Don movie review: Sivakarthikeyan’s well-intentioned film is bogged down by commercial clichés

Imagine a mix of Three Idiots (or Nanban) and Santhosh Subramaniam, with a dash of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya? That’s Don for you. It’s a familiar premise. Chakravarthy (Sivakarthikeyan) aka Don is an unambitious college student. He has a controlling father (Samuthirakani) who is fanatical about marks. Whenever Chakravarthy fails, his father shaves his head — as an act of shame. A perennially stifled Chakravarthy tries hard to break the cycle, but like most Indian students end up in an engineering college — where he tries to figure out what he is good at.

Continue reading “Don movie review: Sivakarthikeyan’s well-intentioned film is bogged down by commercial clichés”


#Kanaa, in a lot of ways was personal. Every time Kausalya was told that she didn’t belong on the ground, it brought back memories. I am a huge fan of cinema but until last year, haven’t watched a film FDFS. Why? There would be no women around. Why brave the boisterous crowds and catch a film FDFS when you can always watch it later? How will you go to the theatre? Will you be safe? While thankfully, I haven’t been discriminated on my gender, there are inherent invisible struggles.There have been several days where I have been the only woman around and been the cynosure of stares that will make anyone comfortable. I have had exit routes always mapped in my mind, if I need to run out. I’ve never let it bother me or let it interfere in my decisions. This is just a small example. I am privileged and not everyone has been this lucky. Continue reading “Kanaa”

I would like to do serious films: Ponram

In 1996, Ponram first set foot in Chennai, not unlike many thousands of people, with hopes of making it big in cinema. It took him five years before he could join SA Chandrasekar as an assistant director. “That was quite a leap for me. I had quit my job at a textile mill for that. It wasn’t lucrative but was still a regular source of income,” reminisces Ponram. It took him a few more years to make a film called Thirutham, that he admits was a failure. In 2013, 12 years after beginning his journey as an AD, his Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam hit the screens. He may not have known then that it would mark the beginning of a symbiotic relationship that is now three films strong.

Excerpt from a conversation with Ponram: Continue reading “I would like to do serious films: Ponram”

Content is the hero of Velaikkaran. We are all just characters: Sivakarthikeyan

There is childlike enthusiasm — a twinkle in Sivakarthikeyan’s eyes when he talks about his projects. Now a formidable star with a box-office track record in place, Siva’s celebrity status, seems to have not affected the innocent charm the actor is famous for. But behind that, there is also a clear understanding of his space in Kollywood, where he aspires to be and the kind of films he wants to do. Here are the excerpts from an exclusive chat with  Sivakarthikeyan ahead of his film Velaikkaran. Continue reading “Content is the hero of Velaikkaran. We are all just characters: Sivakarthikeyan”

Sakka Podu Podu Raja is a 200% commercial entertainer: Santhanam

Actor Santhanam’s rise to stardom is one for the books. Starting out as a comedian on Television, the actor gained incredible fame for his witty puns and one-liners before he was catapulted to the big screen by actor Simbu aka STR. Completing a circle, the actor’s latest film Sakka Podu Podu Raja introduces Simbu as a music director. “I am really happy that my film is Simbu’s first film as a composer. No matter how many films he does, it is a matter of pride for me that mine was the first,” said the actor. Continue reading “Sakka Podu Podu Raja is a 200% commercial entertainer: Santhanam”

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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