A feel-good biographical drama set in the cold war era, Bridge of Spies, featuring a sterling star cast is probably Steven Spielberg’s best film in recent yearsContinue reading “Bridge of Spies (2015) Movie Review: Probably Spielberg’s Best Film in Recent Years?”
Author Archives: Mani Prabhu
It’s Indeed a Girl Thing!
Celebrating the essence of ‘Idhaiyathai Yedho Ondru’ from ‘Yennai Arindhaal’
Vijay, We Are Waiting!
Over the last couple of decades, Vijay has successfully worked with quite some filmmakers giving us glimpses of his potential in films like Priyamudan, Thulladha Manamum Thullum, Ghilli and Thuppaki. As the actor turns 41 today,why not a fantasy ride, reflecting on the kind of awesomeness that could be unleashed on us, if the actor collaborates with some of the best creative minds of our industry!
Massu Engira Masilamani (Masss) Movie Review: Some Solid Masala; But Where is Vintage Venkat?
You wouldn’t go to a film tagged as a Venkat Prabhu sixer, expecting to witness a poignant, timeless classic right? You would go to be entertained; enjoy the charisma of his bad-ass protagonists, smile or frown sheepishly at the stream of spot-improvised gags, applaud a moment of unexpected boldness, give in wantonly to some quality deception and probably come out, cheery and spirited. Well, so did I, on the surface! But I have to admit that somewhere deep inside, I was battling deeper emotions. Back in 2007, when a young ‘David” audaciously challenged the Tamil cinema box office ‘Goliath’ with a beauty of a irreverent film that rode on the spontaneity of a bunch of non-celebrity newcomers and a street game, he quite unknowingly inspired a whole bunch of struggling filmmakers who were trying in vain to make content count over stardom. Suddenly, a savior seemed to have emerged
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A. R. Rahman’s Psychedelic Masterpiece: A Song That Took Indian Cinema By Storm!
It was the Diwali day of 1993. As for every kid of the nineties, my day dawned with the excitement of new films and colorful crackers. I still vividly remember the morning, when I entered the hall after the customary fireworks to hear the 26 inch Onida TV, literally exploding with some breathtaking stuff – music that I had hitherto never experienced. Sun TV, that had just started its streaming that April, was airing a special program on a new Diwali release incidentally.
The moment I heard the amazing sounds, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, nor could I move another step, my brains instantly freezing, unable to digest the insane brilliance of what it had been exposed to, without prior warning. Everything about those five minutes hit me so emphatically that, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days together. I was mesmerized for a long, long time. But little did I realize back then that I would end up being so irreversibly smitten, writing about this unbelievable piece of magic, twenty-two years later.
With all due respect to our evolved language comprehension skills let me tell you that there are some cerebral experiences like this one that can’t be caged under the confines of a vocabulary or visual syntax. But still, whats the harm in giving it a shot?
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Demonte Colony Movie Review: Intense Thrill Fest
Invoking fear has always been a popular and common theme in our movies. But off late, we have been witness to the genre being mercilessly abused and ripped apart under the garb of commerce. Not that I have anything against cliched horror comedies, but the sheer repetitious and unimaginative formula into which they have managed to confine ‘horror’ and dumb it down for the sake of ticking off all the audience boxes, depresses me. Isn’t good horror about tapping unpredictability, drawing on tension and building curiosity, without the need for fillers or padding up. The fear should suck us into the drama, genuinely feeling for the happenings on-screen, yearning for the events to pan out in a particular way, and then shock us by giving exactly what we yearn for, but with a twist. Every moment, the audience should be asking, ‘what possibly could be the catch here?’ . It’s the skillful exploitation of this anxiety, that makes the difference between a good film in the genre and a not-so-good one. I believe Ajay Gnanamuthu, a former assistant of AR Murugadoss, shows glimpses of some competent making even with his debut film, Demonte Colony, that turns out to be an honest and intense horror thriller.
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One Auteur. One Actor. One Scene: Kamal Haasan’s Chef-D’Oeuvre Moment as the ‘Uttama-Villain’
Manoranjan, the hot, money-spinning star of Tamil cinema with a humongous fan-base, is at the peak of his self-centered professional career, his latest commercial outing opening to blockbuster collections and thunderous applause among fanatics, when he gets hit with a diagnosis of Stage 4 Glioblastoma multiforme, a type of malignant and notoriously fatal brain tumor with an average life expectancy of 9 to 12 months.
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More of Mani’s Magic than Drama, But Delightfully So: Thoughts on O Kadhal Kanmani
In a brilliant celluloid moment, that is drenched in unapologetic candor, squeezed for candid hormonal truths with a quirk nonchalance and hung to dry with a poignant touch, the lively and ambitious Tara finds herself stranded in the suburban lanes of Ahmedabad, after missing her train back to Mumbai, with the hot, metrosexual and commitment-phobic Adhitya, who had followed her all the way to a new city, after being totally smitten over a single date, now contemplating on the options of spending the fateful night in a cranky lodge. When Adhi tells her with a mischievous grin that there is only one room that they would have to put up with, she smiles. This guy is in form and she seems to like it. It’s there, written all over her face.
When she bluntly questions Adhi if he has it in him to stay with her in the same room over-night and remain well-behaved, he nods with a chuckle. With the exact smug smile, when she goes on to ask him if she has it in her to stay with him in a closed room and remain well-behaved, we chuckle with a nod. If you heard a random voice inside your head that goes something in the lines of “The floor is all yours, Mani!”, you probably are not to be blamed. You have been dragged into some imminent, tasteful wizardry, by a master magician. And you have just been witness to the first part of his trick,‘The Pledge’. Mani shows you something ordinary, his object; in this case, two young people away from home who don’t seem to let the binding rules of the social structure come in the way of their personal decisions. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it’s indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably is or isn’t. But you are already sold.
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Kallappadam Movie Review: Meta Heist!
The closing sequence of Subbaraj’s Jigarthanda attempted to slap a radical yet relevant thought on our faces, sugar coated with the saccharine feel of a juicy heroic retribution. On the surface, it is about a struggling film-maker getting back at someone, who once humiliated him, not with any sort of creative subtlety, but by royally targeting the fear of his life. But dig deeper, the sub-texts, that are hidden to non-discerning viewer, catches you grinning. Was it an indirect reference to the plight of directors who want to stay true to their script, believing their skills? Is this the only way, a filmmaker today, in the present Tamil-cinema-scenario, could shoot the film of his dreams? How? By turning a gangster. By effecting a reversing of roles in the compulsive routine of falling at the feet.