Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“O Kadhal Kanmani”… A lightweight but enjoyable romance

April 17, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… After a long time, I caught myself smiling while watching a Mani Ratnam movie. The cuteness, the zingers, the youngness – it’s all back. Seen one way, O Kadhal Kanmani is something of a greatest-hits package. It’s as if the director is telling us: “So you didn’t like it when I went too […]

“Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkirathu”… A sprawling, unwieldy drama about strugglers

April 15, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkirathu is a variant on Angadi Theru. This, too, is about people from outside Chennai who come to the city with dreams of making it big, but find that life here is the stuff of nightmares. And yes, one of these dreamers – Chellapandi (Bobby Simha) – is a wannabe […]

Towards a better critical culture in Tamil cinema

April 14, 2015

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With the Internet’s help, we finally seem to have entered an era with more people being able to say what they really want to say. No wonder actors and filmmakers appear rattled. There used to be a fairy-tale time when only a handful of reviewers opined about a film with some kind of seriousness. These […]

“Sagaptham”… Uh, um, well, cough-cough, whatever

April 3, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… How does one talk about Sagaptham, directed by Surendran? Maybe we could begin with the scene where ‘Power Star’ Srinivasan gets out of his Jeep, unzips and begins to urinate. We hear the unzipping sound, then we cut to water gushing out of pipes in a nearby tank. Visual metaphor, I think this […]

“Nannbenda”… No wit, but plenty of twits

April 3, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… So who’s the target audience for Jagadish’s Nannbenda? If you say it’s summer-holidaying families, I’d say not. An early scene has Sathya (Udhayanidhi Stalin) walk into a room filled with actors rehearsing a play, and he says he wants the villain’s role. Why? Because then he’ll get the “gilma scenes.” Try explaining that […]

“Thilagar”… Or what ‘Thevar Magan’ might have been without a big star

April 2, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Perumal Pillai’s Thilagar is the story of two brothers in a village by the Thamirabarani. The older one (Bosepandian, played by Kishore) is the most respected man around, and he wants more for his brethren. He encourages a relative to stop this aruvaa business and become a cop. Thilagar, the younger one (Dhruvva), […]

“Komban”… So dull… that’s the real controversy

April 1, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Why do the men in these rural dramas bother with veshtis? This isn’t something we wondered about in the Bharathiraja movies, which narrated stories set in the deep south but were primarily about the characters, not the capital-H hero. Watching these films was like being taken on a thrilling anthropological tour, with the […]

“CSK – Charles Shafiq Karthiga”… A modestly mounted but well-written thriller

March 28, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… So many small films are dumped on us every Friday – without proper marketing or publicity – that it’s become difficult to sense which small movie is worth checking out. This week, first-time director Sathiya Moorthy Saravanan makes the decision fairly easy for us. His CSK – Charles Shafiq Karthiga is a beautifully […]

“Ivanuku Thannila Gandam”… Enough jokes to warrant a YouTube viewing at some point

March 27, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Titles come in cycles. There was, at one time, the “pa” series of names, and alongside, we had long titles that left us in little doubt about what we were in for – Thaai Magalukku Kattiya Thaali, or Manaalane Mangaiyin Baagyam, or Paanai Pidithaval Baagyasaali. About the latter, I don’t care for the […]

“Valiyavan”… An easy contender for the year’s worst screenplay

March 27, 2015

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Spoilers ahead… Most mainstream movies are based on the philosophy followed by the makers of potato chips. When we pick up a packet, it seems so full, so ready to burst, but when we rip it open, we realize it’s mostly air – there’s just half a bag of chips in there. So too our […]

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