Padmaavat (2018) Review Published at Asian Movie Pulse

A lot has been made about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of Sufi poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s epic poem “Padmavat” (1540). Even before its release, the film had been mired in controversy due to rumors regarding tampering with Rajput (an Indian community historically known for their valor and honor) history and a prominent figure, Rani Padmini,…

Mukkabaaz Review – it takes a brawler to overcome odds

To start with the review, let me first address the most important aspect of the film or at least as the title suggests – boxing. The actors throwing punches at each other and ducking and blocking those really looked like boxing, both in the alleys of Bareily and in the ring. That is really something…

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru – Review

‘Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru’ is the best police procedural action thriller from India that I have seen, or maybe I have not been looking in the right places. Bollywood seems to have forgotten how to make one (I remember Sarfarosh). Although this movie wouldn’t give you a hardcore police procedural thriller like ‘Zodiac’, it squeezes in…

Sunday in Peking Review

Chris Marker’s 22-minute video essay on Peking (now Beijing) is as jovial as a tourist’s demeanour while visiting a foreign land – a locale so exoticized in the tourist’s interaction with popular culture that he / she may refuse to acknowledge any other impression of the land on his / her visit and may even…

Shubh Mangal Saavdhan Review

Tamil filmmaker, R S Prasanna, heads to B-town with his debut Hindi feature Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, which is a remake of Prasanna’s 2013 Tamil movie Kalyana Samayal Sadhan. A rom-com at heart, the movie deals with the issue of erectile dysfunction, a growing concern among the young office-going population in urban centres. I went into…

Jagga Jasoos aims high but misses the mark

It is astonishing that in an industry (Hindi film – better known as Bollywood) where films without songs are an anomaly, very, very few films actually employ songs to drive the narrative, let alone try a musical: where songs are not only organic to the story but also embody the essence of the world the characters of the musical inhabit. In fact, song and…

The Poetry of ‘Masaan’

I write this post a day after watching Masaan; not because I needed time to overcome the emotional impact of the movie to analyse it more objectively, but for the evocative poetry that renders each and every strand of emotion in the film, endearing (and that had me looking up the poets on the internet). Poetry…

Hamlet in Kashmir

Placards in hand, eyes drowned in tears, and a heavy weight sitting on hearts, leverage a question out of the mouths of the grief-stricken Kashmiris in Haider: hum hain ke hum nahin? (do we exist or not?). This is of course Vishal Bhardwaj’s variation on Shakespeare’s immortal line “To be, or not to be…” which…