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We thoroughly study and analyze the latest movie releases. But that’s not all – we have a special treat for true movie lovers. Our ‘Unpopular Movies & Uncut Stories’ page reveals hidden gems of the film industry, along with intriguing behind-the-scenes narratives (not gossip!). These are the stories that often go unnoticed in the mainstream, yet they are certain to ignite your passion for cinema and deepen your understanding of this art form.
Discover the latest movie releases, film reviews, and lesser-known masterpieces on our platform. We cover a wide range of OTT releases from popular platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, Jio Cinema, and more. Get ready to make informed decisions about what to watch and enhance your cinematic experience. Start exploring our reviews today!
Are you waiting for the latest OTT releases this week? From Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ka Jaan(Zee5) to Skull Island (Netflix). Thrillers, Documentary, Animes, Action…the list is long and diverse.
Kondraal Paavam – Suspense Thriller with Compelling Performances
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Directed by: Dayal Padmanabhan Cast: Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Santhosh Pratap, Eswari Rao, Charle
Set against the backdrop of the 1980s, Kondraal Paavam is a gripping Tamil remake of the Kannada film ‘Aa Karaala Ratri’. The narrative revolves around a poverty-stricken family of three — Mallika (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) and her parents (Eswari Rao and Charle). Their mundane lives take a turn when a mysterious visitor, Arjun (Santhosh Prathap), seeks shelter at their home for the night. A series of tense events unravel, as the movie brilliantly showcases the fallout of misdirected desires and its implications.
Why You Should Try
Director Dayal Padmanabhan establishes each character’s motives and backstory proficiently, leading to a better understanding of their actions and decisions in the latter part of the film.
A standout performance by Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as Mallika, a character with a moral grey area willing to do whatever it takes to escape the shackles of poverty.
Intriguing subplots, like the enigma around the character of Arjun, keep the audience hooked.
Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan – A Mix of Salman Khan’s Trademark Action and Comedy
Remake of Tamil movie Veeram starring Ajith Kumar. Salman Khan, as Bhaijaan, is a single man who lives with his three adoptive brothers. Bhagyalaxmi’s entry complicates matters, and Bhaijaan’s potential in-laws are threatened. Bhaijaan takes matters into his own hands, and viewers are treated to traditional Salman Khan action with a comedic twist.
Why You Should Try:
Full of references to Salman Khan’s past movies, a treat for his fans.
Pooja Hegde’s charming and humorous portrayal of Bhagyalaxmi may entertain her fans.
Why You Should Skip:
Heavy reliance on Salman Khan’s star power with less emphasis on plot.
Missed opportunities to explore cultural differences and some humor may fall flat.
Action scenes might appear less impressive compared to recent action films.
Take Care of Maya – An Emotional Tangle of a Family’s Struggle
OTT Platform: Netflix Directed by: Henry Roosevelt Documentary Genre: Health, Family, Legal
“Take Care of Maya” is a harrowing Netflix documentary following the case of Maya Kowalski, a young girl admitted to a pediatric hospital in 2016 for extreme pain. She was kept in the hospital for three months under a state-issued shelter order, separated from her parents who were suspected of medical child abuse. This documentary explores the events and their aftermath, unfolding from the perspective of the Kowalskis, through court testimony, father’s recollections, and various records from Maya’s mother.
It sheds light on a critical issue involving medical child abuse suspicion and its effect on a family.
Provides a deep dive into a rare pain syndrome case and its related controversies.
The real-life story behind the documentary is engaging and heartbreaking.
Agent – A Predictable Spy Thriller without any Thrill
Agent is a spy thriller about an unlikely protagonist, Ramakrishna aka Rikki, who dreams of becoming a RAW agent. Despite his quirks and wild behavior, Rikki catches the attention of the RAW chief, Mahadev, who sends him on a mission to thwart the evil plans of a rogue ex-RAW agent. The film follows Rikki’s misadventures as he tries to save the day, with his love interest and unpredictable actions adding to the chaos.
Interesting plot with juxtaposed roles between ‘The Devil’ and ‘The God’.
Why You Should Skip
The love track is forced and seems out of place, and the musical score fails to add value.
The narrative is inconsistent with jarring tonal shifts and misplaced ‘mass moments’.
Major character reveals are handled with nonchalance, reducing their impact.
The film fails to build emotional depth, making significant scenes feel unimpressive.
John Wick: Chapter 4 – A Riveting Action-Packed Finale
OTT Platform: Lionsgate Play Directed by: Chad Stahelski Cast: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick
OTT Platform: Amazon prime Directed by: Sai Kabir Cast: Avneet Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui
The film was initially titled as “Divine Lovers”, with Irrfan Khan and Kangana Ranaut as main leads in 2016. Tiku, who looks at marriage as her escape to Mumbai from a local town to become an actress and Sheru, who has been working as a junior artist in the city for years. They get married and the comedy of errors for this couple starts.
Kerala Crime Files
OTT Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar Directed by: Ahammed Khabeer Cast: Aju Varghese, Lal, Navas Vallikkunnu, Sanju Sanichen
This is the first true thriller webseries from malayalam film industry & as per reports, it is based on true events.
A team of six policemen led by Sub-Inspector Manoj is on a chase to solve a murder in a suburban lodge room, with just one clue – a fake address, Shiju, Parayil Veedu, Neendakara, from a lodge register. As per the updates, ‘Kerala Crime Files’ consists of six episodes, 30 minutes each.
A middle-class family sees a brighter tomorrow when their son meets with a life-changing career opportunity. But this transition only unravels a web of trauma, raising poignant questions about wealth, power, and morality.
OTT Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar Directed by: Ali Selim Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Emilia Clarke, Martin Freeman, Cobie Smulders
Nick Fury learns of a secret invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls; Fury joins his allies, and together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity.
I’m a Virgo
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Directed by: Boots Riley Cast: Jharrel Jerome, Mike Epps & Walton Goggins
It’s a coming-of-age absurdist comedy tale about Cootie, a 13-foot-tall 19-year-old black man raised by his aunt Lafrancine and uncle Martisse in Oakland, California. He is shielded from the outside world until he is accidentally discovered by a group of teenage political activists.
Skull Island (Anime)
OTT Platform: Netflix Directed by: Brian Duffield Genre: Action, Adventure & Science fiction
A group of well-meaning explorers venture out to sea to rescue Annie from the ocean. In doing so, they find themselves shipwrecked on the perilous Skull Island. Together, they fight to survive the dangers of the mysterious isle, which is home to large creatures and terrifying monsters; including Kong. This is the fifth installment overall in the franchise.
“I Love You,” directed by Nikhil Mahajan, known for his successful Marathi film “Godavari,” is an unconventional romantic thriller that promises to defy expectations. The plot revolves around Satya Prabhakar (Rakul Preet Singh), an independent working woman in Mumbai, whose life takes a drastic turn just when she decides to advance her relationship with her love interest. As the story unfolds, it takes the audience on a thrilling journey of revenge and justice that Satya seeks.
The trailer, already captivating the viewers, introduces a complex love triangle involving Satya, Pavail Gulati, and Akshay Oberoi’s characters. As the tale progresses, it uncovers a web of betrayal and murder that hints at an exciting and suspense-filled narrative that challenges conventional notions of love stories.
2. Tamilarasan – ‘Paasam’ filled with Courage and Justice
OTT Platform: Zee5 (Tamil) Directed by: Babu Yogeswaran Cast: Vijay Antony, Suresh Gopi, Sonu Sood, Remya Nambeesan
Tamilarasan (Vijay Antony), a dedicated cop, and his wife Leena (Remya Nambeesan) are hit with a heavy blow when they learn that their son Prabhakar (Pranav Mohan) has a weak heart that requires an immediate transplant. However, the hospital where they admit him prioritizes profits over patients, making Prabhakar’s life a low concern. This infuriates Tamilarasan, who takes heart specialist Dr. Muruganantham (Suresh Gopi) hostage to ensure his son’s treatment. All the while, his corrupt superior Rana Pratap Singh (Sonu Sood) is eager to bring him down. The film follows Tamilarasan’s desperate struggle to save his son, battling a system steeped in greed and corruption.
Why You Should Try
The performances by Vijay Antony and Suresh Gopi, along with the supporting cast, add to the intense and dramatic narrative. The movie’s attempt to address issues like medical corruption and the importance of organ transplantation, although not without flaws, offers food for thought.
Why You Should Skip
The movie is stuffed with melo-drama. Some of the serious scenes might seem funny by accident, and the movie doesn’t do enough research on organ transplantation, which makes the story less believable.The movie also suffers from an underdeveloped script and a lack of character depth.
3. Kandahar – An Underwhelming Journey Through Hostile Territory
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime (English) Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh Cast: Gerard Butler, Ali Fazal, Navid Negahban, Bahador Foladi
The plot follows the adrenaline-fueled journey of undercover CIA operative, Tom Harris (Gerard Butler), whose mission in the hostile territory of Afghanistan takes a dangerous turn when an intelligence leak exposes his identity. He must navigate through perilous obstacles to an extraction point in Kandahar, avoiding an elite special forces unit out to get him. Ali Fazal plays the role of Kahil, involved in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Butler’s character.
Why You Should Try
It is based on the true events from the life of a former military intelligence officer. If you are a fan of Gerard Butler or Ali Fazal, their performances might be a reason to give this film a try. The film’s brilliant cinematography and the gripping narrative, drawing inspiration from real-life events, could provide an exciting cinematic journey.
