Shikhar Verma

Shikhar Verma
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Co-founded the independent platform High On Films so that Independent film from across the world could get the love they deserve. Has a keen eye for everything art related and is constantly involved in spreading it around. Films are first love. A dream, a reality, and an illusion - all wrapped in one.
Publications: High on Films

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 100% Babyteeth (2019) There are a few too many things that break in Shanon Murphy's Babyteeth. One of them is certainly your heart. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 9, 2019
4/5 91% It Must Be Heaven (2019) "It Must Be Heaven" is comic tripe where the jokes are deeply drenched in middle-eastern conflicts and political bureaucracies. It is as much fun decoding them as it is to see them unfold in the realm of the deadpan expressionist at the center. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2019
2.5/5 78% Family Romance, LLC (2019) While most of Family Romance, LLC works in the realm of the German director's fascinating filmography, none of it every stays with you. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 28, 2019
3.5/5 80% Greener Grass (2019) Greener Grass is an absurdist comedy like no other. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2019
3.5/5 100% The Parting Glass (2018) This deeply personal film ropes in an ensemble cast that delivers the truly vivid aftermath of a loss - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2019
0.5/5 No Score Yet We Will Not Die Tonight (2018) This is just uninteresting garbage sold as a festival film. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
1.5/5 83% The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful (2017) While the acting is all fine across the board, the characters that seem unpredictable and dark end up being constantly mocked by their own very nature. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
3.5/5 100% Chained for Life (2019) Referencing numerous movies and the entire subculture, Schimberg pays a peculiarly satisfying homage to the everyday people and the little stories inside their heads. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet Fortuna (2018) Fortuna is a demanding little film that doesn't really reveal itself tenfolds until the slow-burn becomes absolutely irrelevant. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
4.5/5 71% Relaxer (2019) Relaxer is a sickening, strangely funny takedown of the capitalistic system that's taking over the world. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
2.5/5 50% Angel (Un ange) (2018) While the film can be a mirror for athletes who lose themselves in vigor to stand out, it's doesn't do much to show how Fae's inability to escape her situation is ever on a knife's edge. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 9, 2019
3/5 73% War (2019) Siddharth Anand's 'War' is a truly pulpy entertainer that casually reinvents Bollywood action films. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2019
2.5/5 88% Hustlers (2019) In spite of paying extra attention to a decade-old soundtrack punctuated with some solid performances, Hustlers never manages to rise above its truly feminist core to become an instant class act. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2019
4/5 95% Hotel by the River (2019) Beautifully shot in melancholic black and white, the film posts most existential questions without focusing too much on the passage of time. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
4/5 97% The Heiresses (Las Herederas) (2019) Marcelo Martinessi's The Heiresses is a quietly powerful fable of hidden desires, long-lost escapades and a really deceptive look into how gender roles are devised in traditional films about older people. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2019
5/5 93% Suspiria (1977) Suspiria has had a huge impact on every death dream that pits bloody madness over surreal macabre imagery. While we can no more call it a singular vision, it's essential to note that it wasn't supposed to be one in the first place. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
5/5 99% Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku) (2018) Filled with a compassionate, profound and intelligent narrative that never leaves you for a second, Shoplifters is the best film of the year and a perfect swan song to Kirin Kiki who literally gets buried in a Kore-eda household. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
3.5/5 96% Thunder Road (2018) Jim Cummings, who wrote, directed and acted in the film deserves a pat on his back as he manages to channel out a very assured, matured and understated character sketch of a broken man on the verge of mental breakdown. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
4/5 67% Tamasha (2015) Tamasha is a celebration. Even in its somber & tortured tone, Imtiaz Ali manages to respect his own craft abiding by a story that might just be every man's struggle. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2019
2.5/5 95% Gully Boy (2019) Akhtar - Who previously explored only rich lives, manages to give them characteristic situations that avoid turning them into caricatures. However, she never seems to get that exploring these lives don't call for exploiting them. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3/5 No Score Yet The Day After I'm Gone (2019) Muted emotions aside, this is a very well-intentioned debut. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2/5 91% Starfish (2019) A.T White's Starfish is a film that has brilliant production values for a low-budget sci-fi film. But it's far too self-contained in its representation to really make its own place among a sea of seen-before advents. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 79% Photograph (2019) Photograph is about two emotionally distant people trying to find common ground. Its real charm lies in moments of silences and melancholy that flow like poetry. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3/5 93% Diane (2019) Similar to Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, Kent Jones' film takes a look at the life of a caregiver with an intimate yet depressing eye. Sadly, it is not as clear and as visionary as Cuaron's film. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2/5 75% I Trapped The Devil (2019) Lobo has an interesting eye for visual aesthetics but there's not really anything else that I'd recommend here. