Anupama Chopra

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Articles by Anupama Chopra
Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey in Haseen Dillruba. Pannu responded with harsh adjectives to uncomplimentary reviews of the film. Exclusive
Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey in Haseen Dillruba. Pannu responded with harsh adjectives to uncomplimentary reviews of the film.

Star wars: The perils of being a movie critic

UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2021 01:09 PM IST
Too often, the tensions between critic and talent now play out in public. A review isn’t personal, why should the backlash be?
Konkona Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma and Sandhya Mridul in the 2005 film Page 3, on the trials and perils of entertainment journalism. Social media would soon change the game. Now, Clubhouse and the pandemic are forcing Bollywood to rethink publicity strategy all over again. Exclusive
Konkona Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma and Sandhya Mridul in the 2005 film Page 3, on the trials and perils of entertainment journalism. Social media would soon change the game. Now, Clubhouse and the pandemic are forcing Bollywood to rethink publicity strategy all over again.

Perhaps Clubhouse can help Bollywood keep it real, says Anupama Chopra

UPDATED ON JUL 02, 2021 07:36 PM IST
The audio-only, invitation-only app could be the antidote to the film world’s PR-managed and airbrushed publicity content.
Lagaan, released 20 years ago, still represents much that is good about Hindi cinema: effort, talent, storytelling. This year’s Radhe, on the other hand, shows why stars need to work to a story rather than the other way around. Exclusive
Lagaan, released 20 years ago, still represents much that is good about Hindi cinema: effort, talent, storytelling. This year’s Radhe, on the other hand, shows why stars need to work to a story rather than the other way around.

The pandemic is a fitness test for the movie business, says Anupama Chopra

UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2021 10:14 PM IST
Can Bollywood reinvent itself, learn from those who have survived and thrived in this time, and emerge better, stronger?
Lily Collins in Emily in Paris, which received two Golden Globe nominations. Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You, which got none. The awards are being criticised for, among other things, routinely nominating critically panned shows like the former while ignoring worthier contenders. Exclusive
Lily Collins in Emily in Paris, which received two Golden Globe nominations. Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You, which got none. The awards are being criticised for, among other things, routinely nominating critically panned shows like the former while ignoring worthier contenders.

It’s time for the Golden Globes to step out of the bubble, says Anupama Chopra

UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2021 12:59 PM IST
The awards are too White, too arbitrary, too much of a closed club. Next year’s bash is being boycotted even by Hollywood.
A still from Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. It’s the same thing all over again — fight scenes, shirtless scenes, a plot that’s devoid of logic and coherence. Exclusive
A still from Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. It’s the same thing all over again — fight scenes, shirtless scenes, a plot that’s devoid of logic and coherence.

Oh Bhai! Where’s the Salman we knew, asks Anupama Chopra

UPDATED ON MAY 14, 2021 10:26 PM IST
This is a man whose stardom just doesn’t fade and whose fans remain as frenzied as ever. So why has he stopped trying?
“Remember it always. Remember that you and I made this journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go:” Irrfan as Ashoke Ganguli, to his son Gogol, in The Namesake (2007). (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Remember it always. Remember that you and I made this journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go:” Irrfan as Ashoke Ganguli, to his son Gogol, in The Namesake (2007). (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Fond flashback: One year on, Anupama Chopra remembers Irrfan

UPDATED ON APR 30, 2021 04:40 PM IST
His life taught us to navigate death. In the honest note that he brought to each character, we found our better selves.
An added attraction on Call My Agent! were the guest appearances by French cinema’s A-listers, including Juliette Binoche. An Indian version is now in the works. (France 2)
An added attraction on Call My Agent! were the guest appearances by French cinema’s A-listers, including Juliette Binoche. An Indian version is now in the works. (France 2)

Behind the scenes, where there’s drama, there’s comedy: Anupama Chopra on Call My Agent!

PUBLISHED ON APR 16, 2021 05:44 PM IST
The French series satirised celebrity, laid bare all the backstabbing in service of the art. It will be missed, says Chopra.
Fahadh Faasil in the new Netflix thriller Irul. These artists don’t chase the leading-man stereotypes of six-pack abs and styled beauty. They command the frame with presence and talent. And that is real stardom.
Fahadh Faasil in the new Netflix thriller Irul. These artists don’t chase the leading-man stereotypes of six-pack abs and styled beauty. They command the frame with presence and talent. And that is real stardom.

The stars look very different today: Anupama Chopra on changing cinemascapes

UPDATED ON APR 04, 2021 10:03 PM IST
It’s a treat to see gifted actors flourish outside the blockbuster ecosystem, through stunning tales told in non-Hindi languages, Chopra says.
Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor in Roohi. She plays a small-town girl who also happens, occasionally, to be a fearsome chudail. The film has performed better than expected. “But my enthusiasm waned as the film descended into tedium — despite the strenuous efforts of its lead actors,” Chopra says.
Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor in Roohi. She plays a small-town girl who also happens, occasionally, to be a fearsome chudail. The film has performed better than expected. “But my enthusiasm waned as the film descended into tedium — despite the strenuous efforts of its lead actors,” Chopra says.

