Film Reviews

Throwing in the Towel

Throwing in the Towel

One of the recent topics trending online was about the drying up of creative juices of Bharathiraaja, the acclaimed filmmaker in Tamil. His recent work ‘Annakkodi’ has been torn apart mercilessly by both the critics and the public. It’s not just that it was no patch on some of this great works, but it was […]

Raanjhanaa

Raanjhanaa

Cast: Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Swara Baskar, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub; Director: Anand Rai; Music: A R Rahman The film was in focus for many reasons. It is Dhanush’s Bollywood debut. It’s a test for a south Indian hero in the competitive (and apparently racist) Hindi film industry. It is the second film by the director who […]

Paradesi

Paradesi

Cast: Atharva, Dhanshika, Vedhika; Music: GV Prakash; Direction: Bala Bala’s films have come to be associated with words like macabre, gore, dark, and, yes, even hell. Yet, his films try to stay dangerously close to realism. Does it mean that reality is hell? Is that the reason we want to watch feel-good, make-believe potboilers that […]

Viswaroopam

Viswaroopam

[Cast: Kamal Hassan, Rahul Bose, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Shekar Kapoor; Music: Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy; Direction: Kamal Hassan] Viswaroopam is a very good film. Looks like Kamal Hassan has been preparing for this kind of film for a long time. Make no mistake, he is one of the best script writers in India. His greatest […]

Kadal

Kadal

Cast: Arvind Swamy, Arjun, Gautham Karthik, Thulasi Nair; Music: A R Rahman; Direction: Mani Ratnam Kadal starts off with a great promise. Too bad it remains just that: a great promise, but unfulfilled. Yet again, Mani Ratnam dabbles with one of his favourite themes, of good and evil. It is difficult to think that the […]

Freedom and Hypocrisy

Freedom and Hypocrisy

In many art galleries in London, including the famed Tate Modern, you can see art that intentionally confounds you, even aggravates you. Some are downright silly and some are plain offensive. The notes next to these works encourage the viewer to question the premise of art. What is art? What is the role of art […]

The Grand Illusion Called Kamal – 2

The Grand Illusion Called Kamal – 2

A few years back, soon after the much-hyped Dasavatharam was released, I wrote a piece called The Grand Illusion Called Kamal. Despite my adverse review, the film turned out to be a a blockbuster. Thereafter Kamal went on to reprise the role of Naseerudin Shah in A Wednesday and then delivered a dud in Manmadhan […]

The Logic Behind the List

The Logic Behind the List

‘Films are subjective-what you like, what you don’t like. But the thing for me that is absolutely unifying is the idea that every time I go to the cinema and pay my money and sit down and watch a film go up on-screen, I want to feel that the people who made that film think […]

Greatest Tamil Films 1. Nayagan

Greatest Tamil Films 1. Nayagan

  ‘An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before?’  – Francis Ford Coppola   How many Tamilians are there who don’t know the Nayagan theme song, including the prelude? How many Tamilians are there […]

Greatest Tamil Films 2. Mudhal Mariyadhai

Greatest Tamil Films 2. Mudhal Mariyadhai

‘No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.’ – Ingmar Bergman   Imagine the scene where Malaichami (Sivaji Ganesan) helps Kuyilu (Radha) to catch fish using his veshti (dhoti). Or when he adoringly invites a house sparrow to […]