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Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra is the editor and founder of Film Companion.

Articles by Anupama Chopra

Desi odyssey: Why Kalki 2898 AD dreams big

With Kalki 2898 AD, Nag Ashwin attempts sci-fi like never before. It’s got A-listers, new-age tech, and a story that’s distinctly Indian.

Kalki 2898 AD, with its star-studded cast including Deepika Padukone and Amitabh Bachchan, follows the story of a bounty hunter played by Prabhas.
Updated on Jun 07, 2024 10:06 PM IST

To those who Cannes and do: Anupama Chopra on a delightful season for India

With Payal Kapadia’s film winning the Grand Prix and Anasuya Sengupta winning a Best Actress prize, it’s been a celebration of stories of and by women.

(From left) Actors Kani Kusruti and Chhaya Kadam, director Payal Kapadia and actor Divya Prabha of All We Imagine as Light, which won the Grand Prix, the second-most-prestigious prize at Cannes. (Reuters)
Updated on Jun 01, 2024 03:14 PM IST

Move over, red carpet. Indian cinema is back at Cannes, says Anupama Chopra

After years of mainly photo ops and fashion, films made in India, set in India, or featuring Indian talent are in contention across categories. How exciting!

A woman (Kani Kusruti, above left) receives a gift made in Germany, from her estranged husband, and it begins to change her life. All We Imagine As Light, directed by Payal Kapadia, is competing for this year’s Palme d’Or.
Updated on May 11, 2024 03:10 PM IST

Indian cinema’s maverick man: Fahadh Faasil does it again

With the Malayalam film Aavesham, the actor adds another memorable rogue to his oeuvre. Other actors could watch and learn.

Faasil plays a cheerfully unhinged don named Ranga, in the darkly funny film.
Updated on Apr 27, 2024 02:59 PM IST

How many stars is too many? Anupama Chopra on A-listers and streaming platforms

As stars flood the series and films on India’s streaming platforms, I worry that the promise of fresh voices, innovative tales could be eclipsed, Chopra says.

A poster for The Night Manager, a Disney+ Hotstar series featuring Aditya Roy Kapur, Sobhita Dhulipala, Anil Kapoor that leaned heavily on its stunning locales and elaborate action sequences.
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 01:00 PM IST

Trophy wiles: Anupama Chopra on strange awards and why they must stop

Incredible-sounding prizes are being handed out, often on demand. I wish stars would show up for others, allow awards to have meaning, Chopra says.

Emma Stone is handed the Oscar for best actress, for Poor Things, by previous winners Sally Field, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Yeoh, Charlize Theron and Jessica Lange. (Reuters)
Updated on Mar 30, 2024 05:23 PM IST

Manjummel Boys is an evocative tale about friendship, says Anupama Chopra

The film, about young men who risk their lives to save a friend, is based on a true story. It’s another Malayalam hit, another masterclass in storytelling.

The 11 young men have grown up together, grown close. They are otherwise unremarkable, even rowdy. Then one of them falls into a crevasse, and we see a different side to them all.
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 07:11 PM IST

Gripping tales from the southside: Anupama Chopra on Poacher and Bramayugam

The two are as different as could be, and both excellent examples of the Malayalam industry’s superior storytelling.

Mammootty in the fantasy-horror period film Bramayugam (Age of Madness).
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 11:56 AM IST

‘The Shah Rukh of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa is the bumbling hero our world needs’

The film builds an idealistic world in which there are hiccups but no disharmony, says Anupama Chopra. The star is a version of Shah Rukh we rarely see.

The film, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, was released after the 1993 hits Baazigar and Darr, but shot before those two. His performance has a rawness and vulnerability to it that he was rarely able to summon again.
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 09:59 PM IST

Girls Will Be Girls is a rare gem, says Anupama Chopra

Shuchi Talati’s remarkable debut, a coming-of-age tale involving an unusual triangle, shone at the recent Sundance festival.

Preeti Panigrahi won a Special Jury Award for her turn as the good girl grappling with a sexual awakening.
Updated on Feb 02, 2024 09:26 PM IST

Is there a nude in the balcony? Anupama Chopra on misleading publicity campaigns

If the Hindi film industry does not stop misusing its publicity machine, it risks not knowing when the emperor has no clothes, Chopra says.

Publicity campaigns can be fun. Deadpool was promoted with a Tinder profile for the bumbling superhero, and a set of masked red emojis. The Dark Knight team released fake dollar bills as collectibles (centre).
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 03:29 PM IST
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Screen sweep: The year ahead in movies, by Anupama Chopra

Look out for blockbusters, entertainers, Kiran Rao on missing brides, and Fahadh Faasil as a cop and as a gangster, in 2024.

Director Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan (Tamil for Protector of the People) promises to be a visual treat. An unrecognisable Chiyaan Vikram plays the head of a tribal community labouring in the Kolar gold fields.
Updated on Jan 06, 2024 06:52 PM IST

An exquisite untangling: Anupama Chopra on Kaathal - The Core

Director Jeo Baby breaks new ground in the Malayalam film, in a way that quietly redefines marriage and masculinity.