Dark hall, bright future: Anupama Chopra on the return of moviegoing

UPDATED ON MAR 20, 2021 05:56 PM IST
At the screening of the first major Hindi film to be released in the pandemic, viewers kept their masks on and were excited to be back. A look at what has changed, and what should.
Smita Patil, angry and unyielding, as Sonbai in Mirch Masala.
Smita Patil, angry and unyielding, as Sonbai in Mirch Masala.

Wonder women: Anupama Chopra picks her top heroines of the silver screen

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:34 PM IST
If not on Women’s Day, when! Here are some of the most fierce, fearless and fabulous female characters to have lit up our screens.
Pebbles, about an alcoholic man and his little son, is set in a drought-struck village near Madurai . (Image courtesy Rowdy Pictures)
Pebbles, about an alcoholic man and his little son, is set in a drought-struck village near Madurai . (Image courtesy Rowdy Pictures)

Finally in focus, an India we rarely get to see, says Anupama Chopra

UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 07:31 AM IST
Two niche films, Bittu and Pebbles, are making us proud abroad. They deserve to be seen widely here at home too.
Gourav in The White Tiger. He’s currently learning Tamil and wants to learn Malayalam so he can branch out in different directions, with an eye on films made across India and beyond.
Gourav in The White Tiger. He’s currently learning Tamil and wants to learn Malayalam so he can branch out in different directions, with an eye on films made across India and beyond.

Adarsh Gourav: A dark horse powers ahead in Bollywood

PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 06:21 PM IST
“His success is thrilling,” says Anupama Chopra in this week’s column. “His talent and hard work shine through in the role of the evil Balram in The White Tiger. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”
Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in Master. The last hour of this film delivers the kind of larger-than-life moment you rarely get in Hindi movies any more. A reminder that it takes art, effort and commitment to add masala to the mix (Image courtesy: Seven Screen Studios)
Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in Master. The last hour of this film delivers the kind of larger-than-life moment you rarely get in Hindi movies any more. A reminder that it takes art, effort and commitment to add masala to the mix (Image courtesy: Seven Screen Studios)

How to Master the masala movie recipe: Anupama Chopra

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:34 PM IST
Visual drama, the money shot, a happy suspension of disbelief— it’s time to bring back some of cinema’s giddiest pleasures
Gary Oldman in and as Mank. “This is a visually sumptuous, penetrating portrait of showbiz,” says Chopra.
Gary Oldman in and as Mank. “This is a visually sumptuous, penetrating portrait of showbiz,” says Chopra.

Let the movies transform and transport you in 2021, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JAN 10, 2021 04:22 PM IST
Step outside your comfort zones, travel to new genres. Aim to confound the algorithms by being as unpredictable as possible.
Musician Diljit Dosanjh created, in lockdown, a best-selling music album called G.O.A.T. He also spoke up with courage in support of farmers.(Gokul VS / HT)
Musician Diljit Dosanjh created, in lockdown, a best-selling music album called G.O.A.T. He also spoke up with courage in support of farmers.(Gokul VS / HT)

It’s been overcast but you can still count some stars, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 12:21 PM IST
It’s been a year of losses, but not one devoid of cinematic joy. Here’s a list of things that made me happiest in dismal 2020.
“I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s Hotstar series, is one of the gems I discovered on streaming networks this year. Gullak, on Sony Liv, is one I would surely have missed if not for a fellow critic’s tipoff,” Chopra says.
“I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s Hotstar series, is one of the gems I discovered on streaming networks this year. Gullak, on Sony Liv, is one I would surely have missed if not for a fellow critic’s tipoff,” Chopra says.

It’s an upstream battle finding the good content in the flood, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 11:02 PM IST
Cinema halls, over 40 streaming platforms, more shows, new worlds — curation will be more crucial than ever in 2021.
Konkona Sen Sharma as Dolly in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. The transgender angle built around her son’s character is one of many tangents in the film that take away from the storytelling.
Konkona Sen Sharma as Dolly in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. The transgender angle built around her son’s character is one of many tangents in the film that take away from the storytelling.

