Archive for Rajini

How Pa Ranjith’s Kaala changes the way we imagine the city (THE CARAVAN)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2018 by Qalandar

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Sadly, I still haven’t seen Kaala but it is definitely on the list!  — qalandar

Excerpt: “Across India, the dominant story of any megacity is untouched by the stories of the marginalised communities that live there. You could be a Pardhi tribal living in and around the same street corner in Mumbai for the last three generations, but your story would always be of the “migrant in the city” or “the homeless in the city”; it would never be the story of the city. This is precisely what makes the Tamil film-director Pa Ranjith’s films path-breaking. When Ranjith tells the stories of Vyasarpadi or Dharavi—auto-constructed neighbourhoods laden with histories of oppressed castes—he is insisting they are the stories of Chennai and Mumbai. Drawing from legendary anti-caste thinkers, Ranjith is moving us towards a greater understanding of a new third-world urbanism.

Ranjith’s first film to buck the trend in urban portrayals was 2014’s Madras, a film about a rivalry between two political parties in Vyasarpadi. …  In this, Ranjith’s ancestor seems to be the American writer James Baldwin, who wrote in his Notes of a Native Son: “The story of the Negro in America is the story of America. Kaala does for Mumbai what Madras did for Chennai. Ranjith gives us a quintessential Mumbai film, except through the eyes of a lower-caste Tamil basti in Dharavi fighting to keep its land, which is under the threat of seizure from a politician. …”

Read the complete piece HERE

GF on “Enthiran”

Posted in the good with tags , , on October 4, 2010 by GF



One spoiler in the last paragraph here…

At the center of Shankar’s Enthiran is a deep-seated concern with immortality. This of course was not something I expected as I walked in to see this thing. What I knew about its basic premise—regarding the adventures of an artificially intelligent being out in the human world—seemed at first little more than a flimsy genre excuse to let the redoubtable star at the center of the film every opportunity to take his masala game—his “masalaness”—to exponentially higher levels, quickly jettisoning any suggestion of script, any storyline, any character development or thematic concern—in short, any true responsibility towards its audience. That Shankar does not settle for such an easy route, that he does not just use a well-worn genre premise to deliver a quick succession of set pieces with no purpose or thought, that he does not simply prostrate at the altar of effects, and of course, that Superest of Super Stars, is entirely to the credit of his film—which is not only his best work, but also the new benchmark for Indian sci-fi filmmaking. Continue reading