Viswasam review: A sprightly Ajith saves this festival

I watched Viswasam first-day-first-show, which was a show at 1 am. Even though not surprising, the bustling crowds who had begun their celebrations even before they saw their favourite star was quite a sight. I have seen quite a number of films FDFS, but not one has begun with a cautionary warning from a fellow member of the audience. “Review yarathu ozhunga kudukala… senjuruven,” he screamed at the top of his voice. It is now clear why the film was named Viswasam, it is for the fans and their loyalty for Ajith.

Continue reading “Viswasam review: A sprightly Ajith saves this festival”

Kolamaavu Kokila movie review: Nayanthara hits it out of the park with this one

I have to admit that I was rooting badly for Kolamaavu Kokila. It was for several reasons. First, when have we had a woman drug peddler for a protagonist? Second, the film is headlined by Nayanthara, who is truly living up to her Lady Superstar status. While there is much to complain about the roles that our heroines get in commercial films, we have an actor who is slowly proving that women-centric films could be profitable as well. Nayanthara did it with Aramm, and now, she is poised for another win with Kolamaavu Kokila. Continue reading “Kolamaavu Kokila movie review: Nayanthara hits it out of the park with this one”

How did women-centric films go from being a norm to an exception?

The years 2016 and 2017 were considered to be a harbinger of change for women in Tamil cinema. Words such as feminism and women-centric were increasingly thrown in the mix with cinema. Our heroines don’t have a ‘shelf life’ anymore; they don’t have to stop working when they get married or don’t have to be there just for the glamour quotient. Off-screen, we see more women enter production, direction, cinematography and several other fields. The fact that cinema can revolve around women seems new to many — a pleasant surprise. But has it been always been so? Continue reading “How did women-centric films go from being a norm to an exception?”

Suriya body shamed: Where was all this outrage when our actresses were trolled for their looks?

In a recent show on a private music channel, two women anchors, who were having a discussion about Suriya’s next film with KV Anand, decided to make fun of the actor’s height on the show. As they talked about the prospect of Amitabh Bachchan making a cameo in the film, the anchors commented that Suriya might need a stool to match the veteran actor’s height. A video clip of the same has gone viral on Twitter leading the Twitterati to go up in arms, with several celebrities on the vanguard. Continue reading “Suriya body shamed: Where was all this outrage when our actresses were trolled for their looks?”

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”

Nayanthara is an extremely versatile actor: Aramm Cinematographer Om Prakash

A child falls into a borewell. The entire village population, including the officials and the collector are waiting to verify if the girl is alive inside the 30ft well. As the small CCTV camera is lowered down, we wait in anticipation. After a few minutes, in a horrifying frame, the drained face of the small kid is seen. It’s tough to not be disturbed by the visuals in the Nayanthara starrer Aramm and Om Prakash is the man behind the hard-hitting visuals from the film. The scene in question was shot using equipment that would give the same feel as a rudimentary CCTV says Om Prakash. “The rescue ops will not have a camera that is very good. The picture or the lighting can’t be extremely good. We made sure that the lighting was also equally crude,” said Om Prakash who is also known for Vaagai Sooda Vaa, another hard-hitting rural drama. Continue reading “Nayanthara is an extremely versatile actor: Aramm Cinematographer Om Prakash”

Aramm’s story is not related to the Kaththi controversy: Director Gopi Nainar

Director Gopi Nainar is making his debut with the much awaited Aramm this week. But however, he first stepped into the spotlight during the controversy around Vijay’s Kaththi. “Aramm’s script or story has nothing to do with that,” clarifies Gopi Nainar as we begin talking about the Nayanthara starrer. “I had approached several producers and companies after writing the script. Many of them felt it won’t be commercially viable,” divulges Gopi. It was during such meets that he met Rajesh, who is the producer of Aramm. “He was the one who made me meet Nayanthara,” says Gopi. “After listening to the story, she supported the script and she would act in it. This film is an opportunity given by Nayanthara.” Continue reading “Aramm’s story is not related to the Kaththi controversy: Director Gopi Nainar”

Velaikkaran movie review: This Sivakarthikeyan and Nayanthara starrer has its heart in the right place

Velaikkaran has several things that are fresh. The concept of a community radio in a slum, for example. Right from the name (Kuppam FM), the idea is new and also well presented. There is an ‘aha moment’ when Sivakarthikeyan uses it to report a gang fight live to his community. Asking Charlie, a welder, to cut an iron rod instead of a ribbon to open Siva’s studio is another such moment. Velaikkaran has several such moments buried under pages of well-intended dialogue. Continue reading “Velaikkaran movie review: This Sivakarthikeyan and Nayanthara starrer has its heart in the right place”

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