Articles by MK Raghavendra
Jun 23, 2019
Chernobyl: Revisiting the disaster with the HBO series to understand how utopianism led to the gargantuan failureThe HBO miniseries pertains to the nuclear disaster in April 1986 at Chernobyl nuclear plant near Pripyat, Ukraine, inquiring into the causes and describing the subsequent clean-up efforts.
Jun 16, 2019
Bharat: Salman Khan's latest film, which addresses the working class, is nationalistic rather than patrioticIn Bharat, Salman Khan's character speaks broken English; the point being made here is that he can learn English if he so desires, but his loyalty is to his own kind. Similarly, he consents to a live-in relationship with chief engineer Kumud Raina, but never marries her. Marriage to someone above himself might have moved him out of his class and he needs to show solidarity with it.
May 08, 2019
Workplace ethics and Indian cinema: What do low productivity and unrealistically made films have in common?Popular Indian cinema portrays situations and characters in an immediately recognisable way, familiar not from observation but from popular belief, and as ideals. This suppression of observation by idealisation and convention is a characteristic that one frequently encounters in real life in India. In Indian workplaces, the appearance of commitment is demanded rather than productivity
Apr 30, 2019
Moscow, the loafer's way: Soaking in Russian culture in the city's pubs, flea markets and metro stationsA trip to a fine chinaware store, a Georgian restuarant and candid conversations with locals — the best of Moscow is lurking in corners where the first-time traveler would not look
Apr 23, 2019
At East-West Golden Arch 2019, an attempt to recognise Eurasian cinema — and celebrate itEast-West Golden Arch is a recent initiative to identify cinematic ‘Eurasia’ — Western Asia (Iran, Turkey and Israel) and Eastern Europe (the countries of the former Eastern Bloc plus Finland) — as a continuous cultural entity and organise a film festival around it, with Moscow as the epicentre.
Apr 05, 2019
Jordan Peele’s Us as a failed political satire: What the film gets right about America, and what it gets wrongWe read the doppelgängers in Jordan Peele's Us as a reference to the black majority left behind even as elites have emerged successfully as professionals, entertainers and sportspersons. It is the African-American liberal elite to whom the Obama persona appealed and that Peele partly satirised in Get Out.
Feb 06, 2019
Literature for the Video Age: Haruki Murakami is a popular author, but what is his literary legacy?Haruki Murakami is a gifted writer since one devours his books and little of what he writes rings false. But he is not from an age that prides itself in its literature.
Jan 31, 2019
Roma: Alfonso Cuarón has developed into an able craftsman but does not have anything of significance to sayWhat critics respond to most is the look of a film and it is only in its ‘look’ that Roma comes up trumps; still, the look of a film is not something it is long remembered by.
Jan 04, 2019
Examining oral tradition in India and its impact on society, from Vedic literature to larger-than-life actors, politiciansIn narratives of oral tradition, such as Vedic literature, causality is weak and it is difficult to produce rigorous argument, since the tradition allows for colour and repetition rather than analysis
Jan 02, 2019
Mrinal Sen (1923-2018): Looking back at the filmography of the last giant from a key era in Indian cinemaMrinal Sen was a major figure in Indian cinema, representing an aspect of great historical value but he will probably be most missed for what he was — a person who was almost legendary for his graciousness in a milieu where filmmakers and personalities are competing ruthlessly for honours and opportunities.