Why You Should Skip
Despite its promising premise, Kandahar seems to have fallen short of delivering a thrilling action film. The film also brings up social issues, such as the oppression of women, but fails to address them meaningfully, which may frustrate viewers seeking a deeper narrative. Kandahar’s Western saviour narrative may seem uninspired and xenophobic. This film might not be for those seeking fresh, compelling narratives or exciting action sequences in the genre.
4. Extraction 2 – The Return of the Rake: No Boundaries, No Mercy
Platform: Netflix (English) Director: Sam Hargrave Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa
Extraction 2, the much-anticipated sequel to Netflix’s 2020 hit, brings back the formidable mercenary Tyler Rake, played by Chris Hemsworth. This time, Rake must rescue a Georgian gangster’s family from a foreign prison.
Aiming to deepen Rake’s backstory, the sequel introduces new characters and offers more insight into Rake’s motivations. The film promises high-octane action, including a stunning 21-minute escape scene featuring Hemsworth himself. Director Sam Hargrave raves about Hemsworth’s commitment to his role, commending his physical and emotional performances.
5. Shaitan – A Bold Take on Survival and Crime
OTT Platform: Disney+ Hotstar (Telugu) Directed by: Mahi V Raghav Cast: Rishi, Shelly, Deviyani, Jaffer Sadiq, Ravi Kale, Lenaa
Shaitan focuses on a family of four struggling to survive in the toughest conditions. Each family member resorts to a life of crime, which they see as a means of survival. The series paints an unfiltered picture of the socio-political circumstances that trigger Bali, the head of the family, into a world of crime. The rise and fall of this criminal family form the crux of this gripping Telugu crime drama.
Why You Should Try
Shaitan may appeal to those who appreciate intense crime dramas that shed light on the darker aspects of society.
Why You Should Skip
Shaitan is filled with explicit content, strong language, and graphic violence, making it unsuitable for sensitive viewers. It pushes boundaries with its bold scenes and disturbing elements, which might not appeal to everyone.
6. Farhana – A Tale of Empowerment Amidst Struggles
OTT Platform: SonyLiv (Multi-Audio) Directed by: Nelson Venkatesan Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Selvaraghavan, Jithan Ramesh, Anumol, Aishwarya Dutta
Farhana (Aishwarya Rajesh), a Muslim woman from a conservative family, starts working due to financial difficulties. She ends up in a job that involves talking to desperate men seeking female companionship. Over time, she grows comfortable with the work, as it improves her family’s living conditions. Things spiral out of control when she breaks company rules and tries to meet a frequent caller.
Why You Should Try
Farhana is an intriguing drama that highlights empowerment and the freedom of choice. Aishwarya Rajesh delivers a standout performance, bolstered by a nuanced script and strong supporting cast. The film creatively employs symbolism and parallels, making it a thought-provoking watch. Its suspenseful narrative and the impactful portrayal of a woman’s fight against societal norms could be engaging for many viewers.
Why You Should Skip
Farhana might not suit everyone due to its pacing issues and some plot points that might stir controversy. Some scenes and dialogues may unintentionally evoke laughter, and the hurried climax might not satisfy everyone. If you are uncomfortable with the depiction of certain regressive societal viewpoints or prefer a lighter narrative, Farhana may not be your cup of tea.
7. Bichagadu 2 (Pichaikkaran 2)
OTT Platform: Disney + Hotstar (Telugu) Director, Music Director, Editor: Vijay Antony Cast: Vijay Antony, John Vijay & Kavya Thapar
In Bichagadu 2, Vijay Antony takes on the roles of a billionaire named Vijay Gurumoorthy and a beggar named Sathya. The story twists when Sathya, with a hard past, is a victim of an illegal brain transplant that forces him into the life of a billionaire.
Why You Should Try
The film tries to build a new narrative using the original movie’s framework, which might appeal to fans of the first instalment.
Why You Should Skip
The movie falls short due to its lackluster storyline and simplistic treatment of a classic double-action trope. The supporting characters, action scenes, and songs are forgettable, diminishing the overall impact.
8. Raavana Kottam – Clash of Castes, Clash of Ideals
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime (Tamil) Directed by: Vikram Sugumaran Cast: Shanthnu Bhagyaraj, Prabhu, Anandhi, Sanjay Saravanan
Raavana Kottam is set in Ramnad district where the village is divided into Meltheru and Keezhtheru, both living peacefully due to the influence of respected villager Chandrabose (Prabhu) and his son Sengu (Shanthnu). Sengu’s love for Indhira (Anandhi) creates tension between Meltheru and Keezhtheru, leading to the destruction of their harmony. This clash is further exploited by politicians for their gain. The film ends on an emotional note, highlighting the exploitation of innocent villagers by power-hungry politicians.
Why You Should Try
The film stands out for its socio-political narrative that deals with caste politics, water scarcity, and corporate mafia. Shanthnu’s performance is commendable, and he tries to hold the film singlehandedly. The landscape of the Ramnad district is beautifully captured.
Why You Should Skip
Raavana Kottam has its flaws, with a lack of depth and impact being major ones. The humour falls flat, and the film suffers from one-dimensional characters. The narrative is not powerful enough to hold your attention throughout. If you prefer movies with well-rounded characters and a strong, focused storyline, Raavana Kottam might disappoint you.
9. Jee Karda – A Tale of Love, Friendship, and Understanding
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime (Hindi) Directed by: Arunima Sharma Cast: Tamannaah Bhatia, Suhail Nayyar, Aashim Gulati
Set amidst a group of seven childhood friends, Jee Karda is a tale of love, friendship, and unexpected realisations. At present, two of the friends decide to get married, but they start to realise that they might not be in love after all. The movie follows them as they deal with the challenges of their relationship and try to figure out what they really want.
Why You Should Try
Last week, Tamannaah was trending on Twitter.I believe Tamannaah Bhatia and Suhail Nayyar are the biggest reasons to watch this movie. The movie is trying to explore the complicated love-friendship spectrum of urban couples.
Why You Should Skip
If you are looking for an intense drama or a great romantic movie, Jee Karda might not cater to your taste. The movie’s deep focus on the celebration of friendships and romantic relationships, and the lack of depth in characters or plot elements might not be okay with all viewers. If you love dramas like Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar Go for it, or else skip it.
10. Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King
OTT Platform: Netflix Directed by: Ayataka Tanemura
Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King is a highly anticipated film in the Black Clover franchise, following the hit anime series. Set to unravel an all-new story, the film brings viewers back to the Clover Kingdom after a hiatus since the season four finale.
The protagonist, Asta, will encounter the former Wizard King and a host of new and familiar characters. Although the storyline details are currently under wraps, fans can anticipate thrilling battles and stunning animation.
The original manga creator Yūki Tabata is serving as the movie’s chief supervisor and original character designer. Key members of the television anime staff will be returning for the film, under the direction of Ayataka Tanemura. The film will boast of character designs by Itsuko Takeda and music composition by Minako Seki.
Have you ever witnessed a crime that changed your life forever? Imagine finding yourself trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, pursued by ruthless criminals. What would you do to survive? The South African action thriller Hunting Emma directed by Byron Davis is about such an incident.
A Teacher, A Drug Lord , A Crime & A Past
Emma le Roux, a pacifist kindergarten teacher, starts a trip to visit her father in the Karoo region. However, her journey takes a dark turn when she becomes an inadvertent witness to a horrifying crime. Suddenly, Emma finds herself in grave danger, caught between the criminals and her own will to survive.
A drug syndicate, led by the menacing Bosman (Neels van Jaarsveld), is attempting to transport a cache of drugs along the road. The group, consisting of his henchmen Baz and Jay, as well as AJ and Boela, two rich boys seeking notoriety, and Bosman’s nervous cousin Piet, crosses paths with Emma.
As the criminals close in on her, Emma’s peaceful nature gives way to a fierce determination. She taps into the skills her ex-Special Forces Commando father instilled in her during years of training. Emma transforms from a pacifist into a force to be reckoned with, willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
Get ready for a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Leandie du Randt: Woman On Fire
Despite a small budget and lesser-known actors, Hunting Emma strikes gold with its performances. Leandie du Randt, in the lead role of Emma, delivers an intensely believable performance.
There is nothing new about the plot: A History of Violence, No Country for Old Men, Nobody, Man on Fire, Taken, Equaliser, Maria (2019), and Man from Nowhere—all these films use the same template. Even the recent Indian films Vikram and Kaithi follow the same structure.
They feature a compelling character with a unique set of skills who is often brought out of retirement or their peaceful existence to confront some form of injustice.
They follow a familiar formula: a protagonist with a past, a catalyst for action (often an injustice suffered by the protagonist or their loved ones), and a subsequent series of escalating confrontations culminating in a cathartic resolution.
The repetitive use of this formula doesn’t lessen its appeal. That’s the beauty of this template. Why?
Psychology Behind This Template
Here, the heroes are not one-dimensional; they carry emotional baggage, past regrets, and personal demons, just like real people do. Watching them confront and overcome their past as they struggle against the external threat can be very satisfying for audiences.
Catharsis: In modern psychology, this has been associated with the idea of emotional release and the benefit of expressing emotions. The intense situations and violent encounters in these films can provide a form of vicarious catharsis for audiences, offering a sense of relief or even exhilaration.
