Today evening I came across this piece by Sowmya Rajendran, which resonated with me so much that I was inspired to write this post. Like I explained in my previous post, it was through Malayalam films that I established a connect to my mother tongue and my state, despite living so far away from Kerala. I was always proud of Malayalam films, and I could talk a mile a minute about how Malayalam churns out realistic, wonderful pieces of cinema every year. Sure, there are many bad apples in the cart, but the good ones are usually so good that it negates the effect of the bad ones. Even today, my respect and love for Malayalam films remain intact, but the same cannot be said about the industry and its ‘stars’.
“Where are you from?” A simple question. When I came to Bangalore and joined college, this was the first question people would ask, after my name of course. Most of my friends had it easy. “I am from Tamil Nadu.” “I am from Kerala.” I am from Delhi.” They answer the question in a sentence, or even a word. While it takes two sentences, sometimes more, for me to explain myself.
It just hit me that I haven’t discussed a Malayalam movie in the past seven months. And now I feel so bad about ignoring my own mother tongue! So here goes a post about this sweet film I watched earlier this year – Hey Jude, directed by Shyamaprasad – one of the best art-house filmmakers in Malayalam. After dealing with a lot of complex subjects in his previous films, here he chooses to explore neurodivergence by telling the tale of two people who do not fit into the society’s conventional definition of ‘normal’.
A Rajnikanth film is not just a film, it is an occasion. Especially in South India. His latest film – Kaala – released on 7th June everywhere except here in Karnataka due to disagreements over Rajnikanth’s stance on the Cauvery river dispute. But that didn’t stop the Rajni fans here from catching the film on the opening day itself. Many people traveled all the way to Hosur in Tamil Nadu just to watch it. And finally when it did release here that day evening, people swarmed to the theaters. Even when I managed to catch the film on the fourth day – yesterday – the local theater had full occupancy.
Kaala is my third Rajnikanth film in theater, but the experience was completely different this time around. I had watched both Endhiran and Kabali back in Dubai, where the crowd was extremely subdued. But this time I was in a local theater in Bangalore and that made all the difference. People were screaming, shouting, clapping, whistling and whatnot. Soon, I too got swept away in the excitement and did all the above but whistle (because I don’t know how to!). But at the end, was the film worth it? Note- A looooooong review ahead.
For the past one week it has been raining here in Bangalore. I am not one of those people who loves the rain. I feel that the world is so grey and dull during the rains, and it also becomes kinda messy. On the other hand, I love drizzles. The drizzle that has been happening here since the past two days has cooled the city down, and has made the weather so pleasant. But in our movies, rains are a symbol of romance. So obviously, we have a LOT of rain songs. So I thought of doing a ‘rain-songs’ post. The songs have been picked randomly as and when they popped into my head. Here goes…
Out of the four film industries I tend to focus on in this blog (which are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi), Telugu is what I am the least familiar with, both the industry as well as the language itself. However, even with the limited number of films I have watched in Telugu, I can say that Sukumar is one of the most interesting filmmakers in the industry today. I have thoroughly enjoyed his Arya 2 and 1-Nenokkadine, whereas his other films like Arya, 100% Love, Kumari 21F (these are the only others I have seen) also had some interesting elements. Out of all his films till date, I think Rangasthalam is the biggest, most commercial and the most successful film. Yet, it is not your average no-brainer masala flick, which I believe is the film’s biggest success.