“Kaappaan”… A truly wretched screenplay makes this Suriya vehicle an exhausting action-adventure

September 20, 2019

6

‘Kaappaan’ wants to be everything to everyone, and that’s not a problem, but the writing is so clumsy that you don’t feel for anyone and you don’t care about anything. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kaappaan-review-kv-anand-suriya-mohanlal/ I‘ve decided to become a director. Here’s the idea. The protagonist is […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

On the parents and children in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’

September 19, 2019

2

Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hirokazu-kore-edas-like-father-like-son-and-its-nature-vs-nurture-examination-7370971.html This week, we’re going to discuss a film about fathers and sons, but what birthed it was director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s relationship with his daughter. He said, in a Screen Anarchy interview, that he actually didn’t have very much time to spend with her, probably due to the […]

“Oththa Seruppu”… Parthiban stars in a “stunt” film that’s barely convincing but very entertaining

September 19, 2019

3

The “deliberate” theatricality is everywhere. The very location looks like a stage, with the barest of props and a very visible lighting. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/oththa-seruppu-movie-review-parthiban-resul-pookutty-santhosh-narayanan-c-sathya In Oththa Seruppu (also called Oththa Seruppu Size 7), R Parthiban uses several devices to push the boundaries of conventional […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: ‘Poo’ Sasi, on his journey from ‘Sollamale’ to ‘Sivappu Manjal Pachai’

September 18, 2019

4

For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Dream Girl”… Ayushmann Khurrana stars in an “Ayushmann Khurrana comedy” that’s his lamest one yet

September 13, 2019

7

The director, who’s from television, doesn’t want ‘people’. He is content with flat, sitcom-style cartoons and poke-in-the-ribs music. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/dream-girl-movie-review-by-baradwaj-rangan-ayushmann-khurrana-nusrat-barucha/ In 1977, Pramod Chakravorty made a movie titled after what the nation had nicknamed Hema Malini: Dream Girl. It was about a woman who […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

The sexually explicit ‘Extase’, starring Hedy Lamarr, and its continuing connection with the Venice Film Festival

September 12, 2019

3

Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-czech-film-extase-by-gustav-machaty-is-important-for-the-history-of-the-venice-film-festival-7328681.html Extase (Ecstasy), the 1933 Czech film by Gustav Machatý, made news at the Venice Film Festival for many reasons. One, the film was the pre-opening night event of the festival. It was part of the Classics section, and was screened a day before the festival officially began, […]

“Chhichhore”… Some mild amusement cannot redeem a slapdash bunch of friendship clichés

September 12, 2019

16

All the A-for-apple screenplay wants to do is comfort us with clichés — say, the fact that friends you have lost touch with over the years will drop everything and land up the minute you reach out to them, even if they are in faraway lands. Spoilers ahead… Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore feels like a drawing-board […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Magamuni”… Arya and Arya feature in a layered drama that doesn’t fully add up

September 11, 2019

4

Santhakunar’s second film sounds better than it plays out — and part of it, I think, is the strain of striving to be a Great Movie™. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/magamuni-movie-review-arya-santhakumar-mahima-nambiar-indhuja/ Maga (Arya), a taxi driver, comes home one day to find that his young son has […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Lakshmy Ramakrishnan 2

September 11, 2019

2

For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

“Sivappu Manjal Pachai”… Siddharth and GV Prakash Kumar star in an effective action-drama with top-notch performances

September 11, 2019

2

Director Sasi writes very good combination scenes for the many characters, which bring out nice shades. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/sivappu-manjal-pachai-review-siddharth-gv-prakash-kumar-lijomol-sasi Siddharth has always been a bit of an outlier in Tamil cinema, and in Sivappu Manjal Pachai, you see why. He plays a traffic SI named […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

FC Recco: Tamil Translated Books, Pesamozhi Publications

September 10, 2019

1

A weekly series where I recommend a film-based book, a foreign film or an Indian movie. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNulta Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Books, Cinema, FC Recco

