Houses of the Holy

Meenakshi temple, Madurai. Photo Olaf Otto Becker “There are temples throughout Chettinad, neolithic cave temples and 16th-century clan temples and tidy ancient structures erected during the artistically nonpareil reign of the great Chola kings. There are animist Ayyanar temples set in rural groves, their grotesque deities guarded by life-size terra cotta horses. There are temples as architecturally impressive as those on any tourist map, places like the 11th-century shrine to Shiva at Avudayarkoil, a place of baffling architectural geometries.” Guy Trebay visits Chettinad, see his report in...

Angaadi Theru – Tamil Cinema’s Dickensian Moment?

The commercial as well as critical success enjoyed this year by the Tamil cinema release Angaadi Theru reflects not just the maturity and range of the Tamil cinema industry but also of its audience. Dealing with the difficult themes of harsh working conditions, rural poverty and exploring the lives of Chennai’s urban poor, Angaadi Theru is refreshingly different from the usual saccharine mix of romance, music and escapism that has become characteristic of Indian cinema as a whole.

Tamil word or not?

Since 2006, the Tamil Nadu government has been giving tax exemptions for movies with Tamil titles. The latest film to run into this law is ‘Ochayee’, written and directed by Asai Thambi. The state commercial taxes department has decided to decline exempting the film from entertainment tax on the grounds that ‘Ochayee’ is not a Tamil word. This decision has irked Tamil scholars and political leaders including CPI state secretary D. Pandian and VCK general secretary Thol. Thirumavalavan, reported the Deccan Chronicle . CPI(M)-backed progressive writers union secretary Sa. Tamilselvan argued...

'Mynaa'– entertainment without commercialisation

A much ‘hyped’ Tamil movie is ‘Mynaa’, due for a deepavali release. Directed by Prabhu Solomon, the film was allegedly grabbed for distribution by producer-distributor Udhayanidhi Stalin, who allegedly said he couldn’t sleep after watching it. Similarly, actor Kamal Haasan showered praise on the film saying, "I slept well after watching the film because I was happy that good films were still being made," reported Rediff . The movie is about Mynaa (Amala Paul), hailing from a poor family and deeply in love with her childhood friend Surali (newcomer Vidaarth), a rustic village youth who goes to...

'Enthiran' amazes as it delivers

The much anticipated Rajnikanth movie, Enthiran, hit the screens in early October, to wide spread acclaim and rave reviews from the fans. While some have been less than impressed with the clichéd story, all have had to accept that the technical wizardry and action sequences make this a movie to remember from 2010. The story is that of a robot, created by a scientist (both played by Rajnikanth), who falls in love with the lover of the scientist. The man versus machine story revolves around the drive to control the robot and to deal with the humanization of an automaton. Aishwarya Rai and Danny...

Rapping with patriotic pride – MC SAI

When you think of Rap, who pops into your head first? 2Pac, Jay-z or T.I.? I am asking you about Tamil Rappers. You might come up with Sujeeth G of course, but guys I think it is about time you engrave this young fella into your head - MC SAI!

‘My Daughter: the terrorist’

The long awaited showing of a film following a pair of female Black Tigers at the sold out Frontline Club finds the audience in expectant mood given the controversy the film has drawn.

The incomparable Thirukkural on courage and love

The third of a three-part series looking at a Tamil treasure.

The Thirukkural: the householder and the nation’s wealth

The second of a three-part series looking at this Tamil treasure.

The Thirukkural

The first of a three-part series looking at a Tamil treasure.