Soppana Sundari - Engine trouble

Note: there are some cuts made to the theatrical release of 'Soppana Sundari' in the UK to suit the family audience. The name for SG Charles’s film ‘Soppana Sundari’ hails from the 1989 film ‘Karakattakkaran,’ a film with a densely packed and iconic comedy track. Borrowing its title from a titan of Tamil comedy, ‘Soppana Sundari’ has a sizeable reputation to live up to. Unfortunately, the film flounders. We follow Agalya, played by Aishwarya Rajesh, the winner of a brand new car from a prize draw. Her family, composed of her mute older sister, stroke afflicted father and naive mother, rejoice...

Youths in Mullaitivu hold boat race and festivities to celebrate Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday, Tamil youths in Mullaitivu organized a boat race and other festivities to celebrate the occasion. The boat race was divided into two categories, with 25 horsepower boats and 40 horsepower boats competing. The festivities continued into the evening of 9th April and were open to participants of all ages, from children to the elderly.

Midnight mass held to celebrate Easter at St. Sebastian Cathedral in Mannar

A grand midnight mass was held at the St. Sebastian Cathedral in Mannar to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. The service was a joint service that combined the congregations of many parishes in Mannar and was led by Right Reverend Dr. Fidelis Lionel Emmanuel Fernando and other priests from neighbouring churches. Security for the service was provided by the Police and the Army, following the Easter Bombings, in 2019.

Viduthalai: Part 1 - Vetrimaaran’s excellence continues 

TW: distressing scenes Since his debut with 2007’s ‘Polladhavan,’ Vetrimaaran has been steadily improving his filmic craft, which cannot be said about many of his peers. His films place equal importance to maintaining artistic integrity and showcasing social injustices, resulting in some of the best films of the 21st century. His latest film, ‘Viduthalai,’ continues the director’s impressive streak. Viduthalai is the first half of a two-part film. The film depicts the frictions between a revolutionary group called the ‘People’s Army,’ led by Vijay Sethupathi’s Vaathiyar Perumal, against the...

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.