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Karishma Upadhyay
Articles by Karishma Upadhyay

‘All India Rank tells a personal story’: A Wknd interview with Varun Grover

His first film is about a teen in Kota who knows he doesn’t belong at an IIT. They say ‘Write what you know, says Grover, a comedian, writer and civil engineer.

All India Rank, now streaming on Netflix, follows 17-year-old Vivek Singh (Bodhisattva Sharma) as he discovers that he isn’t remotely equipped to chase the IIT dream that he was raised to pursue.
Updated on May 17, 2024 02:34 PM IST

Breaking character: A Wknd interview with theatre director Feroz Abbas Khan

His Mughal-e-Azam was a lavish spectacle. His new production, Letters of Suresh, is different; minimalist. ‘It’s unlike anything I’ve done in years,’ he says.

'It would, in some ways, be easier for me to do another big production, to do more of that kind of work. But to make the complex accessible is what makes me the happiest,' Khan says.
Updated on May 04, 2024 03:57 PM IST

It’s alive! The making and remaking of ‘monster’

Why does a 200-year-old tale continue to draw storytellers? See how modern retellings of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are taking on patriarchy, migration, AI.

Emma Stone as Bella Baxter in Poor Things, the Oscar-winning 2023 feminist retelling.
Updated on Apr 05, 2024 08:25 PM IST

Paws and play: An animated short about seniors, with a twist

Rahul Razdan knew he wanted to make films in his final year at architecture school. At 51, his first movie is now out and winning awards.

Old Age Home follows different characters as they talk about their lives. The twist emerges at the end: the residents aren’t people, they are dogs at a shelter. (Image courtesy Bakarmax)
Updated on Mar 23, 2024 05:41 PM IST

‘I have a lot of respect for Ray, but am tired of stereotypes of Indian poverty’

Siddartha Jatla discusses the grim plot of In the Belly of a Tiger, why his villagers wear brightly coloured clothes and why every frame is suffused with beauty

 (Photo by Mihir Malla for HT)
Updated on Mar 22, 2024 06:32 PM IST

I’m a greedy actor: Nimisha Sajayan of Poacher (and The Great Indian Kitchen)

She struggled in Mumbai. ‘I think I looked too much like a typical Malayali,’ says Sajayan, 27. Now a name to contend with, she wants to do action, romcoms.

Sajayan plays the lead role in Poacher, of a fierce forest officer driven by anger and by the assumed guilt of knowing that her late father was a prolific poacher too.
Updated on Mar 09, 2024 06:39 PM IST

A TV star who became the voice of consumers

Kaveta Chaudhry, known for her role as Lalita ji in Surf ads, passed away at 67. She also starred in TV series Udaan and wrote the film Badhaai Ho Badhaai.

Chaudhry remains best known as Lalita ji of the Surf ads that aired from 1984 on. (HT Archive)
Updated on Feb 17, 2024 06:00 AM IST
By, Mumbai

Stardom is not a goal for me: Kani Kusruti of Girls Will Be Girls

She plays the other woman in Killer Soup; shines in GWBG, which recently won at Sundance. What did it take to play a mother almost menacing in her loneliness?

The actor picked her own last name. Kusruti is Malayalam for Mischievous. Though it doesn’t show in her filmography, she yearns to do comedy, she says. (Photo by Anand Gandhi)
Updated on Feb 12, 2024 12:04 PM IST

Remember Bombay Boys? Rewind 25 years with the OG Mumbhai gang

Kaizad Gustad’s campy Hinglish film released in December 1998. Feel old, feel cringey, sing I am Mumbhai, as the cast and crew serve up their best memories

Bombay Boys, a tale story of three expat boys in Mumbai was a sleeper hit 25 years ago.
Updated on Dec 15, 2023 04:12 PM IST

Son spots: On Mrinal Sen as friend, father, filmmaker

Kunal Sen’s book is an intimate look at his parents' marriage, their politics, his own bond with his father and his work. It’s memory, with no myth, he says.

