Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

“Dhadak”… The biggest sin of this ‘Sairat’ remake is its blandness

July 21, 2018


Spoilers ahead… You can read my review of Nagraj Manjule’s Sairat here — so I’m not going to cover the basics, again. With Dhadak, directed by Shashank Khaitan, I did not expect anything close to Sairat — nothing in this director’s career has suggested he’s capable of channelling that kind of rage and passion and […]

With the ultra-success of ‘Sanju’, a look at biopics that were off the mainstream

July 4, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: With Sanju proving to be a monster crowd-pleaser, I thought I’d write about more eccentric biopics this week. Biography in cinema isn’t easy. A biographical book, like Irving Stone’s The Agony and the Ecstasy, chronicling the life of Michelangelo, lets us know how the protagonist really feels […]

“Sanju”… The complex life of a cipher of a man is reduced to a simplistic entertainer

July 2, 2018


Spoilers ahead… When Rajkumar Hirani announced Sanju, it sounded like a breakaway. He makes movies about outsiders. If Munna Bhai was an outsider to the establishment, one of the 3 idiots was an outsider to the rote-learning rat race, and then we got a film about the ultimate outsider: an alien. I wondered how Hirani […]

Interview: Ravi Varman – Part 1 / 2

June 21, 2018


@fcompanionsouth inaugurates a new series, #Journeys, with #Sanju cinematographer Ravi Varman. Ravi Varman is one of India’s top cinematographers. In this two-part video, he talks about his struggling days, moving on to early films like Jalamarmaram, Shantham and Armaan. He describes how he developed a cinematographic eye and how he acquired his learnings from big […]

It’s not just ‘Race 3’, even the films of Renoir, Bergman, Fellini, et al have been thoroughly trashed

June 18, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: The release of Race 3 has unleashed a series of savage reviews – and deservedly so. There’s always the criticism that filmmaking is such a complex effort, involving so much Hard Work, and it’s unfair to dismiss all this in a snarky summation. But when so many […]

“Race 3.”… The third time’s the harm, as a cheerfully brainless franchise turns into (gulp!) a family saga

June 16, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The choreographer-turned-director Remo D’Souza may be the most truthful filmmaker in Bollywood. He knows he’s not out to make classics, which may be why the titles of his films appear almost confessional. First came F.A.L.T.U. Translation: Don’t say you weren’t warned! It’s the cinematic equivalent […]

Baradwaj Rangan, let’s talk about bias!

June 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Because it’s impossible to have a proper conversation on Twitter, I imagine a chat with critics of my ‘Kaala’ review and argue why form is important and why ‘Mani Ratnam’ isn’t a bad word. There may be spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘Kaala’. So you’re […]

Readers Write In #42: Two Superstars, Two seminal Films, Two Iconic roles

June 13, 2018


Amitabh Bachchan’s Don and Mohanlal’s Chithram, 2 Iconic films of  the 2 most beloved superstars as well as the greatest actors of the country celebrate their 40th and 30th anniversary respectively this year. Here is a look back Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal made their debut in movies almost a decade apart. Bachchan in 1969 with […]

“Kaala”… The second Rajini-Ranjith outing is better than ‘Kabali’, but still an odd fit for both

June 7, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Six years after Mullum Malarum (1978), director Mahendran and star Rajinikanth made Kai Kodukkum Kai, a sensitive drama now remembered mostly for the Ilayaraja beauty, Thazhampoove vaasam veesu. The film bombed. It’s difficult to say why exactly a film fails — it could be […]

“Bhavesh Joshi – Superhero”… A sombre not-quite-superhero tale whose flaws don’t make it any less fascinating

June 5, 2018


Spoilers ahead… One half of the title of Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi – Superhero is true: the protagonist, a masked crime-fighter, does call himself Bhavesh Joshi. The other part, however, is debatable — for this hero is anything but super. In his first mission, he engineers an explosion and while the clock is ticking, he […]

“Veere Di Wedding”… A plasticky but passable entertainer whose existence may not be the worst thing in the world

June 3, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Based on the trailer of Shashanka Ghosh’s Veere Di Wedding, I was afraid it was going to be two hours of women saying “fuck.” I’m happy to report that’s not the case. They also say “chooth,” “maa ki aankh” and “john.” The latter, in case you were wondering, refers not to one of […]

“Bioscopewala”… This update of ‘Kabuliwala’ is a love letter to Tagore as well as cinema

May 29, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Tagore’s short story, Kabuliwala, is a meditation on memory – its retention, and its loss. The titular seller of dry fruits and spices, in India, remembers his hometown in Afghanistan. He also remembers Mini, the girl he used to play with, but she’s all grown-up now, and she’s forgotten him. The nuts and […]

“Raazi”… A conveniently scripted thriller that chugs along perfunctorily

May 27, 2018


Spoilers ahead… For those of us who wondered if Vishal Bhardwaj’s spectacular script (along with Sreekar Prasad’s needle-sharp cutting) was largely responsible for how terrific Talvar was, there’s some affirmation in Meghna Gulzar’s follow-up, Raazi. This isn’t a bad film by any means — and any India-Pakistan drama, especially one set in 1971, that steers […]

Interview: Dhanush (from Cannes)

May 19, 2018


In Cannes to promote The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, Dhanush talks about how his journey is similar to that of his character in the film — which is why he identified with Fakir more than Raanjhanaa. He talks about his learnings from the international production, about not being insecure in front of either Bollywood […]

Caught @ Cannes: Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddiqui

May 16, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: The director and star of ‘Manto’ talk about tackling the story of a man whose ideas continue to be relevant. I met Nandita Das and Nawazuddin Siddiqui a day after Manto premiered in the Un Certain Regard section. Nandita spoke about reviews. “There was this lady […]

Sir: A deceptively simple, emotionally resonant drama that (rightly) puts its characters before its themes

May 16, 2018


Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Whatever the opposite of “hard-hitting” is, that’s the flavour of Rohena Gera’s miniature-size drama, Sir. I mean this as a compliment. A lot of Indian filmmakers get into festivals by pushing the right buttons — and Sir (which played at the Cannes Critics’ Week) does tell […]

Manto: A solid film with many terrific performances, but needed much sharper focus

May 13, 2018


Read the full review on Film Companion, here: You expect a film about a great writer to be built around his great writing — and in Manto, writer-director Nandita Das finds ingenious ways to weave together the life and the literature of Saadat Hasan Manto. One story (Dus Rupay) opens the film, and segues into […]

Caught @ Cannes: Manoj Bajpai comes out of the Croisette

May 11, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: It’s Manoj Bajpai’s second outing at Cannes. The last time, he was promoting Gangs of Wasseypur, and it was a brief stay. “I landed in the afternoon, got my photos taken at the red carpet, and flew back the next morning,” the actor says. Posing does […]

Caught @ Cannes: Bollywood in Poland, Dhanush, troubles at the Russia-Ukraine border

May 11, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: On the shuttle from Nice airport to Cannes, the man seated next to me had his laptop open, and I caught sight of a couple of files on his desktop named “Dil Dhadakne Do” and “God Tussi Great Ho”. I thought they were music files, and […]

Interview: Arvind Swamy

May 7, 2018


Arvind Swamy recalls his Thalapathy audition, and how he was not nervous to act with Rajinikanth and Mammootty. He talks about reuniting with Mani Ratnam in Chekka Chivandha Vaanam, and goes on a flashback to the Roja/Bombay days. He talks about how his approach to acting has changed — how he gives inputs to a […]