Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Madha Yaanai Koottam (2013)

"Madha Yaanai Koottam" has one of the most notably structured opening scenes in recent memory. If Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" begins with a wedding and introduces us to the various members of the Family, "Madha Yaanai.." instead uses a funeral to similar effects. A patriarch is dead and the wake organized for him is so grand it could be mistaken for a wedding - if not for the long faced men and the wailing women. We get acquainted with the various members of the family - both immediate and extended - and slowly learn about the simmering differences prevailing in the household.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Biriyani (2013)

It's been six years since Venkat Prabhu wrote and directed "Chennai 6000028", and he has went on to release four more films in that time. Most have been a commercial success but none had the warmth and realism of his debut film. Some people just cannot handle the scale, and this his true in Venkat's case. The bigger his films got, the less relatable they became. They continued to have these minor touches that made them uniquely his, but they also became more and more indistinguishable. Anyone could have made a "Mankatha" or, yes, even a "Biriyani".

Friday, December 20, 2013

Endrendrum Punnagai (2013)

"Endrendrum Punnagai" is not a film about the lives of three friends; it is about one despicable, self-centered and maddeningly unreasonable man who happens to have two friends. Gowtham, Sri and Baby are inseparable chaddi-buddies who run an advertising agency together. Due to his Mommy issues, Gowtham has a strong aversion towards womankind and, for some reason, expects his friends to remain bachelors for their life. Due to his Daddy issues, Gowtham is not on speaking terms anymore with his Father. Time decides to test their friendship.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ivan Vera Maathiri (2013)

In the opening scene of "Ivan Vera Maathiri", the horrific incident which took place in 2008 at Dr. Ambedkar Law College where young men brutally savaged their fellow students is recreated. But the reason, unlike in reality, is far more petty. A big politician with a bruised ego orders his men to riot inside the college premises after being refused a seat for someone he knows. With cameras capturing the raw act and cops refusing to intervene, the incident becomes a headline and captures everyone's imagination. The politician's involvement is a common knowledge yet he faces no repurcussions. There's disgust and anger in everyone's voice, but nobody does anything about it. Except one guy.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Notable films screening at Chennai International Film Festival - 2013

Foreign Language Film Submissions:

  1. The Past (Iran)
  2. The Great Beauty (Italy) 
  3. The Hunt (Denmark) 
  4. In Bloom (Georgia) 
  5. The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
  6. Wakolda (Argentina)
  7. Back to 1942 (China) 
  8. Disciple (Finland) 
  9. Omar (Palestine) 
  10. The Old Man (Khazak) 
  11. Mother I Love You (Latvia) 
  12. The Cleaner (Peru) 
  13. Walesa: Man of Hope (Poland) 
  14. Ilo Ilo (Singapore) 
  15. No (Chile) - 2012
  16. Fill the Void (Israel) - 2012

Friday, December 6, 2013

Kalyana Samayal Saadham (2013)

Arranged Marriages are like dark clouds looming over the heads of self-respecting single people in their mid to late 20s. There's a degree of helplessness about letting parents find the "right" partner, but there's also this sense of inevitability attached to it. Spending a lifetime with someone you know well is itself a frightful prospect; doing the same with a total stranger is most likely to be worse. But it has been happening all around us and most marriages seem to tick. "Kalyana Samayal Saadham" is the story of a girl and a boy of "marriageable age", who are gently nudged into matrimony by their parents.