Madras Review – Class Act

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Sep 282014

After wearily trudging through the endless Sahara of trashy Tamil movies, I serendipitously discovered a welcome oasis in Madras (Karthi, Kalaiarasan Harikrishnan, Catherine Tresa, Rama, Ritwika et al). Pa Ranjith directed the film based on his script (a claim that so far has not been disproved). Like so many good films, Madras defies easy categorization and is impossible to pigeonhole. Sure, Madras is a romance. Doubtless, it’s violent. Yes, it’s set within the political context of a sliver of Madras (the northern part of the city). But this remarkable film is also so much more than the sum of its […]

Sep 272014

In a nation known for countless bizarre creatures, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha stands out. Obnoxiously arrogant, shamelessly corrupt and a living goddess for millions of idiots, Jayalalitha got her comeuppance today when the Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) was convicted in a 18-year-old Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets (corruption) case and sentenced to four years imprisonment. The disproportionate assets amassed by Jayalalitha included gold jewelry, real estate, bank deposits and cash. Besides the prison term, judge John Michael D’Cunha also imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore, failure to pay which will add an extra year behind bars. Puratchi Thirudi […]

Sep 262014

Hollywood A-lister Denzel Washington has often whined that Indian cabbies don’t stop for him in New York City. After sitting through Denzel’s new movie Equalizer in quiet fury this evening, I decided the whiner was not going to win any sympathy from me. Folks, Equalizer works very hard to match the Bollywood junk that Indian directors shovel our way ad nauseam. Based on a three-decade-old TV series, Equalizer is the dreadful handiwork of director Antoine Fuqua (of Training Day fame, the movie that got Denzel his Best Actor Oscar). Not Worth It Equalizer is a one-man show – Denzel, Denzel […]

Sep 242014
Chronicle of a Death (Sentence) Foretold

It isn’t right that everybody should know that they’re going to kill her son and she the only one who doesn’t. – Luisa Santiaga as she goes (belatedly) to warn Santiago Nasar’s mother Placida of her son’s imminent death Source – Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fine novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold, so many people know of Santiago Nasar’s imminent killing. After all, brandishing recently sharpened knives the Vicario brothers tell anyone who’ll listen that they plan to kill Santiago. Father Carmen Amador, Mayor Col. Don Lazaro Aponte, store […]

Sep 232014

Begging pays handsome dividends. And Indian crook Dinesh D’Souza is perfect evidence of that. Despite pleading guilty to the felony crime of violating U.S. federal campaign election laws, Dinesh has managed to escape a prison term. Instead, he was sentenced today to five years of probation, with eight months during the first year to be served in a community confinement center. What a shame! What a disappointment! I was so dying to see Dinesh in orange prison garb. In addition to eight months of confinement in a community confinement center, Judge Richard Berman sentenced the Indian crook to mandatory eight-hour […]

Sep 212014

Impeccably written, beautifully enacted, frequently funny and charmingly photographed, Le Week-End (2013) is an absolute treat. British director Roger Michell directed this delightful film based on the story by Hanif Kureshi (of My Beautiful Laundrette and the Buddha of Suburbia fame). How I stumbled upon this gem I can’t recollect now but I’m glad I did. It’s one of the many unfair tragedies of life that Le Week-End never got a wide release and grossed little at the box office! Life – No Fun Life is anything but fun for the vast, nameless majority for whom a new dawn yields […]