Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra is the editor and founder of Film Companion.

Articles by Anupama Chopra
Smita Patil, angry and unyielding, as Sonbai in Mirch Masala.
Smita Patil, angry and unyielding, as Sonbai in Mirch Masala.

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

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:34 PM IST
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.
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Pebbles, about an alcoholic man and his little son, is set in a drought-struck village near Madurai . (Image courtesy Rowdy Pictures)
Pebbles, about an alcoholic man and his little son, is set in a drought-struck village near Madurai . (Image courtesy Rowdy Pictures)

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

UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2021 07:31 AM IST
Two niche films, Bittu and Pebbles, are making us proud abroad. They deserve to be seen widely here at home too.
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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.
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.

Adarsh Gourav: A dark horse powers ahead in Bollywood

PUBLISHED ON FEB 05, 2021 06:21 PM IST
“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.”
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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)
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)

How to Master the masala movie recipe: Anupama Chopra

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:34 PM IST
Visual drama, the money shot, a happy suspension of disbelief— it’s time to bring back some of cinema’s giddiest pleasures
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Gary Oldman in and as Mank. “This is a visually sumptuous, penetrating portrait of showbiz,” says Chopra.
Gary Oldman in and as Mank. “This is a visually sumptuous, penetrating portrait of showbiz,” says Chopra.

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

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 10, 2021 04:22 PM IST
Step outside your comfort zones, travel to new genres. Aim to confound the algorithms by being as unpredictable as possible.
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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)
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)

It’s been overcast but you can still count some stars, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2020 12:21 PM IST
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.
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“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.
“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.

It’s an upstream battle finding the good content in the flood, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 11, 2020 11:02 PM IST
Cinema halls, over 40 streaming platforms, more shows, new worlds — curation will be more crucial than ever in 2021.
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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.
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.

Cut! Films that get preachy defeat their very purpose, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 03:02 PM IST
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.
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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)
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)

No exit: It will always be bigger, better at the movies, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 13, 2020 08:12 PM IST
It will likely take just one big-ticket release to get film fans in India to return to theatres, rooting for their favourite stars.
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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)
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)

While we’re streaming, these actors are going against the flow: Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2020 05:41 PM IST
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.
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In Mee Raqsam, released this August, a Muslim teen learns Bharatanatyam, a marker of cinema’s inclusivity.
In Mee Raqsam, released this August, a Muslim teen learns Bharatanatyam, a marker of cinema’s inclusivity.

It’s Bollywood; religion is just not part of the plot, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 18, 2020 10:41 AM IST
When you’re chasing the Holy Grail — the next big hit — you can’t afford to be communal. What works is collaboration.
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(HT PHOTO)
(HT PHOTO)

Taapsee Pannu is a strident voice in turbulent times, says Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2020 10:08 AM IST
She is a rare example of an actor who has both a mainstream career and an anti-establishment public persona.
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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)
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)

Anupama Chopra muses on the wins and losses as the Toronto film festival goes virtual

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON SEP 20, 2020 10:49 AM IST
Even with its digital screenings and shrunken line-up, TIFF felt like a minor miracle; a reminder that storytelling never stops.
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C U Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, was shot in lockdown but never feels flat or gimmicky.
C U Soon, starring Fahadh Faasil, was shot in lockdown but never feels flat or gimmicky.

From Kerala, a mystery in the middle of a pandemic: Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON SEP 04, 2020 11:25 PM IST
C U Soon, set entirely on computer and smartphone screens, proves that even in a pandemic, cinema can persist. Is Bollywood paying attention?
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Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

Will post-pandemic Bollywood put more women in the cockpit, asks Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON AUG 23, 2020 11:24 AM IST
As films go direct to streaming platforms, female-led movies could finally get a fair shot at finding their audience. Reduced post-Covid budgets could help.
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A still from Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple.
A still from Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple.

While media attention was focused on the insider-outsider debate, Chaitanya Tamhane made history

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON AUG 09, 2020 09:00 AM IST
Chaitanya Tamhane brings his craft and discipline to The Disciple, the story of a conflicted musician in Mumbai. His mentor Alfonso Cuaron calls it stunning.
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Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi. No matter who she’s playing, the actor always manages to humanise the woman, take you into her inner life, struggles and desires.
Vidya Balan as Shakuntala Devi. No matter who she’s playing, the actor always manages to humanise the woman, take you into her inner life, struggles and desires.

From Parineeta to Shakuntala Devi, Vidya Balan is always convincing, always entertaining

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 26, 2020 10:21 AM IST
Vidya Balan will soon be seen in the role of the math genius Shakuntala Devi. The actor has a superpower too - she is always convincing, always entertaining.
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Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14.
Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14.

Will the nepotism debate post Sushant Singh Rajput’s death lead the way to a more level playing field?

