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“Mayaanadhi”… A beautifully realised love story between a complicated woman and a simple man

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: In Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, a young criminal kills a cop, flees, falls in love, dreams of a future in a different country, and discovers that life has a way of messing up your plans. Each of these beats is referenced to some degree in […]

Interview: Anant Nag

This is Anant Nag’s fiftieth year as an actor including five initially onstage in Mumbai. He talks about being abruptly removed from an ashram and later a Mutt in Karnataka and sent to Mumbai where he detested the curriculum. Anant recalls straying into Marathi theatre from where Satyadev Dubey introduced him to Shyam Benegal. He […]

Quixote, Werner Herzog and impossible dreams

Read the full article on Firstpost, here: I’m the kind of person who waits forShow More Summary

“Tiger Zinda Hai”… A tired, exhausting actioner with incredibly uninspired writing

Spoilers ahead… The ordeal of a group of Indian nurses held captive by a terrorist organisation in the Middle East was brought to screen, earlier this year, in Take Off. Mahesh Narayan’s Malayalam thriller-drama found an ingenious way to up the emotional stakes — it was both thriller and drama. As much as nails were […]

“Sakka Podu Podu Raja”… Yawn! Yet another stab at making Santhanam a star

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Santhanam’s latest attempt to position himself as a matinee idol pivots on an utterly original plot: the hero falls for a gangster’s sister. Show More Summary

Interview: Nani

In his career spanning nine years, Nani has come a long way from playing quirky roles to being called a ‘Natural Star’ in Telugu cinema. For the past couple of years, the actor has been basking in the glory of back to back hits starting from Yevade Subramanyam to his latest film MCA, which took […]

“Velaikkaran”… A first-half sprint, a second-half stumble

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The opening credits of Velaikkaran (The Worker) play over images of… workers: a tailor, a mechanic, a bus driver. But even earlier, we’ve had a hint about the film’s concerns, when a bunch of boys from a slum run past an expensive car and […]

Interview: Sivakarthikeyan

A chat with Sivakarthikeyan, about his growth from Marina to Velaikkaran, and how he did not expect this success. About the comedian-to-hero trajectory that even legends like Nagesh did not attempt. About what success means to him, whether it has changed him. About his fans and his responsibility towards them. He talks about his serious […]

Whose Plot Is It Anyway – “Velaikkaran”

Beginning a weekly feature, where standup comedian Jagan takes a look at previews and trailers and predicts the story of Velaikkaran in his own inimitable way. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Humour, Whose Plot Is It Anyway

Music beyond the maestro

Read the full article on Film Companion, here: Is older music (other than that composed by Ilayaraja) gradually being phased out of common cultural memory?Show More Summary

#AskBR – Aruvi

Beginning a weekly feature, every Monday, where I answer a few questions on the big release of the previous weekend. For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion. Advertisements Filed under: Cinema: Tamil

“Monsoon Shootout”… A skillfully made drama with noir shadings that could have used more existential heft

Spoilers ahead… Amit Kumar’s Monsoon Shootout played at Cannes a few years ago, and the opening scenes  seem to give off that slumdog, “This is India” vibe so beloved to some foreign audiences. As a blind beggar navigates a narrow street, a Merc is stalled by a bullock cart — the two ends of India, in […]

The curious case of Kurosawa vs. Leone

Read the full article on Firstpost, here: Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (Bodyguard), set in the nineteenth century, opens with a shot of mountains looming in the distance. Show More Summary

The Amateur’s Art #30- The Cineaste (English)

See here for what this series is about. Note from the filmmaker: Arjun Dinesh here, a 1st year grad student from AAT Media College, Chennai. I recently visited your blog and I saw that you were sharing some short films that you liked. I read the initial post and I didn’t know how you went about […]

Readers Write In #29: Borg-McEnroe movie explores the torment of obsessive perfectionism

The new film on the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe rivalry (new in India, released a few months earlier abroad), named baldly after their last names, has received a somewhat mixed if overall positive reception.  The common complaint seems to be that the film devotes too much time to Borg and too little to McEnroe.  One review […]

“Maayavan”… Producer CV Kumar debuts as director in a sci-fi tale that needed better… direction

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: The year is 2037. The song on the radio — or whatever people are listening to then — is Keladi kanmani. This is the...Show More Summary

BOFTA Masterclass

This is a recording of a Masterclass I was invited to do at BOFTA (Blue Ocean Film and Television Academy ). Copyright ©2017 Behindwoods.Filed under: Cinema: Tamil, Personal

Video Essay: Five iconic movies of ‘Victory’ Venkatesh

A birthday special, celebrating the best movies of ?Venkatesh Daggubati. From the swashbuckling Bobbili Raja to Kshanakshanam and beyond. How does your list of favorites compare? For more, subscribe to FILM COMPANION SOUTH: Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.Filed under: Cinema: Telugu, Video Essay

“Aruvi”… An ambitious, solidly written satire that takes an issue and does very unexpected things with it

Spoilers ahead… Read the full review on Film Companion, here: Who is Aruvi (Aditi Balan)? That’s what the interrogator (Mohammad Ali Baig), at the police station, wants to know. He sits opposite this twenty-something woman, staring at her bloody face, wondering if she’s a Naxal from Dantewada. Show More Summary

Readers Write In #28: A random note on KBC 9

I bought-in a subscription to SLING only to watch ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ 9 primarily, and secondarily the India versus Australia matches. [Somehow, it is India facing Australia on Australian pitches boosts the adrenalin in me and not that highly vice-versa.] I am amazed by the vibrancy the show still generates after 17 years and with that same, French-bearded […]

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