Home Regional Cinema Kollywood ‘Varathan’ film review: An intriguing thriller

‘Varathan’ film review: An intriguing thriller

Malayalam director Amal Neerad holds a mirror to a society ridden by male chauvinism and voyeurism in Varathan.

Backed by excellent performances, stunning visuals and music that complements the narrative, Varathan becomes an intriguing thriller that follows you home.

The story opens in Dubai. Abin (Fahadh Faasil) and Priya (Aishwarya Lekshmi), a young married couple in love, go through two unfortunate events.

When Priya suggests that they return to Kerala, Abin agrees. So they decide to stay at her father’s ancestral property in the hills of Idukki.

Their joy and solitude is soon threatened when Priya realises that her childhood home of happy memories is unsafe for her as a woman.

You get an inkling of the attitude of the local villagers the moment they enter the town and stop at a roadside store for tea. The discomfiting stares of the men sitting outside is something any woman will connect to. Priya points out to Abin the old man among them known for his roving eye.

The fear of being watched creeps into Priya’s mind — while in the midst of baking she turns around to face a stranger peering through the window; the shadow of a man looking into their bedroom door; the notion of being observed that Priya’s feels while undressing in her bathroom.

Neerad gradually builds it along with cinematographer Little Swayamp — the camera close at heels of Priya all the while taking in her activities like the stalkers outside. Adding to it is Sushin Shyam’s background music ushering in an eerie ambience.

Women have an instinct to understand when the glances and gazes are just not right and like Priya they often find it hard to convince others around of the threat.

Priya is irritated with Abin for being naive about the intentions of Josy (Sharafudden), a school mate who had a crush on her and still lusts for her. Giving him company are his two friends. From the field that Priya’s family has let out to Josy — a convenient vantage point — they intrude into her life. What seemed like a worm crawling on the skin grows into a monster to wreck Priya’s and Abin’s lives.

When Priya packs her bags telling Abin that she does not feel safe in his care, Abin’s manliness is questioned. She recalls her father who provided a safety umbrella for his family.

Abin breaks down in the courtyard. That was a brilliant performance from Faasil, one of the many the versatile actor delivers.

Turning cinematic and giving Abin an opportunity to be the man Priya wants, Varathan soon becomes the story of a hero. Faasil fans are in for a treat. Abin’s lone battle with a group of men carrying guns and knives is well choreographed as he intelligently strikes at them using resources at hand.

The film’s strong points lie in the onscreen chemistry between Faasil and Lekshmi, who holds her own well opposite Faasil.

Writers Suhas and Sharfu’s characters are so real, you see people like them around you. Abin’s character graph — how he evolves from a suave man in love to one who resorts to violence when his wife is threatened — is well developed. Abin, who would not even hurt a cockroach, does not hesitate to squash a cockroach in the last scene.

Sharafudden gives a jaw-dropping performance, one that is different from his roles in Premam, Pretham and Aadhi.

Priya’s traumatic scene has been shot neatly and Lekshmi brings out her anguish and anger perfectly.

Varathan lays bare the hypocrisy of men. Some claim to be moral police on one hand and worry about culture losing way to modern clothes and behaviour, but it’s these very men who are a threat to women. And, when it concerns their sisters and daughters, they can be monsters.

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Home Regional Cinema Kollywood Rajnikant’s “Petta” Teaser released on his birthday today

Rajnikant’s “Petta” Teaser released on his birthday today

The teaser of upcoming Tamil action drama “Petta” is unveiled today on the occasion of megastar Rajinikanth’s 68th birthday.
The teaser gives us a glimpse of Rajinikanth in two avatars, sporting a handlebar moustache and a bearded look.
Going by the visuals, the teaser is a nostalgic throwback to the Rajinikanth of the 1990s.
“Petta” marks the first-time collaboration of Rajinikanth and Karthik Subbaraj.
At the audio launch of “Petta”, Rajinikanth said that Karthik directed him like a hardcore Rajinikanth fan.
“Karthik has a very different style of storytelling. He directed this film like a true Rajinikanth fan. ‘Petta’ is an entertaining throwback to the kind of films I did in 1990s. Karthik has extracted from me the kind of work I used to perform three to four decades ago,” he said.
Rajinikanth went on to describe “Petta” as a “beautiful film” best suited for a festival release.

