Padmarajan’s Aparan (The Imposter): A Malayalam Neo Noir Movie

Vishwanathan Pillai (Jayaram) is a young graduate, who is preparing for his next interview. Anyone who has given interviews in India will know that it is just a lucky draw of sorts. The question ranges from what is the distance between the Moon to the Earth, to who is the CM of a particular state.

We see Vishwanathan mugging up from a GK book, Padmarajan beautifully establishes the contrast of India, where here this once upon a time rich upper caste family is finding its way in the new world order. In turn of events, Vishwanathan is mistaken for a criminal who looks like him and is detained by police.  George (Mukesh), the inspector turns out to be his college friend and releases him.Continue reading “Padmarajan’s Aparan (The Imposter): A Malayalam Neo Noir Movie”

The Dasan and Vijayan Trilogy: A Swashbuckling Trilogy in the True Sense

We all love to watch a film which scores very well with its comedy where the lead actors themselves are funny, especially when they are naturally good at it right? So wouldn’t we watch yet another movie featuring the same lead actors, playing the same characters, literally taking off from where they left in the earlier film? And what if this film works as well and spawns a 3rd film (now leading to a franchise by itself) which goes on to work as well with the audience and critics? Now there have been film franchises worldwide and India has been no exception to the same. But generally when a sequel itself finds it difficult to repeat the glory of the 1st film is it not wonderful to see 3 films emerging successfully as part of a trilogy of sorts and still remembered with affection, nearly 25 years after the release of the 3rd film? Yes I am referring to the 3 films which are now fondly referred to as part of the Dasan and Vijayan trilogy, Nadodikattu (1987), Pattanapravesham (1988) and Akkare Akkare Akkare (1990).Continue reading “The Dasan and Vijayan Trilogy: A Swashbuckling Trilogy in the True Sense”

The Tamil Cinema Heroine: Mini Skirts and Bar Counters

Two years back, a Tamil movie had a female lead who drinks vodka, albeit unknown to her family and on seeing a girl she calls her “matter”, having seen her profile on desigirls.com. By all means, this was an unconventional Tamil heroine character in a very conventional commercial Tamil film. The film is Thuppakki, one which is talked more about for calling a single terrorist as “sleeper cells” than anything else. I find it as one of the first commercial films where Tamil cinema is getting ready to see its heroine as more than the “veetu kutthuvezhaku” that she has been expected to be.

Film critic Baradwaj Rangan, tells about Silk Smitha and the image of the vamps of Tamil cinema as “Till the end of the 1960s, the bulk of movies, unlike the Hindi film industry, were not shot at hill stations. They were family dramas with strong family-oriented cores. The heroine was sari-clad, demure and sexy in a girl-next-door way. There was no boa, no bikinis. The first of the vamps were Jayamalini and Jyothilakshmi. They were made to stand for everything negative in society that the heroine could not represent. Who were the heroines at the time? Ambika, Radha, Revathi and Suhasini. These were the ‘sexy’ heroines in the non-erotic sense. They represented the family. As a variety of villains cropped up, they became gangster molls. The vamp began to represent society’s hypocrisy.”Continue reading “The Tamil Cinema Heroine: Mini Skirts and Bar Counters”

Kochadaiiyaan Movie Review: For, Of and By the Superstar

10388385_10152490708292803_1699695938_nIt all boils down to the choice I make. I can choose to be brutally honest to my audience and narrate my movie experience as a critic. Or I can channelize the inner Superstar fan in me to take over, and be amazed, enthralled and carried away by the infectious cheer, excitement and joy, a first day Rajni movie can incite. I could risk being termed a skeptic, a nitpicker, a ‘cynic’ blind to the gargantuan amount of efforts which has gone into the movie, in the process of being true to myself and cinema. Or I could choose to disregard anything which could potentially disappoint the avid Rajini fans who are obviously the majority and fill my entire review with words like exhilarating charisma, path-breaking charm, phenomenal aura, shivers down the spine and what not! Yes, Kochadaiiyaan is definitely special. Special in the way that it turns out to be a film which vehemently attracts both the extremes. Either a critic or a Superstar/ Tamil cinema fan talking about ‘attempting an innovation’ and ‘pushing the envelope’. Either this or that! Enough has been said about venturing on the road less trodden and the guts of the makers to do it. Here, I will endeavor to walk the tight rope between the two view-points and give an unbiased opinion on what works and what doesn’t.Continue reading “Kochadaiiyaan Movie Review: For, Of and By the Superstar”

Kochadaiiyaan: Trailer

Kochadaiiyaan (1)The decks are all set for the release of probably one of the biggest Indian films of late, Kochadaiiyaan. Earlier today the audio launch happened in a grand function in Chennai, and now the official theatrical trailer has been released as well. Produced by Sunil Lulla (of Eros) and Sunanda Murali Manohar, Kochadaiiyaan is directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin  and written by K.S.Ravikumar. Featuring the one and only Rajinikanth in the lead, the film has an ensemble star cast which includes Deepika Padukone, Shobana, Sarath Kumar, Nassar, Jackie Shroff, Aadhi etc. Music is by A.R.Rahman while Rajiv Menon is the DOP and Anthony the editor.Continue reading “Kochadaiiyaan: Trailer”

Kochadaiiyaan To Get a Worldwide Release on April 11

Kochadaiiyaan 2014After a lot of delay and confusion regarding the release of Soundarya Rajnikanth‘s Kochadaiiyaan, featuring her father and the one & only Rajnikanth in the lead, the film is finally all set to release on April 11. Kochadaiiyaan is scaling up for a massive Worldwide release across 6000 + screens and the release will be happening in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Bhojpuri versions. For the International markets there will be a special English version also being released. The audio launch is expected to happen towards the end of February.

You can check out the teaser here.

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Thira (2013) Movie Review: Chasing Waves on Road

Language : Malayalam | Running Time : 113 Minutes | Director : Vineeth Sreenivasan

A little girl talks about how Rohini mai(Shobhana) will save them from the clutches of goondas. It is a story of make believe, one where we realise that Rohini is a superhero in the eyes of this girl and to the people she’s narrating the story. In a moment that works best in cinema, where make believe is transformed into reality,  we usually have a groan or a smile to indicate our disbelief at the cinematic cliché being used or happiness at having been played, as applicable; here it is different. Here that cinematic cliché is one where dread and thrills gives way to thought and wonder, awe and surrender. Vineeth Sreenivasan’s Thira is a movie that makes you surrender yourself to rich material, material that can make you ponder about where we stand as a society.Continue reading “Thira (2013) Movie Review: Chasing Waves on Road”

Thira Movie Review: An Inspired yet Effective Film

Thira PosterVineeth Sreenivasan who started off initially as a singer in Malayalam Cinema has gone to prove that he is really multi-faceted like his illustrious father- Sreenivasan (who is not just an actor but also an accomplished writer, producer and director as well). Continue reading “Thira Movie Review: An Inspired yet Effective Film”

Thira: Trailer

Thira- ShobanaVineeth Sreenivasan is one of the most multifaceted people in Malayalam Cinema today. After starting off as a singer and getting into acting as well Vineeth has gone on to create an impact as a writer-director as well. Continue reading “Thira: Trailer”