Ms Representation: The honour that kills

Paava Kadhaigal (stories of sin in English) is quite the appropriate name for the new Netflix anthology, helmed by Sudha Kongara (Thangam), Vignesh Shivan (Love Panna Uttranum), Gautham Menon (Vaanmagal), and Vetri Maaran (Orr Iravu). In all of them, sin is at the centre, with the characters placing honour above love, family, and humanity. Another similarity here is that the victims are all women or those who identify as women. Honour and honour killings are usually associated with casteism, but I found Paava Kadhaigal to interpret honour in a different, more inclusive manner. It touches upon the complicated relationship women have with ‘honour’, and this goes beyond caste. The patriarchal society has saddled women with the responsibility of ‘honour’ for centuries, censoring their lives and choices. Ironically, Paavam is also an expression of sympathy in Tamil. There’s another layer then to this title, about stories that reflect the unfair universe that our women are bundled into.

Continue reading “Ms Representation: The honour that kills”

Maari 2

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that my conversations with the outside world are more often than not punctuated with cinema references. And #Maari2 comes at a critical point in my cinema-percolated life. The problem is, I haven’t been enjoying our commercial films or ‘masala entertainers’ lately. And I am someone who grew up on a steady diet of ‘Athiradi Vyazhans’ on Sun TV. So I have been introspecting as to what changed. Is nostalgia the only thing that powers my fondness for older commercial films? But thankfully, Maari 2 took me back to masala-cinema roots. Or in other words, I had fun. Continue reading “Maari 2”

Balaji Mohan: ‘Don’ning the zany hat

The first short film Balaji Mohan ever shot, was in his own room, with a handycam he had just received as a gift and was eager to try out. “Instead of just shooting a video, why not write a story and shoot it?” he thought. Titled Velicham, it was a one-man show about a suicide counsellor, written, acted and edited by him, which then reached several competitions. In one such competition, where Balu Mahendra was on the judging panel, Velicham won a special mention. And that was Balaji Mohan’s cue to get out of engineering and into the world of cinema. Continue reading “Balaji Mohan: ‘Don’ning the zany hat”

AL Vijay: Diya is not an anti-abortion film

It has been less than a week since Diya (Kanam in Telugu) released and director AL Vijay is a busy and happy man. The Sai Pallavi starrer might have opened to mixed reviews but Vijay is content. “I am very happy majority of the people liked it. I have been getting only that,” he said. Known for his heart-tugging tales, Diya was no different from AL Vijay’s earlier films in terms of the emotional quotient. The film documents a tale of the ghost of an aborted foetus coming back for revenge. With a sensitive core, the film left the audience with several questions in mind. In a conversation with, AL Vijay answered all questions about Diya and his upcoming films as well. Continue reading “AL Vijay: Diya is not an anti-abortion film”

Diya movie review: Sai Pallavi, Sam CS shine in this horror film

How ‘politically correct’ do films need to be? Do we consume films as a mere story or an aggregation of the social ethos it is made in? And if it is the latter, how holistic can our perspective be? Is it possible to make a factually right, comprehensive argument with cinema? Isn’t there always a case, an angle or a perspective that can completely make us switch sides? These are some of the long-standing questions that rose again in my mind as I watched Diya (earlier named Lycavin Karu). Continue reading “Diya movie review: Sai Pallavi, Sam CS shine in this horror film”

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