From the perspective of a scriptwriter, these patterns serve both practical and artistic purposes. On the practical side, they provide a structure that guides the progression of the narrative, helps maintain tension and pace, and keeps audiences engaged.
On the artistic side, these patterns allow writers to explore different facets of a character’s personality, their moral and ethical boundaries, and how they evolve over the course of the narrative.
Script writer Deon Meyer did an excellent job considering this aspect.
Why Hunting Emma is a Must Watch!
So, Hunting Emma got a tick for all the above reasons, and I highly recommend it for you.
Hunting Emma is a unique blend of intense action, suspense, and character development.
The film takes us on a thrilling ride through the South African wilderness, showcasing both the beauty of the landscape and the depths of human determination. Great work from cinematographer William Collinson.
If you’re tired of the same old Hollywood blockbusters and you’re open to trying something new, then this South African Thriller might be the breath of fresh air you need.
So, are you ready to try a thriller from the other side of the world? Are you going to give Hunting Emma a watch? Let me know in the comments!
I have two ways to deal with it. One is to travel! Just pack your bag and go! Travel alone, experience a different culture or meet new people, and listen to some Rahat Fateh Ali Khan songs while sitting beside the window seat of a train or bus. This way, I keep my brain busy and replace the pain with new memories. It helps me relax.
The second option is to watch a movie like “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal” and cry out loud in the washroom. When I cry, I shed tears and pain, which makes me relax.
Don’t think it’s a tragedy movie—it’s not. I rarely watch tragic movies.
Yeah, I know it’s weird because it’s a thriller, right?
But Bud White (Russel Crowe) & Lynn (Kim Basinger) 🙁
Lynn Bracken: Where did this come from?
Bud White: When I was twelve, my old man went after my mother with a bottle. I got in the way.
Lynn Bracken: So you saved her.
Bud White: Not for long.
Lynn Bracken: Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.
Why All This Non-Sense?
I’m saying all this because I don’t want to dissect the movie and write a report. I just want to share the feelings I experienced after watching the movie.
I found “Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum” clichéd script, fitting into an overused template frame (or some characters picked from different movies and filled the screen).
“Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal” follows the same template: a few people whose lives become interconnected at a certain point. All of their character arcs reach a low point and then start moving upward, and in the end, everyone is happy. I’m tired of this template, but “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal” directed by Vishal Venkat made me cry and made a difference.
The story template may be clichéd, but the brilliant casting and heartfelt narration set it apart. Ashok Selvan, Manikandan K, Nassar, K S Ravikumar, Anupama Kumar, Bhanupriya, Rishikanth, Reyya, Riythvika Panneerselvam, Praveen Raja… the list is long. I don’t know the names of the other artists, except for one or two lead characters (I know their names, but I don’t want to mention them).Everyone performed brilliantly, and it felt like I was watching real life unfold.
Why Not Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum but Why “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal”
In “Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum,” except for Anjana Jayaprakash and Vineeth, I felt like all the other characters were picked from some other films. Whether it was Mukesh, Shanthi Krishna, or the unknown artists, Fahad Fazil tried the same character aura in “Njan Prakashan” and “Oru Indian Pranayakatha” with similar reactions and body language. That’s where I felt a freshness in “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal.”
Secondly, the narration in “Pachuvum Athbutha Vilakkum” felt like the director filled the script with aesthetics and overused events: Ahaana, Shruthi, locations, a few dialogues, an obsessed boyfriend, Goan events around villains. Everything felt like sudden pop-ups on the screen that came and went. Some may click, while others may find it annoying. I belong to the latter group.
In “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal,” don’t expect such pop-up melodrama events (except one around Abi Hassan). It’s a simple story, a simple event that starts in the morning and ends the next day. The brilliant performances from each and everyone I mentioned before are what make it engaging and touching.
Am I saying Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal a Must Watch? No!
Is it predictable? Yes. Is it clichéd? Yes. So why should I watch it? You will witness some brilliant performances that might surprise you. The story is predictable, but the narration will engage you and help you reflect on yourself.
Haven’t you ever had that hard-working colleague who complains about “Promotion” or “Increment”?
Haven’t you ever had that friend who shouts at their parents or doesn’t know how to express love? Or someone who thinks their parents spoiled their life or doesn’t feel proud of them?
Haven’t you ever had that one friend who is so innocent and believes the world is straightforward, everything is black and white?
Haven’t you ever had that annoying uncle who always troubles you with family problems or unwanted tasks?
Have you ever felt the pain of a situation where you are not guilty of a crime, but no one believes you?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these, this movie will help you introspect.
One last line: Manikandan is the most underrated actor in Kollywood right now.
This is not a review; it’s my personal feeling.
Now, you may not like “Sila Nerangalil Sila Manidhargal” because I’ve set high expectations already. Trust me, it’s an ordinary movie with extraordinary performances, nothing more, nothing less.
Asur season 1 presents a fascinating blend of mythological lore and modern-day crime. In this blog post, I will explain the reasons why Asur season 1 stands out, highlight the cast and performances, and provide a recap of the episode-wise plot points.This will serve as a refresher for those who are eagerly anticipating the release of Asur season 2.
The series has made a significant impact on the Indian web series scenario due to its unique concept and storytelling, which blends two very contrasting themes – ancient Indian mythology and modern forensic science – into a compelling narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What sets Asur apart is its innovative use of mythology in a crime thriller. The show introduces us to a serial killer who commits horrifying murders while drawing inspiration from ancient Hindu mythological texts.
The philosophical underpinnings in each episode, particularly the dichotomy of good and evil, add a deeper layer to the narrative. It’s not just about catching a criminal; it’s about understanding human nature and the inherent capacity for both good and evil within us all.
Asur season 1 Cast: Worth Applauding
The performances in Asur are top-notch. A notable digital debut is made by Arshad Warsi, known for his comedic roles, as a no-nonsense forensic expert. His portrayal of Dhananjay Rajpoot (DJ), an intense and egoistic senior forensic expert, is refreshing and showcases the versatility of the actor.
Barun Sobti impresses as Nikhil Nair, a forensic expert-turned-teacher, grappling with personal and professional conflicts. His performance successfully conveys the internal struggle and dedication of the character to his craft. The engaging narrative of the series is further elevated by the commendable performances of the ensemble cast, including Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, Amey Wagh, and Sharib Hashmi.
Story of Asur Season 1
Asur Episode 1 – The Dead Can Talk
It’s 11 years ago in the holy city of Varanasi. A young boy, son of a priest, is being readied to take on his father’s role. But things take a strange turn. After a ritual by the river, the father asks his son for water. The next thing you know, the father’s lifeless body is sinking into the river. We see the son again, his face smeared with ashes by a group of Aghori saints, and in his hand, he holds a cut finger. Could this be his father’s finger? Did he…kill his father?
Now, let’s zoom out of this mystery and travel across continents to the present-day FBI Training Centre in the USA. Here, we meet Nikhil Nair, who left his CBI job to teach forensic science. “The dead can talk,” he tells his students, alluding to how the deceased provide enough evidence to catch their killer. He’s good at his job, his knack for deductions proved when his friend asks his opinion on a murder case. But his past still calls him back to the CBI, particularly through an incessant Shashank Awasthi.
The Horror begins
Meanwhile, a gruesome scene unfolds in Delhi. A woman’s body, assaulted and burnt, is discarded in a jungle, reduced to a gruesome spectacle. This news reaches Nikhil, causing distress at home. His wife, Naina, isn’t happy about him considering going back to CBI, a place he left for their family. This disagreement spirals into a full-blown argument, revealing the cracks in their relationship.
The next morning, a new crime scene is discovered in Delhi, a body left in a terrifying state. Dr. Dhananjay Rajpoot, also known as DJ, arrives at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. An old photo of him and his wife, Sandhya, hints at some history. A surprising twist comes in the form of a mysterious audio file from the killer, taunting DJ.
As the episode concludes, we see Nikhil taking a painful decision, leaving his family in the USA to return to Delhi. At the same time, a terrifying discovery is made – the woman who was brutally killed was none other than DJ’s wife, Sandhya, a devastating revelation that leaves us gasping for more.
Asur Episode 2 – Rabbit Hole
In the second episode of Asur, we go back 18 years, to the ancient city of Varanasi. We meet Shubh, a curious child who has a unique approach to studying the Gita, leading his stern father to label him as ‘Asur ka avatar’. Shubh’s peculiarity is on full display, especially after a disturbing incident with a puppy.
In today’s time, the CBI team, still reeling from the gruesome murder of Sandhya, who was a renowned painter and DJ’s spouse, takes on the challenging task of uncovering the mystery.
This mystery leads them far away to Nagaland, where another person is found dead in the same creepy way. This is where Nikhil enter the scene.
Enter Nikhil, a seasoned investigator brought in to replace DJ in this complex case. Past friction between Nikhil and DJ add an undercurrent of tension to the proceedings. Nikhil, in collaboration with Nusrat, a forensic expert, starts to put together the chilling puzzle pieces, all seemingly leading back to DJ.
Hidden GPS systems, late-night autopsies, peculiar tattoos, and Sandhya’s secret abortion start to shape a troubling narrative, pointing towards DJ as the orchestrator of the grim deeds. As DJ is led away in cuffs, the audience is left pondering – is he truly guilty, or just a pawn in a more sinister game? The suspense thickens as the real killer watches the spectacle unfold.
