Thappad (2020)

The rise in production and consumption of “social-message movies” in Bollywood of late has given birth to some actors’ careers (Ayushmann Khurrana), and somewhat resurrected flailing ones (Akshay Kumar). But, if there is one person, this movement has entirely changed (arguably liberated), it is director Anubhav Sushila Sinha. Take his output before the still hauntingly […]

Chhapaak (2020)

Major Spoilers for Chhapaak (Only if you have not seen the trailers) In an era whereby Bollywood has been content in churning out countless hagiographies and jingoistic propagandas to comfort the mass’ sentiments, the success of the fearless Meghna Gulzar deserves special praise. With Talvar (2015), the female director turned what could have been (and was in […]

Ghost Stories (2020)

The transformation of this anthology film series from being a one-off theatrical celebration of Bollywood in Bombay Talkies (2013) to a regular Netflix production that champions the idiosyncrasies of Hindi cinemas’ auteurs is an admirable one. The streaming platform affords these directors so often constrained by the need to bring in box-office numbers and obey Indian censorship’s strict guidelines […]

The Timelessness and Historical Specificity of Sholay

This is an academic paper on the way in which Ramesh Sippy’s iconic Indian Western –  Sholay – borrows from the historical context of 1970s India, and from the Western genre to create the quintessential Bollywood “masala” film, whose appeal has endured ever since its release in 1975. Major spoilers ahead. The image of men in commercially […]