Bollywood through a feminist lens

Movie Reviews rss

Review: Rang de Basanti (2006)

August 14, 2017

Quick review: rang de Basanti is a beautiful, moving film about how easy it can be to ignore the past and the importance of revolution. Only watch it if you are in the mood to cry for about three days. Long review: The film reminds us how quickly history is forgotten. Sue (Alice Patten) is… Read More ›

Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal (2017)

A few hours before watching Jab Harry Met Sejal, I happened to watch the 2017 live-action Ghost in the Shell. As that movie ends, a voiceover tells us, “Our memories don’t define us. Our actions do.” This idea was running through my head as I watched Jab Harry. . ., which instead argues that our… Read More ›

Review: Angoor (1982)

I love Shakespeare, and I like movie adaptations of his works, and I enjoy that Angoor doesn’t entirely trust its audience. Most movies are content to include a quick “based on.” Angoor begins with an elaborate introduction, explaining how great Shakespeare is, and explaining the basic premise. Trust the direction and editing to convey the… Read More ›

Saawariya (2007)

I have seen Saawariya just once, in 2008. It was literally the only Bollywood movie available on iTunes to rent. Amazon’s streaming service was in its infancy, and I didn’t have any kind of Netflix account (though I would be able to rent Om Shanti Om a few months later). But I needed some Bollywood…. Read More ›

Review: Mary Kom (2014)

Mary Kom tells a story that is still too often ignored: that of a female athlete. Based on the life of Olympic boxer Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte, the film chronicles Kom’s entrance into boxing, struggles with gender, class, and racial politics, her successes, her marriage and children, and her return to the sport. The film… Read More ›

Review: Shakespeare Wallah (1965)

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 ›

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