articles by Sneha Bengani

Entertainment

15 years of Life in a Metro: Exploring the insidiousness of female desire and shame

Films that show female desire as a punishable offense don’t elicit raised eyebrows or the deep urge to change the status quo, just a wan smile from a select few who know what it’s like. Because it’s men making them in a man’s world.

Entertainment

From pawn to power: In Dasvi, Maharani, Panchayat, the surrogate woman-politician tastes power and strikes back

In all three of them — Dasvi, Maharani, and Panchayat — the real fun lies in the discomfort on the men’s faces when — much to their shock — the wives refuse to give up the seat, and claim their stake instead.

Entertainment

Mira Nair takes a deep dive into how each actor was cast in Monsoon Wedding, from Naseeruddin Shah to Vijay Raaz

The lasting legacy of Monsoon Wedding is its casting coup — how director Mira Nair managed to handpick and bring together an ensemble unlike any other.

Entertainment

Mira Nair on 20 years of Monsoon Wedding, and helming its Broadway adaptation: The film hasn't left me for a moment

"The Monsoon Wedding musical will open in London in June 2023, following which we will hopefully go to New York, and bring it to India," says filmmaker Mira Nair.

Entertainment

RRR lacks what elevated SS Rajamouli's Baahubali from good to great — strong female characters

The women of RRR are so uncooked and ill-written that it is difficult to believe they are conceived by the same man who created Baahubali’s iconic, inimitable Sivagami and Devsena.

Arts & Culture

Divya Prakash Dubey: 'We need to go beyond the traditional platforms to make Hindi cool again'

"It's not like people aren't interested in just Hindi literature. They don’t care about what’s happening in English writing either. It’s not like they are looking forward to what Arundhati Roy is going to write next. That’s a lifestyle issue," says author Divya Prakash Dubey.

Arts & Culture

What on-ground literature festivals like JLF mean to first-time authors: 'Getting your book out finally feels real'

Jaipur Literature Festival this year was all the more special also because it gave several first-time authors, whose books released during the pandemic, the chance to talk about their work.

Entertainment

Oscars 2022: Why Kristen Stewart deserves the honour — and so do most others in Spencer

As Princess Diana, Kristen Stewart is at once glorious and tragic, reaching out and yet shutting off, hungry and anorexic, trying hard to hold on to her sense of self as her grip on everything around her gets shaky.

Arts & Culture

Namita Gokhale on winning Sahitya Akademi Award for Things to Leave Behind: ‘I used to carry it everywhere like a piece of knitting’

"This festival has always had a mysterious life of its own, and it is literally taking me for a ride along with it. I follow where it goes," co-director Namita Gokhale says on the recently-concluded Jaipur Literature Festival.

Arts & Culture

Minus the drama and the jamboree, the Jaipur Literature Festival this year is a quiet return to the core

The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have stripped the JLF of all its frills. After forced confinement of two years, it was a joy to see, hear, and meet so many other people. The festival may have changed in countless big and small ways, but it has retained its indomitable spirit.

Entertainment

This International Women's Day, let's talk about Hindi cinema's gross depiction of gendered housework

Whatever the COVID-19 lockdown memes may have you believe, the burden of housework still falls primarily on women even if they earn as much or more than the men in the house. These Hindi films are testimony to that.

Entertainment

Gangubai Kathiawadi could give wind to the sails of change in Bollywood’s hackneyed representation of sex workers

Films like Mandi, Dev.D, Begum Jaan, and Anaarkali of Aarah empowered their women with agency. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming Gangubai Kathiawadi could be the latest addition to this formidable list.

Entertainment

Tusshar Kapoor on turning author with Bachelor Dad: ‘Doing more challenging things after becoming a father’

In his debut book Bachelor Dad, Tusshar Kapoor writes about his journey to fatherhood, all that it takes to have a child outside of marriage via surrogacy in India, and more

Arts & Culture

Meghna Pant on new book Boys Don’t Cry: ‘Women are not rehabilitation centers for men’

Meghna Pant’s latest offering is a true story with a clincher of an ending that, she says, every woman deserves. It’s a rule book to help girls on the matters of heart and head. A peek into the closed doors of a modern Indian marriage, it’s a conversation on mental health that every family should have.

Entertainment

Food is the start of all great love stories, from Once Again, The Lunchbox to In The Mood for Love

All it takes is one wrong delivery of the lunchbox or a chance telephonic conversation with one of your restaurant customers. The premise is predictable. And yet, it makes magic. Each time.

Entertainment

Sumukhi Suresh on building an ecosystem through Motormouth Writers: 'There are never enough writers writing for women'

"At Motormouth, we wish to write and create shows, movies, and stories with fundamentally funny, flawed females. We want to change the lens of gender and storytelling using our writing skills," says Sumukhi Suresh.

Arts & Culture

In new book Eden, Devdutt Pattanaik explores Judaism, Christianity, Islam: 'My work is helping people access other people's stories'

In his latest book Eden, Devdutt Pattanaik looks at Judaism, Christianity, and Islam through his unique Indian perspective.

Entertainment

Sandra Bullock credits the new lease of life in her career to Netflix; here's how streaming is giving Hollywood women their due

Netflix has not only helped revive Sandra Bullock’s career but has also pushed forward the filmographies of several other aging actresses, ensuring they continue to be as prolific and get to play meaty, layered, and interesting characters on screen.

Arts & Culture

Ramachandra Guha: I haven’t written Rebels Against the Raj to influence Indians on their political preferences

Renowned historian Ramachandra Guha hopes his new book Rebels against the Raj helps readers gain a deeper understanding of the India that was, and perhaps also of the India that might be.

Entertainment

Holding out for a hero: Why do actresses still need to depend on who the male lead is? Why can't they be the heroes?

Taapsee Pannu's recent revelation that other actresses rejected Haseen Dillruba because they were not sure of 'the hero' only exposes the gross dependence of leading ladies on how 'saleable' their male counterparts are.