Browsing All Posts filed under »Television / Online«

Karthik Subbaraj’s ‘Jagame Thandhiram’, with Dhanush and Aishwarya Lekshmi, wants to say a lot but ends up a generic watch

June 18, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Jagame Thandhiram begins with the image of a boat in the English channel with refugees who are approached by an English patrol boat. If you look at Karthik Subbaraj’s career you will find a very similar scenario in Neer where three Indian fishermen (Vijay Sethupathi plays one of them) are attacked by a Sri Lankan patrol […]

Readers Write In #372: ‘Mare of Easttown’ and the ‘Mad Men’ syndrome

June 16, 2021


(by Madan Mohan) Mare of Easttown, the crime series starring Kate Winslet as the eponymous Mare (short for Marianne), has won much critical acclaim, particularly for the acting and more specifically for Winslet nailing the Delco accent (Delaware county of Pennsylvania). And while I did enjoy it too, I was left with a feeling of […]

Jeeva KJ’s ‘Richter Scale 7.6’ is a superb debut that folds its man-vs-nature message into pure cinema

June 16, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: The dramatic title, Richter Scale 7.6, reminds us of an earthquake. But the film is as peaceful and placid as the surface of a lake. It’s a two-character drama between a father (Ashok Kumar Peringode) and a son (Murugan Martin). The father is a folk theatre artist, a singer and a dancer […]

Suseenthiran’s ‘Eeswaran’, starring Silambarasan, is a generic rural drama with ideas but no follow-through

June 13, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Eeswaran is set in a village in Dindigul where Periyasamy (Bharathiraja) is a patriarch. A tragedy strikes him at a very young age and over time his children move to Chennai. They’re all all fighting each other due to money issues. What brings Periyasamy’s four children back to their village is the pandemic. […]

George Kora & Sam Xavier’s ‘Thirike’, is a heartwarming story about brothers, but it needed a little more gravity, a little less sugar-dusting

June 8, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Thirike is the story of two brothers Thomas (George Kora) and Ismu, played by TikTok star Gopi Krishnan who has Down’s syndrome. Gopi Krishnan is the film’s rockstar. His performance is so endearing, real and without self-pity that he’s a natural film star. You, too, want to give him a big hug that Thomas […]

Jack Prabhu & Santoshh KK’s ‘First Nights’, premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival, is a fairly interesting dive into the psychology behind wedding nights

June 3, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: The premise of this film, made with a cast of newcomers, is what the title promises: the first night or the wedding night. In the case of arranged marriages, this can be an awkward thing. Long, long ago when marriages were arranged by elders, the couple barely met. After marriage, they would […]

Radha Mohan’s ‘Malaysia To Amnesia’ (Vaibhav Reddy, Vani Bhojan), on ZEE5, is a bunch of lame jokes woven around an adulterer

May 28, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Malaysia To Amnesia is the kind of film where the joke is someone mispronouncing Alzhiemer’s as ‘algebra’. There are four major characters in the film. Arun (Vaibhav) is a successful businessman and his wife, Suja (Vani Bhojan), is a homemaker; they also have a cute little kid. There’s Mannar (MS Bhaskar), their uncle, […]

Karthik Rapolu’s ‘Ek Mini Katha’ (Santosh Shobhan, Kavya Thapar), on Amazon Prime, is a barely okayish watch about a man who thinks he has a small penis

May 27, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: In Ek Mini Katha, Santhosh (Santhosh Shoban) plays Santhosh, a man who thinks that he has a small penis, and this gives him a complex. There’s a scene that shows Santhosh as a college student: his girlfriend invites him to her house to have sex but later kicks him out. The assumption is […]

Kishor B’s ‘Sreekaram’ (Sharwanand, Priyanka Arul Mohan), on SUN NXT, is a bland ‘city dude saves farmers’ drama

May 25, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Sreekaram is one of those films where a messiah from a city comes to the village and solves the issues of farmers. Karthik (Sharwanand) is the messiah here. The first time we see him is when he comes back home to his village on a bus. He is sitting on its top and […]

Interview: Raunaq Mangottil (Fully Filmy)

May 25, 2021


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Jayanth Gali’s’s ‘Love Life & Pakodi’, on Amazon Prime, is an okayish attempt at deconstructing modern-day relationships

May 22, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Love Life & Pakodi is a love story between Rheya (Sanchitha Poonacha) and Arun (Bimal Kartheek Rebba). Like all boy–girl love stories in our cinema the question is whether the two would get together in the end—but here the journey is different. It’s a bit like Mani Ratnam’s OK Kanmani where a boy and girl are […]

Rohith VS’s ‘Kala’ (Tovino Thomas, Sumesh Moor), on Amazon Prime, is a superbly stylized thriller about the animal in us beneath layers of civilization

May 20, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Kala is set in the late 1990s but it’s actually very timeless, almost as timeless as nature which is a big part of the film’s texture. We see overhead shots of rugged terrain, a shot of a man’s face seen through leaves, bodies reflected in water. When two men fight the focus is […]

Tharun Moorthy’s ‘Operation Java’ (on ZEE5) is a beautifully written thriller woven around two newbie cyber-cell workers

May 20, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: The spotlight of Operation Java is on Anthony George (Balu Varghese) and Vinaya Dasan (Lukman). They are youngsters with a fantastic education; and they are great with computers. Computers are their thing. But they have been unable to get a job and so they’re out to just prove something to the world (if not […]

Appu N. Bhattathiri’s ‘Nizhal’ (Kunchacko Boban, Nayanthara) is an underwhelming mystery-thriller with too many diversions

May 14, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Nizhal didn’t work for me right from the first scene where we see a horrific accident and a horrific CGI bird. It shows that Baby (Kunchacko Boban) is a judge and he has a temper. But, he is also the sweetest person; you want to pinch his cheeks. The rest of the film […]

Praveen Kandregula’s ‘Cinema Bandi’ (on Netflix) is a pleasant excursion into a villager’s passion for movie-making

May 14, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Cinema Bandi is a small, charming film. You have a village, Gollapalli, which has all the usual problems of an Indian village: no rains or irrigation for cultivation. On the other side, you have the fantasy world of cinema where rains are available for something as frivolous as a rain dance. You have […]

Readers Write In #361: Nayattu (The Hunt)

May 12, 2021


(by Sundar) Early into the film,the seasoned ASI Maniyan (Joju George), along with the rookie officer Praveen Michael (Kunchacko Boban), visits a house of an influential family and very casually goes about the task of planting evidence in the ‘crime scene’ – in order to fix an innocent chap at the behest of the powers […]

Cataract becomes a metaphor for patriarchy in Sivaram Mony’s ‘Thimiram’ (KK Sudhakaran, Vishak Nair), an okayish message movie with some lovely writing

May 10, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: Thimiram starts with a little boy getting two pieces of fish while a little girl gets only one. The mother herself says that’s enough for the girl. As the boy lazes around, the girl does the chores. As he grows up, he becomes a voyeur. This is sort of like a flashback and […]

Santhosh Vishwanath’s ‘One’, with Mammootty, is a middling fantasy about a purer-than-white politician

April 28, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: In Shankar’s Mudhalvan, an ordinary man, Pugazhenthi, becomes the chief minister for one day. He does miraculous things that corrupt politicians in power wouldn’t do. One takes it to a whole new level by asking: what if the actual chief minister, Kadakkal Chandran played by Mammootty, was like Pugazhenthi? Till he makes an appearance at the […]

Despite the clichés, Bucchi Babu Sana’s ‘Uppena’ (Panja Vaisshnav Tej, Krithi Shetty, Vijay Sethupathi) does interesting things in the ‘masala’ space

April 23, 2021


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Review: Mari Selvaraj’s ‘Karnan’, with Dhanush, Lal, Rajisha Vijayan

April 9, 2021


Spoilers ahead… Text: The best of screenwriters cannot imagine writing something like the Mahabharata because there are so many plots, subplots, and characters. And oOne of the most fascinating characters is Karna, who is born a demi-god. He is the son of a queen (Kunti) and a god (Surya). But he’s abandoned by his mother […]