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 Prahlad Srihari
Articles by Prahlad Srihari

Page to Screen: Poor Things – Gray’s anatomy vs Lanthimos’s biopsy

Poor Things feels less like a cinematic translation of Alisdair Gray’s 1992 novel than a cinematic translation of the protagonist Bella Baxter’s perception

Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo in Poor Things (Courtesy Searchlight Pictures)
Updated on May 17, 2024 05:16 PM IST

The Zone of Interest: The Holocaust film to end all Holocaust films

With this culmination of all the landmark entries in the genre, Glazer rethinks Holocaust films even as he refuses to let the victimisation of Jews be weaponised in the victimisation of Palestine

A scene from The Zone of Interest (A24)
Published on May 01, 2024 08:47 PM IST

Dune: Blind faith is the mind-killer

While Denis Villeneuve’s Dune flattens some arcs as it streamlines Frank Herbert’s dense tome into a five-hour spectacle, the director does give women characters Chani and Lady Jessica more dimensionality and agency

Sandworms in a scene from Dune: Part Two. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
Published on Apr 23, 2024 09:13 PM IST

Essay: On the spectacle of cancel culture

Depending on whom you ask, cancel culture is a threat to freedom of expression or mere background noise; it is changing social codes or it is changing nothing

A scene from Sick of Myself (Film still)
Published on Apr 09, 2024 08:54 PM IST

Married to genius

Women have forsaken their own creative pursuits to rally around celebrated husbands. Books like ‘The Chosen’ and ‘Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life’ and films like ‘Maestro’ and ‘Priscilla’ are now recasting spouses as historical actors in the tales of artistic achievements

A scene from ‘Priscilla directed’, and produced by Sofia Coppola. The film is based on the 1985 memoir ‘Elvis and Me’ by Priscilla Presley. (Amazon Prime)
Published on Mar 27, 2024 08:37 PM IST

Saltburn, Parasite and the class satire industrial complex

Ironically, capitalising on anti-capitalist sentiment has been quite profitable and the eat-the-rich satires now being regularly cranked out show that class warfare as scripted entertainment, strangely, seems to preserve the status quo

“If there is a rallying cry in Saltburn, it isn’t eat the rich, but beware the lower classes.” (Scene from Saltburn)
Published on Mar 19, 2024 06:43 PM IST

The Beast: All the lives we never lived

In Bertrand Bonello’s feature film, an almost-romance spanning centuries, Gabrielle and Louis, played by Lea Seydoux and George Mackay, are reincarnated as doomed lovers, always living under a shadow of a looming disaster

George Mackay and Lea Seydoux in The Beast (Film still)
Published on Mar 08, 2024 08:14 PM IST

Four Daughters: Performance as therapy, cinema as healing

Tunisian writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters is an audacious film about memory and motherhood that employs re-enactments as family therapy

A still from Four Daughters(Courtesy Cannes Film Festival)
Published on Feb 13, 2024 06:36 PM IST

Daaaaaali! Serving surreal for dinner

The logic and visual vocabulary of Salvador Dalí’s paintings feed into Daaaaaali!, a tribute to the pioneering Surrealist by Quentin Dupieux

Jonathan Cohen in Daaaaaali! “Not one, not two, but five different actors play Dalí at different ages: Édouard Baer, ​​Gilles Lellouche, Pio Marmaï, Jonathan Cohen and Didier Flamand.” (Film still/Atelier de Production France 3 Cinema)
Published on Jan 03, 2024 04:52 PM IST

Page to screen: The highs and lows of 2023

This year, many adaptations went smoothly from bookshelf to the box office, showing that a wealth of source material is available for cinematic translation

“For history buffs and film lovers alike, there is no denying Oppenheimer was the marquee cinema event of the year.” (Universal Pictures/Film still)
Updated on Dec 28, 2023 06:59 PM IST

HT reviewer Prahlad Srihari picks his favourite reads of 2023

A search for a lost horror film leads the protagonists into a world of Nazi occultism in a novel that explores the legacy of colonialism in Mexico

An intoxicating tale about childhood best friends seeking a long-lost horror film haunted by a curse. (Amazon)
Updated on Dec 22, 2023 06:54 PM IST

Books to Screen: Poe, Mike Flanagan and homes haunted by what’s within

The Fall of the House of Usher may borrow its title from Poe’s 1839 short story, but the story itself is a springboard for a complex intertextual palimpsest

Fall of the House of Usher: Multigenerational family dinners as a recipe for disaster (Netflix)
Published on Dec 12, 2023 09:00 PM IST

Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl: A match made in picture-book heaven

From The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar to The Swan, The Rat Catcher and Poison, a look at how Anderson handles four of Dahl’s stories on Netflix

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Netflix)
Published on Dec 05, 2023 09:36 PM IST

John le Carre and the art of deception

In The Pigeon Tunnel, the Apple TV+ film, Errol Morris sits down with novelist John le Carre to sharpen the blur of fact and fiction, truth and memory

The Pigeon Tunnel turned out to be John le Carré’s final interview before his death in 2020. (Apple TV+)
Published on Dec 01, 2023 06:46 PM IST

