Can you swallow the great Indian kitchen?

Swallow and The Great Indian Kitchen

It’s no secret that we live in a patriarchal world. We are at the dawn of new cultural reform, we are now truly understanding individual choices and freedom after years of shout-outs and books. But, any progress is progress. And to mark this progress, I bring out two cinematic parallels, Swallow (2020) and The great Indian kitchen (2021).

On the surface level, they might appear as two different films. But the thing that I clubbed them together is because in-depth they are the same movie! No, I’m not accusing of plagiarism, but I’m just pointing out the similarities in the theme. And this thematic similarities doesn’t occur from copying each other, but they exist around the world. 

The common theme in both the films is the identity crisis of a woman who is deemed to be a housewife for the rest of her life. And this happens everywhere in the world. The term housewife is synonymous to housemaid, the only difference is the wife is unpaid and should provide more services than a maid.

The theme

It is no exaggeration when I say women feel choked when this happens. Why would they as individuals should let another individual overshadow their identity? Now, the husbands don’t do that voluntarily in many cases, but it is indeed happening! In the name of culture and traditions we have long been shadowing a woman’s identity.

Both Swallow and The great Indian kitchen deal with this identity crisis of a housewife in their own different ways, deconstructing norms of their own regions. While Swallow is more focused on maternity, abortion, identity, freedom; The great Indian kitchen also touches religious and other cultural sentiments.

While Swallow is cleverly crafted and dealt with metaphors and surreal/psychological elements, TGK is straightforward and loud. TGK doesn’t hesitate from being passed away as over-spoken or being too predictable. TGK only cares about conveying the message and hence it is a mission accomplished. Right from the very first frame, the message and themes are clearly visible and understood in TGK.

The films as whole

While it is an artistic choice on how to make a film, it would have been better if TGK was not predictable. But at the same time, I’m hit with the dilemma that what if that is what they wanted to create? What if Jeo Baby, the maker, intended to bore me with predictability, because that is the entire point of the film. 

The film is nothing but an orthodox family and its housewife’s daily chores. Of course it’s predictable and repetitive. If this predictability was an artistic choice, it was a good thing to do so, because the message about the boredom and jail-ish feel of a housewife life is super conveyed!

But if it was a coincidence, then it was a lucky one. I wasn’t in awe looking at TGK as a film. But was in awe of the guts of the maker and the actor’s flawless acting. But if you ask if I would suggest TGK to others? Definitely I would! I urge all women and especially Indians to watch TGK!

Swallow keeps you hooked on with its interesting plot and character development. And it doesn’t feel like the plot is leading the character towards the shift. But it happens with TGK. Somewhere in the middle I felt like the character development was a bit shallow. It left a lot of doubts about the protagonist. The plot led the character shift in TGK, not how it should have happened. 

 We need more TGKs!

If only there were more details on the protagonist, it would have led the character development go smooth and doesn’t feel forced and projected. But Jeo Baby’s target was arranged marriage, regional cultural norms of marriage and post-married life of a housewife, so he might just have thought the details to be unnecessary. But the details would only have given a sense of completeness in the end.

India needs more movies like TGK. It is only through movies can we really make a cultural reform now. It’s time we understood why arranged marriages won’t work and only cause pain. It is already late to realise that housewives are nothing but housemaids with benefits.

Paava kadhaigal – A Movie review

Paava Kadhaigal, an apt title for such a wonderful anthology. This anthology speaks about four different stories with one common emotion, the honour killings. Directed by Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Vetrimaaran and Vignesh Shivan, one story each. This is an anthology that portrays humans’ cruelty to sustain the honour in society.
The series begins with a beautiful graphic story that briefs all the tales in a nutshell played with a soulful BGM.

The concept-

As the series runs around the concept of honour killings, each story tells a different tale of why and how honour killings happen. Though centuries have passed, specific ideas still aren’t passe like “honour killings”. It is a beautiful concept to talk about as people should progress as the world is progressing.

