‘Sardar Udham’ review – Shoojit Sircar’s film sets a golden benchmark for Bollywood historicals

The process of exploring Shoojit Sircar’s cinema in several ways is meditative, irrespective of their quality. It feels like watching a flavorful bowl of soup – simmer and boil into perfection – with the minor ingredients immersing into the sumptuous base to turn into a thick, nutritious blend. Sircar’s latest […]

‘#Home’ review – Malayalam family drama manipulates its way into your heart

Director Rojin Thomas’s Malayalam film #Home is an impressive case study. One that tells the story of a slightly dysfunctional family, the film cleverly masquerades as a neglected father’s tale while slyly guilt-tripping his children. In the early 2000s, Sheela-Jayaram starrer Manasinakkare managed a similar feat but the Sathyan Anthikad […]

‘Cold Case’ review – Prithviraj-starrer mixes horror and police procedural genres to uneven results

There are bona fide horror films that you watch with a conclusive belief that supernatural entities are real. Then there are police procedurals that unravel a mystery entirely based on science and evidence. In director Tanu Balak’s Cold Case, we witness both scenarios. A single case of a missing woman […]

‘Sherni’ review – About bureaucracy, patriarchy, and a tigress on the prowl

“The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty,” reads a famous quote by Eugene McCarthy. Unarguably true in every format, tribe, level, and circumstance, the decades-old statement’s authenticity is proven in director Amit Masurkar’s set up in Sherni. […]

‘Aarkkariyam’ review – a mercurial Malayalam drama around a dirty family secret

Nostalgia is a word that contains volumes of drama. It can be twisted to generate gazillion quotes with the finest of metaphors. A favourite would be, “Nostalgia is a beautiful lie dressed up in sepia.” Director Sanu John Varughese’s Aarkkariyam is not necessarily a film that thrives on that emotion. […]

‘Joji’ review – Dileesh Pothan’s take on Macbeth is a bona fide masterpiece

“Society is a fucker,” declares the title character of Dileesh Pothan’s Joji. If we observe the setup from a distance, society is seldom a direct component in the Panachel family. Here is a film with minimal exposition and no random third party conversations staged at tea shops and rickshaw stands. […]

‘Saina’ review – Parineeti Chopra is ace in this simplistic sportswoman biopic

Much like several of Hollywood’s musician biopics, India’s sports biographies are interchangeable. In a good majority of stories, poverty or sexism (if its subject is female) becomes the pertinent roadblocks and the protagonist emerges triumphant with nationalistic elements thrown in for extra effects. Amole Gupte’s biopic on India’s ace badminton […]

‘Drishyam 2’ review – Entering Georgekutty’s brand new maze of deception

“Cinema. It’s an important link. What is peculiar about movies? Visuals. The impact of visuals on mind is unmatched,” echoed Geetha Prabhakar (Asha Sarath) in a scene that thrilled us to bits in the 2013 Malayalam blockbuster Drishyam. We never predicted a cinema link to pop up even though it […]

‘Saajan Bakery Since 1962’ review – a feel-good film about food and family dysfunction

The most striking side of Saajan Bakery Since 1962 is its ambiance. The idea of an ancestral bakery in Kerala’s Ranni that serves local delights (achappam, kuzhalappam, cream bun, egg puffs, and the likes) is a backdrop that forever remained to be explored. Director Arun Chandu brings to us characters […]