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  • A Death in the Gunj

    A Death in the Gunj

    ★★

    A DEATH IN THE GUNJ is the well-directed debut by actor, Konkona Sen Sharma. It's a film made with assured style and confidence that speaks to the promise of greater things in her future.

    Unfortunately, for all the skill shown behind the camera it is exactly the kind of first film that actors love to make. One in which performance and conflict matter more than narrative and where cruelty is mistaken as complexity.

    The film opens with two men putting…

  • Lipstick Under My Burkha

    Lipstick Under My Burkha

    ★★★★½

    Despite its language and country of origin, Alankrita Shrivastava's second film feels far more French in its rhythm and narrative. There is little trace of Bollywood here--a decision that ultimately suits the film perfectly and allows it to be its own special thing.

    LIPSTICK tells the story of four women all connected to the same apartment building. Konkona Sen Sharma plays a young mother of three whose unemployed neanderthal husband doesn't know about her success as a door-to-door saleswoman. Aahana…

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  • The Exorcist

    The Exorcist

    What?!? One star for THE EXORCIST?!? ARE YOU INSANE?!!?!

    Maybe. All I know is that I've never been able to enjoy Friedkin's iconic horror hit. Partly this can be blamed on my lack of religious beliefs, which renders the thought of possession, demons, and devils as ridiculous rather than terrifying. Partly it can be blamed on its pace and seriousness, which have always left me frustrated and bored. And another part can probably just be blamed on the kind of…

  • Teeth

    Teeth

    ★★★★½

    Sold as horror, TEETH is actually a moving black comedy about a sweet young woman who discovers she possesses something all men secretly suspect women have, but do not use.

    Filled with some brilliant dark comic scenes, TEETH lives and dies on the performance of Jess Wexler, who more than credibly takes the character of Dawn on a journey from frightened innocent to feminist avenger. Without her the film wouldn't have its emotional resonance, nor would it have made me literally clap with delight at the end.