Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“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 […]

“Sethupathi”… A routine cop movie elevated by awesome masala moments

March 2, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The first few minutes of Sethupathi, directed by SU Arun Kumar, could be called Kollywood’s atonement for Visaranai. A lone cop swelters under the sun. He ducks into a tea stall for some water, a banana. But he hears a ministerial cavalcade approach and races out, the fruit hastily discarded so that the hand […]

“Miruthan”… A zombie movie that sleepwalks

March 2, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… There’s a reason we don’t really need superhero films in Tamil – our leading men are already superheroes. They defy gravity in the action sequences, slip in and out of several costumes during songs, and possess at least enough X-ray vision to peek into the heroine’s mind and realise she’s really saying ‘yes’ […]

“Jil Jung Juk”… Many amusing bits, but they don’t add up

March 2, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Deeraj Vaidy’s Jil Jung Juk is the kind of movie where an action scene is set to a hopped-up version of Nee maatale maayanura. The song is Poorvikalyani on acid; the film is everything on acid. Which probably explains Jil’s (Siddharth) peacock-shaded hair, and the predominance of a colour that’s surely the result […]

“Aarathu Sinam”… A disappointing serial-killer thriller

February 27, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The spirit of Shankar possesses this week’s other Tamil release as well, though Aarathu Sinam is more of a serial-killer thriller, a remake of Jeethu Joseph’s Malayalam film Memories. Corpses keep turning up, and Assistant Commissioner Arvind (a lifeless Arulnithi) has to stop the killings. But first, he has to overcome his alcoholism. […]

“Kanithan”… For the most part, a punchy thriller

February 27, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… A few minutes into Kanithan, directed by TN Santhosh, I was ready to check out. We are at the Sky TV office, and Manobala plays the CEO. That says it all. This isn’t about the actor. This is about what he’s asked to do, almost always – you could call it “the Manobala […]

People power

February 13, 2016

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Watching a movie with an audience makes it a very different movie. During the latter half of Sanam Teri Kasam, which was released about a week ago, we’re told the heroine has a brain tumour. Ailments are always so lovely in the movies. At home, a cold means red eyes, sneezes that can blow the […]

Not a black-and-white issue

February 10, 2016

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The racism controversy around the Oscars cannot be addressed by just nominating a few black actors. When Mary Kom was released – actually, right from the point the film was announced – a lot was said and written about Priyanka Chopra playing a Manipuri boxer. “Why not cast someone from the North East?” was the […]

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