Shraddha Srinath is on cloud nine, as Maara that is streaming on Amazon Prime Video, has fetched her much praise for her portrayal of Paaru, a restoration architect who goes on a journey in search of a fairy tale. “Paaru, like me, believes every brick has a story to tell. Like her, I too am fascinated by old structures.” For the longest time, Shraddha wished she had a time machine. “When I see a fort, I wonder how it must have been when bustling with activity. Paaru is like that too; it’s why she is a restoration architect.” She smiles at the realisation that she speaks of Paaru as though she were a real person. “She is, in my head,” she says.
What connects Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal and Ajith’s Nerkonda Paarvai? Both stories are about women but told and headlined by a man. Both films were criticised for the same, for the film’s posters prominently showcasing Ajith and Akshay more than the women the films were about. Mission Mangal, in fact, had Vidya Balan, Taapsee, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, and Kirti Kulhari, and yet, was branded an Akshay Kumar film. Taapsee had an interesting response to this. In a recent interview, she asked whether the audience would be willing to pay as much for these female actors, as they did for an Akshay Kumar film?
I have to confess that Nerkonda Paarvai was a remake that I was apprehensive about. Pink was a powerful film that spoke about the importance of consent, simultaneously calling out the double standards society has set for women. It had Taapsee and Amitabh Bachchan but wasn’t a star vehicle, if you know what I mean. Placing Ajith, one of Kollywood’s biggest stars, in a film like this brought several questions. Will the core of Pink be diluted to accommodate the commercial expectations of Ajith’s fans? Will the spotlight shift from what is being said to who is saying it, ie the star? Continue reading “Nerkonda Paarvai review: Ajith headlines this necessary and important remake”
There is a scene where Richie and his father (Prakash Raj) are having a conversation at the church. Prakash Raj is a pastor and Nivin waits for him to step out, his profile perfectly aligned with the spine of the Cross. As Prakash Raj steps in, they take the opposite sides of the cross — Richie on the right (pun intended). The scene, for me, is a clear example of the tone Richie takes, in contrast with Ulidavaru Kandante. While essentially both films document the story, Richie is a detailed version of Ulidavaru Kandante. There are several new angles added to the story in form of explanations as to why the characters do what they do. Unfortunately, they don’t sit well with the chaos the narrative style generates. The clash between wanting to be sure the audience understand everything and to also have a convoluted narrative dampens Richie’s effectiveness; something I had loved about the original. Continue reading “Richie movie review: This Nivin Pauly and Prakash Raj starrer works in parts”