Browsing All Posts filed under »Between Reviews«

Between Reviews: Mystifying Hysteria

June 26, 2010

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MYSTIFYING HYSTERIA Why do we get so worked up, so indignant, so personal when a filmmaker makes a film we don’t quite expect?

Between Reviews: Mafia Mahabharata

June 19, 2010

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MAFIA MAHABHARATA The critics love it. The public loves it. So why bother that ‘Raajneeti’ is such an epic misfire, right?

Between Reviews: Other India

June 12, 2010

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OTHER INDIA The smashing saga of Bhojpuri cinema, from curiosity to cultural behemoth. Starring Nazir Hussain, President Rajendra Prasad, Padma Khanna and Amitav Ghosh.

Between Reviews: Men of the Masses

June 5, 2010

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MEN OF THE MASSES Unlike the metro-centric, multiplex-centric Hindi film, Tamil cinema isn’t apologetic about showcasing he-men heroes in vehicles that are unabashed celebrations of their heroism. JUN 6, 2010 – NOW THAT KITES HAS COME TATTERED AND UNSTRUNG in a storm of near-universal derision, its bitter lessons are all that remain. Number one: if […]

Between Reviews: Sequelitis

May 29, 2010

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SEQUELITIS The first two mega-sequels of this summer are swollen with the expected spectacle, but the pleasures they offer are few and far between. MAY 30, 2010 – EARLY ON IN THE SNAPPILY TITLED IRON MAN 2 (as opposed to, say, Iron Man: Heavier Metal), Robert Downey Jr. leaps off the gaping maw of a […]

Between Reviews: Threesome!

May 22, 2010

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THREESOME! Tamil cinema attempts to seduce us with a casting coup, a Western spoof, and the latest exploits of blood-soaked Madurai males. MAY 23, 2010 – DIRECTOR SHANKAR’S PRODUCTION HOUSE, the unsurprisingly named S Pictures, advertises itself with a cannily imagined (but clumsily rendered) stretch of animation – a beating heart linked to a celluloid […]

Between Reviews: Unspecial Effects

May 15, 2010

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UNSPECIAL EFFECTS With all the techno-gizmos at their disposal, why don’t present-day filmmakers strive for memorable (as opposed to merely functional) visuals?. MAY 16, 2010 – ANTICIPATING THE CGI-HEAVY Hollywood-blockbuster releases of this summer, I attempted to recall the last time I was truly socked out of my seat by visual effects – the way […]

Between Reviews: Summer of Same

May 8, 2010

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SUMMER OF SAME Another Sex and the City movie. Another Robin Hood retread. Another Iron Man adventure. Another Toy Story sequel. Hollywood looks forward to this summer by looking back. MAY 9, 2010 – 1. IRON MAN 2: Part 1, unsurprisingly, was blighted by the bane of every potential franchise launcher – it had to […]

Between Reviews: Head Games

May 1, 2010

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HEAD GAMES AR Rahman packs a lot of his heady signatures into the soundtrack for Mani Ratnam’s new film, but where’s the appeal to the heart? MAY 2, 2010 – THERE’S MUSIC OF THE HEAD and there’s music of the heart, and our older composers were nimble acrobats who tiptoed blithely along the tightrope-median, secure […]

Between Reviews: Cinematic Conversations

April 24, 2010

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CINEMATIC CONVERSATIONS Is there such a thing as a global film (as opposed to a local film)? Oh, and how to capture, for posterity, the egg-laying mysteries of a cobra. APR 25, 2010 – A FRIDAY FULLY FREED FROM FILMS is clearly a categorical impossibility in the insouciant life of a critic. If I missed […]

Between Reviews: Wondering about Work…

April 17, 2010

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WONDERING ABOUT WORK… A casual question from the editor-in-chief throws this film critic into a heavily bearded existential funk. APR 18, 2010 – THIS SEEMS TO BE THE SEASON for eloquent waxing about the waning importance of film criticism – as a profession with a dubious future, as an occupation founded on even more dubious […]

