Arts & Culture

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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…

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    The Man Who Found Phalke Flims Deserves Phalke Award


    Just as we celebrate characters from history, the historians who preserve them for future generations need to be celebrated too. It is in that context that film buffs are demanding that the Dadasaheb Phalke award, named after the Marathi filmmaker who pioneered film making in India in 1920s, should…

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    No Fears, Says Universal Intelligence!


    Will the dawn of artificial intelligence also mark the beginning of the end of humanity? Stephen Hawking is afraid it may. He thinks it is going to be like the story of the fisherman and the genie. Once released the genie will devour all!

    However, we better get the question answered at the…

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    The Man Who Held the Mirror


    Before television journalism stooped to become the playing field of the megalomaniacs, shamelessly embracing sleaze and sensationalism, T.N. Gopakumar — TNG as he was known — had held a mirror to the Kerala society for a good many years.

    His weekly program, Kannadi, in Asianet…

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    Breaking the Male Bastion


    It is not always that an actor rewrites the narrative of cinema by the sheer force of her talent. Kalpana almost did it by a rare energy, spunk and gaiety she brought on screen. She became endearing to a generation of women who didn’t want to wallow in self-pity and coyness, but wanted to laugh…

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    Leaving No Legacy


    T.S. Eliot famously wrote about measuring out life with coffee spoons. We mostly measure past life with sarcophagi, masks and pottery - by means of relics - and call them our culture.

    Turkey has waged a 'culture war' to bring back to the country the pieces of their history from the famous…

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    A Call to the Righteous


    Ever since I wrote Theekkadal Katanju Thirumadhuram (the fictional biography of the Father of Malayalam Language) I am under no-holds-barred attack from an organization called the Ezhuthassan Samajam, a caste-based outfit falsely claiming to represent the whole of a miniscule community in…

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    A Super Hit That Exposes the Malayalee Mindset


    Films are important cultural texts and echo the secret desires and fantasies, and the dominant ideologies and abiding passions that shape a society. But sometimes they also reveal the underlying hypocrisies, the deeply engrained passions that a land and its people celebrate on the surface, but will…