Readers Write In #95: Mr Local and everything wrong about it – in questions

September 10, 2019

23

(by Sanjay NM) My second post in this format about a film I saw recently which has deeply concerned me. People seldom ask questions and scurry towards a conclusion or at least a point of view which is popular. Questions are so important! I intend to express my point of view in questions and get […]

Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson in a lackluster adaptation of JM Coetzee’s ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’

September 8, 2019

2

Plus, three Afghan women dealing with pregnancy, into a killer’s mind, and the super-entertaining closing film of the festival. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/waiting-for-the-barbarians-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-venice-film-festival-2019/ Ciro Guerra’s Waiting for the Barbarians (English, Mongolian), based on JM Coetzee’s novel (he wrote the screenplay, too), is a prime slab of […]

Meryl Streep stars in Steven Soderbergh’s slight, but very entertaining ‘The Laundromat’

September 7, 2019

1

Plus, two gay-themed stories, an animated erotic drama, and a Portuguese intergenerational saga that wants to be ‘Giant’. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-meryl-streep-steven-soderberghs-the-laundromat-move-review-baradwaj-rangan/ There were two films whose subject matter looked intimidating, especially a few days (and several films) into the festival. Adults in the Room, by […]

‘Ramayana was written thousands of years ago and we’re still trying to live that kind of life’

September 6, 2019

4

Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-sanal-kumar-sasidharan-interview-chola-baradwaj-rangan/ Fresh off the screening of ‘Chola’ in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan opens up about the movie, which originated in the Suryanelli rape case. So Sanal, let’s start with this. What is your fascination with the Ramayana? I was surprised […]

Martin Scorsese’s underappreciated ‘New York, New York’ is back in a gorgeous big-screen restoration

September 5, 2019

0

Plus, wartime atrocities in ‘The Painted Bird’. And ‘Babyteeth’, a cancer dramedy. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-martin-scorsese-new-york-new-york-baradwaj-rangan/ Among the secret pleasures of a film festival is the opportunity to catch a restored version of a famous film, maybe even a classic, you’ve never seen on the big […]

Restored films by Luis Buñuel, Dennis Hopper and Jacques Tourneur in Venice Classics

September 5, 2019

1

Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/venice-2019-thoughts-on-restored-classics-by-luis-bunuel-dennis-hopper-and-jacques-tourneur-7289201.html/ The Classics section at the Venice Film Festival aims to present “a selection of the finest recent restorations of classic films, and documentaries about cinema or individual authors of yesteryear or today.” One of the first films I caught in this section was a restored version of […]

“After your mid-30s, politics and social issues become important”

September 4, 2019

2

Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/gitanjali-rao-interview-bombay-rose-venice-international-film-festival-2019-baradwaj-rangan Gitanjali Rao and Deborah Sathe talk about ‘Bombay Rose’, and films from India that can work on the international stage. To o explain why she likes the path less taken, Gitanjali Rao brings up her “commie upbringing”, thanks to Konkani-Gujarati parents who ran off and got […]

“Joker”… A superb Joaquin Phoenix anchors an okayish origin story of Batman’s nemesis

September 3, 2019

13

If Jack Nicholson went after campy flamboyance and Heath Ledger reached for mythical resonance, Phoenix’s interpretation of the character is attuned to psychological realism. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/joker-movie-review-venice-international-film-festival-2019-joaquin-phoenix-baradwaj-rangan By now, we know that no comic-book figure can be allowed to just be. The pop two-dimensionality of […]

“Ad Astra”… Brad Pitt is terrific in a space saga with less-than-terrific writing

September 3, 2019

1

The film harks back to a more solemn tradition of space cinema. It’s what space sounded like before George Lucas invented the lightsabre and the Stormtrooper. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-ad-astra-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ The Venice Film Festival seems to have a thing for brooding space melodramas where blasting off […]