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Serial Chiller: Queen review — Slow and brooding, Ramya Krishnan stars in a craftily made, J Jayalalithaa-inspired hagiography

With over ten hours of content, Queen is certainly not for binge-watching. In that, it’s slow and brooding, making you invest more of yourself in it. It invites you to sit down and feel for the Shakti. “Oh, poor girl,” the show wants us to think, and condemn the injustices of her past. … Continue readingSerial Chiller: Queen review — Slow and brooding, Ramya Krishnan stars in a craftily made, J Jayalalithaa-inspired hagiography

Serial Chiller: Karoline Kamakshi review — Meena, and Tamil audiences, deserve better than this hotchpotch of ineptitude

A reckless French intelligence agent in Pondicherry. A lazy disrespected CBI agent in Chennai. A missing treasure named Virgin Mary. Gruesome smugglers. International incidents. A looming war. What could possibly go wrong in this time-tested premise? Everything apparently. … Continue readingSerial Chiller: Karoline Kamakshi review — Meena, and Tamil audiences, deserve better than this hotchpotch of ineptitude

Serial Chiller: Police Diary 2.0 — Without skill or sense, the show is a mishmash of unnecessary sex, institutional violence and machoism

As institutional violence and police brutality rise at alarming rates in this country, I place Police Diary 2.0 within the context of Tamilnadu's law enforcement history. And lament how creative folks repeatedly align themselves with the casteist, patriarchal, oppressing establishment. … Continue readingSerial Chiller: Police Diary 2.0 — Without skill or sense, the show is a mishmash of unnecessary sex, institutional violence and machoism

Saavat Review: Could have been a brilliant novel, makes for a terrible film

Language: Marathi | Genre: Crime fiction, Supernatural thriller | Streaming on: Netflix After a short prologue, Saurabh Sinha’s Saavat (2019) begins with a woman “penning her thoughts” which she claims “has been her only solace”. She questions her entire existence—am I a good woman? a good mother? a good daughter?Continue readingSaavat Review: Could have been a brilliant novel, makes for a terrible film

Kaithi review: A near-perfect thriller with phenomenal performances, but something still nags me about it

In spite all the brilliance I saw on screen, there is something that still nags me: Lokesh Kanagaraj is building the quintessential man’s world. While he acknowledges the existence of women and has even developed an eye for their experiences, he’s involuntarily erasing their existence by making them the emotional anchor. … Continue readingKaithi review: A near-perfect thriller with phenomenal performances, but something still nags me about it

Aadai review: Dear male filmmakers, please don’t misuse your freedom to make feminist films.

‘Aadai’ begins 200 years ago, with the story of Nangeli and her fight to wear what she wants. After the animated prologue and the moral science lesson (“all freedoms we live today have claimed many lives in the past”), we move to the present. We meet Kamini. Kamani — givenContinue readingAadai review: Dear male filmmakers, please don’t misuse your freedom to make feminist films.

Vellai Pookal review: A good enough mystery for Sunday home video.

Rudhran has a (not-so) unique investigation technique. He stands in the crime scene, plays the possibilities back in his mind and deducts/detects the crime. When the answer doesn’t fall into his lap, he interrogates suspects in his imagination too. In Vellai Pookal (2019), this is treated somewhat like a cut-awayContinue readingVellai Pookal review: A good enough mystery for Sunday home video.