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Showing posts from February, 2011

Seedan: Cinderella with desi twist

Appeared in Expresso, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express on February 27, 2011

If the story of Seedan (the disciple), a remake of the Malayalam movie Nandanam, were to be written on the back of a bus ticket, it would go as follows: a poor woman falls in love with a rich man and finally gets married to him.
The script makes a departure from a long-established trend by letting a feminine protagonist taking up most of the screen time.
Mahalakshmi (Ananya), is an orphan employed in a rich household in the temple town of Pazhani. She is the ideal homely woman - devout, demure and virtuous. Her employer, Amrithavalli (veteran Malayalam actress Sheela), is extremely fond of her. However, her work leaves her with no time to visit the shrine of Lord Muruga, and she fervently wishes that she gets a chance to do so. In her dreams, she visualises getting married to a handsome man.
Mano (Krishna Nair), Amrithavalli’s grandson, visits the place, and its love at first sight for them. Mahala…

The facets of facing one's music!

It may be hard to believe that the omnipotent back up alarm, a device that turns on whenever the four-wheeler on which it has been installed upon is in reverse, has ushered in a revolution in all spheres of life.

Strange, indeed, are the ways of nature, for the device mentioned above was able to achieve what no marriage counselor would have. A newly-married couple, my neighbours, narrated to me this incident that perplexed me ever after. Things had been fine for a while after marriage, they say, when disagreements and arguments made its way into their “and they lived happily ever after” part of life. “We used to return from work in evening and erupt as if by clockwork. My husband and I used to vent our anger at our Chinaware, our marriage gifts, which were trashed within six months,” they recollect. I stare at our partition wall, which, if I were able to converse in its dialect, like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, would have in between sobs pointed to its scratches and strips of pee…

Nadunisi Naaigal: Curate's egg

Appeared in Expresso, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express, Bangalore on 21, February 2011

The one director in Kollywood who christens his movies in chaste Tamil, and focuses on themes that few self-proclaimed champions of that language would identify themselves with - Gowthaman Menon (it is a paradox that he is a Keralite) - is back at it again: a movie with a pure Tamil title, Nadunisi Naigal (dogs of the midnight), and an unorthodox movie subject, a psycho-thriller and child sexual abuse.

Nadunisi...builds suspense from the word go; the title credits open with a police inspector falling backwards in slow motion after being felled by a bullet on to a pool of rainwater in the dark. Three police personnel are shot dead and a girl goes missing from a hospital. A police inspector Vijay (Deva), starts investigating the crimes.

The scene later shifts to Samar, a boy who gets sexually abused by his father regularly (shades of Bharatirajaa’s Sighappu Rojakkal are impossible to miss…

Low cost, who, China?

MADE IN CHINA. These three words have influenced the world as no other in recent times. With China being the low-cost manufacturing centre for a range of products as wide as the Great Wall of China, conglomerates as well as the countries backing them have sought to appease the world’s most populous country (at least for now). However, recent events in India conclusively lead us to the fact that China is only so in title with its south Asian neighbour emerging in covert as the actual low-cost destination for industries, despite a massive conspiracy being hatched to scuttle it’s rise.

And no, this is no repeat of Economist’s “China’s dragon v/s India’s tiger” features or a speculation on the cables inadvertently leaked by well...Wikileaks. If what you have read until now sounds incomprehensible, here is an instance of how India is going at great lengths to assert itself on the global manufacturing map and how the same is being portrayed in the most hideous manner by its media.

The 2G tele…

Yudham Sei: Well begun is only half done

Appeared in Expresso, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express, on 08 February, 2011

A girl gets kidnapped from a main road on a dark night. The next day, a package is found at a public place that contains severed body parts. The police and CBI are brought in immediately, when the scene shifts to an office where the head of the intelligence department is seen calling for someone. The call sounds out again, this time, teetering between anxiousness and anger, when we get to see JK’s (Cheran) face, whose back until then was alone is visible to the viewer, thereby patenting his own intro scene-for-the-hero). Thus begins Mysskin’s thriller saga, Yudham Sei.

An officer of the CB-CID, far from the stereotyped Ray-Ban toting, trigger-happy cop, JK decides to call it a day, when he is thrust with the task of finding the Hannibal Lecters behind the parcels. He is smart, assertive and is able to throw light on patterns of murders that confound top police officials. His sister has been kidnap…