My name is Rishabh Vashishtha (he/his/him). On this blog, you can find all of my personal film criticism and analysis, including original articles as well as links to the reviews on my YouTube channel.
My love for film began early as my family quickly introduced me to Bollywood. Brought up with the heroism of Shah Rukh Khan and comedy of Akshay Kumar, some of my earliest interactions with film were thanks to Indian cinema. As someone born and brought up in America, these films served (and continue to serve) as a connection to my familial home. More than that, however, they inspired my very first love for the cinematic medium. Early 2000s Bollywood films were generally escapist films and there was just something fascinating and special about being able to enter their joyous and colorful worlds. Looking back at some of the films I used to watch as a kid, my inner critic can’t help but laugh and cringe at many of the scenes. Indian cinema, thankfully, has greatly evolved a lot from those years, but I have nothing but the utmost gratitude and respect for Indian films of that era- both the good and the bad. If it weren’t for those films, I would never have been inspired to become the avid cinephile I am today. That love for Indian movies has not yet faded away and I still continue to watch all the new releases and even review them on my site and YouTube channel.
My journey with cinema continued on as it does with many children- thanks to family/children/animation movies. Thus, I am a really strong proponent of great animated films because they are often the first interaction children have with cinema. My affinity, however, was always for genre films- typically sci-fi and disaster films, whose equal balance of realism and escapism was intoxicating for me, even as a kid.
In 2014, my friends and I went out to celebrate my birthday. We had decided to see Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in IMAX. I remember sitting in the theater, feeling like I was watching something epic and nothing short of historic. I was awestruck at the sheer mastery on display. Watching that film helped me realize the true potential of films and their ability to inspire and believe in something bigger. It was the first time I also realized that there was a person behind the camera. I had never paid any attention to directors before, but I will now forever remember Christopher Nolan’s name. Interstellar was my first cinematic epiphany. My friends and I stood outside in the bitter November cold just discussing the film. Our energy about the movie was infectious and I finally realized how much cinema really meant to me. I had never felt so passionate about a movie ever before in my life.
After that, I was in all-out cinephile mode. I aimed to watch all the newest releases and catch up on all of the old ones. Suddenly, it felt like there just was no end to the lists of the films I wanted to watch. And to be quite honest, it still feels that way. Although most of my exposure to film criticism thus far had only been the aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes, I quickly found several online film critics I connected to. Their passionate, fun, and insightful criticism led me to seek out films that I never would have before. While my favorites were still science fiction films, my interest quickly drew to independent films, foreign films, drama films, comedy films, and just about anything else I could get my hands on. I was always inspired to hear/read these avid movie lovers and through the Internet, finally found the wonderful film-loving community.
After watching so many critics online, I was itching to do my own reviews. It started with simple written online reviews on Facebook. In 2017, I started my YouTube channel, with my first video being a review for M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. In my criticism and analysis, I strive to be insightful, analytical, and passionate but also relatable and interesting. You can find me reviewing films on my YouTube channel (https://goo.gl/invdJP) and writing reviews/analysis on my blog, rishabhvashishthareviews.wordpress.com. I have also done freelance work for outlets such as EskimoTV, The All Around, and Cultured Vultures, as well as appeared on podcasts such as the LAMBCast, Changing Reels, and Pop Art. You can also find my creative writing and poetry on Medium.
I have no formal education in this field and for now, it’s something I do just for fun. I know I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go but am always looking for more opportunities to hone my skills. Above all other things, I am a movie lover and my hope is to share that love with others. My goal is that someone comes across one of my reviews or pieces of writing and it helps them grow in their love for cinema. I am eternally grateful for the online reviewers who inspired me and hope to do the same for others.
Thanks for reading this lengthy message. See you at the movies!