A Chit Chat over chai with Taran Adarsh

By Manju Mittal

It was nice to catch up with the multitalented and the most popular film critic of our Bollywood Industry Taran Adarsh who was in Sydney after attending Indian film festival of Melbourne recently. Taran hails from Rajasthan and grew up in Bombay, is also a Bollywood editor and film trade analyst. In 2007, Taran was chosen to host the popular talk show B BIZ, giving box office reports and entertainment industry interviews. With years in the industry rubbing shoulders with Bollywood favourites, Taran now leads his expertise and manages Bollywood entertainment website, Bollywood Hungama.

I spoke to Taran Adarsh recently in Sydney as he sat in Harris Park at ”˜Chatkas’ most popular Indian restaurant in Harris Park enjoying masala chai and Indian breakfast. Here are the excerpts of our interview:

The Indian community extends a warm welcome to you in Aussie land. Is this your first trip to Australia and how do you feel being part of IFFM?

This is not my first trip to Australia. I have been here I think ten years ago. I feel truly honoured and privileged to be part of this amazing film festival. I had so much fun attending master class in Melbourne one of the most interactive Q & A session I enjoyed thoroughly. My special thanks to the director of Indian film festival of Melbourne, Mitu Bhowmick, who has been a great host of the festival and I had been looked after well by IFFM.

Taran, would you mind telling us a bit about your background and what drew you to become a film critic?

Well, as a child I was introduced to a lot of educational quality films by my father, he himself being a great journalist. I started my journalism career at the age of fifteen as the editor of Trade Guide, a weekly box office magazine. In 1994, I produced and wrote a Bollywood film based TV serial ”˜Hello Bollywood’, and continued my work on Trade Guide alongside.

When did you first start publishing your own reviews?

My first review was published at the age of sixteen; as I said I started my career in Bollywood very early I was happy to have started my journey in reviewing films and that is still going on. It’s been a long fruitful and an interesting journey.

What would you say has been the most secret ingredient in gaining a wide audience for your film criticism reviews?

Communicating from a truthful place, in a world that is drowning in lies and denial, I think truth is a powerful and an underestimated commodity.

What is the guiding theory behind your film criticism when analysing films?

I generally watch a film like an audience and also I have to keep track a lot of information, studying human behaviour as represented in movies so a lot of subjects that I talk about a film analysis are things I have experienced or observed many times in the real world.

What is your stance on new technology and Social media?

I am very active on social media. I use Facebook, Instagram and twitter a lot. I find social media very positive and effective. The popularisation of social media is so strong that it allows the world to be constantly and conveniently connected. People don’t want to read long reviews these days they don’t have time for that. I watch films, soon as I come of theatre, tweet what I feel and reach many people across the world.

Taran, do you have any parting words for aspiring film critics looking to make a name for themselves or they should be familiar with?

Work with honesty, dedication, follow your dreams, this mantra is for everyone, whatever you want to do, always do it with passion, focus on your field and work really hard towards it.

What other festivals have you been to?

I have attended many film festivals over the years, they showcase good cinema. I personally enjoy film festivals, there is so much you can explore and learn about cinema. I feel film awareness has also shot up, with film festivals and cable channels introducing viewers to the best of world cinema.

You are Indian film critic, journalist, editor and film trade analyst and also a producer and screenwriter how do you manage your life being journalist, and unwind yourself?

I am a very early riser and lead a healthy life style. I think what’s important is time, we must respect for time. I wake up really early and go for morning walks regularly.  I think the most important part of managing life is discipline and time management.

Apart from film festival are you enjoying Australia?

Yes absolutely, I am enjoying Australia. I love looking around and just loving everything about its culture, climate and lovely beaches and the warmth of the people. Vikas Paul of Friends India Entertainment is a good friend of mine who has invited me to Sydney and I am thankful to him for showing me around its most beautiful places.

It was great meeting Taran, one of the most talented and humble person, he is one film critic whose commitment and dedication towards films make him an exemplary icon and inspiration for others to follow.

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