If you haven’t seen them yet, this is your cue to catch up on five path- breaking movies in Tamil cinema
A collection of film and music reviews, Dispatches From The Wall Corner: A Journey through Indian Cinema, by critic Baradwaj Rangan, is among other things, the summation of a decade-long career analysing cinema. “It’s not a compilation of my reviews,” insists the author about his second book (the first being Conversations with Mani Ratnam). “It’s a panoramic view of Indian cinema.” He adds that his book, with a foreword by director Karan Johar, is not an encyclopaedia either. Here he lists some path-breakers in Tamil cinema:
K Balachander with Aval Oru Thodar Kadhai: It kick-started a phase which saw him crafting stories centred on female characters. And more importantly, it saw him breaking from his earlier theatrical films and adopting a cinematic style.
Bharathiraja’s 16 Vayathinile: This was a revolutionary film—in a real village setting, peopled by real villagers. It was the first authentic rural Tamil film.
Mani Ratnam with Mouna Ragam: It was an unexaggerated look at middle class urbanites. Of course, Tamil films had portrayed these before, but only in quotation marks, so to speak.
Selvaraghavan with Pudhupettai: There was a rawness to it. Not many directors have the guts to tell a story about such an unlovable protagonist.
Bala with Sethu. It was a defining tragedy. It pushed the limits of what could be shown on screen. The performances were great.
The book, Rs.2,261 approximately, is scheduled to launch by the end of October.
— Krishna Trilok