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“Podhuvaga EmManasu Thangam”… An utterly generic hero-versus-villain comedy-drama

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: How do you tweak the standard hero-versus-villain rural melodrama? You could do worse than cast Parthiepan as the villain. Show More Summary

“Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2.”… A pleasantly surprising masala movie, even if it lacks the punch of Part 1

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Whether we’re talking Bond movies or the Dhoom franchise or the Singam series, the mantra of the next instalment is this: feed them more of the same hit formula, yet make it taste different. So one doesn’t walk into Velai Illa Pattadhari 2 (Unemployed […]

“Toilet – Ek Prem Katha”… An overlong, messagey, but satisfying social-issue melodrama

Spoilers ahead… When I heard of the premise of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha – the problems arising from the lack of toilet facilities – I thought it would be like Joker, the Tamil drama whose crux was similar. But Toilet isn’t as sophisticated. It’s something far simpler, something you don’t expect to see in these […]

“Tharamani”… A flawed, yet fascinating look at men, women and their circumstances

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Ram’s first film, Kattradhu Thamizh, was about a young man with an MA in Tamil. The director’s third film, Tharamani, is about a young man with an MA in English. But this is not to suggest a sudden leap into Gautham Menon territory. The […]

“Meesaya Murukku”… An ineffective romance, an unconvincing coming-of-age drama

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The musical duo named Hiphop Tamizha – comprising Adhi and Jeeva – is behind the surprise success, Meesaya Murukku (Twirl that Moustache). Show More Summary

“Varnyathil Aashanka”… A slyly written shaggy-dog story masquerading as a heist movie

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The title, Varnayathil Ashanka (Confusion in the Description), couldn’t be more appropriate. SidharthShow More Summary

“Jab Harry Met Sejal”… Girl searches for ring, audience searches for Imtiaz Ali

Spoilers ahead… Some fifteen minutes into Jab Harry Met Sejal, when I began to fidget in my seat, I wondered if my expectations were the problem. There’s first that title, suggesting two beloved romances, Jab We Met and When Harry Met Sally. But more importantly, the film unites Hindi cinema’s preeminent maker of love stories […]

“Gurgaon”… A sumptuous-looking but remote crime drama, more concept than cinema

Spoilers ahead… Early on in Shanker Raman’s Gurgaon (“inspired by true events”), Preet (Ragini Khanna) walks into the kitchen, greets her mother. She’s come home after studying architecture abroad, and her mother, after a quick embrace, hands her a plate of pakoras to deliver to her father, who is in the adjoining room, making merry […]

Blog vs Bharatvarsh

sai16vicky mentioned something in the Dunkirk thread, and it spawned a few responses. Posting them here, as a new thread, in case you feel like chiming in. sai16vicky August 2, 2017 BR, I have always respected your views on Free Speech (though my stand is different). But with you banning Anuj, I have a question […]

The TM Krishna interview

COMING SOON My video interview with TM Krishna, on Tamil film music. The promos will be 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 Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Interview, Music: Classical, Music: Tamil Cinema

“Indu Sarkar”… A surprisingly decent Bhandarkar drama, rooted in the politics (and cinema) of the 1970s

Spoilers ahead… Here’s what a Madhur Bhandarkar “touch” looks like. It’s the Emergency era, and Indu (Kirti Kulhari) has brought home two children whose parents are missing. (Their slum was razed down to make way for a five-star hotel.) Indu’s husband Navin (an excellent Tota Roy Chowdhury), a mid-level government official who prioritises his needs […]

“Mubarakan”… A bearable comedy (but nothing more)

Spoilers ahead… Had Mubarakan just been about the characters played by its senior cast, we’d have had a family melodrama of a bachelor brother (Anil Kapoor’s Kartar Singh) torn between his warring siblings: Jeeto (Ratna Pathak) and Baljeet (Pavan Malhotra). But the film wants to be an Anees Bazmee comedy as well, the kind where […]

In sequence…

Got this via email, and thought I’d put it out here for a discussion, if people want to bite… Hi BR, some old classics play on the big screen here, and tomorrow there is Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock. Is it better to watch movies by certain directors in a timeline sequence with respect to release date ? (so […]

“Nibunan”… A serial-killer thriller becomes a proficiently made vehicle for its star

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Note the poster in the room of the protagonist’s child in Nibunan (Expert). It has Arjun’s face morphed onto a superhero’s body, and it says: My daddy is a superman. Everyone seems to agree. Arjun plays a supercop named Ranjith Kalidoss, and his deputies […]

“Kootathil Oruthan”… An easy watch, but this drama is hardly as special as it thinks it is

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: In TJ Gnanavel’s Kootathil Oruthan (An Average Man), Ashok Selvan plays Arvind, a middle son, a middle-bencher. Show More Summary

“Lipstick Under My Burkha”… Some nice moments in a film that makes it too easy to root for its women

Spoilers ahead… Of the four women in Lipstick Under My Burkha who irked the censors, Leela (Aahana Kumra, who’s fantastically alive) was probably the most irksome. At first, we see her with her boyfriend Arshad(Vikrant Massey), posing in front of a Taj Mahal backdrop – but she isn’t after eternal love. She’d rather have sex. […]

“Munna Michael”… An unfocused, unremarkable, but also un-terrible Tiger Shroff vehicle

Spoilers ahead… Munna Michael is the third collaboration between star Tiger Shroff and director Sabbir Khan, and their single-mindedness is admirable. They pick stories that will resonate with single-screen audiences. Their first film together, Heropanti, was a remake of the Telugu blockbuster Parugu. Show More Summary

“Vikram Vedha”… Pushkar-Gayatri make their massiest movie yet, and the results are… interesting.

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The latter half of the title of Pushkar-Gayatri’s Vikram Vedha belongs to the gangster played by Vijay Sethupathi. Even before we set eyes on him – and it’s a while into the movie before he swaggers in – he’s something of a legend. Cops […]

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