Ponniyin Selvan 1: A mighty triumph

‘PS1’ is a screen adaptation of the Kalki Krishnamurthy epic serialised from 1950 to 1954, following the rise of the golden age of the Chozha dynasty in the 10th century AD – touted as the greatest empire in Indian history. We witness the events unfold following a prophecy told once a comet appears in the sky. The Chozha rulers are warned of the spilling of Chozha blood, which sets off a plot of treachery, treason and double crossing. The film travels with Vallavaraiyan Vanthiyathevan, portrayed excellently by Karthi, a trusted friend of the heir to the throne, Vikram’s Aditha Karikalan, who assumes the role of a messenger. Vanthiyathevan is the glue holding together the multiple concurrent stories in ‘PS1’, and the casting decision for the part was crucial for the success of the film. Karthi breezes through this role, playing the part as if it had been written with him in mind.

Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran cast as lead for ‘Song of the Sun God’ adaptation

British Tamil actress Charithra Chandran, star of Netflix’s show Bridgerton and Amazon Prime’s show Alex Rider, has been announced as being cast in the lead role of a six-part adaptation of Australian Tamil author Shankari Chandran’s novel ‘Song of the Sun God.’

Naane Varuvean: Selvaraghavan’s (strangely) tamest Tamil feature

Less than a month after watching a film about an immoral set of twins in ‘Cobra’, Selvaraghavan’s ‘Naane Varuvean’ is released. Thankfully, this film is much better.

'This is me telling you I am Tamil' - Eelam Tamil musician Pritt on music and identity

At a recent gig in London, ‘Cinnamon and Spice’, Pritt, an Eelam Tamil singer, performed alongside four female South Asian artists. Aligning with Pritt’s passions, the event aimed to celebrate underrepresented South Asian female talent and create a platform to share their music. As a part of BBC Asian Network Future Sounds in 2021, Pritt uses her platform to celebrate Tamil music and encourage artists in the UK and worldwide, particularly supporting underrepresented musicians.

Natchathiram Nagargirathu: A determined march towards utopia

It has been a decade since Pa Ranjith debuted with his film ‘Attakathi’, a seemingly simple rom-com following the life of a hopeless romantic. Since then, Pa Ranjith has been one of a handful of directors responsible for revolutionising Tamil cinema and subverting the discourse surrounding caste, with his groundbreaking films ‘Madras’, ‘Kabali’ and ‘Kaala’. Last year’s ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ garnered much acclaim despite being released on streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ranjith seems to have come full circle with his latest release ‘Natchathiram Nagargirathu’, as he returns to the subject of love. Through this, we witness the extent of his development as a filmmaker. The politics of love were hidden in the background of ‘Attakathi’, whereas in ‘NN’, Ranjith brings all the guts and glory of love to the forefront.

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu: Gautham Menon’s finest work to date

I have always considered Gautham Vasudev Menon a vastly overrated director. Other than ‘Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu’ , his films seemed cold and ultimately hollow. His most recent feature film ‘Enai Noki Paayum Thota’ continued this trend of stylish metropolitan storytelling, despite some interesting visual choices. For Vendhu Thanindhadhu Kaadu , Menon collaborates with Silambarasan TR and AR Rahman for the third time following 2010’s ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya’ and 2016’s ‘Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada’ . Third time might indeed be the charm, because VTK is mostly a success.

Cobra: Over-ambitious, overcooked

An hour into Cobra, I started compiling a list of films where Vikram had played a character who spent the film sporadically ‘murdering’ seemingly random targets - a style of film popularised by Shankar’s 1995 film Indian. The first film that came to mind was Balaji Sakthivel’s Samurai, a pale imitation of the Shankar plot, which besides the soundtrack, was mostly forgettable. Next, there is Shankar’s own, and perhaps the best iteration, 2005 film Anniyan. Finally, the 2009 Susi Ganesan contribution, Kandhasamy, an unintentional so-bad-it’s-good film, where Vikram can be seen as a vigilante serving out his own brand of justice dressed as a chicken. And suddenly, I had a list of films to compare Cobra to. And despite having a bigger budget and wider scope, Cobra may be the worst of the bunch.

Nallur therthiruvizha in photos

This week thousands attended the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil’s annual grand chariot festiva - therthiruvizha . The iconic festival garners devotees from around the world who gather to see the temple's primary deity Murugan paraded through Jaffna. All photographs are by photographer V Mathumegalan .

Thousands attend Nallur's annual chariot festival

Thousands attended Jaffna's iconic Nallur Kandasamy Kovil's annual chariot festival, ther thiruvizha, yesterday. The climax of the temple's annual festival ( thiruvizha ), draws devotees from around the world who gather to see the temple's primary deity Murugan paraded through the town's streets.

Eelam Tamil Netflix star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan riding high on third season

Tamil-Canadian actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan stars in the popular Netflix series ‘Never Have I Ever’ following a teenage Tamil girl, ‘Devi Vishwakumar’, as she navigates life through an American High school involving romances, her father passing away and family drama.

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