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From ‘Kaala’ To ‘Pariyerum Perumal’, The Best Tamil Films Of 2018

2018 began like any year does in the Tamil film world with popular male actor-led love-action fare like Gulebagavali, Sketch and Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, occupying large screens. Vijay Sethupathi had five releases this year, Prabhudeva and Jyotika had three, and Rajinikanth, Vikram, Vishal and Nayantara had two films each in lead roles. Yet thisContinue readingFrom ‘Kaala’ To ‘Pariyerum Perumal’, The Best Tamil Films Of 2018

Rebelling Without A Cause And Daddy Issues – Meet Indian Cinema’s New Angry Young Men

What is common between Siddharth of Kali (2016), Arjun of Arjun Reddy (2017), Surya of Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India (2018) and Kathir of Irumbuthirai (2018)? Rebellion without a cause, daddy issues and gratuitous violence, though the films choose to call it “anger”.  In this essay for Silverscreen, I write about today’s angry young men in IndianContinue readingRebelling Without A Cause And Daddy Issues – Meet Indian Cinema’s New Angry Young Men

Book Review: Who Owns that Song? brings to life ‘unsung poet’ Subramania Bharati, copyright issues surrounding his work

Beginning, as it does, with a section titled ‘Dramatic Personae’, AR Venkatachalapathy’s new non-fiction book Who Owns that Song? The Battle for Subramania Bharati’s Copyright left me with one overwhelming thought: This would make for an entertaining period film. My review of AR Venkatachalapathy’s book for the Firstpost.

But What Was She Wearing, India’s first feature-length documentary on workplace harassment, faces funding crunch

“Do you know for people like us, who are freelancers not working in an organisation, there is supposed to be a local sexual harassment complaints committee that the district collector must set up?” Vaishnavi Sundar asks, then states emphatically: “There is no such thing. Nowhere in India. The collector hasContinue readingBut What Was She Wearing, India’s first feature-length documentary on workplace harassment, faces funding crunch

Tamil web content is venturing forth boldly where cinema and TV fear to tread

As a friend and I sat together watching Stephen Colbert on YouTube, I couldn’t resist sulking over what seemed like a gaping hole in our film and television landscape that holds authority to account. “We can’t do this in Tamil, no channel will buy it, no writer will be spared,” myContinue readingTamil web content is venturing forth boldly where cinema and TV fear to tread

2017 was not the perfect year for feminism in Tamil cinema, but it was a great beginning

An uninterrupted monologue is most often the privilege of the male protagonist in Tamil cinema. A rebellious outburst against an oppressor delivered on a trigger, it generally marks the moment when the hero is about to launch his revolution. Imagine Sivaji Ganesan’s court speech in Parasakthi (1952) or Rajinikanth reacting to Meena’sContinue reading2017 was not the perfect year for feminism in Tamil cinema, but it was a great beginning

What Taramani, Kaatru Veliyidai, Iraivi tell us about abusive men, and the women in their lives

Arul is hunched over a smoking gun, in a railway station, after having just murdered his friend Michael. A brutally tortured prisoner of war, VC, in his 8×5 solitary cell, stares into space. A physically hurt Prabhunath watches a policeman point a gun to his wife’s head, as she pullsContinue readingWhat Taramani, Kaatru Veliyidai, Iraivi tell us about abusive men, and the women in their lives

Manju Warrier, Nayanthara, Jyothika: Female stars are marching to a different, but no less successful, beat

“As long as our films are male-centric, we’ll be producing only male stars. What happens to our female stars then?” asks Karthik Keramalu in his article for the Firstpost. He argues that the stardom of a female star is short-lived, often limited by age. If they take a break in theirContinue readingManju Warrier, Nayanthara, Jyothika: Female stars are marching to a different, but no less successful, beat