"She examines linkages between Indian cinema and society."
Film critics are undoubtedly essential to the entertainment industry.
As it grows, more and more films are produced and released to the public. Some are good, others not.
Many people look at the reviews of a film before it is released.
This allows them to decide whether the film is worthwhile and if they should temper their expectations.
Film critics are the most reliable sources of good reviews.
They typically have first-hand experience within the industry or have given enough reviews to form a following that agrees with their opinion.
Here are the top 10 influential Desi critics, in no particular order.
Raja Sen is a film critic for Hindustan Times and NDTV and Rediff.
He has reviewed over 300 films and has over 200 columns in the Mint Lounge newspaper.
He has also written an all-ages book adaptation of the Godfather titled ‘Best Baker in the World’ and is currently writing a screenplay for a film and his first television series.
He has over 90,000 followers on his Twitter (@RajaSen).
Taran Adarsh is a film critic and analyst who started his career in journalism at the age of 15 with Trade Guide, a weekly box office magazine.
In 1994, he produced and wrote the Bollywood film-based TV serial Hello Bollywood, starring Shehzad Khan and Kashmera Shah.
In 2019, he won an award for Best Film Critic at the Expandables Awards and currently is posting reviews on Bollywood Hungama.
Taran Adarsh frequently posts his reviews and critiques on Twitter (@taran_adarsh) for his four million followers.
Baradwaj Rangan is an Indian film critic, writer, and former deputy editor of The Hindu.
He later became a senior editor of Film Companion.
Although Baradwaj Rangan originally graduated from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, he went against the wishes of his parents and pursued a life of writing and analysing films.
Rangan won the National Film Award for Best Film Critic in 2006.
Before joining The Hindu, he also wrote for The New Indian Express.
He has also authored two books, worked as a screenwriter, and is a teacher at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.
He also posts his reviews on Twitter (@baradwajrangan) and analyses films on the YouTube channel Galatta Plus.
Sohini Chattopadhyay is a journalist who has reported on subjects ranging from cinema, humanitarian issues as well as politics.
She won the Bala Kailasam citation for reporting on the web in 2017, the Ramnath Goenka award for feature writing in 2015 and the 2014 International Red Cross and Press Institute of India prize for her humanitarian reporting.
In 2014 and 2015, she won certificates for outstanding reporting at the national RedInk journalism prizes and was awarded the Best Film Critic at the National Film Awards 2019.
The award citation reads: “The award for the Best Critic was given to Sohini Chattopadhyay for the lucid and incisive manner in which she examines linkages between Indian cinema and society.”
She commonly posts her thoughts and views for her 12,000 followers (@sohinichat).
Film critic, author and curator Premendra Mazumder has participated in several round-table discussions, conducted workshops, and delivered lectures on various topics at national and international conferences.
At the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival in 2015, he spoke on the ‘Politics of Film and Social Dynamics’ and on ‘Trends in South Asian Independent Cinema’.
He conducted workshops in Kabul, Afghanistan and Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2019.
Since 2006, he has worked for the International Critics’ Week Cannes, Cairo International Film Critics Week (since its inception) and several other festivals as a consultant and advisor.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal
While not professionally a film critic or journalist, Shri Arvind Kejriwal is an extremely influential film critic.
During his time as the Hon’ Chief Minister of New Delhi, he reviewed over 20 films and recommended other heads of state to watch some of the ones he reviewed.
He also takes his children with him to watch films and often posts their reviews online as well.
Regardless of his political views, Kejriwal has a significant influence on social media, with over 26.8 million followers on Twitter and roughly 9.2 million on Facebook.
If he was to start reviewing once again and regularly, his verdict would likely have a significant impact on the box office and popularity of the film.
Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic and journalist. He started reporting at the age of 16 at The Times of India newspaper.
He has worked for Noida based English-language news channel CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN).
He usually reviews Bollywood and major Hollywood films released in India in his weekend show Now Showing.
In 2005, Masand moved to CNN-IBN where he is currently the critic and runs an ongoing video series on the CNN-IBN website, Masand’s Verdict.
He also became the host of CNN-IBN’s entertainment series, To Catch a Star and has over 1 million followers on Twitter.
Masand also hosts a popular YouTube channel, where he posts weekly his reviews, and regular interviews with key figures in the entertainment industry.
Anupama Chopra is an Indian author, journalist, film critic and director of the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
She is also the founder and editor of Film Companion, a website which includes features, interviews, and reviews on “all things entertainment.”
She has written several books on Indian cinema such as ‘First Day First Show: Writings from the Bollywood Trenches’, and has been a critic for NDTV, India Today, as well as the Hindustan Times.
Chopra also hosted a weekly review show The Front Row With Anupama Chopra, which broadcasted on Star World.
She won the 2000 National Film Award for Best Book on Cinema for her first book ‘Sholay: The Making of a Classic’.
Having worked for CNBC, and STAR and been the Bollywood representative for the BBC for over 10 years, Komal Nahta is a very experienced film critic.
He is Editor in Chief at Film Information, a film trade magazine.
He also has a YouTube channel, Komal Nahta Official, where he uploads reviews and interviews with experts within the Bollywood industry.
The critic can be found on Twitter (@KomalNahta), where he also posts reviews and upcoming films to his 1 million followers.
Shubhra Gupta is an Indian film critic, writer and columnist for The Indian Express from New Delhi, India.
She received the Ramnath Goenka Award for Best Writing on Cinema in 2012.
She was a member of the Central Board of Film Certification from 2012 to 2015.
She is the author of ’50 Films That Changed Bollywood, 1995-2015′.
Gupta has reviewed films for the past 20 years and is one of India’s most well-known and respected critics.
Critics, while possibly controversial in their reviews, provide audiences with an impression of the film and allow them to come to their conclusions on whether the film will be worth watching.
Without them, some films would never get the recognition they deserve and reliable feedback on how they could be improved.