Karthik Subbaraj’s latest film Mahaan, starring Vikram and his son Dhruv, has a lot to say on ideology. Naachi (Simran) hails from a Gandhian family and believes that ‘ideology defines a person.’ Gandhi Mahaan (Vikram), also hailing from a Gandhian family, doesn’t think so. With an austere, ascetic lifestyle being shoved down his throat — by his father, and later Naachi — Gandhi plays along. Until one day, he hits a mid-life crisis and decides to party. The situation escalates and Naachi leaves, taking their son Dada (Dhruv) along with her. Gandhi, on the other hand, ends up on the other extreme — running a liquor business with Sathyavan (Bobby Simhaa) and Rocky (Sananth).
March is usually a chaotic month for women, one in which the world, around Women’s Day, seems to awaken from its slumber to acknowledge once again that women exist. Mostly, it is for our purchasing power, with a barrage of campaigns targeting women with money. For this single day, women are celebrated, and their problems, recognised. Social media gets a decorative makeover. And then, we go back to regular programming. We are expected to keep our heads low and shrink away from visibility. Rape threats and harassment occur because we are ‘asking for it’. When we are assertive, we are ‘bossy’; when we ask questions, we are being ‘difficult’.
#MildSpoilersAhead #Bandersnatch #Netflix
If there’s one emotion that the #BlackMirror series embodies, it’s helplessness. The frustration that stems from the futility of the characters’ actions, not very different from ours despite set in a dystopian world, is what made the series personal. I stopped watching the series after 2 seasons because I didn’t want to feel hapless and our myself through the grind. So, it’s with a pinch of salt that I started watching Bandersnatch, the new stand alone interactive film. Continue reading “Bandersnatch”
#Kanaa, in a lot of ways was personal. Every time Kausalya was told that she didn’t belong on the ground, it brought back memories. I am a huge fan of cinema but until last year, haven’t watched a film FDFS. Why? There would be no women around. Why brave the boisterous crowds and catch a film FDFS when you can always watch it later? How will you go to the theatre? Will you be safe? While thankfully, I haven’t been discriminated on my gender, there are inherent invisible struggles.There have been several days where I have been the only woman around and been the cynosure of stares that will make anyone comfortable. I have had exit routes always mapped in my mind, if I need to run out. I’ve never let it bother me or let it interfere in my decisions. This is just a small example. I am privileged and not everyone has been this lucky. Continue reading “Kanaa”
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that my conversations with the outside world are more often than not punctuated with cinema references. And #Maari2 comes at a critical point in my cinema-percolated life. The problem is, I haven’t been enjoying our commercial films or ‘masala entertainers’ lately. And I am someone who grew up on a steady diet of ‘Athiradi Vyazhans’ on Sun TV. So I have been introspecting as to what changed. Is nostalgia the only thing that powers my fondness for older commercial films? But thankfully, Maari 2 took me back to masala-cinema roots. Or in other words, I had fun. Continue reading “Maari 2”
One of the major issues that plague our recent commercial films is the lack of a good villain. In the frenzy to appease fans and create mass, whistle-worthy moments for the star, the villains are short-changed with one-note characters. We are given flimsy stories for the unadulterated ‘evilness’ in our antagonists.
From #Seemaraja to #SaamySquare and the recent #Sandakozhi2, there are no major pay-off moments for the antagonists where they seriously impede the hero’s growth. Commercial films are essentially cat and mouse games. And what’s the fun when you are constantly reminded that it’s the cat who is going to win and the mouse absolutely has no chance?
Today is an important birthday for Kamal Haasan. 63 is a big number but the significance doesn’t stem from that. It comes from the fact that the actor who is known for his transformations on screen, is on the precipice of the biggest transformation he can make off-screen. With an impending political plunge, Kamal Haasan is no longer just the actor we have admired all this while. The Twitter outreach, the mobile application he is launching are mere indications. The Ulagnayagan is not content being the crusader on screen, the conversations need to extend in real life as well. And considering the current political situation, the timing couldn’t have been better. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Kamal Haasan, the man always ahead of his times”
#October is the kind of film that shows what a beautiful union between a good writer and a good director can create. It’s a garland of delicately written moments, staged with creative poignance. What #JuhiChaturvedi and #ShoojitSircar have done is remind us that it’s okay to be a writer/director exclusively.
Oh, I forgot. It also makes you realise that love can blossom in silence as well. (Read beautiful minimalist background score and sound.)
Mercury is an intellectually stimulating film with carefully added layers that traverse through genres, something that is now a fixture with Karthik Subbaraj. Another creatively inclined lead role who ‘defeats his limitation’ — Karthik now has a definitive theme. Mercury is definitely an interesting visual/aural spectacle. It takes guts to make a film where everything isn’t spoon fed. There’s a lot of brain but not enough heart — that makes Mercury, a tad cold. Nevertheless, if you’re watching Mercury, then do so on the big screen. Some good visual/sonic filmmaking awaits.
I remember being amazed after #SudaniFromNigeria about #Mollywood’s content. Even though I watched a couple of films after #Mercury (A Truth or Dare and Bharat Ane Nenu, which I don’t want to talk about), it’s yet another Malayalam film that has floored me. #SwathanthryamArdharathriyil is an example as to how two films with similar storylines can be so different, effective and creatively engaging. The core story might be similar to #ShawshankRedemption, but the film is definitely not.
You wouldn’t want to move your eye away, thanks to some nifty cinematograhy and editing. Add some great performances and an equally effective background score — Mollywood has done it again.