“Girls Like to Swing” (Dil Dhadakne Do, 2015)

The YouTube thumbnail for “Girls Like to Swing” shows Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma smiling into the camera, beckoning the viewer to join them. The camera is tight on their faces, and Sharma’s hand rests […]

Review: Cocktail (2012)

For your convenience, I have transcribed all of my notes: Open with flight safety instructions. . .first shot is the flight attendant’s feet in heels and a man leaning out of his seat to ogle. […]

Fanfic Friday: KKHH 2

Tina Tina has been thinking about the doctor’s statement for days: we can save the mother or the baby. Not both. Mother or baby. Not both. She wanted this child, she knew Rahul wanted it, […]

“Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi” (Qurbani, 1980)

Item numbers not only provide an opportunity to titillate and perhaps offer some relief between dramatic scenes, they provide the opportunity to play. Because they are designed to be subversive, item numbers can have fun […]

Review: Lahu ke Do Rang (1979)

So that is where all of the women are: the 1970s. Well, we are used to being left behind. Lahu ke Do Rang is about two brothers finding each other and avenging their father. To […]

Who Do You Think You Are, Dhoom 3?: Bollywood and Cars and Me

After renewing my learner’s permit twice, and totally failing to parallel park during the road test, I finally got my driver’s license when I was 18. A few days later, I was in my first […]

“Dard-e-Disco” (Om Shanti Om, 2007)

Are item songs about power? Is sex about power? An item song is an opportunity to show off a body. I was about to add this is also an opportunity to use sexually charged lyrics, […]

Review: Ki & Ka (2016)

Kia did not want to make a political statement. But to exist and be female is a political act. Any choice will be scrutinized. No choice can be made in a vacuum. And unfortunately, a […]

Who is Leela?

Fanfic Friday: Ram-Leela

Leela and Ram faced each other on the balcony, guns in hand. Her life had been so short and now it was to end. She had love, she had power, now she would have nothing. […]

“Kamli” (Dhoom 3, 2013)

“Kamli” is an acrobatic strip tease. Katrina Kaif performs alone, amidst metal and sparks, as others watch. Aamir Khan sits in a chair, watching, unimpressed. She starts the song fully clothed, but it is clear […]