articles by Pradeep Menon

Entertainment

Nat Geo documentary on Anthony Fauci is too one-sided to be taken seriously

Fauci is a rather polite documentary that does not include the allegations of the doctor's involvement in gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, from where the COVID-19 virus is suspected to have somehow escaped initially.

Entertainment

Crime Stories: India Detectives review: Grisly, enticing series with perverse undertones

Despite my own shamefully perverse, unending fascination with the genre, Crime Stories: India Detectives is precisely the kind of show I binge hard, but find equally hard to recommend.

Entertainment

Schumacher review: Netflix docu offers only a passing glance at F1 great

From its largely linear structure to its staid talking-head format, the film’s benign treatment barely ever captures the true thrill of the sport.

Entertainment

Into the Night Season 2 review: Manufactured thrills dampen an exciting setup

The hitch with this follow-up season is that unlike the first time round, it seems they had to invent obstacles all over the place, just to keep the thrill going.

Entertainment

Bhoot Police movie review: Saif Ali Khan sizzles in a breezy horror comedy

Better balance between the horror and comedy, and some ingenuity in creating more convincing scares would elevate the chronicles of these ghost hunters immensely.

Entertainment

Bullets Over Bombay book review: Uday Bhatia's Satya rewind is a capsule of the '90s

Bullets Over Bombay is quite an immersive treatise on Satya because it does not just detail the making of the movie, but also gives a sense of what the real world was like back then, in the not-so-nice '90s.

Entertainment

How Amit V Masurkar's Newton draws from the geography of Ramayana to tell the story of India's tribal heartland

The jungle depicted in Newton happens to be Dandakaranya – the Forest of Punishment – where Ram, Lakshman, and Sita spent their days in exile, before their paths crossed with Soorpanakha and Ravan, kicking off the fabled war in the Ramayana.

Entertainment

The Empire review: Full marks for ambition, yet familiar clichés abound

The makers of The Empire deserve to be rewarded for the scale and the feel, with the chance to follow up with future seasons. But they desperately need to get their act together in terms of writing and casting.

Entertainment

Dr Death review: A distressing podcast-turned-TV series showcasing the depravity of a killer surgeon

Dr Death isn’t really a show in a hurry. It takes its time unfolding, particularly towards the end of the season. While the story itself might seem unevenly paced, it is actually far more about atmosphere than information.

Entertainment

Big Shot review: John Stamos-led Basketball drama is surprisingly refreshing for a dated template

Despite being thoroughly predictable all through its 10 episodes from a sports-plot perspective, Big Shot, surprises and maintains its earnest, feel-good naïveté all through.

Entertainment

As The Family Man Season 2 releases, ranking Raj & DK's genre-hopping filmography, from 99 to Go Goa Gone

Raj & DK movies often give the impression that the duo understand what the ‘invisible India’ actually looks like, unlike some of their legacy banner counterparts.

Entertainment

Dithee movie review: Sumitra Bhave’s last film delivers an astonishingly relevant view on life and death

Like the interdependency of order and chaos, or life and death, Sumitra Bhave’s Dithee delights you with a soulful tale of mourning and celebration all at once.

Entertainment

As Army of the Dead releases on Netflix, ranking Zack Snyder's films, from Dawn of the Dead to Justice League

A truly gifted exponent of cinema, Zack Snyder has not yet made a film that is a worthy sum of the parts that he brings to the table.

Entertainment

Monster movie review: Kelvin Harrison Jr shines in earnest telling of a Black teen’s courtroom woes

Monster might be a courtroom drama, but the film eschews legal jugglery and dramatic twists in favour of an audio-visual approach

Entertainment

Invincible review: Amazon Prime Video animated adult superhero series is as feel-good as outrageously subversive

Invincible may not have the spectacle of a grand, VFX-embellished live-action entertainer to show off, but this little show does manage to hold its own nonetheless.

Entertainment

The Disciple movie review: Chaitanya Tamhane’s second film is a moving ode to lives spent in pursuit of art

The Disciple is a thoroughly Indian film, rooted in the space and cinematic time that director Chaitanya Tamhane creates.

Entertainment

Stowaway movie review: Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette's austere space drama is intense, but not riveting enough

It could have been a searing character study or a tight, gripping thriller, but Stowaway's gentle exposition gets too gentle for its own good.

Entertainment

Vira Sathidar's role in Chaitanya Tamhane's Court mirrored the actor's BR Ambedkar-like figure and anti-caste politics

Both Vira Sathidar and his Court character Narayan Kamble represented the kind of enlightened, aware citizen that governments fear; the kind that find themselves in jail for years with no end in sight, for the books they read or the words they speak.

Entertainment

The New Mutants movie review: X-Men spinoff starring Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy attempts troubled teen horror with mixed results

The New Mutants could have delved deeper into the psyche of these rather special, rebellious kids but wastes its setup by following a predictable route

Entertainment

Concrete Cowboy review: Netflix's father-son story lovingly showcases a unique community of horse riders

Concrete Cowboy's most impressive moments transcend the father-son story, when the kinship of the horse-riding community comes to the fore