Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“Podhuvaga EmManasu Thangam”… An utterly generic hero-versus-villain comedy-drama

August 18, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/podhuvaga-emmanasu-thangam-movie-review How do you tweak the standard hero-versus-villain rural melodrama? You could do worse than cast Parthiepan as the villain. The actor lends some of his trademark colour to the part of a big shot named Oothukaataan, who swears revenge on a neighbouring village because […]

“Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2.”… A pleasantly surprising masala movie, even if it lacks the punch of Part 1

August 18, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vip-2-movie-review Whether we’re talking Bond movies or the Dhoom franchise or the Singam series, the mantra of the next instalment is this: feed them more of the same hit formula, yet make it taste different. So one doesn’t walk into Velai Illa Pattadhari 2 (Unemployed […]

“Tharamani”… A flawed, yet fascinating look at men, women and their circumstances

August 17, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/taramani-movie-review Ram’s first film, Kattradhu Thamizh, was about a young man with an MA in Tamil. The director’s third film, Tharamani, is about a young man with an MA in English. But this is not to suggest a sudden leap into Gautham Menon territory. The […]

“Meesaya Murukku”… An ineffective romance, an unconvincing coming-of-age drama

August 8, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/meesaya-murukku-movie-review The musical duo named Hiphop Tamizha – comprising Adhi and Jeeva – is behind the surprise success, Meesaya Murukku (Twirl that Moustache). They’ve written the story, screenplay, dialogue and lyrics, composed the music, and directed the film, which is somewhat autobiographical: this is the […]

The TM Krishna interview

August 3, 2017

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My video interview with TM Krishna, on Tamil film music. (The promos appear first — these are bits that did not make it to the final cut of the interview.) Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

“Nibunan”… A serial-killer thriller becomes a proficiently made vehicle for its star

July 29, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/nibunan-movie-review Note the poster in the room of the protagonist’s child in Nibunan (Expert). It has Arjun’s face morphed onto a superhero’s body, and it says: My daddy is a superman. Everyone seems to agree. Arjun plays a supercop named Ranjith Kalidoss, and his deputies […]

“Kootathil Oruthan”… An easy watch, but this drama is hardly as special as it thinks it is

July 29, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/kootathil-oruthan-movie-review In TJ Gnanavel’s Kootathil Oruthan (An Average Man), Ashok Selvan plays Arvind, a middle son, a middle-bencher. He’s not smart enough to get a top rank, neither is he cool enough to be the class rebel, raising a middle finger to conformism. His father […]

“Vikram Vedha”… Pushkar-Gayatri make their massiest movie yet, and the results are… interesting.

July 21, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vikram-vedha-movie-review The latter half of the title of Pushkar-Gayatri’s Vikram Vedha belongs to the gangster played by Vijay Sethupathi. Even before we set eyes on him – and it’s a while into the movie before he swaggers in – he’s something of a legend. Cops […]

The political, the personal

July 20, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-adimai-penn Scattered thoughts on ‘Adimai Penn’, the MGR-Jayalalitha starrer that was re-released in theatres last weekend. A couple of times a year, a big splash is made around an old film getting a “digital” makeover and being released in theatres again. The quotes are because […]

“Thiri”… A dull, talky, been-there-done-that action-drama

July 15, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/thiri-movie-review Before the press show of Thiri (Wick), the director, Ashok Amritharaj, addressed the audience. He had that “I am a student of cinema” air. (“If you like the film, tell others. If not, tell me. And I’ll fix the mistakes in my next project.) […]

“Pandigai”… A smartly written, stylishly crafted heist thriller

July 13, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/pandigai-movie-review Pandigai, directed by Feroz, has a ton of pluses and two minuses: the heroine (Kavya, played by Anandhi), and the hero’s wisecracking best friend (Thirupathi, played by Black Pandi). Is it not time to let go of these “must-haves”, especially at a time we’re […]

As I’m Suffering from Mixed Feelings

July 13, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-as-mi-suffering-from-mixed-feelings Two new web series in Tamil serve up fare that’s not seen on the big screen, but they could be so much more. With As I’m Suffering from Kadhal (As I’m Suffering from Love), the web series now on Hotstar, director Balaji Mohan no […]

The Amateur’s Art #23- “Sthreepart” (Tamil, with English subs)

July 8, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. A note about this short: I met the director, Barath Neelakantan, at Wandering Artist. He sent me this short film (a ” self-funded learning attempt”) and this description: About me. HR turned film-maker. Associate Director for Nibunan (Dir-Arun Vaidyanathan, starring Arjun, Prasanna, Varu). Assistant Director, Ticket (Dir – […]

K Balachander’s mise en scène

July 5, 2017

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So this post began as a response to hidnana’s comment in the Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan thread: “even BR was better to treat cinema as visual medium than KB.” (BR as in Bharathiraja.) Then I felt the topic deserved a mini-post (though it really deserves a book). Yes, while scripting, KB thought like a theatre person — […]

The Pushkar-Gayatri interview

July 2, 2017

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My video interview with Pushkar and Gayatri, on the eve of the release of Vikram Vedha (that is, provided the theatres remain open). The promos are out first — these are bits that did not make it to the final cut of the interview. The latter will be published early next week. Copyright ©2017 Film […]

“Yaanum Theeyavan”… A thriller plot with potential is derailed by unfocused narration

June 30, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/yaanum-theeyavan-movie-review Walking out of Yaanum Theeyavan (I am a Villain Too), directed by Prashanth G Sekar, I was still unclear about the kind of movie I’d just seen. At first, it looks like a launch vehicle for newcomer Ashwin Jerome, who plays Michael. He strums his guitar […]

“Ivan Thanthiran”… An interesting premise where ‘mass’ elements come in the way of genre thrills

June 30, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/ivan-thanthiran-movie-review As beginnings go, the one in Ivan Thanthiran (He’s a Wizard) isn’t without intrigue. Sakthi (Gautham Karthik) is being held captive – we don’t know his name yet – and drugs are being shoved up his nose. This narrative technique of parachuting the audience […]

The Amateur’s Art #22- “Axiom of Choice” (Tamil, with English subs)

June 24, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. A note about this short: We, Karpanai Kudhirai are a performing arts/theatre enthusiasts from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. We have staged a couple of Tamil plays and struck an excellent chord with the live audience. The response and encouragement we received have spurred us to […]

“Vanamagan”… An amiably silly comic adventure turns into tiresome drama

June 24, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vanamagan-movie-review In the opening scene of Vanamagan (Son of the Forest), an Andamanese tribal named Jara (Jayam Ravi) is captured. He speaks to a fellow-captive in a language specially created for the film, but you wonder why they bothered. Couldn’t they have just dug into […]

“Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan”… A tiresome star vehicle with a mind-boggling stance on women

June 23, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/anbanavan-asaradhavan-adangadhavan-movie-review Most star vehicles give you one hero-introduction scene. Perhaps in acknowledgement of the tripartite nature of the title, Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan gives us three. The first is the usual fanfare around the reveal of the hero. It’s a prison-escape sequence, rather unexcitingly shot. But […]