Critic in detail
At 34, Rajeev Masand has had an accomplished media career spanning 16 years covering the Indian entertainment industry. A graduate from Mumbai University, Rajeev started reporting at the age of 16 at The Times of India. He rose fast, and the milestones along the way include several leadership positions such as Assistant Editor at The Indian Express, Special Correspondent and Film Critic at Star News, and Entertainment Editor and Film Critic at CNN-IBN.
Rajeev is perhaps the only entertainment journalist in the country to have had 2 eponymous film shows – Masand Ki Pasand (on Star News) and Rajeev Masand Ki Pasand (currently on IBN7) – which redefined the rules of how a TV film critic connects to his audience. He pushes the envelope of innovation further on Now Showing on CNN-IBN, which is characterised by tremendous interactivity, viewer participation, online communities, and user-generated discussion of a very high magnitude.
Rajeev is Contributing Editor for GQ India, and writes a monthly column, Talk Movies for the magazine.
What has characterised Rajeev’s career throughout is his honesty and rigid standards of excellence. In an industry that is heavily star-dependant and hence sycophancy-led, he is one of the few film critics who hasn’t ever compromised his values while passing judgement on the films he reviews. The only standard that matters when he looks at a film is his own.
In an industry that is divided into Bollywood journalists and others, Rajeev has managed to achieve a wonderful balance. Whether at Cannes or in Goa, interviewing Hrithik Roshan playing Krrish or Daniel Craig playing James Bond, he is equanimous, well informed and incisive.
Rajeev has been pathbreaking in the international interviews he has conducted with such talent as Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, George Lucas, Guy Ritchie, M Night Shylaman, Sam Raimi, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Tobey Maguire and Adrien Brody; and in locations like New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Seoul, Cannes and South Africa.
Among other recognitions, Rajeev was thrice adjudged ‘Best Entertainment Critic’ by the National Television (NT) Awards, in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
He is currently working on his first book.