Saturday, May 03, 2008


With minimum comment, here are selected sentences from Khalid Mohammed’s review of the film Anamika, in today’s HT:
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s Anamika treats Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) as if it were chewing gum. Chomp, chomp, chomp till it’s tasteless and tiresome. Surely Hitch would have gone burp re burp.
[I don’t know whether the italicized Hitch is a copy-desk goof-up or an attempt to somehow link Hitchcock’s nickname with the Will Smith film. Also love the “1940” after “Rebecca” – so particular about details, aren’t we?]
The plot roast thickens. A cop (Gulshan Glower) eats kilos and kilos of goose liver. You get fever. His wife keeps going “Quack, quack” as if she were in a quackie movie.
[Might this be a "quackie movie"?]

Dino Morea and Minisha Lamba must be making Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine rock and roll in their graves.
[Interesting that reviewers who
use phrases like “rock and roll in their graves”, and pride themselves on writing for the casual moviegoer, think it’s okay to drop Olivier and Fontaine into a piece like this without clarifying who they might be]

Update: Joan Fontaine is still alive.


  1. There was a time when I used to think Khalid's reviews were funny -- of course, ten reviews later, I realized that his writing style was unchanged, that he wrote in the same flippant way, that his review never really told me what the movie was about, never offered any analysis whatsoever, never analyzed the film on its own terms, or through any prism whatsoever.

    ps: the Hitch reference seems like a copywriter's glitch.

  2. There was a time when I used to think Khalid's reviews were funny

    Oh, I think they're still funny!

  3. perhaps, if I was reading it in the Onion, yes -- although I think that is giving Khalid's writing too much credit.

  4. I love your review of his review.. and the 're' is definitely his insistence.. no sub dare change even a comma in his reviews. :) Yay you made my Sunday.

  5. Ah Khalid, the poor (very poor) man's Anthony Lane.

  6. Khalid Mohammed should stop commenting or writing reviews when his cinematic knowledge has been aptly seen in three monstrously stupid movies he directed.

    As far as being funny is concerned it is easy to laugh at someone's ineptness when one himself is wholly callow in understanding cinema.

    i don't find him funny but irritating and pompous.

  7. Joan Fontaine is still alive

    She should probably sue Khalid. On second thoughts he doesn't deserve such attention from her after such a goof-up.

    His review shows the lack of interest in writing a review. Its merely to make or break a movie. If you like the maker/actor, write good words about the movie despite its crassness. If not, then try everything to make sure the movie doesn't get a second week's audience. Huh!

  8. Hey Jai, if you remember I had written to you earlier about movie reviewers in India and why I want you to regularly review movies so that we can have someone with good tastes and excellent command over language. About Khalid, he hardly reviews movies, he is obsessed with his crapy style of writing. He has a great follower in the form of Raja Sen in rediff. God save readers from these two morons.

  9. It is so irritating when someone tries to 'write smart'. 'The plot roast thickens' ugh..

  10. hahaha.

    at the same time, one must give him the benefit of the doubt regarding Joan Fontaine. She falls into that ambiguous grey not quite alive-not quite dead limbo that is also populated by Gene Wilder and Chuck Berry, to name but two. :)

  11. Haven't seen the film. But I presume Gulshan Glower is our very own Bollywood bad man Gulshan Grover.

  12. Yeah, Khalid Mehmood is a huge fart, criticizing Hindi movies like he were the cat's whiskers and then making something as pedestrian as Fiza.

  13. ArSENik: my problem isn't with his opinions but with the quality of his writing. And why should a reviewer who criticises a film be expected to be able to make a better film himself? No correlation there.

  14. Not that I'm a fan of Khalid Mohammed... but this was plain bitching fcol !!

  15. "..why should a reviewer..make good films..blah.."
    Just like a reviewer need not be a good writer - proof: thsi blog.