• Movie Review

    Sita Ramam (2022), a period love story of a soldier that was muddy

    I have been hearing from a few friends about the recent period film Sita Ramam (2022), starring Dulquer Salmaan to be good. I caught up with the movie on Amazon Prime Video. This is a romantic suspense story that happens in two time periods 1965 & 1985 and mainly in two places Kashmir and Hyderabad. The art direction, cinematography and music were excellent, but the story and screenplay are convoluted lowering the entertainment quotient. It gets a Raw rating in our Mangoidiots scale. As a young Lieutenant Ram serving in the toughest conditions, Dulquer Salmaan has given a convincing performance. Following last year’s Kurup (2021) this is one more feather…

  • Movie Review

    Natchathiram Nagargiradhu (2022), a chaotic monologue by Pa Ranjith

    Director Pa Ranjith is a well-known and welcome voice in Tamil cinema talking about the atrocities committed against Dalits and the oppressed in his cinema.  In his latest film Natchathiram Nagargiradhu (2022) he has taken it to new levels and made a film that feels like a lesson on the subject. He deserves appreciation for openly presenting the important issues of intercaste marriages and the resulting honour killings, but an entire film with no discernable story makes it uninteresting. It gets our mangoidiots rating of Raw. As a director, Pa Ranjith displays his magic in the opening scene where a couple who are in bed, start a casual conversation followed…

  • Movie Review

    Thiruchitrambalam (2022)

    Thiruchitrambalam by director Mithran R Jawahar is a feel-good romance film that we normally don’t see in Kollywood, which likes to over-exaggerate love, loss, friendship, and family.  Nithya Menen and Bharathiraja have given phenomenal performances, the former casually overtaking Dhanush in most scenes. I like the two-hour-plus running time which benefitted from a no-nonsense screenplay. Even with these, I am giving a Raw rating as the story was unmemorable and on expected lines. In a middle-class household, Thiruchitrambalam Sr. (played by Bharathiraja) is the grandfather of the hero Thiruchitrambalam, and he manages the household and cooking. His son Inspector Neelakandan (played by Prakash Raj) and grandson (the hero) have past baggage…

  • Movie Review

    Viruman (2022), a formula village film!

    If you go to a library on Tamil films, reach the rack on village stories, pick the first book covering father-son differences and go directly from there to the location for shooting, you will get Viruman (2022). The film gets a raw rating in the mangoidiots scale. Karthi has done well the role of the village hero who is honest to a fault, strong as hercules, yet crumbles on the first instance for love & family. Debutant Aditi (Director Shankar‘s daughter) fits the role of the rural girl, impresses with her natural appearance and unpretentious acting. Surprisingly, comedian Soori has underplayed and shouts less, making him tolerable. Manoj Bharathiraja comes…

  • Movie Review

    Laal Singh Chaddha (2022), a memorable feel-good movie

    Laal Singh Chaddha (2022) is a faithful remake of the iconic Forrest Gump (1994). And Aamir Khan has done that with poise. The film gets my mangoidiots rating of Ripe for being true to the original’s soul. I went for the Tamil dubbed version and it was good. Laal Singh Chaddha is about an innocent man who believes unconditionally in the people in his life. Because of his good nature & hard work, he gets bestowed with the opportunities to help everyone around him. He loves and respects his mom, who raises him as a single mother. Next comes his friends who help him, a fellow soldier in the Indian…

  • Movie Review

    Rocketry: The Nambi Effect (2022)

    Rocketry (2022) is the directorial debut of actor R Madhavan. I saw the Tamil version of the multilingual film, which was also simultaneously made in Hindi & English. I found the movie based on the real-life of ISRO scientist Mr S Nambi Narayanan to be well-made and enjoyable. It had a good dose of patriotism, which is the flavour of the times, it was central to the story and I liked the way Madhavan used the combination of national pride and guilt to narrate a powerful story that is sure to move the audience. I am happy to give the film a Ripe rating. In recent decades, two scientists from…

  • Movie Review

    The Swimmer (1968)

    Can a movie create a story in the minds of the audience without describing it directly or showing visuals of the happenings? If you had watched The Swimmer (1968) starring Burt Lancaster you will emphatically answer yes. The film may not be interesting all the way, but it will certainly leave you thinking about it for a long and even the characters who appear briefly will impact you. That’s how well it has been made by Director Frank Perry and gets a Ripe. On a random summer day, we see Ned, a well-built man nearing his fifties swimming in a private pool in a suburb of Connecticut. In the next…

  • Movie Review

    Ayngaran (2022)

    A young engineer who stays clear of the job market, instead, invents “innovative” gadgets which remind high-school projects for solving everyday problems but fails to get a break. A seven-year-old girl falls into a 200-feet borewell and the entire government machinery under the local collector works day & night to rescue the child, but they keep hitting one barrier after another. A bloodthirsty group of Hindi-speaking thieves who target only the large jewellery stores, they leave no clue, and the Tamil Nadu police department is unable to catch them. The hero grows up inspired by his father, a police constable, and also angry at the system that prevents his father…