articles by Manik Sharma

Entertainment

TVF Aspirants review: Naveen Kasturia show seamlessly ties India's pathos to the make-or-break drill of UPSC

TVF Aspirants underlines the UPSC as the die-hard leap at escaping the brittleness of a country by hanging onto that rare twig of solidity it offers.

Entertainment

Another Round movie review: Thomas Vinterberg film is an interesting experiment on soft benefits of alcohol

Another Round is an analytical view beyond the simplistic approach of tracing vice to the morality of alcoholism, usually argued by the social critics of alcohol.

Arts & Culture

History of Indian science fiction: How the genre, rooted in mythology and science, has evolved over the years

Community plays an important part, and it will eventually define if India’s sci-fi movement and its proponents survive the struggles of everyday life to leave small, but intriguing legacies of wonder and disbelief.

Entertainment

Chaalbaaz, Coolie No 1 were redeemed by Sridevi, Govinda; why remake of a Bollywood comedy is often dead on arrival

The news of Shraddha Kapoor being cast in the remake of Sridevi's Chaalbaaz is proof that attempts at remakes neither understand the importance of originality nor the soul of iconic characters that make films what they are. In case you are wondering, it is the actor.

Entertainment

Oscars 2021: Minari's depiction of migrant culture underlines human need to seek home away from home

The surge of right-wing politics around the world is a natural response to the liberal movement of people, the inter-change and subsequent mixing of cultures and heritages. Minari, therefore, is a beautifully time-fitted capsule.

Entertainment

Oscars 2021: How Sacha Baron Cohen emerged as the most definitive acting voice through Donald Trump's chaotic reign

Sacha Baron's Oscar-nominated turn in The Trial of the Chicago 7 is far less risky and enlightening compared to the more stinging post-mortems he has performed on the US through Borat 2 and Who Is America?.

Entertainment

Pakistani band Strings going separate ways calls for cross-border creative freedom, a rarity in sub continental music today

The bodily departure of Strings from the world stage is not an occasion to mourn the demise of their music, but fondly yearn for the age of free collaboration and creative freedom they once stood for.

Entertainment

Shashikala mastered the art of playing second fiddle; despite their brevity, her roles attest to impact of supporting actors

While her earlier career was marked by roles where she was either the vamp or the scheming mistress, Shashikala’s later years brought the grace and equanimity that ageing perhaps allows you.

Entertainment

How Netflix's Pagglait pays lip service to secularism through an underwritten Muslim character devoid of agency

The narrative arc of Nazia Zaidi in Pagglait demonstrates secularism is a hard sell these days, as much in fiction as in reality.

Arts & Culture

'We have to learn to see land with a more nuanced lens': Nikita Sud on her new book, farm laws

The continual making and re-making of land as history or identity, or its use as property, or its demarcation as territory or a contested entity — these happen in place, or in a particular location. Land is not made and re-made automatically. It is continually acted upon by institutions of the state, market and politics.

Entertainment

Geetanjali Kulkarni discusses Gullak, invisibility of mothers, and why this season was cathartic for her

"My character was loud and grumbly, because if she wasn’t ‘nobody would hear her’," says Geetanjali Kulkarni.

Entertainment

The White Tiger, Serious Men, and the altering cultural and social epiphanies of the Indian dream

For years, films have portrayed the Indian working class as mute spectators of social and familial trauma and often the ones with the kindest heart. The White Tiger is somewhat an antidote of the underdog narrative.

Entertainment

What Killed Maradona on Discovery+ is an anthropological dive into footballer's mythologised life

What killed Maradona, is a more serious look at the contributing factors to the decline and ultimately death of a mercurial talent.

Entertainment

Donald Trump's term as president as depicted in cinema, television and documentaries; from Get Out to Parasite

Cinema under Donald Trump, it is safe to say, has been indicative of the chaos and division he has imported to the country.

Lifestyle

Relatable language, believable bodies: What underpins the popularity of adult content on Indian OTT platforms

Beginning with ALTBalaji’s Gandii Baat (2018) to Kavita Bhabhi (2020) on Ullu, erotic content on homegrown OTT platform deserves attention for its sensibilities.

Lifestyle

An encyclopedia of India's ghosts, demons and monsters, Blaft's latest goes beyond scary stories and macabre myths

'We're hardwired to tell ghost stories,' says Rakesh Khanna of Blaft Publications, who has co-authored the encyclopedia.

Entertainment

With films like Swipe, Shehr e Tabassum, Pakistan's Puffball Studio depicts dystopias that feel all too real

An app that mirrors mob justice. A dystopia where smiling is the only expression allowed. Pakistan's Puffball Studio and its founder Arafat Mazhar skewer the mechanisms of intolerance and hate through their films.

Entertainment

Akshay Kumar meets Yogi Adityanath: could this signal the actor’s potential political plans?

Akshay Kumar's recent meeting in Mumbai with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, especially the fact that the meeting was accessible for visual advertising, is perhaps quiet acknowledgment of the actor's potential political ambition.

Entertainment

Behind Punjabi stars' vocal support of farmers' protests, a film and music culture that celebrates agrarian way of life

Punjabi cinema and music has lent the farmer a certain amount of wilful dignity that sees him or her as something other than the hapless victim. By assigning these characters a sense of heroism and flamboyance, the region’s cinema sees the farming community as stories in themselves.