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Every Sriram Raghavan Film Ranked

Sriram Raghavan is a filmmaker India needs, and a filmmaker India deserves. Raghavan’s work has defined a cinematic aesthetic, a style, almost a genre, in the sense of the cultural imprint it leaves behind. While genre filmmaking is usually talked about synonymously with thematic filmmaking, there are multiple instances where a filmmaker’s body of work has stylistic elements which give shape to that filmmaker’s form of storytelling. It is this definition that finds relevance here. The impact here is the…

10 Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made

 The act of moving between variant points in time, also known as time travel, has been heavily imprinted in our collective consciousness, through films like Donnie Darko (2001), Primer (2004), Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the relatively recent German existential-sci-fi thriller, Dark (2017). Here are 10 seminal movies that unravel the fabric of time travel, in no particular order. 

The Man Who Stole the Sun [1979]: A Singular & Highly Ambitious Black Comedy

Political activist Kazuhiko Hasegawa directed only two movies, The Man Who Stole the Sun being his second and last. It was said that his mother was pregnant with him and living in Hiroshima when the atom bomb was dropped there. Screenwriter Leonard Schrader lived in Japan for many years. He has also collaborated with his brother Paul Schrader on the scripts of Blue Collar (1978) and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985). Moreover, many critics draw comparisons with the…

45 Years (2015): An Explicit Relationship With Memories

Director Haigh sets up an atmosphere and presents elusive symbols that give us the feeling of a haunted house drama. The hallway door gradually closes; Kate comments about ‘smelling Katya’s perfume around the house’; a hidden memory stays in the attic and possesses & breaks Kate’s placid mindset. These metaphorical Zen frames about ‘ghosts of the past’ (or ‘skeletons in the closet’) perfectly show how the aura of a long-dead person is creating turbulence in the minds of the couples.

25 Greatest Malayalam Movies of All Time

Ever since Malayalam cinema underwent a renaissance in the past decade- with the influx of new-age filmmakers creating some groundbreaking work, it has been unarguably the foremost film industry in India when measured by the quality of films produced. If the 2000s were the worst years for Malayalam movies, then the best era was definitely the 70s and 80s, which witnessed the rise of the New Wave and Middle cinema respectively.

Mr. Holmes (2015): A Mysterious Search for Human Identity

Mr. Holmes (2015) is a poetic character study of the other side of the Robot detective from Baker Street. Bill Condon’s film presents a picture of Sherlock Holmes that hasn’t graced the screen till date. Its a film that grows on you when its fictionalized emotions come to play. Mr. Holmes is one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

5 Underrated Benedict Cumberbatch Movies

Before he was a talking dragon protecting gold, before he was the swift-talking-inhuman-robot living on 221B, Baker Street, before he was a terrorist with an ideology bringing darkness on to the Enterprise, or before he was turning up pages, firing people and calculating possibilities of making a machine to stop the war, Benedict Cumberbatch was a British actor who was waiting to be recognized in movies that meant something. 

Far From Men (2014): A Gritty Little Chapter in the French-Algerian War

Far From Men is adapted from the short story The Guest by Nobel Prize-winning author Albert Camus, which was written as an allegory of French-Algerian tensions. Writer-director David Oelhoffen paints the beautiful but deserted landscape canvas with the colors of palpating human drama that will certainly move you. The film echoes the psyche of two men from different strata who are thrown into a “lose-lose” situation and they have to make a hard choice of choosing the best of the…

How Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction Condemns American Nihilism

Tarantino truly condemns American nihilism in its entirety when the ravishing taxi-driver asks Butch about the meaning of his name. He casually responds by saying, “I’m an American, honey. Our names don’t mean shit.” This exchange was the essence of Tarantino’s take on American nihilism. His association of the vibrant American culture with the absence of meaning in a name implies that beneath all the fuss, America is nothing but meaningless.

Recent reviews

Sister Tempest

Sister Tempest

★★★½

Consider a pastiche of Star Trek, Rocky Horror, and a subtle dose of Luis Buñuel- and yet you will have to think of a certain genre or framework to fit Sister Tempest. Badon’s creation is a starkly original and sumptuous visual treat of a film. Sister Tempest means to overwhelm the senses and does so, successfully.

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Sister Tempest (2020): A Sumptuous, Overwhelming Feast For The Senses

Unlike many mystery flicks, Enola Holmes makes you privy to the inner workings of the protagonist’s brain without patronizing you. The fourth wall breaks will reel you in, making you feel like you’re in on something truly special.

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Yesterday

Yesterday

★★★

Does art need a representation to exist? Can you take the face away that produced something, give it another one, and will the work still garner the same response? Yesterday (2019) falls into what one could call as soft-speculative fiction. The tale is reminiscent of the oeuvre of spec-fic master Robert Heinlein.

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Kohei Oguri’s Muddy River (Doro no kawa, 1981) is a wonderfully evocative portrait of childhood which in parts reminded me of Victor Erice’s The Spirit of Beehive (1973) and Rene Clement’s Forbidden Games (1952). Erice, Clement, or for that matter, Truffaut – in 400 Blows – has proved that films about childhood doesn’t need to be sentimental. Similarly, Oguri is a master craftsman when it comes to imbuing profound emotions within simple visuals, while also subtly exploring the mysteries and…

Liked reviews

Enemy

Enemy

★★★★

The chaos doesn’t feel all that tough to decipher on this rewatch.

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

There was a moment in Twin Peaks Season 2 when Madeline was being killed and the Twin Peaks town comes to a sudden standstill, even though nobody knew that Madeline was under attack and that she will die soon. But there was a universal melancholia that Lynch attached to the event of her death, there was no logical meaning to it but I found myself crying for a character's death I wasn't really fond of. All I really understood is…

What does a Masterpiece Look Like ? It looks like the first 20 minutes of "There Will Be Blood."

One of the most excellent moments in Sir, for me, was when we see Ratna (Tillotama Shome) serving food to all the guests at a party. The camera follows her, as she moves from one guest to another. Some take what she is offering, some of them don't, while some didn't acknowledge, however, none of them, really, looks at her. This POV shot, though not unique, is extremely effective in explaining the life of a maid. The invisible force that…