Pathu Thala - Flawed but entertaining

Perhaps it is due to the subpar content being dished out by the star vehicles of Tamil cinema in recent times, but Obeli N. Krishna’s ‘Pathu Thala’ was surprisingly palatable. Starting out as an associate director to Gautham Vasudev Menon in the early part of his career, Krishna’s directorial debut, 2006’s ‘Sillunu Oru Kadhal,’ was mostly remembered for its great soundtrack and the buzz behind its real life lead pair. His latest offering strays from the romance genre, instead opting for a tried and tested masala gangster story. The film is a remake of the 2017 Kannada film ‘Mufti.’

"‘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...

Tamil Students Initiative International Women's Day Brunch

The Tamil Students Initiative held their inaugural International Women’s Day Brunch showcasing up-and-coming female performers at The Cottons in Shoreditch on 19th March 2023. The exclusively female event looked to celebrate and empower women. Featured acts included Mathura, Vinika Vara, Vyshna, Thanu and Kingston Tamil Society. The event was hosted by Shangavi - a talented model and dancer. Shangavi has participated in both Kings of Gaana and Mega Maalai 2023, as well as recently leading her first Bharathanatyam dance workshop with Queen Mary's Tamil society. The first performer of the night...

Agilan - Shallow waters

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...

Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam - A masterfully crafted dream

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.

Vaathi - A hastily prepared lesson

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.

Michael - Style over substance

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.

Pongalo Pongal! Thai Pongal celebrated in Westminster

To mark Thai Pongal and Tamil heritage month, over 500 Tamils and British politicians filled Central Hall in Westminster to enjoy a night of festive celebration, musical performances and classical dance. Organised by leading community organisations including World Tamil Historic Society, Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Tamils for Labour, Tamil Coordinating Committee, British Tamil Chamber of Commerce and British Tamil Conservatives and supported by various other organisations including Tamil societies from over 30 universities, the event was a huge joint effort by the British Tamil...

Maatu Pongal celebrated in Jaffna

Maatu Pongal, a festival to give thanks to cattle for allowing farmers to cultivate and harvest their crops, was celebrated in Jaffna today. To mark the festival, cows were garlanded and fed pongal at Gnanavairavar temple and Tirunelveli market in Jaffna.

Raangi - On the wrong track

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.