August 2012

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 […]

Neethane En Ponvasantham – Music

Neethane En Ponvasantham – Music

In my review of Thiruvaasagam in Symphonic Oratorio, Ilaiyaraaja’s orchestral, oratorio-based rendition of the Tamil classic text Thiruvaasagam, I had ended it with ‘Welcome back Raaja.’ On the day the music of Neethane En Ponvasantham (NPV) was released, the social media was replete with adulations that ‘Raaja is back’. It is clear enough that we […]

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 […]

Greatest Tamil Films 3. Parasakthi

Greatest Tamil Films 3. Parasakthi

‘The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed!’ – Stanley Kubrick   It is quite unlikely that Karunanidhi would have heard of Mikhail Bakunin. For someone who thought Stalin was a hero, it is difficult to imagine Karunanidhi having heard […]

Greatest Tamil Films 4. Aboorva Raagangal

Greatest Tamil Films 4. Aboorva Raagangal

  My films are therapy for my debilitating depression. In institutions people weave baskets. I make films.’ –       Woody Allen   That nerve. That audacity. Who else but Balachander could dare commit such atrocity? It is difficult to find out what effect the film had on the mid 70s audience, but it was clear enough […]

Greatest Tamil Films – 6 and 5

Greatest Tamil Films – 6 and 5

  6. Nenjil Ore Aalayam                   ‘Oh, how Shakespeare would have loved cinema!‘                                                                     […]

Greatest Tamil Films – 8 and 7

Greatest Tamil Films – 8 and 7

8. Andha Naal               ‘All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl’ – Jean-Luc Godard   Before K Balachander The Revolutionary, there was another one. S Balachander, famously known as Veenai Balachander, was equally experimental, albeit less successful. In 1955, when the entire Tamil industry […]

Greatest Tamil Films – 10 & 9

Greatest Tamil Films – 10 & 9

‘It’s up to the audiences to decide if it’s entertainment, the critics to decide if it’s good, and ultimately posterity to decide if it’s art.’ –       Robert De Nero 10. Moondram Pirai             If Balachander brought revolutionary content, Bharathiraaja brought villages, Balu Mahendra brought in quietness to Tamil […]

Thadayara Thakka – DVD

Thadayara Thakka – DVD

Cast: Arun Vijay, Mamta Mohandas; Music: Thaman; Director: Magizh Thirumeni Our lead actors are getting increasingly omnipotent. They are business-savvy, stunningly romantic, bewilderingly muscled and breathtakingly clever. With their Herculean strength, they can launch one punch that can throw a man off the ground, kill nearly six thugs in a matter of seconds and conduct […]