Page to screen: Killers of the Flower Moon

Martin Scorsese’s vision transforms David Grann’s book into a robust dialogue about stories and who gets to tell them

Lily Gladstone and Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon. (Courtesy of Apple TV Plus)
Updated on Nov 24, 2023 07:32 AM IST

As quick with a quip as with a Glock

On Justified, the art of dialogue, and why Elmore Leonard’s work is such a natural fit for the screen

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in Justified (Prime Video)
Published on Nov 03, 2023 05:51 PM IST

Page to screen: Under the Skin

As Under the Skin turns 10, a look at what made Jonathan Glazer’s cinematic meditation on alienation a touchstone of book-to-film reinterpretations

Scarlett Johannson in Under the Skin. (Film still)
Published on Oct 26, 2023 05:46 PM IST

Movies as endless commercials

Films are no longer just a catalyst to sell pre-existing product lines. Instead, as Barbie, Air and Flamin’ Hot show, they have become obsessed with mythifying the product itself

Ben Affleck as Phil Knight in ‘Air’. The Ben Affleck-directedfilm tells the story about how Nike managed to woo NBA rookie Michael Jordan to sign the sponsorship deal that launched the iconic Air Jordan line. (Amazon Studios)
Published on Oct 14, 2023 11:39 AM IST

Essay: The catastrophe that destroyed all meaning

Neither the dropping of the bombs nor the aftermath is shown in Oppenheimer. But it is Japanese art and media that provide an audit of the bomb's devastation

The mushroom cloud of the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. (Everett Collection/Shutterstock)
Updated on Aug 17, 2023 06:01 PM IST

Book to film: On Oppenheimer and American Prometheus

A look at how Christopher Nolan’s film builds on Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin’s scholarly biography of the famed physicist

Cillian Murphy in and as Oppenheimer. (Universal Pictures)
Updated on Aug 09, 2023 09:01 PM IST

Mash-up madness: Welcome to Barbenheimer

The same-day release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer was expected to cause a cultural fission. Instead, we got fusion

The grand spectacle of a double bill (HT team)
Updated on Jul 27, 2023 07:00 PM IST

Essay: An unnatural hunger

From Bones and All to American Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, a look at cannibalism in popular culture

Consumed by love (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 07:05 PM IST

The new Perry Mason – more Raymond Chandler than Raymond Burr

HBO’s Perry Mason employs the 1930s setting as a lens to investigate the perennial anxieties surrounding race, class, sexuality and immigration in America

Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason (HBO)
Updated on Jun 30, 2023 03:32 PM IST

Essay: On the caustic humour of Succession

For its entire run, an abiding pleasure of tuning into the HBO show was to watch a superb ensemble mercilessly lob verbal grenades in their jockeying for power

“The Roys wear tailored suits, fly on private jets, holiday aboard luxury yachts, live in swank penthouses — yet their lives are empty and embittered by a lifetime of waiting for their father to hand over the reins of a billion-dollar media empire.” (HBO)
Updated on Jun 08, 2023 08:58 PM IST

Fleishman Is in Trouble: A Divorce Story

Based on Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel, the Disney+Hotstar series makes viewers think about how women are transformed in male-centric narratives even as it takes them on a non-linear tour of a marriage from beginning to end

Publicity poster for Fleishman is in Trouble (Disney+Hotstar)
Updated on Mar 29, 2023 05:16 PM IST

Without Its Hot Star HBO, A Disney+ Sub Is Slim Pickings

If losing the rights to IPL cost Disney+ Hotstar close to 4 million subscribers, losing HBO's roster may prove to be a considerable setback. By Prahlad Srihari.

Succession is among the HBO shows that will no longer be available on Disney+ Hotstar in India, from April 2023.
Updated on Mar 28, 2023 11:08 PM IST

Essay: On the continuing fascination with Marilyn Monroe

From Joyce Carol Oates to Norman Mailer and Andrew Dominik, most writers and filmmakers find it impossible to celebrate Monroe for the artist she was and view her life only as tragedy

Marilyn Monroe (Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 15, 2023 06:50 PM IST
ByPrahlad Srihari

Essay: On remixing history

From Apple TV’s Dickinson to Netflix’s Persuasion and Hulu’s The Great, period accuracy is out and creative anachronisms are in. While this might upset the purist, it is an interesting approach that injects freshness into classic material

A scene from Dickinson. (Apple TV+)
Updated on Jan 25, 2023 08:04 PM IST
ByPrahlad Srihari

Essay: On filming the “unfilmable” novel

Decoding the recent trend of cinema and TV tackling what were previously deemed as texts that just couldn’t be make that leap to a visual medium because of the original’s scope, scale and style

A scene from White Noise (Netflix)
Updated on Jan 19, 2023 10:30 PM IST
ByPrahlad Srihari

Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; A Novel by Quentin Tarantino

The storytelling in Tarantino’s debut novel is non-linear, the writing is punchy, and it comes as no surprise that it reads like a motion picture

The 2018 movie set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 22, 2021 02:00 PM IST
ByPrahlad Srihari
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