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…

Review: Inji Iduppazhagi

There's no shortage of Tamil films that get dubbed into Telugu. Some of them go on to be bigger hits than the Tamil version and (at times) competition from local films. Most Tamil movies (the dark humour/drama ones) don't find favours at all. In fact, the Telugu audience refrain is that these too stark, bleak,…

Masaan (Hindi)

It's hard to venture outside the comfort of Tamil movies when you have too much action going on in Madras. There are certain films that make you question your stubbornness in testing waters beyond our boundary. Masaan (another worthy offering from the Anurag Kashyap school) breaks down that snobbery, with a somber meditation of "Life,…

Review: Thoongavanam

Kamal Haasan's old faithfuls would not hesitate to give an arm and a leg to watch him do two things on the screen - fight and dance. He does plenty of punching, pushing and running around; none of which a 61 year old would even dream about. The dancing, we catch him doing a brief half-hearted…