Kunal Sen with his parents and wife Nisha Sen.
Updated on Oct 27, 2023 09:15 PM IST

Get to know... Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju

The actor and doctor lives for dessert, hates loud alarms and is only just coming to terms with fame

Doctor-actor Trinetra Haldar has been listening to Cigarette After Sex’s Apocalypse.
Updated on Aug 25, 2023 06:45 PM IST

Mommy issues: Meet the unique new voice in stand-up, Zarna Garg

Her jokes are brutal, frank, questioning. Why are we like this, is her overarching theme. She toured with Tina Fey, and now has a special out on Amazon Prime.

In her comedy, Garg questions why brown women must laugh in secret. Why the archetypal mother-in-law is so awful. She jokes about her kids, her two cultures (Indian and American), her inability to not parent. ‘I don’t think I’m funny. I’m just honest,’ she says.
Updated on Aug 05, 2023 11:28 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Shekhar Kapur on fear, films and ‘taking the scenic route’: A Wknd interview

What’s Love Got to Do with It? is his seventh film in four decades, but each release has made news, won awards. Fear of failure motivates him, says Kapur, 71.

 (Getty Images)
Updated on Jul 27, 2023 04:43 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Plate tectonics: A Wknd interview with restaurateur Niyati Rao

Ekaa, just 14 months old, has made it onto the extended list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. The dream is to create new Indian classics, says the 28-year-old.

‘Decades ago, someone came up with the idea of frying little puris and filling them up with spicy water. That’s how we got pani puri. I don’t want to give the world a new version of pani puri but maybe create something that a century from now could be perceived in the same way,’ says Rao. (HT Archives)
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 08:57 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

I knew Kapil Sharma had it in him: Filmmaker Nandita Das, on Zwigato

The struggling food-app delivery worker Sharma plays is nothing like the funnyman we know. But he was the common man before his TV stardom, says Das.

Sharma as Manas, a laid off factory-floor manager who finds his life unsettled further after he joins the gig economy. The film is now in theatres. It’s a tale about man and the algorithm, Das says.
Updated on Aug 12, 2023 03:35 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

The hidden agenda: A masked trail from Zorro to Watchmen

Hollywood has shown us how masks can consume a man, revealing as much as they conceal. Amid talk of a Zorro reboot, a look at heroes, villains and cover-ups.

(Left to right) Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro (1998). The character Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th (1980). Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). V, an anar-chist freed-om fighter, wears the Guy Fawkes-inspired mask in V for Vendetta (2005).
Updated on Aug 04, 2023 04:53 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

A watershed moment for Indian documentaries

All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers are unlike most animal documentaries. Instead of serving as a warning about the extinction of creatures or the human threat to their ecosystems, the film is a portrait of coexistence and interspecies bonds.

All That Breathes (a still in photo) and The Elephant Whisperers have made their mark on the global stage, for their country and their craft, proving that small is indeed beautiful (PTI)
Updated on Jan 27, 2023 07:11 AM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Up to the tusk: A Wknd interview with the maker of The Elephant Whisperers

Kartiki Gonsalves's Oscar-nominated documentary follows a tribal couple in Tamil Nadu who adopted two orphaned elephant calves. It’ll be orcas next, she says.

Gonsalves spent 18 months just building a bond with the little family, so that they would be comfortable around her. The result is a wealth of endearing, candid moments. In one such moment, during bath time, Bomman asks Raghu, ‘Who’s the best elephant?’
Updated on Aug 04, 2023 12:16 AM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Breaking the sound barrier: A Wknd interview with RRR’s MM Keeravani

He’s reclusive and uninterested in fame, but it’s coming his way. The musician’s Naatu Naatu from RRR is India’s first film song shortlisted for an Oscar.

 (HT Illustration: Mohit Suneja)
Updated on Jul 24, 2023 02:54 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Matinee to OTT: Big B, star for all ages, turns 80

Amitabh Bachchan turned 80 on Tuesday. Exactly half a century ago to the day, he woke up on his 30th birthday, stretched languidly, and decided that his life had turned a corner.

 (Getty Images)
Updated on Oct 12, 2022 02:37 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Jaggi: A Punjabi film lifts the veil on sexual violence against men

What is life like for a slim, quiet, ‘weak’ Punjabi man? An award-winning new film offers a raw, brutal take on violence, repression and gender identity in rural Punjab.

