Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

“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 […]

“Bogan”… A fair-enough popcorn thriller, anchored by a terrific Arvind Swamy

February 2, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… While discussing filmmakers who begin with a bang, we usually talk about a “sophomore slump”. But is there a term for the opposite, when a Krishna bounces back with Nedunchaalai after debuting with the soggy Sillunu Oru Kaadhal, or when Lakshman follows up the awful Romeo Juliet with Bogan? The beginning isn’t promising: […]

Readers Write In #7: Heist movies vs Demonetisation

January 31, 2017

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A person robs a huge sum of money at gunpoint and absconds to obscurity. Law and order is totally against this person, and every single cop starts an unending trail behind this mysterious robber. Eventually, He gets caught but his altruism prevails over the legal system and Constitution. He remains a mysterious enigma forever. Either […]

“Adhe Kangal”… Not as good as it sounds on paper,  but not bad either

January 26, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Adhe Kangal is directed by Rohin Venkatesan, but it’s perhaps more useful to consider the name of the producer: CV Kumar. Some of his films work, some don’t – but they’re always interesting, at least on paper. At the beginning, Adhe Kangal looks like a love triangle. A blind chef (Varun, played by […]

“Arunagiri Perumale”… The search for a saint, with beautiful music

January 20, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… I’ve just walked out of a screening of Arunagiri Perumale at the Goethe Institut Auditorium, organised by Prakriti Foundation. The title of this intensely personal documentary makes you think it’s about the poet-saint. But it isn’t. About suggests a kind of biopic. He was born here. He did this. Then he did that. […]

Kalki: First look

January 20, 2017

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The first look is out for Kalki, a short film I wrote for director Dhilip Kumar, based on a premise he had in mind. It stars Kishore and Yasmin Ponnappa, and though I wasn’t present for all stages of post-production, it was a special thrill to work with Sreekar Prasad in his editing room, pacing […]

“Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga”… A taxing narrative experiment with a handful of laughs

January 14, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The cleverest thing about Radhakrishnan Parthiban’s new film, Koditta Idangalai Nirappuga, is the title: It means “fill in the blanks.” The film is a narrative experiment, and it’s all blanks. We see a couple at the beginning, but we don’t see their faces – their identity is a blank. We move to Rangarajan […]

“Bairavaa”… A masala movie without spice or seasoning

January 12, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Why isn’t Papa papa the hero-introduction song in Bairavaa? This is the kind of thing you think about when a film is 168 minutes long and so short on entertainment. The picturisation of the Santhosh Narayanan number is a riot of colour, and it’s filled with the energetic steps that make Vijay’s dance […]

“Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru”… A procedural with solid writing, first-rate filmmaking

December 30, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… It’s night. It’s raining. A mystery man steps out of a car. He’s outside a house. Inside, we see a man, a woman. They’re in an embrace. The man enters the house. A lifetime of movie-watching tells us that he is a psycho killer, that he’s going to leave behind a couple of […]

2016 in review

December 24, 2016

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Recalling the year’s Tamil films – the best ones (in order of release), as well as those that stood out for some reason(s). Irudhi Suttru: Sudha Kongara spruces up a predictable underdog sports story (Ritika Singh is marvellous) with fresh, funny, lived-in situations. The resulting film is a wonderfully old-fashioned heart-warmer. Visaranai: Vetri Maaran’s drama […]

“Balle Vellaiya Thevaa”… Barely any laughs for a “comedy”

December 23, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… Why are we so afraid to make comedies? We make dramas with a comedy track, or action films with a comedy track, or romances with a comedy track – but why so few pure comedies, where the comedy track is the only thing? Balle Vellaiya Theva – after Jackson Durai, this is the […]

“Kaththi Sandai”… A silly, noisy waste of a good premise

December 23, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… If you’ve seen the noisy trailer for Suraaj’s Kaththi Sandai, you’ll know the question isn’t whether the film is any good but how bad it is on a 1 to 10 scale – “1” being “as long as you have a smartphone to otherwise occupy you, it’s harmless enough” and “10” being “you […]

“Chennai 600028 II”… The bloated drama is a pain, but the cricket portions are magic

December 17, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… The glass-half-full review of Chennai 600028 – II would state that Venkat Prabhu is back. He didn’t go anywhere, exactly – he’s been making a film every couple of years. But there was, increasingly, this sense that the cast and crew were having more fun on the sets than we were at the […]

“Veera Sivaji”… Yet another feeble attempt to ship a hero to ‘mass’

December 16, 2016

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Spoilers ahead… In a film named after his illustrious grandfather, Vikram Prabhu gets a mass-hero entry. He sends someone flying through the air, and that someone crashes through the windshield of a car. Who is this man? A petrified Frenchwoman looks on. Maybe the man kidnapped her. Maybe he assaulted her. Maybe he Eve-teased her. And […]