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!

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…