thu 26/05/2022

India

The Father and the Assassin, National Theatre review - Gandhi's killer puts his case in a bold, whirlwind production

The young Indian man stepping towards us on the vast Olivier stage is unremarkable enough, slight and boyish in manner. When he speaks he is direct, even cheeky: he wants us to like him. But this is Nathuram Godse, Gandhi's blood-stained murderer....

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Life of Pi, Wyndham's Theatre review - visually ravishing show uplifted by astonishing puppetry

When the Canadian Yann Martel went to India as a young adult backpacker he fell in love – not with one person but with the rich imaginative landscape opened up by its religions and its animals. A struggling writer at the time, he channelled this new...

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Anuvab Pal, Soho Theatre review - Empire and Bollywood collide

Anuvab Pal may be a new name to some UK audiences (although many will know him from the global satirical podcast The Bugle), but he is well known in his native India. And it is with a wry look at Indian history – and the British role within it –...

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Blu-ray: The River

The cinema fan in your life is going to thank you for this one. The BFI’s new two-disc Blu-ray version of Jean Renoir’s 1951 The River, filmed in India, is absolutely packed with extras: no fewer than six other offerings, including a 90-minute "...

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Blu-ray: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love & War

What we don’t learn about filmmaker Harry Birrell is as tantalising as what is actually revealed during the course of Matt Pinder’s beguiling 90-minute documentary. We hear that Birrell was born in Paisley to a father he never met, who had been...

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Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had founded a radical, egalitarian Christian community in...

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Milestone review - parable of an aging trucker

Watching Milestone, a new Netflix original directed by Ivan Ayr, I was reminded of the films of the great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. This story about an aging truck driver facing redundancy whilst grieving for his wife attempts the still...

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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliche review - memorialising her mother

There was always something a little diffident about teenage Marion Elliott-Said, who created her on-stage persona Poly Styrene after putting together her band X-Ray Spex from a small ad in the back pages of the NME in 1977. Male fans and the music...

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The Serpent, BBC One review - tracking down the hippie-trail murderer

“They’re only rich assholes. They don’t merit your concern,” serial killer and psychopath Charles Sobhraj (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet, Heal the Living), aka rich French gem-dealer Alain Gautier, tells his girlfriend Marie-Andrée in The Serpent as...

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Album: Ammar 808 - Global Control/ Invisible Invasion

Ammar 808, named after the 1980s Roland drum machine TR-808 is the vehicle for Tunisian producer Sofyann Ben Youssef. He has been exploring, notably in Maghreb United (2018), a rich vein of resonance between the music of North Africa and electronic...

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Sāvitri, Lauderdale House review - death and life in a Highgate garden

In seach of Orpheus, and following a route from the Hades of (thankfully) masked beings on the underground to Archway, then up to a windy, grassy plateau just below Highgate village, this wandering critic encountered another myth about the power of...

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Blu-ray: The Apu Trilogy

Over the years, the legend of The Apu Trilogy has been much-repeated. Now widely considered India’s greatest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray was little more than a small-time commercial artist when, failing to find a sponsor for his script, he assembled...

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