Remembering Girish Karnad the director, the actor

June 17, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/remembering-girish-karnad-the-director-the-actor/ From ‘Kaadu’ and ‘Ondanondu Kaladalli’ to ‘Nishant’ and ‘Swami’, one of India’s greatest playwrights made a huge contribution to Indian cinema. If Girish Karnad’s passing weren’t sad enough, the headlines about the “Tiger Zinda Hai actor passing away” were sadder. I suppose the logic was that […]

“Suttu Pidikka Utharavu”… A solid little thriller with a solid twist

June 14, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/suttu-pidikka-utharavu-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan If I say Ramprakash Rayappa has made a major leap as a filmmaker with Suttu Pidikka Utharavu (SPU), it may not sound like much, given that his earlier films were Tamizhuku En Ondrai Azhuthavum and Pokkiri Raja. They came with interesting premises: the former […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Game Over”… Enjoyable, fabulously twisty, and a bona fide original

June 13, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/game-over-movie-review-the-enjoyable-fabulously-twisty-game-over-starring-taapsee-pannu-is-a-bona-fide-original-baradwaj-rangan/ Oh, a serial-killer movie! That’s what I thought during the vicious opening scenes of Ashwin Saravanan’s fabulously twisty Game Over. The creepy camerawork by A Vasanth sustains this impression, with grainy images and a handheld vibe. Like in Michael Powell’s seminal voyeur-thriller Peeping Tom […]

In Pride Month, a look at ‘Kanarie’, a South African coming-of-age (and coming-out) drama

June 13, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/in-pride-month-a-look-at-kanarie-a-south-african-coming-of-age-and-coming-out-drama-6805701.html Among other things, Christiaan Olwagen’s South African drama Kanarie is about the importance of role models. The people around us — family, friends, teachers — they’re all good. But it’s something else when a public figure, especially one you adore, legitimises what you are. Johan adores Boy […]

Interview: GV Prakash Kumar

June 12, 2019

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

“Virus”… A superbly crafted, and very human, medical thriller

June 11, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/aashiq-abus-virus-is-a-superbly-crafted-and-very-human-medical-thriller-baradwaj-rangan/ Aashiq Abu follows Mayaanadhi with another winner. Virus is a medical thriller that brings to mind the all-star disaster movies from Hollywood. If the threat was fire in The Towering Inferno and a tidal wave in The Poseidon Adventure, it’s the Nipah virus here […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Recalling ‘Crazy’ Mohan’s comedy, and his Kamal Haasan collaborations

June 10, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/recalling-crazy-mohans-comedy-and-his-kamal-haasan-collaborations/ ‘Crazy’ Mohan’s passing brings to mind the Tuesday-evening TV dramas on Doordarshan, when there’d be jokes like how the postman fell down: “thabaal-nu.” To really get ‘Crazy’ Mohan, perhaps you could begin with the American Jewish comedians like Sid Caesar and Neil Simon. Their comedy was […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Theatre

Readers Write In #77: ‘Lucifer’ and ‘mass’ in Malayalam cinema

June 10, 2019

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I knew I was an outsider in this group. Lucifer had let them down and a set of colleagues hadn’t recovered from the disappointment. But ever since I watched Prithviraj Sukumaran’s directorial flick, I was desperate to put this out in the open. “I liked Lucifer.” Expectedly, after this simple confession, I faced a volley of questions. “Idenda […]

Interview: Taapsee Pannu

June 8, 2019

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

“Kolaigaran”… Vijay Antony and Arjun face off in a so-so murder mystery with so-so twists

June 7, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kolaigaran-movie-review-vijay-antony-baradwaj-rangan/ Who is the woman in the high rise, at the beginning of Kolaigaran, who ends up with her throat slit? We have to wait till the end of the film for an answer, but in the meantime, a charred corpse is discovered and Prabhakaran […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

‘Ode to My Father’ is an important reminder that sentimental, manipulative mainstream cinema isn’t just our thing

June 7, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/korean-film-ode-to-my-father-is-an-important-reminder-that-manipulative-mainstream-cinema-just-isnt-our-thing-6772451.html You should watch Ode to My Father, the 2014 South Korean melodrama which is the basis of the Salman Khan-starrer, Bharat. When we talk about films from other countries, there’s usually a strain of “Look, even <insert name of country> makes such great films. But we keep […]

FC Recco – ‘The Film That Changed My Life’

June 6, 2019

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A weekly series where I recommend a film-based book, a foreign film or an Indian movie. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_Ym39kMJD0 Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Books, FC Recco

“Bharat”… Salman Khan revisits Indian history in an underwhelming wannabe-saga

June 6, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/bharat-movie-review-salman-khan-katrina-kaif-ali-abbas-zafar-baradwaj-rangan Well into the second half of Bharat, the eponymous protagonist (Salman Khan, at his muscliest) finds himself on a merchant navy vessel. Before you can say Captain Phillips, they are attacked by Somali pirates. The crew turns on the water cannons, but no luck. […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Interview: Vijay Antony

June 4, 2019

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

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“De De Pyaar De”… Maddeningly inconsistent, but not without its moments

June 4, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… In De De Pyaar De, 50-year-old Ajay Devgn plays a 50-year-old named Ashish, a super-successful businessman in London. Rakul Preet Singh plays the exuberant Ayesha, who’s half Ashish’s age. She sleeps over at his house after getting drunk at a party, wakes up the next morning and assumes they had sex. When he […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

#AskBR – NGK

June 4, 2019

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

‘Ishq’, starring Shane Nigam and Ann Sheetal, is NOT about moral policing…

June 3, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/ishq-starring-shane-nigam-and-ann-sheetal-is-not-about-moral-policing-baradwaj-rangan/ Rather, it’s about how subtly and insidiously patriarchy manifests itself. (Warning. Major spoilers ahead.) Anuraj Manohar’s Ishq opens with lovers talking over the phone, at night. The boy is Sachi (Shane Nigam). The girl is Vasudha (Ann Sheetal). He’s ambling about his neighbourhood in Kochi. She’s […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

‘NGK’, ‘CCV’, ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’, and the WHY question in mainstream cinema

June 1, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/ngk-ccv-kaatru-veliyidai-and-the-why-question-in-mainstream-cinema-baradwaj-rangan/ Emotional (and logical) connect is an important factor in screenwriting for cinema consumed by large audiences. And yes, spoilers ahead. I saw Selvaraghavan’s NGK yesterday. It was not an easy film to review. It’s never easy to review a problematic film made by a filmmaker you […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Monster”… An entertaining live-action cartoon about a man who battles a rat

May 31, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/monster-movie-review-monster-with-sj-surya-is-an-entertaining-live-cction-cartoon-about-a-man-who-battles-a-rat-baradwaj-rangan/ After Oru Naal Koothu, Nelson Venkatesan makes a hell of a U-turn with Monster. I mean, it’s like watching a right-handed batsman suddenly switch to his left, or a dog person suddenly swearing allegiance to cats. If I appear to be making a big […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“NGK”… Suriya is fantastically earnest, but ‘NGK’ is Selvaraghavan’s blandest movie to date

May 31, 2019

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/ngk-movie-review-suriya-is-fantastically-earnest-but-selvaraghavan-blandest-film/ In NGK, Suriya plays Kumaran, an organic farmer (M Tech, Ph.D.) and overall local do-gooder. One night, he finds a political party worker (Bala Singh) lying by a dumpster, bloody and wounded, and his first impulse is to… do good. He helps the man […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil