Arts & Culture

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    Leela: A Lost Chance to Shatter the Myth of Machismo


    How do you translate a story of sex and sexuality into the medium of cinema? This was the general curiosity surrounding the making of Leela, part perceived, part generated and marketed by the industry that popular cinema ultimately is. The makers of this film were able to tap into this curiosity…

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    Living in Limbo


    About 12 years ago, when the Tom Hanks starrer 'The Terminal' hit the screens worldwide, we all came to know about the plight of a man who spent almost 18 years in the Terminal One of the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris as a refugee. His name is Mehran Karimi Nasseri. He was an anti-Shah activist…

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    Nightingales Are Falling Silent


    Much to our melody chagrin, the female solo songs are fast becoming a thing of past—and, if the trend continues, we will soon see a complete silence of our beloved nightingales who over the years have sweetened Malayalam cinema with their melodious voice.

    Change, they say, is the only…

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    The Lover Boy of All Times


    The word 'evergreen' connotes immortality. Perhaps, there is only one actor in Indian screen who has gained this title and that is our own Prem Nazir (1926-1989). Had he been alive, he would have turned 90 this year. A quirky thought would bring us the picture of a well-groomed Prem Nazir going to…

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    Malayalee's Own Chalk & Cheese


    No two entries could have been more different.

    One was a known entity. The other was a non-entity.

    One’s entry was well-anticipated. The other walked in as another unknown face among a motley crowd of new faces.

    One wore the shiny, yet uncomfortably heavy crown of the young…

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    Kali: A Very Angry Young Man’s Tale That’s Missing Some Nuances


    When heroes become angry, they thrash evil, fight against injustice and question the establishment. Don't we love it? It was Amitabh Bachchan's deft portrayal of anger - not love, compassion or humor - that catapulted him into India's biggest superstar. In Malayalam, we've had Mamootty, Mohanlal…

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    Piravi: A Film for Our Bewildering Times


    It is a windswept countryside where the green fields and village waterways sway in the heady breeze bearing the touch of an impending storm. A typical decrepit local library shivers in the rain laden wind, doors slam all around deepening the furtive silence, a ubiquitous black cat sneaks out. You've…

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    G. Aravindan – The God Who Failed to Deliver


    I saw Kanchana Sita, as a college student, before Ibrahim Alkasi, chairman of the National Film Award Jury (1978), hailed G. Aravindan as "the director who opened the eyes of Indian cinema," and Chidananda Dasgupta described him as "the Shakespeare of Indian cinema."

    I saw the film, repeatedly,…

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    The Struggle to Find One’s Own Story


    A woman relinquishes her four-year-old son to tourists passing through town. Losing him, she loses the story of her future. A world away from her, the boy becomes a man without the story of his past. Decades on, the mother struggles on her deathbed to find the story that will release her from life;…

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    Reviving Kathaprasangam: Will Technology Help?


    Can Kathaprasangam have a new lease of life in Kerala’s cultural landscape? Television, which had killed the beauty of this performing art, has ironically revived 'modern' forms of this story telling to cash in on the growing demand from viewers who have a craving for the nostalgic past. Though…

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    Kerala's Own Rockstar


    There are two kinds of people. One, who look like immortals, and two, who look like mere mortals. Rest falls in between expectations and ordinariness, and they are called the 'middle class.' But death, the great leveler, doesn’t differentiate between the seemingly immortals and the mortals.…

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    A Musical Genius’s Hidden Gem


    If I ask you to name the top 10 songs of legendary composer M.B. Sreenivasan, chances are that this one won't figure in that list. Probably you aren’t even aware of this song, and even if you are, you may not know it's an MBS composition.

    It’s one hell of a song. Here you go: “Peethambara…

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    B.D. Dethan: Painter of Hard Times


    Angst doesn't ooze out from the smiling personality of B.D. Dethan, the well-known artist from Thiruvananthapuram. But his paintings impart the inner turmoil of the artist as a contemporary human being caught in various socio-political throes. Artists are the followers of human sagas, and at times…

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    Vetta: A Lackluster Hunt


    I’ve never watched a film on its first day, as I always played it safe rather than risk wasting a couple of hours. Still, I thought Vetta (The Hunt) was worth taking that risk, given that it has Manju Warrier, Kunchacko Boban and Indrajith in lead roles and Rajesh Pillai of Traffic as director.…

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    Aaravam: Bharathan’s Eccentric Take on Raw Sensuality, Rustic Charm


    Two bloodshot eyes glint in the darkness. Lone cries of night birds and occasional nocturnal growls plunge the screen into an eerie soundscape. A rifle shot rings through the air, a bird falls dead, and from atop a tree a creature half man/ half animal swoops down to clutch at his prey. He is Maruthu,…

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    Fragrance of Wild Flowers


    There is a little bit of ONV Kurup (1931-2016) in a Malayalee’s life, exactly the way ‘uppu’ (salt) is in every drop of water. We may not always taste it exactly the way salt tastes, but it is there. When we plant a sapling, ONV wrote, we plant a shade for the future generations…

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    Maheshinte Prathikaaram: The Punch That Makes You Smile


    When I went to watch `Maheshinte Prathikaaram,' the last thing in my mind was writing a review. The film was into its second week, already a hit, and reviews were aplenty. But I must write this to cheer this endearing satire that packs a nice punch on the face of all those silly characters around.…

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    Life and Times of Rajan M. Krishnan


    Obituaries are in a way the reviews of not only the lives and works of the departed ones, but also that of the writer himself. In a gap of exactly sixty days, this is the second obit I am writing. On 13th December, I was deeply grieving the death of Hema Upadhyay, and on 12th February, I am saddened…