This is the edition edition of my monthly column on Tamil television for Firstpost. First published here. What if the Bahubali franchise was made for, with and by women? Benevolent and just warrior queen Amarendrika would have been the hero. She would be so pious and devoted that Lord Shiva
Sarvam Thaala Mayam is less a story of hope against all odds than it is one of faith in the innate goodness of people, democracy of capitalism and paramountcy of talent. My review for Huffington Post is here.
For me, the worst thing about watching a film on television is the distraction. A pile of laundry starts moaning for attention. Tea leaves in the bottle jump up and down crying out to be boiled. The Amazon delivery agent keeps calling to deliver groceries I’m too lazy to go
Mahesh is a stoner. Premji is a horny dog. And such other things. Full review for HuffPost is here.
So, Aaruthra is also full of good intentions. Pa Vijay intends to make an awareness campaign for child sexual abuse — “Like how Strawberry (his previous film) imparted a huge relevant message, Aaruthrawill also have one for the society,” he told the Deccan Chronicle. From the way he treats the film, it’s easy to understand that
Viswasam begins as you’d expect: full of build up for Thookkudurai. Even his detractors stand up respectfully for him subconsciously. Nothing in the village happens without his consent. He’s their protector and father figure. He is powerful and loved. Yet, this benevolent overlord is underlined by a sense of melancholy. A
As I’d tweeted, Petta tries to be Rajnikanth’s Uthama Villain, but ends up being his Tamil Padam. Review here.
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 this
Amy Jackson, playing Nila — Nice Intelligent Lovely Assistant — in Rajnikanth’s latest 2.0 (2018), says, “vada poche” to great comic effect. It is a joke that only makes sense if you know the reference to a Vadivelu comedy from another film. Nila is perhaps the first robot to indulge in some
Maari 2 is the perfect candidate for your Sunday matinee, post Andhra Meals. It might even help reduce Monday morning blues. Review is here.
Sethakaathi isn’t a regular 2018 Tamil film, it’s certainly not an easy watch. For the attention-deficit generation, Seethakaathi’s first 45 minutes are a test, but when you pass it, the reward is immeasurable. Review is here.
I can imagine how this film might have looked on paper: an encounter cop, a young girl’s grieving father and a migrant worker lose everything at the hands of an unequal society and an incompetent justice system. So, they pursue justice on their own. You may think this has all
Within the first five minutes of watching Kaatrin Mozhi (2018), I fell in love. As a Jyotika fan — even during her Kushi (2000) days — I went to watch Kaatrin Mozhi expecting to love her. I’d watched Tumhari Sulu (2017), the Hindi original. Naturally, I expected Jyotika to do one better. So, when I fell in love
For some strange reason, I found myself empathising with him. No, in fact, I found myself relating to him. Yes, you read that right. The need to achieve higher purpose, but the pressure of this misunderstanding society on my shoulders…. Finally, I had to address my life’s biggest existential question
Nearly two years ago, one December evening, my friend Vinay and I went to watch Katthi Sandai(2016). For the uninitiated (good on you, mate!), Katthi Sandai is an action-drama-musical-thriller-romance-comedy film, featuring Vishal, Tamannah, Soori and Vadivelu, among others. I had invited my friend to watch the movie with me: I was a Vishal
A manipulative, self-aware and sharp female anti-hero is new for Tamil cinema. Historically, they tend to be arrogant vamps — Neelambari of Padayappa (1999), tamed heroines — Shanti Devi of Mannan(1992) or lost opportunities, like Mary of Padikkadhavan (1985). Kokila is nothing like any of her predecessors. She isn’t a villain, she is in fact,
My love for Saranya Ponvannan began in a very Tamil Padam sort of way. I truly took notice of her only when she waved her velakkamaaru (broom stick) and brought it down with inimitable vigour on the transgressing Dhanush in Velai Illa Pattadhaari (2014). In the film, she plays Dhanush’s tough-loving mother — the
Editor’s note: You may want to read this for context Southern Lights: Baradwaj Rangan, Let’s Talk About Bias! – Film Companion. This was Baradwaj Rangan’s response to the flak that his review of Kaala got online. Because it is impossible to have a proper conversation in the real world, I have an imaginary tête-à-têtewith Baradwaj Rangan, where
Mid-way through Abiyum Anuvum (2018), Anu assuredly proclaims that no woman would think of motherhood as a burden. Spontaneously, my colleague — a good decade younger than me — and I broke into loud Renuka Chowdhary-esque laughter. At that moment, I knew I’d found my showtime soulmate. I begin my monthly column