Sunday, August 02, 2009

Film critics

The best thing about weekends are the newspapers and tamizh magazines. TOI, DNA, HT, Midday, Mumbai Mirror, Asian age, Kumudam, Ananda vigadan, Aval vigadan, Snehidhi, The Hindu, Dinathanthi... the second half of Sundays are spent with these loved ones.

A huge fan of film reviews, I don't miss a single review in any of the above plus the ones on TV on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Here's a list of some of the critics- the ones I love and hate

Khalid Mohammed: The most over-rated critic in India. When I moved to Mumbai, a friend of mine said that he'd watch a film only if Khalid recommended it. So I started following his reviews closely only to find that he is a complete a$$ licker to the Khans, for obvious reasons. [I am not gonna tell you why - go figure!] . Any film with Shahrukh, Salman, Saif or Aamir always got a good review. And his writing style with heavy terms which talk about everything under the sun but the film is very annoying. Kappi Kusi Kappi Gum also called as K3G , got a five out of five from this man and I was too shocked for words reading the review after watching the film. Our man directed a couple of films which were kizhichyfed by others, particularly the directors who were waiting for their turn. Khalid was with TOI , moved to DNA and I think he's still with them.

Nikhat Kazmi: Decent style, calls a spade a spade but still somewhere has the vazhinjax, nakki
tone to him. Planning to direct a film Nikhat, like the great Khalid sahab?

Kaveri Bamzee: We [the purushan and I] used to wait for her reviews on Headlines Today. She'd say things like "Rani Mukherjee's makeup is so bad you wonder if Yashraj has run out of budget for good makeup artists"or "By the second half of the film, you are busy wondering where to shop for rotten tomatoes in the vicinity". Quite a hilarious style, she has. These days we don't get the channel on cable and I am not sure if she's still on the channel.

Anupama Chopra : Vidhu Vinod Chopra's wife, she is NDTV's film critic. Belonging to the film fraternity, she obviously cannot antagonize her family - ie the film world. Has an over-sweet tone and her reviews aren't very sharp. She isn't witty either. Her face is more an 'Inji-thinna-korangu' when she reviews a film. You aren't sure what she's trying to say.

Mayank Shekhar : From Midday to Mumbai mirror to Hindustan Times, his reviews are bang-on. Purushan and I go for a film based on Mayank's reviews. Kinda refreshing to his reviews on a new layout at HT. But honestly, does a bad job on NDTV [I think]. Very obvious that he is not comfortable in front of the camera. Stick to print, Mayank.

Rajeev Masand: CNN-IBN's Rajeev Masand reminds me of Kaveri Bamzai. In your face reviews - Friday nights 10.30 pm on CNN IBN. But I still wonder what made him give 3 out of 5 to Silly.. sorry Dilli 6.

Madhan
: Cartoonist and writer Madhan used to be Vijay TV's film critic. Madhan joins this great Indian Kamalagaasan Jalra mandram which mostly comprises of Puliyodharais like Crazy Mohan and others - Ramesh Arvind, Santhana Bharathi etc. Pal has this great dream of directing / writing for films and obviously doesn't want to offend the biggies - Oscar films, Kamal Saar and the likes. He wrote Anbe Sivam jalra-ing his way to Kamal Sir. Madhan's last name is vazha vazha kozha kozha. You want to slap him especially when says "Idhu ennannaakaaaaa.." like a Parthasarathy Kovil thaatha. You wake him up in the middle of the night and he's most likely to say "Kamal saar nalla Kaapi kudichaar, Gowthami madam romba nalla Gummi adicchanga" in a film. Worst tamizh critic.

Vigadan Vimarsana kuzhu : Oflate the kuzhu has become maha stingy [like madam Blogeswari] .No film gets past 47 or 48 out of 100 . Pretty straightforward. I am liking Vigadan reviews.

Sugasini Madam-ji: Jaya TV Sunday afternoons Madam-ji in her atrocious clothes comes with her nyaya tarasu . To her Madhavan, P C Sreeram, Santosh Sivan and their films are always top notch. I agree that PC and Santosh Sivan are the best business but their films aren't always. But honestly, she does a decent job in reviewing small budget films like Vaigai nadhi without being very harsh on them. Pal obviously knows the pulse of the audience and reviews it more from their point of view. The only un-sahikkable bits are "Enga padam pannumbodu he was five years old ", "Naanga ", "Naan", "Paramakkudi" "Naan gramatula poranden.." etc moochukku monnooru dadavai.

There are many more like the SUNTV Coat-suit fellow whose punchlines I love and have happily borrowed.. okay okay copied, Sarita Tanwar who is just about okay and several whose names I don't know / remember.

Reading / watching any of their reviews and going for a film is a big disadvantage 'coz you know the story particularly its twists and turns and hence there's no thrill of watching a film. And reviewing the same later is a bigger disadvantage 'coz somewhere you kinda carry the public and the reviewers' opinions . This time I managed to catch Love Aaj kal first day first show and was happy that my review matched with that of the stalwarts' mentioned above except for Rajeev who gave it a 2 out of 5.

24 Responses:

Sridhar Narayanan said...

Had you tried Raja Sen of Rediff? He has an unique style I suppose.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

To me, Kumudam was the ultimate film critic - I wonder who did them in the past - but now that touch with the sting is lost.

