Lights, Camera, Conversation… “The critic doth protest too much?”

Thoughts on readers’ thoughts on my thoughts on “Haider”. About the observation that I try to “find faults” with good films while giving lesser films an easy pass, here’s how it works (or at least, here’s how I think it should work). Firstly, it’s not “finding faults.” It’s not nitpicking. It’s gnawing, mental mastication. It’s […]

“Nee Naan Nizhal”… Good ideas that needed better handling in an online love story that’s also a thriller

Spoilers ahead… On the face of it, Nee Naan Nizhal is fairly far-removed from the concerns of the typical Tamil movie. The young hero (Rohit, played by Arjun Lal) and his Coimbatore-based friends are part of a pop-rock group, and in one of their practice sessions we hear them performing Hum tere bin, the ballad […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “ ‘Impure’ Tamilians? ”

The reviews for the Tamil film ‘Madras’ suggest that most English-language writers are divorced from a certain kind of reality. Pa Ranjith’s Madras is the work of a good, thoughtful filmmaker. It’s a supremely well-made film, but not especially well-written. The narrative superstructure is derivative, and Ranjith doesn’t do enough to make his film different. […]

Acts of life

Naseeruddin Shah’s memoir is unflinching, evocative, witty, even if feels somewhat incomplete. Sometime during the “bone-wrenchingly boring six-month shoot” of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Naseeruddin Shah began to type out what would become a memoir. In the book, titled And Then One Day, Shah explains why. “For me it’s an exorcism of sorts, and […]

“Haider”… Very well made, if a tad too footnote-heavy – but why ‘Hamlet’?

Spoilers ahead… It’s possible to imagine an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet without the balcony scene – not ideal, but conceivable. Julius Caeasar, too, you could probably rewrite without Mark Antony’s appeal to friends, Romans and countrymen. But a rendering of Hamlet without the prince’s most famous soliloquy is unthinkable. Even those who haven’t read […]