The narration-

Every story has been narrated with a subtility that one can’t ignore the reality behind such stories. But one story that didn’t strike the heartstrings was the story directed by Vignesh Shivan. It stands last when compared with other stories of Paava Kadhaigal.

All angles study-

While the stories got us goosebumps with the hits and punches of emotions, some memorable scenes need light.
In the first story, Kalidas Jayaram plays Sattharu who just wooed us with his performance. The dialogue, “People either got irritated if I go close or came close to me with lust, no one ever hugged me with love!” brought a massive thought into how trans people are treated in society. Kalidas just lived through every tear he shed for the role. The song, “Thangame Thangame” still echoes in my ears.

In the second story, Jyothi, played by Anjali, expresses a deep emotion when she cries before her sister’s dead body.

In the third story, the chemistry between Mathi and Satya played by Simran, and Gautam Menon perfectly worked. When they are happy to when they are sad, the shift of emotions and expressions portrayed a perfect couple.

In the fourth story, Sumathi, played by Sai Pallavi, performed exceptionally in the climax scene. The conversation between Sumathi and Janakiram played by Prakash Raj is heartbreaking.

There are a few parts that are questionable in the series. Every swear word used in Paava Kadhaigal is women-centric. Where such liberal stories are spoken, these words shouldn’t hinder the audiences’ ears. We understand when they are used in anger, but story directed by Vignesh Shivan made a whole scene with swear words which had no purpose. The climax is an epic fail as there wasn’t a need to show that Jothi acted as a lesbian while she isn’t. It could have been better if the story had ended as if Jothi is lesbian.

That being said, there is too much to be told and consumed in this series. One cannot go without tears rolling in the eyes after watching Paava Kadhaigal. The foolishness of humans to have a hold of pride and honour in the name of caste, religion, status, societal standards should be stopped, and for what, Paava Kadhaigal is the answer!

Depth of field; Cinema and Photography

Depth, well, it is one of the words that is analogous to many other things. While all the other secondary meanings of the word are related, the primary meaning would be ‘the distance between the top and bottom surfaces’. Even when it comes to a movie, the depth becomes a lot of things too. For suppose, the depth of a film can indicate the story going to deeper levels or the subject of the movie being deep. But we are particularly talking about the depth of field!

But technically, or to say, visually, depth or precisely depth of field is something that deals with focus. Depth of field is the field of vision that is in focus in a particular shot. Different camera lenses allow a certain depth of field. The aperture of a camera lens decides the amount of light that the sensor captures. Hard to understand, right? Let us break it down!

How does a camera function?

A camera is something that captures light through sensors. When you click the capture button, the light reflecting from the subject falls on the sensor. The shutter closes, and the captured light develops an image. Cameras are something that can control time with light. You can capture a moment of running time, and you can freeze that particular moment and hang it in your homes.


Aperture is the hole of the lens. The light that passes from the subject is passed through the aperture of lenses before hitting the sensor. You can adjust the size of the aperture, and it affects the photo differently. When the aperture (opening) of the camera is wide open, it lets in all the light coming from outside. When more light falls on the sensor, only the subject appears clearly, and the rest of the background becomes blurred.

Because of the vast light that is going in through large aperture, this blurring of the background happens. And the blur occurs because the background is not in the depth of field. Depth of field is the area of focus in an image or a video. By making the aperture wide open and letting in more light, you decrease the area of focus, and only the subject of the image appears clearly.

depth of field and aperture

Similarly, if you decrease the size of the aperture, the light hitting the sensor is reduced. By each point of decrease in the aperture, the area of focus begins to increase. And if you tighten the aperture to the largest and closest, you can observe that now even the background is clear and not blurry. This blurring and focusing of subject and background happen because of the light going in and hitting the sensor.

