Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’, and how we react differently to physical and emotional violence

October 3, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/park-chan-wooks-2016-korean-thriller-the-handmaiden-shows-how-we-react-differently-to-physical-and-emotional-violence-7444131.html Park Chan-wook likes his violence. In one of the most memorable scenes in Oldboy, a man cuts off his tongue. He’s asking another man for forgiveness. “I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll do anything. I beg you… If you want me to be your dog, I will.” […]

“Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy”… Chiranjeevi is rousing in a weakly written historical drama

October 2, 2019

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Even the biggest star needs the gravity of a strong screenplay, and that’s where the film falters, and ultimately fails. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/sye-raa-narasimha-reddy-movie-review-chiranjeevi-historical-drama-sudeep-vijay-sethupathi/ In the pantheon of ageing-yet-ageless stars of the south, Chiranjeevi has been missed the most. In Tamil cinema, Rajinikanth still lights up […]

Readers Write In #100: Vindication of Cinephilia

October 1, 2019

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(by Joydeep Bose) In her 1996 essay ‘The Decay of Cinema’, film theorist Susan Sontag mapped the birth and death of cinephilia — right from its heady days of the fervent film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1950s France (and, subsequently, among the magazines elsewhere in Europe and North America), to its “ignominious, irreversible […]

#AskBR – Namma Veettu Pillai

October 1, 2019

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

“A Dog and His Man”… A quiet, moving record of a village that vanishes due to the coal beneath it

September 30, 2019

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Siddharth Tripathy’s film was premiered as an Official Selection at Vancouver International Film Festival. It will be screened at Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival With Star, 2019. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/a-dog-and-his-man-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/ The title of Siddharth Tripathy’s quiet, moving film sounds like something out of a fable, […]

Readers Write In #99: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 2 – Stalin’s Era Part 1

September 28, 2019

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(by G Waugh) Introduction, Preface, and Chapter 1 are here. The ascent of the Strongman: The death of the founder patriarch Vladimir Lenin, did jolt the Soviet people even though it was very well known that he was bedridden for months. Lenin’s New Economic Policy introduced in 1921 a few months before his death, had […]

Happy 90th birthday, Lata Mangeshkar!

September 28, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/happy-90th-birthday-lata-mangeshkar/ The singer’s greatness is taken for granted (and rightly so), but is the “Lata era” still a thing? Or is it just for older listeners and nostalgists? Hema Mangeshkar. After 90 years, the name doesn’t just sound off, it sounds wrong, like calling a rainbow a […]

“Namma Veettu Pillai”… Sivakarthikeyan and Aishwarya Rajesh’s action-melodrama isn’t great, but isn’t bad either

September 27, 2019

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With better writing throughout, the climax would have made you weep. But as empty emotional entertainers go, this film isn’t a total loss. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/namma-veettu-pillai-review-sivakarthikeyan-pandiraj-aishwarya-rajesh-anu-emmanuel/ In my review of Pandiraj’s previous film, I said, “Kadaikutty Singam wants to be little more than a time […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Why Gully Boy is the right choice for Oscars: Visibility, international buzz gives the film a real shot

September 26, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-gully-boy-is-the-right-choice-for-oscars-visibility-international-buzz-gives-the-film-a-real-shot-at-winning-7406641.html Of late, we’ve been hearing a lot about Anurag Kashyap. His Gangs of Wasseypur, which was screened at the 2012 Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, was the only Indian entry in The 100 Best Films of the 21st Century, compiled by The Guardian. (“Stylish, visceral […]

Readers Write In #98: The Russian Revolution, Chapter 1 – Lenin saves Russia

September 24, 2019

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(by G Waugh) The story of 20th-century Russia (1914-1991) has immense relevance to today’s political and economic life all over the world. The events, when looked at merely as a story, present a compelling tale with moral and philosophical dimensions. The first few chapters will be dedicated to narration of significant events while the last […]

