Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra is the editor and founder of Film Companion.

Articles by Anupama Chopra

Koffee and a director’s cut: Anupama Chopra on Karan Johar the filmmaker

He’s a talk-show host, emcee, fashionista, designer, producer… but it’s Karan Johar the movie-maker that we are most eager to see, Chopra says.

‘His cinema has given us indelible characters such as Saba and Ayan of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) and Tina, Rahul and Anjali of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998),’ Chopra says.
Updated on Jun 02, 2023 07:59 PM IST

A carpet-bombing at Cannes: Anupama Chopra writes in from the festival

There was so much of India, and cinema, to celebrate. Sadly, Chopra says, many Indians present were there just to celebrate themselves.

‘The India story of the year, for me, was actor Sunny Leone, who wasn’t there just to glitter but went to Cannes with a film, Anurag Kashyap’s Kennedy,’ Chopra says. (Photo courtesy Film Companion)
Updated on May 27, 2023 04:30 PM IST

Always on location: Anupama Chopra on filmmaker Mani Ratnam

Forty years in, the auteur still tours theatres to check on their sound systems. This dedication to detail is part of what makes his movies unique.

From the 1987 gangster classic Nayakan to last year’s Ponniyin Selvan 1, Ratnam’s filmography brims with brilliance, courage and vitality.
Updated on Apr 29, 2023 01:04 PM IST

Why doesn’t India have an award even half as prestigious as the Oscars?

We make more films than any other country in the world. Yet, trying to create a world-class prize for cinema is the stuff of black comedy, says Anupama Chopra.

At the Oscars, protocol is strictly obeyed. Artists show up to applaud their peers. These are moves rarely seen at Indian awards. (AMPAS via Getty Images)
Updated on Apr 08, 2023 12:37 PM IST

Playing by new rules: Anupama Chopra on streaming platforms and stories of women

‘Bollywood continues to discriminate, but streaming platforms are thankfully making more room for women — on screens, behind the scenes and in boardrooms too.’

Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon in Shehzada. In the mainstream, male stars whose films tank continue to get big paydays. Women in this position seldom do.
Updated on Mar 24, 2023 03:05 PM IST

A rebel storms the screen again: Anupama Chopra on Gulmohar

Sharmila Tagore plays Kusum, an elegant, wise, defiant matriarch, in the new film. It’s the ideal role for an actress who has always, inspiringly, done things her way.

Sharmila Tagore as Kusum, seen here with Manoj Bajpayee, who plays her son Arun.
Updated on Mar 11, 2023 02:02 PM IST

Maar daala: Anupama Chopra looks back on courtesans that lit up our screens

Eyes that mesmerise, lips that spout poetry, hearts full of yearning... tawaifs return in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new series, drawing from cinema’s best.

A poster for Bhansali’s upcoming Netflix series Heeramandi, which traces the lives of six courtesans in pre-Independence India.
Updated on Feb 25, 2023 10:23 PM IST

Are OTT platforms changing streams, asks Anupama Chopra

February has a dazzling, star-studded line-up. But will big-ticket projects edge out quieter narratives, lesser-known names?

Raj Nidimoru says Shahid Kapoor was cast in Farzi because the project started out as a film with that actor. ‘Volumes in OTT are very high. One can’t have only stars,’ he adds, reassuringly.
Updated on Feb 11, 2023 04:24 PM IST

A new blow for Bollywood: No Hindi film in India’s Top 5 earners of 2022

Movies made in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, even English feature among the year’s top five grossers in India. The first Hindi film, Brahmastra, comes in at No. 6.

Even Avatar: The Way of Water, a Hollywood fantasy adventure, fared better than any of the year’s Hindi films. It was the third-highest grosser in the country. The rest of the Top 5 was made up by RRR, KGF 2, Kantara and Ponniyin Selvan: I. (20th Century Studios)
Updated on Jan 14, 2023 02:08 PM IST

What will stardom look like in 2023? Kannada superstar Yash provides clues

His is a story of talent, humility, vision, perseverance, ambition and lots of hard work. We need more dreamers and doers like him, says Anupama Chopra.