F – stop

Something much more critical and confusing here is that the values of changing the aperture are referred to as ‘f-stops’. If you change the f-stops, the aperture either increases or decreases as per your requirement. The f-stops are fractions and are measured as f/1.8, f/2.8 and may have greater f-stops till f/22 or even higher. The common mistake one can commit while talking or understanding f-stops are about how they impact aperture.

It is clear to use that if aperture (hole) is wider then it lets more light in and the depth of field (area of focus) decreases. And if the aperture is close and tight having a smallest possible opening, it only lets little light and the depth of field increases. The f-stops with smaller numbers indicate wider aperture and the ones with bigger numbers indicate tighter aperture.

f stops and depth of field

It is that, greater the number of f-stop, lesser the opening of the aperture. And lesser the number of f-stop, greater the opening of the aperture. So, if you want to take a picture focusing only the subject and blurring out the background, you should choose lesser f-stop number on camera as it means that you are widening your aperture and letting more light. Thus, decreasing the area of focus, i.e., depth of field!

depth of field cheat

Wrapping up!

We have discussed how the depth of field is created, shifted and used to take pictures or videos. In the following week, let’s get into the practical use and ways of depicting the depth of field. We shall also see different types of uses of the depth of field to tell stories visually.

The Frankenstein chronicles – Parted and stitched

I am someone who binge-watches quite less. Neither I am a fan of TV nor any movie. It’s on a rare occasion that I feel the urge to watch something. When I am angry or sad or confused or anxious, I feel the need to watch something just to escape the tragedy of time and of course so that I don’t have to talk to anyone. This week I felt stressed and scrolled through my Netflix. I am a big fan of drama, psychic thrillers, and rom-coms. So, Netflix apparently showed me in the suggestions this series called, “The Frankenstein Chronicles.” For someone who watches things rarely, we don’t like to surf for many other series. I went for it and I must say, I don’t regret it. So, I thought I should write about it.

Here is the brief about “The Frankenstein chronicles”-

Frankenstein Chronicles is a series that leads by a strong detective character named John Marlott played by the actor Sean Bean. Benjamin Ross and Barry Langford created it based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. John Marlott finds a weird thing at a swamp which looks like a human but is not. The body looks like being stitched and attached. Later, he finds out through a doctor named William Chester, played by Samuel West that the body is actually made of seven different bodies.

For which, John Marlott suspects that the people who were used to make that body were murdered. To find out who possibly can be committing this crime and why he starts to investigate. Through his investigations, he finds out many shocking things that happen about surgeons of England. But sadly, John Marlott’s story ends in an unexpected way. In a nutshell, this story is a must-watch if you are a crime lover. Uhhh, Light-hearted? Please watch in company!

My opinion-

I am a horror fan. So, I expect a lot of horror from the movie, which is a little disappointing. But that being said, the series kept me hooked because of its twists and turns. I loved how everything was placed properly, and nothing was exaggerated. The dull tone used in the movie helped us experience the old times of England. A few shots showing the slum side show us the dark side of big crimes that occur under our nose. The story is a complete package of amazing actors, on-point content and chill in the bones of the watchers.

Wanna read more about movies, and series? Find them here!

Understanding Cinema

What is a movie? We can define the term in several ways, but what is the actual operation and definition of a movie? Is it art? Or a Craft? To understand what it is, you need to have a perception of what ‘craft’ means and how it is different from ‘art’. A craft is an activity to create something. Many activities go behind the screen of a film, and all these activities are unhesitantly called crafts and the people who perform these activities are craftsmen. So is the film a craft? No! But filmmaking is a craft! Cinema is an art. This piece of art is made by various craftsmen combining their crafts such as direction, cinematography, music, sound, colour and various other aspects.

Cinema, the prodigal son of multiple arts

Now let’s strip down this art called movie to understand it in the right way. But before we do that, why did I use the term ‘right way’? Is there a wrong way? Yes, there is! The way we understand films impact a lot on what we are taking from it. If we understand cinema as a ramp, then we start taking the beauty of those ramp walking models, here actors. Somewhere we have lost our perception and movies have become nothing more than ramps. We have started watching movies to look at these sparkling actors. We have begun praying them, watching their films and defending their crappy works because we like them. Fanaticism is not our concern, though. So let us not worry about the wrong understandings of a film and dive into the proper way.

