Category: Naseeruddin Shah

AAKROSH / Cry of the Wounded [Dir. Govind Nihalani, 1980, India] – ‘I burn from within…’

In the dialogue-less opening to Aakrosh, Bhiku (Om Puri), the Adivasi labourer looks on in chains as the body of his dead wife (Smita Patil in a cameo) is cremated before he is led away by the police to jail. The pot marked face, protruding eyes, leathery skin of Bhiku amount to an image of […]

MIRCH MASALA / A TOUCH OF SPICE (1987, Dir. Ketan Mehta, India) – Tales of Resistance

Mirch Masala, the third feature of director Ketan Mehta, opens with the choral refrain of doubt, the lyrics booming over a rustic, desolate and geometrical landscape of scorched brown, orangey earth; a Kiarostami image that possibly preludes the work of the Iranian master: ‘O Earth, man became your heart Hence the world became bright A […]

KANDAHAR / THE RUINS (Dir. Mrinal Sen, 1983, India)

The gaze of the photographer Subhash (Naseeruddin Shah) is one that shows little compassion for the predicament of those imprisoned in the past. Whilst the initial reaction to marry Jamini (Shabana Azmi) is motivated by sentiment, it holds no actual validity or merit when the decisive moment arises. Subhash sees reality through the lens of […]

ISHQIYA (Dir. Abhishek Chaubey, 2010, India) – Rural Noir

It’s hard to believe that this is director Abhishek Chaubey’s debut given the confidence, maturity and assurance with which he handles the material. Chaubey’s emergence has been under the tutorage of Vishal Bhardwaj, a film maker who like his contemporary Anurag Kashyap is not afraid of blurring genres and mixing visual styles whilst grinning mischievously […]