Ms. Representation: Men and women, not men versus women

What connects Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal and Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai? Both stories are about women but told and headlined by a man. Both films were criticised for the same, for the film’s posters prominently showcasing Ajith and Akshay more than the women the films were about. Mission Mangal, in fact, had Vidya Balan, Taapsee, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, and Kirti Kulhari, and yet, was branded an Akshay Kumar film. Taapsee had an interesting response to this. In a recent interview, she asked whether the audience would be willing to pay as much for these female actors, as they did for an Akshay Kumar film?

Continue reading “Ms. Representation: Men and women, not men versus women”

Nerkonda Paarvai review: Ajith headlines this necessary and important remake

I have to confess that Nerkonda Paarvai was a remake that I was apprehensive about. Pink was a powerful film that spoke about the importance of consent, simultaneously calling out the double standards society has set for women. It had Taapsee and Amitabh Bachchan but wasn’t a star vehicle, if you know what I mean. Placing Ajith, one of Kollywood’s biggest stars, in a film like this brought several questions. Will the core of Pink be diluted to accommodate the commercial expectations of Ajith’s fans? Will the spotlight shift from what is being said to who is saying it, ie the star? Continue reading “Nerkonda Paarvai review: Ajith headlines this necessary and important remake”

I see the rural-centric tag as an advantage: D Imman

The first time Imman remembers composing a tune was in school — ninth grade to be precise. That was when he was learning programming and had just got a keyboard. “The plan was to do an album back then. Veetla kaasu vaangi, kadan laam vangi, apdiye ready pannathu. I don’t even remember the pallavi now,” he says with a smile. Cut to 2018, Imman is now more than 100 albums old and is one of the busiest composers in the industry. Ahead of Viswasam’s release, his first film with Ajith, Imman opens up about composing for the layman, and the importance of successful collaborations: Continue reading “I see the rural-centric tag as an advantage: D Imman”

I want to make a historical film with Ajith: Director Siva

When it came to light that director Siva would be collaborating with Ajith for the fourth time, the announcement was met with a generous dose of criticism. The skepticism arose from the mixed reviews that the duo’s previous outing, Vivegam, had received. However, the trailer of Viswasam has piqued interest in the film, which is set for release this Thursday. Ahead of the film’s release, Siva opens up about his equation with Ajith, handling negative criticism and more. Continue reading “I want to make a historical film with Ajith: Director Siva”

Viswasam review: A sprightly Ajith saves this festival

I watched Viswasam first-day-first-show, which was a show at 1 am. Even though not surprising, the bustling crowds who had begun their celebrations even before they saw their favourite star was quite a sight. I have seen quite a number of films FDFS, but not one has begun with a cautionary warning from a fellow member of the audience. “Review yarathu ozhunga kudukala… senjuruven,” he screamed at the top of his voice. It is now clear why the film was named Viswasam, it is for the fans and their loyalty for Ajith.

Continue reading “Viswasam review: A sprightly Ajith saves this festival”

Billa Paandi Review: A toxic cliche ride masquerading as an Ajith tribute

I try my best not to judge a film before its release. This is exceptionally hard, what with promotional material and sneak peeks of the film bombarding you. I still try to watch a film without preconceived notions. And then comes Billa Pandi, which is a film worse than anything I may have dreaded before its release. Continue reading “Billa Paandi Review: A toxic cliche ride masquerading as an Ajith tribute”

Rajinikanth is beyond stardom: 2.0 actor Sudhanshu Pandey

Sudhanshu Pandey stepped into Kollywood with Billa 2 and it is another sequel that is bringing the actor back to the industry. Sudhanshu is part of the much-talked-about 2.0, where he plays a negative character. “I am playing Danny Denzongpa’s son in 2.0, who is also a scientist carrying forward his legacy. I have tried to follow my own style and approach it in my own way,” the actor says. Continue reading “Rajinikanth is beyond stardom: 2.0 actor Sudhanshu Pandey”

Vivegam is a notch above Veeram and Vedhalam, says Vivek Oberoi

After 15 years in showbiz, Vivek Oberoi is a debutante again. The handsome actor is making his Tamil debut in the much-awaited film Vivegam alongside Ajith. This might be his first Tamil movie, but the actor has a strong south connect. He has worked with ace director Mani Rathnam on the Hindi versions of runaway hits in Tamil such as Alaipayuthe (Saathiya) and Yuva (Ayutha Ezhuthu) and has starred alongside Suriya in the Telugu-Hindi blockbuster Raktha Charithram. Continue reading “Vivegam is a notch above Veeram and Vedhalam, says Vivek Oberoi”

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