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Blog posts : "Editorials"

Throwback Thursday: Halloween 1978 [Review]

Verdict - "Mundane!" | Rating - 2.75/5

Directed by one of the most influential filmmakers of Hollywood, John Carpenter, Halloween 1978 stars Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead role, and the story revolves around a deranged psychotic serial killer Michael Myers as he terrifies a quiet neighbourhood of Haddonfield, Illinois with his violent killing spree.

Admired as one of the Best Horror / Slasher Movies of all time, Halloween, in my opinion, is overrated and doesn't stand the test of time. For a viewer (like me) who are watching the movie for the first time in 2018, it didn't hold up for me unlike other Classic Movies like 'The Shining' or 'The Exorcist'. I agree that it's hemmed in with a simple storyline, setting and a villain who is straightforward, which brings me to the drawback of the film. It is not psychological, methodical or convoluted and deals with an intelligible concept which for the most part is mundane to watch.

But, the film's strength is its antagonist, Michael Myers, who looks like a psychomaniac that I don't want anywhere near my surroundings. His bone-chilling stare, effortless slow-walk and the quietness surrounding him was was nerve-racking to watch. John Carpenter tremendously captures the eerieness of Myers with his slow tracking shots and thrilling background score, and Jamie Lee Curtis as his counterpart does a decent enough job to keep the movie moving.

Nevertheless, Halloween 1978 didn't work for me as an overall movie, the character of Michael Myers is fascinating, the background music and the filmmaking techniques were impressive, and that's about it. Let's see if the new 2018 film works!

-An Editorial by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)
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Throwback Thursday: Anniyan [Review]

Verdict - "Entertaining!" | Rating - 3.75/5

When you have an acclaimed actor in your ranks and you partner him up with a good director, you get commercial cinema’s gold standard. Anniyan (2005), follows Ramanujam A.K.A Ambi, a lawyer suffering from multiple personality disorder and his vengeance against society’s wrongdoers. Bringing forth the themes of social justice from his previous ventures such as 'Gentleman' and 'Indian, Director Shankar experiments with tales of Hindu epics; giving his story an added kick and his protagonist ample scope to showcase his versatility.

Vikram’s powerhouse performance as the hero with three different personalities keep you enthralled throughout and he portrays the different characters so convincingly. The antagonist, Prakash Raj serves up as the perfect foil for Vikram and the interrogation scene at the police station was carried out flawlessly by both veteran actors. The dialogues written for characters such as Ambi and Anniyan are sharp and succinct. The cinematography is great and the I absolutely love the play on colors in the film. The camera work is intense and it contributes immensely to the film’s awe-inspiring feel.

However, the film moves at a snail’s pace and there are certain scenes that just seem so draggy that i wished it could have been edited out. Additionally, it does irritate me that the actress (Sadha) does not recognize the resemblance between Ambi and Remo. All he did was curl his hair and color it? I didn’t think that the Remo personality was actually necessary for the film. It felt like a speed breaker and I felt the film would have been fine without that character written into it.

Aside from all these small irksome details, Anniyan does not disappoint and there’s a really good story told in a grandiose manner. “Rose means beauty. Beauty means Nandy, as sweet as Candy.”

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Aayutha Ezhuthu [Review]

Verdict - "Daring!" | Rating - 4.5/5

Once again, we delve into a master storyteller’s bag of class films. Mani Ratnam’s Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004) is a technical magnum opus. For someone like me who intently looks out for the colors used for the mood board, this film is right up there with the best. All 3 main characters (Madhavan, Surya and Siddharth) have a particular Color ascribed to them and their personality. Just take a look at how much of red there is in Madhavan’s timeline, Green in Surya’s and Blue in Siddharth’s. There’s so much detail involved in this non-linear political thriller.

Absolutely loved Surya’s role as a student leader. It’s mature and bold and has a distinct Surya style to it. Madhavan takes the cake with this one with his baddie role. Siddharth plays your dopey-eyed lover boy next door and he performed his duties with ease. My personal favorite however, would have to be Bharathiraja, with his sweet talk and ruthless act, his gait contrasts nicely with Surya’s charming screen presence.He made the antagonist role his zone and you see him in a new light with his performance.