‘My vision is, let me work with people who are hungry and passionate. (Not) people who are looking at my box-office numbers,’ says Yash, seen here in a still from KGF 2.
Updated on Dec 24, 2022 07:04 PM IST

Behind the scenes, at the roundtable, with Anupama Chopra

It can be heartache fixing a date. Even the seating can become controversial. But it’s worth it to have the best talent all in one place, excited to talk about the magic of filmmaking.

Anupama Chopra at a roundtable in Chennai with Gautham Menon, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Kamal Haasan and SS Rajamouli. (Courtesy Film Companion)
Updated on Dec 10, 2022 09:51 PM IST

Great expectations: Anupama Chopra on how films now depict pregnancy

Indian cinema has typically deified mothers and ignored pregnancy. That’s changing, with hope for even-realer tales to come

In the recent release Yashoda, Samantha Ruth Prabhu plays a surrogate battling sinister forces in the luxurious prenatal facility to which she has been taken.
Updated on Nov 26, 2022 12:52 AM IST

No fireworks, no fizz in Bollywood this Diwali, says Anupama Chopra

The festival face-off used to be a spectator sport. Now it’s a contest of bland vs bland, with sloppy storytelling all around.

Both Akshay Kumar’s Ram Setu and Ajay Devgn’s Thank God feel like endurance tests. They’re symptoms of a deeper malaise in Hindi cinema.
Updated on Nov 04, 2022 03:04 PM IST

When demi-gods show the way: Anupama Chopra on Kantara

Rishab Shetty’s new Kannada film is primal, authentic. And its blend of folklore and masala just shattered the language barrier in real time.

Actor-writer-director Shetty plays Shiva, an impulsive villager. The plot makes room for love, comedy, family drama, and trauma overcome with a bit of divine aid.
Updated on Oct 21, 2022 02:11 PM IST

Rebuild, reboot, rethink Hrithik: Anupama Chopra on Vikram Vedha

Roshan’s character, Vedha, is maniacal yet charismatic, violent and unhinged. It’s an astonishing pivot from his lover-boy image.

In an interview in 2019, Roshan described to Chopra what the early years of his career felt like. ‘I was running fast because there was a dog after me. It’s very recently that I started to look back and the dog was not there,’ he said.
Updated on Oct 08, 2022 12:21 PM IST

Critic’s choice: Anupama Chopra lists her favourite responses to bad reviews

Online, there are anonymous threats and accusations. Offline, there are implications of bias. But every now and then, a filmmaker or actor will take it in their stride in amusing ways. One such instance was literally a scream.

When Anupama Chopra bumped into Ram Gopal Verma after giving his film, Agyaat, a bad review, he didn’t say hello. He just “looked at me, screamed, and ran in the opposite direction. It was hilarious,” she says.
Updated on Sep 24, 2022 06:24 PM IST

Finally, a price correction begins in Bollywood

As films led by superstars continue to flop, A-listers are taking pay cuts and there is talk of budgets going towards storytelling instead, says Anupama Chopra.

‘Amid a series of flops — most recently, Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan (above) — a leading producer tells me that star prices have dropped by up to 35%,’ Chopra says.
Updated on Sep 09, 2022 06:34 PM IST

Private jets, Biserli baths:Anupama Chopra on the escalating A-lister’s wishlist

As moviestars look to outdo one another, demands are ballooning. Some want an entire food truck on set, even when they’re fasting. Others will only travel via Boeing, not Airbus.

Production houses are having to deal with the kinds of demands we gaped at agog in the showbiz mockumentary 30 Rock, featuring the likes of spoilt-brat star Tracy Jordan and his eccentric entourage.
Updated on Aug 27, 2022 03:58 PM IST

It’s big change that’s needed in Bollywood, not big bucks, says Anupama Chopra

The ₹150-crore Shamshera is built on a story that gives way in the first hour, leaving its lead, the talented Ranbir Kapoor, floundering. Meanwhile, small gems continue to hook audiences, including Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films made on tiny and even crowdsourced budgets.

Rajat Kapoor’s RK/Rkay is a witty and whimsical take on making movies, on questions of authorship, destiny and free will. The film crowdsouced its <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>2-crore budget, with about 800 people contributing between <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>100 and <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>50,000 each.
Updated on Jul 30, 2022 03:19 PM IST

Add to watchlist: Anupama Chopra picks 2022’s best films on streaming so far

At the half-year mark, a look at rare gems, indie releases, regional hits and little films that could, and did.

