Alaipayuthey (2000): 3 Magical words

There are very few films which have punched me in the gut and made me wonder how could someone make such a good film. It happened when I saw Pather Panchali when I was 17, when I watched King of Comedy at the age of 19, and most certainly when I watched Bombay at the age of 9.Continue reading “Alaipayuthey (2000): 3 Magical words”

Bombay (1995): Mani Ratnam’s ode to the city that never sleeps

Bombay now Mumbai, was a city considered to be a cosmopolitan city, a city which was only concerned about making money and not interested in knowing from where you have come from or who were you.  Post ’92, the fault line has run deeply with ghettos that are now an integral part of my city.  For a city which is the epicenter of Bollywood, there are hardly any movies based on ’92 riots. The one which comes to my mind are Bombay and Black Friday, both coincidentally directed by people by non natives. Continue reading “Bombay (1995): Mani Ratnam’s ode to the city that never sleeps”

Hero (2019) Tamil Movie Review: The Origin Story of A Fraudster

The superhero genre has been under much discussion in recent times, with each camp divided over the same. In India, this genre is difficult to establish due to the followings 1) Our Heroes can literally do everything right from dance to fights 2) Most of our superheros are just blessed with divine powers. Continue reading “Hero (2019) Tamil Movie Review: The Origin Story of A Fraudster”

The Best of Indian Cinema in 2018: A Perspective

This is the time of the year when people like me are busy trying to hurry up with their year-end list compilations before heading out to celebrate the entry of the New Year. Usually I do try to go in for an in depth analysis of Indian Cinema, looking at the major happenings of the year in nearly all the dominant film industries, both Hindi and regional. But of late I’ve been caught up with all sorts of stuff; as a result I ended up being unable to come up with my mandatory year end posts for 2017, the one on Indian Cinema and the other one on Malayalam Cinema specifically. Hence I’ve decided that it’s time to play it wisely and focus mainly on the lists in particular and not the detailed anlysis. Why miss out on doing something that I am fond of altogether?Continue reading “The Best of Indian Cinema in 2018: A Perspective”

’96 Movie Review: Some Reflections…

SPOILER ALERT

96 is a bittersweet amalgamation of the ‘BEFORE‘ series – chiefly ‘BEFORE SUNSET‘— by Linklater, beautifully mapped onto the Indian landscape by contouring out the emotional crests and troughs of childhood love, its extensions, and its sustenance. It is a triumph for one of the most interesting actors to emerge out on the Tamil screens, Vijay Sethupathi, who brings his own brand of ‘casualness’ to his act, yet segues it – mainly in the second-half – into a fine act embodying a character who pretends to be living in the ‘moment’ but is really living in the past savoring moments of first love which are, obviously, momentous to him. [In fact, the film opens with a song ‘The Life of Ram’, with the lyrics and visuals expounding on the loneliness that’s part of Ram’s existential crises, as well as the thread he hangs onto to continue his existence. It shows him living life as a travel photographer, but travelling alone, and seemingly enjoying the independence—(he pulls a cart for an old man in Calcutta; drives in circles in his car onto a vast, open field; sits staring at the horizon on a beach, and runs on sand-dunes in Rajasthan, while the lyrics convey his feelings that he hasn’t understood the world yet though his hair has greyed..)— that a relationship-less existence provides, but that’s actually a facade.] There’s a nod here to Ranbir’s characters from Ali’s films portraying his alone-self in a populated world that’s hard to miss.Continue reading “’96 Movie Review: Some Reflections…”

Kurangu Bommai Movie Review: Isn’t flawless but works to an extent

Is it the “curse of over exposure” or unbridled passion for the medium?, Which holds true for the maker as well a casual reviewer like me that one can spot influences all around, right from the first frame. At times it seems that all creative art forms are in this constant passage through ages taking the shape of contemporary values, interpretations, versions of entertainments and influences; And then there are some that leaves such strong impact for a very very long time, and across many future generations that eventually changes the basic definitions of grammar transforming a proper noun to adjective ; (case in point Orwellian, Tarantoinsih, Kafkaish….et.al) leaving in the process an everlasting creative ripple.Continue reading “Kurangu Bommai Movie Review: Isn’t flawless but works to an extent”

Vikram Vedha Movie Review: Oru Mellisaana Kodu

The game of Cops and Robbers has been a rich narrative source in Cinema, and it lends itself generously to most genres, be it drama, thriller, action or comedy. When the same is combined with the folksy tale of Vikram-Betaal (Vedhalam in Tamil) that we’ve grown up hearing, it is quite evident that the audience is in for a tale of a cop and a gangster, far removed from the sensibilities of a Gautham Menon or a Mysskin. After the rather enjoyable if a tad lightweight Oram Po and Va Quarter Cutting, director Pushkar-Gayathri return from a 7 year hiatus with Vikram Vedha, and it is up to the audience to decide, was it worth the wait?Continue reading “Vikram Vedha Movie Review: Oru Mellisaana Kodu”

Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu: Trailer

Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu (A Goat’s Mercy Petition) is a forthcoming Tamil drama film, written and directed by Suresh Sangaiah. The film features Vidharth and Raveena Ravi in the lead roles, with a goat playing a pivotal role. Produced by Eros International the film has music by R.Raghuram while R.V.Saran is the DOP and Praveen K.L is the editor. A village tale based in the interior of Tamil Nadu, the film is an official selection at the ongoing New York Indian Film Festival. Continue reading “Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu: Trailer”

Kaatru Veliyidai Movie Review: Enna Kodumai Idhu, O Kannamma!

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!”