A new year is usually considered to be the harbinger of new beginnings. Tamil cinema, however, has returned to some old traditions. The theatres are open and full again, and we have brand new releases. But along with the festive cheer, two of the Pongal releases also brought back perhaps the most popular version of woman in Tamil cinema: the Loosu Ponnu™. Save for an errant occurrence here and there (the heroine from Dagaalty comes to mind), this woman seemed to have bid goodbye. This isn’t to say that women roles have always been written with diligence, but at least, they weren’t manic pixie dream girls. Sadly, Bhoomi and Eeswaran bring back this woman back. More strangely, both roles were played by the same actor.
Eleven years and four films. The numbers seem disproportionate but the constant love Vetri Maaran’s films receive speaks volumes about the high regard in which he’s held. He thinks he isn’t a good director though. As his latest release, Vada Chennai, is running to packed screens, here are excerpts from a conversation with him: Continue reading “I am not a good director: Vetri Maaran”
Early morning shows are a phenomenon intrinsic to Tamil cinema. But to witness packed houses for multiple shows at 4:45 am, despite mild rains, is a sight that our theatres have been yearning for in a while. For the second time within a month (after Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam), the crowds had set their alarms not just to watch their favourite stars first on the big screen, but also to witness their favourite filmmaker weave his magic. The applause that Vetri Maaran’s name received at the end of Vada Chennai, was such a gratifying sound. Quite exciting times for Tamil cinema, indeed. Continue reading “First impressions of Vada Chennai: A gritty peek into a fascinating world”
It isn’t every day that we come across an album with ten tracks. But when the music is intriguing as Santhosh Narayanan’s, we have no complaints. His music for Vada Chennai can be split into two parts — one, with the gaana-infused folk numbers and the other, with the melodies that might as well be trademarked in his name. With the first part, Santhosh captures the cultural exuberance of North Chennai. However, he balances this with the other part, melodies that consist of an eclectic mosaic of sounds that we have come to expect of him. Put the two together and you get a holistic picture, not just of the film, but of the composer himself. Continue reading “Vada Chennai music review: Santhosh Narayanan captures the vibrant charm of North Chennai”
There are just two days to Aval’s release but director Milind Rau says he has no last-minute jitters. “I have no butterflies at all because I know what we have made and I am very confident about it. The stress was in getting it released in three languages. But I am absolutely not worried about the outcome at all as I know we have made a good film,” he says confidently. Continue reading “If people talk during Aval, we would be happy as it means they are scared: Director Milind Rau”
The first thing you notice about Vinay Rai is how comfortable he is speaking Tamil. Point it out to him and the actor reveals that he always made it a point to speak the language. “Nobody has ever dissuaded me from speaking the language due to the accent, except for my friends. But of course, that is in good humour,” says the actor from Bengaluru as we settle down to talk. Continue reading “Mysskin is probably the Tarantino of Tamil cinema: Thupparivaalan actor Vinay”
Director Ram doesn’t believe in mincing words. Honesty seeps through his answers, just like it does in his movies. He believes in what he does, regardless of whether it fetches him criticism or acclaim. Ahead of his upcoming movie Taramani, the National Award-winning director opens up in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com about censorship, his leading lady Andrea Jeremiah and lots more. Continue reading “Censor Board could be more relaxed with language for ‘A’ movies: Director Ram”
Recently, the much-appreciated Mission: Impossible – Fallout, starring Tom Cruise, hit the screens. The film gave some great cinematic moments, stunts that could cause a crick in your neck just by watching those. Now, fans of the franchise expect that from a spy film. To critics, they ask, “Well, what else can you expect from an action film?.” With the Vishwaroopam films, Kamal Haasan has given an answer that spy films need not focus on just action. This is what I loved about Vishwaroopam 2, probably something that might be a disappointment to pure-action fans. Continue reading “Vishwaroopam 2 movie review: With an intelligent spy film, Kamal Haasan delivers promises”