Browsing All Posts filed under »Television / Online«

Interview: Will OTT Platforms penetrate the south , like in Bollywood?

October 26, 2020


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Halal Love Story on Amazon Prime Video: An entertaining mix of faith and filmmaking

October 24, 2020

0 This is a very funny film. And yet, the subtext is always serious, always linked to halal/haram, and what it means to be a Muslim. For a country where religion is such a part of the fabric, it’s surprising we don’t have what the Americans call the “faith-based film”. We’ve had the pure mythological. […]

Colour Photo on aha, with Suhas and Chandini Chowdary: A not-bad “love failure” story with truly inspired touches

October 24, 2020

2 Issues and all, this is one of the better products of this direct-to-OTT era. It may not come together perfectly, but at least, it’s not for lack of trying. Spoilers ahead… Sandeep Raj’s Colour Photo (he also wrote the film, from a story by Sai Rajesh) is set in the 1990s, and it has […]

Putham Pudhu Kaalai on Amazon Prime Video: Some sharp moments in a mostly pleasant but generic anthology

October 15, 2020

37 Karthik Subbaraj’s short is the ‘late-a vandhalum latest-a varuven’ of the bunch. GVM’s is nice, too. Spoilers ahead… It’s the season for anthologies, and Amazon Prime Video gives us one based on the theme of “New Beginnings”. The first short is by Sudha Kongara. It features Jayaram, Urvasi, Kalidas Jayaram and Kalyani Priyadarshan — […]

Interview: Suhasini, Rajiv Menon, GVM, Sudha Kongara, Karthik Subbaraj (Putham Pudhu Kaalai, Amazon anthology)

October 7, 2020


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Varmaa on Simply South, with Dhruv Vikram and Megha: Bala’s completely uninvolving remake of Arjun Reddy

October 6, 2020

26 Not a single frame is distinctive, or shows that a major filmmaker is behind the camera. You get the feeling Bala was forced to direct this with his hands tied. Spoilers ahead… Just last year, with Adithya Varma,  we said Dhruv Vikram makes a confident debut in a faithful, competent, well-crafted remake of Sandeep […]

Nishabdham on Amazon Prime Video, with Anushka Shetty and Madhavan: A dreadful thriller

October 3, 2020


Almost everybody in Seattle seems to hail from Andhra Pradesh/Telangana… We quickly get to a point where the jaw cannot drop any lower at the awfulness on screen. Spoilers ahead… H emant Madhukar’s Nishabdham opens on Christmas eve, in 1972, someplace near Seattle. A couple — an Asian-looking man, a Caucasian woman — is slow-dancing […]

Ka Pae Ranasingam on Zee Plex, with Aishwarya Rajesh and Vijay Sethupathi: An impressive dramatic debut for director P Virumaandi

October 2, 2020

26 Aishwarya Rajesh, after Kanaa, gets a role that gives her the gamut. And Vijay Sethupathi is in marvellous form. Spoilers ahead… I’ll begin with a scene with a government official in Ramanathapuram. A young woman has discovered that her Dubai-employed husband has died. (He was one of the numerous anonymous Indians who worked in […]

Readers Write In #277: First American Presidential Debate 2020 as Reality TV

October 2, 2020


(by Prasanna H) The Real House-Whites of Trump and Biden “Why do celebrities wash their dirty whites in public?” an exasperated Naseeruddin Shah once said. It really makes you wonder, especially when reality TV stars do it more professionally. It is not an exact quote, meaning Naseer would have denied it completely if he were […]

Interview: Vetri Maaran, GVM, Sudha Kongara, Vignesh Shivn (Paava Kathaigal, Netflix anthology)

October 1, 2020


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Luis Estrada’s ‘The Perfect Dictatorship’, on Netflix, perfectly reflects our sensation-over-news era

September 26, 2020


Way back in 1951, Billy Wilder’s ‘Ace in the Hole’, about an opportunistic newspaper reporter, was labelled ‘satire’. Today, it would be the reality. In some countries, these days, there’s much talk about how the media — at least, the television media — are diverting the attention of citizens from real issues to sensational stories. […]