Between Reviews: To Market, To Market…

April 10, 2010

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TO MARKET, TO MARKET… Where, once, the rural narrative was the harbinger of hope for Tamil cinema, it’s the urban stories now that are upping the ante. Or are they really? APR 11, 2010 – CAN THE OPENING MINUTES OF A MOVIE encapsulate its dominant philosophy? Yes, says Vasanthabalan’s Angadi Theru, as a barrage of […]

Between Reviews: Lost Innocents

April 3, 2010

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LOST INNOCENTS A documentary and a recently released fictional feature explore, through different means, the same disturbing issue – children whose childhood is snatched away all too early. APR 4, 2010 – ARMED WITH A CLUTCH OF NATIONAL and international awards (and under the auspices of Billroth Hospitals and Dr. V Jeganathan Foundation’s CANSWER outreach […]

Between Reviews: To Read… or Not to Read

March 27, 2010

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TO READ… OR NOT TO READ To know, beforehand, or to walk into a movie unencumbered by knowledge? That’s the dilemma dogging the critic in this age of information overload. MAR 28, 2010 – BEFORE MOVIES STOPPED BEING ABOUT popcorn and started to mean pay-cheques and punishing deadlines – namely the days before I turned […]

Between Reviews: Century!

March 20, 2010

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CENTURY! Baradwaj Rangan wonders if he should, henceforth, be called a centurion (even if that sounds like someone begging for a bludgeoning by a small village of indomitable Gauls). MAR 21, 2010 – THIS IS THE ONE-HUNDREDTH EDITION OF Between Reviews, and on this occasion, I’d like to thank my dad, my mom, my acting […]

Between Reviews: A Morning to Remember

March 13, 2010

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Picture courtesy: nydailynews.com A MORNING TO REMEMBER Snippets from the Oscars, and from a sleep-deprived soul who sat (and smirked) through it all… MAR 14, 2010 – THE GROGGY EYE, ALARM-AWAKENED at a wincingly rude 6:30 on a Monday morning, lights on the red carpet… Breathless fans in the background, amateur astronomers all, scream from […]

Between Reviews: Love, Factually

March 6, 2010

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Picture courtesy: rediff.com LOVE, FACTUALLY Gautham Vasudev Menon’s very real, very true-to-life, very messy romance is yet another effort, this year, that pushes the envelope far beyond the realms of “safe” commercial cinema. MAR 7, 2010 – WHAT A YEAR THIS IS TURNING OUT to be for Tamil cinema! Forget good films or perfect films […]

Between Reviews: Mass Attacks!

February 27, 2010

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Picture courtesy: songstamilmp3.com MASS ATTACKS! It isn’t just the smaller Tamil films that are pushing the envelope – the big-hero movies are thinking out of the box too, even if the results aren’t exactly pretty. FEB 28, 2010 – IN THE MIDST OF LARGER-THAN-LIFE HEROES who make the same movie over and over, under the […]

Between Reviews: Generically Speaking…

February 13, 2010

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Picture courtesy: sulekha.com GENERICALLY SPEAKING… Is “Ishqiya” noir? Is it a Western? Is it a bastard-hybrid or both, and if so, is it a noirish Western or a Western-shaded noir? Discuss. FEB 14, 2010 – VIDYA BALAN’S CURVES, AS GLIMPSED in the entrancingly earthy shot that opens Ishqiya, could serve as an engineer’s guide to […]

Between Reviews: Different Strokes

February 6, 2010

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DIFFERENT STROKES There’s a whiff of exciting experimentation in the current Tamil cinema, never mind that the intents don’t always translate to fully fledged results. FEB 7, 2010 – WOULD YOU BELIEVE ME IF I SAID January has come and gone and I’ve already seen the best Tamil film of the year? Well, alright, that’s […]