"‘Song of the Sun God’ is a novel that interrogates the injustices faced by the Tamil people" - Interview with Shankari Chandran
I will begin this piece with a confession. In times of emotional distress and crisis, I often watch YouTube clips of the 1991 film ‘Thalapathi’, a film which is a modern retelling of one of my favourite character arcs in all of literature: Karnan from the Hindu epic, ‘The Mahabharatham.’ It has become a ritual to cathartically cleanse my tear ducts more often than I would like to admit. So when I read ‘Song of the Sun God’, where the character Nala watches the 1964 film ‘Karnan’ seven times in the cinema to vicariously alleviate her emotional pains, I felt exposed from such a specific level...
Following N Kalyanakrishnan’s debut with 2015’s ‘Bhooloham,’ Jayam Ravi joins hands with the director once again for ‘Agilan.’ ‘Bhooloham’ was not particularly well received by critics or the audience, therefore one cannot help but wonder what drew Ravi back to Kalyanakrishnan. Perhaps it was because on paper the film has an interesting premise: an exploration of the world of smuggling in shipping. However, due to failures in almost every department, ‘Agilan’ leaves a lot to be desired. The titular protagonist Agilan is a crane operator at a Chennai harbour, who participates in illegal...
Overall, ‘Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam’ is a film about duality: both a wonderful slice of life film and a philosophical work of magical realism. Equally importantly, it is a masterful display of fantastic filmmaking, both simple and brilliant.
Despite a decent core concept, ‘Vaathi’ fails to land due to its contradictory internal thought process. If writer/director Venky Atluri had thought through the lesson he wished to teach, he would have understood that the standard formulaic ‘masala’ treatment would not work.
The style of the film outweighs the substance by a large margin. Despite the director’s incessant references to Hemingway novels, Bruce Lee films and Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, the film is outclassed by them all. When almost all the departments of a film fail miserably, there is only one person to blame - the director. ‘Michael’ crumbles under its own lofty ambitions, a hollow shell of a film which dissipates upon any scrutiny.
Overall, the core concept of ‘Raangi’ could have made for an enthralling and morally conflicting drama. Instead, Saravanan botches the delivery and presents a sloppy shell of a great film.
‘Varisu’ is mostly successful in what it wants to be: a wave of nostalgia for Vijay fans and a safe ‘masala’ film. It can be enjoyed with the family, and Vijay has certainly played his cards well to ensure Pongal success.
Ajith Kumar teams up with H. Vinoth once again following their moderate success with ‘Nerkonda Parvai’ and moderate failure with ‘Valimai.’ Now, the duo return with their take on the heist film, ‘Thunivu.’
‘Laththi’ is a prime example of a decent concept ruined by terrible execution. There were many factors which were haphazardly completed, which needed more time, care and attention for the potentially adequate thriller ‘Laththi’ could have been.
Conventionally speaking, ‘Connect’ may be one of the most successful horror films in the Tamil film industry - which is a very low bar to step over.