Tanul Thakur

Tanul Thakur

Mumbai-based film critic and independent journalist. Interested in longform narrative nonfiction. Awards: National Film Award for Best Film Critic (Swarna Kamal, 2015), and the Mumbai Press Club Award for Best Lifestyle and Entertainment Story (2015). E-mail: thakurtanul@gmail.com

All Articles
Book Review
Film Review

Rekha: Missing From the Frame

A biography of Rekha that is rich in empathy but lacks the diva’s voice

Open Magazine / September 2016 / Book Review

Look Who Is Watching

Gay Talese might be an iconic journalist, but in his latest book he is an accomplice to a pervert.

Open Magazine / August 2016 / Book Review

The Outcasts

How Bollywood shuts its doors on the poor

The Caravan / July 2016 / Feature

Wild Bias

The inescapable casteism in the backlash against Sairat

The Caravan / July 2016 / Feature

The Fan

Has Shah Rukh Khan copied a Shah Rukh Khan lookalike?

The Caravan / May 2016 / Feature

Written Off

The unappreciated work of Bollywood’s script supervisors

The Caravan / February 2016 / Feature

Inside the Colourful and Disturbing World of Guddu Rangila

A profile of Guddu Rangila, one of Bhojpuri cinema’s most popular stars, known particularly for the offensive and lewd songs he sings. (Winner of the 2015 Mumbai Press Club Award under the Lifestyle & Entertainment category.)

The Big Indian Picture / September 2014 / Feature

The Mirror Cracked

Firoz Khan has made a name for himself as the nation’s most popular Amitabh Bachchan lookalike. But his greatest gift is also his prison.

The Big Indian Picture / October 2013 / Feature

Conversations with Baradwaj Rangan

Rahul Desai and I interview one of Indian cinema's definitive voices, film critic Baradwaj Rangan.

India Independent Films / March 2016 / Interview

Clearing the Air

Days after the ’84 Bhopal gas leak, a native of Bhopal recorded several hours of footage of the disaster’s aftermath. I write about the making of Bhopal 84, a documentary born of that footage, which casts new light on the world’s worst industrial disaster

The Sunday Guardian / December 2014 / Feature

Behind the Scenes

On film professionals who left a mark in the last decade

Platform magazine / December 2015 / Opinion

Cameron Bailey on the changing possibilities of Indian cinema

Cameron Bailey, artistic director at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), on the changing landscape of Indian cinema, what it would take for MAMI to become a big player on its own, TIFF's reputation of predicting success at the Oscars, and more

FirstPost / November 2015 / Interview

The Backbenchers

They don’t have famous last names, and the film industry will give them only so many chances. They are the A-grade actors who will always be B-list stars.

Man's World / October 2015 / Feature

Kaaka Muttai (2015, M. Manikandan)

The Tamil film about two brothers will make you unspool images and memories that were buried somewhere deep.

DailyO / June 2015 / Film Review

How Hollywood failed in Mumbai

Hollywood and Mumbai have been aware of each other and interacted for over a century but genuine creative collaboration between the two is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Fountain Ink / August 2015 / Interview

The Fault in Our Stars

The Kashyap brothers, Anurag and Abhinav, haven't proven to be lucky for Ranbir Kapoor. But that still doesn't mean that he isn't already the defining actor, and superstar, of his generation.

Man's World / June 2015 / Feature / [Pdf , 117 KB]

A Nation’s Album

Rahaab Allana on curating India’s greatest photographic archive — the Alkazi archive.

Man's World / May 2015 / Feature

In the Name of Honour

Delhi-based NGO Love Commandos protects runaway couples from honour killings. If NH10 is anything to go by, we need it more than ever

Man's World / April 2015 / Feature

The Golden Girl

An event hosted by Zohra Sehgal's relatives, friends, and co-workers to commemorate the legendary actress revealed a hitherto unknown side of her.

The Sunday Guardian / August 2014 / Feature

Finding Ebert

The 15th Roger Ebert’s Film Festival is the first to be held after the passing of its founder. Here is an account of the legacy of a man who was one of the most important voices on cinema ever.

The Big Indian Picture / April 2013 / Feature

"I became obsessed with Dadasaheb Phalke’s life"

Kamal Swaroop is known for flouting every possible convention. Swaroop speaks about his documentary on Dadasaheb Phalke, a project that’s taken two decades to materialise.

The Sunday Guardian / July 2014 / Interview

Censor and Sensibility

Indian cinema has recently been crippled by regressive censorship. I inquire what leads to such retrograde decisions.

The Sunday Guardian / May 2014 / Feature

A consummate stylist on the page and on the stage

Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir is compulsively readable, doesn’t pull its punches and is informed by a writing style that manages to remain detached from its subject matter

The Sunday Guardian / December 2014 / Book Review

Blurring the difference: Art imitates life in Yellow

Gauri Gadgil overcame the daunting challenges of Down Syndrome to become a renowned sportsman (she won a silver medal for swimming at the Special Olympics Summer Games in 2007). Six years later, she played herself in a role that won her a National Award.

The Sunday Guardian / May 2014 / Feature

Training Days

Bollywood has begun to make films that get the mechanics of sport right. This is largely due to the contributions of sports consultants like Robert Miller, who have helped bring authenticity to films such as Chak De India!, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Mary Kom

The Sunday Guardian / October 2014 / Feature

Badlapur (2015, Sriram Raghavan)

Half-baked characters and sloppy writing make Raghavan's latest a lesser film

The Sunday Guardian / February 2015 / Film Review

MAMI – A Retrospective

The life of one of India’s best known film festivals, from its inception

The Big Indian Picture / October 2013 / Feature

How Bollwood films imagine and interpret Indian modernity

Rachel Dwyer’s latest book, Picture Abhi Baaki Hai, explores Bollywood films since ’91 and examines their portrayal of modern India. I spoke to her about the transformation of Bollywood films.

The Sunday Guardian / October 2014 / Interview

Foodie comrades: Exploring India’s inexhaustible palate

For the last seven years, Rocky and Mayur have hosted some of the most popular food shows on TV, including Highway On My Plate and FoodMad. They talk about their love for food and India in this interview.

The Sunday Guardian / December 2014 / Interview

Irani Chai, Cinema Afghani

Siddiq Barmak on filmmaking in the middle of political turmoil in Afghanistan

The Big Indian Picture / November 2013 / Interview

Farhan Akhtar’s DNA and assorted Bollywood horrors

Tula Goenka interviews a diverse and impressive line-up of Indian filmmakers, but for the most part, her book is marred by the trite and clichéd questions she asks.

The Sunday Guardian / July 2014 / Book Review

Restoring the lost legacies of brilliant Indian minds

The documentary 'The Quantum Indians' chronicles the lives of three celebrated Indian scientists—C.V. Raman, S.N. Bose, Meghnad Saha—using archival footage, cutting-edge computer graphics and interviews with leading Indian scientists.

The Sunday Guardian / May 2014 / Feature

Cine Mexicano

How Luis Salinas became a globally acclaimed Mexican film producer in three years

The Big Indian Picture / January 2014 / Interview

Who killed Manjunath? A biopic tries to find the answer

Manjunath Shanmugam’s heroic story affected filmmaker Sandeep A. Varma so deeply, he decided to make a biopic on the man. He traces his filmmaking journey in this conversation.

The Sunday Guardian / April 2014 / Interview

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