A-Z List of Reviews

Aaja Nachle (2007) “It is clear that this film is solely a Madhuri Dixit vehicle, and by vehicle I mean advertising bicycle cart that she rides while shouting through a megaphone, twirling her so-2008 neck scarf and shaking her Calvin Klein-jeaned bootie…[read more]”

Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) “…And then there’s the number where Anthony steps out of an enormous Easter egg and sings a song while sporting a monocle and cane…[read more]”

Arth (1982) “…There was no secret that the story was based on the actual filmmaker’s own affair. What is fascinating here is that the scorned wife becomes the focus and force of the film…[read more]”

Awara (1951) “…For the first half of the movie, the songs function as a Greek chorus, with most of the lines sung by other cast members whose words comment directly on what has happened and what is about to happen to the main characters…[read more]”

Baiju Bawra (1952) “…Gauri has been promised to another man since she was a girl, and Baiju cannot forget his grudge against Tansen (whenever Tansen is mentioned, Baiju’s face freezes, his eyes fix long and hard, and he seethes the name, ‘Taaanseeen.’)…[read more]”

Bobby (1973) “…During the last song I mentioned, there are so many laudable shots; you can tell the director Raj is loving being able to play out the picture in his mind so perfectly, such as when the characters Raj and Bobby repeatedly embrace in different areas in a field of yellow flowers, the sunlight flashing between them (which flashes out what is clearly meant to be kissing)…[read more]”

CID (1956) “…You can decide for yourself if it is a good or bad thing that this review was littered with references to Hollywood. I make every effort to analyze Bollywood on its own terms, but this film couldn’t fend off the comparisons…[read more]”

Deewana (1992) “If you are interested in Bollywood as a film industry that makes ridiculous movies at which you want to snicker at every aspect, then Deewana is for you…[read more]”

Deewar (1975) “…Amitabh Bachchan is at his surly best, but at the time of this film he hadn’t quite hit megastardom. Sashi Kapoor is at his mediocre worst…[read more]”

Dil to Pagal Hai (1997) “…Five Tuffys, because the rom-com plot is very typical, and the dancing and music are phenomenal and very accessible. Even better: no fights!…[read more]”

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) “I had a fever of 102 when I watched this movie, which was entirely the wrong sort of hallucinatory state to be in. I’d recommend a few beers. […] You, too, might find yourself dancing poolside and running through the snow….[read more]”

Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) “…Perhaps because this movie only covers the time period of a little more than a year, the camera can gaze for much longer onto its subjects. […] It makes a difference, just like it makes a difference in writing, when the director both knows his/her artistic vision and loves to gaze at the characters in the vision…[read more]

Kabhi Kabhie (1976) “…The real story, to me, is attempting to be with Pinky, yet the filmmakers don’t seem to realize it. She is left to work out most of her issues alone, with Rishi occasionally coming along and barking at her for having the issues…[read more]”

Khalnayak (1993) “…The answer to the titular (and titillating, duh) question is in the very next verse—“the heart,” but there is no mistaking that the song is meant as a vehicle for the seduction of the ruffian by the undercover police officer…[read more]”

Lagaan (2001) “…I think more exposure to Western influences and the awareness that more Western viewers might be watching changed how the stories were created…[read more]”

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) “…One plot point has Salman’s character working at a quarry, which is a great excuse for him to take off his shirt. Be still my heart. Salman’s at his peak of physical beauty here. Since then he’s bulked up to a sort of disgusting degree (and he’s also pretty enraptured with his own handsomeness: See “beauty, which always lessens”)….[read more]”

Mother India (1957) “…He is defiant from childhood—he doesn’t accept his lot—he loves his mother but can’t contain his wildness—and he shocks and yet gains the complicated sympathy of the viewer…[read more]”

Mughal-e-Azam (1960) “…Not once does the viewer feel that the story is taking place on a realistic plane, but the immersion in the legendary plane heightens the intensity of  the script, which is poetry, and the scenes, which are fantastic (a girl as a statue, a palace of mirrors, speaking in candlelight)…[read more]”

Om Shanti Om (2007) “…Rife with in-the-know references, throw-away name-droppings, and Easter-egg type film trivia in the background […], Om Shanti Om is great fun for the Bollywood enthusiast but only a glittery, bewildering, rollicking ride for the uninitiated…[read more]”

Pakeezah (1971) “…She dances over the shards, leaving bloody tracks across the white carpet—tracks she keeps dancing over until she collapses….[read more]”

Parinda (1989) “…Of any Bollywood film I have seen, this film is the best argument against critics who think Bollywood should conform more to Western aesthetics…[read more]”

Satya (1998) “…For me, though, the stars of the film are J.D. Chakravarty’s heavy-lidded, dead-staring eyes, whose blank depths reflect no childhood trauma that led him to this life—it was just the road he happened to set on, and his amorality kept him on it…[read more]”

Sholay (1975) “…Imagine a movie about which we felt in synthesis what we feel separately for Citizen Kane, Star Wars, The Usual Suspects, and The Princess Bride…[read more]”

Shree 420 (1955) “…This is most like how a song could actually happen in real life; our physical selves do what we think is best, but our hearts’ bodies move on unhindered, doing ridiculous, laughable,  unwise things…[read more]”

Taal (1999) “…Ash and the male lead in love with her avoid and then connect with each other, most hilariously over a bottle of Coke…[read more]”

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