In Coversation with Padamshree Ms. Bhawana Somaaya


In a country like India where movies are made in huge numbers every year in over 20 languages, the audience does have a tough time deciding what to watch and what not to. Of course there arises a question of paying hefty amounts for a movie ticket that was totally not worth it, or missing a fantastic movie after being judgmental about the cast. Being an audience and making the right choice for a movie is no piece of cake. Luckily, the film critics here come to our rescue with their pin point conclusions about a movie that highlight all its pros and cons in a manner that makes it easy for the layman to choose.



One such woman has been making the lives of the Indian audience better for over three decades with her accurate reviews on the Indian cinema. Ms. Bhawana Somaaya started her career as a film reporter in 1978 and went to work with several film magazines for the next 20 years. Having written over 13 books on history of Hindi cinema and biographies of Bollywood stars including Salaam Bollywood (2000), The Story So Far (2003) and her trilogy, Amitabh Bachchan – The Legend (1999), Bachchanalia – The Films and Memorabilia of Amitabh Bachchan (2009) and Amitabh Lexicon (2011), Ms. Somaaya has an excellent insight on Bollywood. She was recently awarded with the fourth highest civilian honor of India, The Padma Shri in the year 2017 by the Hon’ble President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.


In order to enlighten the students about the subtleties of the Indian Cinema and share her vast experience, Ms. Somaaya visited the Jagran Lakecity University on 19th March 2018. She shared insights from her life along with her journey to becoming an acclaimed critic. The students enthusiastically participated in a Q and A session, and she very sportingly answered all of their queries. On being asked "What does it take to be a good film critic?" she answered, "Being unbiased is most important and objectivity is the key."