Top articles

  • Aa ab laut chalen (Let's go back) - Good Bollywood!

    22 février 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    I've seen this 1999 melodrama once again, and thought that it was worth a little commentary. Critics have not always appreciated it at its true worth, it seems to me: ( Planet Bollywood link ) and (Rediff on the Net Link) I will say why in a minute. What...

  • Kajol's future

    20 février 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Seen from away, Kajol is the actress’s dream come true. A real talent, the recognition of the public, her marriage and family with Ajay Devgan, with whom she’s had a little girl, a promising future, what else can you ask for? Well, the answer is, a lot....

  • The red badge of feminine courage (Mirch Masala)

    10 août 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Absolutely excellent. The hubris of petty officers, the crisis and tension coming from lust and gratuitous violence, the horrifying banality of colonialism, the abuse and victimization of women: all these elements combine to create a tragedy which the...

  • The Kite Runner

    16 février 2009 ( #Book reviews )

    Khaled Hosseini is not an Indian writer, but an Afghan-American writer. But having read The kite runner (2003), I wanted to include my review of it here, because it’s a book about the region, and I know that a lot of people have read it in and around...

  • Kondura, religious power is stronger than men

    14 février 2015 ( #Film reviews )

    Shyam Benegal generally explores the forces which can endanger or wreak human communities, and what happens to individuals in the process. The result is often pitiless. Hopes are crushed, and ties bruised. Instincts are hypocritically presented as virtues...

  • Rani's magic

    16 mars 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Rani’s got (almost) everything. She’s not yet an internationally known actress, but in terms of Bollywood, I’d bet on her for the title of Best Actress (Amitabh is still the best Actor…) Let’s have a look: Black, Veer-Zaara , Yuva, Chalte chalte , Kabhi...

  • Bollywood music

    27 février 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I realise that this theme « Bollywood music » is as vast as the sea, and that wanting to speak about it in one instalment is a little presumptuous. But I won’t: there’ll be other messages, more detailed and more focussed. What I want to speak about here...

  • Preity Zinta is a clever girl

    30 avril 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    A good way to get to know about Preity Zinta is to read what she says about certain problems facing Indian women and the life of actors here . The reactions of readers are also instructive, because they point to the good and bad sides of the exercise....

  • Ram teri Ganga maili, RK's last opus

    23 septembre 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    I have read so often about Raj Kapoor’s last movie, Ram teri Ganga maili (1985, Ram, your Ganga is sullied), that I wanted to have a personal opinion about it. The movie has itself been sullied as obsessively concerned with Mandakini’s nakedness and the...

  • Who's afraid of Mira Nair?

    07 janvier 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Those who have read this blog for some time know that I had loved Monsoon wedding , that little gem of a film, and well, I’ve recently watched Salaam Bombay and The Namesake, along with Mira Nair’s 1985 documentary on women strippers, Indian Cabaret:...

  • Yeh raate, yeh mausam

    22 octobre 2011 ( #Songs )

    Here’s my belated commentary of Ravi’s song Yeh Raate yeh mausam in Dilli ka thug sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle, lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri (I had promised it to Suja! Cf. here ). Below you'll find the video, the lyrics and their translation....

  • Teesri kasam, melancholic delight!

    02 décembre 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    The critical fame of Teesri Kasam, the 1966 film by Basu Bhattacharya, starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman, is absolutely justified; it’s a tale of love and sadness, of beauty and melancholy; it enchants you, it pulls you along, it arrests you: in...

  • Deepa Mehta's "Fire": the ashes are still warm

    17 juin 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    There are some films I watch where I have to struggle to find information and reviews. As soon as they are gone from the screens (not to mention movies from the 50s or 60s!) it’s like you are unearthing archaeological artefacts. With Deepa Mahta’s Fire...

  • Mr Sampath, the printer of Malgudi

    24 mars 2014 ( #Book reviews )

    Here’s an addition to my collection of reviews of R.K. Narayan’s novels: Mr Sampath, the printer of Malgudi (first published in 1949). As usual with Narayan, what’s most pleasant is his style, the brisk eventfulness which he masterfully conveys, and how...

  • Solva saal, a tale of stolen pleasure!

    04 août 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    My quest into Bollywood classical beauties makes me stumble on great stuff sometimes. Sometimes not: for example, I recently watched Ram aur Shyam and found it a letdown: the famed “best film that cannot be made again” (according to one IMDb user) was...

  • Abhijan, a remarkable moral fable

    29 juillet 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    Abhijan (the Expedition, Satyajit Ray, 1962) is the story of Narsingh (dependable Soumitra Chatterjee), a Kshatriya taxi-driver, who after having had his professional license taken away from him for imprudent overtaking, becomes jobless, and heads towards...

  • Bazaar (1982), or how to buy women

    01 décembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Sagar Sarhadi has only directed one movie, and otherwise is known for having worked as Yash Chopra’s screenplay writer. This movie, Bazaar, (1982) supposedly belongs to “New Indian Cinema”, and it feels like it wanted to belong. It isn’t a bad film, but...

  • Is Bollywood opium for the masses? ("Dharavi")

    30 juin 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    For those who are keen on a socially-oriented cinema, Dharavi, city of dreams, by Sudhir Mishra, gives a great insight in the life of those "Backward class" workers who fend it off in the Mumbai slum. It focuses on Rajkaran, a taxi-driver who decides...

  • Leave 'em kids alone: Main hoon na & Koi mil gaya

    23 juin 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    I regret to say - I do have a limit in what I like about Bollywood. It recently took the shape of two rather sickening shows, Main hoon na by Farah Khan, and Koi mil gaya, by Rakesh Roshan (of the Krrish fame). I’m half sorry and perplexed to have to...

  • Juhi Chawla: what's behind that smile?

    04 septembre 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    What attracts one to Juhi Chawla is her absolutely irresistible smile. Okay, she was “only” a Miss India (1984), but frankly, Yash Chopra’s idea to cast her as Shahruhk Khan’s idol in Darr is not a bad one, far from it. I believe one can really fall passionately,...

  • Apur Sansar, tenderness

    09 avril 2018 ( #Film reviews )

    Last addition to a programme begun 10 years ago with Pather Panchali, here are a few words about the trilogy's n°3 about which I'm sure that nothing has been left unsaid (check story here). It's a vision of tenderness; centered around the character of...

  • Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray's little Song

    27 mars 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Satyajit Ray’s 1955 “Song of the little road” is a quiet picture of little big events within a rural Bengali family, where the little happenings of childhood occur, and form that most profound event of any life: growing up. The film is part of a trilogy,...

  • Sone ki chidiya, pure gold does not fear the smelter

    03 juin 2018 ( #Nutan )

    Watching Sone ki chidiya (the golden bird, Shaheed Latif, 1958) has been a bit of an adventure, because even though I knew it was good, it doesn’t exist with subtitles, and some time has passed before I could get round to understanding everything. And...

  • Ankur: Shyam Benegal's + Shabana Azmi's manifesto

    22 août 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Here’s another beginner – after Aag – Shyam Benegal ’s first long feature film shot in 1973, after he had finally got enough appraisal for his work shooting advertisements (apparently more than 900 !) and documentaries. Ankur means “seedling”: some people...

  • Facing the mirror: Chameli

    19 juillet 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    After having watched the film, I asked myself what it had been trying to do... It's a filmed play about these two people - modern-India businessman Rahul Bose and eternal India prostitute Kareena Kapoor - which explores their confrontation: and the immediate...

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