Stories of women, from women

Why are women-centric films thought to be ‘offbeat’? Why does having a female director/technician/producer always become an extra-talking point? Women directors and producers have been in existence since 1930s, but what about the status quo still makes it so novel? Netflix has become an interesting player in this space, in looking to level the gender field. More than 50 percent of its Indian original films have had female protagonists (Choked: Paisa Bolta Hai, Bulbbul, Guilty, Chopsticks, Soni, Lust Stories, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl), and have been backed by several women filmmakers and technicians, debutantes and seasoned. What about the digital space makes it conducive for women?

Continue reading “Stories of women, from women”

Ka Pae Ranasingam Movie Review: Aishwarya Rajesh shines in a film that doesn’t belong to her

In an interview before the release, Aishwarya Rajesh was asked why the film is named Ka Pae Ranasingam, and she replied that though the film revolves around Ariyanachi (her character), the soul of the film belongs to Ranasingam (Vijay Sethupathi). When you watch the film, you can see the conflict in the narrative. Ka Pae Ranasingam is essentially Ariyanachi’s story but the film focuses more on establishing who Ransingam is. Ka Pae Ranasingam wobbles due to this tug of war and we get a three-hour film that wanders a lot before coming to the point.

Continue reading “Ka Pae Ranasingam Movie Review: Aishwarya Rajesh shines in a film that doesn’t belong to her”

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar: I think the universe wants me to do female-centric cinema

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is a bundle of energy. She’s visibly active as we connect over a video chat, and this isn’t surprising if you are aware that her activities during the lockdown include helping migrants, collecting support for animals, starting a baking business, and of course, listening to scripts. “I have been busy,” she admits with a laugh. “I have to be useful or I won’t be able to sleep at night. I haven’t been so tired even when I was shooting.”

Read the full interview here:

https://www.cinemaexpress.com/stories/interviews/2020/aug/05/varalaxmi-sarathkumar-i-think-the-universe-wants-me-to-do-female-centric-cinema-19655.html

Watch the conversation here:

Ms. Representation: Remembering the KB woman

Stories about women are no novelty to Tamil cinema. Did you know we had our first female director, TP Rajalakshmi, in the year 1936? But to chart the course of women-centric cinema in Tamil would be impossible without mentioning the films of K Balachander. KB, as he is fondly called, is often remembered for introducing two superstars (Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth) to Tamil cinema, but the director’s true legacy was his brand of women-centric cinema and its firebrand female leads.

Continue reading “Ms. Representation: Remembering the KB woman”

How Keerthy Suresh became the Mahanati Savitri no one expected her to be

The first time I watched Keerthy Suresh on the big screen was two years back in Sivakarthikeyan’s Rajini Murugan. Rajini Murugan could have been named Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam part 2 for all the spillover it had from the latter, but the film was a box office hit. Keerthy Suresh, a film old in Kollywood then, struck gold with Rajini Murugan. Overnight, she had several big projects in the pipeline. I remember my social media timelines were flooded with appreciative memes about the young actor. Her role wasn’t remarkable, but she was fresh. We finally had someone who knew the language and was confident about dubbing for herself but that was about it. Continue reading “How Keerthy Suresh became the Mahanati Savitri no one expected her to be”

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?”

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