Century of Smoke (2019): Illuminating the Murky World of Opium Addiction

Century of Smoke opens with an image that immediately exposes its subject, and underscores its primary aims ― a man preparing his bowl of opium beside the fire, gently stoking the flames before inhaling the fumes, as the room gets gradually covered by a thick blanket of smoke. Sleeping beside Continue Reading

Meal (2018): A Dysfunctional Family on the Verge of Devouring Itself

The personal merges with the political and comes to a boil in Abhiroop Basu’s searing short film Meal. Featuring veteran actors Adil Hussain (Life of Pi, Lootera) and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee (Jonaki, Bombay Talkies) as a married couple engaged in a wordless domestic duel, the film becomes a potent look at Continue Reading

Shikara (2020): Buoyed By Formal Mastery, Victim To Narrative Insincerity

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Shikara combines superior craft, earnest performances, A.R. Rahman’s soulful score and a script brimming with pathos to achieve the unexpected: a film where the sum-of-parts is far greater than the crucial whole. While Chopra’s vision seems fueled by genuine passion and feeling for the themes he tackles, Continue Reading