Readers Write In #64: Gods & Demons: 25 Glorious years of Devasuram and Manichitrathazhu

December 26, 2018

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Devasuram and Manichitrathazhu, two of the most popular and iconic films in Malayalam film history were both released in the year 1993. In the years preceding their release, they have achieved mythic status in pop culture and solidified forever Mohanlal’s reputation of being one of of the greatest and most versatile star actors in the […]

Mean tweets and comments – 2018 edition

December 26, 2018

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Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Posted in: Humour, Personal

Viewer’s Voice: Karthikeyan (Shopkeeper)

December 24, 2018

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Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

The top 10 Tamil films of 2018

December 24, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/top-10-tamil-films-of-2018-baradwaj-rangan-mercury-pariyerum-perumal-96-ratsasan/ Despite the strike taking a toll on releases, this wasn’t a bad year for Tamil cinema. Here’s my list, in order of date of release. (I am on a break, so this includes films released till mid-December.) Mercury: We had to wait almost till the end […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Zero”… This very literal flight of fancy is the year’s most audacious love story

December 23, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/zero-review-baradwaj-rangan-this-very-literal-flight-of-fancy-is-the-years-most-audacious-love-story/ In Aanand L Rai’s Zero, Shah Rukh Khan plays the vertically challenged Bauua Singh — though in one extraordinary scene, he seems to be playing himself. Earlier in the film, we have seen Bauua perform this trick. He begins counting down from ten — […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Hu Bo’s ‘An Elephant Sitting Still’, Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’, ‘The Godfather’, and the concept of slow cinema

December 20, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hu-bos-an-elephant-sitting-still-tarkovskys-stalker-the-godfather-and-the-concept-of-slow-cinema-5763511.html One of the highlights at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, this year, was Hu Bo’s Chinese film, An Elephant Sitting Still. There are many things that are noteworthy about it. One, the director committed suicide soon after finishing his film, reportedly due to conflicts […]

Happy 2019

December 19, 2018

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Dear readers, am on a break and may not be doing too much writing over the next few days. (You’ll see articles I’ve written earlier come up as and when they are published.) Wishing you all a very happy 2019. Cheers.

Posted in: Personal

“Odiyan”… A superb conceit botched by flabby writing and a frustrating lack of focus

December 17, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… How do you reveal a man of mystery? In Odiyan, director VA Shrikumar Menon plunges us into the waters of Benares. A woman has had an accident, and is in danger of drowning. Cut to a portly male on a boat, who dives in and stages a rescue. As he rises from the […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

“Thuppakki Munai”… A thoroughly underwhelming drama that trivialises important issues

December 14, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/thuppaki-munai-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-vikram-prabhu-hansika-motwani/ Sometimes, after watching a movie, I have to go back to my review of the director’s earlier film to remind myself that my expectations (for the new film) weren’t entirely off-base. That’s what I did after Dinesh Selvaraj’s thoroughly underwhelming Thuppakki Munai (Gunpoint). About […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

“Kedarnath”… A generally watchable film whose scenery does more heavy-lifting than the screenplay

December 13, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… I’m going to begin with the scene you expect in every story where an upper-class Hindu girl falls for a lower-class Muslim boy. The girl’s family finds out. They’re livid when they discover her in his house. Her father drags her away, but she isn’t kicking and screaming. She’s already been through a […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Searching for sci-fi/fantasy like ‘Aquaman’ outside Hollywood leads us to… ‘Enthiran’?

December 13, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/searching-for-sci-fifantasy-films-like-aquaman-outside-hollywood-leads-us-to-endhiran-5717981.html The upcoming release of Aquaman made me wonder if there’s another country that makes this kind of movie. Of course, it’s not difficult to find sci-fi films – in the broadest sense – in foreign languages. We have the surreal sci-fi of The City of Lost Children […]

On Ozu’s birth and death anniversary, a look at ‘Tokyo Story’ and the Yōji Yamada remake, ‘Tokyo Family’

December 12, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/on-ozus-birth-and-death-anniversary-a-look-at-tokyo-story-and-the-yoji-yamada-remake-tokyo-family-5715271.html Yasujirō Ozu was born on 12 December, 1903. He died 60 years later, on the same day. There is no need to reiterate this filmmaker’s greatness – if you are reading this column, you probably know this already. Wim Wenders put it perfectly at the beginning of […]

Interview: Rajiv Menon

December 11, 2018

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Rajiv Menon talks about being a dominant-caste filmmaker tackling a Dalit narrative in Sarvam Thaala Mayam, his relationship with the “musically modest” AR Rahman, and why the cinematography in Mani Ratnam’s “Bombay” is a milestone in his career. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Viewer’s Voice: Valarmathi (Domestic Help)

December 10, 2018

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Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Readers Write In #63: Kollywood sequels that matter

December 10, 2018

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To sequel or not to sequel, that is hardly the question in Kollywood these days. After enduring The Singam trilogy, Saamy X Saamy, Sandakozhi 2 and whatnot, I was wondering if we have taken this too far. I may have raised an eyebrow when I heard about Indian 2 and a Thevar Magan sequel (both […]

Readers Write In #62: Understanding agrarian crisis

December 8, 2018

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The following essay will give a brief introduction to the origins of the current agricultural crisis in India. Knowledge of the origins shall serve as an effective background to understand rising farmer unrest all over India. What is Liberalisation/Neoliberalism? India in 1991, in return for financial assistance from IMF and World Bank agreed to implementing […]

“Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum”… A deeply moving dissection of the lives of three women across three time periods

December 8, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… This film played at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star and will play at the International Film Festival of Kerala next week… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/sivaranjiniyum-innum-sila-pengalum-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan-vasanth-parvathy/ The number three appears to have gripped Vasanth. His last feature film, Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal, narrated three love stories […]

Interview: Yash

December 7, 2018

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Sneha Menon Desai’s conversation with Yash, star of KGF. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Off the topic: ‘The Cut’ article

December 6, 2018

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This came from Rahul: OTT request : “The cut” article about PC and her wedding , and their subsequent retraction. I do not have much to say on the topic but would like to see what other people think. Its also something that probably desis of all political beliefs may band up on one side […]

#AskBR – 2.0

December 5, 2018

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.