articles by Pradeep Menon


Hostages Season 2 review: This racy Disney+ Hotstar show is hit-or-miss, but the twists and turns may hold you captive

Hostages is the sort of show that takes generous liberties with logic and possibilities, but that hardly comes in the way of you moving to the next episode.


Raat Akeli Hai, Haider, Tumbbad: Why Pankaj Kumar is one of India's most talented cinematographers

Cinematographer Pankaj Kumar seems well on his way to joining the pantheon of visual artists whose images last for generations.


The Gone Game: This 'lockdown thriller' series with a promising cast is simple yet layered, with twists galore

The Gone Game tells us that for a thriller to thrill, simplicity works as long as there is a tangible effort at the writing stage.


In the crowded streaming platform space, Apple TV+ sets a high bar for original content in English

The most impressive aspect of Apple TV+ ’s original content library is the diversity of voices and faces featured in them.


Resurrection: Ertuğrul, currently on Netflix, far exceeds its reputation as a ‘Turkish Game of Thrones'

Resurrection: Ertuğrul glorifies valour and bravery, but also warmth and tenderness.


Netflix series Hollywood is a revisionist retelling of the classic showbiz story that could have been so much more

Set in the golden age of Hollywood soon after World War II, Hollywood has been co-created by Netflix regular Ryan Murphy (American Crime Story, The Politician) and Ian Brennan


Better Call Saul season five's explosive finale episode is a masterclass in long-form screenwriting

Over five seasons, Better Call Saul has reaffirmed that it is at least equally good, if not better than Breaking Bad.


Notes from binge-watching Belgian series Into The Night and Shirish Kunder's Mrs Serial Killer back-to-back

On one of these binge sessions, I ended up watching two completely different thrillers back-to-back, and like every binge that has come before it, it left me wanting more and no more, all at once


The Platform, a Spanish dystopian thriller on Netflix, offers biting social commentary best appreciated in solitude

The Platform offers an ingenious setup - perfectly in tune with the current times of pandemic and social distancing - that comments on everything wrong with human society in its approximately 90-minute runtime.


Thappad is Anubhav Sinha's most accomplished work yet, and proof of his evolution into a nuanced filmmaker

Sinha’s last three films - Mulk, Article 15 and Thappad - arriving like clockwork once a year since 2018 respectively - have tackled difficult subjects that are extremely relevant to the times we live in.


Ardhe Akash Maathyavar: Anthology of Marathi poetry turns an empathetic gaze on life on the fringes

Dr Shridhar Pawar's experiences in the by-lanes of Kamathipura — with sex workers, impoverished families, queer groups, migrant populations — inform his poetry in Ardhe Akash Maathyavar.


Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior seemed to promise propaganda, but delivers a solid action-drama instead

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior has its great moments, as well as its flaws, but the overall impact of the film is not the propaganda we were expecting.


Deepika Padukone visits JNU in solidarity with protesting students: Why optics and impact matter more than intent

Deepika Padukone's gesture places her at odds with a particularly vindictive government, known only to sing paeans to constructive debate.


Dibakar Banerjee’s Ghost Stories segment is a scathing take on current politics, reaffirming his cinematic mastery

Dibakar has packed his short in Ghost Stories with commentary on the current central government’s fascist, totalitarian and majoritarian tendencies.


Gitanjali Rao's animated film Bombay Rose is an arresting ode to the paradoxical chaos of Mumbai

Everyone who comes to Bombay arrives with baggage, metaphorical or literal; but once you live here, you aren’t from Ayodhya or Madurai or Srinagar; you’re from here.


Cargo movie review: Arati Kadav's debut feature is sure to develop cult following over time

Cargo is very much an allegorical take on the meaning of life and death, told through the gaze of someone with a distinctly whimsical way of looking at things.


Moothon movie review: Geethu Mohandas' Malayalam-Hindi bilingual shows us a Nivin Pauly we’ve never seen before

Even by the high standards of Malayalam cinema, Moothon is a film that stands out for its visceral emotional tapestry interwoven with action-thriller elements.


Dave Chappelle's Sticks & Stones review: Controversial, insightful stand-up special offends and questions ‘cancel culture’

David Chappelle's set raises the question of who sets the moral standards for comedy? Everyone will have their own personal line they would not want humour to cross.


The Quentin Tarantino Cinematic Universe: A look at the maverick director's 7 best characters yet

From Col Hans Landa to Dr King Schultz, ranking the seven best characters from Quentin Tarantino's films


The Lion King Hindi: Nepotism aside, Aryan Khan's voice fits the bill for Simba more than SRK's does for Mufasa

In the Hindi version of The Lion King, Mufasa often says ‘humara desh’ for some reason, making him sound less like Mufasa and more like Modi ji.