Reel Take

A still from the movie Mr. and Mrs. 55 | Youtube

Mr. & Mrs. ’55, a light-hearted rom-com that raised questions about feminism 6 decades ago

Guru Dutt and Madhubala’s chemistry and some masterful cinematography make this film sparkle despite some problematic gender equations.
A still from Prem Pujari

Dev Anand’s Prem Pujari spoke about patriotism like no other Bollywood film

With great music on one hand, but problematic representation on the other, Dev Anand’s directorial debut is an interesting watch.
Shabana azmi and anana nag

Shyam Benegal’s Ankur talked about caste and patriarchy when no else did

Starring Shabana Azmi and Anant Nag, this film is the hard-to-swallow pill that we need today.
A still from Chhoti Bahu | YouTube

Sharmila Tagore’s Chhoti Bahu gave us a Bollywood rarity — a layered female protagonist

Based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s book, Bindur Chhele, this film makes for a great family drama. 
A still from Parichay | YouTube

Gulzar’s Parichay showed us how love could be a better teacher than fear

Parichay, starring Jeetendra & Jaya Bhaduri, teaches us, in its own simple way, that children need love & encouragement to become confident and grow into kind adults.

Abhimaan, the timeless classic, had shades of Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan’s real lives

Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee is better known for his family-friendly comedies, but in Abhimaan, he dealt with feminism & a love story with many shades of grey.
Music composer Khayyam | Illustration: Arindam Mukherjee | ThePrint

Umrao Jaan’s captivating music is a lasting testament to Khayyam’s musical genius

Khayyam masterfully blended ghazals, shayaris and classical Hindustani music to create melodies that made the story of Umrao Jaan.
A still from Kabuliwala | YouTube

Kabuliwala is the heart-rending childhood tale of innocence, love & fate

Balraj Sahni’s Kabuliwala perfectly captures the essence of a wonderful friendship that builds against the backdrop of hardship.
Meena Kumari | Commons

Meena Kumari was more than just the tragedy queen and this movie shows us why

Meena Kumari plays a happy and carefree character in S.M. Sriramulu Naidu’s 1955 film.
saptapadi Bengali Cinema Uttam Kumar

Uttam Kumar’s Saptapadi is the 1960s’ inter-faith love story that rings true even today

Saptapadi’s famous, moving Othello scene, which was directed separately by Utpal Dutt, deserves special praise.

On Camera

Animals have come home. Covid-19 lockdown gives control back into nature’s hands

With people in India and elsewhere locked down in homes due to the coronavirus, the peaceful reclamation of public spaces by animals is teaching us important lessons.

Modi’s 9-min candle plan Sunday: Needless spectacle or much-needed motivation for Indians?

PM Modi requested Indians to light candles, lamps or mobile torches at 9 pm Sunday for nine minutes in a show of solidarity in the fight against Covid-19.

Defence

Army personnel distribute packaged food to the homeless in Chennai on 31 March 2020 | PTI

In a first, Army deploys medical team at civil coronavirus quarantine camp in Delhi

The Indian Army has so far only been operating out of quarantine camps set up by the armed service for coronavirus patients.

Poke fun at taali, thaali, diya and mombatti all you want. Modi couldn’t care less

Modi knows who he needs to speak to, who he should toss, who he can address in kind. People accuse him of infantilising his voters, but it’s a winning strategy.