Shahana Bagchi
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Love Letter (1953): Masculinity, survival, and the nation-state

Set in 1950 post-war Japan under the American Occupation – Reikichi, our quiet, melancholy protagonist, wanders around roads and railway stations in the hopes of finding his childhood sweetheart, Michiko, whose last letter he keeps in his wallet. Reikichi translates…

Emma: It’s what Austen would have wanted ★★★★

2020 is the year ‘unlikeable’ women get their due and I am loving it – first Amy March, and now Emma Woodhouse. In contrast to Gerwig’s impassioned defence in Little Women, director Autumn de Wilde doubles down on this aspect…

Bombshell – fox in the #MeToo hen house

There’s an irony of a proto-MeToo movement taking place in the halls of the fiercely conservative Fox News’ offices in 2016. Yet Jay Roach’s Bombshell subverts this irony. He provides context to the origins of the scandal while giving humanity…

200 years of Anne: in defence of the best Brontë

If your first reaction to the title was: “that’s probably Charlotte and Emily Brontë’s sister!” this one’s for you. The seventeenth of  January marks the two-hundredth birthday of Anne Brontë, best known for her novels Agnes Grey (1847) and The…

Anne with an E – ahead by a century ★★★★

L. M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables is more than a beloved classic. It’s warmly comforting and upliftingly funny, no matter how many times one returns to it. The 2017 adaptation, Anne With An E, expertly toes the…

13 Reasons Why: just no.

A note to the show: I understand that a lot of teenage dramas hinge on how undependable the adult world is, but for the love of God, just go to your parents for once. 13 Reasons Why, with a three-seasons-long…

Best TV show: Fleabag: the heroine we need but don’t deserve

If the vision of Phoebe Waller-Bridge holding all her Emmys isn’t indication enough that she’s an absolute genius, watch Fleabag. Be it comedy, tragedy, family drama, romance or fourth-wall breaking, Fleabag’s got it all. The admirable economy of the show,…

The Crown Season 3: Helena-Bonham Carter is the true jewel in The Crown ★★★★

Ah, the monarchy. Whether you love it, hate it, or just think it’s weird that it still exists, both real and reel versions are inescapable. The Netflix series The Crown is back for a third season, with all the old…

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga: a rickety paving stone

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (How I Felt When I Saw That Girl) gets its title from a classic 90s love song, sung from a man’s perspective. It revels in earnestly romantic imagery, comparing his lover to a…

The Good Place: a philosophical outlook

The first part of the fourth and final season of Michael Schur’s The Good Place aired this month (the second will follow in January). The series deals with the morality of the afterlife from the point of view of lovable…