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2.5/5 75% Guava Island (2019) It is easy to say that even though it's a casually charming collective of ferociously stiched notes, the overall experience that you get out of this half-baked allegory is also half-amusing. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3/5 86% Aamis (Ravening) (2019) I really liked Bhaskar Hazarika's Aamis as a tale of quietly horrifying consequences of forbidden love and suppressed desire, but as a well-written film that tightly packs a punch - It doesn't chew well. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 88% Sir (2018) Sir is a film that is charming even when it talks about how hopes are lost when one doesn't really get what they want. But it's optimistic tone and humanistic core that tells people to be themselves makes for a glorious watch. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2/5 94% Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota (2019) Vasan Bala's film has endearing characters who all call for a big celebratory leap forward for conventional Hindi films; but the entire arc that comes along with the self-awareness lacks real oomph or glow. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet No Fathers in Kashmir (2019) Ashvin Kumar chooses to mostly put his film as an English language hard-hitter, fails to subdue the lack of subtlety with something that remains in one's memories. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
5/5 97% Pickpocket (1959) Pickpocket is a film that puts the characters directly into a frame of judgment and asks the viewer if they would really try to understand the character's side of the story. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
1/5 No Score Yet Maria (2019) Newest Filipino action film Maria is now on Netflix. Much like most of its counterpart; it has no reasons to exist. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
4/5 83% Her Smell (2019) The film ultimately becomes a parable of understanding the fact that togetherness can save more than one soul and every scene that comes in the last act is a testament to longing, change, and growth. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Aga's House (Shpia e Agës) (2019) Playful, funny and quietly heartbreaking, Zeiraaj's departure from short films is a brilliant drama about how empathy not only heals but ultimately makes one grow. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 100% Anima (2019) Inspired by Carl Jung's theories of the unconsciousness, the Netflix produced Anima is everything - Brash, imperfect, absurd, honest, abstract and ultimately beautiful. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2/5 69% Newness (2017) Sold as a modern-day investigation of relationships, Newness quickly becomes a far-cry for help. It is only saved by coincidence and an underdeveloped connection that holds the characters accounted towards one-another - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
2.5/5 No Score Yet Sub-Zero Wind (2018) None of the themes of faith, redemption, empathy, friendship, and economic displacement hit home. Leading to an eventual mess that relies on technical soundness. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
3.5/5 84% The Art of Self-Defense (2019) With his sophomore film The Art of Self-Defense, Riley showcases a bone-dry comedy about the toxicity of being a modern alpha-man. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2019
5/5 100% Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped) (1957) Since we never get aware of Fontaine's motivation; the only reason becomes to 'revolt against the system in place.' This makes A Man Escaped a transcendental prison drama that stands way beyond the comprehension of generic prison-escape films. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3/5 96% Harpoon (2019) Happens to romanticize with its own stubborn self-awareness to become a boat movie that's just gory and occasionally entertaining. This, however, isn't really a bad thing as the film doesn't wish to be anything more than that. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3.5/5 83% Koko-di Koko-da (2019) In spite of the sudden change in scenario the film works. If not as a cyclic Babadook, then as a Groundhog Day retelling of how grief drills people to death every single day. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
2/5 82% The Son (El hijo) (2019) The allegories used in The Son (El Hijo) aren't rooted enough. Most of them are too on the face or forced. Others are completely overshadowed by trying to fit into a conventional structure. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3.5/5 55% The Beach Bum (2019) This scattershot plotted and freewheeling Korine advent becomes an ode to the spirit of the people who want to be artistically free. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
4/5 90% The Souvenir (2019) Hogg portrays both love and addiction within spans of wordless fumes. She knows exactly how both have no fix and how their necessity or the lack of can make and break a person. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
1/5 36% Girls with Balls (2019) Unimaginative, unfunny and relying too heavily on one-note sequences, this gorefest is vile, unwatchable thrash of the highest order. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
2/5 No Score Yet No One Will Ever Know (Nadie sabrá nunca) (2018) The constant shift from black and white to color keeps changing the narrative gears and the overall emotional impact is diluted to a degree where even a standout performance from Adriana Paz is overshadowed. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3.5/5 94% Corpus Christi (Boze cialo) (2020) Corpus Christi is about second chances, about faith, and about acceptance. It's a revolting coming-of-age tale of a young man who believes that faith could move mountains if his past doesn't chase him everywhere. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3/5 86% Synonyms (Synonymes) (2019) It is an impressive little film with an unimpressive way of examining things. It is maddeningly genius in parts and incredibly infuriating in others. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019
3.5/5 No Score Yet Zana (2019) Adriana Matoshi is the biggest asset of Kastrati's unconventional drama. She is a woman who has drenched herself in grief for so long that she no more understands what life could be without it. - High on Films EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2019