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…

Review: Vedhalam

Here's a difference between watching a Vijay flick and an Ajith flick. Ajith understands his toolset, his limitations and stays within that comfort zone. While it can get repetitive and recycled, you're not left cringing in your seat like the adventures that Vijay carries out with emoting beyond his range. In Vedhalam, Ajith does what…

Review – Naanum Rowdydhaan

Naanum Rowdydhaan Here's a not so secret playbook for Tamil heroes, stuck in a crisis of a screen identity. Tamil cinema today is split between stars that make films that their fans demand and actors who will roll with what a film's vision demands. It is no judgement on the star or what they do…

Review -10 Endradhukulla

10 Enradhukulla, is a time-tested threat desi parents employ to get kids to do get on with things. 10 Endradhukulla, "put your shoes away", "fetch me water", "clean-up your plate", "finish all your math problems"... You know the drill. How do we, the enforcers of this epic countdown, not heed our own instinct? If you…

Review: Kirumi

While we gentrify Madras into Chennai, in many ways, the character of the city that once was, has least sold out lies in the Northern suburbs. For young directors seeking to stand out from an aspiring mob of fellow storytellers, North Madras is virgin territory. It helps if the writers appreciate that North Madras is…