From ‘Vikram’ to ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, it’s been a great year for Tamil cinema | Image source: Collage by Albert Francis J
humiliating ne modvum ne
Pray, what would we give just to take us back to simpler times – to listen to music at Music World, shop at Spencer’s Plaza, or stroll on a pristine marina beach? What would we give to go back to the 90’s in Madras? With humiliating ne modvum ne ( MNMN), Darbuka Siva took us there. Filled with a great cast of characters including Vinoth, Rekha and the Chinese and an endearing story of love and hope, MNMN gave us a chance to re-live the ’90s.
It’s only fair that a movie reviewer feels palpable horror when a movie’s title contains the word ” Vivasay‘ in it. Let’s admit it, we got tired of it kashtapadra vivasyi (Oh, poor farmers) sub-genre that emerges as the work of opportunists. Fortunately, Kadaisi Vivasayi avoids melodrama and M Manikandan doesn’t want your tears but sympathy. He explains that being a farmer is a state of being, more than anything else. Its protagonist is the octogenarian Maayandi, who, as the title indicates, is the ‘last farmer’. Or rather, the “last” among the generation that has exercised this state of being. Caddesi Vivasay It is not about victory but about battles won quietly.
Screenshot from “Kadaisi Vivasayi” | Image source: private arrangement
Remove the half-hearted romance and a little grease in the second half, and Taanakkaran It could be one of the best ‘focus’ dramas of 2022. Impressive debut from director Tamesh who acted in Jai Bhim) not only confident of what to say but how. It also helps that we get an insider’s perspective of the system through Tamza, a former police officer. This is easily the best film Vikram Prabhu has starred in since his debut Kumki. And he is very good here. Taanakkaran It’s one of those movies you wish would have a theatrical release.
Some of us Kemal ardent fans felt cheated watching Vikramfor the first time. It’s been six years of waiting to see and celebrate the man on screen. And Kamal is not even there in the first half! Yeah, yeah, he’s got a quick entry into the now-fabulous clincher block. But the disappointment was there. since then, Vikram It has been viewed five times now. That should explain how we were drawn into Lokesh’s cinematic universe. Jay Tina’s agent!
Kamal Haasan and Lokesh Kannaraj on the set of “Vikram” | Image source: private arrangement
Aside from several great performances, this is a movie that gives you perspective. If the system or society were judging you, how would you react? If the media paints you a certain way, how do you respond? If your life was turned upside down one day, how would you cope? Sai Pallavi gives her best in this Gautam Ramachandran directing that doesn’t rush things, but still works like a whodunit; The last half hour may leave you in shock. There are some great performances to check out, especially Kaali Venkat who plays a lawyer.
He is a man on the run and, looking back on his life, is aware of the many follies he has committed. A story like this could have been developed any way – but trust Parthiban to make it a labor of love. What could have been a logistical nightmare for many filmmakers turned out to be a challenge that Parthiban successfully overcame; thus, resulting in this film being a one-shot in a non-linear narrative. Only to the madness of its creator and his ardent passion for the medium, Ervin Nizel deserves to be checked out.
Dhanush can play a variety of characters on screen and be very compelling, but set him in an idyllic middle-class family setting in Chennai, and he’ll blend in very easily. Here, he is Pazham, an innocent man who has some very complicated relationships: with his father (Prakash Raj), his best friend (Nithya Menen), and with many others. There is humour, songs and some cute slice-of-life sequences in director Mithran Jawahar’s family drama that reminds you of the many facets Tamil cinema is really about.
There are a lot of things that you associate with Pa Ranjith. The preacher director is not one. His sixth feature comes across as ‘preachy’ and borderline condescending. Her politics aside, there is a lot in her favor. This is Ranjith’s best and purest movie till date. Not only in terms of what it represents but also in terms of the form in which it is presented. Be it the visual range or the way Ranjith uses Tenma music, Natchathiram Nagargiradhu It is a bold experiment that confuses our collective conscience and consciousness. Either love it or hate it. There is no middle ground.
Screenshot from Natchathiram Nagargirathu | Image source: private arrangement
Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu
Gautham Menon’s films have been largely in the romance or gangster realm, which is why they made their debut Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (VTK) came out with main star Sembo looking disheveled. It was quite a shock. Like the train that Simbu took – with the buzz of A.R. Rahman’ Marakkuma NenjamRunning in the background – this movie is a journey too, a journey that will likely continue into the next sequel.
Bunin Sylvan: 1
Mani Ratnam never made the same movie twice. Although all of his films are of a certain ‘genre’. Was there ever a filmmaker who built a very large and very diverse body of work just by exploring human relationships? We doubt it. Even in a historical story like Bonyen Sylvan – This is right up his alley – Mani Ratnam only cares about personal dynamics. Personality, as they say, is political. That interlude sequence with Aditha Karikalan and Nandini, and that operatic score by AR Rahman, is the pinnacle of Mani Ratnam’s cinema.
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