The man who made Rajinikanth

The censor board wasn’t pleased when they learned they had to certify A Creator with Midas Touch, writer-producer Dhananjayan’s documentary on Panchu Arunachalam. For one, the screening was scheduled on New Year’s eve. Two, it was a documentary, over two hours long. But according to Dhananjayan, when the film ended at 10:30 that night, the…

Valeba Raja: Shrink-wrapped

Check the trailer here.  I’ve always been awed by laughter yoga practitioners, by how they will themselves into voluntary laughter, and sustain it for so long. But they have a new challenge in town in the form of Sai Gokul Ramanath’s Valeba Raja, which has finally released after threatening to for the last two years. Try laughing…

Sawaari: Not enough thrills, not enough laughs

It’s becoming increasingly evident that a lot of our new filmmakers have been raised on Western cinema. The visual treatment of the opening scene of Sawaari reminds you of the neo-noir visuals of Sin City. It’s all black and white, except for a burning cigarette. There are slo-mo shots of the smoke. There’s much darkness inside the car,…

Go, going, gone

Considering how besotted we all are with cinema, it may seem a bit absurd to say this, but lately, I’m beginning to believe that Tamil films meant a lot more, say a couple of decades ago. Do you remember that time — when a trip to a cinema theatre was almost an exotic outing that…

Pokkiri Raja

An ineffective comedy that leaves you yawning It takes a while for you to grasp that Pokkiri Raja isn’t a serious film. It is even irreverential in parts: its villain has no problems smoking in a temple, its hero and heroine are in a gag that parodies divine possession… you get the idea. It all…

Chennai’s love for DiCaprio

Immediately after Leonardo DiCaprio won the Oscar, Twitter exploded. At the speed of about 440,000 tweets per minute, according to official reports. That’s just marginally lesser than the number of retweets I get: about one or two per day. Anyway, I’m convinced that a vast number of those tweets came from Indians who, no doubt,…