‘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

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‘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

‘Naam Shabana’ review: Tap (to) see the Power


Here’s a question that if you answer correctly, will immediately qualify you for an interview with India’s top-secret agency - it (the agency, not the question) is beyond the purview of all the listed, government-sanctioned ones, ostensibly craftier and more effective than all the armed forces put together. Ready? Here goes: You’ve caught the only … Continue reading ‘Naam Shabana’ review: Tap (to) see the Power

‘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

Pancham: Flashback to the Future


[I wrote a mildly modified version of this piece in the Pancham group on Facebook as part of the Aaina Wahi Rehta Hai: Flashback with Pancham theme. This group is truly the most vibrant and informative one on Pancham on Facebook. Thanks to ever-vigilant and enthusiastic admins, blame and flame throwers are reined in quickly, … Continue reading Pancham: Flashback to the Future

Kanu Roy: Addicted to Pain


If there was one composer in Hindi cinema who could wrap his baton around your emotions and squeeze it to cause a pain so exquisite that you’d go back for more, it was the sadly underrated Kanu Roy. With a trademark vibraphone traversing across hitherto unexplored and untouched strings in your soul, Roy composed and … Continue reading Kanu Roy: Addicted to Pain

Carpenters: Better Than Chocolate, Really


When the world’s going as crazy as it is now – and to add an extra topping to our miseries, we can’t even escape what’s going around us – there’s just one thing to do. Find solace, and quick. The trick, then, is to locate that one bromide - it’s a world of fast-food and … Continue reading Carpenters: Better Than Chocolate, Really