Author Archives

Beth Watkins

Absolute Beginners

Absolute Beginners first crossed my radar last week when a friend showed me a clip of David Bowie dancing on a typewriter. “Big deal,” scoffed I, a connoisseur of Indian cinema. “Merchant and Ivory did that with Hindi superstars ages ago.”* Discovering that David Bowie could tap dance […]

Aks (2001), aka, Bollywood Face/Off?

For years, I have wondered why there is no Bollywood adaptation of Face/Off (1997). The story and the OTT performances seem perfect for the filmi treatment. Bollywood loves the following key elements of this beloved classic: convoluted, unlikely scientific processes, complete with bubbling lab equipment brothers grieving parents […]

Switcheroo Month: Shakespeare-Wallah

For Switcheroo Month, we were given basically infinite freedom to write about something outside our usual beat OR something reputable (rather than disreputable) OR both, and I barely knew what to do with myself. At first I thought I should tackle an Indian art film—parallel cinema, it is […]

Naksha

Arising from a mishmash of Indiana Jones’s greatest hits, a handful of action films I personally cannot identify, and a particularly mid-2000s stumbling love of hip hop aesthetics, Naksha (“The Map”) (2006) works for me a lot better than it has any right to. Much of the credit […]

Dracula Sir

Content warning: self-harm, sexual violence, police violence.  From the trailer, I thought Dracula Sir was going to be the kind of film that the film industries of India do often and, generally speaking, very well: a reincarnation story.  I was already hooked by the title alone, but a […]

Maha Badmaash

I’ve been watching Bond movies since seeing No Time to Die in the theater—I ACTUALLY WENT TO THE MOVIES!!!—so it’s time to bring another Indian spy-ish film to the Gutter. I say “-ish” because, as previously discussed, the formulas of popular Hindi cinema generally don’t allow for the […]