• Movie Review

    Pookkaalam (2023), a Comedy Drama for the whole family

    In Pookkaalam, a Malayalam comedy, Director Ganesh Raj takes on the challenge of telling a humorous story about a centenarian and his nonagenarian wife who get into a marital dispute. The film succeeds in balancing humour with pathos, and the result is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that will appeal to audiences of all ages. He has crafted a whimsical film that tackles sensitive topics with grace, never letting them dominate the narrative.  Overall a good cinema and gets a Ripe from Mangoidiots. The film’s lead couple, Vijayaraghavan and K P A C Leela, are both excellent in their roles. Vijayaraghavan brings a sense of warmth and humour to the…

  • Movie Review

    Good Night (2023), a down to earth tamil film

    It is rare to see such a realistic and relatable movie made in Kollywood. Good Night (2023) is a story about marital problems caused by snoring. A simple screenplay, a perfect cast, and very little heroism with comedy that works have made this film enjoyable. I wish Director Vinayak Chandrasekaran had avoided a few medical science gaps and trimmed the running time a bit. Rewarding a fine attempt, the film gets a Ripe rating on our Mangoiditos scale. K Manikandan as the protagonist shines in every frame. Meetha Raghunath has his love interest and his wife has played the subdued role very well. Joining them were Ramesh Thilak, who has…

  • TV Show Review

    Hello Tomorrow! (TV Series) is a mixed bag

    If you have an Apple TV subscription check out their retro-futuristic (it means it happens in the 1960s but shows future tech) science fiction tv show called “Hello Tomorrow”.  We see cars with no wheels, levitating, but powered by internal combustion engines. Large dials, CRT screens on TVs and no silicon chip revolution. Robots do all the work and so on. The story is about a travelling salesman and his crew selling homes on the moon. I am in the third episode, it has been a mixed bag. But I am enjoying the “futuristic” tech.

  • Movie Review

    August 16 1947 (2023), a promising story squandered

    The film, directed by N S Ponkumar and starring Gautham Karthik, explores an intriguing scenario. What if a remote Indian village, oppressed by the British for decades, remained unaware of Independence Day for 24 hours? How would it affect their lives? The tortures the residents go through at the hands of a British tyrant were heartbreaking, but the screenplay couldn’t do justice. The happenings in the second half were implausible, because of which I was unable to connect. The art direction and the costumes were brilliant and also were the background and music by Sean Roldan. The film manages only a Raw from Mangoidiots. The love story between Gautham Karthik…

  • Movie Review

    Vaathi (2023), a teacher story that was trite

    I am not sure why Dhanush, an actor I admire for his talents, signed up for this routine teacher helping poor students succeed story.  He is known for being an original actor, but in this one, his copying of Rajini’s body language felt artificial. There was little chemistry between him and Samyuktha onscreen. Samuthirakani appearing as the owner of a large private education empire comes as an unimpressive antagonist. Even with these negatives, the evergreen story of education being the greatest social equaliser was handled well, and the emotions working in most places saved the film. The dialogues about the former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam were used effectively. Vaathi…

  • Movie Review

    Varisu (2023), an all-out Vijay film

    Varisu (2023), is an all-out Tamil Nadu father-and-son sentiment film that has been made on a Bollywood film set background. Single-handedly Vijay entertains the audience for the three hours of running time. Director Vamshi Paidipally utilises the best of Vijay, which in my view is not his dance or action, but his comedy body language. In many cliche moments, which were countless, Vijay‘s happy-go-lucky style saves the audience. Mangoidiots’ rating for the film is Raw. I enjoyed Yogi Babu‘s comedy tracks, which were relevant and brief. As the family patriarchy, R Sarathkumar has played the role well. Joining him was veteran Jayasudha, in his wife’s character, as the mother to…

  • Movie Review

    Sembi (2022), a mixed bag

    Sembi (2022) by Director Prabu Solomon feels familiar, yet different. It was about the now-common story of the sons of people with power and influence committing the gravest of crimes and walking away scot-free. Kovai Sarala, one of the underappreciated actors of Kollywood has given her best, her performance in the action sequences was brilliant. The first half of the film was engaging and realistic, but the long second half was a cinematic take on the public and the justice suddenly turning over a new leaf. Hence, it gets only a Raw rating from Mangoidiots. The visuals following the tragedy that happened to the young tribal girl, though gruesome, add…

  • 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…