Soorarai Pottru on Amazon Prime Video: Suriya and Aparna Balamurali shine in a solid but unspecial drama

November 12, 2020

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/reviews/tamil-review/soorarai-pottru-on-amazon-prime-video-suriya-and-aparna-balamurali-shine-in-a-solid-but-unspecial-drama/ In terms of sheer professionalism, the film is the best thing that’s come on the southern OTT space. But is that enough? Spoilers ahead… It’s lovely when the hero of a film has a solid ambition. It’s lovelier when the heroine has one, too. Maaran (Suriya) — based on Air Deccan founder GR Gopinath […]

Readers Write In #296: Scam 1992- How Harshad Mehta was the architect of much needed financial reforms

November 12, 2020

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(by Madan Mohan) There is something about Mehtas.  Harshad Mehta revolutionized stock market trading until, well, he was revealed to be what Bernie Madoff could have only dreamed of being.  Suketu Mehta beautifully chronicled the underbelly of Mumbai in Maximum City.  And Hansal Mehta chronicles Dalal Street as it used to be in a tightly […]

Interview: Urvashi (Mookuthi Amman, Soorarai Pottru)

November 10, 2020

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Readers Write In #295: The Queen’s Gambit

November 10, 2020

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(by Sundar) Streaming on Netflix and consisting of seven episodes, each with a runtime of about an hour, The Queen’s Gambit could be termed as a coming of age drama of an orphaned girl who is a chess prodigy. Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit happens in the cold war years when the race between […]

Readers Write In #294: Incest, sex and subversion in Bollywood

November 10, 2020

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(by Kartik Iyer) Case in point: Angoor. Sanjeev Kumar is playing cards with Maushmi Chatterjee and Deepti Naval. Under the table, his feet are playing with another pair of feet; presumably his wife’s, Maushmi Chatterjee’s. Until, Naval points out to him that he’s fiddling the wrong toe. Naval is Chatterjee’s sister; thus, Kumar’s sister-in-law. She […]

PVR 2.0: The new normal in theatre-going

November 9, 2020

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Posted in: Cinema, Society

Video Essay: 25 years of Kurudhipunal

November 7, 2020

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Fernanda Valadez’s ‘Identifying Features’, playing at Dharamsala, is a poignant drama about would-be illegal migrants

November 7, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/fernanda-valadezs-identifying-features-playing-at-dharamshala-is-a-poignant-drama-about-would-be-illegal-migrants-8988861.html This is neither about the issue (would-be illegal immigrants) nor the mystery (what happened to the protagonist’s son who tried to cross over from Mexico to the US?). It’s more about a mother… When you think of illegal (would-be) immigrants crossing over, you think of barbed-wire fences, helicopters throwing spotlights on the ground, difficult […]

Readers Write In #293: Middle-class-ness

November 7, 2020

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(by G Waugh) Baskar is incensed that all these days he had been dealing with a ruthless money-lender who had taken the guise of well-wisher/ family friend with a view to acquiring his rare, chemical formula, which is worth millions. He kidnaps the little daughter of the money-lender and calls to threaten him. But to […]

Readers Write In #292: 25 years of DDLJ, the kind of cinema Indian cinema (esp. Bollywood) unwisely left behind

November 6, 2020

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(by Alex John) (This write-up is not about the film) Okay, let me kick this off with a question. How many movies do each of us want to celebrate the 10th anniversary of in 2020? How many films do we have in mind for their 15th anniversary? 20th any? Maybe a few. Now, dare ask […]

Miss India on Netflix, with Keerthy Suresh: A strong woman’s story is diluted by weak writing

November 4, 2020

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/reviews/telugu-review/miss-india-on-netflix-with-keerthy-suresh-a-strong-womans-story-is-diluted-by-weak-writing/ I loved the core conceit: Why not make a ‘mass’ -style movie with a heroine? But the film is too long, and the cast is left stranded by the simplistic writing. Spoilers ahead… In Narendra Nath’s Miss India, everyone speaks like one of two things: a PowerPoint slide, or  a motivational poster. Consider the […]

Interview: RJ Balaji (Mookuthi Amman)

November 2, 2020

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

The name is Connery, Sean Connery: Goodbye to the first and finest James Bond

October 31, 2020

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/features/hollywood-features/sean-connery-james-bond-obituary-007-dies-at-90-hollywood-baradwaj-rangan/ As he got older, oddly, the cruel veneer in his on-screen persona slipped away and he became more avuncular. This is possibly his best phase, his most beloved phase. When I think of Sean Connery, I think of James Bond. But of course. He was in one of the greatest of those films, the […]

Posted in: Cinema: English

Jan Komasa’s ‘Corpus Christi’, playing at Dharamsala, makes you think about faith and prayer, sinners and saints

October 31, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/jan-komasas-corpus-christi-playing-at-dharamshala-makes-you-think-about-faith-and-prayer-sinners-and-saints-8969671.html There is no point in praying mechanically. There is no point in attending church just to get it done with. You don’t even have to be in church to be with God. If you want to step out and play football, God will follow you. In Christian terms, Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) is a sinner. […]

Readers Write In #291: Learning Cinema by watching Roma

October 31, 2020

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(by Shiva Prasad) Whether we like it or not, our lives are moulded by society. Few things are in our control, while most things are most definitely not. We are a tiny part of a bigger scheme of things. Things are not designed to always go our way in this extremely complex system of coexistence. […]

Addham on aha: This anthology with morally ambiguous characters needed more bite

October 29, 2020

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The concepts are good, but the conversations aren’t as easy and free-flowing and spontaneous as you’d like. Spoilers ahead… It’s something when a woman accuses her husband of having relationships with other women, and then says she thinks of other men. It’s an argument, though we never hear from the man (played by Prasanna). He’s […]

Readers Write In #290: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, by MK Gandhi

October 29, 2020

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(by G Waugh)  “I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my […]

Bheemasena Nalamaharaja on Amazon Prime Video: A conventional film overcooked with bizarre conceits

October 29, 2020

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https://www.filmcompanion.in/reviews/kannada-review/bheemasena-nala-maharaja-review-amazon-prime-video-rakshit-shetty-kannada-movies-karthik-saragur-aravinnd-arohi-baradwaj-rangan/ The film is stuffed with lip-smacking ingredients, but the pace is too measured, the telling is too conventional to accommodate its more outrageous plot points. Spoilers ahead… There’s something wonderfully dependable about Achyuth Kumar. Some actors are born with sharp and extremely defining features, but his is one of those “blank canvas” faces that […]

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

October 26, 2020

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Isamu Hirabayashi’s ‘Shell and Joint’, playing at Dharamsala, is a fascinatingly eccentric dissertation on life, death, shit, sex…

October 24, 2020

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https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/isamu-hirabayashis-shell-and-joint-playing-at-dharamsala-is-a-fascinating-look-at-life-and-death-8943961.html What is the shape or condition of life? And conversely, of death? Maybe death is the more natural and common condition, while life is a short trip that ends with death. What if suicide doesn’t arise from the desire to not live anymore? What if the impulse to kill oneself isn’t something existential, but […]