Review: Abhishek Chaubey’s Udta Punjab

There’s an old joke about how two smack-heads score their fix in an unfamiliar new city. They stand on opposite sides of the road, and one tosses an imaginary length of rope while the other grabs and fastens it. The first person to duck under the rope as he walks by is the man to […]

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Review: Ram Gopal Varma’s Veerappan

Ram Gopal Varma has never been one to let truth get in the way of a good story. His new film, Veerappan, for instance, opens with a quote that “a Society gets the criminal it deserves,” which is credited to Voltaire, who — to my knowledge — never said any such thing. The quote is […]

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Review: Omung Kumar’s Sarbjit

The film Sarbjit ends with a black screen, with many a line dangling in the air and many ellipses allowing them to do so. It tells us what the film’s makers declare happened to the real Sarabjit Singh and his crusading sister Dalbir Kaur, what continues to happen today, and then, with much solemnity, it […]

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Review: Tony D’Souza’s Azhar

When news of the match-fixing scandal broke, my very first thought was for Mohammad Azharuddin’s wrists. The heartbreak was unbelievable, and echoes of that particular ache still remain. Believe the hyperbole. Cricket was tantamount to religion back in the untainted day, and the idea that some of our heroes were thieves was a crushing one, […]

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Review: Vivek Agnihotri’s Buddha In A Traffic Jam

Dear Indian Right Wingers, You have my sincerest condolences. Propaganda films can be dangerous, influential, misleading — and that is what they intend to be. The one true requirement of a propaganda film is that it be effective. Emphatic instruments of (mis)information and awareness, instruments geared to trigger a change in mindset, to squelch a […]

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