Browsing All Posts filed under »Readers Write In«

Readers Write In #59: Is the film playing Kill-Marry-Hook Up with its female characters?

November 11, 2018

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‘Kill-Marry-Hook Up’, for the uninitiated, is a conversation game where participants are presented with three names. They are then forced to map each name with exactly one option from ‘Kill’, ‘Marry’ or ‘Hook Up’. ‘Hook Up’ is usually replaced with a “profane” synonym, but let’s stick to the Koffee With Karan version of the title. […]

Readers Write In #58: Vada Chennai and Wasseypur: Rooting cinema with music

November 6, 2018

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It’s been merely weeks since Vada Chennai released and the film is being talked about as a work that will go down in Tamil cinema as a milestone. Apart from solid writing, good camerawork and some stellar performances, there’s another factor that elevates the movie: The distinctive music. Criticism has risen about the way the […]

Readers Write In #57: LGBTs in Hindi cinema in light of the 377 judgment

October 26, 2018

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Looking back at the delineation of LGBTs in Hindi cinema in general and in some recent releases in particular in light of the Section 377 judgment There no single or simple answer to “Which is the first queer Hindi film?” To some, it may be D.G. Phalke’sRaja Harishchandra, which had male actors playing the female […]

Readers Write In #56: Make a musical, Or Don’t: A rant on the usage of songs in modern Tamil cinema

October 18, 2018

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First in the ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’ review, and now in the ‘Vada Chennai’ review — I much liked BR’s views on the usage (or lack thereof) of good songs. I, for one, am really really glad that BR brought this up. I am an audiophile. I love listening to songs in the theater. I enjoy […]

Readers Write In #55: The dance of idea and story in Pariyerum Perumal

October 16, 2018

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At the intermission of Pariyerum Perumal, the eponymous protagonist lies bruised and battered by the relatives of his female upper caste classmate. He’s covered in their urine, locked inside a room. If he is ‘let out’ he might get killed, he’s told. Pariyan, shivering in trauma, drags himself to the bolted door and knocks on […]

Readers Write In #54: Evolution paints the sky crimson

October 14, 2018

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD for Chekka Chivantha Vaanam An obvious distinction that #MeToo often brings up is that while men cloaked in power are unwilling to shed their primal skins, the women, even when victimized, have used civil means to fight back. A striking contrast between the composure displayed by women and the emotional charge spewed […]

Readers Write In #53: Muted Symphony

October 14, 2018

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2018 marks 25th anniversary of Ilaiyaraaja composing and recording a Symphony with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London. At that time he was the first Asian composer to do so. The Symphony was never released to the public and Ilaiyaraaja has largely remained silent about this work since then. This is a write up leading to celebrate […]

Readers Write In #52: Chekka Chivantha Vaanam – A Psychoanalytic Perspective

October 10, 2018

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Mr. Maniratnam’s latest oeuvre, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam,  like his previous work Kaatru Veliyidai, is a detailed and evocative study on narcissism. While disguised as a gangster shootout, the film relates to something far more fundamental, that being the dysfunctional family and the suffering that is housed within.               In Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, the chief patriarch is Prakash […]

Readers Write In #51: My introduction to cowboys, horses, and westerns

October 3, 2018

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Born in 60s and growing up in Kanyakumari district from 4th to 12th grade, most of the movies I watched were Tamil movies, few English movies (once we moved to Nagercoil from Cheruppalur) and occasional Malayalam movies. I use the term English movies since I didn’t know the term Hollywood that time!! Exposure to terms […]

Readers Write In #50: Why the Baahubali movies failed in China

September 24, 2018

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Vamsi: Your insight about wrong marketing seems very credible. That’s what i thought was the right takeaway from all that you said. I still don’t think Baahubali 2 had bad special effects, it just didn’t have grand stuff on a scale compared to LoTR or Avengers. I feel it’s about Scale than Quality. Ant-man won’t […]

Readers Write In #49: The Portrayal of Disability in Indian Mainstream Cinema – Where’s the Nuance?

September 16, 2018

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So, the husband and I were craving a good Tamil masala movie last night, and chanced upon the Suriya-starrer, “Thaana Serndha Kootam”. It seemed to have got decent reviews, and we went in expecting a light, fun watch. Half an hour and two fast-forwarded songs later (thank God for modern online watching. Can’t imagine having […]

Readers Write In #48: Clive’s Angels: Whitney and Phyllis, united in tragedy

September 5, 2018

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I usually do not find biographical documentaries about celebrities very interesting to watch. I mean fairly contemporary figures here as opposed to long dead legends who offer fertile ground for historians. They have a tendency to tell us what we already know or, at least, can find out with not much effort and veer to […]

Readers Write In #47: When Left Met Right: Let’s talk about Communalizing Carnatic Music

August 24, 2018

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As the nation celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, we need to have a dialogue between those who read India right and left. Before I venture further, I must admit this. I have never been too fond of labels which are, more often, borrowed constructs placed out of context. So, I am going to use the […]

Readers Write In #46: Blood, Sweat and Grime: Thoughts on 20 years of Satya

August 18, 2018

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To really understand the significance of Satya for Bollywood, we have to revisit the Hindi movies of 90’s. They could be slotted into three broad categories ( I am simplifying, of course)  – Hollywood rip offs (e.g. Yarana, Agnisakshi), David Dhawan style (crass) comedies and the ubiquitous NRI friendly designer movies. What started as something sweet with […]

Readers Write In #45: Faces of fandom

August 13, 2018

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“Don’t be a fan,” she orders. I have a very close and a slightly ‘mean’ friend who robs off half my excitement when I decide to review a film. Reviewing films is part of my job and every time I am given the latest release, my friend is quick to say: “Don’t embarrass me with […]

Readers Write In #44: Hey Ram : A Look Back

August 5, 2018

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On the eve of the release of Kamal Haasan’s latest (and probably his last) directorial venture Vishwaroopam 2 and his move to politics, here is a look back on his first directorial venture Hey Ram. Perhaps his greatest masterpiece, that has completed 18 years. This is no way a comprehensive piece, as it would take a […]

Readers Write In #43: Why I can neither like nor hate Kaala

August 1, 2018

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It has happened again. The last time I felt like this was when I saw Kabali. Now it has happened again with Kaala. The Ranjith-Rajni combo films always leave me stranded between ‘liking’ and ‘hating’ camps situated on opposite ends of the  street. The most important reason why I like Ranjith’s films are because they […]

Readers Write In #42: Two Superstars, Two seminal Films, Two Iconic roles

June 13, 2018

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Amitabh Bachchan’s Don and Mohanlal’s Chithram, 2 Iconic films of  the 2 most beloved superstars as well as the greatest actors of the country celebrate their 40th and 30th anniversary respectively this year. Here is a look back Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal made their debut in movies almost a decade apart. Bachchan in 1969 with […]

Readers Write In #41: Wild Wild Country: Rajneeshism and the limits of freedom in democracy

June 1, 2018

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Four years ago, I was on a fortnight long visit to the USA and happened to spend a couple of days in New York City.  I wish I could say I stayed in Manhattan; instead, myself and parents were put up in a hotel in Flushing.  Little did we know that Flushing was Chinese-majority and the full […]

Readers Write In #40: An Unquiet Place

May 6, 2018

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I recently watched ‘A Quiet Place’ at a theater. By myself. I’d noticed a few empty rows on the online booking portal. It seemed like the perfect way to watch an horror movie: all alone and in a mostly empty cinema hall. What better way to spend an idle afternoon in Chennai? I arrived fifteen […]