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Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Director: SS Rajamouli
Walking out of Baahubali 2, my mind was filled with concepts relating to the art of communication. Most of them were surrounding the view that a movie becomes complete only in the minds of the audience. Yes, from the most submissive to the most dismissive audience member, everyone, in some form or the other, prods the movie in his or her own way to understand what the director is trying to convey through the silver screen. While watching Baahubali 2, I had more than one thought propping up in my mind; but not all were positive.
Take for example the last shot of the film. The golden statue head of Bhallaladeva is thrown into the river on Mahendra Baahubali's command to demonstrate the consequence of acting against dharma. The head drifts and falls from the waterfall, tracing the path of Shivudu’s ascend in the part 1. Rajamouli, the director, clearly wants to convey that Bhallaladeva is falling from the same heights that Shivudu climbed and eventually becom…
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Kaatru Veliyidai

Director: Mani Ratnam

In the poem ‘Kaatru Veliyidai Kannama’, the poet describes the beauty of kannama, how it mesmerizes the lover, captivates him to his core and becomes the torch for the darkness within and around him. VC, the protagonist of the film, Kaatru Veliyidai, takes off from the poem in spirit. He is mesmerized by the mere presence of Leela. Such is the power of Leela that the moment she lights a torch into the eyes of VC, the player gets played by the ethereal aura of the rightfully named Leela.
Mani Ratnam, here seems to be more interested in interpreting the poem in its various facades. He starts off this ambitious vision with self-indulgence.  Thus, VC, who gets mesmerized by the beauty of Leela, wants her to be his anchor, the human embodiment of his poetry, the breeze that comes along with the air that surrounds him and ultimately the light to the darkness within. No wonder Mani makes the protagonist apologize through a poem, reminisce her through the wind that flut…

Baahubali - The beginning

Director: S S Rajamouli
I have said it in the past, I am saying it now, and from how he goes about his career, I think I will be saying it again in the future as well – what audacity does SS Rajamouli have! It takes a master with raw passion towards the material to create ingenuous piece of art with such banal stories. Yes, you read it right – banal; for that is what Baahubali’s story too is if you go by Rajamouli’s stories – stories that have been told since our puranas came into existence. What then transforms this material into something extraordinary is the conviction with which it is narrated. People who have seen the film Kadhalika Neramilla’s horror story narration scene (or its counterpart in telugu/hindi) will agree with me that the way Nagesh/Mehmoob narrated the simple scene created the chill & humour and not the dialogues itself.
Of all the praises I want to shower over Baahubali, the most deserving one is the laid back approach in the narration. The story essentiall…

OK Kanmani

He made a furtive glance; she gave an approving smile. Love spread as elegantly as the widening smile of her lips.  He would say I am not a fool to wait for you for hours together; she would say sorry for making you wait. Love knows the words between the pauses. She would say I am staying away from you for some days; he wouldn't say anything; but goes away with a smile, enjoying the pain that he is getting due to the separation. Love truly went mad.
If you got bored just imagining what that would look like on screen, the movie OK Kanmani and this opinion piece is not the place for you to be in.
OK Kanmani, as you sensed from the treatment above, is a typical Mani Ratnam film, filled with his patented strokes of artistry on a  bright canvas setup by PC Sreeram, Rahman and others. It isn't a film that is cluttered with novel ideas or an unique treatment. But what sets it apart is the ingenuity it poses in saying differently what was already said in Mouna Ragam, Ayutha Ezhuthu and …

Interstellar

There was a time when Nolan used to be a complete filmmaker, a puppeteer if I may, controlling everything happening on screen and inside your brain with just two hands. By the time Prestige became an instant cult, Nolan had by then gotten a name for himself for pulling all the strings at his disposal to drive home a single idea. Then Batman happened. As his visions started getting grand, the compulsion to set up every string in the film towards that single idea became paramount. In a black and white world it would be easier to say this fetish of his is undoing him; that now he has a string attached to himself to which he will always be binded. But if you look at the glass as half full, this string isn't a chain around the neck, but around the torso to not let him fall as he reaches for the stars. And with Interstellar he has gone beyond the stars into a new galaxy in the safety of this string.

Yes, Interstellar is convoluted, delusional and at times fabricated to drive home that …

Kochadaiiyaan

Director: Soundarya Writers & Supervisors: K.S.Ravikumar / R. Madesh
Kochadaiiyaan is an unique attempt from Rajni. Not because of the computer-generated-photorealistic-animation (phew that’s a very big word with zero meaning and negative output!), but because it dabbles with the unwritten philosophy of life. Beyond the huge kingdoms and epic wars, Kochadaiiyaan is a battle between people with myopic views and it’s opposite. While this in itself is a giant leap for Rajni, the script proudly goes one step further and teases us at times by swapping people from the either side of ideology and at times by depicting a guy with both ways of life.
The last time Rajni tried something on these lines in Baba, he got a heavy beating in box office and rightfully so. But this time the stark difference comes in the form of the organic flow in the narration. While many writers are happy to just mount scene after scene primarily to fill-up the timeline and at times to convey the story to the audien…

Highway

Director: Imtiaz Ali
Besides Child molestation, caged city life, sufferings of the improvised society, longings of a motherless son, Highway is inherently a road movie of two people from different walks of life enjoying the uncharted journey and each other’s presence. While Imtiaz Ali fabulously mounts these precious moments on screen which I have till now felt only through other senses in real life, he squanders in the remaining parts.
Similar to how a long road drive starts with the commotions of the city, Highway begins with the eccentricity of the leads. While Veer (Ali) keeps rejecting the offer of her captor to escape, the latter keeps showering her with love like a quintessential rowdy with a heart of gold; all the while unsettling us. However, as the film unclutters from melodramatic reasons behind these events, similar to how the rustic beauty of the highway takes us to serenity, the film lands itself in its scenic stretch. It is in this stretch I realized what really wasn’t c…