What is art? What makes art? There’s a definite science to it, but is that all? Then, why are few practitioners of art better than the others? One cannot deny the existence of something more — that’s intangible and makes art what it is. Name it what you want: soul, life, spirit, passion, talent, anything. But there’s no denying the fact it is there. Balaji embodies this ‘spirit’ in a wizened thespian, who is interestingly named, Ayya Aadhimoolam which in Tamil translates to ‘the crux’. And Seethakathi, his latest, ponders over what happens when that ‘soul’ leaves.
Govind Vasantha still comes to press meets on his Unicorn bike. Praise for his music for 96 has been lavish, but life hasn’t changed much for the violinist-composer. “I am sure that it won’t as well,” says Govind. On 96’s album, he says he knew even before the shoot that music would be an integral part of the film. “We knew it would not exactly be like a musical but that the emotions would be conveyed through music,” he says. Govind is thankful that he got the necessary freedom both off-screen and on-screen to make music. “Both Prem (Kumar) and the editor Govindaraj knew what they wanted. If you look at it, even the shots and edits are relaxed. I was given the time to build up my score and transcend. That’s rare.” Continue reading “I hardly do happy music: Govind Vasantha”
Marooned by the 2015 floods, Prem Kumar just had with him one notebook to ideate and write the script of 96. He had missed his school reunion due to work, but the stories he heard from the meet gave him an idea for a script. The rains had just started as he began to sketch his story and soon, it was chaos. “I couldn’t have got myself more paper, had I needed it. There was no power, and once the candles ran out, I used my mom’s kuthuvilaku for light,” he says. He could only write at night, as the mornings were devoted to fetching basic supplies. “And it turned out to be a story that unfolds in one night,” adds Prem with a smile. Continue reading “Vijay Sethupathi suggested that I direct 96: Prem Kumar”
As a film, Solo looks good on paper. Four different stories of love styled around the four elements of nature. They also have a central theme, Lord Shiva. All the leads Shekhar, Trilok, Siva and Rudra are named after him and show facets of his persona. As fascinating as it might sound, not all thoughts manifest themselves on screen effectively. The result is that these ‘layers’ don’t really add to the core story thread in each chapter making Solo more of a visual experience. You have to give it to Bejoy Nambiar and his cinematographers, there isn’t one frame that doesn’t look good. On the other hand, we aren’t convinced by the events or their emotional outcomes. Despite being individual stories, there are several motifs that unintentionally link the four stories — accidents, a pregnant woman/kids, the number four, relationships outside the realm of marriage. Continue reading “Solo movie review: This Dulquer Salmaan and Neha Sharma starrer charms the eye more than the heart”