Interview: Lokesh Kanagaraj (Maanagaram, Kaithi, the next Vijay film)

October 23, 2019

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Moothon”… Geetu Mohandas’s drama is bumpy and overstuffed, but with passages of great beauty and a superb Nivin Pauly

October 19, 2019

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One part of me wished this ambitious film had stuck to one story in one timeline, but in a strange way, this in-between mood is what makes the events stand out. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/moothon-movie-review-by-baradwaj-rangan-mumbai-film-festival-nivin-pauly/ With her second feature, Moothon, Geetu Mohandas has moved from the […]

Ingmar Bergman, Ang Lee, Hany Abu-Assad and the challenges of working in languages other than your own

October 17, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hany-abu-assad-asghar-farhadi-ingmar-bergmans-films-expose-challenges-of-working-in-languages-other-than-your-own-7506451.html The last film by the Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad — Head of the Jury, International Competition at Jio MAMI 21st Film Festival with Star — was The Mountain Between Us, where a surgeon and a journalist battle it out in the wilderness after a plane crash. Despite […]

FC Recco: ‘Uyare’

October 16, 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: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Interview: Archana Kalpathi (‘Bigil’ producer)

October 14, 2019

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Readers Write In #104: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 4 – Stalin’s Era Part 3

October 11, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. Chapter 2 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Josef Stalin, when he assumed the mantle in 1922 was initially considered to be a worthy successor to the legacy of the founder-leader Vladimir Lenin, by the masses. Stalin worked hard to build on that image and tried […]

John Woo’s ‘The Killer’, ‘War’ and why ‘masala’ cinema can be taken as seriously as any other ‘genre’

October 10, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/war-john-woos-the-killer-and-why-masala-cinema-can-be-taken-as-seriously-as-any-other-genre-7476851.html War is turning out to be a huge hit. Given the stars – Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff – and the popcorn-friendly genre, it’s probably not that unexpected a phenomenon. But this also happens to be a very well-written film (the screenplay is by Siddharth Anand, the director, […]

“Maadathy”… Leena Manimekalai’s ‘unfairy tale’ about a Dalit girl is a powerful social-horror story

October 9, 2019

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This folkloric drama about the consequences of injustice was world-premiered in ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ at the Busan International Film Festival. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/maadathy-movie-review-leena-manimekalai-baradwaj-rangan-semmalar-annam-ajmina-kassim-busan The story of Leena Manimekalai’s Maadathy is almost folkloric in its simplicity, but if the final scenes remind you of […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Readers Write In #103: The Turk

October 8, 2019

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(by Sanjay NM) So, we moved on to the next round, like in a boxing bout. Some would say it was boxing but I prefer to call it “healthy exchanges”. In the good old days, we would sit around and have these exchanges over that lousy liquid. Arguments that were as eclectic as anything. Topics from […]

“Love Action Drama”… An utterly dreadful romance that gets dreadfuller by the minute

October 8, 2019

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The film is an unholy mess. It feels like a 9-year-old’s attempt to write a deep treatise on life and love. Spoilers ahead… I think they wanted to make a movie about a man-child, a jolly drunk who’s rich and entitled and thinks he should have whichever woman he wants. He does man-childish things, like […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

“Section 375.”… A well-made courtroom drama that careens provocatively between #MeToo and #MenToo

October 8, 2019

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This is really Akshaye Khanna’s movie. He appears to have lost some weight. He looks taut and wiry, and you’d use the same words to describe his performance. Spoilers ahead… Anjali Dangle (Meera Chopra) comes from a Marathi-speaking family, and from a very middle-class neighbourhood. She’s a junior costume designer, and she’s working in a […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

#AskBR – Asuran

October 8, 2019

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… 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

Interview: LM Kaushik and Ramesh Bala (trackers/influencers)

October 8, 2019

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“Jallikattu”… Lijo Jose Pellissery gives a masterclass on how to make a movie that’s both experimental and entertaining

October 7, 2019

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The invention, the joyous energy in the filmmaking left me with such a high that I didn’t particularly care that it all has to ‘mean’ something. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/jallikattu-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-lijo-jose-pellissery-antony-varghese-santhy-balachandran/ In Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Jallikattu, a buffalo escapes slaughter and runs amuck in a village in […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Readers Write In #102: The Inside Shift: From Super-heroes to super-human

October 5, 2019

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(by Adhithya K R) “What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that treats him like trash?” You get a Joker backstory. I couldn’t help but marvel at how Joaquin Phoenix took one of the most love-to-hate, disturbing supervillains of all time and turned him into such a human […]

Readers Write In #101: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 3 – Stalin’s Era Part 2

October 5, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. Chapter 2 is here. Further into the narrative, a quick dive into what essentially is meant by Capitalism, Marxism and Fascism will help us understand the ideological undercurrents that drove the turbulent events of the Second World War (1939-1945). Capitalism – Origins: The period of ‘Enlightenment’ in […]

“Asuran”… Not up to Vetri Maaran / Dhanush’s earlier work, but still quite good

October 4, 2019

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Violence is practically a rite of passage. The screenwriting is cyclical, too — whatever happened in one generation finds echoes in the next.  Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/asuran-review-baradwaj-rangan-vetri-maaran-dhanush-manu-warrier-ken-karunas/ The overall arc of Vetri Maaran’s Asuran is from Poomani’s novel Vekkai (Heat). Somewhere in Tirunelveli (going by the […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Vetri Maaran (Asuran)

October 3, 2019

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“The Zoya Factor”… A harmless cricket-based satire/rom-com that just about makes it past the crease

October 3, 2019

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The champagne-lightness of the writing just pops on screen, though the leading man needed a better leading lady. Spoilers ahead… It’s a fabulous premise. A junior copywriter unlucky in love and (generally) life transforms into the Indian cricket team’s lucky charm. In other words, the ugly duckling turns into… And how does this fairy tale […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“War”… Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff face off in a beautifully written action entertainer

October 3, 2019

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Dig beyond the surface pleasures, and you’ll see how the film marries our masala sensibilities to the Bond/Bourne action spectacles. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/war-movie-review-by-baradwaj-rangan-hrithik-roshan-tiger-shroff Siddharth Anand’s War is a deeply felt labour of love. It’s the testosteronic equivalent of what Shah Jahan built for Mumtaz Mahal. […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi