Tamil Films

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 […]

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 […]