The Expression

Any art is an expression, and the artists are expressers. What they express is an artistic choice. But the purpose of art’s existence is to express something. Let us assume this expressing subject as ‘information’. Because no matter what the expresser (artist) chooses to communicate through their art, it conveys some information to the viewer. The entire purpose of a movie too is to speak something; to express some information to the viewer. Regardless of what that information is, every movie does talk about something. Like their ancestor, the painting, even a movie is visual art. It does speak something and its medium to communicate is visual. 

Cinema has the attributes of almost all the art forms. It is a visual art like paintings; has sound and music, and has characters, actions and spectacle like stage plays. They are the hybrid form of art, and it takes all of those artists to make it work. Sometimes when you hear certain music, it impacts you. It reaches your brain and triggers certain emotions. Music and sound are auditory art where they tell you something too. Some music has lyrics to say to you directly, and some music talks to you through its tune and instruments. Similarly, characters speak a lot of things through their dialogue and sometimes with their expressions. But when you dig into the actual lineage of cinema, you will understand that its heritage comes from paintings more than any other art. They are called movies for a reason. And that is, moving pictures!

person holding camera film
Photo by Luriko Yamaguchi on

The stripping down of cinema

When you strip down a movie, that is simplifying it. You can call a film as a collage of multiple video clips arranged in a particular order to tell a specific story. And if you strip that clip to its toes, a video is a bunch of photos taken at a certain speed and animated later. So all movie is just a bunch of pictures! Let us call these photos as frames! Because that is what a movie is. It has 24 frames per second, meaning 24 photos clicked per second. When you compile these continuously clicked photos into a clip and organise all these clips to tell a story, you have a cinema!

Note to film enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers!

Now telling a story, that is where the difference lies. How do you tell a story? In a movie, you have all the arts available to you. You have many different ways to tell a story. It is up to you to make sure that you don’t over-use any aspect and never use any other. That is what happens in many mainstream cinema. They over-use ‘dialogue’ by conveying all the information through the character’s dialogues. It is an easy way out because the character directly speaks out. But you have all the other arts to use. When we strip the film down, we understood that it is just a series of photographs. What a photo is a modern version of paintings. 

With the available technology, we can edit all the details in a picture and convey some story even through a single photo. Now in a film, you have several thousands of images, 24 per each second. How fair is it to convey all the information through dialogue and character’s actions? Why not become more artistic by choosing to share information visually. Why not use music to say something? Why not use light, colour, make-up, properties and every other aspect that appears on screen to tell the story? Do use dialogues and do use character’s action, but in a film use all the available crafts equally to convey information, and that is a story!

To know more about my opinions on films, refer to the article where I have written about Om Dar-B-Dar (1988) and Satantango (1994).

Models become actresses and heirs become actors

We all talk about how nepotism is prevalent in the film and media. But there is also the other misconception around cinema, to bring models into the movies. Models are good looking, and they would look great in front of the camera, so Indian directors prefer models over people who can act. People think acting is simple, pretending a few facial expressions. But that is false. Bringing in models just because they are good looking is equally bad as bringing in actors because of their family heritage. An actor is someone who acts. And the term acting is the biggest oxymoron there ever is. To act is not to act but to live in the role. A person who is good at acting is a bad actor because acting is not about acting out but feeling the moment as it is real. It is a skill, and it is out of syllabus for modelling agencies. And it most possibly not a genome that passes through heritage!

