Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal movie review: Samantha, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi deserved better than a love letter to patriarchy

Vignesh Shivan‘s Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal, starring Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara, and Samantha, thinks it is making a strong case for polyamory.

We like day and night. We like biryani and curd rice. We like Ajith and Vijay. As humans, we enjoy and thrive in plurality. When that is the case, why is polyamoury taboo, and why is monogamy the rule?

However, the case the film actually makes is for patriarchy and sexism. Sure, one can have multiple partners if everyone involved knows about it, and agrees to be part of it. But in our society, and by extension Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal, this is just reserved for the man.

Continue reading “Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal movie review: Samantha, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi deserved better than a love letter to patriarchy”

Rocky movie review: A stunning tapestry of anger, blood, and violence

“We are violent people. Violence namma raththulaye iruku (Violence is our blood),” says Rocky (Vasanth Ravi) to his sister Amutha (Raveena Ravi). The film argues that violence is everywhere. You can either choose to acknowledge and participate or ignore it. But there’s no escaping it. For a long time, Rocky belonged to the former. (He is infamous for disemboweling Manimaaran’s (Bharathiraja) son.) After a seventeen-year jail sentence, Rocky wishes to be the latter. But he is forced to see the violence, quite literally — enemies hold his eyes open to make him see a near one die. After multiple failures, will he finally be able to protect what’s left of his world?

Continue reading “Rocky movie review: A stunning tapestry of anger, blood, and violence”

Ms. Representation: Where are the older heroines?

One of the most exciting casting announcements in recent times was that Khushbu and Meena were going to be part of Rajinikanth’s Annaththe. Naturally, there was curiosity over the announcement. Two of Tamil cinema’s successful heroines from the 90s, Khushbu and Meena have played the female lead in several Rajinikanth blockbusters. Conventionally, older heroines do not get to play the female lead when they return to cinema. They turn into sisters, sisters-in-law, or even mothers of the same heroes they had once been partners of. Annaththe followed suit: Nayanthara was paired with Rajinikanth, while Khushbu and Meena played Kalaiyan’s (Rajinikanth) hung-up ‘morai ponnunga’ in a ridiculously unfunny track that did no justice to both women. Pachakili (Soori) says, “Ivanga close panna account-a reopen panna vandhrukanga.” The film and the treatment stop that from happening.

Continue reading “Ms. Representation: Where are the older heroines?”

Annaatthe movie review: Even Rajinikanth can’t save this film

In a recent interview with The New Indian Express, director Siva revealed that when Rajinikanth asked him what kind of film he had in mind, he said, “It’s a film that has everything.” But when you watch Annaatthe, what this actually means: a mixtape of themes and emotions from their previous work. (If Viswasam was the battle between two fathers, Annaatthe is the clash of two brothers.) And they do not stop at their own work.

Annaatthe has pieces from almost every film in the ’90s and early 2000s, so much so that it feels like we have discovered the film from a time capsule. This family drama is so familiar that the audiences become autocomplete tools — it is enough if you just hear the beginning of the dialogue, you know the rest.

Continue reading “Annaatthe movie review: Even Rajinikanth can’t save this film”

Mookuthi Amman Movie Review: Nayanthara blesses this fairly enjoyable RJ Balaji comedy

As an ardent KTV fan, Amman films hold a lot of personal nostalgic value for me. As a child, I remember those afternoons spent watching the glorious Amman step down from the heavens to save the struggling heroine from the villain. Growing up, my equation with faith transformed, but there still seems to be something comforting about Amman films. It is the ultimate escapist entertainment, right? The world is black and white here, and you know there’s a saviour. Thus, when RJ Balaji announced Mookuthi Amman, I was quite excited. But the big question is, can you sell all those tropes without the cushion of nostalgia?

Continue reading “Mookuthi Amman Movie Review: Nayanthara blesses this fairly enjoyable RJ Balaji comedy”

Ashwin Saravanan: I want people to understand that direction is a job by itself

Just as our interview is about to begin, Ashwin Saravanan walks in, clutching a copy of Driven: The Virat Kohli Story. It’s a word that could well define Ashwin himself. He stepped into cinema, after quitting his software job. His first film Maya (2015) was a huge hit, and the trailer of his second film, Iravaakaalam, also sparked good responses. However, the delay in the film’s release meant that every conversation with Ashwin inevitably veered to that subject. The filmmaker admits it was tough to come out of it. “Every filmmaker is a control freak. This is the worst situation for a filmmaker to be in,” he says. In fact, he began isolating himself as repeated explanations became exhausting. “Imagine people seeing you pregnant, and then, one day, your baby vanishes. Everyone keeps asking what happened to it.” However, he wouldn’t be stopped.

Continue reading “Ashwin Saravanan: I want people to understand that direction is a job by itself”

Airaa review: A story that would have worked better, out of the horror template

Why do some people get everything when others don’t? It is a question that Yamuna (Nayanthara) asks herself in the film. “God created men. But where did he go then? Was he sleeping?” she adds. Airaa, KM Sarjun’s latest, argues that life is a gigantic malfunctioning Rube Goldberg Machine of which we are parts. (The opening credits has an animated version in the background). It argues that mostly, we don’t understand why we get hit; we just deal with the after-effects. Airaa follows one such thread that links Yamuna, who seems to have it all, with Bhavani (a darker Nayanthara) who loses everything.

Continue reading “Airaa review: A story that would have worked better, out of the horror template”

Nayanthara wasn’t initially supposed to play both roles in Airaa: Sarjun KM

KM Sarjun’s rise to fame is a unique story. He’s a filmmaker who commanded fan-following even before the release of his first feature film. Pegged as a feminist filmmaker on account of his short films, Maa and Lakshmi, he is now back into the limelight with another woman-centric film, but this time, featuring a star, Nayanthara. His Airaa will also be the first film to feature her in dual roles. In this freewheeling chat, Sarjun opens up about the feminist filmmaker tag, working with Nayanthara, and what it’s like to work with a female co-writer.

Continue reading “Nayanthara wasn’t initially supposed to play both roles in Airaa: Sarjun KM”

‘The chemistry Sarjun and I share is a gift’

As a child, KS Sundaramurthy used to enjoy watching people play the tabla. “My interest in music began then. I then started learning the keyboard,” begins the young composer who has got himself a big-ticket release with Nayanthara’s Airaa

His love for cinema seems to run in the family. “My father is a designer. Since Vikram he has been the title and poster designer for Kamal Haasan sir”. He has also worked with Mani Ratnam for Thalapathi and Anjali,” he says. Saturday nights at the Sundaramurthy residence were reserved for films, especially those by K Balachander and Visu. “My love for cine music and re-recording grew. I was learning all sorts of things — piano, Hindustani, sound engineering.” Music, he believes, comes from within. 

Continue reading “‘The chemistry Sarjun and I share is a gift’”

I want to make a historical film with Ajith: Director Siva

When it came to light that director Siva would be collaborating with Ajith for the fourth time, the announcement was met with a generous dose of criticism. The skepticism arose from the mixed reviews that the duo’s previous outing, Vivegam, had received. However, the trailer of Viswasam has piqued interest in the film, which is set for release this Thursday. Ahead of the film’s release, Siva opens up about his equation with Ajith, handling negative criticism and more. Continue reading “I want to make a historical film with Ajith: Director Siva”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