Silencer on Amazon Prime Video, with Lal: There are good ideas, but this drama needed more depth

September 26, 2020


We are in a story that’s all Christian/Communist allegory. But it’s too talky. Director Priyanandan relies too much on exposition. Spoilers ahead… What’s the worst thing that could happen if your father were both a Gandhi-ian and a communist, and had raised you with those beliefs? You’d be lost today. That’s literally what happens to […]

Cargo on Netflix, with Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi: A modest, well-made tale that’s both myth and science fiction

September 18, 2020


The film has a charming “actors in a modest set” feel that takes you back to old Doordarshan shows like Indradhanush or Space City Sigma, but with better lighting. Spoilers ahead… Some of the world-building in Arati Kadav’s Cargo might make you think we are in the realm of myth. The earth’s humanoid beings are […]

Readers Write In #270: Reading between the lines: When a Man Leaves a Room…

September 16, 2020


(by Karthik Amarnath) In a setting that’s almost surely an homage to The Apartment (1961), New York executive Pete Campbell engages in an extramarital liaison with a neighbor at his Manhattan love nest. As the two of them get ready to leave, the woman throws one idea after another from missed calls to mixed parking places […]

Sadak 2 on Disney+ Hotstar, with Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur: A disaster at every conceivable level

September 15, 2020


The only success of the film is that it becomes a powerful tool for anyone who wants to battle nepotism. I mean: Mahesh Bhatt’s younger daughter plays the heroine in the sequel to a film which featured Mahesh Bhatt’s older daughter… Spoilers ahead… When people howled that Sadak 2 was a dog, I felt it […]

Lock Up on ZEE5, with Venkat Prabhu, Vaibhav, Easwari Rao: This murder investigation is a solid entry in the ‘hmmm-not-bad’ subgenre

September 8, 2020


I don’t want to overrate this film. But equally, I don’t want to underrate its modest accomplishments. Spoilers ahead… When you watch something like V, it makes you all kinds of angry: all those crores, and they couldn’t buy themselves a script! Lock Up makes you wonder what writer-director SG Charles might have made had […]

V on Amazon Prime Video, with Nani and Sudheer Babu: A thoroughly underwhelming cat-and-mouse thriller

September 3, 2020


I wondered if the director would have been more comfortable just pursuing a romantic zone: after all, his last outing, the Notting Hill-inspired Sammohanam, was quite a charmer. Spoilers ahead… I briefly wondered if Mohana Krishna Indraganti’s V might turn out to be good. It is filled with high-minded references, from Shakespeare to Emily Brontë. […]

c u soon on Amazon Prime Video, with Fahadh Faasil, Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran: A solid mystery that unfolds entirely on a set of screens

September 1, 2020


The last half-hour is a cracker. The excitement is manufactured simply out of a man trying to get at the bottom of a mystery by staring at his computer screen. Spoilers ahead… It’s inevitable that c u soon takes you back to Aneesh Chaganty’s Searching, for the films share a USP. Both are a “missing-persons […]

Maniyarayile Ashokan, on Netflix: A sweet-natured romance that needed to be sharper, quirkier

August 31, 2020


In trying to make the proceedings “entertaining”, the film cheats its protagonist, who remains a flat line from start to finish. Spoilers ahead… Shamzu Zayba’s Maniyarayile Ashokan is set in a village where the scent of love fills the air. The opening credits appear over an object of love (Unnimaya, played by Anu Sithara), who […]

Readers Write In #255: Why ‘The Wire’ is the finest show ever made

August 30, 2020


(by Sudharshan Garg) Ask 10 people about their personal top 5 list of TV drama, and 4/5 will have Breaking Bad, Sopranos, Madmen in their top 5, but will not have the Wire in it. The Wire which in my books ranks as the finest piece of entertainment ever to make it to the screen […]