Thoongaa Vanam (2015) Move Review: A Ticking Clock Which Doesn’t Start

Divakar (Kamal Haasan) is in the VIP lounge of a night club where a producer(Santhana Bharathi) points to the TV showing the news and laments that his completed film hasn’t been released due to him owing money to people and dejected fans have been sent back home. Kamal Haasan references the state of his film Uttama Villain on the day of its release. In another scene, his son picks up the football instead of taking up a cricket bat. In a city this has become quite a common occurrence these days, what with Messi and Ronaldo as well known in a household as Sachin or Dravid once were (please pardon me if I am being blasphemous). Once again, a troubled father-son relationship which we saw in Uttama Villain. There is,of course, more referencing. The lip locks Kamal is involved in with Madhu Shalini and the last line the son utters reference Kamal’s romantic hero image. I remember a function where Radhika Sarathkumar mentioned Kamal and the lip locks from his movies. Like in Uttama Villain and the movies which have becomes star vehicles, the self referencing is part of the script but unlike the star vehicles, these are organic inclusions, especially the lip locks. Smooth.Continue reading “Thoongaa Vanam (2015) Move Review: A Ticking Clock Which Doesn’t Start”

Burnt (2015) Movie Review: No, Chef!

Language : English | Running Time :101 Minutes | Director John Wells

Burnt has a screenplay by Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, one of the best TV shows out there. Here, there’s little evidence that the man who wrote “Dirty Pretty Things”, “Pawn Sacrifice” and directed the extraordinary “Locke” among other exciting credits was involved. Directed by John Wells, Burnt is a film that serves the MasterChef generation with the kind of under cooked food that would make Gordon Ramsay flip the mad fury switch that’s made him excitingly popular. I promise not to bore you with more of these kitchen and food metaphors.Continue reading “Burnt (2015) Movie Review: No, Chef!”

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun(2015) Movie Review: Junun-e-Mohabbat

Language : English, Hindi | Running Time  : 54 Minutes | Director : Paul Thomas Anderson 

“Junun” is one of the strangest documentaries but then which Paul Thomas Anderson movie doesn’t come with a bit if strangeness in it. Junun is an exploration of music in a room with a blend of people from different parts of the world. An Israeli musician,Shye Ben Tzur, has Jonny Greenwood playing guitar, Qawwali vocalists, instrumentalists who have been playing the horns, nagara, kamaichi for generations, so far back that even they do not know when their ancestors started playing the instrument.Continue reading “Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun(2015) Movie Review: Junun-e-Mohabbat”

Patriarchy in Flowers of Shanghai and Raise The Red Lantern

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai and Zhang Yimou’s Raise The Red Lantern both have similar outlooks on the patriarchal society in China which is built on carrying forward pre-existing customs and rules defined and lorded over by men. While Hou Hsia-Hsien’s movie is set in 1884, Zhang Yimou sets his film in the early 20th century but in terms of what they are commenting upon, there is very little that they differ on. These aren’t reviews but an attempt to understand the themes that the two films delved upon and the craft they employed to tell their tales. Continue reading “Patriarchy in Flowers of Shanghai and Raise The Red Lantern”

Masaan: Poetic Closures

As human beings, I find it impossible for us to not seek closure. In every aspect of our life, there is a desire to connect all the dots and conclude. Without conclusions, we hang free, unable to move forward or finish a part of our life, a relationship or even a simple task. The greatest of closures is death which guarantees flight from every open problem. Masaan or crematorium is the home for the ultimate closure. Neeraj Ghaywan’s debut feature, deals with life in a small town – Benares; through two tales. It is about love, heartbreak, morality, casteism, small town modernity and also about closure.Continue reading “Masaan: Poetic Closures”

The Dissolve (2013-2015), The End Of A Cinephile Community

Today, it becomes a week since The Dissolve dissolved. Sorry for the bad pun. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading old articles, focussing especially on the comments section which has at times been as enlightening as the posts and sometimes more. The Dissolve had this rare following of true geeks of cinema who wouldn’t miss a step discussing color, sound, framing, shot selection or anything about cinema under the sky and beyond and whose comments would make a lesser person like myself feel like I was being educated on the finer nuances of the medium I’ve come to love. The fact that the editorial team managed it in less than a 2 year period is extraordinary and in all honesty, I haven’t come across another website so enriching and complete for discussions about film-making.Continue reading “The Dissolve (2013-2015), The End Of A Cinephile Community”

Asha Jaoar Majhe A.K.A Labour Of Love (2015) Movie Review: Prosaic In-between.

Asha Jaoar Majhe a.k.a Labour Of Love(2015)

Language : Bengali | Running Time : 84 Minutes | Director : Aditya Vikram Sengupta

(This post contains spoilers)

I sat through 3 minutes of clothes moving, being pushed by material newly hung. It didn’t take me long to figure out how the clothes were being moved or their placement, I was after all brought up by a woman very familiar with the indigenous ways of using nylon ropes and verandahs. I also knew that the clothes would dry and then be pulled back, in the same order by another person. The husband hangs them to dry, the wife takes them off from the clothesline. In the first few minutes of the movie, you expect this to happen.This is an experimental film, whose labour is visible, whose love is supposed to be poetic and surreal but it is so devoid of any character or plot conflict, the journey is 84 minutes of mundane, unbearable obviousness. The sun sets, fish scales are removed, cereals are transferred to boxes, tamarind powder sits proudly and there is a small cooking class that Masterchef would most likely complain about.Continue reading “Asha Jaoar Majhe A.K.A Labour Of Love (2015) Movie Review: Prosaic In-between.”

The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project (2010) Movie Review: A True Blue Assured Indie Film

Language : English + Hindi + Marathi | Running Time : 75 Minutes | Director : Srinivas Sunderrajan a.k.a Vaas

A movie about making a movie about making a movie. Phew. If Inception was a dream within dreams, The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project (TUKKP) is a movie within movies. Srinivas Sunderrajan’s (a.k.a Vaas) debut feature film is a true child of guerilla film-making – shooting people without their knowledge, making use of location happen stance and produced and distributed for a measly 40,000 INR, which is almost entirely crowd funded. (His production house is Enter Guerrilla Productions)Continue reading “The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project (2010) Movie Review: A True Blue Assured Indie Film”

Scattered Windows, Connected Doors Documentary Review: Womanhood, Surface Scratched

Language : English | Running Time : 75 Minutes | Directors : Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar

“Scattered Windows, Connected Doors” is a documentary directed by Roohi Dixit and Ziba Bhagwagar about eight women in different cities telling their stories and how they came to be. It has won awards at the Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival, Vancouver Women’s International Film Festival and International Film Festival of Kashmir. It attempts to bring these women to us and a concept of urban womanhood through a series of conversations about love, loss, freedom, solitude, marriage, relationships and importantly, being a woman.Continue reading “Scattered Windows, Connected Doors Documentary Review: Womanhood, Surface Scratched”