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…”
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”
Language : Tamil | Running Time : 176 Minutes | Director : Gautham Vasudev Menon
A Gautham Vasudev Menon film. It isn’t a phrase that makes me go gaga but I look forward for this man’s films. I look forward because there is almost no other filmmaker who caters to the urban middle class youth like he does with his self portrait of a hero who remains courteous to women, walks beside them with his hands in his pocket, shuffles like a 17 year old crushing on the hottest girl in school when he finds the love of his life, has the sentimental attachment to a scooter his dad used and takes his kid on it, be this man of honor and sensibility that makes you smile and feel like it might be a reflection of you. But more importantly, I look forward to his portrayal of the heroine.Continue reading “Yennai Arindhaal (2015) Movie Review: Well, The Same Old Menon World”
The defining moment of every celluloid love story is the stretch where the lead couple meet. Or so they say.
But watch out; if its an Indian movie featuring a star with a huge fan following among the masses, the tropes and templates are pretty much simple. No breaking the head for scriptwriters here. The following are fitted in using various permutations and combinations.
1. The dashing lady develops a liking for the loafer with a golden heart, while he is busy stalking her on the street and passing lewd comments about her to his friends.
2. She ogles over his manliness and decides her partner for life while he is giving her some life-lessons on how it is so ‘un-girly‘ to have brains of her own.
3. She falls head over heals in love with his raw energy while he instructs her on the supposed ‘divinity’ of womanhood, only to romance her wearing a (decent!) bikini the next sequence.
4. She gets to look pretty and coy while letting the coffee mug slip when the guy’s fingers touches hers, in an expression of utmost femininity.
5. She is humiliated repeatedly (physically and mentally) until she realizes that the lead man is indeed her savior (of life and chastity), and she is a ‘nothing’ without him
I have a few issues with Yennai Arindhaal. It is close to three hours long and the second act drags a bit. It resembles Vettaiyadu Vilayaadu to some extent in the first half. The BGM is too loud. Okay, now that we have gotten this out of the way, let us settle down and come to the enjoyable parts.Continue reading “Yennai Arindhaal Movie Review: Sathya Dev Jayate”
Gautham Vasudev Menon is now back, trying to recreate past glory with Yennai Arindhaal (If you know me). This is his third cop film (after Kaakha Kaakha (2003) and Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu and his first film with Ajith. The film has Anushka Shetty and Trisha Krishnan playing the female leads and Arun Vijay plays the antagonist. Parvathy Nair, Vivek and Thalaivasal Vijay are also in the film. Shridhar Raghavan and Thiagarajan Kumararaja (director of Aaranya Kaandam) have written the film along with Gautham Menon. Produced by A.M.Rathnam and S.Aishwarya, Yennai Arindhaal has music by Harris Jayaraj while Dan McArthur from Australia is the DOP and Anthony is the editor.Continue reading “Yennai Arindhaal: Official Trailer”
I.Mueenuddin Ahmed had made his foray into Tamil cinema with Vamaanan (2009) and he is now back with his 2nd film, Endrendrum Punnagai (eternal smile). Produced by G.K.Tamil Kumaran and Dr.Ramadoss, Endrendrum Punnagai has an impressive star cast comprising of Jiiva, Vinay, Santhanam, Trisha Krishnan, Andrea Jeremiah, Nassar etc. The music is by Harris Jayaraj while R.Madhi is the DOP and editing is by Praveen K.L and N.B.Srikanth. This could turn out to be a Dil Chahta Hai of sorts as the trailer indicates wonderful buddy bonding between Jiiva, Vinay and Santhanam and there seems to be a lot of scope for romance as music as well.
Here’s hoping that the film turns out good. Do check out the trailer for now.
Endrendrum Punnagai is a song that the Tamil Cinema audience still remembers from Mani Ratnam‘s film Alaipayuthey. Composed by A.R.Rahman, the song and the accompanying visuals provide an adrenaline rush even now. Continue reading “Endrendrum Punnagai: Trailer”