“Hichki”… A gritty subject gets diluted into a mild, well-performed diversion

March 26, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… When we first see Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji), in Hichki, she’s waiting to interview for the position of a teacher. She’s shaking her feet and tapping her pen furiously on her folder of certificates. When she’s called in, more signs of nervousness appear. She makes hiccuping sounds. She keeps hitting the underside of […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Video Essay: Best Moments of Prakash Raj

March 26, 2018

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A birthday special, celebrating the best scenes of Prakash Raj. How does your list of favorites compare? For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Gal Gadot’s Stephen Hawking tweet, and the unsentimental handling of disability in ‘Rust and Bone’

March 26, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/gal-gadots-stephen-hawking-tweet-and-the-unsentimental-handling-of-disability-in-rust-and-bone-4405561.html Ableist (i.e. someone who discriminates against people with disabilities). That’s a new word I learnt after the passing of Stephen Hawking, when Gal ‘Wonder Woman’ Gadot put out this tweet: “Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you’re free of any physical constraints. Your brilliance and wisdom will […]

#AskBR – 7G Rainbow Colony

March 25, 2018

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A fortnightly feature, where I answer a few questions on the big release of the previous weekend. (Or, an older film, if the week has no big releases.) For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

Readers Write In #37: The Awesome Mixtape Musical

March 24, 2018

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​Guardians of The Galaxy (2014) has inadvertently spawned a new genre in Hollywood – The ‘Awesome Mixtape Musical’. What ‘Guardians..’ had created, ‘Baby Driver’ ended up perfecting earlier this year. It is a bit counter-intuitive to call a movie with no real singing a musical, but maybe it’s time to expand the definition of ‘musical’ […]

The Amateur’s Art #36 – Between the Words (English)

March 24, 2018

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See here for what this series is about. This film came from K Harish, with this note: Hello sir! I’m K. Harish, a Chennai resident, and a B. Sc. (Visual Communication) graduate from Loyola College, Chennai. I’ve been an ardent follower of your reviews and articles and you took a very special place in my heart […]

“Raid”… A solid premise ruined by a total lack of feel for masala filmmaking

March 23, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… At what point did I give up on Raid? I think it was when Amay Patnayak (Ajay Devgn), an upright IT officer (more about his uprightness, later), gets a mysterious phone call that promises a black money-related tip-off at a temple. When Amay tells his wife, Malini (Ileana D’Cruz), where he’s headed, she […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Interview: Abishek Raaja aka cinemapayyan

March 22, 2018

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Online reviewer Abhishek Raaja, aka @cinemapayyan, talks about his new channel (in collaboration with Potential Studios). What is the vision? What is going to be different from the work he did at Fully Filmy and Behindwoods? What did the “Dark Video” mean? He talks about reaching and audience beyond the click-baiting Ajith/Vijay videos, and reviewing […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Ira”… A completely underwhelming murder mystery

March 22, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/ira-movie-review/ Ira (Prey), directed by Saiju SS, opens on a dramatic note. A politician named Chandy (Alencier Ley Lopez) is wheeled into a hospital. A few minutes later, a doctor declares, “Minister is no more.” The news channels explode. There are allegations of corruption! There […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

“Poomaram”… This marvellous movie-mosaic is a tribute not just to the artistic process but to art itself

March 22, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/poomaram-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ Abrid Shine makes star-studded (or at least, star son-studded) feature films, but he has the heart of an empathetic documentarian. In 1983, he deposited us in the midst of village cricket – though there was still the sense of a story, the sense of […]

Posted in: Cinema: Malayalam

Remembering René Clément’s take on ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’, and his documentarian eye for detail

March 19, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/remembering-rene-clements-take-on-the-talented-mr-ripley-and-his-documentarian-eye-for-detail-4396113.html You sometimes peg these columns on the day someone was born, or the day they died. With the French filmmaker René Clément, it’s both. He was born on March 18, 1913, and he died on March 17, 1996, three years before the release of Anthony Minghella’s The […]

#AskBR – Nayakan

March 17, 2018

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A weekly feature, where I answer a few questions on the big release of the previous weekend. (Or, an older film, if the week has no big releases.) For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

On being home-schooled in Tamil through the film song

March 15, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/southern-lights-home-schooled-tamil-film-song/ Paying attention to lyrics is a wonderful way to increase one’s proficiency in a language. (Added incentive: It’s fun too.) These days, a lot of the music I listen to comes from the phone. I just type in the name of a song I feel like listening […]

“3 Storeys”… A confidently narrated anthology movie where the tale comes before the twist

March 15, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… Among the many small pleasures of Arjun Mukerjee’s 3 Storeys is the bustling chawl setting. Someone’s always doing something: shelling peas, or rehearsing for a dance, or flirting with the shopkeeper’s son, or staring at a police van hauling away a delinquent even as a wedding is in progress. (The bride and groom […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

“Hate Story IV”… Like Mastizaade grabbing a quickie with Mughal-e-Azam, but even worse

March 15, 2018

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Spoilers ahead… The latest instalment in the Hate Story franchise is titled Hate Story IV, which instantly begs the question: Why the Roman numeral when the preceding films were simply numbered “2” and “3”? Isn’t this going to prove cumbersome when the eighteenth chapter rolls along? (And you know there’s going to be an eighteenth […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

Louis Malle’s incest-tinged ‘Murmur of the Heart’ is a gentle blow against political correctness

March 12, 2018

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/louis-malles-incest-tinged-film-murmur-of-the-heart-is-a-gentle-blow-against-political-correctness-4386111.html There’s nothing quite like the Oscars to put you off political correctness for a while. There’s definitely the need to say these things – about gender equality, about racial discrimination, and a huge shout-out to Frances McDormand for making us aware of what an “inclusion rider” is […]

Readers Write In #36: Ram and his madness

March 11, 2018

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This article was written by G Waugh. I know a lot of people who hate Kattradhu Tamizh. I know a lot of people who hate Thanga Meengal. I know a lot of people who hate Kattradhu Tamizh and Thanga Meengal but love Taramani. Why? Taramani is made by someone who is far more mature than […]

The Amateur’s Art #35 – Khabt (Hindi, with English subs)

March 11, 2018

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See here for what this series is about. This film came from Ashish Sharma, with this note: This is Ashish Sharma, a student short filmmaker based in Delhi. I study biology at Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi. Short Filmmaking has been my hobby since school times. After So many attempts, the film, I am sharing with […]

#AskBR – Sridevi

March 9, 2018

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A weekly feature, where I answer a few questions on the big release of the previous weekend. (Or, an older film, if the week has no big releases.) For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2018 Film Companion.

On ‘Black Panther’, ‘Kaala’, and Pa Ranjith’s career

March 8, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/rajinikanth-black-panther-kaala-pa-ranjith-baradwaj-rangan/ In which I try to figure out the irony of a filmmaker who wants say very specific things and yet yields to the generic demands of a star vehicle. I kept thinking about Black Panther as I watched the teaser for Kaala, the new Pa Ranjith […]