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.

Methagu 2 - A crucial reclamation of history

Methagu opened to both praise and controversy when it premiered last year, an inevitable situation due to the complex leader it depicts. The first film shows Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in his youth and the political state of the nation, as well as the oppression faced by the Tamils at the hand of the Sinhalese. We watch as an angry young boy decides to act boldly, rather than stand by and watch the genocide of his people. Methagu 2 is a sequel, continuing a few years from where the first film concluded.

Thiruchitrambalam: A breezy, lighthearted rom-com

Mithran Jawahar started his career on a high note. Remaking his mentor Selvaraghavan’s only Telugu film ‘Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule’ in Tamil as ‘Yaaradi Nee Mohini’ starring Dhanush, Selvaraghavan’s brother, Jawahar benefitted from the solid and nuanced screenplay. Jawahar has since remained in the rom-com lane, his other film of note being another Dhanush starrer ‘Uthamaputhiran’, a riotous sequence of laughs which bolstered Jawahar’s reputation for comedy. However, I was not a fan of Jawahar’s ‘Kutty’, causing some apprehension entering this film.

European Tamil dancers stun with Kuthu at Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport event which takes place every four years, landed in Birmingham for 2022, a UK city well-known for its diverse population with many communities with roots in the Commonwealth. The city’s South Asian cultures were represented in the games’ opening and closing ceremonies, and for the first time in the history of the games, Tamil representation also gained pride of place at the closing ceremony with an upbeat Kuthu folk dance. The dance entitled ‘Dia Dia Dole’ was choreographed and performed by French Tamil dancer Usha Jey , and Swiss Tamil dancers Janusha and Mithuja .

Viruman: An underwhelming feat

It's a terrible sign when the interval card rolls up and you let out a sign of exasperation, realising there’s another hour and fifteen minutes to sit through. The film opens with the usual cocktail for Tamil commercial ventures: the hero enters to an action block (in this instance, a wrestling match) followed by a song where his strength, bravura and good nature are praised, and soon after we are introduced to the romantic interest.

Nallur temple annual festival underway with flag raising

The annual festival, Thiruvizha, of the iconic Nallur Kandasamy Kovil in Jaffna began today with the ceremony for hoisting of the deity's flag.