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 12, 2020 11:10 AM IST
Let’s emerge from the pandemic with a fairer, better, more innovative Bollywood
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Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo released on Amazon Prime amid pandemic.
Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo released on Amazon Prime amid pandemic.

How the pandemic has temporarily overthrown the tyranny of box office

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 28, 2020 04:07 PM IST
One silver lining to the theatres being closed during the pandemic is that we’re talking about the movies again, rather than just how many crores were made on the first day.
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Kangana Ranaut during a shoot for the historical epic film Manikarnika, in Jaipur in 2018.
Kangana Ranaut during a shoot for the historical epic film Manikarnika, in Jaipur in 2018.

How will Covid-19 change the way India makes its cinema?

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2020 04:20 PM IST
New norms and slimmer budgets are set to transform every aspect of movie-making.
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Actor Arjun Rampal on set.
Actor Arjun Rampal on set.

Covid-19 can end the circus of celebrity, open doors for new talent, writes Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JUN 05, 2020 08:06 PM IST
The Covid-19 pandemic has sent Bollywood A-listers into hibernation, but perhaps it can open doors for new talent once things resume, writes Anupama Chopra.
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The deserted Croisette beach is pictured empty due to measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed indefinitely.(AP)
The deserted Croisette beach is pictured empty due to measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The Cannes Film Festival has been postponed indefinitely.(AP)

Hobbled festivals: How film festivals have been impacted by coronavirus

By Anupama Chopra, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 17, 2020 12:30 PM IST
The virus has disrupted the soul of the ecosystem.
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This year, Kareena Kapoor Khan turns 40. But she continues to be a diva and an in-demand showstopper at various fashion shows.(HT Photo)
This year, Kareena Kapoor Khan turns 40. But she continues to be a diva and an in-demand showstopper at various fashion shows.(HT Photo)

Her life and her portfolio mark Kareena Kapoor out as a risk-taker

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2020 09:46 PM IST
Anupama Chopra on Kareena Kapoor’s act of disruption
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Allu Arjun’s recent monster hit
Allu Arjun’s recent monster hit

Is modesty the secret to Telugu cinema’s bountiful success?: Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2020 07:57 PM IST
Politeness, modesty, humility and reticence are recurring qualities among the this film fraternity from the south
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Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan in the 2020 version of Imtiaz Ali’s
Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan in the 2020 version of Imtiaz Ali’s

In the new Bollywood love stories, the couples have no daunting opposition

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 07, 2020 05:00 PM IST
Earlier obstacles: the angry dad, caste, class. Now: career, commitment phobia.
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A still from Kaalakaandi (2017). Like his character in the film, Saif Ali Khan is doing what he wants, regardless of the rules.
A still from Kaalakaandi (2017). Like his character in the film, Saif Ali Khan is doing what he wants, regardless of the rules.

I wish more people would let go creatively, as Saif is doing: Anupama Chopra

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2020 05:19 PM IST
‘Amitabh Bachchan experienced a similar creative spring in the early years of the new millennium. But the women, even those not in the leading-lady rat race, aren’t cutting loose quite as much.’
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With Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, director Rakesh Roshan got the perfect material to showcase his talented son, Hrithik
With Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, director Rakesh Roshan got the perfect material to showcase his talented son, Hrithik

A star is born: Anupama Chopra looks back at how Hrithik Roshan’s debut set the bar high for future newcomers

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON JAN 10, 2020 04:39 PM IST
20 years ago, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai wasn’t just a blockbuster. It generated a hysteria comparable to Beatlemania
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Shah Rukh Khan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2018. ‘I hope Shah Rukh finds a script and a storyteller who can both reinvent the Shah Rukh Khan myth and honour it.’
Shah Rukh Khan at the World Economic Forum in Davos, in 2018. ‘I hope Shah Rukh finds a script and a storyteller who can both reinvent the Shah Rukh Khan myth and honour it.’

Anupama Chopra’s Bollywood dreams for 2020

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2019 07:26 PM IST
Empowered writers, original music, an exchange of ideas across languages... a wishlist for the year ahead.
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Actress Isabelle Huppert at the screening of Elle in London. She was nominated for an Oscar for the film.(Getty image)
Actress Isabelle Huppert at the screening of Elle in London. She was nominated for an Oscar for the film.(Getty image)

Showbiz is ageist but there is no slowing down Isabelle Huppert

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON DEC 13, 2019 05:47 PM IST
Huppert is the French Meryl Streep
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Karan Johar at a party in Mumbai.(Yogen Shah)
Karan Johar at a party in Mumbai.(Yogen Shah)

The cult of Karan Johar

By Anupama Chopra | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON NOV 29, 2019 05:37 PM IST
He doesn’t get enough credit for pushing the envelope in his films
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