Models and relatives of already existing actors usually think acting is all about pretending emotions. Few are an exception, but if you look at the majority of those actor turned models, they only know to pretend a bunch of expressions. And in every film they star, they are same, giving the same expressions in all the movies regardless of their role in the film. They are just bad actors because they are acting and not living in part. Living in character is not an additional skill for acting; it is what acting means. Because of sons, brothers, sisters and models entering acting without any prior training or proper knowledge about acting, ‘living in the role’ became a unique feature, and the one who has it gets treated like a special actor.

man standing on stage
Actors in a theater
Photo by Ruca Souza on

But it is the primary qualification for anyone to act in the first place. Now the films are crowded with such people who are not even qualified to play any character. If you watch behind the scenes of a foreign film, you will understand that if any actor failed to live the role, that scene gets added to bloopers and they are made into a memorable video calling ‘so and so actor broke character’. The fans made it even hell in India that, they demand the director to put specific songs and specific dialogues referring to their real-life presence. But if their real-life presence is referred to in a film, how are they even actors? Directors have even started writing stories that match the real-life character of the actors to satisfy their fans. This is why people who want to become actors go to modelling agencies instead of acting schools. How handsome does Joe Pesci look? Can you compare our so called ‘handsome’ actors’ method of acting with Pesci’s? You can’t!

This thoughtless process is how models and heirs have dragged the art called film to the dump. They even have started calling the movies as an ‘industry’. ‘Telugu film industry, Tamil film industry’. Since when did filmmaking become an industry? Why are Indian filmmakers cutting down the art in film and only concentrating on the commercial aspects of a movie? A film is an act of real-life incidents or imagined incidents. You can do a lot of things with a film. Primarily, you make a film to tell a story to convey an emotion. But making films to satisfy an actor’s fans and earn some dough, is cheating the profession. You are not a director just because you have directed a movie. You are a director if you know how to make a film. You do not know how to make a movie; you know the method to satisfy fans and earn money. You are a businessman, and yes, the word industry fits right for you. The things you are making are no films but just montages of fan service. Don’t call them movies and don’t call your ideas of promoting that shit as a vision.

Fans going gaga
Photo by Wendy Wei on

Let film be a film! Hiring models to do acting is like hiring a dental doctor to perform brain surgery!

The Pizza Box

This was supposed to be my short film and I remember how excited everyone was when I narrated this story. I couldn’t finish shooting the film, I lacked training then. But I decided to write it as a story for everyone that had supported me back then. I hope you like it. Modified and rewrote the story to fit current circumstances and technological advances.

Part I

Manish was pursuing his graduation, and it was common to live in a different city with a batch of friends. His roommates are always in a party mood, and they always crave for pranks and pizza. Their educational system was such, where the questions for exams were leaked a day before. And their assignments were written by their female friends with a bribe of costly chocolates. Manish, Tarun, Rajesh, Bhargav and Akhil had nothing to do but prank on people all day. They had the choice of bribing their lecturers for giving false attendance. All it took was a bottle of whiskey per month, and it was somehow arrangeable for them. They are buying chocolates and whiskey to finish their degree. It is no less than buying a degree directly. It is a hack they found in the system that values students with more scores than students with more wisdom. Back when they didn’t see the hack yet, they did go to the college. Not regularly, but they still did go. While students were busy listening to classes and preparing for exams, they used to draw dick faces on the walls of toilets. They thought themselves to be artists and wise men to enjoy life while they can. 

It was on the campus where they lit their first cigarettes, and it was on the campus they got caught drinking whiskey. They invested more time on making untraceable pranks than they spend on books. They did read good books, but nothing related to academics. They spent their evenings watching mystery thrillers and the nights flirting with their classmates. Bhargav the only guy who didn’t flirt any was presumed to be gay by the other squad. Yet they never opened up before him. Tarun claims he saw Bhargav oddly staring at their landlord, but Bhargav claims it was just anger and not lust. They started pranking their landlord by leaving love notes to him in the name of their neighbour’s housewife. They love watching the landlord giving blushy looks at her since then. Once they decided to do a grand con and fooled their classmates by sending a gif of spiderman dancing on the name of Important questions, the day before their first-year final exams. They always craved for more pranks and bigger cons; they never had enough. The next thing they love after pranks are pizzas. If you are to search for them, you need to check all the pizza places around their residence and the probability that you run into them is more than 90%.