Mammootty and Jyothika as the lead characters in Kaathal. ‘What’s remarkable is the way Jeo and his writers, Adarsh Sukumaran and Paulson Skaria, choose to tell the story. There are no villains here, and very little drama,’ says Chopra.
Updated on Dec 15, 2023 10:39 PM IST

A Bollywood gold standard: Anupama Chopra on Ranbir Kapoor

From Saawariya to Animal, there is an ineffable ease to each layered performance. To borrow a line, from Jerry Maguire, he had me at hello, Chopra says.

‘I’ve never seen a son play-act his own father to demonstrate his brutality and the scars it left behind. In Animal, Ranbir is a man unhinged by his own pain.’
Updated on Dec 02, 2023 03:34 PM IST

A star is reborn: Anupuma Chopra on Kareena Kapoor Khan

The actor is sidestepping glamour, to play women driven by grief and desperation. It’s a far cry from Poo and an exciting new direction for her, Chopra says.

Kareena Kapoor Khan plays a detective grappling with personal tragedy, in her new film, The Buckingham Murders.
Updated on Nov 10, 2023 08:05 PM IST

Behind the curtain: Anupama Chopra on the magic and mania of film festivals

They’re stressful. They're chaotic. And the memories are indelible – from bliss in the Himalayas, to being shouted at by irate viewers in the lobby of a PVR.

Stills from Rima Das’s film Tora’s Husband, and the animated short Taar by Tsering Lhanzes. Both tales of struggling families were screened at the Himalayan Film Festival.
Updated on Oct 20, 2023 10:42 PM IST

A one-in-a-billion phenomenon: Anupama Chopra on Dev Anand

The nodding head, flopping arms, casual charm inspired a legion of actors. Yet, in 77 years, Dev Saab hasn’t had a true successor, Chopra says.

Dev Anand and Tina Munim (now Tina Ambani) in Des Pardes (1978), her debut film. ‘I consider him the most dashing hero Hindi cinema has ever had,’ Chopra says.
Updated on Sep 29, 2023 10:05 PM IST

Double tapped for drama: Anupama Chopra on dual roles and Jawan

The dual role has a special place in Indian cinema. It’s roaring back with SRK's Jawan. See who else played a dad, a son, even two sons - all in the same film.

Jawan features Shah Rukh Khan in three avatars: as an ex-Army man and dad named Vikram; his son Azad, a law-enforcer; and Azad in disguise, conducting missions of vigilante justice.
Updated on Sep 16, 2023 09:39 PM IST

Celebrating a crime spree: Anupama Chopra on Raj & DK’s streaming series

Guns and Gulaabs gives us more of the directors’ deliciously quirky characters. Here are the best ones to look out for, in this and their last two series.

Gulshan Devaiah as Chaar-Cut Atmaram in Guns and Gulaabs. He’s an eccentric killer who ends each victim in exactly four slashes.
Updated on Aug 26, 2023 04:03 PM IST

Facing up to the facade: We must do better on mental health in Bollywood

Showbusiness is a brutal field. It wears one down. And while it is always hard to create a mental-healthcare system, it is time to try, says Anupama Chopra.

'Art director Nitin Desai’s death by suicide should serve as a wake-up call. We need an organised effort to provide mental healthcare to Bollywood’s 2 million professionals,' Chopra says. (HT Archives)
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 08:50 PM IST

Returning champions: Bollywood is back, says Anupama Chopra

It is marvellous to see Hindi films dominate the box office again. Blockbusters are good news. But could smart, small films land too?

Pathaan (above left) has swept the box office, but streaming platforms are still doing a better job of nourishing good writers, as gems like Kohrra (above right) show.
Updated on Jul 29, 2023 02:54 PM IST

A new story? They’re all years: Anupama Chopra on silvering stars

They’re leaping from cliffs, playing stylish maniacs, redefining destiny. In their 60s and at 80,Anil Kapoor, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford are furthering the plot.

(From left) Kapoor in The Night Manager, Ford as Indiana Jones in ...The Dial of Destiny, and Cruise in Mission: Impossible 7.
Updated on Jul 15, 2023 01:59 PM IST

Stream team: Anupama Chopra on the fans, stars and stories at Netflix Tudum

Alia Bhatt, The Archies and the streaming platform’s mega following were all in attendance at the global fan event held recently in Brazil.

Actor Gal Gadot makes her way through a crowd of over 10,000 fans at the event in Sao Paulo. (Vans Bumbeers / Netflix)
Updated on Jul 27, 2023 04:54 PM IST

Fire, family and a fine filter: Anupama Chopra on Manoj Bajpayee

For too long, Manoj Bajpayee’s career was hit or miss. Now, he’s ruling the small screen. He owes it to his decisions to say no.

Season 1 of The Family Man jumpstarted Bajpayee’s career. The actor’s new film, Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai (2023), was such a success on Zee5 that producers decided to run it in theatres too.
Updated on Jul 27, 2023 10:18 PM IST

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 Jul 28, 2023 01:00 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 Aug 03, 2023 02:30 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 Aug 04, 2023 09:14 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 Aug 03, 2023 02:00 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 Aug 12, 2023 03:36 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
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