Browsing All Posts filed under »Television / Online«

Halitha Shameem’s Aelay on Vijay TV and Netflix, with Samuthirakani and Manikandan: A low-key charmer saddled with a shrill second half

February 26, 2021

0 Is it possible to make a movie that feels like ‘Poovarasam Peepee’ crossed with a Pandiraj rural drama? The question is interesting but the result is uneven. Spoilers ahead… In a film culture that has traditionally glorified the “amma sentiment”, it’s nice to hear the occasional nod to the other parent. Halitha Shameem’s Aelay […]

Interview: Jeethu Joseph (a spoilery deep dive into the writing of ‘Drishyam’)

February 24, 2021


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#AskBR – Drishyam 2

February 23, 2021


In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2021 Film Companion.

Khalid Rahman’s Love on Netflix: Shine Tom Chacko and Rajisha Vijayan subvert the ‘form’ of the domestic-abuse drama

February 20, 2021

2 The film has a brilliant twist that’s not just a stunt but deeply rooted in psychology. It’s like ‘Thappad’ on acid. Spoilers ahead… It starts innocently enough. A woman gets an ultrasound. A man (who’s at home) gets an “I am pregnant” message. But like everything else in this film, Things. Are. Not. What. […]

Pitta Kathalu on Netflix: Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam, Nandini Reddy, Nag Ashwin and Sankalp Reddy give us a half-successful anthology

February 19, 2021

6 Two films work. Two don’t. And the standout is Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam’s ‘Ramula’, which takes big risks with form. Spoilers ahead… Ram Chander is one of the most wonderfully written idiots of Indian cinema. On the surface, he is just that: an idiot. He tells a woman he likes her because she is so […]

Drishyam 2, on Amazon Prime Video: Mohanlal and Meena return in Jeethu Joseph’s solid sequel, which swaps tension with existentialism

February 19, 2021

73 Like Part 1, this is more a writer’s film than a director’s film. But what a plot! My jaw kept dropping at its inventions and is sly philosophies. Spoilers ahead… When we get into Drishyam 2: The Resumption, we realise the world of Georgekutty (Mohanlal) is different. He has moved up in life. This […]

Interview: The directors of ‘Pitta Kathalu’

February 11, 2021


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Taish on ZEE5, by Bejoy Nambiar: An exquisitely crafted collision of existential gangster drama and soapy family saga

January 31, 2021


The director regains the silken form that’s been eluding him since ‘Shaitan’, and I think it’s because the trashy, telenovela-style material is just right. Spoilers ahead… The very first shot of Taish announces that we are watching un film de Bejoy Nambiar. The camera glides from the tail lights of a parked car, glides past […]

Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning, on mubi, studies a suffering woman with a static camera

January 29, 2021

2 When we talk of single-take shots, we think back to “how did they do that?” marvels like Martin Scorsese’s nightclub-entry shot in Good Fellas. It’s different here. Spoilers ahead… Some films, like Blue is the Warmest Colour or The Brown Bunny, become notorious for sex scenes. Some films, like Irréversible, becoming controversial talking points […]

Readers Write In #332: On long takes, and The Vast of Night on Amazon Prime

January 27, 2021


(by Aravind R) It was a cold wintry night in Surat when I first fell in love with it. A senior was initiating a bunch of us – all from Kerala, accustomed to the usual Mohanlal and Mammooty fare and the occasional Padmarajan or Lohitadas – into all things awesome in music and movies, from […]

The White Tiger on Netflix: aka The revenge of Ramu kaka, starring Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao

January 26, 2021

24 Like in ‘99 Homes’, Ramin Bahrani directs with an eye on narrative propulsion rather than subtlety – but the film is compulsively watchable. And Adarsh Gourav is a star. Spoilers ahead… The White Tiger is based on a book (Aravind Adiga’s Man Booker-winner) so let’s begin with the literariness of the protagonist’s language. He’s […]

Readers Write In #331: Thappad

January 25, 2021


(by Woman in Progress) I saw just THAPPAD, the IMDB synopsis would read – its about a woman (Amrita), and how her husband (Vikram) in a fit of fury about a work related fiasco, slaps her, and how she eventually filed for divorce. So many things in the movie resonated with me. I’m feeling heavy […]

Readers Write In #330: Thalayanamanthram, on Amazon Prime, a Sharp Satire on Greed and Jealousy

January 24, 2021


(by Arun AK) Sreenivasan is regarded as one of the finest comic actors in the Malayalam film industry. His comic timing, unique expressions, mannerisms, and brilliant voice modulation, have been tickling the funny bones of the audience for more than three decades now. But behind this layer of light-hearted humour, is a very serious and […]

Mail on aha: Priyadarshi props up a story about a young man obsessed with computers

January 22, 2021


The actors are lovely and this is a sweet, impossible-to-dislike nostalgia piece, but I wanted it to be more. Spoilers ahead… Which eye twitches for a bad omen? The right one, or left? That’s the extent of the concerns of the young men we meet in the sleepy little town of Mail, written and directed […]

Pulikuthi Pandi on SUN NXT, with Vikram Prabhu, Lakshmi Menon: A generic drama with a solid surprise

January 19, 2021

6 M Muthiah has a good head for plot, but his screenwriting is like what you’d find in a TV serial. Still, the last hour made me sit up. Spoilers ahead… “A film by M Muthiah” carries the same cachet as, say, “a film by Quentin Tarantino”. The two directors may exist at the opposite […]

Readers Write In #328: Sir

January 18, 2021


(by Anuj Chakrapani) I don’t know how attentive I am when watching movies, but if I am not wrong, I have just watched an entire movie without knowing the male protagonist’s name. We know him as “Sir” throughout; he happens to be a man in his late twenties (or early thirties maybe), and lives in […]

Readers Write In #327: Bridgerton is no Jane Austen

January 18, 2021


(by Doba) Those of us who were not satisfactorily entertained by the drama at the Capitol – no offence to the fine performances of the ladies and gentlemen, there, but they were sadly lacking in sex appeal – have turned to Netflix’s period drama Bridgerton in the last few weeks. With the devastatingly handsome leads […]

The Great Indian Kitchen on Neestream, with Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu: A powerful tale of emancipation

January 15, 2021

36 The title can also be extrapolated to mean… The Great Indian Traditional Patriarchal Household. This is the kind of setup where the men retire after a certain age, but the women never do. Spoilers ahead… In The Great Indian Kitchen, written and directed by Jeo Baby, Nimisha Sajayan plays… I don’t remember her name. […]

Bhoomi on Disney+ Hotstar: Jayam Ravi’s underwhelming drama reduces a serious issue to inept comedy

January 14, 2021

26 There’s a great idea, with echoes of the Swadeshi movement, that says farmers should be self-dependent. But if intentions were enough, every movie would be a masterpiece. Spoilers ahead… Bhoomi is Jayam Ravi’s 25th film, and it makes you think he is the nicest man in Kollywood. He just can’t seem to say no […]

Interview: Mari Selvaraj, Santhosh Narayanan (Karnan)

January 12, 2021


January 14, 9 am, ZEE TAMIZH