Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“Engitta Modhathey”… A throwback to the 1980s Kamal-Rajini wars isn’t all that it could have been, but the nostalgia compensates

March 25, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Natarajan Subramaniam’s (aka Natty) career is among the more curious ones in Indian cinema. On the one hand, he is the cinematographer of A-list Bollywood projects (Black Friday, Parineeta, Love Aaj Kal, Raanjhanaa). On the other, he’s settled into the groove of a B-movie hero in Kollywood. His latest outing as leading man […]

“Kadugu”… A drama about a folk artist has interesting ideas that are lost in the execution

March 24, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… There’s a nice bit of technical showboating in the first scene of Kadugu (Mustard), where the filmmaker Balaji Sakthivel plays… a filmmaker. His latest project is about alcohol addiction. The Sakthivel character is talking to his assistant, who leaves, and enters the wardrobe van, and exits the wardrobe van, and meets Pandi (Rajakumaran), […]

“Kattappava Kaanom”… A crime caper that’s more interested in ogling at women

March 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Everything in this film has to do with fish. The plot. The name of the antagonist: Vanjaram (Tamil for seer fish). Or even the title: Kattappava Kaanom (Kattappa is Missing). The object of everyone’s interest is a fish named after the most fascinating character in Baahubali. Every other thing in this film has […]

“Bruce Lee”… A stab at stream-of-consciousness comedy that just isn’t funny

March 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The title is an ironic one. It’s the name of the hero played by GV Prakash Kumar, and the irony is that the character is anything but heroic. Doesn’t sound half-bad, does it? But Bruce Lee is one of those things where they have this one concept and nothing else. That one concept […]

Readers Write In #10: Composers languishing in obscurity

March 11, 2017

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Tamil Cinema has been blessed to have been graced by a dizzying array of music composers, right from the days of Papanasam Sivan till  may I say… Santosh Narayanan, but lost in the vortex of box-office success, many have fallen by the wayside, this article is about my personal favorites , who were not as […]

“Maanagaram”… A carefully designed thriller made with assurance and style

March 10, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… If you’ve taken rides with app-based cab services in the city, you’d have encountered drivers from far-flung towns and villages, trying to fake their way through the urban maze. Charlie plays one such person in the Tamil drama Maanagaram (Big City) – but so does Shri, in a way. He’s no cabbie. But […]

A super star, a super movie

March 9, 2017

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The biggest film event in Tamil Nadu last week was the re-release of Rajinikanth’s Baashha. The film was certified by the censors on December 31, 1994. It was in theatres a couple of weeks later. Twenty-two years on, it’s still drawing crowds. Read the rest on Film Companion, here: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

“Mupparimanam”… A great twist on the love story, but the script plays spoilsport

March 4, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Just another love story, we think at first. The girl, Anusha (Srushti Dange), is about to be married off to someone else. The boy, Kadhir (Shanthanu Bhagyaraj), lands up at the venue with a gun. He leaves with her. There’s a chase. There’s an accident. Read the rest of the review on Film Companion, […]

“Yaman”… A good premise, but it’s hard to make anything of the protagonist

March 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… A thought experiment. Imagine Aboorva Sagotharargal (Appu Raja in Hindi). Dad-Kamal is murdered before the opening credits. Son-Kamal takes revenge during the climax. The entire stretch in between – the entire film, that is – is built on our knowledge that the son gets to know what happened to his father. At that […]

“Kuttram 23″… An enjoyable pulp thriller whose minuses are minimised by style

March 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Arun Vijay swaggers a tad too much, as if always aware that a photo op is around the corner – but he has a smouldering presence, and he’s just right as Assistant Commissioner Vetrimaran in Kuttram 23. When we first see him, he’s waking up, stretching. Almost as if by reflex, he reaches […]

“Yaakkai”… What should have been a crackling murder investigation gets upstaged by an inane love story

March 3, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Yaakkai (Body) begins intriguingly. Night. A terrace. The mood is lurid: the scene is bathed in neon-bright red and green. There’s a car, but we don’t see anyone around. Soon, it begins to pour. The thunder sounds like gunshots, like a prelude to violence – and then, the actual violence happens. A man […]

Vetri Maaran talks about taking Visaranai to the Oscars

March 1, 2017

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My first video interview for Film Companion. Part 1: Part 2: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

War in peace

February 27, 2017

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This was written for an Arts Illustrated issue whose theme was Conflict & Art. Their brief: “For the cinema story we had in mind, we thought it would be interesting to look at a retrospective of Mani Ratnam’s films that deal effectively with the theme of conflict – both the inner and outer…” An unmarried […]

“Ghazi”… A comfortingly old-fashioned (and entertaining) war movie

February 19, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Kay Kay Menon rarely finds roles worthy of his talent, but in Ghazi, he lucks out. He plays Rann Vijay Singh, a naval captain entrusted with a submarine and a mission. It’s 1971. News has trickled down that Pakistan is preparing to strike the eastern coast. Singh and his crew are asked to […]

“Ennodu Vilayadu”… An underwhelming thriller that’s more of an underwhelming romance

February 18, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… I perked up at the beginning of Arun Krishnaswami’s Ennodu Vilayadu. (That title! What a great fit if someone made a Fifty Shades of Grey in Tamil.) The story deposits us in Guindy, by the race track, and we get this voiceover: “Inga kuthirai saththam innum kekkudhu!” As if on cue, the sound […]

“Rum”… Not many scares. Not much coherence either.

February 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Vivek is the nominal comedian in Sai Bharath’s Rum, but he’s no match for the censors (or whichever board it is that slaps advisory texts on screen). We’re in a haunted house. It’s the usual assortment of people who witness strange goings-on, but don’t immediately pack their bags and flee. Soon enough, the […]

The captain of the ship

February 11, 2017

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Sensing the director’s touch, at the recently concluded Bengaluru International Film Festival. At a film festival, the brochure is invaluable. It gives you a plot synopsis of the films being screened. It gives you a note about the filmmaker. This not only helps in deciding whether you want to give this particular film a shot, […]

“Lightman”… An inconsistent yet illuminating docu/fiction about cinema’s foot soldiers

February 9, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Venkatesh Kumar G’s Lightman shines a spotlight on… the men whose job is to shine a spotlight. The film narrates the story of Guna (Karthik Nagarajan), a folk-theatre artist who leaves his village in Madurai and comes to Chennai with dreams of making it big in Kollywood. But he’s not able to get […]

“Singam 3.”… Loud, fast, and without a single memorable moment

February 9, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… THERE’S PACY NARRATION. AND THERE’S PACY NARRATION AS PRACTISED BY THE DIRECTOR HARI. Oh, sorry. Did I seem to be screaming? I’ve just exited a screening of Singam 3, and I’m still trying to make myself heard. This is the kind of movie where a SpiceJet flight makes a landing and the sound […]

Readers Write In #8: The Great Story Obsession

February 5, 2017

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Whenever I ask for feedback about a film from my friends, and if it turns out to be a negative one, I used to quote Kamal from Vasool Raja, ‘Nee enna solla pora nu therium, kadhaye illa nu sollapora’. Our audience strongly consider ‘The Story’ to be the garbagriha of a movie and would consider their pilgrimage […]