The Man behind the Mahatma

Richard Attenborough: 1923 – 2014. An appreciation. To many Indians, Richard Attenborough, who died on Sunday at the age of 90, was the man who dusted the Mahatma off the pages of history textbooks and made him come alive on screen – if not with warts and all, then certainly with the great soul’s humanity […]

Goodbye to a genie-us

It’s true what they say. Dying is easy, but comedy is hard. I have this principle: try not to feel too sad about the death of someone famous. First, there’s the fame that most of us can only dream about. Then there’s the money – again, the stuff of dreams. Third, and most important, they […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The genre and the specific”

“Gay movie.” “AIDS movie.” “Chick flick.” Thoughts on the informal tags we slap on films… By the time you read this, the Chennai International Queer Film Festival (or to call it by its proper name, Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival) will be on its last day. And if things go according to plan, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Coming attractions”

Thoughts on trailers in general and the ‘Gone Girl’ trailer in particular. I cannot wait to see Gone Girl. For one, it’s directed by David Fincher – that makes it an automatic must-see. Two, I’ve read the book, and its halfway twist is easily one of the best acts of rug-pulling I’ve encountered. It’s genius. […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Pros and cons”

Why is Hollywood crap so much more watchable than the crap we make? The answer: professionalism. About the time the first Transformers movie was released, if you’d asked me what I thought of Optimus Prime, I’d have thought you were referring to a mathematical variable. A few movies in, I was slightly more clued in. […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A mutant walks into a bar…”

The new, smashing X-Men movie proves that gags and light touches aren’t unwelcome in serious, near-apocalyptic stories. Whenever I say that Christopher Nolan takes himself too seriously, I’m told that that’s because Batman is a serious character and there is no way those films could be anything but serious. But Tim Burton, in his two […]