Asur Episode 3 – Peek – a – boo
In the third episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s childhood intelligence and anger issues.
In the present day, Nikhil receives coordinates and assembles his team to investigate. DJ is imprisoned while the killer strikes in Kolkata, causing a death by poisoning.
The Delhi coordinates lead to a coffin factory, but no suspicious activity is found. Nikhil suspects a buried victim and discovers DJ’s fingerprints on the money from a previous case. George, a shop owner, goes missing, and Nikhil finds him unconscious in a car near a graveyard.
DJ warns Nikhil of imminent danger and reveals a personal connection. At the graveyard, the team discovers a coffin rigged with knives and gas, rendering them unconscious. A man in protective gear takes Nikhil to an unknown location, leaving the audience in suspense for the next episode.
Asur Episode 4 – Ashes from the Past
In the fourth episode of Asur, a flashback shows DJ’s presence during a havan(yagnam) ceremony where Shubh’s father is mysteriously poisoned.
In the present day, Nikhil goes missing, and his family arrives in India. Nikhil wakes up in a secluded place and communicates with the kidnapper through a landline phone.
Meanwhile, DJ receives old case files and analyzes them in jail. The kidnapper sends food to Nikhil but demands his cooperation to ensure his family’s safety. Nikhil observes the kidnapper’s characteristics and sees footage of his wife and daughter on television.
The kidnapper assigns Nikhil a task to suggest a method to murder Abhilasha Chandran, a woman involved in brain-mapping experiments. Nikhil proposes a plan involving a dental appointment and an MRI machine.
The kidnapper carries out the murder as instructed. CBI discovers another murder near a lake, prompting DJ to recall the suspicious incident in Varanasi. DJ joins the team at the underwater crime scene and suspects Nikhil’s involvement based on similarities to a past case. The episode leaves viewers questioning how Nikhil will communicate with DJ to escape the kidnapper’s clutches.
Asur Episode 5 – The Devil has a Face
In the sixth episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s arrest for his father’s murder, with DJ working on the case.
In the present day, Naina learns about another victim and refuses to believe the theory that Nikhil might be the killer. Nikhil, disturbed by his actions, demands cigarettes from the kidnapper. Lolark seeks permission for DJ to work on the case from jail but is denied by Shashank Awasthi.
Nikhil watches the news about the neuroscientist’s body being found and becomes overwhelmed with guilt. Lolark visits Varanasi to gather information about Shubh and meets an ex-police officer. DJ attends a counseling session in jail led by Kesar Bhardwaj, where they discuss religion and karma. Awasthi finally permits DJ to work on the case, and a new team member, Samarth, joins. Lolark learns about Shubh’s peculiar behavior in jail before his alleged death in a fire.
The CBI team begins their investigation, and DJ realizes that the killer is using Nikhil’s family as leverage. Nikhil attempts to communicate by manipulating the television’s wiring. Samarth suggests studying the victims’ horoscopes, and Nikhil receives his second target, Aditya Jalan. Naina confronts DJ about the officers outside her home, and Lolark discovers Shubh’s records.
The episode ends with DJ recalling his interaction with Shubh during his arrest, hinting at a possible connection between Shubh and the killer.
Asur Episode 6 – The Firewall
Taking a different turn, the sixth episode of Asur begins with a flashback in Kolhapur, where a renowned painter narrates a story to his grandson about the defeat of the Asur Kali. However, the painter is brutally murdered by a masked man who claims to be sending a message to God.
In the present day, Nikhil plans to murder philanthropist Aditya Jalan, but struggles to breach his tight security. DJ contacts a Balinese mask instructor for information but learns that the instructor is blind. Nikhil battles with his past decisions and has an imaginary conversation with DJ for guidance.
Nusrat creates an age-progression photo of Shubh to see his current appearance. Lolark visits Shubh’s grandfather in Varanasi and discovers Shubh’s sketchbook filled with drawings of demons. DJ and Samarth consult a fake priest for horoscope analysis and later seek Kesar’s help. They learn that all the victims were born in the Delphinus constellation.
Another Hint & Hope
DJ realizes that the SIC database holds the required information and asks Rasul to breach its security. In a vision, Nikhil sees a way to murder Aditya using medicine. Rasul eventually hacks the SIC database with Naina’s assistance. Nikhil connects the television to a police walkie-talkie signal and continues studying forensic science books. DJ discusses Shubh’s story and sketchbook with Lolark.
The team suspects Aditya Jalan as the killer’s next target due to his charitable nature. The kidnapper calls DJ, confirming their suspicion and revealing the date of the planned murder. DJ wonders how the kidnapper obtained internal information. DJ and the team prepare for Aditya’s engagement with heightened security, but Aditya dismisses the threat. Rasul and Sajid attend the engagement, and DJ identifies a toy truck as a potential bomb.
The bomb detonates harmlessly in a freezer. However, the lights go out momentarily, and when they come back, Aditya is found dead, poisoned, with the killer’s Balinese mask nearby.
The episode leaves viewers intrigued about the aftermath of this incident.
Asur Episode 7 – Let There be Darkness
Straying from its usual path, the seventh episode of Asur, takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where Nikhil visits Shubh in jail. Shubh refuses to admit his crime and blames DJ, leaving a cryptic message that they will meet soon.
The CBI struggles to recover from the failure to save Aditya Jalan. During Aditya’s autopsy, DJ and Nusrat discover that Nikhil used Aditya’s ulcer problem to poison him. Two additional non-toxic elements in Aditya’s bloodstream puzzle DJ, as they appear to be a message from Nikhil.
The kidnapper rewards Nikhil with cigarettes and hints at his omnipresence. DJ delves into Hindu mythology and consults Kesar for assistance. The team realizes that the killer targets achievers and believes himself to be the mythological devil Kali.
Nikhil has an imaginary conversation with Nusrat and recalls his past with Naina. DJ faces obstacles in the investigation, including a slow SIC server and the revelation that the podcast voice is not Kesar’s. Dhananjay(DJ) and Naina decipher Nikhil’s message, leading them to suspect Shubh’s involvement and an accomplice.
DJ decodes the meaning of two elements and sends teams to search corresponding coordinates in Delhi. Lolark suspects Kesar and provides DJ with a linguistic report. Naina tracks the killer’s search activity, and DJ requests Naina to add his name to the SIC database as bait.
The episode ends as the killer discovers DJ’s name in the database. The penultimate episode leaves viewers on the edge, anticipating the answers in the final installment.
Asur Episode 8 – End is The Beginning
The final episode of Asur takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where DJ and Nikhil discuss Shubh’s case. DJ fabricates evidence against Shubh, leading to Nikhil’s resignation from the CBI.
In the present day, the search for Nikhil continues, and DJ anticipates the killer’s arrival at Central Jail to target him. The CBI discovers that Neeraj Jadhav, Radhika Venkatesh, and Umar Sayyed are missing, potentially the next targets. The kidnapper grows impatient, suspecting a trap set by DJ.
DJ becomes suspicious of Kesar and sends a team to his home. The three hostages are trapped in a chamber with limited oxygen, forced to fight for survival. DJ uncovers Kesar’s fake identity and his potential connection to Shubh. Rasul’s behavior raises doubt, especially when he attacks Lolark.
Nikhil escapes his confinement and collects crucial evidence from the kidnapper’s location.
A Big Revelation & A Twist
DJ manages to overpower the kidnapper in his room. However, during Shashank’s interrogation of Kesar, it is revealed that the kidnapper is part of Shubh’s cult.
The live broadcast shows the hostages’ desperate struggle for oxygen. DJ confesses his past fabrication to Shubh and takes pills in exchange for information.
Nikhil, Naina, and the backup team arrive at the chemical factory. Rasul challenges Nikhil to choose between his daughter and the hostages, resulting in a devastating choice. DJ’s condition worsens, and he is rushed to the hospital. Riya, Nikhil’s daughter, is poisoned by a member of the cult.
Lolark is killed by Rasul, and Radhika shoots Umar in a shocking turn of events. Naina and Nikhil find Riya dead, leading to an emotional outburst directed at DJ. Rasul, still hiding his true identity, takes Nikhil away.
The episode concludes with DJ’s suspension and the revelation that Rasul is the real Shubh.
Finally, the camera pans out as Shubh shares a chilling final gaze with DJ, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats and eagerly anticipating the next season.
Asur’s final episode delivers thrilling revelations and sets the stage for a potential second season, leaving viewers eagerly awaiting the future of the Shubh vs DJ and Nikhil conflict.
“Asur 2” is the much-awaited sequel of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series, “Asur.” Back for another intense ride into the murky realms of mythology and murder, the series takes us deeper into the chaotic life of forensic expert-turned-teacher, Nikhil Nair, played by Barun Sobti, and his former mentor Dhananjay Rajpoot, played by Arshad Warsi.
Why Should You Watch “Asur 2”?
If you enjoyed the gripping narrative of the first season of “Asur,” there’s every reason to look forward to its sequel. “Asur 2” promises a similar blend of crime, mythology, and thriller elements that made the first season a hit.
The sequel offers a chance to delve deeper into the complexities of the main characters, particularly Nikhil Nair and Dhananjay Rajpoot. Their quest to apprehend the devious ‘Asur’ promises to keep audiences glued to their screens. (Considering the first 2 episodes.)