It was just a regular Sunday, and it has been a week since they ate pizza. It had been more than a month since they pranked someone. They got drifted away with the pressure of exams. They couldn’t secure the questions that semester, so for the first time, they had to read their college books instead of thrillers and pornography. They still found a hack for it, with the practice of remembering lines from movies and books, they quickly memorise the lines form textbooks without even knowing what it means. They didn’t choose to copy, as they thought they were superior to it. They depend solely on their memory skills, and it was a stressful month. And now, they need to eat pizza! Their bodies were demanding it! They couldn’t afford a dine-in, and there were discounts on orders. So they took their phones out, dialled the nearby pizza shop and ordered a large pizza. 

The delivery boy knocked, and Manish answered the door, took in the pizza. Bhargav was curiously looking at the delivery bike which had a bag on it. “How many orders are you serving right now?” Bhargav asked the delivery boy. “Sorry sir?” he asked. “No just got curious about how well the business is running and how many are craving for pizza in the moment in this area” Bhargav explained. The delivery boy smiled “Business is booming sir six orders right now!” he said. “6 pizzas!” Bhargav exclaimed. “No, sir. 9 pizzas, not everyone orders a single pizza” The delivery boy left after Manish tipped him a 10. “What’s with the pizza talk?” he pat on Bhargav’s back as Bhargav was curiously looking at the delivery boy wearing the huge bag and riding away. “Crushing on him, or is it his job?” Tarun joked. “Fuck you!” Bhargav yelled as the roommates shared few giggles and slices. Bhargav remained silent and was thinking deeply.

“What is bothering you, Aristotle?” Manish asked Bhargav. “What if we steal the bag of pizzas the delivery boy left on the bike? We can have nine pizzas, and that would be a hilarious thing to do” Bhargav said, looking at Manish. “The pizza heist?” Manish laughed. “Come on! We can work on it!” Bhargav awaited Manish’s approval. “Well it is a childish fantasy, but we will be the first to suspect if something like that happened” Manish told him. “Not if we order it somewhere else!” Akhil joined in the conversation. Manish giggled, and Bhargav looked like it was a brilliant idea. “Are you serious?” Manish asked, puzzled looking at the expressions of Akhil and Bhargav. “You are telling me that you will call the fucker, give him a wrong address and steal his bag of pizzas while he knocks the door of some jerk?” Manish asked sarcastically. ” “If it is a prank and we will be gifted pizzas, count me in!” Tarun yelled from the bathroom. “Yeah bring me satellite phones and untraceable caller IDs. Dimwits!” Manish grew paranoid. “Do you think they would call FBI on a lost pizza box?” Akhil laughed, and everyone joined him in laughs. “The pizza heist it is!” Bhargav grinned.

Manish, still paranoid, kept searching on how to change his caller ID and IMEI numbers. Within a few hours of youtube videos and blogs, he made his phone untraceable as he wanted. Not for pizza, but it can be used for bigger pranks, he thought! He overslept and a loud yell woke him up! Akhil was yelling, screeching and jumping around like an ape. “The delivery is on!” Bhargav yelled, and Manish jumped up on his feet. “You fools, why didn’t you wake me up? I made my phone untraceable!” Manish cried. “Don’t sob, sissy. I have seen you do it at night, and I used your mobile. The FBI can’t hunt us down. The heist is on!” Tarun said dancing to tunes of goddess Lakshmi coming from a neighbour. “Where did you order it?” Manish asked. “The half constructed house two blocks away. Brush your stinky mouth, we gotta roll” Akhil pushed Manish. 

