Favorite films

  • Come and Go
  • Ajantrik
  • Dust in the Wind
  • The Masseurs and a Woman

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  • Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi

  • Sarpatta Parambarai

  • Don't Cry for Salim

  • Jab Tak Hai Jaan

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  • Isabella

    Isabella

    as with some of mohan's other films (a director as interesting as he is infuriating, and for overlapping reasons), strange, off-putting choices abound in isabella -- the early, jittery timeline jumps, an extraneous framing device that the film never returns to, an emotionally frigid male lead forever consumed by alcohol and self-pity, a terse approach to death/loss/tragedy, multiple undercooked scenes, and most of all a key courtship phase between the leads elided over opening credits (though also admittedly a beautiful yesudas song). still, the soundtrack (johnson, yesudas, janaki) saves it. and sumalatha definitely saves it.

  • The Evil Deeds Of Cheriyachan

    The Evil Deeds Of Cheriyachan

    ★★★★

    ferociously, truculently modern in that ol’ ritwik ghatak way (of titash ekti nadir naam, particularly of jukti, takko aar gappo) -- history unfolded and examined in time, political action tied to movement, restless and dispersive and refracted onto a gradually transforming individual psychology in increasingly expressionistic ways.

    also the first, possibly only, adoor bhasi anti-comedy, the guilt, paranoia and paralysis of the landlord class evoked by a complete neutering of bhasi's otherwise disruptively hilarious presence, a near-silent performance frequently framed…

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  • Pariyerum Perumal

    Pariyerum Perumal

    ★★★★½

    seamlessly structured around santhosh narayanan's greatest ever collection of songs -- every song transformative, every lyric or accompanying dance (as in engum pugazh thuvanga, whose affective power within the film's context possibly surpasses even that of the more immediate classics like karuppi and naan yaar) suggesting an opening out of the film and its protagonist to newer, deeper emotional dimensions, the kaleidoscopic textures of their soundscapes around which the drama arises from and unfolds on a land, born as much…

  • Kummatty

    Kummatty

    ★★★★★

    the film's intense engagement with landscape is such that all its myths and realities, its people and their intrinsic music appear materially sprung from those vast, expansive spaces. there is simply nothing like it.