OTT Platform: Netflix Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Hansal Mehta Language: Hindi Cast: Deven Bhojani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Tejasvini Kolhapure, Shikha Talsania, Tanmay Dhanania.
Among the riveting OTT releases this week, ‘Scoop’ stands out as an intense thriller drama series. The series, based on Jigna Vora’s memoir “Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison,” is set against the backdrop of a media hub and revolves around a crime reporter, Jagruti Pathak. Karishma Tanna plays Jagruti, a journalist whose life spirals out of control when she finds herself accused of the murder of a fellow journalist.
The plot weaves a tale of ambition, power dynamics, and a fight for innocence, portraying the dark nexus between the police, underworld, and media.
Why Should You Watch “Scoop”?
“Scoop” is bound to intrigue you if you have a penchant for thrillers infused with real-world undercurrents. The series draws its premise from real-life events and presents a gripping narrative around the tough life of a journalist, her ambitious pursuits, and the dire consequences she faces.
Karishma Tanna brings the intricate character of Jagruti Pathak, a crime journalist, to life. She finds herself ensnared in a dangerous web of deceit and crime. The compelling trailer assures viewers of a series that delves deep into her struggle to clear her name, offering suspense, drama, and a strong dose of reality.
A Beautiful Life (Netflix)
OTT Platform: Netflix Release Date: June 1, 2023 Directed by: Mehdi Avaz Language: English Cast: Christopher, Inga Ibsdotter Lilleaas, Christine Albeck Borge
Adding to the variety of OTT releases this week, “A Beautiful Life” is an inspiring Danish musical drama movie from Netflix that follows the tale of a talented fisherman-turned-singer, played by singer Christopher.
The movie takes us through his journeyfrom an everyday fisherman to a singing sensation, after being discovered by a renowned music manager. As his life changes dramatically, the movie explores themes like love, passion, struggle, and the courage to chase dreams.
Why should you watch “A Beautiful Life”?
“A Beautiful Life” should be on your watchlist if you appreciate musical dramas that blend love, romance, and the inspiring journey of a character. It tells the story of a humble fisherman with an extraordinary voice, taking you on a captivating journey of transformation.
Additionally, the series skillfully portrays the challenges and obstacles that accompany newfound fame and personal exploration.
School Of Lies (Hotstar)
OTT Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Avinash Arun Language: Hindi Cast: Nimrat Kaur, Varin Roopani, Divyansh Dwivedi, Aryan Singh Ahlawat, Hemant Kher, Parthiv Shetty, Adrija Sinha, and Aalekh Kapoor.
As you explore the OTT releases this week, don’t miss ‘School of Lies’, this is the one I was waiting for.
Why should you watch “School of Lies”?
From the plot, I believe,”School of Lies” is a captivating suspense-drama series that deserves a spot on your watchlist. The series revolves around the mysterious disappearance of a 12-year-old boy named Shakti from his boarding school, uncovering dark secrets about the institution along the way.
What’s the plot of “School of Lies”?
The story is set in the fictional town of Dalton and primarily focuses on RISE, a private boarding school. When Shakti goes missing, Nandita Mehra, the school counselor played by Nimrat Kaur, takes it upon herself to investigate the case. As she digs deeper, she unravels unsettling truths about the school that were previously unknown. If you enjoy mysteries with gradual revelations, this series will undoubtedly captivate your interest.
Is “School of Lies” based on real events?
Yes, the creators of “School of Lies” have drawn inspiration from true events to craft their story. While they haven’t specifically referenced any real-life incidents, they assure viewers that the narrative reflects actual occurrences, adding an extra layer of realism to the suspenseful storyline. If you’re seeking a thrilling drama that draws from real-world events, this series is certainly worth exploring.
OTT Platform: Zee5 Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Sandip Ray Language: Hindi, Bengali Cast: Indraneil Sengupta, Abhijit Guha, Paran Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo Dutta
“Hatyapuri” revives the beloved detective character Feluda from the stories by the legendary Satyajit Ray. Directed by Sandip Ray, the son of Satyajit Ray, this film offers a modern interpretation of the classic detective story, set in contemporary times. The storyline revolves around a stolen ancient manuscript and a mysterious death, essentially presenting a thrilling whodunit narrative.
Why you should watch Hatyapuri
Classic Whodunit: If you enjoy engaging mysteries that keep you guessing until the end, “Hatyapuri” is a must-watch. Unlike some previous Feluda films that leaned more towards thrillers, this film stays true to the essence of a traditional whodunit, keeping the audience in suspense regarding the identity of the villain.
Nostalgia: For fans of Feluda, this film will evoke a sense of nostalgia. It successfully captures the essence of the original series while bringing it into a modern setting.
Strong Cast: Indraneil Sengupta’s portrayal of Feluda has received widespread acclaim. His fluency in Bangla and nuanced performance establish him as a worthy successor to the iconic role. Additionally, supporting performances, particularly from Paran Banerjee and Subhashish Bhattacharya, shine in the film. The impactful soundtrack, composed by Sandip Ray, enhances the emotional resonance of each scene.
Why you might want to skip Hatyapuri
Lack of Modernity: Despite its contemporary backdrop, some viewers may feel that the film’s script doesn’t fully reflect the modern times. While it maintains a period piece sensibility, it may not resonate with those seeking a truly contemporary story.
Less Thrilling: In contrast to some previous Feluda films that offered high levels of action and thrill, “Hatyapuri” relies more on Feluda’s intellect to solve the case. If you prefer action-packed thrillers, this might not be your cup of tea.
OTT Platform: Amazon Prime Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Vijay Kanakamedala Language: Telugu Cast: Allari Naresh, Mirnaa Menon
In ‘Ugram’, we meet K. Shivakumar (Allari Naresh), a principled yet aggressive police officer known for his strong stance against corruption and his willingness to resort to custodial torture in his pursuit of justice. However, the narrative takes a twist when Shivakumar’s wife and daughter mysteriously vanish.
The film then unfolds in two distinct halves, with the first focusing on the typical cop drama and the second delving into Shivakumar’s desperate search for his missing family.
Why You Should Watch Ugram
Allari Naresh’s Performance: Despite the fragmented narrative, Allari Naresh delivers a dedicated performance as a distressed cop. His physicality and action sequences are impressive, showcasing the passion and intensity of his character.
Action Sequences: Ugram stands out for its well-choreographed and executed action sequences. They are slick, intense, and provide a thrilling visual experience for viewers.
Realistic Cop Drama: If you are a fan of gritty and intense cop dramas with an investigative angle, Ugram offers a familiar yet captivating terrain to explore.
Why You Might Want to Skip Ugram
Ugram might not be a compelling OTT releases this week for you, because of the follwoing reasons.
Disjointed Narrative: The plot tends to lose its way due to the constant shifts between the cop drama and the personal tragedy thriller. This inconsistency makes it challenging to maintain a cohesive narrative flow, thereby diluting the overall intensity of the film.
Stereotypes & Misrepresentation: At times, Ugram resorts to harmful stereotypes, particularly in its portrayal of gender roles and women. These instances may be discouraging for some viewers seeking more progressive storytelling.
Lack of Emotional Depth: While Ugram presents well-executed action sequences, it falls short in terms of emotional depth. The film fails to establish a strong emotional connection with the audience, which could have made the action sequences more resonant and impactful.
Mumbaikar (Jio Cinema)
OTT Platform: Jio Cinema Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Santosh Sivan Language: Hindi, Tamil Dubbed Cast: Vikrant Massey, Vijay Sethupathi, Ranvir Shorey, Sachin Khedekar, Tanya Maniktala, Sanjay Mishra
Mumbaikar, a remake of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s debut film Maanagaram, brings forth an intriguing narrative. The original film, Maanagaram, revolves around Sri, an engineering graduate from a small town, who unwittingly gets entangled in a complex web of criminal activities in Chennai. This includes the kidnapping of a gangster’s son. The original movie takes audiences on a thrilling journey filled with mistakes, mix-ups, and the harsh realities of urban life.
Though it’s remake of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s debut film, ‘Mumbaikar’ adds to this week’s exciting OTT releases beacuse of the star cast.
OTT Platform: Zee5 Release Date: June 2, 2023 Directed by: Venu Mulkala Language: Telugu & Tamil Cast: Ajay Kathurvar, Dimple K
Lastly, among this week’s OTT releases, we have ‘Vishwak’, a tale of a graduate’s struggle.
Vishwak, an innovative graduate, as he grapples with decisions regarding his future. Will he chase his entrepreneurial dreams in his hometown or bow down to societal pressure and move abroad?
Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai Review: This is a powerful courtroom drama that tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary lawyer, P.C. Solanki, played by the talented Manoj Bajpayee.
Plot: Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Ha
The story unfolds in the heart of Delhi, where a brave young girl (Adrija Sinha) steps forward to accuse a highly influential godman, referred to as ‘Baba’, of sexual abuse.
P.C. Solanki, despite being a small-time lawyer, accepts the daunting task of representing the girl in court, fully aware of the serious dangers and challenges he will face. The girl’s parents hire him after their previous lawyer is exposed trying to take a bribe from Baba’s allies. Solanki faces bribery, witness intimidation, and even murder. But he never gives up. He fights for the girl and eventually wins her case.
