Top articles

  • Tabu, the dark queen on the Bollywoodian chessboard

    31 juillet 2008 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I’d seen other films with her before, but I really discovered Tabu thanks to Cheeni kum. “Cini kam” means “less sugar”. And that’s what Bollywood has to offer with Tabu: a less sugary actress! With Tabu, the sweetness of many other mainstream actresses...

  • Brick Lane

    18 septembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    I happened to watch Brick Lane (2007, by Sarah Gavron) recently, a movie based on the acclaimed book by Monica Ali . It’s a well-made, well balanced film about emigration and multiculturalism, to put it positively, or – in a less positive light – about...

  • Taare zameen par, Aamir's Khan view of childhood

    07 novembre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Taare zameen par (2007) was Aamir Khan ’s début movie as director; and for a “beginner’s” movie, it’s a rather good one. Does this sound rather bland? Yes, I admit, from the point of view of universal cinema quality. It’s probably because the story is...

  • Parshuramer Kuthar, motherhood and prostitution

    17 juin 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    This stunning little movie (65 minutes) made in 1989 by Nabyendu Chatterjee, who died recently (2005) tells the story of Laxmi (pronounced Loki), a Bengali village woman whose husband fell from a roof while she was expecting her first baby, and has remained...

  • Kaala Patthar, Yash Chopra's Heart of Darkness

    11 mars 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Kaala Patthar (“Black stone”) is a grandiose epic movie by Yash Chopra which is at the same time a political and social weapon against reckless capitalism and the exploitation of workers, a story of redemption and sacrifice, and a suspense-full entertainer,...

  • Sujata, an untouchable Nutan

    21 novembre 2009 ( #Nutan )

    In Sujata (The well-born, 1959), Bimal Roy has made the untouchable touching, adorable an object of disgust, and visible a pit of darkness. I’m not saying that he has made THE unique Dalit movie (I don’t know which one this would be… Ankur ?), but for...

  • Paromitar ek din: can women stay the forces of lunacy?

    03 juin 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    I have only recently been made aware of the interest of movies by and with Aparna Sen, having seen Baksha Badal recently (check Sharmi’s take on it), and so here’s a look at a pleasantly intimate story, shot by the Bengali director in 2000. The film’s...

  • The Guide (R.K. Narayan)

    05 mars 2008 ( #Book reviews )

    R.K. Narayan’s novel, The Guide, written in 1958, is recognised as one of the author’s best. (It’s selected within a collection of “1000 books to read during your lifetime” collection which some French publishers were selling over Christmas). It tells...

  • Sex and Bollywood

    18 avril 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    I have already slightly touched upon this question (see article “What I like about Bollywood”), but I would like to come back to it because it is in fact quite an important question, and I think I now have a somewhat different perspective. The other day,...

  • Aag (1948): Raj Kapoor's burning idealism

    12 août 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    Aag: fire. In this Early Raj Kapoor Movie, fire is a symbol of love, naturally, but also creation and destruction. It is fit that this film stands at the beginning of Raj Kapoor’s career (his first movie as an adult was in 1943), since there is a strong...

  • Their hands can see: Sparsh

    02 février 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    In the Mahābhārata, Gandhar i voluntarily blindfolded herself throughout her married life. Her husband Dhritarashtra was born blind, and on meeting him and realizing this, she decided to protest silently by blindfolding herself. (source: Wikipedia – Jatland.com...

  • Katha, window on a small world

    23 mars 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    The main beauty of this little film, Katha (Sai Paranjpe 1983), which suffers somewhat from clichés that are perhaps enjoyed by a certain type of audience, is the delightful portrayal of the Suburban chawl where a community of friends and neighbours live...

  • The cloud-capped star: Heaven and earth's glory

    20 janvier 2013 ( #Film reviews )

    One cloud-capped day, somewhere along the bank of a Bengali river where waterfowl chirp their little bedeep, bedeep, a young woman clad in white walks out of the canopy of some century-old oaks that spread their gigantic branches all the way to the river...

  • The value of life (Main zinda hoon)

    25 juillet 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Abstract : Admirable and moving, "I am Alive" by Sudhir Mishra is excellently served by inspired actors (Deepti Naval leading the crew), filmed with tact and reserve, and filled with emotion and realism. It tells the story of Beena, a young woman married...

  • Sahib bibi aur ghulam, an Initiation to Desire

    13 octobre 2008 ( #Film reviews )

    While I was reading about Satyajit Ray’s Charulata (1964), and thinking of Pakeezah (1972), critics mentioned Abrar Alvi's (or Guru Dutt’s - he apparently was almost as much behind the camera) Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962) as a paradigmatic sort of film....

  • La couronne et les singes

    09 août 2010 ( #Trips to India )

    Bonjour a tous! (c'est vraiment enervqnt d'ecrire avec un clavier indo-je ne sais quoi!... pas d'accents, surtout!) Bon, donc apres un jour assez eprouvant a Delhi, tres chaud, tres bruyant etc., on est parti pour l'"Ulta Pradesh" - corruption amusante...

  • Om Shanti Omy Gawd!

    21 mai 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    I decided I would follow Astia’s remark, expressed in a recent commentary on Love aaj kal , which suggested I should review some more recent BW issues than Nutan and Bimal Roy. So as I’m of an obliging nature, I dutifully pored again in that cardboard...

  • 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...

  • Is Deepa Mehta's "Water" still Bollywood?

    15 mars 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    In the Bollywood cinema that I know, the Masala type, it seems there are two (main) types of films: the social/historical and the comedy/escapist. Of course, there are films that belong to the two types (and they are some of the best) such as Dil se or...

  • 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...

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