Interview: Anu Hasan

September 19, 2017

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​Anu Hasan talks about doing stunts, not doing the same roles, on whether she discusses her career with Mani Ratnam, Su hasini and Kamal Haasan, on nepotism and her famous surname, on playing sisters and mothers, and the culture shock between foreign and Indian productions. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion. Advertisements

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Lucknow Central”… An okay-ish, overlong prison drama about a man who wants to front a band

September 19, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Ranjit Tiwari’s Lucknow Central, Farhan Akhtar plays a singer… again! The emphasis is unfair, I agree. The actor has played far more non-singing parts, but he does seem to have become the go-to actor when you want to make a movie about a band. Here, Akhtar plays Kishan, a dreamer in Moradabad, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Simran”… A character so close to the actor, you wish the film around them was more than not-half-bad

September 19, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… You’ve never seen a Hindi-film heroine like Praful Patel – and part of it is how closely she seems to be modelled on the actress playing her, Kangana Ranaut. It isn’t just that she does her own thing, defiantly so. (She’s a divorcee, a housekeeper in a hotel in Atlanta.) It’s also that […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Magalir Mattum”… This women’s-lib drama is a much-needed movie, and should have been a much better movie

September 15, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/magalir-mattum-movie-review One of the best scenes in Magalir Mattum begins with a housewife — Subbulakshmi (Saranya Ponvannan) — speaking to a camera, making an ad. She dreams of becoming a beautician. But soon, reality beckons. An ailing (and complaining) mother-in-law whose bedpan needs to be […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Thupparivalan”… An entertaining mystery, even if it engages the head more than the heart

September 14, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/thupparivalan-movie-review The last time Mysskin made a movie with a big-name hero (Jeeva), we got the underwhelming Mugamoodi. Will the whelm-o-meter needle sink lower, now that our most idiosyncratic filmmaker has roped in a bigger-name hero (Vishal), who’s also the producer? All doubts are dispelled […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Daddy”… A barrelful of gangster clichés makes for a stylish but been-there-done-that biopic

September 12, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The “Smoking Kills” warning has rarely looked as ridiculous as in Ashim Ahluwalia’s Daddy, where nary a soul is lost to cancer. A minister is shot through the head, and his brains become splatter art on his dining table. Someone else lies sprawled in the open, as his corpse is nibbled at by […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Neruppuda”… A not-bad masala movie helped by constant twists

September 9, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/neruppuda-movie-review In the opening scenes, Ashok Kumar’s Neruppu Da (Fire!) lives up to that title. A carelessly tossed matchstick results in a blaze that begins to consume several houses. Guru (Vikram Prabhu) and his four friends — as children, they vowed to become firefighters — jump […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Kathanayagan”… An “entertainer” that can’t decide how exactly to entertain you

September 8, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/kathanayagan-movie-review Thambidurai (Vishnu Vishal) is in love with Kanmani (Catherine Tresa). Her father is not in love with the idea of Thambidurai as a son-in-law. So Kanmani hatches a plan. When Thambidurai is alone at home, sleeping, she sneaks in and lies next to him. […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Kadhal Kasakuthaiya”… A love story that doesn’t know what to do with its odd premise

September 8, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/kadhal-kasakuthaiya-movie-review Dwarakh Raja’s Kadhal Kasakkudhaiya (Love is Bitter) opens with a statement: “Tall guys and short girls make the cutest couples.” Whose words of wisdom are these? The answer arrives in an instant: “stolen from Facebook.” The warning signs couldn’t be clearer. We are in […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Film Companion – South

September 8, 2017

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So this is a plug for Film Companion South. Earlier, all videos from this part of the country were uploaded on the Film Companion YouTube page. Now, we’ve decided to have a separate page for the interviews in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam (have you seen the Prithviraj interview yet?). Do subscribe and spread the […]

“Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela”… A warm, wholesome, funny movie about an unexpectedly tragic subject

September 7, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/njandukalude-nattil-oridavela-movie-review Consider the eighty-year-old patriarch (KL Anthony) of the Chacko clan in Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela (An Interval in the Land of Crabs). His memory is shot. (He wants to invite Rose for a party, and she’s been dead twenty years.) He needs constant supervision, which […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Interview: Vishnu Vishal / Catherine Tresa

September 7, 2017

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This was a light chat with Vishnu Vishal and Catherine Tresa, on the promotion circuit of Kathanayagan. I was pleasantly surprised by the candour with which he handled the “mass” question, and she handled the skin-colour question. Quotes from the interview: Vishnu Vishal: Everyone wants to become a mass hero. If I say no, I am […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Adam Joan”… A completely underwhelming thriller that’s more an exercise in empty style

September 7, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/adam-joan-movie-review When a bloody hand crawls to the dashboard of a vehicle parked in what appears to be the middle of nowhere — though it’s actually someplace in Scotland — the pulse quickens. This is the opening scene of Jinu V Abraham’s Adam Joan, and […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

“Pullikkaran Stara”… A directionless ramble about the life and loves of a middle-aged man

September 6, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/pullikkaran-staraa-movie-review Pullikaran Stara (The Gentleman is a Star), directed by Shyamdhar, begins well enough. An army man, unable to take any more of the Indo-Pak war, returns home, to Idukki — and it turns out that it was the separation from his wife he was […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

“Kurangu Bommai”… A beautifully crafted tale of crime and collateral damage

September 4, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/kurangu-bommai-movie-review LLike Maangaram earlier this year, Nithilan Swaminathan’s Kurangu Bommai (Monkey Doll) comes with a caveat: you have to buy the coincidences. This film, too, is conceived as what has come to be known as “hyperlink cinema,” but you could just as easily call it “leap-of-faith cinema.” Viji (Delna […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Selvaraghavan (15 years)

September 4, 2017

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My video interview with Selvaraghavan, who completes 15 years as a filmmaker. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Baadshaho”… A dreary heist thriller that can’t even be bothered to stage some decent action

September 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Milan Luthria’s Baadshaaho, Ileana D’Cruz plays Rani Gitanjali Devi, who rules over a small part of Rajasthan. She begins an affair with her bodyguard, Bhawani (Ajay Devgn). During a song, she goes up to the terrace of her palace — Bhawani is waiting for her. She walks up to him, drops her […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Puriyaadha Pudhir”… A watchable mystery-thriller that needed to be tighter, more atmospheric

September 2, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/puriyaatha-puthir-movie-review Vijay Sethupathi is such a star today (I can still hear the whistles from his sensational introduction scene in Vikram Vedha) that it’s hard to believe he was once just a fresh-faced actor. The Vijay Sethupathi from those days — younger, slimmer — is […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Shubh Mangal Saavdhan”… Not as snappy as the original, but a lot of fun nonetheless

September 2, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… RS Prasanna’s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, a remake of his Tamil hit Kalyana Samayal Sadham, has many jokes — but none funnier than the name of its leading man, played by Ayushmann Khurrana (who continues to spin astonishing variations on the persona of the not-quite-macho man). The name is Mudit, which anagrams with “tumid” […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Arjun Reddy”… A coming-of-rage drama which digs deep, rings true

September 1, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/arjun-reddy-movie-review The southern film industries are apparently in a race to tell stories about clean-shaven college boys who lose their love, gain a beard, and spend the rest of the film not just battling inner demons but also making a running joke of the CBFC’s […]

Posted in: Cinema: Telugu