Etharkum Thunindhavan movie review: Suriya shoulders a thoughtful commercial film

There is a viral video of Director Mari Selvaraj speaking about the film Papanasam, the Tamil remake of the Malayalam hit Drishyam. The film is about a girl who accidentally kills her harasser, after being blackmailed with a private video taken without her knowledge and consent. The father goes to extreme lengths to protect his daughter from the police and finally saves her. “Why does the father, at no place, tell her that she has nothing to be ashamed of? It’s the harasser who should be ashamed,” asks Mari. It is an important question, reflective of the cultural patriarchal ethos of our society. Finally, we seem to have an answer in Pandiraj-Suriya’s Etharkum Thunindhavan.

Continue reading “Etharkum Thunindhavan movie review: Suriya shoulders a thoughtful commercial film”

Vijay Deverakonda-Anand Shankar’s NOTA

#NOTA is a cleverly planned commercial entertainer that relies heavily on the public outrage at the state of our political affairs. #AnandShankar uses the premise well by giving us a spin off of incidents that are only too fresh in the minds of the TN. Sometimes it’s just a dialogue here, a gesture there; the visible photos of the ‘above-all’ leader in the pockets, the eternally hunched yes-men. But it moves on to bigger incidents of which we get a version of what could have been done. Now, the thoughts are revolutionary all right, but practical? Not so much. But for the most time, it makes for good entertainment.

One thing is clear, #VijayDeverakonda is quite the star. His Tamil isn’t perfect but he gets the lip sync predominantly right. You can sense the uneasiness in his voice, similar to his struggle when he first wears a veshti. But Deverakonda pulls it off, his reaction shots are refreshingly raw and Anand uses this to his advantage. And Vijay gets quite the support from #Sathyaraj, #Nasser, and #MSBhaskar. It’s a delight to see our senior men get meaty roles and they pack quite a punch. #SanchanaNatrajan makes a neat debut. Her role could have been used better but I liked what she did with it. And boy how good it always feel to see women who are comfortable with the language on screen.

However, as a film, NOTA didn’t give me the gooseflesh as, say, Mudhalvan did. Two things, maybe it’s the cynic in me who realises that all this would make for good drama and nothing more. Second, the characters are inconsistent — too many changes in a very short span and some huge creative liberties diminish the impact of the content. There’s also too much to tackle. Anand tries to fit in everything. But there are some good ideas in NOTA that, had it been streamlined, would have made for a better agenda.

There were strong cheers and whistles for every political dig in the theatre, the names of leaders and their parties were called out as and when they’re picked on screen. The anger is apparent, it would be great if we remember this at the ballot box and not just the box office.


Kadaikutty Singam movie review: A fairly entertaining drama

Kadaikutty Singam could easily be Karthi’s version of Durai Singam — the village backdrop, the holier than thou attitude, loud dialogues, the preachy discourses and the ‘mass’ larger than life image are all there. But the fabric these elements are woven into is different. While Singam flaunts the Khakhi, Guna Singam flaunts the slush from his fields. When Suriya, the star of the Singam franchise and also the producer of Kadaikutty Singam, makes a cameo and wishes his brother, it almost feels like an induction. Similar to Durai Singam, there is not much Guna Singam can do wrong. The commercial infusion sets the predictability bar high in Kadaikutty Singam but the nativity powers through, keeping the film engaging. Continue reading “Kadaikutty Singam movie review: A fairly entertaining drama”

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