Bollywood

Subhash K Jha: “Antardwand avoids the easy road to realism”

Written by on August 31st, 2010

Set in the mythic killing fields of rural Bihar where nothing works, except the law of the lawless Antardwand takes the firm and gripping route to expose a hinterland-headline: the kidnapping of marriageable boys by desperate fathers of wannabe brides. This was a prevalent malpractice in Bihar until some years ago. Not so much anymore. […]

The performances make Brick Lane a film worth a look – Subhash K Jha

Written by on May 29th, 2010

Arranged marriages are almost always compromised arrangements. They require tremendous compromises and determination on the part of the less disgruntled partner in a marriage. We saw two empathetic male spouses played by Ajay Devgn and Shah Rukh Khan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, respectively. In Brick Lane Satish […]

Subhash K Jha: Bumm Bumm Bole doesn’t forget to be an entertaining story

Written by on May 17th, 2010

Majid Majidi’s Children Of Heaven comes down to earth in an endearing spiral of the spellbinding and the sensitive. Let’s not get unnecessarily and unjustly nostalgic about the original Iranian film. This remake, done up in shades of terrorism in the idyllic North-east (region unspecified) is so lyrically lush in its visuals and so gently […]

Subhash K Jha reviews Hai Marjawaan

Written by on May 12th, 2010

As Shakespeare said in another context, this is a grave matter. Gurinder Chadha’s new…er, ghoulish comedy (for the want of better terminology) is also a gravy matter. Ghouls rise from the dead and mess around with ladels of curries and gravies in what could easily be termed the most messy climax of desi-gone-ballistic-firangi cinema. By […]

Subhash K Jha: Badmaash Company is a film that is too smart for its own good

Written by on May 8th, 2010

There’s a longish sequence in an American eatery in the second-half of this deeply flawed and yet refreshingly cool urbane casual and yet highly cinematic work where Shahid Kapoor’s Karan, by now on the road to seemingly irredeemable moral degeneration is told by his partner, played by newcomer Vir Das, that he wants out. The […]

Subhash K Jha: You will find some uncomfortable answers in City Of Gold

Written by on April 28th, 2010

Move aside. There is no room for artifice in Mahesh Manjrekar’s latest work. A raw, guttural, gritty, intense, edgy, mordant and finally devastating look at the world of the damaged and the ravaged, City Of Gold is as powerful in portraying a bereft working class as Molly Maguires was about Irish mine-workers. Except for the […]

Subhash K Jha: In Phoonk 2 you wonder what the fuss is about

Written by on April 18th, 2010

In one of his multitudinous interviews to promote this intended shiver giver Ram Gopal Varma said the scariest film he had seen in recent times was Karan Johar’s Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna. Now that’s a scary thought. Because Johar’s film didn’t belong to the horror genre. Phoonk 2 does. And it is definitely NOT the […]

Subhash K Jha: The style behind Paathshaala is in its inner conviction

Written by on April 18th, 2010

If a piece of cinema ever had its heart in the right place, this is it. Don’t let the sluggish pace, the absence of stylish shots and flamboyant frames fool you into believing that this is a film with no style. The style behind Paathshaala is in its inner conviction. The obvious artlessness of presentation […]

Subhash K Jha: Prince is more the Bourne territory than Ghajini

Written by on April 10th, 2010

Look what the cool cat dragged in! It’s not a bird (though he does fly across the sky). It’s not a plane (though many of those in many shapes and sizes are seen hovering in the film’s spectrally-shot skyline). And it’s definitely not Superman. Though Mr Oberoi wouldn’t mind being one. Hey guys, it’s our […]

Subhash K Jha: The Dimple-Nana relationship is endearing in Tum Milo Toh Sahi

Written by on April 4th, 2010

Just for the pleasure of watching Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia together, this quaint and sincere look at love across three generations is well worth a dekko. Dimple Kapadia, exuding a warmth that pervades the screen plays a feisty Parsi woman who isn’t deterred let alone defeated by attempts to dismantle her dream, namely a […]

Subhash K Jha: They don’t make screen-moms like Rekha and Hema any more!

