Sivakumarin Sabadham movie review: Refreshing changes save an age-old narrative

Independent musician turned actor Hip Hop Aadhi’s first ticket to fame was his 2011 single ‘Clubbula Mabbula’. The rookie video — a mobile recording of two youngsters rapping in a radio station — became a viral hit, even before we knew what that meant. For the uninitiated, ‘Clubbula Mabbula’ is a song that trashed women who consumed alcohol and partied, branding them as harbingers of cultural doom.

Ten years later, his latest directorial Sivakumarin Sabadham has a similar instance. Shruthi (Madhuri) is harassed at a club by rogue men, saying the same things ‘Clubbula Mabbula’ did. While a usual Tamil cinema hero would have patronised Shruthi, Sivakumar (Hip Hop Aadhi) speaks of the initial culture shock and the subsequent realisation of his erroneous understanding. “Avano avalo ellam onnu dhana, adhu arivu varappo ungaluku thaana puriyum. (Whether it is a man or a woman, the rules are the same.)” And further consoled the sobbing heroine saying, “Nee correct nu unaku theriyum la. Yaaru enna sonna enna?.” (You know you are right. Why do you care about what other people say?)

Continue reading “Sivakumarin Sabadham movie review: Refreshing changes save an age-old narrative”

The Kaber Vasuki interview

If you are a listener of Tamil indie music, you have probably heard about Kaber Vasuki. The indie musician is known for his philosophical, brutally honest lyrics that are designed to penetrate your soul. Kaber Vasuki, the man, is no different. I ask him about his chosen name, Kaber Vasuki, and he shares that he didn’t like the name his parents gave him. “I did not want my name to reflect my gender, religion, or where I am coming from.” Why this specific one though? “Nothing in particular. A lot of people have asked me this, but I tell a different story to each one of them depending on my mood. Siladhu lam en epdi nu theriyadhu, apo thonum pannuvom,” he says, with a chuckle.

Continue reading “The Kaber Vasuki interview”

Natpe Thunai review: Old wine in an old bottle

The opening song of Natpe Thunai begins with the lines, ‘Aathadi enna udambu’. The song from the 1994 film Sindhu Nathi Poo became famous recently after a television celebrity sang it on a comedy show. The Natpe Thunai version borrows only the first few lines from the original ‘dance’ number before turning into a song about friendship. Now, why would a song about friendship begin with the lines ‘Aathadi enna udambu, adi anganga pacha narambu’? To cash in on the buzz around it among youngsters, clearly. Even if we charitably forgive this, it does get a bit tiring when the entire film is structured this way.

Continue reading “Natpe Thunai review: Old wine in an old bottle”

Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven Review: This Simbu-starrer and Sundar C directorial is a tiring rehash of rehashes

Sigh, what do I write about a film like Vantha Raajavathan Varuven? Let me rephrase that. What can I write about it that doesn’t make me sound like a creaking, ancient gramophone? That was the challenge I set myself as I walked out of the theatre. It is quite a task, especially when Vantha Raajavathan Varuven feels like the end product you get when you throw Poove Unakaga and Minsara Kanna into a blender, which is funny considering that it is a remake of the Telugu film Attarintiki Daredi. (I haven’t watched the original, and right now, I am thanking my stars!) Problematic humour, objectification of women, self-indulgent dialogues — even VRV’s flaws aren’t original; so much so, that, if I pick bits and pieces from my previous reviews it would still make absolute sense. Continue reading “Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven Review: This Simbu-starrer and Sundar C directorial is a tiring rehash of rehashes”

Imaikkaa Nodigal actor Raashi Khanna: I don’t want to be defined

When Raashi Khanna was called to audition for her debut film Madras Cafe, she ran away from it. “I was too scared. I wondered why they would choose me as I didn’t know much about cinema. It came to a point where the casting director had to directly call me and persuade me with a separate slot, in case I was too shy,” recalls Raashi. She did give the audition and a week later, the young actor got a call saying that she had bagged the role. “I don’t know how, maybe I just had it in me. When I saw myself for the first time and saw how people laugh or cry for my character, I realised that this is the best profession to be in. One has to be honest to the character.” Continue reading “Imaikkaa Nodigal actor Raashi Khanna: I don’t want to be defined”

Imaikka Nodigal review: Some intelligent writing burdened by commercial compromises

This week’s big release, Imaikka Nodigal has a lot of interesting things to offer. First off, it has Anurag Kashyap, complete with his magnetic screen presence. The Bollywood ace director is making his acting debut in Kollywood with Imaikka Nodigal and boy, he seems to have had fun. Anurag’s large, dramatic eyes do the trick as he delivers the right amount of exaggeration in his body language. Just when you think it is all about the raised eyebrows, the character takes a different dimension. The dubbing, while impressive, sounds a tad inorganic when you watch the film in length. Magizh Thirumeni’s slow, deep drawl sounds impressive in isolation but doesn’t really synergise with Anurag’s sense of muted drama. Continue reading “Imaikka Nodigal review: Some intelligent writing burdened by commercial compromises”

While Meesaya Murukku is a commercial film, Naragasooran will be a suspense drama: Aathmika

If Meesaya Murukku was a dream debut for the model-turned-heroine Aathmika, her next project is even bigger. The doe-eyed-beauty, who charmed the audience in Meesaya Murukku, is now officially part of Karthik Naren’s next movie Naragasooran. While she has done several ads, the actor started to consider films as an option after she landed a role in ace cinematographer-director Rajiv Menon’s short film. “I had a lot of camera experience with ads but I wanted to take it to the next level. So, I got to know about this opportunity through common friends. I auditioned and was selected for the role as well. The fact a senior person chose me for a role, gave me a boost and egged me to take this seriously,” she said. Continue reading “While Meesaya Murukku is a commercial film, Naragasooran will be a suspense drama: Aathmika”

Meesaya Murukku actor Hip Hop Adhi: Cinema is my profession but independent music is my passion

In a way, the weekend of July 21 was important for Kollywood. Fresh from a theatre strike over movie taxes, makers and distributors were not sure if the price hike will affect the theatre turnout. But the astounding success of two movies changed that perception for us – one was Pushkar-Gayathri’s Vikram Vedha and the other was Hip Hop Tamizha Adhi’s Meesaya Murukku (MM). The latter’s success is more significant, only due to the fact that it had no big names barring Aadi himself and Actor Vivekh; it held its own ground very well in the BO clash with the Madhavan-Vijay Sethupathi starrer. In an exclusive chat with, Hip Hop Tamizha’s Adi talks about directorial debut Meesaya Murukku, independent music and much more. Here is the excerpt Continue reading “Meesaya Murukku actor Hip Hop Adhi: Cinema is my profession but independent music is my passion”

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