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 […]

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. […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A normal boy who does stupid things…”

Thoughts on ‘Njan Steve Lopez’, and the problem with email interviews. Slowly, surely, Rajeev Ravi, known to most people as “Anurag Kashyap’s cinematographer,” is creating an identity for himself as a filmmaker. His superb first film, Annayum Rasoolum (“Anna and Rasool”), was about a young man who falls in love. The girl rebuffs him at […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids – 2”

On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Last week, I wrote about how the very existence of a film like Jigarthanda in the current Tamil-cinema climate is a miracle – but while we should celebrate films like Jigarthanda, […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Goliaths and Davids”

On “Jigarthanda.” On the current state of Tamil cinema. On criticism, and why it’s important to not just praise a film because it’s… “different.” Sometime last month, in the sify.com coverage of an interaction that had something to do with the teaser of the Suriya film Anjaan, the star was thus quoted: “Expectation about every […]