Browsing All Posts filed under »Southern Lights«

NGK + Selvaraghavan + Suriya = Can’t wait!

May 2, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/ngk-trailer-selvaraghavan-suriya-baradwaj-rangan/ I’m hoping the chance to work with a big star who’s not his brother animates Selvaraghavan, and the chance to work with a truly original writer-director recharges Suriya. The NGK trailer is out. Is the acronym, which expands to “Nandha Gopalan Kumaran” just a string of […]

On Hemanth Rao’s ‘Kavaludaari’, and the triumph of treatment over plot

April 26, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-hemanth-rao-kavaludaari-anant-nag-baradwaj-rangan-column/ The Kannada investigative thriller (with slight noir overtones) is brought to vibrant life by the direction. A traffic cop named Shyam (Rishi) – the protagonist of Kavaludaari (Crossroads) – wants to do more. He wants to be a detective. Imagine his happiness when, on his watch, […]

On ‘June’ and the pleasures of even not-so-great Malayalam cinema

March 25, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/on-june-and-the-pleasures-of-even-not-so-great-malayalam-cinema-baradwaj-rangan-rajisha-vijayan/ The detailing seems to come less from a screenwriting manual than from someone’s life. Ahammed Khabeer’s June is about the coming-of-age journey of the protagonist (after whom the film is named), played by Rajisha Vijayan. It’s also about all the reasons I love watching mainstream Malayalam […]

‘Ispade Rajavum’… ‘July Kaatril’… and the modern-day Tamil-film romance

March 18, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/ispade-rajavum-idhaya-raniyum-july-kaatril-baradwaj-rangan-southern-lights/ Two movies go beyond the clichés in our love stories, but only one of them has real heart. Which was the first ‘can’t live with you, can’t live without you’ romance in Tamil cinema, the kind whose path was strewn as much with razors as roses? […]

The ‘super deluxe’ expectations from the ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ filmmaker

March 13, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-the-super-deluxe-expectations-from-the-aaranya-kaandam-filmmaker-baradwaj-rangan-tk/ In which I attempt to get a grip on the huge buzz surrounding the second film from Thiagarajan Kumararaja. It’s only natural that the trailer of a film starring Vijay Sethupathi gets a lot of attention. As I write this, the Sindhubath teaser has just dropped, […]

Men, maleness, masculinity and family in ‘Kumbalangi Nights’

February 25, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-men-maleness-masculinity-and-family-in-kumbalangi-nights-baradwaj-rangan-soubin-shahir-fahadh-faasil-syam-pushkaran/ The many facets of an intricate drama from director Madhu C Narayanan and writer Syam Pushkaran. (Be warned. Spoilers ahead.) If we were still in the days of video libraries, this is how you’d find the classiest entertainers. Head to the Malayalam section. Look for films […]

‘Dev’, aka why screenwriting should be consistent

February 20, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/dev-karthi-screenwriting-rajath-ravishankar/ It’s not surprising that the new Karthi starrer has been roundly panned. It’s another film with a great idea and not-great writing. Dev (Karthi) is a man who likes adventure. Like many things in this thoroughly underwhelming film, we know this because — apart from the […]

#Ilayaraja75 – His lesser-known songs for Tamil heroes

February 2, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-illaiyaraaja-ilaiyaraaja-75-his-lesser-known-songs-for-tamil-heroes/ If you take Rajinikanth films, you’ve probably heard the ‘Guru Sishyan’ numbers, or the ones from ‘Veera’. But ‘Sodi kili enge’? Read on. I wanted to write something to commemorate the Ilayaraja 75 concert, but I kept getting stuck. Given that an orchestra from Hungary will […]

Why the Sivaji Ganesan kind of stardom isn’t possible anymore

January 24, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/baradwaj-rangan-column-southern-lights-why-the-sivaji-ganesan-kind-of-stardom-isnt-possible-anymore/ The ability to sustain a seriously long career with one’s performances alone seems to have become a lost art. Any time is a good time to talk about Sivaji Ganesan, but in case you want to peg this piece on an anniversary, Thillana Mohanambal turned 50 […]

Going by the review, is Ajith’s film better than Rajinikanth’s?

