Uday Bhatia

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  • Bala

    The central quandary is that Bala would have seemed skewed and farcical with only male baldness to concentrate on. It needs the skin colour scenes – but it really didn’t need the blackface.

    Nov 2019
  • Laal Kaptaan

    For the second time this year, Hindi cinema takes a run at a revisionist Western. Laal Kaptaan doesn't come together as satisfyingly as Sonchiriya, perhaps the best theatrical release of 2019.

    Oct 2019
  • The Sky Is Pink

    ...errs on the side of caution, keeping the impending tragedy in view at all times, but wrapping everything in good vibes and the kind of courage you have no option but to admire.

    Oct 2019
  • The Zoya Factor

    ...offers little cheer to those invested in the return of the Hindi romantic comedy or the halfway-decent post-Lagaan cricket film.

    Sep 2019
  • Dream Girl

    ...a film that’s slight to begin with, and which looks even slighter in comparison to Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Badhaai Ho.

    Sep 2019
  • Jabariya Jodi

    It’s been a year of offensively bad films – PM Narendra Modi, Thackeray, Kesari. But anger and disgust will keep you awake, which is more than I can say for Jabariya Jodi.

    Aug 2019
  • Super 30 on track as long as it steadily plugs away at the real life story of a teacher in Bihar who coaches underprivileged children for the IIT-JEE examination. But when the film starts to doubt whether this is enough, it comes undone.

    Jul 2019
  • Kabir Singh takes nearly three hours for Kabir to admit that he has a problem, whereupon he’s immediately rewarded. “Go to the depth of anything and you get zero," we’re warned early on. In this case, it’s absolutely true.

    Jun 2019
  • Bharat

    For 130-odd minutes, Bharat trundles along, sometimes diverting, often annoying, deeply inessential.

    Jun 2019
  • Kalank

    In a Bollywood that’s trying to look more self-aware, emotion can be a lead weight. I'd be curious to see what audiences make of the film over the next week or two; the one I saw it with seemed to tire by the end of all the eloquence.

    Apr 2019
  • Kesari

    ...dull and monochromatic. There’s a worthy tribute due to those 21 men, but this reductive, gratuitous film isn’t it.

    Mar 2019
  • Sonchiriya

    There’s a question that recurs through Sonchiriya: what is a dacoit’s dharma? At one point an answer is given: to protect one’s people and caste, to live and pass away in the ravines, to die from a bullet. A fatalistic response, and a bracingly nihilistic film.

    Mar 2019
  • Total Dhamaal

    Not for the first time, Kumar aims for It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and ends up with It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Film.

    Feb 2019
  • Gully Boy

    If Gully Boy earns its props by the time it’s done, this is testament to its immersion in, and respect for, the world it springs from.

    Feb 2019
  • Thackeray

    A critical biopic was never on the cards; the only question, really, is how vitriolic it was going to be. Thackeray is 2 hours and 19 minutes, so the hate is spread out. The problem is, the scenes which exist only to praise Thackeray’s altruism and courage are bland. The nasty moments kept me engaged and enraged.

    Jan 2019
  • Why Cheat India

    Hashmi seems to enjoy himself; if the writing was brighter and the other characters had more agency, the film might have played differently.

    Jan 2019
  • Uri

    ...has incredibly persuasive action sequences, but its military reserve can be stifling.

    Jan 2019
  • Simmba

    Even for Hindi cinema, where rape-revenge is a thriving subgenre (there were four films on the subject last year), this is pretty dire.

    Dec 2018
  • Manmarziyaan

    For a director whose narratives are propelled more by dramatic incident than by character psychology, Manmarziyaan represents a bit of an experiment. Though the film is perpetually busy over its 150-odd minutes, there’s little forward movement, and a lot of sideways shuffling.

    Sep 2018
  • Stree amiable comedy with a couple of good ideas, too many jump scares and the most confusing ending I’ve seen in a long time.

    Aug 2018
  • Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

    ...isn’t a total bust: there are intermittent laughs, and the Indian and Pakistani characters are treated with generosity. But to set a film in China and then spend 135 minutes sneering at the Chinese is, to put it plainly, opportunistic and childish.

    Aug 2018
  • Gold

    The story itself is a nice idea, but that extra beat, that crucial unwillingness to trust the viewer, reveals the film’s insecurities.

    Aug 2018