Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Malayalam«

“Ranam”… An existential thriller that needed more individuality, fewer Hollywood-isms

September 24, 2018


Spoilers ahead… R anam, written and directed by Nirmal Sahadev, is the latest entry in the subgenre called Prithviraj Makes a Hollywood Movie in Malayalam. The plot beats are pure Hollywood, beginning with a man (Aadhi, played by Prithviraj) whose nondescript day job (as an auto mechanic) hides the fact that he is affiliated to […]

Every Mani Ratnam film, ranked

September 20, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: To call Mani Ratnam a mainstream filmmaker is a bit redundant, because every (primarily) Tamil filmmaker is a mainstream filmmaker: Tamil cinema does not have an “art film” tradition, the way Malayalam or Bengali cinema has. But even within the mainstream, there are two ways to […]

50k subscribers

September 15, 2018


Almost exactly a year ago, we made the decision to branch off into a separate South channel. Today, we’ve crossed the 50,000 subscribers mark. A small milestone. A big thank-you.

“Maradona”… After ‘Koode’, Malayalam cinema gives us another beautifully directed story of ‘healing’

July 31, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: In case you were wondering about the title of Vishnu Narayan’s Maradona (written by Krishna Moorthy, and starring Tovino Thomas), the film has nothing to do with football, or the legendary footballer. The closest we get to the latter is a No. 10 jersey […]

“Koode”… Prithviraj is superb in a beautifully directed drama that’s too self-consciously serious

July 21, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: When we first see Joshua (Prithviraj) in Anjali Menon’s Koode (Together), his face is covered by a safety mask. He is in the midst of cleaning up something that looks like chemical waste in some kind of industrial plant in the Middle East. Soon, […]

“Neerali”… A terrible ‘survival drama’, where Mohanlal practices Jedi mind tricks on a monkey

July 17, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Neerali (Octopus), directed by Ajoy Varma and starring Mohanlal, is one of those films where a middle-aged man finds himself staring into the abyss. This is not a metaphor for an existential crisis. Thanks to his pickup truck that veered off the road and […]

The Prithviraj-Parvathy starrer ‘My Story’ is a meh story

July 12, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Plus, thoughts on this unnamed genre, which finds new ways to embadden an already bad movie. There’s a genre of Indian cinema I’ve come to dread. It hasn’t got a name (and truth be told, there haven’t been that many representative films), but it’s basically about […]

Interview: Anjali Menon

July 11, 2018


Anjali Menon — director of Koode, Bangalore Days and Manjadikkuru, and writer of Ustad Hotel — talks about what Bangalore means to Malayalis, and explains the new-gen phase of Malayalam cinema. (She singles out Ranjith’s Kaiyoppu and Sameer Thahir’s Chaappa Kurishu.) She talks about Padmarajan, Bharathan, Fasil, MT Vasudevan Nair, KG George, about the improved technique […]

A shout-out to Jayasurya’s performance in ‘Njan Marykutty’…

July 5, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Plus, thoughts on cis actors in trans roles, ‘Asuravadham’, and a beautiful ‘singer’s song’ from the seventies’. Since everyone’s talking about Ranbir Kapoor’s performance in Sanju, allow me to direct your attention to Jayasurya in the Malayalam film, Njan Marykutty, where the actor plays a transgender. […]

“Njan Marykutty”… A finely tuned Jayasurya performance carries a black-and-white tale of a transgender who wants to become a cop

June 30, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: If there is a petition to ban background music in cinema, Anand Madhusoodhanan’s score for Njan Marykutty, directed by Ranjith Sankar, would be Exhibit A. It is offensive not just because it’s so blatantly manipulative, but also because Marykutty (Jayasurya), who was formerly a […]

“Abrahaminte Santhathikal”… Mammootty stars in a thriller that becomes a drama, but is always a shrine to the star

June 25, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: What’s it with movie psychopaths and black raincoats? Is it a uniform? If someone rebelled and wore bottle green or pink, would he instantly be shunned by his axe-wielding brethren? And why is it always pouring when he sets out with his weapon of […]

Interview: Ravi Varman – Part 1 / 2

June 21, 2018


@fcompanionsouth inaugurates a new series, #Journeys, with #Sanju cinematographer Ravi Varman. Ravi Varman is one of India’s top cinematographers. In this two-part video, he talks about his struggling days, moving on to early films like Jalamarmaram, Shantham and Armaan. He describes how he developed a cinematographic eye and how he acquired his learnings from big […]

Baradwaj Rangan, let’s talk about bias!

June 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Because it’s impossible to have a proper conversation on Twitter, I imagine a chat with critics of my ‘Kaala’ review and argue why form is important and why ‘Mani Ratnam’ isn’t a bad word. There may be spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen ‘Kaala’. So you’re […]

Readers Write In #42: Two Superstars, Two seminal Films, Two Iconic roles

June 13, 2018


Amitabh Bachchan’s Don and Mohanlal’s Chithram, 2 Iconic films of  the 2 most beloved superstars as well as the greatest actors of the country celebrate their 40th and 30th anniversary respectively this year. Here is a look back Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal made their debut in movies almost a decade apart. Bachchan in 1969 with […]

“Ee Ma Yau”… A laugh-out-loud, yet deep, meditation on death and faith that’s a masterclass in writing

May 26, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Watching Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee Ma Yau (R.I.P.), I was reminded of Raam Reddy’s Thithi. The narrative motors of both films are kicked into high gear by the death of an eccentric old villager, whose son, then, becomes the story’s lynchpin. And both films […]

Interview: Arvind Swamy

May 7, 2018


Arvind Swamy recalls his Thalapathy audition, and how he was not nervous to act with Rajinikanth and Mammootty. He talks about reuniting with Mani Ratnam in Chekka Chivandha Vaanam, and goes on a flashback to the Roja/Bombay days. He talks about how his approach to acting has changed — how he gives inputs to a […]

“Kammara Sambhavam”… An overlong, but cleverly written and entertaining meta-masala movie

April 15, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Rathish Ambat’s Kammara Sambhavam (Kammara’s Event, a play on the title of the Kalidasa epic) begins and ends with a quote attributed to Napoléon: “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” Napoléon certainly popularised this adage, though he denied coining it — but […]

The contentious nature of the National Awards

April 14, 2018


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Musings on the country’s most prestigious film awards – and this is not about whether X deserved to win over Y. Another year. Another set of arguments over the National Awards. For instance: Did Sridevi deserve Best Actress? Indeed, under normal circumstances, would her performance in […]

“S*** Durga”… A chilling, fascinating film about the games powerful people play

April 12, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: It’s the middle of the night. A Hindi-speaking woman, clutching a bag, waits for a man. She looks at her phone, her face anxious. The man arrives on a bike. The driver, a friend, tells him, “Don’t waste time. Please leave.” He drives away, […]

“Sudani from Nigeria”… A beautifully narrated, heart-warmingly human story with just a few jarring notes

April 9, 2018


Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Malayalis seem to have made a habit of welcoming sportspeople from outside Kerala. In Godha, we saw how the residents of a small town embraced a female wrestler from Chandigarh as one of their own. Now, in Sudani from Nigeria, set against the backdrop […]