They went to the half-constructed building, waiting for the pizza guy to show up. They were wearing surgical masks, and they saw a pizza guy coming at a certain distance. Akhil threw his cigarette and wore his mask back. “Look, Guys. We…we can pay him. This sounds very dumb and stupid” Manish requested them to stop once again. “Why did you jailbreak the phone if you did not want to do it too?” Tarun asked him. ” I don’t know, man! I don’t feel fully in it. I’m half-hearted and paranoid” Manish held his shoulder. The pizza guy arrived at the location, looked around and was looking at the top of the building. “Why isn’t he calling us?” Manish asked.

“Who cares?” Akhil replied. The pizza guy took a few steps forward and yelled “Hello?”. Tarun grew impatient and started walking forward towards the bag. Manish panicked as Tarun walked towards the bike. Tarun lifted the bag and threw it at Manish. Manish held it and didn’t know what to do, threw it in the house behind them. Akhil, Bhargav jumped the wall of that house, took the bag and went to the house backyard to escape. Manish’s heart was panting, and he didn’t turn back. He followed Akhil, and Bhargav jumped the wall and hid in the backyard. Tarun jumped the fence of another house, and all of them met on the road behind that street. They were running with the bag and could hear someone shouting. They only stopped when they reached their house. They went in, put the bag inside, had a big breath and burst out in laughter. Akhil was rolling on the floor. Tarun impatiently opened the bag and put on a sad puppy face, as his heart broke. “What happened?” Manish asked and opened the bag. There was only one pizza!

Their jaws dropped, facepalmed and speechless they grew! “Let us at least open the damn box. It is still free right”? Manish boosted them. They opened the box to find a Margherita pizza, plain, cheese and nothing else. They couldn’t speak; they were heartbroken. Their heist was a dud. The bites they took off those slices were not even heartfelt. And the taste was horrible! They went back to sitting in corners, smoking and texting in silence while Manish watched TV for a diversion. His paranoia grew, and he was switching local news channels. “Like they are going to report lost Margherita!” he said to himself. He became impatient and started switching channels quickly, and suddenly he felt like he saw something familiar. He turned back to find the half-constructed building and reporters around it. “What the fuck? Isn’t it too much for a lost pizza?” He said and increased the volume. There was an ambulance and many people around that house.

“A pizza delivery boy was shot dead at this house, and this is the call the pizza shop received, the call of the order: *Yeah! I want a Veggie extravaganza and a Mexican chicken pepperoni. The address… Um.. 1-8-*

Manish just turned the TV Off. It was Bhargav’s changed voice; he could recognise it. “We ordered the pizza; it’s our call… Someone shot him, and we are framed! We are wanted for murder, and there is nothing to prove we didn’t kill him for a pizza!” Manish thought, and his anxiety kicked in. His friends went out for a smoke, half an hour ago, but there is still no-one around. Manish started calling each of them. No-one was responding. The lights turned off. And *Bang Bang* someone banged the door. Manish’s heartbeat grew faster, and it sounded like a bullet train. 

*Bang Bang Bang*

Manish looked through the peephole and saw someone wearing a pizza uniform. His heart peaked the beat, and the guy pushed the door open, making Manish fall. It started raining, the lightning and thunder the man’s face revealed to Manish! It was the delivery guy whom they saw when they stole the box! The man that was reported dead on the TV! Manish’s eyes, jaw were wide open as his bones felt a chill!

To be continued…

Mani Ratnam – The man who redefined Love

My take on the movies of Director Mani Ratnam, where he redefined love .


  • Love in an arranged marriage. (MOUNARAGAM and ROJA)

Film “MOUNARAGAM” revolves around the girl who used to live with free wings and already in love with someone. Suddenly marriage happens to her. But mani sir shows the romance in the arranged marriage system by narrating that ” Patience is key for a good relation”. Nowadays, In most people who live around metropolitan cities, people make fun of arranged marriage. But mani sir proves that love exists in marriage irrespective of type though his movies.

