Top articles

  • Kabhie Kabhie, clumsy classic

    14 octobre 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Yash Chopra ’s “Kabhie kabhie” (1976) was for me like a distant reference, a movie many people had seen and loved back in the exotic seventies, and so, I knew I would have to see it one day. And now that I have, and have both enjoyed it and been disappointed...

  • Anupama, where the dream-fairies slumber

    12 avril 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    Anupama , by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, centres around the character of Uma (Sharmila Tagore), a shy and silent girl, sole daughter of a cruel father (Tarun Bose) who lost this beloved wife when she gave birth to this daughter. He blamed her for the death...

  • Yash Chopra, the power of Passion

    25 octobre 2012 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Yash Chopra passed today; because of the importance of the guy, I decided to post this eulogy of him written some time ago, but which I still feel is appropriate. Yash Chopra… Say this name and immediately vast landscapes appear, green slopes where lovers...

  • Shree 420: Raj Kapoor's masterpiece

    19 décembre 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Another classic ! Raj Kapoor (actor and director) and Nargis are once again at the top of their art, and create a masterful, a superb story of love and temptation, of self-deception and redemption. Not only is the story a moving and profound parable on...

  • Mother India, the mother of Indian movies

    08 février 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    Mother India…That title resonates like everything a Bollywood-lover should pine for: aren’t we all somehow in love with Bharat mata? Aren’t we all her children up to some extent? As for me, I’d say that ever since I’ve been writing this blog (more than...

  • Khamoshi: Unutterable music

    17 mai 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    I've seen Khamoshi: a musical. Watching it has been like a revelation. Everything it says, everything it hints at, everything it suggests, because it cannot be said, I have avidly drunk as one drinks from a familiar well, knowing that the effect is exactly...

  • Manzil (1979): do you mind lying and deceit?

    23 septembre 2018 ( #Film reviews )

    Have you ever wondered why you were born poor and not rich ? (if it’s the other way round, you often don’t wonder) Have you asked yourself why this injustice continues in today’s developed world? And if you are a victim of this injustice, have you never...

  • BR Chopra's Naya Daur: the prophecy of a new India

    22 septembre 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    The Brave New World of Naya Daur (New Era, BR Chopra 1957) opens with a striking quote by Mahatma Gandhi: So from the start we know that the film is going to be about the biological (bios = life) relationship between men and the Earth, and that this bond...

  • The said and the unsaid: Rajnigandha

    12 juillet 2018 ( #Film reviews )

    First the story for those who don’t remember Basu Chatterji’s Rajnigandha (1974): it’s based on Mannu Bhandari ’s book Yahi Sach Hai. Deepa (Vidya Sinha) and Sanjay (Amol Patekar) are a young, aspiring couple living in Delhi. He’s a jolly, outspoken civil...

  • The nature of love (Andaz)

    06 juillet 2007 ( #Film reviews )

    Well, my foray into Bollywood oldies opens up with a bang ! This 1949 classic “love triangle” film which supposedly deals with the clash between traditional India and its Westernisation, errs, says IMdB sd268 in a perceptive commentary, because it equates...

  • Aishwarya Rai's dilemma: how does she cope with her beauty?

    08 février 2007 ( #Bollywood Talk )

    Ever since I discovered her, I have seen Ash as a wonder, a miracle of womanhood. Or of creation. One hears sometimes that Creation isn’t perfect, that it isn’t finished, that it’s flawed with sin and marred with injustice. Well, for once, on that face,...

  • Ek din achanak: emptiness...

    17 décembre 2013 ( #Film reviews )

    "I wish I could start from scratch. I have done good, bad and indifferent films. I wish I could erase it all and start afresh like the Professor of "Ek Din Achanak" who walked out on his family in a rainy day without even as much as informing anybody....

  • Woman to woman

    10 janvier 2018 ( #Book reviews )

    Woman to woman is the first book I read by Madhulika Liddle. She’s written more, of which I had been aware, since I read her blog where she had mentioned them, but for some reason I had relented until now. It’s a quickly read collection of 12 short stories,...

  • Tere ghar ke samne - more delight!

    22 juin 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    Tere ghar ke samne (1963) has a Molièresque quality to it. I don’t know if English-speaking readers know about Molière, but this story of two young lovers who want to marry in spite of their cantankerous fathers immediately made me think of L’Avare, or...

  • Lady Nutan

    03 juin 2014 ( #Nutan )

    Hello ! As Nutan’s birthday was coming up, I wanted to resume some hold on the blog (sorry readers for my lack of habit, another blog has kept me busy, plus my PhD research) and went through my hoard of Nutan stuff, so I’ll put up some of it as an illustration...

  • The white tiger

    02 janvier 2010 ( #Book reviews )

    The white tiger is a rare genetic variation of the normally ochre-skinned feline that is both feared and respected as the king of animals in Asia. But it’s also a 2008 novel by Aravind Adiga which the press has acclaimed and which I’ve just finished reading....

  • Sangam, Raj Kapoor's murky waters

    02 janvier 2009 ( #Film reviews )

    I don’t know how many of Raj Kapoor’s movies are called “his best”. This one belongs to that collection, judging by most IMDb user comments (on the other hand, very few bloggers have written about it…). Sangam (“Confluence” in English), which came out...

  • 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...

  • My name is Khan, or: what can blunt truth achieve?

    09 juillet 2010 ( #Film reviews )

    We shall overcome... Karan Johar’s My name is Khan (2010), starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol – her great comeback since Fanaa (U me aur ham being not much more than a Devgan promotional), is a movie about truth and violence, like Fanaa in fact, with which...

  • Chhalia, Nutan's contribution to the Indo-pakistani peace process

    26 décembre 2011 ( #Nutan )

    In Chhalia (Manmohan Desai, 1960), we have another of Raj Kapoor’s avatars: his character personifies a “chhaliya”, translated by Philip as a cheat, or artful deceiver, but who in fact doesn’t deceive anyone, and I wonder whether we shouldn’t say “cunning...

  • Bandini, Bimal Roy's ode to purity

    18 mai 2009 ( #Nutan )

    I remember feeling annoyed when, a few years ago, somebody to whom I was voicing my pleasure at recently discovered Bollywood movies, bluntly told me: “oh yes, but Indian movies now… you want to see those from the 60s and the 70s!” Whether he was right...

  • Kanchanjungha, the moment of revelation

    19 novembre 2011 ( #Film reviews )

    I owe Sharmi an IOU because she’s the lover of “threadbare movies” who watched and beautifully reviewed Satyajit Ray’s Kanchanjangha (1962) on her blog and made me want to watch it! Well, everybody whose review I read ( check here and here ) calls it...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • Subarnarekha, Ritwick Ghatak's ode to Life

    09 janvier 2012 ( #Film reviews )

    What is the soul of poetry? Isn’t it a kind of universal music which, universal as it is, springs fresh and clear from a homely and unique source of inspiration? When Tagore writes: Nahin kisi ko pata kahaan mere raja ka rajmahal Agar jaante log, mahal...

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