Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“Uriyadi”… ​A gritty (and refreshingly grown-up) little film

May 27, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Uriyadi, set in the 1990s, begins with four youngsters in an engineering college in Trichy. At first, they appear to be fairly typical boys. They’re from smaller towns and they’re enjoying being free, smoking and drinking and celebrating birthdays by smushing cake on the face. Slowly, we see there’s a bit of a […]

“Idhu Namma Aalu”… ​A fairly fun love story that toys with reel and real

May 27, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… As sarakku scenes go, it’s the usual scenario. Two men get drunk. One of them talks about the girl who ditched him, the one that ran away. The other one talks about the girl he loved, the one that got away. (In Tamil cinema, the woman is always the heartbreaker, the man always […]

“Marudhu”… A generic (though well-shot) action entertainer

May 20, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The first scene of Marudhu shows a sickle being forged. This can mean only one of two things. Either we’re going to watch a motion picture about the birth of communism. Or it’s a masala movie set in Madurai. With Vishal (as Marudhu) in full action mode, it’s clearly the latter. He is […]

Lights, camera… and action!

May 14, 2016

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Thoughts on fight sequences that are more than just… fight sequences. I sat glumly through the new Captain America movie. It was too long, and it took itself too seriously. There’s probably something to the theory that no post-9/11 superhero film can afford to be, you know, light and fun and nothing but escapist entertainment, […]

“Ko 2.”… A gentler vigilante movie that kind-of works

May 13, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Sarath’s Ko 2 – an in-name-only sequel that carries over only one character from the earlier film, Chief Minister Yogeeswaran (Prakash Raj) – borrows its premise from the Telugu film Prathinidhi, but Tamil viewers will instantly recall Cheran’s Desiya Geetham. It’s the same one-line plot: the CM is kidnapped. But it’s not quite […]

“Pencil”… A vaguely watchable whodunit

May 13, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Pencil plays like an Agatha Christie mystery set in a posh school. The victim is Nithin (Shariq Hassan) – he’s stabbed in the neck with the titular implement. (We’re not shown his last words, but allow me a guess: “2B or not 2B?”) In true Christie fashion, there are many with a motive. […]

“24.”… An intelligent, joyous mix of sci-fi and masala-myth

May 6, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… A discussion about 24 must begin with Suriya, and a discussion about Suriya must begin with the fact that you have to travel back in time, to Rakta Charitra in 2010, to get anything close to a performance from the actor. Had Suriya been just one of those “mass stars,” from whom we […]

“Manithan”… A hmmm-not-all-that-bad remake

April 29, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Ahmed’s Manithan is a remake of the Hindi hit Jolly LLB, and the surprise is that it Tamil-ises the original without hero-ising it. Udhayanidhi Stalin, who plays small-time lawyer Sakthi, isn’t out to get us with his gethu. Sakthi is a failure in every sense – and he knows it. He laughs along […]

Stalking point

April 23, 2016

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While celebrating ‘Fan’, let’s not forget Kamal Haasan’s ‘Uttama Villain’. Or the fact that these films can be made only in India. Watching Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan, I kept recalling Kamal Haasan’s Uttama Villain. Both films are not just about the characters these actors play (within the movie) but also about who these actors are […]

“Vetrivel”… A well-written formula outing

April 22, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… In Vetrivel, M Sasikumar is out to convince us, yet again, that he can do all the things a Tamil-film hero usually does. He’s a son-of-the-soil from Thanjavur, and he’s introduced in a song that dispenses Rajini-like aphorisms. (Yaarudhu vaanam… Pogudhu megam… Adha patta poda mudiyadhuda.) He gets duets, and he gets to […]

“Theri”… This man is from Mass

April 14, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… So we wait for the hero-introduction scene. Maybe he’ll smash through a wall and land a punch on a villain who is extorting money from slum-folk. Maybe he’ll ride in on a bike, in slo-mo, the scene lasting long enough for fans to expend all the wind in their lungs through wolf-whistles. But […]

Use the Force

April 9, 2016

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Making the case that a film that’s considered “light entertainment” can also strive to be good cinema. Or that a film is more than just plot/dialogue/performances. When I watched the recent Tamil film Thozha, a remake of the French hit The Intouchables, I experienced a curiously schizophrenic reaction. I was quite entertained, but I was exasperated […]

“Uyire Uyire”… So bubbly, ya!

April 2, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… If you’re a fan of the loosu ponnu character in Tamil cinema, you’re in for a treat with AR Rajasekar’s Uyire Uyire. For the price of one movie, you get two of them. The first loosu ponnu – let’s say LP-1 – appears in the hero-introduction scene at a basketball court, wearing a […]

“Thozha”… Hardly great cinema, but quite an enjoyable film

March 26, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The title Thozha, I must admit, gave me a slight case of the shivers. Given the cast – the fifty-something Nagarjuna as quadriplegic billionaire Vikram; the thirty-something Karthi as his 180-degree opposite, a very local all-in-all-azhagu-raja named Seenu, who becomes Vikram’s caretaker – I expected May-December variations on the perennial Kollywood theme of […]

“Sawaari”… A tragically bumpy ride

March 19, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The beginning shows promise. Three guys. One car. And a palette drained of colour but for the red end of the spectrum – everything in black and white except the glowing end of a cigarette, the tail lights on a car. The guys take in a hitchhiker. Shots are heard. And Sawaari takes […]

“Pugazh”… A middling drama somewhat redeemed by grit, texture

March 19, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Manimaran’s Pugazh gets off to a shaky start. After a brief prologue hinting at dangers in the present, we slip into the past, into cliché. The hero – Pugazh (Jai, in his comfort zone) – heads to Puducherry with friends in order to drink and ogle at pretty blondes. Then, on to the […]

“Aviyal”… A lip-smacking mix of shorts

March 12, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Bench Talkies, the first anthology of Tamil shorts to receive a theatrical release, was something you sat through with caveats. Okay, it’s not great, but these are amateur filmmakers… Okay, they didn’t have a big-enough budget… Even so, it was hard to get past some of the shorts that strained to be lyrical, […]

“Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum”… A letdown, but not a lazy one

March 11, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Any film with the word “kadhal” in the title is usually served in one of three flavours – a general romance; its cutesy variant, the rom-com; or what might be called the rom-trag, where Boy and Girl jump off a cliff or are hacked to pieces or <insert preferred mode of death/separation here>. […]

“Pokkiri Raja”… YAWN!

March 4, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… After the fairly funny Thamizhukku Enn Ondrai Azhuthavum (never mind that it was supposed to be a thriller), director Ramprakash Rayappa returns with a comedy about a man who expels huge gusts of air from a bodily orifice and causes much unpleasantness to others. No. It’s not that. I’m talking about yawning, which, […]

“Pichaikaaran”… A not-bad drama marred by generic writing

March 4, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The title design is striking. There’s the name of the film, Pichaikaaran, and there’s a crown on top. Sasi’s new film is a riches-to-rags story – but not the kind you think. The reason millionaire Arul (Vijay Anthony) becomes a beggar isn’t because of a bad run at the share market or because […]

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