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Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra is the editor and founder of Film Companion.

Articles by Anupama Chopra

King of spices: The Rohit Shetty paradox

His films serve up masala and thrills, hyper-masculinity and problematic politics. Crores pour in, but the mix is off-balance, says Anupama Chopra.

Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi (Akshay Kumar), Singham (Ajay Devgn) and Simmba (Ranveer Singh) are celebrations of hyper-masculinity.
Updated on Nov 19, 2021 08:09 PM IST

Is full-blown senior citizen romance finally on the cards for Bollywood?

It’s hard to get right, easy to lose the audience. And yet films like Badhaai Ho have shown the way. What will it take to get a Hindi classic in the league of The Bridges of Madison County, asks Anupama Chopra.

Ratna Pathak Shah in Hum Do Hamare Do (2021) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2016). The former lets its actors down. The latter enables her to evocatively tell a vital tale.
Updated on Nov 05, 2021 10:23 PM IST

Where are Bollywood’s grand, sweeping romances, asks Anupama Chopra

Tales of star-crossed love facing villainous opposition seem to be a thing of the past. The new opponents are much duller: careers, commitment, choices.

In epic films such as Mughal-e-Azam and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, royalty and family feuds made up the opposition. But surely, even in the age of Tinder, there are such stories to be told?
Updated on Oct 23, 2021 02:25 PM IST

Cue hits: May Bollywood soar and seduce once more, says Anupama Chopra

Theatres are set to reopen in Maharashtra. The deck is already stacked. It’s now up to filmmakers to make these months count.

A slew of release dates has been announced. The Kapil Dev biopic ’83, starring Ranveer Singh, is due out on Christmas; Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi will hit theatres on January 6. Prime slots have been booked all the way to January 2023.
Updated on Oct 08, 2021 07:07 PM IST

There are no shortcuts to making great movies, says Anupama Chopra

Anthologies have caught on in the pandemic because they’re easier to execute. But making a short film is a unique talent, and the sad truth is that not even all good filmmakers have it.

(Left to right) Konkona Sen Sharma is a gay Dalit woman in the masterful Geeli Pucchi. Soni Razdan and Vinay Pathak in the unin-spiring Kaali Peeli Tales. Shefali Shah in Juice (2017), a film that still stands out for how keenly it understood the grammar of shorts.
Updated on Sep 25, 2021 03:41 PM IST

Not just a pretty face: Anupama Chopra on the rise of the actor-star

New platforms and changing audiences have finally put talent at centrestage in Bollywood. Stardom today must contain skill.

There’s now room at the top for a wider range of faces and talents, from Samantha Akkineni to Rajkummar Rao, Shweta Tripathi, Fahadh Faasil, Vikrant Massey, Sidharth Malhotra and Rasika Dugal.
Updated on Sep 10, 2021 04:43 PM IST

War movies and the lesson Haqeeqat has taught us: Anupama Chopra

Chetan Anand’s 1964 film can teach today’s blockbusters a thing or two about the price we pay for the battles we pick

A still from the 1964-film Haqeeqat by Chetan Anand starring Dharmendra (left). The film has plenty of patriotic dialogue but the suffering of the soldiers isn’t glossed over.
Updated on Aug 30, 2021 12:28 PM IST

A man for all seasons: Anupama Chopra on Netflix’s Ted Sarandos

The streaming giant’s co-CEO has been using charm, drive, a massive budget and his discerning eye to showcase voices from around the world. Notes from a recent conversation.

Behind Sarandos’s affable persona is an astute mind that fostered early successes such as House of Cards (2013), the cult hit Bojack Horseman (2014) and last year’s Bridgerton.
Updated on Jul 31, 2021 03:22 PM IST

Star wars: The perils of being a movie critic

Too often, the tensions between critic and talent now play out in public. A review isn’t personal, why should the backlash be?

Taapsee Pannu and Vikrant Massey in Haseen Dillruba. Pannu responded with harsh adjectives to uncomplimentary reviews of the film.
Updated on Jul 17, 2021 01:09 PM IST

Perhaps Clubhouse can help Bollywood keep it real, says Anupama Chopra

The audio-only, invitation-only app could be the antidote to the film world’s PR-managed and airbrushed publicity content.