Readers Write In #97: Why I Loved Nani’s Gang Leader

September 24, 2019

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(by Aman Basha) “Gang Leader” is arguably one of the massiest flicks that came out in Telugu, more than two decades ago. Its star, Chiranjeevi was the man who brought mass to Tollywood, the ultimate star whose success is yet to be repeated by others who keep making movies, similar to the potboilers he made, […]

#AskBR – Kaappaan / Oththa Seruppu

September 24, 2019

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In which I answer a few questions on an older film… or a new one… or talk about actors and directors… or take on a few YouTube comments… For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: #AskBR, Cinema: Tamil

Readers Write In #96: Ms Monopoly and feminism

September 23, 2019

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(by Meera Ramanathan) Before I begin my post, I want to call a truce. A firm believer in “we are all in this together” am hoping we can have healthy discussions devoid of judgement and name calling. We can agree to disagree and I strongly support your attempt to make argument even if I don’t […]

“Kaappaan”… A truly wretched screenplay makes this Suriya vehicle an exhausting action-adventure

September 20, 2019

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‘Kaappaan’ wants to be everything to everyone, and that’s not a problem, but the writing is so clumsy that you don’t feel for anyone and you don’t care about anything. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/kaappaan-review-kv-anand-suriya-mohanlal/ I‘ve decided to become a director. Here’s the idea. The protagonist is […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

On the parents and children in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’

September 19, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/hirokazu-kore-edas-like-father-like-son-and-its-nature-vs-nurture-examination-7370971.html This week, we’re going to discuss a film about fathers and sons, but what birthed it was director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s relationship with his daughter. He said, in a Screen Anarchy interview, that he actually didn’t have very much time to spend with her, probably due to the […]

“Oththa Seruppu”… Parthiban stars in a “stunt” film that’s barely convincing but very entertaining

September 19, 2019

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The “deliberate” theatricality is everywhere. The very location looks like a stage, with the barest of props and a very visible lighting. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/oththa-seruppu-movie-review-parthiban-resul-pookutty-santhosh-narayanan-c-sathya In Oththa Seruppu (also called Oththa Seruppu Size 7), R Parthiban uses several devices to push the boundaries of conventional […]

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil

Interview: ‘Poo’ Sasi, on his journey from ‘Sollamale’ to ‘Sivappu Manjal Pachai’

September 18, 2019

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For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: http://bit.ly/2xoNult Copyright ©2019 Film Companion.

Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Dream Girl”… Ayushmann Khurrana stars in an “Ayushmann Khurrana comedy” that’s his lamest one yet

September 13, 2019

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The director, who’s from television, doesn’t want ‘people’. He is content with flat, sitcom-style cartoons and poke-in-the-ribs music. Spoilers ahead… You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/dream-girl-movie-review-by-baradwaj-rangan-ayushmann-khurrana-nusrat-barucha/ In 1977, Pramod Chakravorty made a movie titled after what the nation had nicknamed Hema Malini: Dream Girl. It was about a woman who […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi

The sexually explicit ‘Extase’, starring Hedy Lamarr, and its continuing connection with the Venice Film Festival

September 12, 2019

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Read the full article on Firstpost, here: https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/why-czech-film-extase-by-gustav-machaty-is-important-for-the-history-of-the-venice-film-festival-7328681.html Extase (Ecstasy), the 1933 Czech film by Gustav Machatý, made news at the Venice Film Festival for many reasons. One, the film was the pre-opening night event of the festival. It was part of the Classics section, and was screened a day before the festival officially began, […]

“Chhichhore”… Some mild amusement cannot redeem a slapdash bunch of friendship clichés

September 12, 2019

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All the A-for-apple screenplay wants to do is comfort us with clichés — say, the fact that friends you have lost touch with over the years will drop everything and land up the minute you reach out to them, even if they are in faraway lands. Spoilers ahead… Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore feels like a drawing-board […]

Posted in: Cinema: Hindi