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Review: Stories by Rabindranath Tagore, Episode 1

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December 12, 2017

They are often in just half-light, faces highlighted by dark shadow and lanterns. They are mannered, stiff, the blocking stagey like a play, not a television show or movie. Tagore’s original stories span the 1890s through the 1930s, and the show is set solidly in the 1920s, but the characters exist in a dreamy, timeless… Read More ›

Kahaani (2012)

Vidya (Vidya Balan) moves slowly in the world of men. Her large pregnant belly requires she take up space they don’t want to cede. Taxi drivers and police tell her she should be at home, resting. One wonders, the few women seen on the margins: were they told, or allowed, to rest like this middle… Read More ›

Toonpur Ka Super Hero movie poster

Review: Toonpur Ka Super Hero (2011)

Children’s media can be particularly difficult to critique because it’s simple by design. A plot or joke an adult has heard a million times is a new experience to a child. Additionally, not every studio has the money and support of a Pixar or Studio Ghibli. As someone who loves pop culture, I want all… Read More ›

Review: I, Me, aur Main (2013)

A Bollywood movie about a man that is actually about women? Ostensibly, I, Me, aur Main follows Ishaan’s (John Abraham) maturity and acceptance of his responsibilities. Ishaan is the typical modern romantic hero: handsome, charming, cool media job (music producer), spoiled, selfish. The women around him are active, vibrant, and sick of his shit. The… Read More ›

Parched movie poster

Review: Parched (2016)

CW: Rape, sexual assault, physical abuse   Parched is beautiful and brutal. It follows the cycles of time: the time of year (the plot points converge on the Dussehra festival), the time of live (marriage, motherhood, widowhood), and the cycles that keep people trapped in poverty, violence, and tradition. The performances are raw, the characters… Read More ›

Bollywood Hollywood movie poster

Review: Bollywood Hollywood (2002)

While a fun exploration of common Bolly-tropes, Bollywood Hollywood suffers from two things: It focuses on the male character, who is even more boring because of all those tropes It was made a few years too early. Director Deepa Mehta clearly needed a break after directing such serious, heavy movies as Fire and Earth (and… Read More ›

Movie poster for Alone

Review: Alone (2015)

A dark and stormy night. A tree falls in a rural estate. A woman in a coma rushed to the hospital. And evil spirit (or is it?) wreaks havoc on the living as dark secrets come to light. Alone is run by women: a sister’s spirit, an injured mother, a superstitious maid, a woman trying… Read More ›

Ragini MMS 2 poster

Review: Ragini MMS 2 (2014)

As a companion piece to its predecessor, Ragini MMS 2 is fascinating. As a stand-alone movie, it suffers an identity crisis. Following the original film’s found footage premise, this sequel follows a production that is making a fictionalized version of the original, “real” movie. The original is serious and straight-forward, but the sequel mixes comedy,… Read More ›

A Gentleman's movie poster

Review: A Gentleman (2017)

A Gentleman asks its male lead: What do you want? He replies: someone to love, children, a house, a minivan, a family. A Gentleman asks its female lead: What do you want? She replies: A bad boy, to drive fast. A Gentleman reminds me, once again, that I cannot enjoy a movie without qualifying it…. Read More ›

Ragini MMS poster

Review: Ragini MMS (2011)

Horror movies are particularly difficult to analyze. They often punish vices like premarital sex, but also often present a young woman who is resourceful and brave. But her reward, that is her life, is because she is pure and avoids those vices. She gets to live because she followed a specific and severe set of… Read More ›

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