Ramnish Chaudhary (centre) plays Jaggi, a teen who is repeatedly raped, beaten and ridiculed. ‘It happens and we don’t talk about it,’ says filmmaker Anmol Sidhu.
Updated on Jul 01, 2022 10:38 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

The rise of the Indian undead

Zombies have begun to shuffle across screens in India, with films released in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu. Gore is a given, but so is humour. Look out!

Stills from the Telugu film Zombie Reddy (2021), the Bengali Zombie-sthaan (2019) and Dibakar Banerjee’s short in the Hindi anthology Ghost Stories (2020).
Updated on Jun 18, 2022 08:01 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

How zombies got up and shuffling in Bollywood

Mainstream Hindi cinema hasn’t had a lot of zombies ambling about, but they have been first movers in India. Check out some of the earliest undead works.

Go Goa Gone (2013) tells the story of three friends who wake up after a rave to find that the other party-goers have turned into zombies.
Updated on Jun 17, 2022 05:46 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Vito power: The Godfather at 50

The film, released in March 1972, didn’t just leave its mark on Hollywood. From Amitabh Bachchan-starrers to movies by Mani Ratnam, scenes, lines, themes and characters from the classic echo across Indian cinema too.

Updated on Mar 25, 2022 05:08 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Love craft: A Wknd interview with intimacy director Dar Gai

Mythology, philosophy and Obama’s list of favourite songs of 2019 all came together to point Ukrainian filmmaker towards her role on Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan. See how the 32-year-old became one of mainstream Bollywood’s first intimacy directors.

 (Photo courtesy Dar Gai)
Updated on Feb 11, 2022 09:46 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Kinship, road trips, realism: How Dil Chahta Hai broke the mould

Twenty years on, the film — with its casual attitudes to money, travel, relationships and sex — feels almost prophetic. Back then, in a time of bloated ‘NRI films’, its authenticity was groundbreaking. A look at what made Dil Chahta Hai such a unique blockbuster for its time.

Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna go on that famous road trip to Goa, yes. But their bond wasn’t the loud, boisterous thing of mainstream blockbusters. Instead, they gently navigated the heartbreaks of transition into adulthood, the grief of impossible love and the confusion of not knowing one’s place in the world.
Updated on Aug 06, 2021 04:48 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Plot-twister. Reluctant star. Meet Tamil cinema’s Dhanush

He didn’t want to be an actor. Reed thin and gangly, it wasn’t hard to see why. But what Dhanush has done, over two decades and 40 films, is carve out a niche in an industry with little room for unusual men.

Dhanush was born Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja. He took on his first role at 16, so unwillingly that the tale of how his father (director and producer Kasthuri Raja) forced him into it is now film lore. (Getty Images)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 07:38 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

The real deal: Director Amit Masurkar’s journey from Newton to Sherni

How does one get a film to look so authentic? In Sherni, as in his last film Newton, the villagers are real, the forest officers actually do the job. It takes attention to detail, curiosity and a willingness to learn, says Masurkar.

Masurkar sees his cinema as “being interested in big ideas and paying attention to small details”, he says. (Satish Bate / HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 25, 2021 05:53 PM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Maachis: Still lit, after all these years

It’s been 25 years since the film, with its nuanced take on radicalisation, was released. Few movies on the same theme, created in the years since, can hold a candle to it.

Maachis stood out in the 1990s, a decade when filmmakers began to replace the evil Thakur and flashy gangster with the gun-toting militant.
Updated on Feb 13, 2021 10:27 AM IST
ByKarishma Upadhyay

Celebrating Father’s Day: Arjun Rampal’s two doting daughters reveal what makes him the coolest dad

In their first-ever media appearance, Arjun Rampal’s teenage daughters Mahikaa and Myra reveal fun secrets about “the best looking dad in the world!”

Arjun Rampal with his daughters (left) Mahikaa , 17-going-on-18 and (right) Myra who is a few days shy of her 14th birthday. For Arjun- Make-up: Kalpesh Desai; Hair: Hakim’s Aalim. For Mahikaa and Myra: Make-up and hair: Cashmakeupartistry(Subi Samuel)
Updated on Jun 16, 2019 04:40 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByKarishma Upadhyay
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