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“Mupparimanam”… A great twist on the love story, but the script plays spoilsport

Read the review on Film Companion, here: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil

“Yaman” film review

Read the review on Film Companion, here: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil

“Rangoon”…

Spoilers ahead… If... KEY: Copyright ©2017 Baradwaj Rangan. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.Filed under: Cinema: Hindi

From a reader…

I never cease to be touched when readers take the time to personalise things. This cartoon came with this message. “Dear BR, Congrats! Wish you the very best in all that you do. A small dedication from my side on this occasion…hope you like it.” Thank you, Ramki Bellur.    Filed under: Personal

Vetri Maaran talks about taking Visaranai to the Oscars

My first video interview for Film Companion. Part 1: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vetri-maaran-facetime-fcsouth-part-1 Part 2: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/vetri-maaran-facetime-fc-south-part-2 Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Interview

New beginnings…

A new start today: as Editor, Film Companion (South) and Chief Consultant, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, to be honest — this move to digital. I’ve talked about it in my first post for FC: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/southern-lights-hello-from-this-side-of-the-vindhyas So, about the blog. Show More Summary

War in peace

This was written for an Arts Illustrated issue whose theme was Conflict & Art. Their brief: “For the cinema story we had in mind, we thought it would be interesting to look at a retrospective of Mani Ratnam’s films that deal effectively with the theme of conflict – both the inner and outer…” An unmarried […]

A koffee moment…

So we got a press release (reproduced below) for the latest episode of Koffee with Karan (to be telecast this Sunday), and guess which film critic’s name popped up!!! I hope they don’t delete this bit at the last minute, but even if they do, it was fun just reading this. Koffee with Karan Renowned […]

“Ezra”… A well-crafted horror film that needed much better writing

Spoilers ahead… Jay K’s Ezra, which is set in Kochi, is filled with Malayalis; the story revolves around Ranjan (Prithviraj) and Priya (Priya Anand). But their domestic help is Maharashtrian, and the large, large house they live in (for once, wouldn’t it be nice if a horror film unfolded in one of those matchbox-sized flats […]

Readers Write In #9: Aaromale

‘Catcher in the Rye’ had spoiled me. It is always a problem when you meet a great novel. ‘Great’ in the sense, how the novel had hit you. It wouldn’t have hit you, had it not reflected your persona with such uncanny authenticity. Similar to how Vadivel gets surprised when someone reads his mind-voice. ‘Velila […]

“Ghazi”… A comfortingly old-fashioned (and entertaining) war movie

Spoilers ahead… Kay Kay Menon rarely finds roles worthy of his talent, but in Ghazi, he lucks out. He plays Rann Vijay Singh, a naval captain entrusted with a submarine and a mission. It’s 1971. News has trickled down that Pakistan is preparing to strike the eastern coast. Singh and his crew are asked to […]

“Irada”… An earnest but inept drama about the groundwater crisis in Punjab

Spoilers ahead… Punjab isn’t having a good time at the movies. Last year’s Udta Punjab transformed the state into a drug-addled dystopia. This week’s Irada slaps on it the label of “cancer belt of the country.” Arshad Warsi isn’t having a good time at the movies either. Last week’s Jolly LLB 2 was a reminder […]

“Ennodu Vilayadu”… An underwhelming thriller that’s more of an underwhelming romance

Spoilers ahead… I perked up at the beginning of Arun Krishnaswami’s Ennodu Vilayadu. (That title! What a great fit if someone made a Fifty Shades of Grey in Tamil.) The story deposits us in Guindy, by the race track, and we get this voiceover: “Inga kuthirai saththam innum kekkudhu!” As if on cue, the sound […]

“Rum”… Not many scares. Not much coherence either.

Spoilers ahead… Vivek is the nominal comedian in Sai Bharath’s Rum, but he’s no match for the censors (or whichever board it is that slaps advisory texts on screen). We’re in a haunted house. It’s the usual assortment of people who witness strange goings-on, but don’t immediately pack their bags and flee. Soon enough, the […]

“Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol”… A lovely dramedy woven around the ups, downs in a marriage

Spoilers ahead… By all rights, Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol should have been a sex comedy – one of those films in which a married man begins to scratch that seven-year itch. Mohanlal plays Ulahannan, a panchayat official whose life is leached of excitement. The first time we see him, he’s snoring in a bus. He’s married to […]

“Jolly LLB 2.”… Merely okay as courtroom drama, but a vivid look at Hindu-Muslim dynamics

Spoilers ahead… What happens when you move from Arshad Warsi to Akshay Kumar? You get the scene where the lawyer nicknamed Jolly (he’s not the same character though; Warsi’s Jolly was Jagdish Tyagi, Akshay’s version is Jagdishwar Mishra) is on a boat on the Ganges. He jumps into the water. This decision isn’t about Jolly […]

The captain of the ship

Sensing the director’s touch, at the recently concluded Bengaluru International Film Festival. At a film festival, the brochure is invaluable. It gives you a plot synopsis of the films being screened. It gives you a note about the filmmaker. This not only helps in deciding whether you want to give this particular film a shot, […]

“Lightman”… An inconsistent yet illuminating docu/fiction about cinema’s foot soldiers

Spoilers ahead… Venkatesh Kumar G’s Lightman shines a spotlight on… the men whose job is to shine a spotlight. The film narrates the story of Guna (Karthik Nagarajan), a folk-theatre artist who leaves his village in Madurai and comes to Chennai with dreams of making it big in Kollywood. But he’s not able to get […]

“Singam 3.”… Loud, fast, and without a single memorable moment

Spoilers ahead… THERE’S PACY NARRATION. AND THERE’S PACY NARRATION AS PRACTISED BY THE DIRECTOR HARI. Oh, sorry. Did I seem to be screaming? I’ve just exited a screening of Singam 3, and I’m still trying to make myself heard. This is the kind of movie where a SpiceJet flight makes a landing and the sound […]

Readers Write In #8: The Great Story Obsession

Whenever I ask for feedback about a film from my friends, and if it turns out to be a negative one, I used to quote Kamal from Vasool Raja, ‘Nee enna solla pora nu therium, kadhaye illa nu sollapora’. Our audience strongly consider ‘The Story’ to be the garbagriha of a movie and would consider their pilgrimage […]

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