Written by on April 4th, 2010

It is deliciously ironical that during the week that our tennis queen Sania Mirza announced she would marry in Pakistan, comes this film where the young desi pair threatens to get married and move to Pakistan. Life often imitates art. And art is often a close companion of kitsch and melodrama. Kitschy melodrama is attacked […]

Subhash K Jha: Well Done Abba is a little sparkling gem of a film.

Written by on April 2nd, 2010

Drawn from the innermost recesses of its extraordinarily versatile, profound and prolific creator’s mind, somewhat like the water that emerges from Boman Irani’s well at the end of this delicately-drawn satire on babu-giri and redtapism, Well Done Abba is a little sparkling gem of a film. Its humour, warmth and tenderness are not as easily […]

Subhash K Jha: The chemistry between Warsi and Mirza is first-rate.

Written by on April 2nd, 2010

The sheer delight of watching Arshad Warsi playthe lead rather than the supremely self-assured sidekick gives this otherwise-pale rom-com a cutting edge. Arshad in his own words plays a guy, who can see dead people. Wish he could see dead plots too. The screenplay by Arshad Warsi, Soumik Sen and Arshad Ali Syed is a […]

Subhash K Jha: Shaapit has a certain coherence and clarity generally denied to the horror genre

Written by on March 22nd, 2010

There are good spirits and bad spirits waltzing all over the place. All we have to do is reach into the past and pull out the relevant ghoul and voila, we are into the realm of the spooky-cool. Vikram Bhatt’s Shaapit has a certain coherence and clarity generally denied to the horror genre. Bhatt, a […]

Subhash K Jha: Love Sex Aur Dhokha gets as rough and jolting as any film can

Written by on March 22nd, 2010

There is no love in any quickly-digestible packages, little on-screen sex, and a whole lot of dhokha in Dibakar Banerjee third and most tricky film. Tricky, because the characters are constantly talking and living their lives on camera. We see them as they are, stripped of all vanity, ridiculously self-serving but still capable of bouts […]

“Right Ya Wrong is the surprise shocker of the year” – Subhash K Jha

Written by on March 15th, 2010

Don’t breathe. Don’t dare even blink. And please forget that visit to the loo. Damn, even the bag of popcorn will be forgotten on your clenched lap. Right Ya Wrong is the surprise shocker of the year. If you’ve forgotten that jump-out-of-the-seat feeling then it’s time to nudge it awake again. Debutant director Neerraj Pathak […]

“Hide & Seek packs a punch” – Subhash K Jha

Written by on March 15th, 2010

So whodunit? Put a bunch of assorted dysfunctional men and women into a shopping mall not to shop, but to get bumped off. And voila, the whodunit takes the characters to shop until they drop , one by one. There’s a Santa Claus with a hatchet in hand running around the deathly-still sparkling-clean spotless and […]

Subhash K Jha: Thanks Maa is a journey into lives that were born into despair

Written by on March 15th, 2010

He’s 12 and homeless. And he refuses to adopt the swaggering amorality of his friends on the street. They call him Municipal Ghatkopar because that’s the address where he was dumped as a child. But he prefers to be known as Salman Khan. Salman, you fear may appear in this uplifting tale of street children […]

Subhash K Jha: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge? is essentially a one-episode sitcom

Written by on March 8th, 2010

Being Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma’s guest, Paresh Rawal makes the first bonafide guest appearance in our cinema. And what pest this guest is! With so many films about the guest as an intruder, this one takes the creak. And yes we do mean creak. The plot sets out portray the bin bulaye mehmaan […]

Subhash K Jha: Teen Patti re-defines the male-adventure genre

Written by on March 3rd, 2010

If you can get over the ludicrousness of a distinguished mathematician whose God is Albert Einstein and who at the end of the film gets the ‘Isaac Newton Award’ for excellence in his field, masquerading as a seedy gambler (in a lungi, if you please!) then Teen Patti is a surprisingly skillful and audaciously complex […]

“My Name is Khan is a flawless work” – Subhash K Jha

Written by on February 15th, 2010

He repairs almost anything, including irreparably damaged relationships. But this film about damaged lives needs no repairing. My Name Is Khan is a flawless work, as perfect in content, tone and treatment as any film can get. The ‘message’ of humanism doesn’t comes across in long pedantic speeches. The film’s longest monologue has our damaged […]

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