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!

Dunkirk review

It is extremely hard to resist comparisons between Saving Private Ryan and Dunkirk. Both landmark real-life WW II dramas on French beachheads. As a movie experience, Saving Private Ryan is a bar that cannot be easily breached, even by Dunkirk. Where as Spielberg’s telling rides on the much-served memory of the Americans prevailing with the…

Review: Kabali

For a person who isn't completely spell-bound by an actor's star value or invested in the director's potential, Kabali is simply badly made movie. There are many ways to sugarcoat it. If there's one person that ought to bear the blame for it, the finger squarely points at Pa Ranjith. Not sure he succumbed to…

Review – ‘Iraivi’

"To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality." - Indira Gandhi Trying my very best here not to spoil Iraivi for you, at least Karthik Subbaraj doesn't want me to. Suffice it to say Iraivi is a…

Review: Sethupathi

K Subhash's Chatriyan was an exceptional cop film that brought together Maniratnam's writing finesse, the villainy of Thilakan and Vijayakanth's maass appeal to great effect. Rarely has Tamil cinema tried to return to that bar. The cops of our recent films have been the cops of the rowdy types - raucous, street-smart, brash and all-knowing.…

Review: Visaranai

To the many glowingly written (deserved) praises for Visaranai, let me add my own small note: If Vetri Maran had made 'Visaranai' any more lifelike a police procedural, we'd return home to nurse ourselves with whatever heals a rain of lathis to our backs and a shriveled psyche. Visaranai is one of the most shining…

Review: Tharai Thappattai

Why watch "a film by Bala"? Forget switching genres, his plottings make minor deviations from earlier films. He treats his characters (and by investment, us) like bits of paper laid bare to the mercy of a punishing storm. Letting us off only after we've been flushed off every emotional juice from a brutal climax. 'Thara…