Deepa Deosthalee is a film critic and reviews movies across Bollywood, Hollywood, regional Indian cinema, feature films and international language films.
Deepa grew up to the masala movies of the '70s and has been writing about Bollywood for 15 years. She still can't decide if she likes it! Goes over the fence frequently to the side of Hollywood and world cinema, but always slinks back to home base. Loves Smita Patil, hates mushy romances and can talk films till her head spins... literally!
Deepa's extensive collection of reviews can be found on her site - Film Impressions - which aims to offer well-argued criticism, insightful interviews and a historical perspective to celebrate cinema.
Deepa is a regular contributor to India News Bulletin's Cinemascope column. If you are a movie buff, you will enjoy reading her unique take on movies.
Most ageing actors are forced to resort to self-parody to remain relevant. So one walked into Shilpa Shetty's maiden production Dishkiyaoon hoping to see Sunny Deol put his dhai kilo ka haath to good use. That and the promise of watching Harman Baweja's ‘revamped’ avatar. Confession: I’ve never seen the man on screen before, having miraculously escaped his debut debacle and thereafter… Read more
Debutant Syed Ahmed Afzal's Youngistaan gets my vote for two reasons—its makers had the grace to play a special tribute to Farooque Shaikh at the start of the film, and in its own ham-fisted way it exhorts the youth to vote. Read more
Worse than senseless films are those with the germ of a great idea squandered in pursuit of easy gratification. Nupur Asthana's Bewakoofiyaan falls in this category. It picks up a topical theme and fails to make a halfway decent watch of it. Read more
In Queen, Rani (Kangana Ranaut) is dumped by her fiancé (Rajkummar Rao) on the eve of their wedding. While the family is still struggling to come to terms with this shock she locks herself in her room crying all night long. Then, on an impulse, she decides to avail of the honeymoon ticket to Paris and seeks her father's permission. "Jaana zaroori hai?" he asks. "Nahin," she replies, "Agar aapk manaa karenge to nahin jaaoongi." Read more
Instead of the regulation item song, the end credits of Soumik Sen's Gulaab Gang roll to inspiring stories of women who've overcome disadvantages of birth and of patriarchal oppression to find ways to fulfil themselves and help others. It's a welcome change. Read more
In principle I have a problem empathising with a heroine whose sole aim in life is to win a dance reality show. It didn’t work even when Rani Mukerji displayed such chutzpah in Bunty Aur Babli
running away from home for a modelling contest. Add to that, the girl in question (Preeti Desai) is neither a dancer nor an actress. She’s first and above all a London-bred model with a thick accent, dazzling hair and tall, thin legs. Read more
Dear Papa, I am writing to you from my new home in the mountains where the air is so fresh, the water so clean, the sheep so adorable and the women in ethnic costumes so trendy! I now live in a mud house with cute little square windows and have even learnt to make tea on the chulha, sweep the floor and make my own bed. Of course, when it's warmer I sleep on the green grass and gaze at the stars shining bright in the ink blue sky. Read more
In Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine Cate Blanchett plays a down-and-out former heiress surviving on a staple diet of vodka, Xanax, rage and self-pity. She talks to herself and is rude to everyone in sight. But the character's vulnerability cuts deep and as you loathe her selfishness you also feel terribly sorry for her. Read more
It would be easy to dismiss Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Bullett Raja as a lazy studio-funded collaboration between a reasonably talented director-star duo. Sadly, it doesn’t seem a mere aberration. More likely Dhulia and Saif Ali Khan have run out of ideas and are desperate to cash in their chips. Worth noting here that the filmmaker’s best work, Paan Singh Tomar (2010), came at the end of a seven-year drought. Read more
When you walk into a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film you have to leave your inhibitions at the door. The guy expects unconditional surrender to his grandiose vision, wound up characters, over-wrought emotions, and operatic sets and costumes. You can’t do Bhansali without a million candles, humungous chandeliers, wall-to-wall murals, orgiastic colours, picture-perfect lighting and people who scream their feelings out and wring each other’s necks in love. Read more