Archive for Vikram

First Look: Vikram’s KADARAM KONDAN

Posted in the bad with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2018 by Qalandar


Read the complete article HEREvikram-759

NYT Quickie on DAVID

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2013 by Qalandar


“David,” a Hindi film directed by Bejoy Nambiar, asks a simple question: Why make a single movie when you can pack three into one? Behold the complicated, entertainingly erratic result: separate story lines set in 1975, 1999 and 2010 that encompass gangster daddy issues, religious extremism and the coveting of a best friend’s fiancée.

The tie binding the stories, with a certain jaw-dropping purity of intention, is that the protagonists share the same first name. Shot in black and white (with a lot of leather, shades and hair) for no evident reason, the 1970s David is a brutal but soulful London assassin (Neil Nitin Mukesh) embroiled in dramas of romance and revenge with his boss’s family. The millennial David, a mild-mannered aspiring guitarist (Vinay Virmani) in Mumbai, goes on the warpath when a rabble-rousing politician targets his father as a Christian zealot and incites supporters to attack. Last but not least of the Davids is a Goan beach-bum fisherman (Chiyaan Vikram) who zanily falls in love with a deaf-mute woman shortly before she is to marry his buddy.
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Qalandar on RAAVANAN (Tamil; 2010)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2010 by Qalandar


A post-script to my review of Raavan, in light of last night’s trip to New Jersey to watch Raavanan (the Tamil half of this bi-lingual):

The dialogues in the Tamil version are the biggest surprise — and offer the most intriguing glimpse into director Mani Rathnam’s vision. Several dialogues offering glimpses of the “backstory” are absent in the Hindi version, ranging from Continue reading

Qalandar Reviews RAAVAN (Hindi; 2010)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2010 by Qalandar


It doesn’t begin at the beginning, but, like a Greek epic, in the thick of things, by way of a jumble of images, from a serene Beera (Abhishek Bachchan) atop a cliff to policemen facing a road-block, to lust and ambush at a village fair, leading to a shocking image of men being burned alive, to, of course, to Ragini (Aishwariya Rai) in a boat, under threat from a larger vessel manned by Beera — framed against the sun, more silhouette than man. The cycle begins with Beera, and ends with him, and involves his contact with three of the traditional elements: earth, air, and water. As for the fourth — fire — that is Beera himself, as he himself suggests later on in the film when he is consumed and confused by his desire for Ragini. The succession of images, colors, and characters is determinedly non-linear: we all know the Ramayana, and so we know what must happen here, but the order (or lack thereof) unsettles our expectations. After five or more minutes of ravishment, its compression unequalled by any other sequence in director Mani Rathnam’s illustrious career (just about every principal theme is introduced in this overture, that must surely rank among Hindi cinema’s most memorable), the camera finds itself below the surface of the water, gazing up at the two boats nearing each other. At the moment of collision, debris (or is it blood?) drips onto the now black screen, as backdrop to the word “Raavan”, even as A.R. Rahman’s addictive “Beera” song navigates the darkness, illuminated only by print-like images of the title character.
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Qalandar’s Music Review: RAAVAN (Hindi; 2010)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by Qalandar

The music of “Raavan” — supposedly a modern day re-telling of The Ramayana — wasn’t what I was expecting. Instead of a self-contained album confining itself to the world of the film like several other collaborations between composer A.R. Rahman and director Mani Rathnam (such as “Alai Payuthey”, “Yuva”, or “Kannathil Muthamittal”), this album hearkens to the music of the greatest Rathnam film of all, “Iruvar”, in its anthologizing of almost an entire film music tradition. But whereas Rehman’s mode in “Iruvar” was history, with each song representing a different Tamil film era (Rehman’s genius ensuring that none of the songs seemed derivative or stale, as merely nostalgic numbers would have), the “Raavan” album cannot imagine such continuity: the Hindi film musical tradition is here, but in shards as it were. Continue reading

Qalandar in the Land of KANTHASAAMY (Tamil; 2009)

Posted in the good with tags , , , , on August 25, 2009 by Qalandar