Top articles

  • A film auditioning in 1951

    13 mars 2013 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Thanks to Ashok I have been fortunate to discover the treasure trove of these Old Indian photos , where much more than what will be discussed here is to be found: it’s a real Ali Baba’s Cave. But going through some of its riches, I stopped at these pics...

  • Aakrosh, cry of the wounded

    09 avril 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Aakrosh (1980) by Govind Nihalani (whose first film it was, and who had won acclaim as Shyam Benegal’s photographer) is a sparsely told parable about the foundation of justice: should men follow the law at the expense of truth, or should they seek truth...

  • Bimal Roy's Devdas: a burning tragedy

    17 avril 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    Contrary to what many people think, love isn’t a simple passion. First many things, such as the family, the social situation, the history of the two lovers, etc. combine to create the particular context of the relationship, but also in itself love challenges...

  • Clear light of day

    02 septembre 2007 ( #Book reviews )

    This is a foray into a field as yet unploughed by me, literary criticism of Indian novels! This summer I’ve read Anita Desai’s Clear light of day: perhaps some of you know the book? It was written in 1980, but tells the story of an Old Delhi family back...

  • Welcome to B(H)ollywood! (Ta Ra Pum Pum)

    20 juillet 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Er… I thought I would have stopped reviewing films like this one ! But Ta Ra Pum Pum by Siddharth Anand is interesting in fact, as a Bollywood phenomenon (are those of you who read me not tired of this treatment of Indian films?!). BUT: before I go any...

  • Is renunciation wisdom? (Swami 2007)

    04 août 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Swami (2007) is choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s first try at directing a film, and in spite of some clumsiness, it’s full of good surprises. It is inspired by a desire to uphold the values of honesty, faithfulness and humanity which the director obviously...

  • Saif Ali Khan: the Indian mafioso

    30 août 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I have always liked Saif Ali Khan, ever since Kal ho Na ho, in which I first saw him squint and sidle towards the camera, like an Indian Mafioso, with his Italian airs, his raspy voice. He was a welcome difference from the Salmans, the Shahruhks, and...

  • Hum tumhare hain sanam

    07 septembre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Is friendship possible between men and women? This is the question which sprang to my mind while watching Hum tumhare hain sanam. Old question, of course, but well, since it seemed to have been important for the director (K.S. Adhiyaman), and that his...

  • Crying

    16 septembre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Very quickly after I had started watching Bollywood movies, I started crying, often at the end, and I felt somehow justified in my crying, pleased in my crying. I can’t even remember when I last cried, or if I ever cried, after having watched an occidental...

  • Salman Khan, the Playboy of the Eastern world

    20 septembre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Facts we should remember about Salman before we start criticising him: - Let’s face, if Sallu didn’t exist, Bollywood would be incomplete. - You can’t love Bollywood and not give at least some credit to Salman. - He can’t be that badmash, he actually...

  • The painter of signs

    26 septembre 2007 ( #Book reviews )

    R.K. Narayan’s “The painter of signs” is a real pleasure to read. Set in the imaginary Southern Indian town of Malgudi, this novella captures the mind by its evocative aloofness, its lighter-than life clarity. It is the story of Raman, a sign-painter,...

  • Society vs genius (Pyaasa 1957)

    08 octobre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa (thirsty) is so consistently lauded that it’s rather daunting to start talking about it. All the reviews I’ve read about it were superlative. Everybody says what a landmark it has been, what wonderful music it displays, what poetry...

  • Anupam Kher, the adorable comedian

    17 octobre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Film after film, I have learnt to rejoice when they feature this delightful comedian, Anupam Kher. He went at first unnoticed, in the shadows, at the back. He was part of the sets. Then role after role, I remember I started smiling to myself: hey, it’s...

  • Is 34 the age of wisdom?

    01 novembre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I was wondering whether I should « do » something for Ash’s birthday… Well, as you can see, I am, in spite of misgivings coming from … various parts. Looking for something to say, I have watched some videos again, and… there! I thought that if you didn’t...

  • Suniel Shetty, the hard business of acting

    07 novembre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Suniel Shetty will remain for me the rescuer of certain boring films such as Umrao Jaan and Main hoon na. Thanks to him, I have found an interest in those poor productions. Watching him cast his back eye and his disdainful sneer has more than often thrilled...

  • Deewar: Cain and Abel revisited?

    13 novembre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    I would like to start this review by quoting what IMdB user nmainkar has said here. It’s so well said that I can’t parallel it: Deewaar is, in one word, taut. From start to end, the movie is unrelentingly tense, tight, somber and serious but the seriousness...

  • Amu: the need for history

    16 novembre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Here’s an unassumingly important little film. Shonali Bose's Amu is a kind of a detective-story, with young Indian expat Kajju coming back to the country she’d left when she was 3, and discovering about her past. We follow her as she little by little...

  • Aamir Khan, mister perfectionist

    06 décembre 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Let's start by saying I don’t like Aamir Khan. I don’t like him because he’s bossy, because he’s arrogant, because he’s superior. Somehow I never feel at ease with him. He makes me tense; he obliges me to rise to his level, whereas I prefer actors who...

  • Rang de Basanti: is sacrifice enough?

    11 décembre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Rakesh Mehra’s cult movie left me in two minds. I certainly appreciated the fact that for Indians in today’s society, something urgent and drastic has to be done if the democracy must move away from the scourge of corruption and nepotism. We’ll come back...

  • The god of small things - and a criticism of Bollywood

    17 janvier 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    Of Arundhati Roy’s very personal novel, no doubt much has been said. In the edition that I have, reviews have been put on the first pages, celebrating its magic, its mystery, its powerful rhythm, its innovative structure. Well, I must say I was slow at...

  • Untouchable

    30 janvier 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    Mulk Raj Anand’s small fiction volume « Untouchable », which dates back to 1935, evokes the life of a young sweeper called Bakha, through the description of a day’s happenings, from the morning when, only half awake, and after a cold night (due to his...

  • Socha na tha, a successful little romance

    06 février 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    As boy-meets-girl Bollywood stories go, well, I don’t know whether I’ve not seen the best so far (1)… Socha na tha, directed by novice director Imtiaz Ali in 2005 (he’s done Jab we met since), and starring beginners Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia shows that...

  • Ayesha Takia: in search of her soul!

    11 février 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    One might say the 21 year old glamgirl called Ayesha Takia is rather young to be commented upon at great depth; one would be wrong, because there is a great deal to be said about and around her. Let’s start with the beginning: a few months ago, I wrote...

  • 3 Dewaarein: can a film-director avoid committing himself?

    14 février 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    3 Dewaarein by Nagesh Kukunoor is a very good entertainer. Its construction is very clever, its rhythm flawless, the actors are truly first class, the suspense is exciting, the photography is excellent… One spends a very rewarding 120 minutes. But…it’s...

  • Ajay Devgan, Bollywood's dark prince

    02 mars 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    With his title “The dark prince” I am not so much referring to Ajay’s skin colour, even though there are only few among the best-known Bollywood stars that do have a dark skin, but more to his character, what I can guess of it. I’ve always felt in him...

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