Cut! Films that get preachy defeat their very purpose, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 03:02 PM IST
There’s so much the right story can achieve, in a cinema-crazy country like ours. But first, and above all, it must be entertaining.
Theatres have reopened across India over the past month. “While numbers in the US and UK have remained subdued in the pandemic, I think it’s going to look very different here at home once new films hit the screens,” says Anupama Chopra.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Theatres have reopened across India over the past month. “While numbers in the US and UK have remained subdued in the pandemic, I think it’s going to look very different here at home once new films hit the screens,” says Anupama Chopra.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

No exit: It will always be bigger, better at the movies, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON NOV 13, 2020 08:12 PM IST
It will likely take just one big-ticket release to get film fans in India to return to theatres, rooting for their favourite stars.
Rasika Dugal with Tanya Maniktala in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy. Hindi cinema was unable to give Dugal enough roles with meat.(BBC STUDIOS / NETFLIX)
Rasika Dugal with Tanya Maniktala in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy. Hindi cinema was unable to give Dugal enough roles with meat.(BBC STUDIOS / NETFLIX)

While we’re streaming, these actors are going against the flow: Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2020 05:41 PM IST
In Bollywood they might have had to play to type. But web series let talented actors make unpredictable choices, and the results are sheer magic.
In Mee Raqsam, released this August, a Muslim teen learns Bharatanatyam, a marker of cinema’s inclusivity.
In Mee Raqsam, released this August, a Muslim teen learns Bharatanatyam, a marker of cinema’s inclusivity.

It’s Bollywood; religion is just not part of the plot, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON OCT 18, 2020 10:41 AM IST
When you’re chasing the Holy Grail — the next big hit — you can’t afford to be communal. What works is collaboration.
(HT PHOTO)
(HT PHOTO)

Taapsee Pannu is a strident voice in turbulent times, says Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2020 10:08 AM IST
She is a rare example of an actor who has both a mainstream career and an anti-establishment public persona.
With borders still closed, only local cinephiles could attend events such as the drive-in screenings held during the pandemic edition of the Toronto film festival.(tiff_NET/instagram)
With borders still closed, only local cinephiles could attend events such as the drive-in screenings held during the pandemic edition of the Toronto film festival.(tiff_NET/instagram)

Anupama Chopra muses on the wins and losses as the Toronto film festival goes virtual

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2020 10:49 AM IST
Even with its digital screenings and shrunken line-up, TIFF felt like a minor miracle; a reminder that storytelling never stops.
C U Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, was shot in lockdown but never feels flat or gimmicky.
C U Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, was shot in lockdown but never feels flat or gimmicky.

From Kerala, a mystery in the middle of a pandemic: Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON SEP 04, 2020 11:25 PM IST
C U Soon, set entirely on computer and smartphone screens, proves that even in a pandemic, cinema can persist. Is Bollywood paying attention?
Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

Will post-pandemic Bollywood put more women in the cockpit, asks Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2020 11:24 AM IST
As films go direct to streaming platforms, female-led movies could finally get a fair shot at finding their audience. Reduced post-Covid budgets could help.
A still from Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple.
A still from Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple.

While media attention was focused on the insider-outsider debate, Chaitanya Tamhane made history

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON AUG 09, 2020 09:00 AM IST
Chaitanya Tamhane brings his craft and discipline to The Disciple, the story of a conflicted musician in Mumbai. His mentor Alfonso Cuaron calls it stunning.
Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi. No matter who she’s playing, the actor always manages to humanise the woman, take you into her inner life, struggles and desires.
Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi. No matter who she’s playing, the actor always manages to humanise the woman, take you into her inner life, struggles and desires.

From Parineeta to Shakuntala Devi, Vidya Balan is always convincing, always entertaining

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2020 10:21 AM IST
Vidya Balan will soon be seen in the role of the math genius Shakuntala Devi. The actor has a superpower too - she is always convincing, always entertaining.
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14.
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14.

Will the nepotism debate post Sushant Singh Rajput’s death lead the way to a more level playing field?

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2020 11:10 AM IST
Let’s emerge from the pandemic with a fairer, better, more innovative Bollywood
Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo released on Amazon Prime amid pandemic.
Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo released on Amazon Prime amid pandemic.

How the pandemic has temporarily overthrown the tyranny of box office

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JUN 28, 2020 04:07 PM IST
One silver lining to the theatres being closed during the pandemic is that we’re talking about the movies again, rather than just how many crores were made on the first day.
Kangana Ranaut during a shoot for the historical epic film Manikarnika, in Jaipur in 2018.
Kangana Ranaut during a shoot for the historical epic film Manikarnika, in Jaipur in 2018.

How will Covid-19 change the way India makes its cinema?

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2020 04:20 PM IST
New norms and slimmer budgets are set to transform every aspect of movie-making.
Actor Arjun Rampal on set.
Actor Arjun Rampal on set.

Covid-19 can end the circus of celebrity, open doors for new talent, writes Anupama Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Anupama Chopra
UPDATED ON JUN 05, 2020 08:06 PM IST
The Covid-19 pandemic has sent Bollywood A-listers into hibernation, but perhaps it can open doors for new talent once things resume, writes Anupama Chopra.
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