Konkona Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma and Sandhya Mridul in the 2005 film Page 3, on the trials and perils of entertainment journalism. Social media would soon change the game. Now, Clubhouse and the pandemic are forcing Bollywood to rethink publicity strategy all over again.
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 07:36 PM IST

The pandemic is a fitness test for the movie business, says Anupama Chopra

Can Bollywood reinvent itself, learn from those who have survived and thrived in this time, and emerge better, stronger?

Lagaan, released 20 years ago, still represents much that is good about Hindi cinema: effort, talent, storytelling. This year’s Radhe, on the other hand, shows why stars need to work to a story rather than the other way around.
Updated on Jun 18, 2021 10:14 PM IST

It’s time for the Golden Globes to step out of the bubble, says Anupama Chopra

The awards are too White, too arbitrary, too much of a closed club. Next year’s bash is being boycotted even by Hollywood.

Lily Collins in Emily in Paris, which received two Golden Globe nominations. Michaela Coel in I May Destroy You, which got none. The awards are being criticised for, among other things, routinely nominating critically panned shows like the former while ignoring worthier contenders.
Updated on May 29, 2021 12:59 PM IST

Oh Bhai! Where’s the Salman we knew, asks Anupama Chopra

This is a man whose stardom just doesn’t fade and whose fans remain as frenzied as ever. So why has he stopped trying?

A still from Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. It’s the same thing all over again — fight scenes, shirtless scenes, a plot that’s devoid of logic and coherence.
Updated on May 14, 2021 10:26 PM IST

Fond flashback: One year on, Anupama Chopra remembers Irrfan

His life taught us to navigate death. In the honest note that he brought to each character, we found our better selves.

“Remember it always. Remember that you and I made this journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go:” Irrfan as Ashoke Ganguli, to his son Gogol, in The Namesake (2007). (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Updated on Apr 30, 2021 04:40 PM IST

Behind the scenes, where there’s drama, there’s comedy: Anupama Chopra on Call My Agent!

The French series satirised celebrity, laid bare all the backstabbing in service of the art. It will be missed, says Chopra.

An added attraction on Call My Agent! were the guest appearances by French cinema’s A-listers, including Juliette Binoche. An Indian version is now in the works. (France 2)
Published on Apr 16, 2021 05:44 PM IST

The stars look very different today: Anupama Chopra on changing cinemascapes

It’s a treat to see gifted actors flourish outside the blockbuster ecosystem, through stunning tales told in non-Hindi languages, Chopra says.

Fahadh Faasil in the new Netflix thriller Irul. These artists don’t chase the leading-man stereotypes of six-pack abs and styled beauty. They command the frame with presence and talent. And that is real stardom.
Updated on Apr 04, 2021 10:03 PM IST

Dark hall, bright future: Anupama Chopra on the return of moviegoing

At the screening of the first major Hindi film to be released in the pandemic, viewers kept their masks on and were excited to be back. A look at what has changed, and what should.

Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor in Roohi. She plays a small-town girl who also happens, occasionally, to be a fearsome chudail. The film has performed better than expected. “But my enthusiasm waned as the film descended into tedium — despite the strenuous efforts of its lead actors,” Chopra says.
Updated on Mar 20, 2021 05:56 PM IST

Wonder women: Anupama Chopra picks her top heroines of the silver screen

If not on Women’s Day, when! Here are some of the most fierce, fearless and fabulous female characters to have lit up our screens.

Smita Patil, angry and unyielding, as Sonbai in Mirch Masala.
Updated on Mar 06, 2021 07:34 PM IST

Finally in focus, an India we rarely get to see, says Anupama Chopra

Two niche films, Bittu and Pebbles, are making us proud abroad. They deserve to be seen widely here at home too.