In the old days there would be a full page still from the movie , and a full page review. For one particular MGR film, The review page was left blank except for the film's name and one word 'Vetkakedu'.

Kaarthik said...

I go for films after reading Vikatan reviews. But now, the standard has become a bit low.

Kumadham's reviews- "Nachunu irukkum".

Malathi Rangarajan's reviews in "The Hindu" are Neetti Muzhakkam style. But still we can improve our vocabulary. Thanks to the tough words she uses.

Suhasini is a good Critic but can't bear her of Boasting. I'm waiting for her review of Raavan/Asokavanam.

colorharmony said...

Your comments on cartoonist Madan had me in splits. Spot on!
I used to like Ramesh Arvind but his TV segment with Kamal and SPB had me gagging. He should be hence referred to as Jalra Arvind.

Galadriel said...

i always had the utmost respect for vigatan as a magazine itself - but after watching half a movie called 'siva manasula sakthi', produced by vigatan's production house and all my beliefs have been shattered. i could not believe that such a respected magazine would make such a movie disrespectful and disgraceful movie that completely degrades women in every single scene. if you haven't seen the movie, do NOT make the mistake of watching it.

Sud Gopal said...

I think Mrs.Chopra is no more with NDTV.BTW,Din't she write a coffee table book on SRK?

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

Raja Sen on Rediff maha comedy. You should have also included them..

Balaji said...

You left out Bharadwaj Rangan. Easily the best, IMO.

ummon said...

didnt know ac was vvc's wife. irritates me!
i like suhasini. she can be quite funny. when she reviews hindi films esply. and i just 'love' her dress sense :)

MADHAV said...

I like Rajeev Masand's reviews. Straight, on the face, no mincing words type, his comments have a good measure of satire thrown in.

I have heard of thayir saadhams, but this is the first time I have notices "puliyodharais". Haha. Too much. Too good, as always.

Madhav

Artnavy said...

u forgot The Hindu's critics??

i love the cooker in your header pic

Anonymous said...

The best film critic in India I think now is Baradwaj Rangan. He writes very well and they are not really reviews but really long opinion pieces. As long as he does not lay his hands on a European film DVD, you get amazing reviews. He won a National award recently for the best film critic but that is hardly the only reason to read his reviews. Try him at http://www.desipundit.com/baradwajrangan/

Petre

Blogeswari said...

Balaji / Petre - I don't quite like BR... full of bombastic words.

Artnavy - THE HINDU critics who? Malathi 'spineless' Rangarajan and the great film-maker Sudhish ? Naaa

inbavalli said...

I'd never noticed the puliyodharai connection either :)

Considering Kamal Iyengar eats anything that walks, flies, swims or crawls, I wonder if he noticed it too ;)

The Visitor said...

Sugasini's atrocious clothes - I'm still ROFLing. :D

MiM said...

orange jammies was great for that kambakt movie ...

http://wisdomwearsneonpyjamas.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/kambakkht-shit/

but she isnt a regular though...

Gradwolf said...

Lol, but if BR writes bombastic words, then Khalid writes Latin.

I'd take BR/Raja Sen any day. BR mostly and Raja Sen when it comes to English. I don't think he lowers his so called standards for reviewing hindi films. BR is amazingly level headed and to the point. He is unmatched actually. Rajeev Masand is completely unpredictable.

The Hindu had Chitra Ramesh who was a freelance person. Apparently she writes in Deccan Chronicle now but I wouldn't know. She was actually good.

Lavs said...

I actually like Sudhish Kamat's review coz they are funny..nothing more to be said about that person..about Malathi, i have written enough in my space...the ching-cha types!! BR is too fundu for me... Masand is just the correct person...love his show....

Karthick Krishna CS said...

//Kamal saar........ Gowthami Gummi adicchanga//
good one...

Vikatan lost its credibility.. they gave their film Valmiki more marks than Nadodigal... nadodigal still running succesfully and far more better and valmiki theatre vittu odiyaachu. i was shocked again, after seeing their review for Modhi vilayadu. remember, they gave 42 marks for sachin, 41 for mumbai express and 40 for chandramukhi... the review was published in back to back pages in that issue...

numerounity said...

I used to like Khalid mohamed and then i saw his film- tehzeeb!

Vinay Sekhar said...

One with Balaji on this... Bharadwaj Rangan should be on the list!

hastobeme said...

Hey have never actually paid so much attn to the critics till now...will bear this in mind tho!

Christina Machado said...

I love how you introduce madras bashai in your blog posts...have you read Bharadwaj Rangan. His reviews are pretty good http://www.desipundit.com/baradwajrangan/

டகிள் பாட்சா said...

Suhasini always thinks she is a Medhavi. A lot of times her comments are biased and half baked. It shows the width and depth of her knowledge Horizon!!!

If you observe her film review episodes, it is clear that many of the interviews with film makers are not done face to face. They shoot Shuhasini seperately and the film personality seperately. 'May be she is scared or too busy to have direct interviews. In such interviews it is funny to watch her nodding her head, leaving out a dry smile etc and it is very clear that she has filmed those shots when she is alone and then edited to join with the film personality's interview as a response.