articles by Manik Sharma

Entertainment

Revisiting Nayakan: What Mani Ratnam's 1987 tour de force reveals of justice, vengeance and sacrifice

Classics are called classics because they age better than most films, and reconstitute themselves according to the eras they must sieve through.

Entertainment

Saroj Khan passes away: The innovative choreographer reinvented form to make dance widely accessible

It is perhaps easy to draw great dance out of great dancers like Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi. But Saroj Khan made even the heavy-footed dance with abandon.

Entertainment

On World Music Day, remembering Nazia Hassan, whose fresh and sassy musicality was way ahead of its time

Nazia Hassan appeared on Bollywood’s radar for the first time through Feroz Khan’s unremarkable action film Qurbani (1980).

Entertainment

Ten years of Lost: Looking back at one of television’s greatest shows and what connects it to our today

Though the idea of binge-watching was really established with the surge of streaming platforms years later, it was really first teased by Lost, a show so fascinating, so sprawling in its ambition, it left you in awe.

Entertainment

Paatal Lok and its anti-heroes: Amazon Prime series subverts traditional tropes the same way Satya did 20 years ago

Paatal Lok, a series that doesn’t care how good it looks as long as it’s brutally, unsparingly honest.

Entertainment

Movie theatres will never go out of fashion, but let's stop pretending it is the 'right' way to watch films

Theatres were never supposed to become harbingers of quality cinema. Cinema is strictly a demand-supply business.

Lifestyle

Two bookstores and a lockdown: Delhi's Midland and Mumbai's Kitab Khana on weathering the coronavirus crisis

Midland and Kitab Khana have never run on glitz, but the commitment of their readers. However, in a world where intimacy itself is a risk, India’s vintage bookshops must adapt, as they are, to find ways to remain relevant and alive.

Entertainment

Irrfan Khan dies at 53: A master at underplaying his excellence, the actor effortlessly rescued drab films

Bollywood’s greatest Khan spent his career opening and closing doors, ageing, without notice or reminders that he too would be sorely missed when gone.

Entertainment

Raghubir Yadav has made a habit of immaculately portraying the ordinary, from Peepli Live to Panchayat

In his vast career spanning decades, Raghubir Yadav’s portrayal of a harmless tyrannised man has charmed everyone.

Entertainment

Netflix series Feel Good masterfully blends the heaviness of tragedy and lightness of comedy

Feel Good stars Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Lisa Kudrow, and Adrian Lukis.

Entertainment

Remixes haven't always been trashy: In the 90s, Bally Sagoo, Instant Karma pioneered nostalgic Bollywood covers

There is nothing wrong with overseeing the evolution of a song either, as long as you don’t guiltlessly butcher or mount it like a pig.

Entertainment

How Asur writer Gaurav Shukla married science to religion and mythology to create a forensic thriller

Gaurav Shukla, writer of the acclaimed crime mystery Asur, talks to Firstpost about the various facets of the show that examines the conflict between science and religion, and everything beyond.

Life

In The Machine is Learning, Tanuj Solanki navigates corporate India and the ripple effects of techno-capitalist advancements

Tanuj Solanki, with his third book The Machine is Learning, and after having won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, presents a rare macro picture of what advancement shifts or scrapes on the sides when it takes a step forward.

Life

Sophia Naz's new book captures the story of her mother Shehnaz — a life of royalty, showbiz, crippling trauma

'Shehnaz' chronicles the life of a woman who survived domestic abuse, partition, familial estrangement, and what seemed like a glamorous life in Bombay long enough to live through love and companionship. The late yesteryear actress' daughter Sophia Naz speaks to Firstpost on how the book came about, tracing her mother’s history, and the emotional cost of putting it all together.

Life

Millennials in the coronavirus times: Beyond Netflix and chill, we have a larger duty towards those who are more at risk than ourselves

Millennials have become unique amid the coronavirus outbreak by being both potentially safe from humanity's excesses and unwitting agents of its distress. Their prerogative must be to be at the forefront of an unprecedented battle, whether it is against misinformation, leisurely reflection or surrender to the invisible dangers that surround us

Life

Art is not dead: India's prestigious cultural events skirt pressing issues, but artistic virtue lives on in spaces of dissent

Some artists, filmmakers and writers have on their own, all risks considered, chosen to address the country’s circumstances today, but the lack of institutional support and participation limits the impact of such defiance. Celebrating art without celebrating the human context it comes from is decidedly hollow and pointless.

Life

Novelising a part of his life, Jeet Thayil's 'Low' is a darkly humorous take on coping with grief and loss

Through Low, Jeet Thayil takes us on a darkly comic, irreverent journey of processing grief and loss. Told in the third person, the book attempts to articulate the impossibility of processing grief in any certain manner or form.

Entertainment

Messiah review: Netflix series is a fascinating, thought-provoking take on faith and religion

Messiah merges the provisional American cynicism of Homeland with the psychological edginess of The Leftovers.

Entertainment

The man who would make Ramayan: Ramanand Sagar's biggest endeavour is outlined in a new biography

The events in Ramanand Sagar's life were 'like divine interventions slowly paving the way for him to fulfill his destined role — that of creating Ramayan for TV,' says his son Prem