Browsing All Posts filed under »Television / Online«

Interview: Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi (Paper Rocket)

August 9, 2022

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Alia Bhatt scores another big win as a survivor of domestic abuse in Jasmeet K Reen’s ‘Darlings’, which also has a terrific Shefali Shah and Vijay Varma

August 5, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The film is a domestic noir-cum-black comedy, and if the Alia Bhatt-Vijay Varma couple takes care of the domestic noir, Shefali Shah’s character keeps you in splits with her deadpan expressions. The plural title of Darlings is no accident. The protagonist Badru (played by Alia Bhatt) is from a lower-middle-class Muslim family, and […]

‘Victim’, now on SonyLiv, is another mediocre anthology, with only Pa Ranjith’s short standing out

August 5, 2022

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Spoilers ahead…  Only Ranjith and Venkat Prabhu’s shorts show that they have been made by a “director”, and can be called “cinema”. The other two play like skits. Someone needs to analyse why we just can’t seem to get anthologies right, but let me offer a theory based on the directors of Victim. There are […]

Krishand’s ‘Aavasavyuham’, now on SonyLiv, is an eco-drama that’s  a brilliant subversion of both form and content

August 4, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The film plays like a revenge story mixed with a mockumentary, and.  The eco-issues spoken about are all too real. But the treatment is surreal.  The best thing about Krishand’s new film, Aavasavyuham, is its English title: “The Arbit Documentation Of An Amphibian Hunt”. It describes so well what’s about to follow, the […]

A small milestone at Galatta Plus

August 4, 2022

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Interview: Sudha Kongara (The National Awards, Soorarai Pottru)

July 26, 2022

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Islahuddin’s ‘Nodi Swamy Ivanu Irode Heege’, on Zee5 and starring Rishi, is a tedious try at non-stop quirkiness

July 22, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The film wants to be a black comedy about a heartbroken man who is clinically depressed, but it never finds the right tone.  What right do we have to end our life? This question appears at the beginning of Nodi Swamy Ivanu Irode Heege, written and directed by Islahuddin NS. And the person […]

Interview: Dhanush, with The Russo Brothers (The Gray Man)

July 22, 2022

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In Anthony and Joe Russo’s The Gray Man, now on Netflix, the characters matter less than the series of not-bad action set pieces

July 19, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… In trying to make films for global audiences, some kind of uniqueness is lost. I guess action movies are now content to be “watchable”. In concept, Anthony and Joe Russo’s The Gray Man is a welcome change from their Avengers films. In an age of incessant computer-generated visual effects and combats, The Gray […]

Nithin Lukose’s ‘Paka’, on SonyLIV, is a powerful Romeo-Juliet story that puts aside the romance to focus on the endless cycle of revenge between the two families

July 7, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The walls of both family houses are filled with pictures of those who have been murdered from times before the events of this film began. These walls are a testament to the increasing violence between the two families. Paka is structured on the classic Romeo-Juliet story: in this story, they are named Johnny […]

Jis Joy’s ‘Innale Vare’ is a pretty engaging thriller with Asif Ali and Nimisha Sajayan in top form

June 10, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… Building up a thriller is half the struggle. The “how will they end it” question is the other half. Both are satisfactory. Is Innale Vare a cautionary tale about technology? Or is it a cautionary tale about human behaviour? The first thing we see in Jis Joy’s film is a piece of technology: […]

The new Mohanlal-Jeethu Joseph thriller, ’12th Man’, on Disney+ Hotstar is talky and dull

May 21, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The film is not unwatchable, exactly. But none of the characters are terribly interesting, so it never matters who the culprit is going to be.  Jeethu Joseph’s 12th Man opens with a secret that quickly is told to someone, who tells it to someone else, and so on – until the secret is […]

Mammootty is spectacular in Ratheena’s ‘Puzhu’ (SonyLIV), the rare film where a man from a dominant caste is depicted as a victim

May 19, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The filmmaking is solid, but the writing does not match up. The excessive focus on the protagonist leaves the  other characters stranded.  In an early scene in Ratheena’s Puzhu, a young boy reads aloud pages from a textbook. These pages are about the “toilet-cleaning community” and how Gandhiji opposed this. Many decades later, […]

Raj Singh Chaudhary’s ‘Thar’, on Netflix, is a neo-Western that sets up an interesting premise and does very little with it

May 6, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… None of these characters or situations are written with any depth, and apart from veterans Anil Kapoor and Satish Kaushik, no one is capable of fashioning at least the semblance of a flesh-and-blood person on their own.  The lay of the land is laid out in the most brilliantly poetic fashion in Thar, […]

Arun Matheswaran’s ‘Saani Kaayidham’, on Amazon Prime, is a gory revenge drama with impeccable craft, but the writing needed much more meat

May 6, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The main attraction of the film is the cast. Stripped of makeup, Keerthy Suresh dives into a difficult role. And Selvaraghavan is wonderful. When I saw Arun Matheswaran’s first film, Rocky, I said that the narrative was generic, but the film signalled the arrival of a genuine cinematic voice. I said that the […]

Readers Write In #462: Gangubai Kathiawadi – Impotent Pomposity

May 4, 2022

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By Karthik Iyer Vijay Raaz’s character, Raziabai, symbolizes Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi. Dolled up, impotent pomposity. Raaz has no real use in the movie, just like the movie has little use in our changing cinematic landscape. His character could have been mentioned in the passing as a personality that exists but is never shown; […]

Readers Write In #460: The Isolating Soundscape of Better Call Saul.

April 25, 2022

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By Kartik Iyer The final season of Better Call Saul has begun. Over the course of the last five-six years, it has provided viewers with riveting drama and exciting storylines. People have stayed with the show for its characters. The writing of the show is exceptional. The plots are engaging. No loose ends stick out. […]

In ‘Antakshari’, a fairly engaging thriller directed by Vipin Das, Saiju Kurup plays a music-loving cop who gets involved in a mystery

April 22, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… I wished for more focus in the narrative, but Saiju Kurup holds it all together with one of his strongest performances yet. Let’s first talk about the title – Antakshari – of the Malayalam thriller directed by Vipin Das, now streaming on SonyLIV. Antakshari – as many of you may know – is […]

Suresh Triveni’s ‘Jalsa’ has Vidya Balan and Shefali Shah in a solid thriller that’s more existential than explosive

March 27, 2022

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Spoilers ahead… The director’s most brilliant touch is in keeping the film and its characters at a distance. Despite the occasional rays of warmth, the narrative stays icy. In Jalsa, Suresh Triveni takes the most explosive material – material that’s readymade for a dan-dan-dan score – and does two things: he takes out most of […]

Readers Write In #451: The Magic of Manikandan’s “Kadaisi Vivasayi”

March 14, 2022

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By Karthik Amarnath மணிகண்டனின் “கடைசி” மாயம் (Spoilers Ahead for “Kadaisi Vivasayi”) மணிகண்டனின் கடைசி விவசாயி படத்தின் அனுபவத்தை பற்றி எவ்வாறு எழுதவேண்டும் என்று யோசித்தேன். ஒரு வேளை மனதை மண்ணாக நினைத்து அதற்க்குள் எழுத்துக்களை விதைத்து அதுவே மாயமாக மலர்களை போல் முளைத்தால் படத்தை பார்த்த அனுபவத்துக்கு அது ஈடாக இருக்கும. அனுபவம் அப்படி ஒரு மாயமாக தான் இருந்தது. ஒருவகையில் கேபிரியல் மார்கெஸ் எழுதிய கதைகளில் வரும் மாயம் போல் என்று […]