How he wins the case against the odds, is what makes it interesting.
Outside the courtroom, Solanki, a devout Shiva worshipper, provides emotional and moral support to the victim, reinforcing her faith in justice. His firm belief in righteousness and his dedication to his profession helps him combat the threats that come his way.
P.C Solanki is a well-written character, you will understand that from the beginning itself.
The film “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” showcases the tenacity of the common man and salutes the resilience of survivors of sexual abuse.
“Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” is inspired by the infamous 2013 case involving Asaram Bapu, a self-proclaimed godman in India. Asaram Bapu was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually abusing a minor girl studying in one of his educational institutions. The character P.C. Solanki, played by Manoj Bajpayee in the film, is based on the real-life lawyer who took on the formidable task of legally challenging the influential godman.
Indeed, a significant and tragic element of the real-life case that parallels the movie is the intimidation and violence faced by witnesses, including multiple murder attempts and successful assassinations.
The Asaram Bapu case saw key witnesses facing extreme threats and violence for their willingness to testify against the godman. At least three key witnesses met their untimely death, with others surviving attacks or receiving death threats. These incidents appeared as clear attempts to intimidate other potential witnesses and obstruct the course of justice.
Similarly, in “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai,” there are scenes showing the escalating violence against those associated with the case, including attacks on the lawyer P.C. Solanki, played by Manoj Bajpayee.
While the movie does not explicitly name Asaram, the narrative follows a similar trajectory, building towards a climactic courtroom judgement.
Cast & Performances
“Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” showcases truly extraordinary performances, with standout acts by Manoj Bajpayee and Adrija Sinha significantly enhancing the film’s impact.
Manoj Bajpayee, playing the role of P.C. Solanki, personifies the heart and soul of the film. He is well-known for his intense roles, but in this film, he steps up his performance even more. His depiction of a small-town lawyer who dares to challenge the powerful godman is an eye-pleasing performance.
Manoj Bajpayee infuses authenticity and a quiet dignity into P.C. Solanki’s character, anchoring the film with his nuanced and heartfelt act. His exceptional talent illuminates every scene, further strengthening his status as one of India’s finest actors.
Playing the role of the young victim, Nu, Adrija Sinha delivers a potent performance. Even as a newcomer in the industry, Adrija Sinha’s portrayal of Nu is touching and invites empathy. She convincingly depicts the character’s initial vulnerability and her subsequent evolution as she courageously confronts her trauma. Adrija Sinha’s sensitive performance leaves a deep impression on viewers and earmarks her as a promising talent for the future.
Furthermore, the entire cast of “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” excel in their roles, enriching the film with depth and complexity. Each character comes to life through dedicated portrayal, creating a believable world where the story unravels.
Writer Deepak Kingrani & Director Apoorv Singh Karki
Deepak Kingrani’s writing in “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” combines simplicity with depth and substance. He brilliantly exposes the complexities of a legal battle and the mental fortitude required for a victim to withstand such a dreadful experience.
His characters, from the firm lawyer, P.C. Solanki, to the brave young victim, exhibit a balance between strength and vulnerability.
These characters appear as highly respected legal minds in the film, their expertise and the respect they command depicted with striking authenticity.
Apoorv Singh Karki’s direction matches Kingrani’s writing perfectly. Karki treats the subject with great care, guaranteeing the film’s respectfulness and authenticity.
He doesn’t sensationalize the courtroom scenes; he paints them as crucial and intense, yet avoids excessive drama. Karki subtly enhances the atmosphere of danger and fear surrounding the main character. The scene where two men on a motorcycle follow P.C. Solanki illustrates this – it creates suspense and fear without relying on over-the-top action or dialogue.
Is It Worth Watching?
Powerful Performances from our very own Family Man & Adrija Sinha
Intriguing Storyline: How a common man ace against the odds, How a 16 year old set the mindset for fighting against the evil minds in the society, how a lawyer setting victim’s mindset.
Trust me, it’s worth watching this.
Social Relevance: The film tackles important social issues, focusing on the real struggles faced by victims of sexual assault, their fight for justice, and societal prejudices.
Especially, there is a conversation between Manoj Bajpayee & Victim’s father during their first meeting at his office. It’s an eye-opening narration for every parent.
Some small disappointments are: Though the storytelling is quite compelling, the film could benefit from more dynamic cinematography.
Using more varied camera angles and innovative lighting techniques could add visual layers to the narrative, making certain scenes more impactful.
Similalrly, more investment in the set design and understanding the nuances of court proceedings could have helped build a stronger environment.
The title of the movie Kathal (2023), which translates to ‘Jackfruit’ in English, is a curious choice.
It is this curiosity which makes me give a try for this comedy-thriller from Netflix this week. Maybe, we can consider it as an answer to Amazon Prime’s Dahaad, which released last week, considering the core plot.
Yashowardhan Mishra’s direction takes us through an eventful narrative, highlighting the socio-political dynamics, caste prejudices, and gender biases in an Indian semi-urban setting.
Plot of Kathal (2023)
The plot revolves around a bizarre case of missing jackfruits that propels the story into unexpected territory.
The jackfruits aren’t your regular type; they’re a rare breed from Malaysia, owned by a local MLA (Vijay Raaz) who values them highly, not for their taste, but for their role in his political ambitions.
These jackfruits, when pickled, are his secret recipe to win over political allies. One day, the jackfruits mysteriously vanish from his garden, throwing the town into a frenzy.
Here comes our heroine, Inspector Mahima Basor(Sanya Malhotra). She’s a dedicated and diligent police officer, driven by her commitment to solve crimes and bring justice.
When this peculiar case of the missing jackfruits falls into her lap, she doesn’t shy away. Instead, she dives right into the heart of the mystery, unafraid of the oddities and absurdities it brings.
But just as she begins to unravel the enigma of the missing jackfruits, she stumbles upon an even darker secret lurking beneath the town’s surface.
This unexpected twist takes her on a path that is far removed from her initial assignment.
Find The Answers by Watching Kathal(2023)
So, what does Inspector Mahima find?
What does the missing jackfruit case have to do with the darker mystery she uncovers?
And can she manage to solve these intertwined cases while dealing with the complexities of her personal life and the societal biases of her small town?
Well, to get these answers, you’ll have to dive into the vibrant world of “Kathal”
Trust me, it’s a ride filled with comedy, intrigue, and a dose of social satire you wouldn’t want to miss!
Perfect Casting With Poor Costumes
The performance of the “Kathal” cast is truly one of the highlights of the movie, bringing depth and authenticity to the storyline.
The lead role of Inspector Mahima Basor is played by the versatile Sanya Malhotra, who has already proven her acting prowess in several previous roles. I believe she is the new Radhika Apte of Netflix.
In “Kathal,” she continues to impress, beautifully balancing her character’s charm and firmness. She delivers a performance that’s both compelling and endearing, offering a fresh portrayal of a diligent police officer.
Supporting Sanya is the talented Anantvijay Joshi. His portrayal of a junior police officer brings a dynamic element to the film, contributing to its overall charm and depth.
Neha Saraf, known for her excellent comic timing, also joins the “Kathal” cast, portraying the challenges of a professional woman balancing work and domestic duties. Her performance adds another layer of relatability to the story.
Veteran actors Vijay Raaz and Rajpal Yadav bring their trademark humor and style to their roles as a manipulative MLA and an enthusiastic local journalist, respectively. Despite the peculiar choice of wigs for their characters, they manage to deliver performances that are both enjoyable and memorable.
Why Should You Watch Kathal Movie ?
The “Kathal” movie is a perfect blend of social commentary, humor, and excellent performances.
It sets itself apart by using a unique storyline – the mysterious disappearance of two prized jackfruits – to highlight deeper issues prevalent in society.
One of the key reasons to watch the “Kathal” movie is its successful portrayal of the socio-political landscape of small-town in North India.
It doesn’t resort to preaching or making lofty statements. Instead, it nudges viewers gently towards acknowledging and understanding the biases and loopholes in our society.
The nuanced performances of the “Kathal” cast further enrich the film. Sanya Malhotra’s character, Inspector Mahima, is particularly noteworthy. She is not just a police officer on a mission, but a woman striving for respect and equality in a male-dominated world.
The movie also benefits from its balance of serious themes with light-hearted moments. The injection of humor keeps the tone enjoyable, ensuring that the audience stays engaged while absorbing the film’s key messages.
In conclusion, if you appreciate cinema that makes you laugh while also making you think, the “Kathal” movie is a must-watch.
“Ninaivo Oru Paravai,” directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja as part of Amazon’s Modern Love: Chennai, will share a similar aesthetic experience with films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love.
In these films, characters are often framed by the rectangle of the film frame, as well as by smaller internal shapes. This create a sense of separation and isolation or a sense of mystery and intrigue.
As suggested by the title, “Ninaivo Oru Paravai” (Memory is just a bird), memories are ephemeral, free-spirited, and mutable.
I hope you might have seen, 2000’s Memento or if you are a film enthusiast, you might have seen 1975 “The Mirror”.
Just as Nolan manipulates our perception in “Memento,” Kumaraja crafts an immersive experience, challenging the viewer to distinguish the boundary between hallucination, film inside the film, and reality.
Like a complex maze with a thousand doors, each revealing a new riddle, “Ninaivo Oru Paravai” presents an intricate puzzle.
