Opinion: Bollywood Nepo Babies Aren’t the Problem
While offering a needed conversation on privilege, the nepotism discourse in India’s film industries has grown stale. Rather, it demands a closer look at changing the system.
‘Bride & Prejudice’ and East vs. West
Gurinder Chadha put a Bollywood spin on Jane Austen’s classic, adding a clash of Indian vs. American values and silliness that feels fun at best and outdated at worst.
How ‘Garm Hava’ Reframes the Partition Narrative
Instead of focusing on the traumatic events of Partition, the 1974 M.S. Sathyu film provides a searing look at what happened after.
How ‘Taal’ Took Aishwarya Rai to New Heights
The plot of Subhash Ghai’s 1999 film was nothing new. The killer soundtrack and a rising star made it a global sensation.
The Evolution of Karan Johar’s Queer Eye
What has driven the filmmaker’s increasingly nuanced portrayals of LGBTQ characters?
India’s Parallel Cinema Remains Unmatched
Govind Nihalani’s ‘Party’ was among a slate of films that used realism to challenge political power. Where are such movies now?
How 'RRR' and 'Baahubali' Raised the Bar for the Indian Blockbuster
Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli has achieved the Hollywood blockbuster effect — using large budgets for even larger box office payoffs — by turning Indian folklore and the freedom struggle into must-see epics.
What Makes The Kashmir Files Controversial
The blockbuster film has repurposed the true story of the horrific mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits for political gain, fanning calls for violence.
Where Has Bollywood’s Romance Gone?
In these divisive times, love remains a mere blip — not the central character it once was — in most Hindi films.
Lata Mangeshkar: The Voice of the Nation, In Good Times and Bad
Arguably the most decorated Indian singer of all time was also a witness to, and sometimes a participant in, the country's murky history.
The Cricket Pitch as Battleground in Indian Cinema
If cricket in India is no less important than religion, then films like ‘83’ and ‘M.S. Dhoni’ have deified the sport and its players beyond reproach.
It’s Time to Bid Bollywood Masala Films a Definitive Goodbye
The genre that once crackled with all the dramatic possibilities of mainstream Hindi cinema and united a country has devolved into divisive, repugnant storylines.
The Diluted Revolutionary: Bhagat Singh in Hindi Cinema
Shoojit Sircar’s “Sardar Udham” is the latest in a long line of Bollywood portrayals of the Indian freedom fighter, but the first to delve into his humanity and nuanced politics.
How Mughals Turned Into Hindi Cinema’s Newest Villains
From “Mughal-e-Azam” to “Jodhaa Akbar,” Bollywood has long been fascinated with the stories and extravagance of the Mughal empire. But in recent years, films have reduced the Muslim rulers to caricatured villains.
Why Kamal Haasan's “Hey Ram” Tries — and Fails — to Rewrite History
In the daring historical drama, the actor and filmmaker poses the question, “What if a man could be dissuaded from assassinating Gandhi?”
How Mani Ratnam’s Terrorism Trilogy Stoked 1990s Nationalism
Though critically acclaimed, the director’s “Roja,” “Bombay,” and “Dil Se...” pushed jingoistic narratives that persist in Bollywood today.
How Bollywood Failed Kashmir
Hindi cinema has long viewed Kashmir through a glossy lens, erasing its people, their agency, and their political histories.
“Fire”: An Inextinguishable Part of Queer Brown Cinema
The 1996 film was the first in India to portray two women in love. Some called it revolutionary. Others called it a war against Indian culture.
The Devolution of Journalism in Hindi Film
Bollywood’s ethical journalists are increasingly disappearing from the screen.
"Swades" and the NRI Burden
The 2004 Shah Rukh Khan-starrer doesn’t show a glamorous diaspora, but rather, the political responsibility of returning home.
How a 1990 Satyajit Ray Film Predicted the Future
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and increasing politicization of society, "Ganashatru" is loudly prescient.
Opinion: It’s Too Easy to Criticize Rupi Kaur
Twitterati recently ridiculed a viral video of everyone’s favorite Instagram poet, but her politics deserve a chance.
Dissenting Cinema: Why India Censors Films
The Indian government has long been quick to censor content that poses a challenge to the reigning politics of the time.
When Rang De Basanti Taught Us to Be Angry
The radical film — which turns 15 today — roused a generation, sending political shockwaves throughout India for years to come.
A Year After CAA, India Doubles Down on Dissent
December 12, 2020, marked the one-year anniversary of the enactment of CAA. A global pandemic hasn’t stopped India from going after its own citizens.
25 Years of Rangeela, the Quintessential Ode to Bollywood
Armed with a brilliant cast and a glorious soundtrack by A. R. Rahman, the film is a tribute to Mumbai, moviemaking, and the filmiest of love stories.
"A Suitable Boy" is Lavish, But Far Too Hasty
The BBC adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1993 novel boasts a solid cast and seasoned director, but feels rushed within the network’s six-episode format.
The Essential Legacy of M.I.A.
Her Brownness was palatable to the industry and their persistent search for a fresh eclectic star — but her politics were not.
The Complicated Exuberance of Rishi Kapoor
The iconic actor will be remembered not only for his on-screen vivacity but also for some uncomfortable off-screen moments.
The Evolution of Home in Bollywood
As we stay at home during coronavirus, a look at how Bollywood has depicted home in all its possibilities.