Magamuni Movie Review: A slow-burning thriller whose parts are greater than its sum

Magamuni’s screenplay is structured like a jigsaw puzzle, as most thrillers are wont to be. However, Shanthakumar, who has written and directed the film, is in no hurry to give us all the pieces immediately. One of the film’s defining factors is its unhurried pace. However, though Magamuni takes its time to spin the web around its characters, the screenplay and the setting maintain the intensity. We first see Maga (Arya), a taxi driver who is struggling to make ends meet. But is he? After a while, the film cuts to Muni (also Arya), who seems to be the antithesis of Maga. But are they different people? Or is it just the same person at different times?

Continue reading “Magamuni Movie Review: A slow-burning thriller whose parts are greater than its sum”

Boomerang Review: Bites more than it can chew

I wonder if directors in Tamil cinema have a new ‘social issues’ checklist in making their films. The horror-comedy bubble seems to have burst, and now, we are getting a new wave of films with political/social commentary. It isn’t that these unearth new issues or problems. They merely serve to recall real-life references that have already been garnished and served. Farmer’s issues, check; NEET, check; corruption, check; social media influence, check. Director Kannan’s Boomerang joins a long list of recent films including Kanaa, Sarkar, NOTA, LKG, and even Kanne Kalaimaane. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not against films tackling social issues, but when every other film references the same topics without adding much, surely, saturation isn’t too far away.

Continue reading “Boomerang Review: Bites more than it can chew”

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”

Vikram Prabhu-Radhamohan’s 60 Vayadhu Maaniram

If you had watched #GodhiBannaSadharnaMykattu, it would be tough to sit through #60VayadhuMaaniram, the Tamil remake starring #VikramPrabhu, #Indhuja and #PrakashRaj.

One of the major reasons why I had loved the Kannada original (starring #RakshitShetty and #SruthiHariharan) was its practicality and subtlety. We don’t spell a lot of things out loud in our families. If I go hug my mom, she feels awkward. We don’t express several things, that doesn’t however mean a lack of emotions. And in case of #Godhi, this non-engagement leads to apathy. His father becomes something that has to be taken care of, a box to be ticked on a checklist. Rakshit Shetty’s portrayal of a son’s journey to find his father (in all ways) is truly a revelation. From the initial standoffish stance to being guilt-stricken, his emotions unfold organically.

What I couldn’t tolerate was #Radhamohan’s ‘over-simplication’ of this process. His dialogues and Ilayaraja’s music constantly instruct us what to feel and ends up as an overreach. Also, Vikram Prabhu is no match for Rakshit Shetty. And as much as I love Indhuja, Sruthi’s performance was more layered, more nuanced.

To take an example, the beautiful childhood drawing Rakshit and his father creates is naturally chaotic, with no drawn boundaries. On the other hand, in Vikram Prabhu’s case, it’s nearly packaged into a box, highlighted with a lighter background. I think this shows enough of the different approaches taken by these directors to the same story.

Being in a Karthik Subbaraj film with Prabhudheva is a dream come true for me: Mercury actor Sananth

A horror film, a stoner comedy, a web-series and now a silent film — it is an interesting list of projects that Sananth Reddy has in his repertoire. After debuting with the hit horror film Demonte Colony, Sananth backed it up with the stoner comedy Jil Jung Juk and then came Balaji Mohan’s viral web series As I am suffering from Kaadhal. Now the actor is part of Karthik Subbaraj’s silent film Mercury, which also stars Prabhudheva and Meyaadha Maan fame Indhuja. Quiz him about his eclectic pick of projects, Sanath admits that it is part choice and part destiny. “I want to get associated with films and directors who can bring something different out of me. I have been a bit choosy. Partly it is because I pick characters that are interesting and will stand out with the audience,” he said. “The directors who I got the opportunity to work with have also given me characters that bring out the best out of me,” he added. Continue reading “Being in a Karthik Subbaraj film with Prabhudheva is a dream come true for me: Mercury actor Sananth”

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