25 years of Thevar Magan

October 17, 2017

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Here’s a video essay I did on Thevar Magan, which was released 25 Deepavalis ago. (Gulp! How time flies!) Coming on Thursday. My chat with Santosh Sivan. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion. Advertisements

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Nithilan Swaminathan / Lokesh Kanagaraj, directors of Kurangu Bommai / Maanagaram

October 15, 2017

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This is a chat with two young directors who have really strong views on the films they want to make and how stars can help. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Interview: Baradwaj Rangan (BehindWoods)

October 11, 2017

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Another interview, with Maathevan of Behindwoods. Copyright ©2017 BehindWoods.

Posted in: Cinema, Interview, Personal

“The Silence”… A quieter addition to this year’s roster of dramas around rape

October 9, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Manda (Kadambari Kadam) is one of the many extras on the fringes of filmdom, as replaceable as the next one, but one thing sets her apart: she won’t sleep with the agent to get ahead. He insists. She protests. She says she’s here to be an actress, not a whore. Given how the […]

Posted in: Cinema: Marathi

Interview: Baradwaj Rangan (FullyFilmy)

October 6, 2017

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It was fun being interviewed by Abishek at Fully Filmy. Here it is:   Copyright ©2017 Fully Filmy.

Posted in: Cinema, Interview, Personal

“Solo”… A quartet of stories that has its moments, but not enough to conceal its flaws

October 5, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/solo-movie-review Bejoy Nambiar’s Solo is an anthology of four shorts, anchored by Dulquer Salmaan in four flavours (had the actor been a newcomer, this would have been a heck of a showreel). There are other commonalities. Each segment spans four years. Each one features Dulquer […]

“Ramaleela”… An okayish, inadvertently meta political thriller that blurs the line between reel and real

October 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/ramaleela-movie-review Arun Gopy’s Ramaleela (Rama’s Play) was conceived and completed before its leading man, Dileep, was arrested for plotting the kidnap and assault of an actress — so what we see on screen is not intentionally meta. But meta it certainly is. How can you […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Readers Write In #23: MANK’s love affair with the movies

October 2, 2017

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For as long as i can remember, I have been in love with movies. My movie tastes may have evolved over a period of time , but I can’t remember  a period in my life when i wasn’t fascinated by them.  It has been one constant in my ever changing life . I don’t exactly […]

Posted in: Cinema, Readers Write In

“Judwaa 2.”… A bloated, unfunny remake, barely kept afloat by its star

September 30, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The dilemma with reviewing David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 is this: When so little effort has been expended on the film, how much should one expend on the review? Oh, there’s a lot of logistical effort, all right — all the work it takes to make a Bollywood film big and bright and splashy. […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Karuppan”… A collection of cliches that the leading man does his best to salvage

September 29, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/karuppan-movie-review There’s one interesting quirk in R Panneerselvam’s Karuppan: the songs that are referenced throughout. At a time most films are content to make the mandatory nod to Vijay and Ajith (and we do get that here, with bits of Aaluma doluma and Chella kutti), […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Hara Hara Mahadevaki”… A dreadful “adult comedy” that’s neither all that adult nor much of a comedy

September 29, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/hara-hara-mahadevaki-movie-review Hara Hara Mahadevaki, which advertises itself proudly as an adult comedy, opens with a politician who wants to become Chief Minister by bombing… something. I have to make a confession here. I am not going to be able to give you any specifics, for […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Spyder”… A pretty decent god-vs-demon tale,with a solid hero and a spectacular villain

September 27, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/spyder-movie-review The pre-interval stretch of Spyder may be the best thing AR Murugadoss wrote and directed. It has the resonance of myth. We witness the birth of the villain, the birth of Evil, in a graveyard — a cut whisks us from the wails of […]

Interview: Santosh Sivan

September 26, 2017

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Coming on Thursday. My chat with Santosh Sivan. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW “I like big films… You are in the midst of mass people.” “I don’t need to do much to make Mahesh Babu look good.” “Thuppakki was the first time we used digital cameras.” “With Thalapathy, […]

“Parava”… A movie with a lot of heart, but marred by two conflicting narratives

September 26, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/parava-movie-review How do you steal a fish from someone’s house and bring it back to yours, with no equipment but a pair of bicycles? Soubin Shahir’s Parava (Bird) – written by Shahir and Muneer Ali – opens with the answer, and during this stretch, cinematographer […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Readers Write In #22: My Views – In Questions

September 25, 2017

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Those wishful words! Those hopeful eyes! Those words spoken by the young girl who ended her life recently wasn’t just broken English, it was broken dreams. The thought of a young life rich with the potential of good deeds and actions ended by just a piece of cloth causes great pain to me. No explanation […]

“Valladesam”… A wannabe thriller done in by bewildering stylistic choices, amateur actors

September 25, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/valladesam-movie-review Valladesam (All-powerful Nation) opens with a black screen – an unseen woman utters these words, “I’ve been hurt. Help!” Subsequently, a man is burnt alive, another man is shot dead in front of his wife and little girl, a family is massacred… In short, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Bhoomi”… The worst of this year’s rape-revenge dramas, without even pulp kicks

September 25, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The key scene in Bhoomi, as I see it, is the one where Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari) is abducted… again, a day after she was raped by Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar) and his men. They thought she’d suffer silently, but now that they know she’s talking about it, they want to kill her. On […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Newton”… A marvellous satire that takes its issues, but not itself, seriously

September 23, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome, a rigid, rule-bound, middle-aged bureaucrat left the city to go hunting in a forest. There, an alert local girl made him aware of how little he knew, and how wide the rural-urban divide is in our country. Reduce the age of Sen’s protagonist, add a splash of Hrishikesh […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Interview: AR Murugadoss

September 22, 2017

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I had a very nice chat with AR Murudoss, talking about his heroes — from Dheena to Spyder — and their ‘heroism.” For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Interview: NTR Jr.

September 21, 2017

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This interview is our first in Telugu cinema, done by our correspondent Hemanth Kumar. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.