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Bitty Ruminations 87

Someone brought up the nepotism thing in the comments section, and I thought I’d add my two cents. Was the joke (by Saif, Karan and Varun) insensitive? Sure. Was it in bad taste? Probably. But these awards shows have a long tradition of jokes being made about the industry — that’s the shtick. And each […]

The political, the personal

Spoilers ahead… Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Scattered thoughts on ‘Adimai Penn’, the MGR-Jayalalitha starrer that was re-released in theatres last weekend. Show More Summary

Bitty Ruminations 86

I have a strange relationship with Christopher Nolan’s films. The last one I liked unabashedly, adored 100%, is The Prestige, which is the perfect “Nolan movie” in every way. It has his trademark gimmickry, but this gotcha-ness is folded beautifully into the story, which demands that gimmickry. I mean, it’s about seeing something you only […]

The Amateur’s Art #24- “Mirror” (Telugu, with English subs)

See here for what this series is about. This short film — horror, for a change — is by Prashanth Mittapelli. Filed under: Cinema: Telugu, Short Films, The Amateur's Art

Readers Write In #21: Unexpected blessing

You are returning home at the end of another mundane day at work. Your idle mind is starting to play games with you. You suddenly catch yourself questioning the choices you have made in your life (“maybe I really should have done MS instead of MBA, maybe I should have avoided all the show boating […]

“Shab”… An underwhelming, unaffecting criss-cross of urban lives

Spoilers ahead… Onir’s new film, Shab, begins with a migration. A handsome-to-the-point-of-pretty young man, Mohan (Ashish Bisht) hops onto a Delhi-bound bus. He wants to become a model, and he’s got in his bag a pair of shiny briefs he’s going to strut about in before a panel of judges in a Gladrags-style contest. Sonal […]

“Jagga Jasoos”… A mad, magical, parts-greater-than-sum musical that’s a total treat

Spoilers ahead… The last time we got a musical – a musical in the genre sense of the word, and not simply a film with a few songs – was probably in Shirish Kunder’s Jaan-e-Mann, of which I wrote: “We sit there helpless, as if hypnotised, just as [a character] is in the Jaane ke […]

“Thiri”… A dull, talky, been-there-done-that action-drama

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Before the press show of Thiri (Wick), the director, Ashok Amritharaj, addressed the audience. He had that “I am a student of cinema” air. (“If you like the film, tell others. If not, tell me. And I’ll fix the mistakes in my next project.) […]

“Pandigai”… A smartly written, stylishly crafted heist thriller

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Pandigai, directed by Feroz, has a ton of pluses and two minuses: the heroine (Kavya, played by Anandhi), and the hero’s wisecracking best friend (Thirupathi, played by Black Pandi). Show More Summary

As I’m Suffering from Mixed Feelings

Spoilers ahead… Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Two new web series in Tamil serve up fare that’s not seen on the big screen, but they could be so much more. Show More Summary

“Tiyaan”… A confused, overlong, wannabe-epic that preaches secularism even as it glorifies Brahminism

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: We’ve all heard of “Hindu-Muslim bhai-bhai.” In Tiyaan (The Above-mentioned), the adage becomes literal: the actors who play Aslan Mohammad and Pattabhirama Giri are real-life siblings, Prithviraj and Indrajith. Show More Summary

The Amateur’s Art #23- “Sthreepart” (Tamil, with English subs)

See here for what this series is about. A note about this short: I met the director, Barath Neelakantan, at Wandering Artist. He sent me this short film (a ” self-funded learning attempt”) and this description: About me. HR turned film-maker. Associate Director for Nibunan (Dir-Arun Vaidyanathan, starring Arjun, Prasanna, Varu). Assistant Director, Ticket (Dir – […]

“Mom”… A predictable, problematic, well-made thriller, helped by its performances

Spoilers ahead… Every Mother’s Day, we see this sentiment: MOM upside down is WOW. Repeat this mantra for two-and-a-half-hours and you get Sridevi’s new movie. Or Maatr, which featured Raveena Tandon and several of this film’s plot points. The crux is the same: a daughter’s rape is the radioactive spider that transforms mom into crime-fighting […]

Readers Write In #20: Yama’s Lieutenant…

The following is a note from Anuja Chandramouli… People always want to know what prompted me to write books in the currently red – hot, alleged cash cow that is the mythology genre. I have no idea what to say except that it is not something that I thought long and hard about, given my […]

“Ondu Motteya Kathe”… A gentle, winning comedy whose strains of sadness are smoothed over by the hilarity

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: One reason for my interest in Ondu Motteya Kathe (The Story of a Bald Man) was autobiographical. Finally, a protagonist I can see in the mirror. The second was archaeological, for I spent quite a bit of time trying to excavate examples of films […]

Love on the run

A flashback to moments from Duniya Soori’s 2015 Kannada thriller ‘Kendasampige’, about a rich-girl-poor-boy couple chased by corrupt cops. Read the full article on Film Companion, here: More Summary

K Balachander’s mise en scène

So this post began as a response to hidnana’s comment in the Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan thread: “even BR was better to treat cinema as visual medium than KB.” (BR as in Bharathiraja.) Then I felt the topic deserved a mini-post (though it really deserves a book). Yes, while scripting, KB thought like a theatre person — […]

“Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum”… A superbly written and acted drama that keeps you guessing constantly

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Pay attention to the first few frames of a Dileesh Pothan movie: there’s a nutshell of the story-to-come. Show More Summary

The Pushkar-Gayatri interview

My video interview with Pushkar and Gayatri, on the eve of the release of Vikram Vedha (that is, provided the theatres remain open). The promos are out first — these are bits that did not make it to the final cut of the interview. The latter will be published early next week. Copyright ©2017 Film […]

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