“Thuppakki Munai”… A thoroughly underwhelming drama that trivialises important issues

December 14, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/thuppaki-munai-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-vikram-prabhu-hansika-motwani/ Sometimes, after watching a movie, I have to go back to my review of the director’s earlier film to remind myself that my expectations (for the new film) weren’t entirely off-base. That’s what I did after Dinesh Selvaraj’s thoroughly underwhelming Thuppakki Munai (Gunpoint). About […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Kedarnath”… A generally watchable film whose scenery does more heavy-lifting than the screenplay

December 13, 2018


Spoilers ahead… I’m going to begin with the scene you expect in every story where an upper-class Hindu girl falls for a lower-class Muslim boy. The girl’s family finds out. They’re livid when they discover her in his house. Her father drags her away, but she isn’t kicking and screaming. She’s already been through a […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Searching for sci-fi/fantasy like ‘Aquaman’ outside Hollywood leads us to… ‘Enthiran’?

December 13, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/searching-for-sci-fifantasy-films-like-aquaman-outside-hollywood-leads-us-to-endhiran-5717981.html The upcoming release of Aquaman made me wonder if there’s another country that makes this kind of movie. Of course, it’s not difficult to find sci-fi films – in the broadest sense – in foreign languages. We have the surreal sci-fi of The City of Lost Children […]

On Ozu’s birth and death anniversary, a look at ‘Tokyo Story’ and the Yōji Yamada remake, ‘Tokyo Family’

December 12, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/on-ozus-birth-and-death-anniversary-a-look-at-tokyo-story-and-the-yoji-yamada-remake-tokyo-family-5715271.html Yasujirō Ozu was born on 12 December, 1903. He died 60 years later, on the same day. There is no need to reiterate this filmmaker’s greatness – if you are reading this column, you probably know this already. Wim Wenders put it perfectly at the beginning of […]

Interview: Rajiv Menon

December 11, 2018


Rajiv Menon talks about being a dominant-caste filmmaker tackling a Dalit narrative in Sarvam Thaala Mayam, his relationship with the “musically modest” AR Rahman, and why the cinematography in Mani Ratnam’s “Bombay” is a milestone in his career. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Viewer’s Voice: Valarmathi (Domestic Help)

December 10, 2018


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Readers Write In #63: Kollywood sequels that matter

December 10, 2018


To sequel or not to sequel, that is hardly the question in Kollywood these days. After enduring The Singam trilogy, Saamy X Saamy, Sandakozhi 2 and whatnot, I was wondering if we have taken this too far. I may have raised an eyebrow when I heard about Indian 2 and a Thevar Magan sequel (both […]

Readers Write In #62: Understanding agrarian crisis

December 8, 2018


The following essay will give a brief introduction to the origins of the current agricultural crisis in India. Knowledge of the origins shall serve as an effective background to understand rising farmer unrest all over India. What is Liberalisation/Neoliberalism? India in 1991, in return for financial assistance from IMF and World Bank agreed to implementing […]

“Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum”… A deeply moving dissection of the lives of three women across three time periods

December 8, 2018


Spoilers ahead… This film played at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star and will play at the International Film Festival of Kerala next week… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/sivaranjiniyum-innum-sila-pengalum-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-vasanth-parvathy/ The number three appears to have gripped Vasanth. His last feature film, Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal, narrated three love stories […]

Interview: Yash

December 7, 2018


Sneha Menon Desai’s conversation with Yash, star of KGF. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Off the topic: ‘The Cut’ article

December 6, 2018


This came from Rahul: OTT request : “The cut” article about PC and her wedding , and their subsequent retraction. I do not have much to say on the topic but would like to see what other people think. Its also something that probably desis of all political beliefs may band up on one side […]

#AskBR – 2.0

December 5, 2018


In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Interview: PC Sreeram

December 4, 2018


My conversation with PC Sreeram in the “Journeys” series. (Ravi Varman featured in the previous – and first – episode). For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

She Says She Says: Who says women can’t be funny on screen

December 3, 2018


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‘Last Tango in Paris’ remains a big deal, both as a movie and as the complicated legacy of Bernardo Bertolucci

December 2, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/last-tango-in-paris-remains-a-big-deal-both-as-a-movie-and-as-the-complicated-legacy-of-bernardo-bertolucci-5657231.html It’s a little hard, in this been-there-seen-that era, to grasp what a big deal Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris was, upon its release in 1972. Indeed, one of my favourite appraisals of the film (though, clearly, not one that I agree with) is by a user […]

Readers Write In #61: Metacriticism – The difficulty of reviewing a movie in the digital age

December 2, 2018


I watched the Rajnikanth starrer “2.0” yesterday and now I’m faced with a very difficult question. What do I say when a friend asks me: “How was the film?” No one’s going to look for a detailed analysis of the visual effects or the strength of the screenplay or whether there was a focal character […]

The complicated moral universe of ‘Thugs of Hindostan’ and Shankar’s ‘2.0’

December 1, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/2.0-moral-universe-thugs-of-hindustan-shankar-aamir-khan-rajinikanth/ Or why films that attempt to deviate from the formula of the masala movie need much better writing. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘2.0’… During the intermission of Shankar’s 2.0, I made a note: “complicated moral universe.” I didn’t talk much about it in my review, […]

“2.0”… Shankar’s by-now tedious formula is saved by his imagination and a spirited Superstar

November 29, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/2-0-movie-review-rajinikanth-shankar-akshay-kumar-amy-jackson-baradwaj-rangan/ A meme popped up on my Twitter timeline this morning, saying that Rajinikanth is the only actor in the world who’s been in four kinds of films: black-and-white, colour, animation and 3D. I thought up another meme after watching 2.0, Shankar’s follow-up to Endhiran. […]

Kosovo’s submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar is an LGBTQIA-themed drama, and a big hit

November 29, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/kosovos-submission-for-best-foreign-language-film-oscar-is-an-lgbtq-themed-drama-and-a-big-hit-5631551.html Kosovo is a small country of 1.8 million inhabitants. It now produces up to three or four feature films a year. The source of this information is Blerta Zeqiri, the  Kosovar director/scriptwriter, whose Martesa (The Marriage), is Kosovo’s candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Zeqiri […]

Interview: Resul Pookutty

November 28, 2018


“The hardest sound @shankarshanmugh asked me to create in #2point0 was that of a sparrow dying. We know how humans die, but not birds.” “In Endhiran, we were scared to alter Rajini sir’s voice” My interview with sound wizard @resulp on @fcompanionsouth For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.