India Features

Top Stories Of The Week: Padmavati Row, Ashok Kumar’s Suicide And The Murky World Of Film Finances

It was a week full of the good, the bad and the ugly. While films like Juice, Tumhari Sullu with strong feminist undertones were received well, protests against Padmavati reached a nocomprendo level when a body was found at the Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan along with a message inscribed on the stones: ‘Padmavati Ka Virodh’.  Ashok Kumar, director M Sasikumar’s associate and relative, was found dead in his apartment in Chennai. His death sparked a debate on the murky world of film finances. There were small triumphs like the Kerala High Court’s ruling in favour of S Durga, the film which was removed from screening list at the International Film Festival of India.


Here are the top stories of the week:   

Of the many things about Village Rockstars, the Assamese indie film wonder that has been gathering love and accolades at many film festivals across the world, the most fascinating is the gleaming optimism that it proudly wears on its sleeve.

Read full story: Making A Zero Budget Movie: The Tale Of Assamese Filmmaker Rima Das’s ‘Village Rockstars’

Quora – the one-stop platform for whatever is piquing your mind, is a maze full of bizarre, outrageous, sometimes banal and often sexist questions with answers that range from laugh out funny to being extremely offensive. Here are some of our favourite questions on Bollywood asked sincerely by fans of the industry.

Read full story: What Would Happen If Sheldon Cooper Met Salman Khan? Quora Has The Answer 

Black Mirror, a science fiction anthology series, available on Netflix, contains episodes that are haunting – exploring the impact of social media, and those who are ardent followers of the platform. Episode six of season three, ‘Hated in the Nation’, is of particular relevance to the Padmavati issue.

Read full story: The Row Over ‘Padmavati’ Could Well Be A ‘Black Mirror’ Episode

Director M Sasikumar’s associate and relative, Ashok Kumar, was found dead in his apartment in Chennai. Reports suggest that he committed suicide after he was unable to pay loan sharks. “You can call me selfish or label me a coward,” begins producer-director B Ashok Kumar’s note, something he is said to have written before killing himself, “but I had just two choices: Suicide or murder.”


Read full story: Ashok Kumar’s Suicide Points To A Larger Malaise: What Happened To Secure Avenues Of Film Funding? 

Neeraj Ghaywan’s short film Juice, starring Shefali Shah in the lead, takes a closer look at the gender bias set in the reality of an average Indian home. The setting is too real and repulsive in its familiarity.


Read full story: Juice: Neeraj Ghaywan’s Short Film Shows The Deeply Ingrained Patriarchal Values In Indian Families 

Anbu Chezhian, currently the much-reviled and vilified man in the Tamil film industry, is described as a “leading financier and one of the biggest producers” in Kollywood. While most of the film industry, led by TFPC President Vishal, speaks in turns against the financier denouncing his unjust interest rates, trade practices, and most of all, his reprehensible ways of dealing with defaulters, a few voices have come out in support of the financier.

Read full story: Infamous Financier Without A Face: ‘Madurai Anbu’, Loathed & Loved, Perhaps Not In Equal Measure 

Athishayangalude Venal has a child protagonist; and true to its theme, it doesn’t quite deal with situations and emotions that are beyond children’s comprehension. The movie will be screened at the IFFK, scheduled to begin on December 8.

On International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25), a look at Rahul Riji Nair’s film that explores marital rape – an act the apex court refuses to categorise as criminal offence.

Read full story: A Young Woman Fights Marital Rape In Malayalam Film ‘Ottamuri Velicham’

Movie Reviews
Ajji works in parts as a conventional revenge drama, but it falls into the same traps as Bollywood’s flimsy rape dramas do. Jishnu Bhattacharjee’s cinematography is the only element that manages to rise above the realm of mediocrity.

Ajji Review: Grandmother Sets Out To Avenge The Rape Of A Minor In This Cliche-Ridden Dark Drama

If Indrajith’s intents were clearer, it would have made for some nice, idle entertainment, if nothing else. The one with which we know we can’t really nitpick, or look for explanations. Something that is meant to be laughed with, or at, and not quite reviewed in a reviewer’s fashion.

Indrajith Review: Honest Intent But Evokes Memories Of 90s Cinema & Not In A Good Way