It’s true what they say about how Mani Ratnam narrates a tale of love. The man has a way of going above and beyond the standard cinematic portrayals of romantic bonds, and ends up presenting it in a manner that any average cinegoer would identify with it. Post a minor lean spell, he bounced back with the absolutely refreshing OK Kanmani, a tale of two young souls in a metropolis attempting to push the boundaries of conventional relationships. However, with Kaatru Veliyidai, a movie whose title is borrowed from a Bharathiar poem, it seems like he is attempting to explore a relationship between two souls, defined only by its intensity. Will this be yet another classic from Madras Talkies?Continue reading “Kaatru Veliyidai Movie Review: Enna Kodumai Idhu, O Kannamma!”
There is always a sense of trepidation when one hears about an upcoming Bollywood remake of a successful South Indian film. After watching filmmakers slaughter their movies with indifferently made remakes (AR Murugadoss being the chief offender here with the godawful Holiday, with Prabhu Deva, Krishna Vamsi, Gautham Menon, etc. propping up the list from the bottom), one didn’t know what to make of the announcement that Shaad Ali planned to remake Mani Ratnam’s sublime OK Kanmani. While Ali’s remake of the brilliant Alaipayuthey made for a solid directorial debut in Saathiya, his last two directorial efforts, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Kill Dil ended up being examples of interesting ideas that somehow fizzled out on the big screen. So, will the audience say Jaanu or stick to Kanmani after watching this?Continue reading “OK Jaanu Movie Review: Ok Remake”
There are 2 Gautam Menons (GVM from hereon) all movie viewers are familiar with. The first is an auteur, with full control of his craft. Each and every frame in his film looks like it’s been meticulously planned out, every line crackles with a chemistry one wishes to experience in reality, and there is a certain pleasure to be derived from watching the plot unfold at its own pace, and to be stunned into silence by a plot twist, or to gasp in awe and how a certain plot thread plays out. And then there is the another GVM, who in his zeal to try something out of his comfort zone, mixes things up and creates something that’s neither here or there, in a manner of speaking. The question one comes across before watching Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada (AYM from here on), which of these GVMs was at the helm?Continue reading “Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada Movie Review: A Mish of Mashes”
2015 was an interesting year for Tamil Cinema with a variety of topics being explored. Some big films didn’t do well, while some small films made impact. Certain stars did well,while some of them didn’t really do well. Here are the films in my opinion which stood a little apart from the rest of the pack and made an impact this year.The movies aren’t sorted in any order of merit. Sorting is done based on release dates.Continue reading “The Best of Tamil Cinema in 2015”
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.
Two disclosures are necessary before I begin this discussion. I am a huge Mani Ratnam fan, one of the few who were heartbroken with Kadal. And the second is this discussion is full of spoilers.
Mani’s last major commercial success was 15 years back with Alaipayuthey. (Incidentally it came after 2 back to back commercial flops Iruvar & Dil Se). After Alaipayuthey, came Kannathil Muthamittal, Aayutha Ezhuthu (Yuva in Hindi), Guru (dubbed in Tamil), Raavanan and Kadal. None got the commercial recognition that Alai Payuthey did. Kadal was a big time dud. Mani was fast losing his relevance amongst the audience and his place was taken by young and budding talents like Karthik Subbaraj and Nalan Kumarasamy. At a time when filmmakers are doing away with songs, my heart sunk when Mani Ratnam’s latest venture, O Kadhal Kanmani (or OK Kanmani as it is better known as), was with 9 songs. I was predicting doomsday yet again. The master, of course, had other plans.Continue reading “O Kadhal Kanmani Movie Review: More than OK!”