Rashid Irani, long-time movie critic, lifelong “cine-maniac” (his own description) and a lover of poetry and vegetarian food (especially thalis), has died in Mumbai, the Mumbai Press Club said on August 2. The 74-year-old writer was a film critic for the Times of India and Hindustan Times newspapers and had also written for Scroll.in.

At the time of his demise, Irani was a member of the selection committee for international cinema at the Mumbai Film Festival.

Irani had a friends circle that spanned generations. He was a familiar figure to anybody who had ever attended a film-related event or a film festival in Mumbai, Panaji, Pune or Thiruvananthapuram. His formidable knowledge of cinema, contained in the recesses of his mind and soul as well as on scraps of paper in the form of scribbles legible only to him, made him one of Mumbai’s most well-respected cinephiles.

In 2020, filmmaker Rafeeq Elias, a close friend of Irani’s, released three videos shot over the past few years. The conversations were, of course, about cinema, which coursed in Irani’s veins as surely as blood.

The videos also revealed Irani’s background as one of the owners of Cafe Brabourne, which he ran alongside watching and reviewing films. It all began with Marilyn Monroe, he told Elias.

Rashid Irani part 1.
Rashid Irani part 2.
Rashid Irani part 3.