Bollywood through a feminist lens

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Review: Shakespeare Wallah (1965)

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June 19, 2017

Directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismael Merchant, and written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Shakespeare Wallah follows a family of white English actors who travel post-colonial India, performing Shakespeare’s plays to dwindling audiences. While the movie focuses on the white protagonists, the movie explores a multi-cultural India grappling with its past and future. How do… Read More ›

Review: Haider (2014)

Full disclosure: I love Shakespeare, and Hamlet is my favorite play. I first read it soon after my father died. I was 18, heading off to college. And so I identified with Hamlet, unsure of how to interact with a world that had moved on. I identified with Ophelia. “I would give you some violets,… Read More ›

Review: xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)

The living room is fairly spacious, taking up half of the bottom floor of the house. The walls are a sweet light blue, with a dark blue set of loveseat, sofa, and ottoman. The TV stand and coffee table are a matching light blonde wood: Ikea. Some old black TV trays are covered in papers… Read More ›

Review: Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014)

“I don’t want to be your duty, I want to be your joy.” Popular culture, traditional culture, the media, all tell us it so important to have a heterosexual romantic relationship, especially a marriage. Love, of a specific sort, will fulfill us, sustain us. For all the complexity in the world, there is but one… Read More ›

Review: Cocktail (2012)

For your convenience, I have transcribed all of my notes: Open with flight safety instructions. . .first shot is the flight attendant’s feet in heels and a man leaning out of his seat to ogle. She looks angry. He hits “call button.” She rolls her eyes. He flirts with her. Ugh, no. [They have sex.]… Read More ›

Review: Lahu ke Do Rang (1979)

So that is where all of the women are: the 1970s. Well, we are used to being left behind. Lahu ke Do Rang is about two brothers finding each other and avenging their father. To my surprise, while men are protagonists, the movie is full of women: young, old, rich, poor, married, widowed, single, orphaned…. Read More ›

Review: Ki & Ka (2016)

Kia did not want to make a political statement. But to exist and be female is a political act. Any choice will be scrutinized. No choice can be made in a vacuum. And unfortunately, a decision can feel forced, and the decision not to choose can still be a choice. And as is so often… Read More ›

hell yeah

Review: Gulaab Gang (2014)

“Live for yourself.” A startling rallying cry. We are told to live for our families, children, lovers, to dedicate our lives to finding a man, to having it all, where all refers to serving the forces of capitalism, the patriarchy, society. Live for yourself. You are valuable, you are enough. The movie opens with a… Read More ›

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