Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

Guest Post: How Manikandan has revived an ancient art

December 4, 2016

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Continuing the series of posts written by others (see here), here’s one by Shyam Rahul, on the link between the religious epics and message movies. Reading Baradwaj Rangan’s take on Aandavan Kattalai, I was struck by this line …. “Entertainment that is about something, that says something – it’s the elusive grail Tamil filmmakers keep chasing. […]

Interview: Thiagarajan Kumararaja

December 3, 2016

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Thiagarajan Kumararaja exploded on the movie scene with ‘Aaranya Kaandam’, which was festooned with raves by the few who saw it. And then he disappeared. Now, there are signs of a resurrection. In the midst of shooting his second film, he shoots the breeze with Baradwaj Rangan. Thiagarajan Kumararaja does not know if he is […]

Surround the world…

December 3, 2016

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A mind-scrambling encounter with virtual reality at IFFI, Goa. Plus, an independent Tamil film. If you want to know what a virtual reality (VR) experience is like, Google up YouTube videos about people reacting to a VR rollercoaster experience. These are men and women inside a room, but screaming and flailing about as though they […]

“Maaveeran Kittu”… A drama with very little… drama

December 2, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The title of Suseenthiran’s new film, Maaveeran Kittu, suggests a look at the life and times of the LTTE militant Sathasivam Krishnakumar, who was called Kittu. (This film’s protagonist, played by Vishnu Vishal, is even named Krishnakumar.) And while the broad beats of Suseenthiran’s story are similar – an arrest, a mysterious disappearance […]

“Saithan”… An unfocused, preposterous thriller

December 1, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… In the provocatively titled Saithan, Dinesh (Vijay Antony) is a software engineer who begins hearing voices. Is he hallucinating? Is he on drugs? Is he remembering a past life? His friends and family are spooked, and they search for a cure. Should they take him to a quack? Should they trust a doctor […]

“Kavalai Vendam”… An awful mix of gross-out gags and romance

November 25, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Another week. Another story about a local boy and a so-way-out-of-his-league-she-may-as-well-be-Scarlett Johansson girl. Except, the director Deekay is ambitious. In these films, we usually get just the loosu ponnu. Kavalai Vendam gives us a loosu paiyan, a loosu amma, a loosu appa, a couple of loosu friends… The film is this year’s Raja […]

“Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru”… Even by M Rajesh’s standards, terribly unfunny

November 18, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… If the Prime Minister, tomorrow, announces a surgical strike against filmmakers whose currency is no longer valid, may I propose M Rajesh’s name? I have never been a fan of this director. His films go on and on, and there’s no rhythm – fatal in a comedy. His latest film, Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru, […]

“Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada”… An underwhelming mishmash of genres

November 11, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Gautham Menon’s Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada is a mind-scrambling mix of genres – part romance, part road movie, part action thriller, part what-if-Michael-Corleone-came-to-Kollywood? The film begins with the admission that it is inspired by a moment from The Godfather – it turns out to be the moment at the hospital where Michael becomes a […]

West side stories

November 5, 2016

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At the Jio MAMI film festival with vampiric mermaids, touchingly liberal Indians, a donkey laden with symbolism, an unusual gay pairing, a rape fantasy, and a sparklingly restored version of ‘Teesri Manzil’. This year’s Mumbai Film Festival played out differently. Usually, I flip through the catalogue and say, “I have to see this film. And […]

“Kodi”… A very effective masala movie, despite a very ineffective heroine

October 30, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… After Thodari, Dhanush could have made Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram: Part 2 and we’d be calling it a return to form – but Kodi, directed by RS Durai Senthilkumar, is really the kind of “commercial movie” we wish more of our stars would make. A bird’s eye view of the plot suggests business […]

“Kaashmora”… A bloated, badly made fantasy

October 30, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The Kaashmora team, in interviews, has been asking us not to compare the film with Baahubali. What a laugh. It’s not the budget that’s lacking. It’s the vision, the conviction, the ability to sell a tall story. Baahubali was a genuine epic. The only thing epic about Kaashmora is its running time: nearly three bloated hours. The film, directed […]

“Ammani”… A drama with textured characters and a tough message

October 14, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… It’s easy to care about Salamma (Lakshmy Ramakrishnan), the hardworking protagonist of Ammani. She’s employed at a government hospital, where she swabs floors and tends to an amputee’s stump and cleans up after a patient whose motion is like stone. The words make us flinch; the visuals don’t. The film strikes a fine […]

“Rekka”… An action film that’s totally nuts, and quite enjoyable

October 8, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… I had a lot of fun watching Rekka, which is essentially Vijay Sethupathi saying he can be Vijay Sethupathi even in Vijay’s world. The actor plays Siva, who spends his life abducting women who are in love with X but are on the verge of being married off to Y, and reuniting them […]

“Remo”… A charmless movie that puts effort into everything but the script

October 7, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… For a while, Bakkiyaraj Kannan’s Remo looks like Tootsie. A small-time actor (SK, played by Sivakarthikeyan) discovers that he has a shot at a part in a KS Ravikumar film, but only if he transforms himself into a female nurse. We await the scene where SK frantically hunts for help in the makeup […]

From Love Marriage to Dhoni

October 3, 2016

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A short history of cricket in Hindi cinema. Take the topic of cricket in Hindi cinema and the temptation to concoct a quiz is irresistible. For instance, name the actors who played father and daughter in two films featuring the game. That would be Naseeruddin Shah and Urmila Matondkar, inMasoom and Chamatkar. Which is the […]

Movies, memories and everything in between

September 24, 2016

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Watching old films on the big screen is a form of travelling through time. Why don’t we have revival theatres? The US has them. Among the coming attractions at the Texas Theatre in Dallas is a screening of The Fly, to commemorate its 30th anniversary. The point isn’t that the film can be seen on […]

“Aandavan Kattalai”… Yet another marvellous comedy of desperation from Manikandan

September 23, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… At the opening of Manikandan’s Aandavan Kattalai, these words flashed on screen: This film is meant to create awareness. My heart sank. The film is about debt-ridden Gandhi (Vijay Sethupathi), who, with the help of falsified documentation, attempts to get to London on a tourist visa, stay back, and make pots of gold. […]

“Thodari”… Given the names involved, shockingly inept

September 22, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… With most films, a critic prepares for a dissection. With Thodari, it’s more of an autopsy. The film is dead on arrival. You come away with the impression that director Prabhu Solomon gives one hell of a story narration. What else can explain why an artist like Dhanush signed up, despite situations that […]

“Sadhuram 2.”… A ‘Saw’ redo that’s just not pukey enough

September 16, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The most curious aspect of Sadhuram 2 is the numeral in the title, which makes you wonder about Sadhuram 1. But that film is yet to be made. We are, thus, in the realm of Limca Records. Along with astonishing Indian feats like longest ear hair and fastest sentence typed by the nose, […]

“Irumugan”… Veers between just-about-watchable and inexplicably dull

September 8, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Sometimes, while watching a movie, I’ll end up thinking: ‘But Kamal Haasan has done this before!’ It’s possibly a couple of things. One, Kamal’s films are so unique, so ahead of their time, that they become the template for a certain kind of movie. Two, present-day filmmakers have grown up worshipping these films, […]