Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Tamil«

Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal, with Dulquer Salmaan and Ritu Varma, is on Netflix: A rewind of this amoral tale

March 29, 2020


The film, directed by Desingh Periyasamy, is a pleasant diversion. I had a lot of issues with it, but here’s what I really liked. It’s wonderfully amoral. Spoilers ahead… Is Ritu Varma a Great Actress™? I’m leaving this question out here, as it’s essentially unanswerable right now, with her small body of work. But here’s […]

Train of thought in Mani Ratnam’s Alaipayuthey

March 27, 2020


The symbolism and metaphors in the movie, starring Madhavan and Shalini, render the film timeless and set its creator Mani Ratnam apart from the rest, writes FC Reader Hariharasudhen Nagarajan Trains are an integral part of a Tamil film romance, especially if it is directed by Mani Ratnam. But, what if Mani Ratnam used the trains in Alaipayuthey as a […]

Vittorio De Sica’s Italian classic Shoeshine shows rare instance when children slip into adulthood too soon

March 26, 2020


Though there is a “story” and a “screenplay” that’s been worked out, these scaffoldings of “narrative cinema” are near-invisible. The protagonists don’t seem guided by a screenwriter so much as destiny. I’ve always wondered about the title of Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine (1946). Yes, it is about two boys who earn a living by shining […]

Readers Write In #150: The healing, therapeutic effect of Aye Sinamika

March 25, 2020


(by Raghav Ravichandran) The world is in distress after the outbreak of the deadlyCOVID-19 or Coronavirus. Every time you turn on the TV or look at your mobile, we get to see news of new positive cases tested in India or elsewhere and the death toll as a result of this virus. It’s impossible to […]

Interview: Harish Kalyan

March 25, 2020


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A tribute to Visu, known for his middle-class melodramas like Samsaram Adhu Minsaram

March 23, 2020


The Visu Character™ was a fixture in The Visu Film™. He is to families what a skilled mechanic is to a car: however bad the damage, he fixes it. Spoilers ahead… A couple of years before the release of Super Deluxe, I did a profile-ish piece on Thiagarajan Kumararaja. One of the things he said […]

Superstar Rajinikanth: Into the World with Bear Grylls attempts to show a human side of the on-screen superhero

March 23, 2020


No dupes. No mattresses to cushion a fall. This is Rajinikanth himself, in the wilderness. (In other words: What does the tiger tell Rajini? You’ve earned your stripes!) Spoilers ahead… At the beginning of the Discovery Channel show, Into The Wild With Bear Grylls And Superstar Rajinikanth, the anchor says he’s going to take celebrities, […]

“Oh My Kadavule”… Ashok Selvan and Ritika Singh battle it out in a half-decent rom-com

March 21, 2020


The first half is insufferable, but post interval, the film springs the sweetest of surprises. It doesn’t just get better, it becomes brilliant. Spoilers ahead… Oh My Kadavule is the kind of movie you want to see Ashok Selvan in. The actor is just 30 and he has the tousled-hair looks to carry off romantic […]

Vijay’s ‘Master’ will fetch him Rs 80 crore, and he deserves it, so what’s the problem?

March 18, 2020


What we have in Kollywood is the complete ascendance of the hero, at the cost of every other stakeholder, from the distributors to even the producer. Spoilers ahead… In 2013, a little before the release of Dhoom 3, I interviewed Aamir Khan for The Hindu. I said that this seemed to be a project that […]

Silly First Half, Great Second Half: Aayirathil Oruvan (2010)

March 16, 2020


This March, we are doing a series on films that are half good and half bad. Or the other way around. I picked Selvaraghavan’s ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’, from 2010. Plot: Indian archaeologists have been looking for a lost Chola tribe (yes, those Cholas), believed to have gone into hiding someplace near Vietnam. When one of these […]

Readers Write In #148: Missed Movies and their honest short film

March 14, 2020


(by Adhithya KR) The name Missed Movies caught my attention on YouTube one day. It brought up this image in my mind of silent library books that were gathering dust on the shelves. Books that were wedged between the bookshelf and flashy novels while a librarian tried finding them and recommending them to the few […]

“Dharala Prabhu”… Harish Kalyan plays a sperm donor in a dignified, beautifully made drama

March 13, 2020


In this ‘Vicky Donor’ remake, the old premise has been explored with a fresh pair of eyes, and with a very different sensibility. Spoilers ahead… When I heard that Dharala Prabhu was a remake of Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor, I knew it wouldn’t be an exact remake. “Tamil sensibilities” — at least as perceived by […]

The caste question in ‘Draupathi’, ‘Kanni Maadam’ and ‘Ettu Thikkum Para’

March 11, 2020


Three films based on inter-caste marriages show that tragedies drive home social messages far more forcefully than happy endings. (Yes, despite its apparent happy ending, ‘Draupathi’ is a tragedy.) Spoilers ahead… There’s been a steady increase in films that comment on caste through a narrative that deals with inter-caste marriage. Late last year, we got […]

“Gypsy”… Raju Murugan’s rambling drama with Jiiva mistakes good intentions for good cinema

March 6, 2020


The film slowly begins to resemble a newspaper, with each page containing one “socially important” story. But screenplays don’t work that way. You need a thread. You need coherence. Spoilers ahead… Raju Murugan makes noble-minded films, so it’s really no surprise that Gypsy is filled with noble-minded songs. In Venpuraa, we get this line: Idhayam […]

Readers Write In #147: Betray-Maaran: Exploring an insidious emotion

March 4, 2020


(by Adhithya KR) “I never felt like I didn’t have a father -” Slash. Pettaikaaran deftly slits his own throat as only one practiced in culling roosters can. He falls, dooming Karuppu to a life of running from the law. Aadukalam was the first Vetrimaaran movie I watched and that scene was etched into my […]

Karthick Naren’s ‘Mafia: Chapter 1’, starring Arun Vijay, mistakes slo-mo for style

March 4, 2020


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: “Style” isn’t just about posing. It isn’t just about looking “cool”. And it’s certainly more than just colour schemes and costumes. Spoilers ahead… In Mafia: Chapter 1, Arun Vijay plays Aryan, a Narcotics Control Bureau officer. No, let’s rephrase that. He plays a stylish Narcotics Control […]

“Nasir”… Arun Karthick’s superb second feature, about a Coimbatore Muslim, is a political film about an apparently apolitical man

March 2, 2020


The genius of the film is that — by shunning conventional cause-and-effect melodrama — its active “plot” about communalism gets relegated to the sidelines, and we focus on the individual. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: “What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she […]

Film Companion South turns 3!

March 1, 2020


Two Scenes In Nayakan That Showcase How Effectively Ilaiyaraaja Uses Music To Tell A Story

February 26, 2020


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Ilaiyaraaja’s music does not call out attention to itself; it is woven into the fabric of the movie itself, writes FC Reader Adhithya KR Music is a primal force, and when coupled with the moving image, it makes cinema a different beast compared to the novel. […]

Five ways to ensure the Kamal Haasan-Rekha ‘Punnagai Mannan’ incident never happens again

February 26, 2020


Read the full article on Film Companion, here: While improvisation in acting — doing things in the heat of the moment — is important, it cannot come at the cost of consent. Spoilers ahead… There’s a tense restaurant scene in Kramer vs. Kramer between Ted and Joanna, the characters played by Dustin Hoffman and […]