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“Tubelight”… A lethargic drama where the director seems as “miscast” as the hero

Spoilers ahead… You heard it here first: In a forthcoming film, Salman Khan will play Sita. In Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, the character he played hailed from Ayodhya. In Bajrangi Bhaijaan, he played a Hanuman devotee. Now, in Kabir Khan’s Tubelight – an adaptation of the American drama Little Boy, transposed to Kumaon during the […]

Bitty Ruminations 85

Every time I read an op-ed in an English-language newspaper, every time I sit through a panel discussion at a Lit Fest or any other event, this is what strikes me: that you are preaching to the choir. The people in the audience have already bought into what you’re selling: women need to be respected, […]

The Amateur’s Art #22- “Axiom of Choice” (Tamil, with English subs)

See here for what this series is about. A note about this short: We, Karpanai Kudhirai are a performing arts/theatre enthusiasts from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. We have staged a couple of Tamil plays and struck an excellent chord with the live audience. The response and encouragement we received have spurred us to […]

“Vanamagan”… An amiably silly comic adventure turns into tiresome drama

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vanamagan-movie-review In the opening scene of Vanamagan (Son of the Forest), an Andamanese tribal named Jara (Jayam Ravi) is captured. Show More Summary

“Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan”… A tiresome star vehicle with a mind-boggling stance on women

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/anbanavan-asaradhavan-adangadhavan-movie-review Most star vehicles give you one hero-introduction scene. Perhaps in acknowledgement of the tripartite nature of the title, Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan gives us three. Show More Summary

A tale of two rejections

A flashback to moments from the 2001 Telugu drama ‘Tiladaanam’, the story of a priest who’s fallen on hard times. Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-tiladaanam KNT Sastry’s...Show More Summary

The Jayam Ravi interview

My video interview with Jayam Ravi, a light-hearted (as in, completely un-serious) Q and A on the eve of the release of Vanamagan. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

“Maragatha Naanayam”… Better than your average horror-comedy, but could have been much better

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/maragatha-naanayam-movie-review What would you do if your story began with a prologue in the Pallava period, dealing specifically with...Show More Summary

Talking heads

Ramsu, who has commented here in the past, has a post up about my interviews for Film Companion. FC South is just a few months old and we still have a long way to go, but this was a nice shot in the arm. Excerpt: I wonder if Baradwaj Rangan’s training as an engineer has […]

The Amateur’s Art #21- “Kivi Maathu” (Kannada, with English subs)

See here for what this series is about. This short has been written and directed by Sandeep Kumar. Short Synopsis: Dayanand, a regular waiter at a bar is thrown into turmoil when he gets a call from his wife informing him that their daughter has eloped. The words of wisdom coming from a un-precedented corner […]

Readers Write In #19: Of bandhs and the VCR boom

I was in college in my sophomoron year (sic)  and I’d just discovered the joys of binging on Video cassettes. My  classmate in college was one of the first families to own a VCR (Video cassette Recorder) and I was a regular at his place, watching the old classics as well as the latest releases […]

“Uru”… A pretty entertaining thriller that asks us to make up our own minds

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/uru-movie-review In Vicky Anand’s Uru (Fear), Kalaiyarasan plays a writer named Jeevan. Early on, we see him waiting outside a publisher’s office, sweat trickling down his forehead. Show More Summary

“Behen Hogi Teri”… A small-town romance with a few laughs, and that’s not enough

Spoilers ahead… Ajay K Pannalal’s Behen Hogi Teri is a riff on that old joke about the school-assembly pledge: All Indians are my brothers and sisters. Say what? Then who is one supposed to marry? Here, it’s the ritual of tying a rakhi and reducing a possible beau to a brother. In an early scene, Gattu […]

“Peechaankai”… A killer premise that should have resulted in a way-funnier film

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/peechankai-movie-review I seem to be seeing Bresson everywhere. A couple of weeks back, we had Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, where the donkey from Au Hasard Balthazar appeared to have reincarnated as a goat in southern Tamil Nadu, and now we have Peechankai (Left Hand), a […]

A very big man

A flashback to moments from the 1972 Kannada drama ‘Vamsha Vruksha’, the story of a widow who remakes her life. Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-vamsha-vriksha Can a man be both traditional and modern? Can a Brahmin believe in rites and rituals and the Hindu way of life (which, sometimes, can be […]

The Balaji Mohan interview

TOMORROW – My video interview with Balaji Mohan, on the eve of the release of his web series, As I’m suffering from Kadhal. Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Interview, Television / Online

“Raabta”… A dreadful love story that fails at just about every level

Spoilers ahead… Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta begins with Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput), an Amritsar lad, leaving for London. His entire clan comes to see him off, all but breaking into the title song of Rang De Basanti. The tiniest shiver ran through my spine. At the airport, Shiv hears of a celestial object about to pass […]

The Amateur’s Art #20- “Nodiyil Oru Pizhai” (Tamil, with English subs)

See here for what this series is about. This short has been written and directed by Ganesh Dhandapani. Filed under: Short Films, The Amateur's Art

Readers Write In #18: The Classic Actor in Tamil Cinema

If one were to rethink T S Elliot’s illuminating article with cinema as the pivot and ask “Who is the classic actor” within the realms of Tamil cinema, a couple of names would immediately spring to mind. Following old industry practices, the names in the order of their appearances are Sivaji, Nagesh & Kamalji. The […]

“Sathriyan”… A surprisingly decent spin on the love-transforms-a-rowdy sub-genre

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/sathriyan-movie-review At the beginning of Sathriyan (Warrior), a voiceover gives us the lay of the land, that this story takes place in Trichy, that it’s about two warring rowdy gangs, and that’s there’s a love story too. In short, it’s the one-line synopsis of 5000 […]

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