‘Deepwater Horizon’ review: Pipeline of Evil


As I trudged wearily into the shop floor at around 2200 hours wearing my yellow-colored hard hat, the familiar refluxive and reflexive gut feel kicked in every night, the white fluorescent lamps ensconced inside wired mesh cages doing little to dispel the darkness that invariably descended inside of me. The drainage gutters on either side … Continue reading ‘Deepwater Horizon’ review: Pipeline of Evil

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‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ review: Batsman Returns


As director James Erskine sat down to write the script for Sachin: A Billion Dreams, one can only imagine him grappling with the quintessentially existential questions that must haunt anyone who sets out to make a docu-drama on a much-loved, much-adored, and much-revered personality – what’s to be the POV for this feature? How much … Continue reading ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’ review: Batsman Returns

‘Hindi Medium’ review: Nightmare on Ed. Street


It was so with Anurag Mathur’s The Inscrutable Americans, where to me, the highlight was the letters Gopal wrote from the USA to his younger brother in India. And it was so with the photocopied page of a foreign magazine that I had in my possession, listing signage across the world, ostensibly meant to guide … Continue reading ‘Hindi Medium’ review: Nightmare on Ed. Street

‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ review: Man Ki Baat


This Friday, as I stepped out of the cinema hall, chewing the mental cud, so to speak, wondering what to make of director Akshay Roy’s Meri Pyaari Bindu (My Lovely Bindu), I was ambushed by representatives of a newly launched TV news channel, and before I could say “No swami”, I found myself in their … Continue reading ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ review: Man Ki Baat

‘The Hunt’ review: Mob Sickology


A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. When Winston Churchill uttered these words, there was no social media, no apps, and no online trolling. And yet, he might have composed this truism with an eye on the twenty first century, such is the crystal-ball … Continue reading ‘The Hunt’ review: Mob Sickology

‘Noor’ review: Hollow Ma’am


You’re facing what is possibly the biggest crisis of your life. You’re at your wit’s end, wondering how on earth you’ll ever resolve it. No, your boyfriend hasn’t given you the thumbs down. And no, your first date didn’t end up with you slobbering all over your mains. It’s much worse than this and anything … Continue reading ‘Noor’ review: Hollow Ma’am

‘Begum Jaan’ review: No Freedom at Midnight


“You have one month to empty this kotha (brothel)!” says Ilias (Rajit Kapoor). Something told me that the repartee by Begum Jaan (Vidya Balan) would invoke dates and menses, and there it was. It wasn’t even particularly powerful, and it is this predictability that haunts director Srijit Mukherji’s eponymous Begum Jaan (Mrs. Jaan). Written by … Continue reading ‘Begum Jaan’ review: No Freedom at Midnight

‘Mukti Bhawan’ review: A Celebratory Triumph


“I’m so tired of this life. I just want to go off now.” If you’ve heard these lines from any elder in your family, chances are that your reaction would be an irritated roll-of-the-eyes at this seemingly bromidic utterance, for which you neither have the time nor the patience. Make the time. Garner the strength … Continue reading ‘Mukti Bhawan’ review: A Celebratory Triumph

‘Phillauri’ review: Tree’s Company


The title of this piece has just about a tenuous thread to what follows. Much like the no-connection between the trailer of Phillauri (citizen of Phillaur) and the movie feature. I’ve lamented about how misleading trailers can be, either upping your expectations only to realize the heights were but an illusion - flashback to my … Continue reading ‘Phillauri’ review: Tree’s Company

‘Oppam’ review: An Apartment, Complex


The camera follows Jayaraman (Mohanlal), panning his walk in slow motion, as he passes the dead body, and then, in the crowd, you see the killer’s visage, a child in his arms, a lady next to him. You do a double take, but Jayaraman passes him by, even though he’s had a deadly scuffle with … Continue reading ‘Oppam’ review: An Apartment, Complex