Pebbles, about an alcoholic man and his little son, is set in a drought-struck village near Madurai . (Image courtesy Rowdy Pictures)
Updated on Feb 20, 2021 07:31 AM IST

Adarsh Gourav: A dark horse powers ahead in Bollywood

“His success is thrilling,” says Anupama Chopra in this week’s column. “His talent and hard work shine through in the role of the evil Balram in The White Tiger. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Gourav in The White Tiger. He’s currently learning Tamil and wants to learn Malayalam so he can branch out in different directions, with an eye on films made across India and beyond.
Published on Feb 05, 2021 06:21 PM IST

How to Master the masala movie recipe: Anupama Chopra

Visual drama, the money shot, a happy suspension of disbelief— it’s time to bring back some of cinema’s giddiest pleasures

Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi in Master. The last hour of this film delivers the kind of larger-than-life moment you rarely get in Hindi movies any more. A reminder that it takes art, effort and commitment to add masala to the mix (Image courtesy: Seven Screen Studios)
Published on Jan 22, 2021 06:34 PM IST

Let the movies transform and transport you in 2021, says Anupama Chopra

Step outside your comfort zones, travel to new genres. Aim to confound the algorithms by being as unpredictable as possible.

Gary Oldman in and as Mank. “This is a visually sumptuous, penetrating portrait of showbiz,” says Chopra.
Updated on Jan 10, 2021 04:22 PM IST
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It’s been overcast but you can still count some stars, says Anupama Chopra

It’s been a year of losses, but not one devoid of cinematic joy. Here’s a list of things that made me happiest in dismal 2020.

Musician Diljit Dosanjh created, in lockdown, a best-selling music album called G.O.A.T. He also spoke up with courage in support of farmers.(Gokul VS / HT)
Updated on Dec 25, 2020 12:21 PM IST
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It’s an upstream battle finding the good content in the flood, says Anupama Chopra

Cinema halls, over 40 streaming platforms, more shows, new worlds — curation will be more crucial than ever in 2021.

“I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s Hotstar series, is one of the gems I discovered on streaming networks this year. Gullak, on Sony Liv, is one I would surely have missed if not for a fellow critic’s tipoff,” Chopra says.
Updated on Dec 11, 2020 11:02 PM IST
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Cut! Films that get preachy defeat their very purpose, says Anupama Chopra

There’s so much the right story can achieve, in a cinema-crazy country like ours. But first, and above all, it must be entertaining.

Konkona Sen Sharma as Dolly in Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. The transgender angle built around her son’s character is one of many tangents in the film that take away from the storytelling.
Updated on Nov 29, 2020 03:02 PM IST
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No exit: It will always be bigger, better at the movies, says Anupama Chopra

It will likely take just one big-ticket release to get film fans in India to return to theatres, rooting for their favourite stars.

Theatres have reopened across India over the past month. “While numbers in the US and UK have remained subdued in the pandemic, I think it’s going to look very different here at home once new films hit the screens,” says Anupama Chopra.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 13, 2020 08:12 PM IST
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While we’re streaming, these actors are going against the flow: Anupama Chopra

In Bollywood they might have had to play to type. But web series let talented actors make unpredictable choices, and the results are sheer magic.

Rasika Dugal with Tanya Maniktala in Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy. Hindi cinema was unable to give Dugal enough roles with meat.(BBC STUDIOS / NETFLIX)
Updated on Oct 30, 2020 05:41 PM IST
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It’s Bollywood; religion is just not part of the plot, says Anupama Chopra

When you’re chasing the Holy Grail — the next big hit — you can’t afford to be communal. What works is collaboration.

In Mee Raqsam, released this August, a Muslim teen learns Bharatanatyam, a marker of cinema’s inclusivity.
Updated on Oct 18, 2020 10:41 AM IST
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Taapsee Pannu is a strident voice in turbulent times, says Anupama Chopra

She is a rare example of an actor who has both a mainstream career and an anti-establishment public persona.

(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 04, 2020 10:08 AM IST
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Anupama Chopra muses on the wins and losses as the Toronto film festival goes virtual

Even with its digital screenings and shrunken line-up, TIFF felt like a minor miracle; a reminder that storytelling never stops.

With borders still closed, only local cinephiles could attend events such as the drive-in screenings held during the pandemic edition of the Toronto film festival.(tiff_NET/instagram)
Updated on Sep 20, 2020 10:49 AM IST
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