Browsing All Posts filed under »Readers Write In«

Readers Write In #354: On the caste origins of Karna

April 13, 2021


(by Sudharshan Garg) Loved the movie and the review, but a few…mythological and historical quibbles. Karna’s foster parents were not from the ‘oppressed’ classes. If anything Adhi his dad was from the lineage of the mighty king Jayadrata of Anga. Ratha was a suffix this line took, Jaya + Rata > DhratvaRata > Satkarma > […]

Readers Write In #353: Karnan: An Essay on the Radical

April 13, 2021


Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy I read Mari Selvaraj’s stunning Karnan as an essay on the radical, as a story of radical movements and radicalism within political struggles. There is a lot else in the movie: visually rich screenwriting with stunning landscapes and aerial shots, previously unsaid ethnography of the “lifestyle” of oppressed communities from their customs […]

Readers Write In #352: Revisiting Ghare Baire (1984)

April 10, 2021


(by Sidharth Malhotra) Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee, Victor Banerjee, and Swatilekha ChatterjeeDirector: Satyajit Ray The film is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s novel that came out in 1916 and carries the same name. Set in 1907’s colonialized India, Ghare Baire (English Title: The Home and the World) is a story that revolves around three major characters: Nikhilesh, […]

Readers Write In #351: On ‘Pagglait’ and the existential duty of life surrounded by death…

April 8, 2021


(by Aneesh J) ‘Pagglait’, in a crude way, is a North Indian slang and stands for a ‘different’ level of crazy. In a way, it is the equivalent of the English language’s ‘bat-shit’ crazy: Mere ‘crazy’ is not enough to define the wide gap; like the difference between a Ranveer Singh and Mika Singh. It […]

Readers Write In #350: The World of Joji

April 8, 2021


(by Adi R) The story of Joji is a lot about strength and how the men in the family, society and the world wield it to alter its dynamics. This is strength of the conventional understanding – the brute force with which these men toy around with the world around them. When such brute force […]

Readers Write In #349: A case against the current system of elections

March 26, 2021


(by G Waugh) Assume that you are a social activist. You belong to an area where a chemical factory keeps sending harmful effluents to the local water bodies and other sources of water for public use. In addition, the workers who are employed there have also been exposed to harmful radiation and many of them […]

Readers Write In #348: What I wanted to ask Rahman

March 22, 2021


(by Madan Mohan) The day I signed up for the Film Companion Front Row discussion with A R Rahman, I formulated the question I wanted to ask him.  When the discussion started, I was maybe the second guy to punch in my question in the chatbox.  But the numbers were against me from the get […]

Readers Write In #347: NenjamMarappathillai is a smashing return to form for Selvaraghavan

March 18, 2021


(by N Madhusudhan) If you have followed his work to a reasonable degree, you know by now that Selva films, even his best ones, can get a tad indulgent at times. There are certain visible aspects you identify in his films– the performances are on a different pitch altogether, realism is something he seems to […]

Readers Write In #346: How did Tamil and Malayalam cinema treat its stars in the 80s-90s?

March 16, 2021


(by G Waugh) I am actually not a big fan of the late eighties/nineties cinema that came out in Tamil. Whenever I come across a blockbuster of that era like Rajnikanth’s Velaikkaran or Rajadhi Raja or Prabhu’s Chinna Thambi on the television, I immediately succumb to an impulse to reach out for the remote controller. […]

Readers Write In #345: Enjoy Enjaami: Independent Music in the age of Farmer Protests

March 13, 2021


(by Macaulay Perapulla) No matter how intractable and frustrating the debate around Farm Laws may seem, one of the fascinating side effects of this deadlock is the resurgence of cultural identity that has been happening in the wake of farmer protests. Who would have thunk that punjabi music scene – with all its misogynist lyrics […]

Readers Write In #344: My dad and Anthony Hopkins

March 10, 2021


(by Macaulay Perapulla) BR shared this wonderful interview with Anthony Hopkins ( and I misted up, reading it. I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad. He is in his “last leaf” years, waiting to leave the world. Despairing everything in his universe, he is unable to break the shell he has sternly made for himself: […]

Readers Write In #343: Greta Thunberg, Farm Laws and the Curious Case of Prahalada Déjà vu

March 4, 2021


(by Macaulay Perapulla) Hindu Mythologies have a strange onion peeling effect. At first, your eyes find it hard to tolerate them. You can apportion some blame on the poor English translations that were made by enthusiastic Indologists during the 18th century who made sure that the stories sounded like cut-and-dried moral science lessons of “good” […]

Readers Write In #342: Martin Scorsese degrades today’s Hollywood again, but it is not as bad he makes it sound

March 4, 2021


(by Alex John) Martin Scorsese’s essay on Fellini was moving, nostalgic, and solemn, and gives a wonderful account of the Great Italian filmmaker’s life, his films, and his passion for cinema. He almost had me buying what he wrote in it entirely, but I started to feel indifferent when he continued on with what he […]

Readers Write In #341: ‘Outline’ by Rachel Cusk: a delineation through dialogue

February 28, 2021


(by Kannan Baskar) Outline, a 2014 novel by Canadian born British writer Rachel Cusk, is the first book in The Outline trilogy. The story, set in Athens, is a series of conversations that the narrator has with friends, strangers, and students. The narrator Faye, a British writer visiting Greece to teach in a writing seminar, […]

Readers Write In #340: On ‘Drishyam’ and ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’

February 25, 2021


(by V Vijaysree) Every serious movie buff, who enjoyed watching the Malayalam movie Drishyam, knows that the writer-director of the film may have been inspired by the plot of The Devotion of Suspect X. The book, on which the movie was based, was written by Japanese author, Keigo Higashino. It features Detective Galileo, a fictional […]

Readers Write In #339: Bhavani (Master) is one of the greatest villains in Tamil cinema

February 19, 2021


(by Alex John) I grew up with Tamil films. Much more dramatized and expressive than the films in my tongue, they often made me feel elated and a fan of the unassuming funfair they are. Tamil cinema’s antagonists are probably the most rambunctious lot in Indian cinema. From MN Nambiar to Raghuvaran, and from Prakash […]

Readers Write In #338: Understanding Indian agriculture through Indian cinema

February 8, 2021


(by Macaulay Perapulla) Ever since I fell in love with Mahabharata, I began to discover the power of a beautiful, a rather deceptive phrase: “Puranas”. Puranas means Pura Api Navam: That which is ancient AND nascent. And as someone who works on the wicked challenge of digitizing agriculture, I became obsessed with one question: How […]

Readers Write In #337: A diary of suffering

February 6, 2021


(by G Waugh) Never in my life had I ever imagined a time would come where I would be seeking treatment for something as terrible as– a mental illness. Whenever I used to call teasingly some of my friends “loosu”, “mental” it never waswithout a derogatory connotation that makes me wince today and those words […]

Readers Write In #336: Thoughts on revisiting ‘The Man from Earth’

February 6, 2021


(by Aravind R) Once in a while, there comes a moment when you have no more new movies to watch. BR’s recommendations – all done and dusted. Rotten Tomatoes – nothing above 90% in the genre you’re in the mood to watch. In the race to watch more good movies, you avoid succumbing to the […]

Readers Write In #335: Gamestop

January 31, 2021


(by Shiva Prasad) There is significant outrage, the social media is going crazy about what GameStop thing really is? As someone who has relied heavily on investments to make my ends meet for the past two odd years, I’ll admit, even for me there was still a lot of learning I had to go through, […]