Let’s Open The Door: Ninaivo Oru Paravai Explained
Here is one possible interpretation from my side:
Our main character, K, scripts a story about a couple going through three breakups, one patch-up, and three intimate moments, filled with scenes that connect these elements into a coherent narrative.
Sam, who read K’s script, starts experiencing hallucinations about incidents mentioned in the script after their breakup.
Let’s see what’s in K‘s film.
The story begins with an intimate moment between Hero and Heroine, the only elements of their identity that we know is that hero is an aspiring film maker. The leftover dialogues suggest they’ve chosen to separate, marking their first breakup.
What led to this?
They met on a film set in July, when they were both junior actors. They fell in love fast and became intimate.
Six months later, they made the decision to live together. We see them enjoying their time together.
One rainy night, an astrologer warns them about an upcoming separation.
This makes the heroine worry and feel insecure, and she becomes possessive.
This might have caused a rift between them.
We then see their second (or maybe first) break-up, which is tougher to bear. After this, the hero leaves the house, and the heroine watches him from the balcony. This time, she moves from right to left on the screen, with an infinity loop in the background.
After this, the hero might have had an accident, causing him to lose his memory.
The hero’s sister asks the heroine to help him recover his memory. He still remembers the heroine’s name. The heroine visits the hero, writes down their beautiful memories, and shares them with him. The hero reads each note, embedding these memories in his mind.
There is a rain scene, it’s a beautiful memory that heroine written in the note for hero.
If you look closely, you will get some hints from those frames.
A Hidden Revenge Story
At this point, you might see it as a revenge story, where the heroine tells him to believe everything she says, whether it’s true or false. He lives with the uncertainty of his memories, unsure if they’re lies or the truth. It’s like a Thursdayism philosophy that K used to talk about in the past.
I see it as a form of revenge because the heroine was dealing with the same feelings after their break-up. She couldn’t tell what was real and what was an illusion.
Now, she’s passing the same feelings on to the hero, telling him,
“Anything you remember won’t be the truth but a figment of your imagination. I’m the only one who can tell you if it’s real or just your imagination.“
But she promises him that she never cheated and that they’ll never see each other again. She gives him back the script that he wrote.
As she leaves, she repeats the hero’s words from their first break-up, “Avvulo thaana (That’s it?)” “I guess so.”
You can see this as the third break-up in the script.
A Happy Ending
The heroine then comes home in the rain, with the hero following her. She closes the door on him when he begs for her love.
She asks why she should love him.
He replies that even though he’s lost all his memories, he still remembers her. This shows his love for her.
Sam opens the door, and they get back together. She says they’re going to live happily ever after, just like the characters in the movie.
She then comes back in, possibly after making love, closes the door, and the title card “A film by K” appears.
This is K’s film.
Let’s Now Explore, What is Reality?
After her breakup, Sam seeks help from a psychiatrist to cope with her emotional distress, and she starts improving with treatment.
During her visit to the doctor, bird tattoos are visible on her neck (in the present or real). These bird tattoos might serve as symbolic keys, resembling a love bite, possibly representing the painful remnants of love and memory.
This tattoo plays a pivotal role in this film. It helps us distinguish between the real and imaginary worlds (or events from K’s scripts) in the film.
Let’s Pick Some More Hints
On reaching home and starting to clean, the tattoo on Sam’s neck is visible.
When she picks up the ashtray, it reminds her of the couple’s habit of smoking together after making love.
While Sam is holding the ash tray, you can see that cactus in the background is dry. But, when she see K’s sister, cactus is green. Sam’s hallucinations are vivid and colourful.
She begins to hallucinate again. K’s sister’s arrival and the entire hospital sequence seem copied from the script. While Sam converses with K’s sister or during her time at the hospital, her tattoos are not visible.
While searching for toilet paper, we see tablets on the shelf, but she doesn’t use them. Sam starts to hallucinate the entire script (written by K) as her own memories or present experiences.
In the climax, when they meet for the last time at the bar, Sam’s tattoo is initially not visible, which suggests it’s a hallucination influenced by the script.
And this scene is there in the script or K already discussed this with Sam (So first part of the meeting is a hallucination).
From Hallucination to Painful Reality(In the Climax)
But when she says, “We won’t meet again; I came to give you back the script,” her tattoo becomes visible, suggesting that the event actually occurred in their real lives. So, this is her real memory. This might have been there last meet and after this K might have met with an accident.
or else, That painful breakup scene in the script was their last meet and here nobody is there opposite to Sam, and she is hallucinating K is there oposite to her and leaving the script saying “This was one last thing I had kept in your memory”.
To make it more concrete, she is raising glass and leaving the table by keeping 500 rupees( can be going Dutch as well). There are no dialogues from K, once the tattoo appears. It’s a hallucination, she is leaving the script on empty table.
Even those orange lights are some hint, you can see the shades of orange in all her hallucinations.
K is Dead!!
Following that painful break-up, K might have met with an accident and slipped into a coma or might have died. Why?
In the subsequent scene, Sam’s tattoo is visible, and she is walking back home with a clear sky. The doctor calls her and warns her about hallucinations. She mentions a journal written by Sam (which contains what we’ve seen as hallucinations, which she might have written in reality as well).
When Sam mentions meeting K, the doctor reacts with surprise, uttering “K?” in a tone indicating impossibility. Hence, K might be dead or incapable of meeting Sam. The doctor shows shock when Sam mentions rain, suggesting there is actually no rain.
In the next scene, Sam is shown talking to K at their home, and it’s raining. It’s a hallucination.
There’s a dialogue from Sam: “We are going to be like those characters in the movie, we are going to live happily ever after from here.“
However, after this, Sam comes and closes the door. Her tattoos are visible; it’s actually real. She hallucinates that K is with her and sleeping inside. She returns to her loop which ends happily. The door closes. She is going to live like that.
Now doctor (In the film) is the only one who knows K is dead or what happened to him other than Sam. If you look closely, you can see that Doctor and Josya are same.
Ninaivo Oru Paravai: Ending Explained
I’ve another theory about the break-up scenes in the film.
I think Sam has been through a similar experience before, and the Psychiatrist helped her escape this cycle.
In the first break-up scene, Sam walks from the left to the right of the screen. But in the second break-up, which is more painful, she walks from right to left, with an infinity loop showing in the background.
It’s possible that Sam might have experienced the entire events again and again as hallucinations, undergoing the same series of pain and happiness.
Even the song’s lyrics playing in the background highlight this: “Will time stagnate at anyone’s behest?” and “Fish that swims in the mirage.” (song after their second break-up scene)
Like a pendulum, Sam oscillates from left to right and right to left through her memories (her real memories might be).
After her appointment with the psychiatrist, we observe her returning home and revisiting the pain while gathering objects linked to her memories of K.
And when she picks up the ash tray, she starts hallucinating again. At this point, she is disrupting the cycle, striving to create a happier ending.
She hallucinates about K’s sister and her meetings with K. She finds a solution, just like in the movie; she hallucinates and reunites with K on that rainy night.
A song plays in the background while she stores the memories (notes) in the jar: “Till the summer skies burst, and rain pours forth, will your eternal suffering persist.”
In that rainy night, she is seeding a happy ending for that eternal suffering.
One Last Theory
Let’s shift our perspective by 180 degrees and consider that the actual director or writer could be Sam, not K.
In real, Sam is the one who wrote the script, drawing from her own memories. She wrote the script and in the end she left is at the bar assuming K is there and it’s his script (Like in her movie script, in the present she is living like the chaarcter in the movie, so she believes, K wrote the script).
The doctor has been working to erase K from her mind. It’s no coincidence that Josya in her script ( who predict the break-up or being a reason for a rift in their relation) and the doctor bear a striking resemblance. There’s even a scene where the doctor discusses Sam’s journal, reinforcing the idea that Sam is the writer.
If you observe closely, the notes written by Sam and the notes on the script have the same handwriting. Look at the ‘S’ written on notes and script. But the notes on the toilet paper, which were written by K, are in a different handwriting.The notes written by K on the toilet paper display a distinct handwriting style
This all reminds me of Kim Ki Duk’s movie ‘3 Iron.’ In the end, the hero returns to the heroine’s house and lives there unnoticed by the heroine’s husband. It implies that three people are living in the house, but the husband is unaware. This raises the question: “Is the world we live in reality or a dream?“
In a similar situation, K might be living with Sam, but no one else knows. It’s hard to discern the reality.
Thiagaraja Kumaraja made this movie as a distorted jigsaw puzzle, by watching it multiple times, you will be able to fix it in order. But he removed one piece from the jigsaw: “Why They Broke Up?” this is the trigger to ACT 2 of the movie ( or even K’s script).
Maybe there might be more clues to reveal that #WhatHappened moment. Please share as a comment if you find any.
Modern Love Chennai- As a review, I would say Thyagarajan Kumaraja version of modern love, is a perfect weekend watch if you love to see the shades of romance.
This webseries is a challenge to the mainstream love stories that we are used to.
What’s striking is that each episode is a beautifully narrated tale from a woman’s perspective.
As a guy, it’s really nice to see love from a woman’s point of view. What’s really beautiful is how these stories grow, just like a flower blooming, and at the end, they spread the fragrance and make you smile.
The nostalgic background scores and music by Ilayaraja serve as a soulful thread, and keep you connected to Modern Love Chennai, making sure you feel a part of their world.
