As the year draws to a close, will 2017 be remembered as the year which saw a rise in censorship and curbing of artistic freedom, a year when women came out with stories of harassment and abuse which were long buried, a year which saw unimaginable amount of violence meted out by divisive forces? This week, at the inaugural ceremony of the 15th edition of the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF), actor Arvind Swamy said that threats against artistes are increasing with the country forgetting that got its freedom from a non-violence movement. It was also Rajinikanth’s birthday this year, but the actor chose to celebrate it privately.
Here are the top stories of the week:
While Mumbai represents nostalgia and homecoming for the new age Bollywood, for Malayalam movies, it is the destination that offers freedom and hope.
Debutant director Arun Prabu Purushothaman talks to Silverscreen about Aruvi, the protagonist in his socio-political film by the same name. “Aruvi is the film’s hero. The film narrates her journey against a socio-political background.” he says.
Superstar Rajinikanth’s 67th birthday celebrations started at 12 am with the release of Kaala poster. Usually, the actor steps out of his Poes Garden residence and interacts with his fans but on his birthday, they were informed that their hero is out of town. But the celebrations continued.
There’s something innately likable about Sundeep Kishan’s personality, even when he plays someone with a low threshold for anger. You can’t pin it down to any particular thing — is it his voice, his demeanour or his boy-next-door look? Sundeep has a word for it, though. “Blessed. I think I’m just blessed that people see me that way.”
Read full interview: Sundeep Kishan Interview: ‘I Surrender To The Script Or To The Director’
Recently, the fan warriors of Mammootty unleashed an online attack on a bunch of actresses in Mollywood for criticizing Kasaba (2016), a poorly made movie that the actor himself is perhaps trying to forget. Mammootty started his acting career in 1971, played most of his iconic roles in the 80s and early 90s. The erosion in the quality of films in his oeuvre began in the late 90s when cheesy star-vehicles were churned out one after another, catering to a section of young audiences who identified him only as a handsome megastar.
Over 120 Malayalam films hit the screens in 2017. December has only begun, and a bunch of promising projects are waiting to be released in theatres this month. But, it is not too premature to celebrate the healthy list of excellent mainstream films that Malayalam cinema has produced this year.
Compiling a year-ender in terms of films is usually a difficult exercise, especially when over a hundred films are released and there’s an array of content to choose from. But, 2017 has seen the average being celebrated – films with no plot or logic have joined the Rs 100-crore club and broken records for being the ‘Masala Entertainer Of The Year’.
Read full story: Bollywood Films In 2017: A Few Sparkling Gems In A Sea Of Mediocrity
Maayavan is delightful just for one reason: It is filled with those lovely little things that would hearten anyone looking to remove themselves from reality. CV Kumar’s directorial debut – quite like his production ventures – deals with everything out of the ordinary.
What Aruvi is, apart from being a collection of poignant, musical montages (a brilliant score by Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj), is quite simply the tale of a girl, a child-woman, who, as she grows out of her idyllic childhood in the countryside, discovers the darker aspects of a society so rigidly governed by and chained to its beliefs that it becomes excruciating to breathe.