Browsing All Posts filed under »Cinema: Telugu«

“Khaidi No 150.”… Less self-important and more palatable than ‘Kaththi’

January 11, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… The Tamil film Kaththi opens in the middle of a chase outside a prison. We see a group of policemen, apparently firing at will. We see the back of a fleeing convict – the whistles in the theatre tell us it is the film’s star, Vijay. An instant later, this is confirmed with a […]

The invisible man

October 10, 2015

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Thoughts on the often-overlooked producer of a film, occasioned by the passing of Edida Nageswara Rao. When I heard that Edida Nageswara Rao had died, my first thoughts were about the three films – Shankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam (Salangai Oli in Tamil), Swati Muthyam (Sippikkul Muthu in Tamil, Eeshwar in Hindi) – that defined him as […]

Wide-angle cinema

September 19, 2015

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On ‘Swades’ versus ‘Srimanthudu.’ And the idea of the socially relevant ‘mass’ movie. A few weeks ago, Mahesh Babu’s Srimanthudu had a subtitled release in Chennai. I must say it was a brave move. Not because it was a Telugu film – these Telugu ‘mass’ films (or wide-appeal masala movies) are practically identical to the […]

Common men, uncommon stories

August 15, 2015

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On the eve of the release of ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’, Baradwaj Rangan traces the journey of our biopics, which are no longer just about larger-than-life achievers. It all began in 1959, when a landless Bihari from the Musahar community, a scheduled caste that traditionally made a living as rat catchers, decided to make […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “All the world’s a screen…”

September 12, 2014

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In light of the upcoming ‘Haider’, a look at a 60-year-old Hindi version of ‘Hamlet’. Plus, ‘Sivaji’ Ganesan and Uttam Kumar as Othello. When we think of non-Western (and non-Vishal Bhardwaj) adaptations of Shakespeare, the mind settles, instantly, on Kursosawa. Throne of Blood. Ran. But a quick Google search reveals some fascinating Indian productions. A […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “Kerala days”

June 20, 2014

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Is the Malayalam film industry making the best mainstream cinema today? Once upon a time, I used to watch cinema from all over India – every Sunday afternoon, on Doordarshan. I remember, especially, the Malayalam films like Koodevide and Alicinte Anveshanam, which were neither all-out arty nor fully commercial – it was the middle-of-the-road-style that […]

Lights, Camera, Conversation… “A small tribute to a big legend”

May 9, 2014

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A slim compilation of B Nagi Reddi’s memories is a welcome addition to the increasing number of books on Indian cinema. In the introduction to Many Shades Make a Rainbow: Reminiscences of B Nagi Reddi, the publisher (and Nagi Reddi’s son), Viswam, lays out what the book is about. He says that his father’s birth […]

The natural

February 14, 2014

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Balu Mahendra, who died yesterday of cardiac arrest, was one of the handful of filmmakers who, in the 1970s, changed the face of Tamil cinema. He was also one of the handful who could be termed an auteur. Every film he made was distinctly his. Part of this was, of course, due to his roots […]

Interview: Ram Gopal Varma

August 14, 2008

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FACTORY TALK Ram Gopal Varma opens up about being a certain kind of director, about why Contract didn’t work, and about why the upcoming Phoonk is more than just a horror film. AUG 15, 2008 – ABOUT FIVE MINUTES AFTER SITTING DOWN across Ram Gopal Varma, I’m beginning to realise he’s hijacked the interview. There’s […]