Lalagunda Bommaigal: A Tale of Trust, Love, and Betrayal
“Lalagunda Bommaigal” narrates the story of Shobha, a resident of multicultural suburban Chennai. The film, directed by Rajumurugan and featuring Sri Gouri Priya, Vasudevan Murali, and Vasundhara, begins with an abortion and then navigates waves of trust, love, and betrayal, sprinkled with a dash of dark humour.
Rajumurugan’s handling of the sensitive, dark subject, blending in dark humour without diminishing the pain and struggle of a woman, is commendable.
Nirav Shah’s exemplar Cinematography
In the first act of the movie, there is a dialogue: “You cannot live with men, but, you cannot live without men either”, and, in the climax, there is another dialogue “You cannot live with women, but, you cannot live without women either”. This summarises it.
One of the things that I loved most about the film was the cinematography by Nirav Shah. The empty roads, night shots, and transitions all reflected what Shobha was going through. Even the ending shot of the film was beautiful. It showed us the fulfilment that Shobha had finally found. Frames act like a shadow for Shobha’s emotions.
The music composed by Sean Roldan also helps us to empathise with Shobha. It was subtle yet pleasing.
Imaigal: Love Amidst Fear and Loss
“Imaigal,” navigates the life of Devi, who’s in love with Nithya while facing the fear of a retinal degenerative disease. Directed by Balaji Sakthivel and penned by Balaji Tharaneetharan, this episode stands out for its short-sweet yet meaningful narrative.
The episode focuses on Nithya’s fear of losing her sight and her love life. It beautifully captures the moments when Nithya and Devi support each other through their struggles. The episode is emotionally resonant and is a reminder of the fragile yet resilient nature of love in the face of adversity.
T.J BHanu & Yuvan Shankar Raja
Although the episode’s pace may seem a bit quick, it’s effective due to its well-written script and sincere performances by Ashok Selvan and T.J. Bhanu.
But I felt that he struggled to portray the character of a middle-class man as convincingly as T.J. Bhanu. This may be because Ashok Selvan is not typically cast in these types of roles, and he may not have had as much experience with the struggles of the middle class 😉
As a result, in the second half, there was a slight disconnect between him and the role, which made the couple appear somewhat mismatched on screen.
The music by Yuvan Shankar Raja fills in the silence with a depth of emotion, while the cinematography by Jeeva Sankar expertly catches subtle emotions with close-up shots. It’s a worthwhile watch, reminding viewers about the fragile yet resilient nature of love in the face of adversity.
Kaadhal Enbadhu Kannula Heart Irukkura Emoji: A 90s Love Mashup
“Kaadhal Enbadhu Kannula Heart Irukkura Emoji” is all about the romantic adventures revolving around Mallika, who is desperate for love. If you’ve seen the Malayalam movie “June,” you may find some familiar plot elements, as this episode feels like a condensed version of the same.
Directed by Krishnakumar Ramakumar and featuring a star-studded cast including Ritu Varma, Samyuktha Viswanathan, Pawan Alex, Aniiruth Kanakarajan, and Vaibhav Reddy, this episode is a sweet nod to 90s nostalgia. However, the writing by Reshma Ghatala comes across as average, with several scenes evoking a sense of déjà vu.
The story is about Mallika, a teenager who loves 90s romantic movies. She is obsessed with the scenes and dialogue, and she is eager to experience love for herself. She falls in love with different people at different stages of her life. Through these experiences, how her character arc changes and her perspectives about love evolve is the rest of the story.
A surprising Cameo and a Striking Dialogue
There is a cameo by Bhradwaj Rangan and it was hilarious and interesting. What makes this episode special is the reference of all those 90’s kids favourite romantic songs and multiple Maniratnam & Gautham Menon movie references. I felt like it’s a 1990-2000 love mashup.
One intriguing dialogue from Mallika caught my attention. She states, “there are no breakup songs for women in Tamil cinema.”
This line served as a humorous yet sharp commentary on a stark reality in the film industry.
Margazhi: A tale that Blooms Like Jasmine
Margazhi, is a heartfelt teenage love story directed by Akshay Sundher and penned by Balaji Tharaneetharan,and this is one of my favourites in recent times.
You can see Balaji’s signature in the dialogues and character development. The narration reminds me of European classics, with its slow pace, steady frames, poetic moments, and close-up shots.
The story is about Jazmine, who is depressed after her parents’ divorce. Her father suggests that she join the church choir to help her feel better. Despite being in the choir, she finds comfort in her earphones and the music of Ilayaraja. However, a silver line arrives in the form of a summer romance that dramatically alters Jazmine’s path.
Everything changes along Jazmine’s character arc – the backgrounds, landscapes, objects, and even color shades. I was truly amazed by the depiction of this transformation.
Sanjula Sarathi’s Spring, Summer, Fall..
In her debut role, Sanjula Sarathi is simply spectacular as Jazmine. Her performance shines in the close shots, She is so expressive in her close-ups. Particularly in one striking scene where she questions, “Why do you love me?” Her portrayal of the reflections and self-fulfilment is impeccable.
However, the real star of the show, beyond Balaji’s writing, is the cinematography by Vikas Vasudevan. The frames evolve like the seasons – winter, summer, spring, finally blooming into a beautiful cinematic experience.
Don’t miss Margazhi, it’s a beautiful teenage romantic film. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves teenage love stories.
Paravai Kootil Vaazhum Maangal (Gazelles living in a bird’s nest): A Forbidden Love
Do you recall the 1993 classic Marupadiyum by Balu Mahendra, featuring Rohini, Nizhalgal Ravi & Revathi? Or perhaps the iconic song “Aasai Athigam vachu“ by Ilayaraja from the same era?
Well, Paravai Kootil Vaazhum Maangal feels like a more compact, updated version of Marupadiyum. Directed by BharatiRaja, it’s steeped in the same intense emotions.
Pratheep Kumar’s dialogues might seem a tad dramatic, but they’re also poetic, adding depth to moments of character introspection.
The tale kicks off with Ilayaraja’s classic “En iniya Pon Nilave” song, setting the stage for the unfolding forbidden love between Rohini & Ravi amidst the Chennai metro station.
Kishore, Ramya Nambessan, and Vijayalakshmi deliver some standout performances in this episode. They beautifully fill the shoes of Ravi, Revathi, and Rohini, bringing these characters to life. Another shining star is the cinematography by Jeeva Sankar. The way he frames scenes set in the metro, at night, or within a room is captivating. The team’s use of darkness and night shades adds another layer to the storytelling.
Exploring the Labyrinth of Love
In Kishore’s (Ravi) own words, the theme of the episode can be summed up as, “It’s hard to discern when love will happen, or with whom, or even why. We never understood our hearts.”
The episode ends with a dialogue from Revathi about emptiness, which reminds me of Thulasi from Marupadiyum. It would be unnatural to find gazelles living in a bird’s nest. Rohini and Ravi are the gazelles here.
Ninaivo Oru Paravai (Memory is Just a Bird): A Modern Love
This episode is a real modern love story filled with all the required ingredients: pubs, smoking, wild sex, post-breakup traumas, and high-end philosophical talks.
Ninaivo Oru Paravai, directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja and starring Wamiqa Gabbi and PB, presents the tale of Sam & K. They’re a couple who subscribe to a “caveman” style relationship: “You are mine, I am yours, no god, no marriage, no rules”.
The episode opens with the soft melodies of “mella mella ennai thottu”, an Ilayaraja composition later used in Sarvam by Yuvan. As the couple stirs from sleep following a passionate night, the soft music, subdued room lighting, and red tones set the tone for the film and tell you to get ready for something dark, wild, and passionate, infused with both the sweetness of love and the bitterness of tears.
In a thought-provoking scene, K questions the fate of film characters after the movie ends, which feels like the director is posing these queries to the viewers. It reminds me of the character Mugil (Fahad Fasil) from Super Deluxe.
Philosophical Brilliance of Thiagarajan Kumararaja
This film talks about idealism (what we perceive as the “real world” is essentially a product of our mind) and direct realism. The brilliance of Thiagarajan Kumararaja is that he lets you experience the same (like Nolan’s Memento, where you feel what the character is going through). The storytelling method is so unique and blends beautifully with idealism.
In simple terms, Thyagaraja Kumaraja is playing a mind game with you, blurring the lines between a movie within a movie and two real-life characters.
The cinematography by Nirav Shah and Jeeva Sankar brilliantly enhances the film’s ambience, helping us to dig into the deeper layers of the scenes. The corridor shots in the hospital, the indoor shots of unfinished rooms, the close-ups of cigarette packs, the rain shots tinged with pink and yellow, all signal that this is a work by Thiagarajan Kumararaja. The pervasive darkness and red colour tones echo the episode’s underlying themes around idealism & realism.
Memory is just a bird, It is free and unbounded. It flits around, sometimes coming close and at times flying away, but it’s always a part of our world.
Modern Love Chennai Review: Final Word
Overall, considering a review of Modern Love Chennai, I would say it excels in execution and casting, even though not all episodes are great in their vision.
While many episodes were acclaimed for their dialogue and storytelling, some might have seemed cliché or overly familiar. More innovative and nuanced writing could have made these episodes stand out. For example, Ritu Varma’s episode, climax of first episode.