Malayalam film Hridayam is about growing up and coming to the understanding that despite the heartbreak, the missed opportunities and failures, it is glorious to be alive.
Updated on Jul 16, 2022 07:17 PM IST

SRK and the art of spreading the love

Even in a mediocre film, there is a specific kind of joy that Shah Rukh delivers. The world could do with more of that, says Anupama Chopra.

SRK at Davos. When Shah Rukh Khan stretches his arms out in that signature pose, it feels like he is embracing the world, Chopra says.
Updated on Jul 01, 2022 10:46 PM IST

What makes a movie too long, asks Anupama Chopra

There is no science to film duration. But even a good idea stretched too far will snap, as a new crop of filmmakers is finding out.

The new Kannada release 777 Charlie, a heart-rending tale of a man bettered by his dog, is let down by its runtime of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Updated on Jun 18, 2022 08:01 PM IST

Joyland is a gem from across the border, says Anupama Chopra

Pakistan’s first film to make the official selection at Cannes is a tragic tale of desire, freedom and repression. It deserves a bigger audience than just festival-goers.

Filmmaker Saim Sadiq describes the film about a conservative Lahore family as a call for empathy. It observes the acute loneliness of both men and women and the toxic patriarchy that subjugates everyone.
Updated on Jun 04, 2022 06:36 PM IST

French dispatch: Notes from a busy week at Cannes

More than 12,000 people are at the festival this year. It’s a breath of fresh air amid the pandemic, and a reminder that cinema remains our constant, says Anupama Chopra.

Crowds ring a red carpet at Cannes as Viola Davis, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Elle Fanning, Eva Longoria and Katherine Langford arrive at a premiere. (AFP)
Updated on May 20, 2022 04:37 PM IST

Bollywood is learning about the perils of vanity, says Anupama Chopra

It started with artists buying the spotlight, then believing they‘d earned it. The level of delusion and hubris tends to be proportional to the mediocrity of the work. Meanwhile, films from the South continue to top Hindi charts and set new records.

Tiger Shroff in Heropanti 2. The film has opened to a lacklustre response, even as the dubbed-in-Hindi Kannada movie KGF: Chapter 2 continues to rake it in.
Updated on May 07, 2022 01:07 PM IST

It’s too much testosterone. Take it down a notch, say Anupama Chopra

KGF: Chapter 2, RRR, Pushpa: The Rise, Sooryavanshi... I hope the hyper-masculine heroes of recent hits, bashing and bathed in blood, don’t become the new industry standard, Chopra says.

Allu Arjun in Pushpa: The Rise. “Pushpa isn’t a flower. It is fire,” he says in the film.
Updated on Apr 22, 2022 02:51 PM IST

Bollywood could do with some of Rajamouli’s secret sauce: Anupama Chopra on RRR

There is a ferociousness and flamboyance to the filmmaker’s vision that the Hindi film industry needs more of. He doesn’t rest on past glory; there’s effort in every frame, Chopra says.

NTR Jr and Ram Charan in RRR, a film about a friendship between two freedom fighters in the 1920s.
Updated on Apr 08, 2022 04:07 PM IST

Drive My Car: Japan’s first film up for a Best Picture Oscar is exquisite

The movie explores the bond between a widower and the woman hired to drive him around Hiroshima. 'It's a quietly devastating meditation on grief. Make time for it,' says Anupama Chopra.

Drive My Car, starring Hidetoshi Nishijima and Toko Miura, is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami.
Updated on Mar 26, 2022 05:19 PM IST

Sanjay Leela Bhansali a rare auteur still true to his roots, says Anupama Chopra

His latest film, Gangubai Kathiawadi, celebrates elements of Hindi cinema that are at risk of being lost.

Alia Bhatt in the song Dholida. Bhansali stages songs like set-piece highlights, Chopra says.
Updated on Mar 12, 2022 04:37 PM IST

And the Oscar may go to... Bhutan, says Anupama Chopra

Pawo Choyning Dorji’s debut Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is a tender portrait of a country and people in transition

The protagonist Ugyen, seen here with the titular yak, dreams of migrating to Australia and becoming a singer.
Updated on Feb 26, 2022 03:47 PM IST
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