‘Edu Thodakkam’ crowns Tamil Hindu festival season

Navaratri, meaning ‘nine nights’, is a Hindu festival paying tribute to various goddesses, with regional variations across South Asia. Tamils commonly refer to the festival as ‘Saraswathi Puja’, celebrating the period as a time for new educational and artistic endeavours, under the auspices of Saraswathi, the goddess of knowledge and the arts.

Love Today - A quirky 21st century rom-com

Life is a tragedy seen in closeup, but a comedy in long-shot. Ranganathan is aware of this, and the switches between comedy and tragedy are executed masterfully.

Prince: A royal pain

Horror, much like most other genres, elicits laughter when it fails. Failed comedy, on the other hand, leaves the viewer horrified. This was my experience of watching Anudeep KV’s Sivakarthikeyan starrer ‘Prince.’

Sardar: What Cobra could have been - a competently made spy thriller

Having seen the teaser for PS Mithran’s latest release ‘Sardar’, I had braced myself for a repeat viewing of ‘Cobra’ released earlier this Summer. The film’s star Karthi appears in multiple disguises and costumes - which was also Cobra’s primary marketing point - and I was overcome with flashbacks to rolling my eyes and sighing with the Vikram starrer. Thankfully, ‘Sardar’ is a better feature in almost every aspect.

Volleyball league takes off for first time in Mannar

The Mannar Volleyball Premier League was inaugurated this week, marking the first time that it is taking place in the district, with as many as 96 club players and international standard referees taking part. The league will see eight teams playing matches throughout October, and aims to showcase and uplift the standard of volleyball in the region. Several senior figures, including parliamentarians and sports officials, were present at the inauguration ceremony where the teams and their kits were unveiled. Organisers hope that the league will be able to take place annually.

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.