good cop and bad, a lout, a Casanova, a killer, a gangster and by far the most layered lover
Les Miserables movie review: This Ladj Ly directorial's subjects may be removed from Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel of the same name by more than two hundred years, but the misery still exists.
Joana Rakoff on director Phillipe Falardeu’s new film on her book My Salinger Year, working at the literary agency that represented JD Salinger, and how she discovered the reclusive writer
Angrezi Medium review: Angrezi Medium could just as well have been called Irrfan Returns. Watching this terrific actor lighting up the screen, of knowing about his medical struggles, and the fact that he did this film while still in treatment, gives it a special bittersweet flavour.
Kaamyaab movie review: Kaamyaab is a moving, consistently engaging portrait of an artiste as a weathering, weathered man. And Sanjay Mishra is faultless as the lead character - always the bridesmaid, never the bride; an insider but always on the outside.
Baaghi 3 movie review: The last time Tiger Shroff got into an actioner, he had to play second fiddle with the very sexy, equally fit Hrithik Roshan. This time around, no such risks are taken.
Filmmaker Pushpendra Singh on Laila Aur Satt Geet, his new film that reflects the current times, setting it in Jammu and Kashmir, and how stories and spaces shape us
Hong Sangsoo’s The Woman Who Ran shows that dystopia is not the only thing South Korean cinema does well
Thappad bears its message, more essential than ever, on its chin: Women are not property. Wives are not owned. Dreams have no gender, and everyone is allowed to realise them. And how all it takes, from a woman who just wants self-respect, is a decision to say no, Not Even One Slap.
Hong Sangsoo’s delightful The Woman Who Ran is a slender wisp of a film, only 77 minutes, and extremely minimalistic in its execution. But the depths that it mines is quite astonishing.
Prateek Vyas’s Eeb Allay Ooo! and Akshay Indikar’s Sthalpuran may be rooted in India but resonate with global audiences
Eeb Allay Ooo! taps into many things: the waves of unending migration from nearby states in search of a better future, the potent mix of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, and the daily humiliations of people on the margins.
The Pinocchio legend, immortalized in the sweet Disney 1940 version, gets an update in Matteo Garrone’s live-action fantasy, starring Roberto Benigni as Geppetto the carpenter who brings to life a little boy carved from wood. Yes, the one with the pointy nose.
Part heist, part chase, Yoon Sung-hyun's Time To Hunt has shades of the Terminator movies.
Onward cannot be more clear about where it wants to go, and the place it nudges us towards - to let go of the past, make peace with ourselves, and go on.
Margaret Qualley, criminally, comes off flat. Sigourney Weaver is better, just a shade, just by the fact that she’s done this for so long. How can a movie about wonderful writing, and writers, be written with so little flair?
Love Aaj Kal 2 movie review: Kartik desperately tries to act as a lover in back-then-Udaipur-and-right-now-Delhi, but the effort doesn’t translate into anything true. Sara is perky and alive.
Bong Joon-ho won not one, but four of those, creating history at the 92nd Oscars.