I don’t see the full Mani Ratnam stamp on this movie though. Once again, he has played with the time sequence in the film but the dialogues do not have the staccato tone that The Director usually employs. He has tried something new and his approach is heartening. Unlike so many other movies, the pace of the film is fast in the beginning but slows down towards the end where the film takes time to tie up loose ends.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Virumaandi [Review]

Verdict - "Brilliant!" | Rating - 4.8/5

The Rashomon effect (named after Kurosawa’s Rashomon) occurs when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. When employed well, it can really elevate a film. Enter Virumaandi (2004), a Kamal Hassan directorial that revolves around a farmer who gets involved in a clan feud back in his village. 

When a film decides to use the Rashomon effect as the selling point, the only way to do it justice would be to choose the correct cast members to enact their own perspective in their own style. This really helps to divide and conquer audiences and get them involved in the film as well. I don’t think I have to talk about Kamal Hassan and his performance. I’ve mentioned more than once about his intensity and the performance levels he brings to a film. 

Who I’m more impressed with is Pasupathy and his interpretation of the character, Kothala Devar. Pasupathy more than often outshines Kamal Hassan with his strikingly devious and menacing demeanour. Virumaandi is not an easy film to make. It is a technical knockout and the quality of excellence in this film comes with two thumbs up. Showing the same incident with Two different point of views can always end up boring the viewer, but the director has managed to pull it off by introducing new details and an interesting narration process that is well executed. Virumaandi is a highly violent film. 

There’s blood and mutilations and severed bodies all over but what’s interesting is how the film used a whole lot of violence to preach about non-violence. Once again, Kamal Hassan has mixed folklore with the themes in his movies and Virumaandi, another name for lord Bhrama, is taken to life in art form by Kamal Hassan. The tragedy that surrounds Both Virumaandi (the deity and Kamal Hassan’s character) are stuck in a conundrum where they can live a physically freed life but in a hopeless future and it is reflected very well from the start of the film.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Nayagan [Review]

Verdict - "Cinematic Brilliance!" | Rating - 5/5

Based on a real-life don, Nayagan (1987) is a superb Godfather-inspired crime film situated in the slums of Bombay. One of the best ever to do it, Kamal Haasan’s portrayal of 'Velu Naicker' is legendary and there is absolutely no one that can top that performance. This is one of those films that did everything right and there isn’t anything to pinpoint and criticise. 

Tracing the life trajectory of an underworld Don, we follow the protagonist from his rise all the way up to his demise and it is done in realistic fashion. The script is taut and gritty and it does not contain any unnecessary scenes that seems forced we like in most movies. The narrative style is dark and as the viewer, you’re pretty much watching the movie with the feeling of a twisted gut as you sit in eagerness to watch what comes next. 

The cinematography is excellent as it captures the essence of slum life in Bombay exactly how it should be, and The colours used in the film are dark as to how the entire tone of the film is. Illayaraaja’s background score is haunting and his music plays a very important and effective role in the film. The relationships between the various characters in the film are complex but delivered subtly. Be it a father-Daughter, Father-Son, Husband-Wife relationship, the struggles and the bond are handled maturely and these are the scenes that will leave a lump in your throat. Timeless and a true classic, Nayagan will blow you away no matter how many times you watch it.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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Throwback Thursday: Michael Madana Kama Rajan [Review]

Verdict - "A Laugh Riot!" | Rating - 5/5

Tamil cinema, since the dawn of time, has rehashed so many themes and plot points that it really takes something or someone special to breathe new life Into it. So when you have an idea to tweak such a project, there is no one better to do it than a veteran actor with immaculate acting chops. 

Michael Madana Kama Rajan (1990), a story of quadruplets separates at birth, only to find their way to each other through a series of comical events. Kamal Haasan plays all four main characters, making them exceptionally different in the way they look, their accent, body language and expressions.

One of the finest comedies to date, the script for the film is crisp and moves at an even pace. It is rare to see a star-studded film with so many quirky characters working together perfectly to accentuate the hilarity of the cinematic stipulations and the comic connotations of the dialogues. The dialogues penned by Kamal Haasan and ‘Crazy’ Mohan is gold standard comic writing with multiple joke schemes emerging from a single pun or even consciously misunderstood meanings of the same word is a lesson in slapstick comedy 101, and it just reiterates that the writing here in every aspect of the film is top-notch material.

While some of the gender-based jokes might be indecorous in today’s world, one will be able to look past it with its the film’s dizzying ability to weave multiple story arcs on a narrative that is centred upon merry jokes and impressive acting. 

MMKR is a fantastic mash of smarts, wit, narration and choreography condensed in three hours and there could only just be a handful of other films that can compete with this one for the throne.

-An Editorial by Siddharthen R (@cheeeekyponnama)
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