January 17, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/baradwaj-rangan-column-rajini-ajith-going-by-the-review-is-ajiths-film-better-than-rajinikanths/ There are 5000 articles out there about how star ratings work, but given the commotion over ‘Petta’ and ‘Viswasam’, clearly there’s the need for a 5001st. How do star ratings work? I gave Petta 2.5 stars and Viswasam 3 stars – so does this mean Viswasam […]

Every Shankar film, ranked

November 22, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/every-shankar-film-ranked-baradwaj-rangan-2.0-enthiran-arrahman-rajinikanth-mudhalvan-indian/ Shankar wasn’t the first Tamil filmmaker to mix animation and live action in a song sequence. SP Muthuraman got there with the Rajinikanth-starrer Raja Chinna Roja, in 1989. But see the two music videos today, and you see the difference between a safe, efficient filmmaker and […]

The man behind the Superstar

November 15, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan-rajini-interview-zee-tamil-2.0/ A few thoughts on Rajinikanth’s Deepavali-day interview on Zee Tamil, an “event” that possibly rivals 2.0 because the Superstar so rarely meets the media. As he walks in, he looks like a benevolent family elder, bald and smiling and with kind eyes. He looks like he […]

Writing a piece on writing a piece on Kamal Haasan

November 7, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kamal-haasan-64-birthday-zero-anand-rai-punnagai-mannan-apoorva-sagotharargal/ On the multi-hyphenate’s 64th birthday, Baradwaj Rangan tries to make a list and gets meta (and how fitting is that, given this star)! I’ve just realised it’s tough to write a peg-less piece about Kamal Haasan. Well, there is a peg: his birthday. But it’s not […]

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, Vada Chennai, 96… and assorted thoughts

October 19, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/chekka-chivantha-vaanam-vada-chennai-96-baradwaj-rangan A mini-flashback of what’s been a remarkable few weeks for Tamil cinema, and the issues they bring up. The responses for my review of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam were interesting, to say the least. My reaction to the film was that of bewilderment, but so many people […]

Subramaniya Bharati’s poetry in Tamil cinema

September 11, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/subramaniya-bharati-poetry-tamil-cinema-southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan The great Tamil poet, activist and social reformer died on September 11, 1921. Here are some of his songs that made it to the big screen. Had this been a literary web site, I would have used this occasion to talk about AR Venkatachalapathy’s Who Owns […]

Not ‘Chennai’… these songs are about ‘Madras’

August 22, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/chennai-songs-about-madras-southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan On Madras Day, a flashback to songs that celebrate the city. Azhagiya mithilai nagarinile (Annai, 1962): A two-toned convertible carrying a young couple cruises through near-empty roads. This was still the studio era, so it’s surprising to see actual outdoor shooting (instead of a car propped […]

The man who made (and named) Ilayaraja

August 16, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/tamil-composer-singer-ilayaraja-panchu-arunachalam-mentor-death-anniversary-southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan Last Thursday was Panchu Arunachalam’s second death anniversary. Here’s a flashback to the time he introduced his most illustrious protégé. Panchu Arunachalam, who passed away on August 9, 2016, wore many hats. He is remembered as a lyricist – he began that phase of his career […]

The biggest takeaway from ‘Kallachirippu’, presented by Karthik Subbaraj, is that it exists

July 26, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kallachirippu-karthik-subbaraj-is-that-it-exists-biggest-takeaway-southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan OTT platforms may finally be on their way to dispensing content that does not have “mass appeal”. The OTT media space (I’m including web series, here) in Tamil is still evolving, so everything from Balaji Mohan’s As I’m Suffering From Kadhal (on Hotstar) to the new […]

Are Tamil-speaking heroines doomed in Tamil cinema?

July 19, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-heroines-tamil-cinema-sayyeshaa-kadaikutty-singam-baradwaj-rangan/ Our filmmakers are artificially creating a demand for “north Indian” heroines by withholding opportunities from local actresses. My review of Kadaikutty Singam, starring Karthi and Sayyeshaa, got a fair bit of social-media flak, so I thought I’d have an imaginary conversation… No wait! Been there, subjected […]

The Prithviraj-Parvathy starrer ‘My Story’ is a meh story

July 12, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/prithviraj-parvathy-my-story-movie-southern-lights-baradwaj-rangan/ Plus, thoughts on this unnamed genre, which finds new ways to embadden an already bad movie. There’s a genre of Indian cinema I’ve come to dread. It hasn’t got a name (and truth be told, there haven’t been that many representative films), but it’s basically about […]