Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Malayalam«

Anjaam Pathiraa vs. Forensic: The latter, with Tovino Thomas and Mamta Mohandas, is the better serial-killer thriller

March 30, 2020

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If ‘Anjaam Pathiraa’ chose to follow a single timeline in the present and save its big reveal for a Shankar-style flashback, ‘Forensic’ juggles expertly between two tracks in the present… Spoilers ahead… Whenever two very similar films land up very close to one another, we do something very unfair. We tend to compare one with […]

‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’ vs ‘Kumbalangi Nights: The Gollapudi Debut Director Award goes to… both!

March 17, 2020

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Aditya Dhar and Madhu C Narayanan have won the Gollapudi Srinivas National Award for 2019. For the first time since the award’s inception, it’s a tie. Spoilers ahead… The Gollapudi Srinivas National Award is unique. It was instituted in 1998, in memory of the young filmmaker whose name the award carries. He passed away in […]

Anwar Rasheed’s ‘Trance’, starring Fahadh Faasil, has its problems but is never less than fascinating

March 5, 2020

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‘Trance’ is nothing if not ambitious: Christian symbolism spills over from every frame. But it’s the screenplay (Vincent Vadakkan) that’s most indicative of the film’s ambition. Spoilers ahead… Early on in Anwar Rasheed’s Trance, we see a sign in the run-down building where Viju (Fahadh Faasil) lives. It’s one of those Facebook-y motivational quotes: There’s […]

Film Companion South turns 3!

March 1, 2020

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Kunchacko Boban stars in ‘Anjaam Pathiraa’, a weakly written serial-killer thriller that offers minor genre pleasures

February 5, 2020

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kunchacko-boban-stars-in-anjaam-pathiraa-a-weakly-written-serial-killer-thriller-that-offers-minor-genre-pleasures/ At the end, this turns out to be one of those films that takes a hot-button issue and expects us to care simply because it takes that issue up. Spoilers ahead… Anwar Hussain (Kunchacko Boban, efficient as always) is preparing for his PhD in criminology, so […]

200k subscribers

January 29, 2020

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200k subscribers for Film Companion South. A big deal for a small team. Thank you SO much. Copyright ©2020 Film Companion.

A molested woman seeks revenge in Rosshan Andrews’ powerful ‘Prathi Poovankozhi’, aka ‘Manjuvinte Prathikaram’

January 13, 2020

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/opinion-prathi-poovankozhi-manju-warrier-rosshan-andrews-baradwaj-rangan What happens to the villain is a writing masterstroke not just in terms of how we regard the man by the end but also in how it makes the heroine’s journey more “realistic”. Spoilers ahead… In Prathi Poovankozhi, directed by Rosshan Andrews, Manju Warrier plays a […]

“Mamangam”… Mammootty stars in a long, meandering anti-war epic that needed far better writing

December 27, 2019

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Rarely during a movie have I felt so disconnected from the events on screen, so unconcerned about who lives or dies, so filled with memories of ‘Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha’… Spoilers ahead… It’s the 17th century. The right to preside over and conduct the Mamangam festival –  held once in 12 years – is a really […]

Readers Write In #124: In these turbulent times, has film criticism become the most politically honest element of journalism?

December 23, 2019

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(by Alex John) The less than enthusiastic critical response to Malayalam superstar Mammootty’s latest mega outing ‘Mamangam’ prompted me to write this. I was thinking, how easy is that in today’s politically divided India? I mean, here we have a big star who is also an actor with openly testified political views, a mega-budgeted flick, […]

Asif Ali is part Ayushmann Khurrana, part Arjun Reddy in ‘Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha’

December 4, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/asif-ali-ayushmann-khurrana-arjun-reddy-kettiyolaanu-ente-malakha-baradwaj-rangan/ This could be a fascinating case study of how “arrogance” on screen (like in ‘Arjun Reddy’) makes it less easy for us to fully embrace a character, while innocence and humility make us sympathise more readily. Spoilers ahead… On the surface, Nissam Basheer’s Kettiyolaanu Ente Malakha […]

Readers Write In #118: Why Kamal is not an actor

November 30, 2019

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(by Ramamoorthi N, written on his Facebook page a few years ago) In the small Railway town I grew up, my mother (God bless her soul) would dress in a dotted saree and dark “cooling” glasses whenever she stepped out of home, thus creating the effect of one of the many middle aged heroines the […]

The very likeable and entertaining ‘Android Kunjappan Version 5.25’ could have used more focus

November 27, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/the-very-likeable-and-entertaining-android-kunjappan-version-5-25-could-have-used-more-focus/ We all know men like this, men who are uncomfortable with emotion and choose to remain distant from their own families but can get along amazingly with strangers. Spoilers ahead… It’s a village in Payyanur. A religious rite is in progress. Someone has died, and prayers […]

‘Helen’ shows how even a pure ‘genre film’ can be elevated through superb writing

November 26, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/helen-shows-how-even-a-pure-genre-film-can-be-elevated-baradwaj-Rangan-anna-ben-lal/ Anna Ben and Lal are wonderful. But when the writing gives you so much to chew on, the performances become so much better. Spoilers ahead… I have stopped watching trailers as far as humanly possible, and all I knew about Mathukutty Xavier’s Helen — through word […]

“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 […]

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.

“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 […]

“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 […]

Why Gully Boy is the right choice for Oscars: Visibility, international buzz gives the film a real shot

September 26, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-gully-boy-is-the-right-choice-for-oscars-visibility-international-buzz-gives-the-film-a-real-shot-at-winning-7406641.html Of late, we’ve been hearing a lot about Anurag Kashyap. His Gangs of Wasseypur, which was screened at the 2012 Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, was the only Indian entry in The 100 Best Films of the 21st Century, compiled by The Guardian. (“Stylish, visceral […]

‘Ramayana was written thousands of years ago and we’re still trying to live that kind of life’

September 6, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-sanal-kumar-sasidharan-interview-chola-baradwaj-rangan/ Fresh off the screening of ‘Chola’ in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan opens up about the movie, which originated in the Suryanelli rape case. So Sanal, let’s start with this. What is your fascination with the Ramayana? I was surprised […]

“Chola”… Sanal Kumar Sasidharan continues his study of oppression in a twisted, chilling retelling of the Ramayana

September 3, 2019

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The film could be called the third installment in Sanal’s “oppression trilogy”. It is very much a companion piece to ‘Ozhivudivasathe Kali’ and ‘S Durga’. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-chola-shape-of-water-movie-review-sanal-kumar-sasidharan-baradwaj-rangan O nce upon a time, there was a prince. A wimpy prince. This is the fairy tale […]