Petta

When you write about Petta, you need to discuss two parts of it. The first half of Petta, a superbly crafted homage to Superstar Rajnikanth. The part that offers us a glorious mid-1990s Rajnikanth; one we’ve never quiet tasted this century. It is an extended Rajni intro song that you wish keeps playing on forever.…

Vada Chennai

Vetrimanran’s consistency, craftsmanship, restraint and unwavering clarity puts Vada Chennai up with the likes of ‘En Uyir Thozhan’, ‘Pudhupettai’, ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ and ‘Madras’. He does this with a rare authenticity and command that is meticulously layered on four pillars - narrative style, language,  cast and sound/music. Vetrimaran’s biggest hurdle is telling a story of betrayal…

’96

If you were in high school the late 80s/early 90s, almost everyone had a crush. Some were lucky enough to see an affection reciprocated. Tamil cinema has its fair share of movies (starting with “Panneer Pushpangal”, which was turned into a formula). You invoke adolescent romance, create a familiar sense of close friends/school buildings/favourite teachers,…

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam

Communicating an idea, an emotion, a thought. Connecting people with them and elevating those relationships. Expressing unsayable things. Then, tying these together in a way that makes us feel like we are capable of appreciating an art at a level we never realized, is the core of why Mani Ratnam is still revered by the…

Imaikkaa Nodigal

Had it been a lesser hit, I may have forgotten about ‘Imaikkaa Nodigal’. Unfortunately, it is the latest in a string of so-called intelligent thrillers that use smart editing and visual effects to mask trickery and unimaginative writing. These films set us up for a grand puzzle, only to pull the rug from under with…

Kolamavu Kokila

Nayanthara has become this darling kid in the family that shall be celebrated for every antic she pulls. I say that with a tinge of disappointment ‘cause she could be a real solid lead to invest in. In the wrong hands, she hams through a part happily, satisfied everyone will pinch her cheek, hug her…

Vishwaroopam 2

As to who Mr. Kamal Haasan is making films for of late, the answer is very clean - himself. That’s Ok if he just made if available to us for free, or may be released it on Netflix (or Amazon Prime). Why bother us by inviting us to go to a theater to watch him…

Aruvi

This river takes a few wild (delightful) turns and breaches some untouched shores. One thing Aruvi made me realize is, there’s a few places that Tamil cinema has never taken our female protagonists to. Even for someone who has watched zillion films where a woman weathers life’s worst turns, watching a “Thamizh” girl in such…

A Quiet Place

First a few thoughts on ‘A Quiet Place’. John Krasinsky’s excuse for a alien-targets-family is a ET force that can only hunt by sound. The first 20-30 minutes of the film has barely any sound (dialogues or effects), only the sparingly invoked music. It got so quiet in the theater, I had to stop digging…

Isle of Dogs

Canine attitudes handles with impeccable sensitivity, Japanese cultural eccentricities accommodated with respect, a line-up of voice talent worth murdering and Wes Anderson’s return to stop-motion perfections… Everything that can go right, goes absolutely awesome!