Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Hindi«

Readers Write In #59: Is the film playing Kill-Marry-Hook Up with its female characters?

November 11, 2018


‘Kill-Marry-Hook Up’, for the uninitiated, is a conversation game where participants are presented with three names. They are then forced to map each name with exactly one option from ‘Kill’, ‘Marry’ or ‘Hook Up’. ‘Hook Up’ is usually replaced with a “profane” synonym, but let’s stick to the Koffee With Karan version of the title. […]

“Thugs of Hindostan”… A dull attempt at a masala potboiler that hopes star power will trump the script

November 9, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: There are three words in the title of Vijay Krishna Acharya’s new film, and at least two of them are wrong. Unless you count a small band of thuggees, who rob and kill travellers, the film has  no “thugs”. Aamir Khan’s Firangi Mallah is […]

Writing a piece on writing a piece on Kamal Haasan

November 7, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: On the multi-hyphenate’s 64th birthday, Baradwaj Rangan tries to make a list and gets meta (and how fitting is that, given this star)! I’ve just realised it’s tough to write a peg-less piece about Kamal Haasan. Well, there is a peg: his birthday. But it’s not […]

Readers Write In #58: Vada Chennai and Wasseypur: Rooting cinema with music

November 6, 2018


It’s been merely weeks since Vada Chennai released and the film is being talked about as a work that will go down in Tamil cinema as a milestone. Apart from solid writing, good camerawork and some stellar performances, there’s another factor that elevates the movie: The distinctive music. Criticism has risen about the way the […]

Off the Topic: Making sci fi accesible to the masses

November 3, 2018


Dear BR, Below is a topic which I felt can be discussed on the thread. The gap between the first and second installments of Enthiran is almost a decade. A huge time frame from a technology stand point. So much has changed and developed in the area of AI,robotics, data age. While I wasnt anticipating […]

Readers Write In #57: LGBTs in Hindi cinema in light of the 377 judgment

October 26, 2018


Looking back at the delineation of LGBTs in Hindi cinema in general and in some recent releases in particular in light of the Section 377 judgment There no single or simple answer to “Which is the first queer Hindi film?” To some, it may be D.G. Phalke’sRaja Harishchandra, which had male actors playing the female […]

“Badhaai Ho”… A warm, funny tale about how we deal with it when an older woman ends up pregnant

October 22, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s Badhaai Ho is the latest installment of the subgenre we’ve come to recognise as The Ayushmann Khurrana Film Where Sex Collides With Middle-class Mores™. Why aren’t more people talking about what this actor has accomplished with this subgenre? It’s one thing to educate the audience about toilets and menstruation — […]

“Helicopter Eela”… A terrible mother-son story with a Freudian subtext it doesn’t know what to do with

October 12, 2018


Spoilers ahead… In Helicopter Eela, Kajol plays a single mother named Eela — though if you expect straggly hair, ketchup-stained clothes and eyes glazed over from supervising homework, you’re in for a disappointment. The light on Eela is always just right, and it accentuates her makeup just so — even when she’s in a hospital […]

“Tumbbad”… A truly original “horror” movie that’s actually more of a ghoulish Panchatantra fable

October 11, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The Venice Critics’ Week was inaugurated with Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad’s non-Competition entry, Tumbbad — that’s the name of the very rainy village in which the story unfolds. Technically, though, the section was inaugurated with Toni D’Angelo’s 20-minute Italian short, Nobody’s Innocent, […]

“Andhadhun”… Despite questionable second-half detours, Sriram Raghavan’s new film is a most entertaining ride

October 10, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Sriram Raghavan’s new movie wastes very little time in letting you know it’s a… Sriram Raghavan movie. A rabbit bounces across the screen. A hunter with a shotgun gives chase. An overhead shot shows what looks like a cabbage patch, but also seems like a maze. Shots are fired. And we cut to […]

“Pataakha”… A wearying tale of two sisters who keep fighting, and fighting, and fighting…

October 2, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Vishal Bhardwaj’s Pataakha is a masterclass on how a skilled editor can make the most flow-free film… well, flow. The story is the equivalent of the 2001: A Space Odyssey scene where the astronaut goes about his 360-degree jog in the space shuttle — there’s movement, there’s forward motion, but we seem to be […]

“Sui Dhaaga”… A surprise-free drama that’s well-acted, sweet-natured, and quite satisfying

September 30, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Sab badhiya hai. All is well. That’s the optimist in Mauji (Varun Dhawan) talking. The reality is that the glass is half empty. He comes from a family of handloom weavers, but his father (Raghuvir Yadav) renounced the profession, and so he works like (and also as) a dog at the shop of […]

She Says She Says: The Women in Mani Ratnam’s Cinema

September 26, 2018


Namita is going to be doing a fortnighly, female POV show for us. This is the first episode. Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

“Laila Majnu”… An idiosyncratic take on the legend takes a while to soar, but it’s worth the wait

September 24, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Sajid Ali’s Laila Majnu (co-written with Imtiaz Ali) finds interesting ways to update the legend of the star-crossed lovers. It’s not just the electric guitars and smartphones, but the heroine who’s dressed in virgin-white — first as a schoolgirl, later as an angel — but is driven by hormones and profound impulsiveness. In […]

Every Mani Ratnam film, ranked

September 20, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: To call Mani Ratnam a mainstream filmmaker is a bit redundant, because every (primarily) Tamil filmmaker is a mainstream filmmaker: Tamil cinema does not have an “art film” tradition, the way Malayalam or Bengali cinema has. But even within the mainstream, there are two ways to […]

“Manmarziyaan”… This lighter outing from Anurag Kashyap is still a ferocious, stream-of-consciousness narrative

September 18, 2018


Spoilers ahead… For the second time, after Dev.D, Anurag Kashyap tackles a love triangle — and Manmarziyaan, too, follows a Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay template, established in Swami (which became a 1977 film, with Shabana Azmi and Girish Karnad). A headstrong, liberated girl falls for a caddish youth, but gets married to a man with the […]

Interview: Aishwarya Rajesh

September 14, 2018


Aishwarya Rajesh talks about TV serials and her entry into cinema with films like Pa Ranjith’s Attakathi. She talks about casting couch, about North Indian heroines and the opportunities they get. Despite performance-oriented roles like the ones in Dharma Durai (with Vijay Sethupathi) or Kaaka Muttai, she emphasises the need for glamorous roles opposite big stars […]

FC @ Venice 11: New films from Zhang Yimou and ‘The Babadook’ director, plus ‘Soni’, a terrific Indian drama

September 8, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Zhang Yimou’s Ying (Shadow; Chinese) plays like an all-action, zero-psychology take on Kurosawa’s Kagemusha (which shared the Palme d’Or with Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival). The latter film was about a shadow warrior, a lookalike used as a body double […]

“Gold”… A broad, rousing sports tale that’s a bad fit with the director’s refined sensibilities

August 26, 2018


Spoilers ahead… It’s surprising to find Reema Kagti in masala mode. Gold stars Manoj Akshay Kumar as Tapan Das, the manager of the Indian hockey team — but the film opens in 1936, at the Berlin Olympics, when it’s still the British Indian hockey team. The team wins, but when the national anthem is played, […]

“Mulk”… A smashingly effective return to Hindi cinema’s social-potboiler roots

August 24, 2018


Spoilers ahead… There’s probably no other actor who could have played Murad Ali Mohammed in Mulk, written and directed by Anubhav Sinha. It isn’t just Rishi Kapoor’s performance — a solid, empathetic turn. He was always a good actor, but when he was younger, his line readings would burst out of him, as though he […]