Anvita Dutt’s exquisite ‘Qala’, on Netflix, puts us into the state of mind of a disturbed playback singer

December 9, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… Triptii Dimri, Swastika Mukherjee and Babil Khan anchor a film that feels like a Gothic dream. Anvita Dutt’s films do have a story. They have characters and events. And yet, her films are less about “following a plot” than entering a state of mind, a series od spaces painted by her brilliant cinematographer […]

Deepak’s well-researched ‘Witness’, on SonyLIV, is a story about manual scavenging that’s more earnest than emotional

December 9, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… Rohini and Shraddha Srinath star in a social drama where so much more could have been done with the narrative and the characterisation. The crux of Deepak’s Witness is this: a teenager can be a terrific swimmer, a lifeguard at a pool. And yet, because of his caste/community, this talent of his is […]

The Galatta Plus Round Table 2022

December 8, 2022

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Readers Write In #529: Thoughts on GASLIGHT, RANGOON RADHA 

December 8, 2022

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By Vijaysree Venkataraman Gaslighting is the word of the year in 2022. According to the Merriam-Wester dictionary,the verb refers to the psychological manipulation of a person. Typically, the manipulation happens over a period of time and causes the victim to question the validity of their own perception of reality or memories.It often leads to “confusion, […]

Readers Write In #528: Thoughts on Love Today (Film)

December 8, 2022

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By Don Corleone The film Love Today talks about the superficiality of romantic relationships among youngsters of the day. Point to be noted is that it entirely stays away from any sort of comparison with earlier generations’ relationships, which I feel is a positive. Another positive in the film I feel is its entertainment quotient: it scores […]

Alphonse Puthren’s ‘Gold’ (Malayalam) has a lot of big ideas but they don’t come together as a satisfying whole

December 6, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The film, starring Prithviraj and Nayanthara, never takes root in the head, and the effort to put together the links is exhausting.   Gold marks Alphonse Puthren’s return to the screen after seven years, and to talk about the flavour – or rather the vibe – of the film, let’s look at the stretch […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Interview: Guru Somasundaram (Winner of ‘Best Actor’, India, at the Asian Academy Creative Awards)

December 3, 2022

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For more, subscribe to GALATTA PLUS: https://tinyurl.com/ysbkyrht The annual Asian Academy Creative Awards are presented every December as part of the Singapore Media Festival. They recognise excellence in the film and television industry across 16 nations in the Asia-Pacific region. Guru Somasundaram has won ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ for Minnal Murali, and he […]

Vivek’s underwhelming ‘The Teacher’ (Malayalam) might have worked better as a pulpy B-movie than a “serious film with good intentions”

December 2, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… Amala Paul shows us the grit in a woman who faces difficult choices – but both she and Hakkim Shajahan are let down by the predictable writing.  Vivek follows Athiran with The Teacher, and one of the nicest bits of the film takes place in a bus. Sujith (Hakkim Shajahan) is on a […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Readers Write In #527: Gold – An overlong and indulgent comedy that only shines in parts!

December 2, 2022

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By Bharath Vijayakumar Like Naane Varuven earlier this year, we walk into Gold not knowing much about it. At least, Naane Varuven had a teaser, that kind of gave an idea on what to expect. In the case of Gold, even the teaser did not give anything away. But Alphonse had mentioned in his personal […]

Interview: Suresh Krishna (‘Baba’ re-release)

November 30, 2022

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Readers Write In #526: A ‘nauseating’ history, a memoir

November 29, 2022

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By G Waugh aka Jeeva P This was the first time I was travelling in a bus that ventured into narrow, serpentine roads full of bends that were extremely sharp that the driver seemed to drivelike a Rajnikanth-replica in a 90s Tamil movie climax trying to dodge the villain’s tanker lorry that intentionally wanted to […]

Interview: SJ Suryah, Pushkar-Gayathri, Andrew Louis (Vadhandhi)

November 28, 2022

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Prithvi Konanur’s superb ‘Hadinelentu (Seventeeners)’ opened the Indian Panorama section at IFFI; it’s about a leaked sex tape, and is a scalpel-sharp dissection of caste

November 25, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… I was riveted by this story about a Brahmin boy and a Dalit girl. It’s like watching a gut-churning Asghar Farhadi melodrama filmed in Michael Haneke’s detached CCTV- style. Hari and Deepa (Neeraj Mathew and the excellent Sherlyn Bhosale) are Class XII students. They find an empty classroom, have sex, and record it […]

Prasun Chatterjee’s Dostojee is a moving, lyrical drama about a childhood that struggles to transcend communal tensions

November 24, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… This Bengali drama, set a few months after the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Bombay blasts, resists emotional manipulation and rings true. The title of Prasun Chatterjee’s Dostojee is an affectionate term for a friend, and the film revolves around Palash and Safikul (Asif Shaikh, Arif Shaikh), who are best friends […]

Posted in: Cinema: Bengali

Jeo Baby’s terrific ‘Sree Dhanya Catering Service’ is a funnier, more free-flowing take on ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’, with men doing the cooking this time

November 23, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… Recently, many films have used humour as a vehicle for thorny subjects, but Jeo Baby’s balancing act is possibly the best – he is not inviting us to laugh at these characters, but with them. Let’s begin with an echo shot. Jeo Baby’s Sree Dhanya Catering Service opens with a few men huffing […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Readers Write In #525: Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey- An obscene class narrative masquerading as gender rights story

November 20, 2022

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By Sai Ganga R Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey is the latest entrant into the domestic abuse saga which have come up one too many off late. What differentiates the current crop of these movies from those of similar theme say of the 80’s is an element of black comedy that is peppered- This makes […]

Readers Write In #524: A translation of Jeyamohan’s ‘Sivam’

November 19, 2022

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By Macaulay Perapulla Author’s Note: This is my maiden attempt to translate one of my favourite short stories of Jeyamohan. I submitted this short story to Mozhi Prize 2022 competition. Since this blog has a thriving community of Jeyamohan readers, I thought of publishing the story here as well. Any suggestions and feedback that will […]

Posted in: Books, Readers Write In

Anjali Menon’s intermittently effective ‘Wonder Women’, on SonyLIV, is best enjoyed as an experiment in narrative technique

November 18, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The screenplay tries to pack in too much in too little time, but just being around these talented ladies is going to be enough for many. The “one line” of Anjali Menon’s Wonder Women would be something like this: Six pregnant women attend a prenatal class, and experience both frictions and friendships. But […]

Senna Hegde’s ‘1744 White Alto’, with Sharaf U Dheen, is a kind of stoner comedy where some jokes land big-time while others feel forced

November 18, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… For everything that works – say, a random bit with a lottery seller – there are things that seem to be trying too hard. I got the sense that the problem was with the pacing.  Senna Hegde began with a feature-length documentary set in Kanhangad, which is where 1744 White Alto is also […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

R Kaiser Anand’s ‘Anel Meley Pani Thuli’, starring Andrea Jeremiah as a rape survivor, on SonyLIV, is a strong story that needed stronger writing

November 18, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… There are many good points – both narratively, and with regard to character – in this film produced by Vetri Maaran. But everything feels like a “list of things to be included” rather than something organically woven through a script. Andrea Jermiah plays a sports-store manager named Mathi in R Kaiser Anand’s Anel […]