Interview: On reviewing (and with reviewers)

October 31, 2017

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A fun chat on reviewing, with Abhishek Raaja (FullyFilmy), Maathevan (Behindwoods), Karthick Krishna (The Hindu, Tamil) — moderated by Kishen Das (FullyFilmy). Coming soon. Copyright ©2017 Fully Filmy. Advertisements

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Secret Superstar”… Some nice moments tucked away in the corners of a facile, manipulative script

October 29, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Advait Chandan’s Secret Superstar is an obvious film. Everything is laid out on the surface — with a trowel. In the opening scene, we see schoolgirls in a train compartment belting out Bollywood hits like Bidi jalai le, Kaala chashma. An older woman, seated nearby, frowns. Then, one of the girls, Insia (Zaira […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Rukh”… A slow-burn domestic mystery that comes together in the head but remains remote

October 27, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Ever since Citizen Kane, many a filmmaker has used the dining table as a stage for domestic strife. Atanu Mukherjee’s version sees a glum Divakar (Manoj Bajpayee) nibbling at his food. His wife, Nandini (Smita Tambe), looks glummer. There’s strife, all right — we sense it, but we don’t see it yet. The […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

The Amateur’s Art #27 – Oozh (Tamil, with English subs)

October 26, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. This short is directed by Shan Srinivasan.

A tribute to IV Sasi

October 25, 2017

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MANK wrote a tribute to IV Sasi, for Film Companion. Thanks, MANK, for such a quick turnaround. Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/iv-sasi-the-first-superstar-director-of-malayalam-cinema WWith the passing of I.V. Sasi, we have lost the most prolific and perhaps the most eclectic film director this country has ever produced. In a career spanning almost […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Interview: Dulquer Salmaan / Rajkummar Rao

October 25, 2017

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At the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star 2017, I interviewed — before a live audience (which explains the audio/video) — two young actors that the session called “out big hopes.” Here’s the video: Copyright ©2017 Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star.

“Golmaal Again!!!”… A not entirely unwatchable instalment of the franchise that just won’t die

October 24, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… In Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal Again!!! (the exclamation marks suggest that the makers are as amazed as we are at the resilience of this franchise), Tabu plays a spinster-librarian. There’s nothing wrong in hiring a gorgeous, fortysomething actress to play a spinster-librarian, of course. A role is a role, et cetera. But what gave […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

The Amateur’s Art #26 – Grey (Tamil, with English subs)

October 22, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. A note about this short: Hi sir, this is Sharath, an independent filmmaker form Madurai who is aspiring to make it big on the silver screen. I have been following your blog for a long time, i believe in constructive criticism that would guide an artist grow. […]

The Amateur’s Art #25 – Drycide / Two-fold

October 22, 2017

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See here for what this series is about. These short films are by Suriya Rn, who says: “I write on your blog on and off as Kaaviyathalagani. I’m now a professional editor, but I made several very short pieces (in bursts) at a time I knew nothing of the medium and had little to no […]

Readers Write In #25: A Tropical Sojourn

October 22, 2017

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The following is a note from Anand Raghavan… Hi BR, Poetry is one of the most expressive forms of art. From time immemorial humans have captured all facets of their life across the world in this form. In this book, it is effectively used as a medium to capture the beauty of nature and life […]

Posted in: Books, Readers Write In

Readers Write In #24: Amar Akbar Anthony – Mother India’s children

October 22, 2017

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I don’t like to repeat authors for Readers Write In, but I guess the timeliness was a factor in this piece. Also, have been remiss in posting these (and the Amateur’s Art shorts). Will resume this now. Amar Akbar Anthony (AAA from now on) completes 40 this year. To talk about the greatness of AAA […]

“Chennaiyil Oru Naal – 2.”… A silly thriller that barely remembers why Part 1 worked

October 21, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/chennayil-oru-naal-2 Chennaiyil Oru Naal 2 (A Day in Chennai – Part 2), directed by JPR, is an oddly named sequel. The events of Part 1 took place in Chennai. This film unfolds in Coimbatore. But that’s the least of its problems. The story gets going […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Meyaadha Maan”… A ‘rooted romcom’ with a few problems, but the filmmaking more than compensates

October 21, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/meyaadha-maan How does love happen? This process — part-chemical, part-emotional — is easier to write about in a novel (“he felt this”, “she felt that”) than show in the movies, especially if you don’t want to resort to spoon-feeding dialogue. It becomes trickier — as […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Dayavittu Gamanisi”… An intermittently affecting anthology about the journey that is life

October 21, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/dayavittu-gamanisi-movie-review Rohit Padaki’s Dayavittu Gamanisi (Your Attention Please) opens with a train pulling into a station, and the last scene shows a train leaving the station. The film is an anthology of four shorts, whose chapter titles (Whirlpool, Existence, Illusion, Decision) hint at something bigger, […]

Posted in: Cinema: Kannada

“Mersal”… Vijay lords over a movie that’s better than “Bairavaa”, but is that enough?

October 18, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/mersal-movie-review With Mersal (Astonishment), director Atlee continues with his mission to simultaneously giganticise and deflavourise beloved older films. If Raja Rani was an overblown Mouna Raagam and Theri was a watered-down Chatriyan, Mersal is Aboorva Sagotharargal remade as a “mass” movie. I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t Aboorva Sagotharargal itself a “mass” movie? Not quite. It […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

25 years of Thevar Magan

October 17, 2017

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Here’s a video essay I did on Thevar Magan, which was released 25 Deepavalis ago. (Gulp! How time flies!) Coming on Thursday. My chat with Santosh Sivan. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: Nithilan Swaminathan / Lokesh Kanagaraj, directors of Kurangu Bommai / Maanagaram

October 15, 2017

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This is a chat with two young directors who have really strong views on the films they want to make and how stars can help. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

Interview: Baradwaj Rangan (BehindWoods)

October 11, 2017

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Another interview, with Maathevan of Behindwoods. Copyright ©2017 BehindWoods.

Posted in: Cinema, Interview, Personal

“The Silence”… A quieter addition to this year’s roster of dramas around rape

October 9, 2017

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Spoilers ahead… Manda (Kadambari Kadam) is one of the many extras on the fringes of filmdom, as replaceable as the next one, but one thing sets her apart: she won’t sleep with the agent to get ahead. He insists. She protests. She says she’s here to be an actress, not a whore. Given how the […]

Posted in: Cinema: Marathi

Interview: Baradwaj Rangan (FullyFilmy)

October 6, 2017

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It was fun being interviewed by Abishek at Fully Filmy. Here it is:   Copyright ©2017 Fully Filmy.

Posted in: Cinema, Interview, Personal