There was a huge sigh of relief when 2017 came to an end, after all it wasn’t such a great one for people in movies. Women in the film industry decided to speak up against misogyny and sexism, talented artistes denounced nepotism, filmmakers squirmed while censorship became rampant and arbitrary.
Give it to Rajinikanth who knows exactly how to herald the new year. With his big announcement on December 31, he made sure he made a grand entry to the new year. To a packed hall, he said, “Naan arasiyalukku varuvadhu urudhi [I will enter politics for sure].” Calling his political entry a necessity [“kaalathhin kattayam“], Rajini declared that democracy is dead in the state and that a few political events that had happened the past year in Tamil Nadu have shamed its citizens. “If I don’t enter now, I will feel guilty,” he said, “All my preparations have been done. I am not entering for the money or name.”
Sunny Leone topped Google search trends in 2017 despite not being allowed to perform in Bengaluru on New Year’s Eve. And if it’s not her, it’s Baahubali 2, when the world got to know why Kattappa killed Baahubali. As Google notes, the lists are based on search terms that had a high spike in traffic in 2017 as compared to 2016.
A number of high-profile films are in the pipeline, waiting to hit the screens in 2018. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, the most controversial film of the recent times, is yet to get out of the murky political turmoil it is caught in. The exquisitely shot period film will hopefully release in 2018, after fighting a tough battle against the right-wing groups. Among the big-budget films whose release dates aren’t confirmed are Rajinikanth’s 2.0 and Mohanlal’s Odiyan.
A powerful contender for the Oscar award for Best Foreign Language Film this year is a dark Russian drama centered around a disintegrated family and a missing boy. In Loveless (Nelyubov), directed by Russian writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev, a twelve-year-old boy runs away from his parents’ apartment in Moscow one day and is never found again.
Right before 2017 ended, the new season of Netflix’s Black Mirror was out. Having teased us with a few trailers in the past few months, the excitement had peaked, considering season three had a heartwarming episode like ‘San Junipero’ and ended it with a terrifying ‘Most Hated In The Nation’.
In Tamil Nadu, the post-J Jayalalithaa era has been an unstable one with fewer dull moments. People going to jail, ‘groundbreaking’ statements made, and now, Kollywood’s actors venturing towards the political side to bring about a change in the State. And, they’re going all out on it – from dropping hints to big statements that have trended on social media for days, and a finally, finding a way to connect with fans – because, it’s all about getting those votes.
A sense of gloom pervades The Slave Genesis, a documentary film on Paniya, an aboriginal group in Kerala’s Wayanad district. Directed and shot by Aneez K Mappila, a young journalist from the district, the 60-minute long film takes you to a Paniya residential colony in Wayanad where the funeral ceremony of one of the workers who died of unnatural causes is underway.
Diwanjimoola Grand Prix
Anil Radhakrishna Menon’s Diwanjimoola Grand Prix has its heart in the right place. The tale follows a tried and tested pattern, founded on the human virtues, and culminating on a life-affirming note. It has a bunch of endearing characters, played by some of the excellent actors.