Ms Representation: A new year, still some old issues

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.

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Eeswaran Movie review: A resurgent Simbu, but little else

In the early minutes of Eeswaran, there’s a local cricket match. It is the final over—seven runs to win with just one wicket left. Eeswaran (Simbu) walks in to much applause. The other batsman Puli Kutty (Bala Saravanan) asks Eeswaran to hit a single and leave the rest to him. However, Eeswaran says, “Crowd-a paathalla? Naa aadithan jeikanum nu wait panraanga.” This last over becomes a metaphor, as Eeswaran continues to waste balls. Once, he even picks up the ball and throws it to the bowler, almost getting Puli Kutty run out. And then, the final ball arrives, and Eeswaran hits the CG ball for a six.

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Devi 2 Movie Review: When familiarity doesn’t fail, almost

In recent times, Kollywood’s track record with sequels is… questionable. The trend peaked last year with around eight films hitting the screen, and several others being announced. This year has already seen the release of five films. These ventures, with a rare exception or two, have turned out to be disappointments. Either, the sequel is a reshuffled version of the original or they are ‘spiritual sequels’ — films that don’t have a tangible connection to the original, at least in terms of the story. With the latter, the name is used to merely cash in on the familiarity and popularity.  Devi 2, a sequel to the 2016 horror comedy, is one of the rare films that is a proper sequel, which also maintains the tone of the first part.

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Asuravadham movie review: A fairly well-made revenge drama that shows not tells

The fact that I really liked about Asuravadham was that the film, for the most part, ‘shows and not tells.’ There is some solid writing from director Maruthupandian. When we first see Samayan (A convincing and effective Vasumithra), he is swayed by shadows. The film takes no time to establish who the ‘Asura’ is and the chase starts off almost immediately. When Samayan gets his first death threat, you might think he panics easily. But as the film rolls by, you see that he has reason to. It is interesting that the main objective of both Saravanan (Sasikumar) and Samayan is not to just kill each other. Saravanan wants to taunt Samayan, to see him suffer and the latter wants to know the identity of his tormentor. The demon here is one with too many skeletons in the closet; so much so he isn’t able to identify which deed of his has come back to bite him in the rear.

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