Readers Write In #272: A decade of Shankar’s Endhiran

September 21, 2020

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(by G Waugh) In one interview to an American Journalist in 1958 to a question on mankind’s relationship with technology, Jawaharlal Nehru spoke about a curious incongruence that came to characterize man’s attitude in the last century– the speed of technological progress far outstripping the pace of his spiritual development that had resulted in the […]

Mammootty, Mohanlal and their long-delayed journey to ‘mass’

September 18, 2020

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When did two award-winning performers turn mass heroes and what was the trigger? And, who among the younger lot will take their place? BR: We started this series about a Telugu star (Prabhas) and we went on to discuss Tamil stardom (the Vijay/Ajith phenomenon), so this time I thought it would be interesting to visit the big heroes […]

Readers Write In #271: Why should we read the Mahabharata?

September 18, 2020

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(by G Waugh) I had always wanted to write exclusively about the Mahabharata. The below question from a reader Varsha Ganesh on the comments section came as an excuse for me to do it.   “I’m really curious about your comment on the Mahabharata too. What made you read all those different interpretations on it? […]

Cargo on Netflix, with Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi: A modest, well-made tale that’s both myth and science fiction

September 18, 2020

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The film has a charming “actors in a modest set” feel that takes you back to old Doordarshan shows like Indradhanush or Space City Sigma, but with better lighting. Spoilers ahead… Some of the world-building in Arati Kadav’s Cargo might make you think we are in the realm of myth. The earth’s humanoid beings are […]

Interview: (IPL Special) Dinesh Karthik on cinema

September 17, 2020

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Bitty Ruminations 91 – The erasure of (film) history

September 17, 2020

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There are two reasons for writing this. One is awkshwayrd’s comment on the SADAK 2 thread, in response to my comment about Mahesh Bhatt: @brangan: There is a masterclass from you buried in the comments here. I’d never heard of any of these movies (MANZILEIN AUR BHI HAIN? AWAARGI? SAATHI?) and I’m a 80’s kid […]

Readers Write In #270: Reading between the lines: When a Man Leaves a Room…

September 16, 2020

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(by Karthik Amarnath) In a setting that’s almost surely an homage to The Apartment (1961), New York executive Pete Campbell engages in an extramarital liaison with a neighbor at his Manhattan love nest. As the two of them get ready to leave, the woman throws one idea after another from missed calls to mixed parking places […]

Kamal Haasan and Lokesh Kanagaraj: Once upon a time there lived a ghost… (cue theme music by Anirudh)!

September 16, 2020

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A single tweet (#EvanendruNinaithaai, #KamalHaasan232) has shattered the notion that Kamal will only work with “yes men” directors, and not with new-gen filmmakers who have a very clear vision. For a while now, there has been some speculation that Kamal Haasan and Lokesh Kanagaraj would be coming together for a movie. I even got first-hand […]

Sadak 2 on Disney+ Hotstar, with Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur: A disaster at every conceivable level

September 15, 2020

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The only success of the film is that it becomes a powerful tool for anyone who wants to battle nepotism. I mean: Mahesh Bhatt’s younger daughter plays the heroine in the sequel to a film which featured Mahesh Bhatt’s older daughter… Spoilers ahead… When people howled that Sadak 2 was a dog, I felt it […]

Readers Write In #269: A Brief History of Science

September 13, 2020

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(by G Waugh) You are all made up of atoms. A large portion of the atom is just empty space. A very small portion of it contains the nucleus. The nucleus is so, so tiny but inspite of its infinitesimal size it holds the protons and neutrons together. A strong nuclear force packs all the […]

Venice Film Festival 2020 Ameen Nayfeh’s ‘200 Meters’ is a potent dramatisation of what the Wall does to Israelis and Palestinians

September 12, 2020

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The Palestinian protagonist won’t get himself an Israeli ID. It’s like how some NRIs won’t get themselves an American passport because they still want to feel “Indian”. It seems like a very ordinary scene out of the very ordinary life of a very ordinary family. Mustafa (Ali Suliman) is fooling around with his wife, Salwa […]

Readers Write In #268: Tamizhanda!!

September 12, 2020

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(by G Waugh) “Kadaisi Tamizhanin Raththam Ezhum Vezhaadhe!!!” (The last drop of a Tamil’s blood will not fall, but rise!!) “Oh how?Do the blood of Tamils have a different set of genetic instructions that make it rise against the pull of gravity?” I know my question to my fellow ‘Tamilanda’ office team-mate was absurd and […]

Venice Film Festival 2020: Rodrigo Sepulveda’s Chilean drama, ‘My Tender Matador’, is about a young revolutionary and an ageing homosexual

September 11, 2020

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I would have liked to know the source of Carlos’s feelings for Queen, whatever they were. But how can we hope to define something that he himself hasn’t fully grasped? A film festival is a place to discover great films, yes, but sometimes, even a not-bad (i.e. decidedly un-great) film can prove worthwhile. On the […]

Sushma Khadepaun’s Anita: The first Gujarati film to play at the Venice Film Festival

September 11, 2020

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A conversation with the director, a Columbia University alum, whose short film is a contender in the Orrizonti (Horizons) Short Films Section. Anita is a 17-minute short about a visiting NRI couple, specifically the wife after whom the film takes its title. She’s gotten herself an internship. She’s thrilled. She thinks it’s the start of […]

Readers Write In #267: “Kya karein kya na karein” (Rangeela) : More than a helpless lover’s song

September 10, 2020

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(by Ankit Sinha) Film songs work best when a song says the unsaid, when it fills up for the limits of ordinary conversation. And Munna finds himself the epitome of this conundrum. At the beginning of the song, he berates himself in the effect of alcohol for his lack of courage, and soon people from […]

Readers Write In #266: The Beyond

September 10, 2020

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(by Amit Joki) Chapter 1: Not just another morning Jon had gotten up early. The calendar showed July 28, 2199. Last night had been hectic. He was having a virtual get-together with his friends. There were holograms all over his room. Joey got him a bracelet with “Best Bud” engraved on it and was very smug […]

Dabangg turns 10, as does ‘Munni badnaam hui’: Remembering 10 songs down the decade that make you miss the big screen

September 10, 2020

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Raise your hand if you like watching good, old-fashioned naach-gaana stretches in a cinema hall! Here’s a one-per-year list of these spectacles. Feel free to add your favourites. Let’s get one thing out of the way. This isn’t about memorable songs that have stood the test of time and will echo over our lonely planet […]

Readers Write In #265: Why read fiction?

September 10, 2020

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(by G Waugh) This piece shall be in response to a question that has been put to me numerous times by my group of friends that predominantly consist of people who have not been bitten by the reading bug yet. “Why do I have to read? When there is a glut of content that the […]

Interview: Vasanth (30 years of Keladi Kanmani, 25 years of Aasai)

September 9, 2020

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Readers Write In #264: Suppley: A Short Story

September 9, 2020

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(by CV Nitin) This short story will be put up in Chapters, over the next few days. Chapter One 08 Nikhil stares hard at the number but it does not change. It sits smugly on the display panel and stares back at him. He presses a button. Nothing happens. What is going on in the […]