• Movie Review

    See How They Run (2022), unpretentious yet entertaining

    There are films which have a simple plot, familiar characters, and unpretentious handling by the director, yet are entertaining. The comedy, murder-mystery film, See How They Run (2022) was one of those films and gets our Ripe rating. The lead actors Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan were instrumental in ensuring the period film set in 1953 London was humorous and enjoyable. Available on Disney+ Hotstar. A murder happens backstage during Agatha Christie’s play in a famous London theatre. A voice-over says this is yet another Whodunit (Who has done it) genre story. Though it was of that genre, the screenplay was uncomplicated and easy to follow.  I liked the recreation of…

  • Movie Review

    Love Today (2022), a treat for the youth

    For the youth of today, their centre of universe and lifeline is their mobile phones. Love Today (2022) directed and acted by Pradeep Ranganathan spotlights this trend in a humorous fashion. What made the film different was its treatment of the story – it was completely relatable and there was no preaching, moral advice or crime-solving. The audience in the theatre voted yes for the film, and following them, mangoidiots gives a Ripe. Ivana as Nikitha and the love interest of the hero has delivered a convincing performance. Pradeep Ranganathan in his debut as an actor has made a fine effort, but almost in every frame, he reminds us of a…

  • Movie Review

    Coffee with Kadhal (2022), decaf and lukewarm!

    A large family with three brothers and one sister, four to five couples, and misaligned affections should’ve been a perfect plot for a comedy from Sundar C. Unfortunately, a weak screenplay has resulted in a decaf coffee that was lukewarm. I am puzzled about why Yogi Babu and Kingsley were so under-utilized. Coffee with Kadhal (2022) gets a ‘rotten’ in our mangoidiots score. Srikanth, Jiiva and Jai play the role of three sons to the character of Pratap Pothen, it was sad to see the underrated actor in Kollywood perform in what is likely to be his last film. DD (Dhivyadharshini) comes as the sister to the three brothers and…

  • Movie Review

    Sardar (2022), an enjoyable spy film

    Tamil Cinema in recent times has rediscovered the spy genre, we have seen it with Vijay‘s Beast (2022), Kamal‘s Vikram (2022), Suriya‘s Kaapaan (2019) and now Sardar (2022). In a dual role, Karthi has done a fine job in this spy thriller, Sardar (2022).  This, and the focus on a single theme: exposing the bottled water mafia, made this film by Director P S Mithran, enjoyable. Raashii Khanna is the female lead, with yesteryears actress Laila playing an important role. They are joined by Munishkanth in a character role and Youtube fame Master Rithvik, who delights us with his charm. Rajisha Vijayan, an actress from Malayalam is a promising addition to…

  • Movie Review

    Prince (2022), a disappointing Sivakarthikeyan film

    To tell a comedy, cultural differences have been an effective tool and used well like in Mind Your Language or even within the English world like in Matt LeBlanc‘s Episodes.  But times have changed, societies have evolved and Gen-Z is particular (rightly so) not to stereotype or be insulting other cultures, languages or nationalities. Director Anudeep KV has been tone-deaf to these with his creation, Prince (ப்ரின்ஸ்) starring Sivakarthikeyan and Maria Ryaboshapka as leads. The story is about a social teacher in a Pondicherry school and the new English teacher from Britain. That’s all. Debut to Kollywood, the Ukrainian Maria Ryaboshapka is attractive, friendly and has tried to emote her best.…

  • Movie Review

    Bachelor (2021), was quirky and slow yet enjoyable

    The film had an interesting narrative style. In most scenes, we get dropped in the middle of the happenings, there were no gaps between scenes or context provided. This was profound in the first thirty minutes when we see countless characters in a bachelor pad and haphazardly several events happening. We are confused, only to understand what the director Satish Selvakumar had conveyed when the courtroom drama unfolds in the second half. Bachelor (2021) starring Divya Bharathi and G V Prakash Kumar becomes memorable only near the climax, which means you need to endure more than two hours of the slow and quirky screenplay. Due to its length, the film…

  • Movie Review

    Ponniyin Selvan: I (2022)

    It has been a dream for generations of Tamilians to have writer Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvam come to the silver screen. Many years ago, I watched the adaption of the novel into a stage play which was breathtaking. Ponniyin Selvan 1 (2022) by veteran director Manirathnam benefits not only from Kalki’s rich imagination but a dazzling lineup of stars: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha, Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Karthi &  many others. Writer Jeyamohan‘s dialogues and the screenplay aided by Elango Kumaravel were the real strength of the film – their work has answered how the characters should be speaking, do they speak in contemporary Tamil or alienating the audience by speaking the…

  • Movie Review

    Middle Class Melodies (2020), an underrated entertainer

    Middle Class Melodies (2020) starring Anand Devarakonda (Vijay Devarakonda‘s brother) and Varsha Bollamma is a movie with a simple story and it was entertaining.  I liked this feel-good movie, a genre which has become a rarity in recent times. Raghava, a graduate living in a small town dreaming of becoming big by cashing his culinary skills. Did he succeed by setting up a restaurant in the nearby city of Guntur and did he marry his sweetheart is the story? Director Vinod Anantoju has a done job in the casting. Every character including Chaitanya Garikipati as Gopal, Divya Sripada as Gauthami and Goparaju Ramana as Kondalrao were perfect for their roles. A…