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Home Regional Cinema Kollywood Tamil actor Vishal poses with bottle, courts controversy

Tamil actor Vishal poses with bottle, courts controversy

Tamil actor and general secretary of the actors body ‘Nadigar Sangam’, Vishal has courted controversy by posing with what appeared to be a beer bottle in the first look poster of his next movie ‘Ayogya’, drawing flak from the PMK.
Vishal shared the poster in his twitter handle saying ‘Here We Go….The First Look from my next movie, Ayogya…”

The film, written and directed by Venkat Mohan features the popular actor as a police officer and Rashi Khanna pairs with him in the flick.
Vishal, besides being the general secretary of Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Artistes’ Association), is also the president of the Tamil Film Producers Council. Seated on the bonnet of a ‘police’ jeep, Vishal, with dark glasses on, is seen holding the bottle stylishly.
Pattali Makkal Katchi founder leader S Ramadoss slammed Vishal saying he expected social responsibility from him.
“The first look poster in which actor Vishal appears with a beer bottle should be immediately withdrawn,” the top PMK leader said on his twitter handle. “What is that the actor tries to convey through this promotional material? I expect social responsibility from the general secretary of Nadigar Sangam.”
The PMK chief recalled that he had written to Vishal (since he was the general secretary of the actors body) seeking a ban on actors smoking on screen. “Going beyond smoking, he is posing with beer bottle. What a social responsibility,?” he asked sarcastically.
The first look poster of Vijay-starrer ‘Sarkar’ too had invited the wrath of the PMK and anti-tobacco groups months ago since the actor had posed smoking a cigarette for it. The poster was subsequently withdrawn and not used for promotion of the movie.

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Home Regional Cinema Kollywood ZEE5 premieres Tamil silent thriller ‘Mercury’

ZEE5 premieres Tamil silent thriller ‘Mercury’

ZEE5, one of India’s leading digital video on demand platforms, has been consistently setting the audience expectations higher with new digital premieres every week, fresh off the theatre. This week, to fortify its content library even further, ZEE5 premieres Tamil film Mercury, a silent thriller written and directed by renowned filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj. Mercury has a power packed star cast including Prabhu Deva, Remya Nambeesan, Sananth Reddy, Narendran, Deepak Paramesh, Shashank Purushotham and Anish Padmanabhan.

Mercury revolves around five friends who try to cover up a death of the friend who accidentally died of mercury poisoning. Problem arises when the dead friend comes out of his grave! Will he take revenge? What is the truth behind his death?

Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, ZEE5 India said, “ZEE5 has witnessed unchartered growth in regional markets. We have strengthened our Tamil portfolio with interesting originals like Kallachirippu and America Mappillai along with latest movies. With a gripping narrative, differentiator of a ‘silent thriller’ and a stellar cast, Karthik Subbaraj’s Mercury clearly stands out. We hope that with this launch on the platform, audiences will enjoy the film again with new vigour.”

Karthik Subbaraj, Director, Mercury, commented, “The positive response that my maiden digital venture Kallachirippu received on ZEE5 gave me the confidence that bringing my movie Mercury to ZEE5 straight after the theatre would be an interesting format. With the digital premiere of Mercury on the platform on 11th October, the audience will be delighted to use ZEE5 as their first preference for Tamil entertainment. I am confident that with the massive reach of ZEE5, Mercury will be seen and loved by many more viewers.”

With over 3500 films, 500+ TV shows, 4000+ music videos, 35+ theatre plays and 90+ LIVE TV Channels across 12 languages, ZEE5 truly presents a blend of unrivalled content offering for its viewers across the nation. With ZEE5, the global content of Zindagi as a brand, which was widely appreciated across the country, has also been brought back for its loyal viewers.

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