In the film ” ROJA” when the heroine gets married in an unprepared state. Mani sir shows the hurdles of the lady where marriage happens without the consent of the bride. Mani sir shows that all a girl need is dignity. It’s neither flirting nor wooing. All we need to do is dignify the ladies. Love never comes from forcing it and it comes from setting it free.

  • Love has no discrimination (BOMBAY)

In the era’s of 90’s itself, Mani sir broke the barriers for love through films. He showed that caste and religion created the walls between humans rather than creating bonds. When the hero and heroine being from orthodox family still fights for their love and how the religion and caste not interfering their relation is well placed on celluloid.

  • “I love you ” means a lot. (SAKHI)

“Movie Sakhi” is my favourite. It’s clearly shown in the film that love is just not about sharing cooldrinks and romantic walks. It’s about surrendering yourself for what you love the most. Only mani sir can portray the beauty of petty couple fights. Relation is far more superior to ego can be taken from the movie.

  • Heartthrobbers of Maniratnam

I don’t need to say the mania of Maddy aka Madhavan for the girl teenagers of ’20s (2000). If we go back little further, Aravind Swamy created the same magic for the girls of 19’s(1990). it’s not because they had six-packs or supercars. There was love in the words they spoke, which were written by Maniratnam.

Mani sir portrayed love in his cinemas by addressing different social issues, And he pulled it out with such an ease that they created magic in the audience mind. Leaders are many, pioneer is one thats MANIRATNAM

Sátántangó, the seven hour engaging movie!

So, browsing about films and getting to know about more movies is how I pass my day. I ran into this movie in a Facebook group. It’s hailed as one of the longest drama movies for its seven-hour length. I put it on my list to watch it on a day when I’m really in a good mood for a continuous watch. Days passed, and one beautiful eve, I ran into a quote by a Hungarian filmmaker that had influenced me right on!

“Most of the movies are working like, ‘Information, cut, information, cut, information, cut‘ and for them the information is just the story. For me, a lot of things [are] information – I try to involve, to the movie, the time, the space, and a lot of other things – which is a part of our life but not connecting directly to the story-telling. And I’m working on the same way – ‘information, cut, information, cut,’ but for me the information is not only the story.” ― Béla Tarr

I liked the way he talked about information and cuts. I browsed through his filmography, and that’s when I ran into Sátántangó once again. This time I wanted to watch it right away. I waited till the sun has set and the dinner is over. When birds are back at the nest, and people are lying on their beds, nothing to disturb me for seven long hours, I’ve hit the play button.

After seeing the opening scene of cows, and oxen running, gazing and fucking for about 10 minutes, I thought I would be bored to death and had prepared loads of caffeine to stay awake. But surprisingly, the next 6 hour 50 minutes of the film was so engaging that hours passed as fast as minutes. It was engaging for a movie that long. As the quote above, this movie has a different way of ‘information’ and ‘cut’. There were long takes and maybe if all the long takes are placed linearly, it would sum up to 2 hours at least. The long takes have made the film not boring at all. In fact, it is the long takes that had made it engaging. There were tension, suspense and unbelievable comedy. It was not a movie, and it felt like spying on real people and looking into their lives. The actors were perfect, and one should respect them for their patience for those long takes.

There is one long take in a pub, where a drunk guy speaks a few lines repeatedly for nearly half-an-hour in the background. It was hilarious and iconic. It reminded me of drunk people I’ve seen myself. No film had ever captured the essence of the drunken state better than this movie. It has a considerable plot; it could be a two-hour film, but it would not have been this interesting then. 

The story takes place in a small Hungarian village. It’s an episodic film where the point of view shifts from characters to characters in each episode. We see the same scene in a different point of view from a different character. It was excellent showing the same scene in different perspectives, making it live-like.

The story deals with handsome con men, war, poverty, the Rashomon effect, and flawed human personality. Being a novel adaption, we can know that it has justified the novel even without reading it. Because regardless of what the content is in the book, this movie gives space to the audience. Space where they can get into the scene, grasp all details and figure out what’s happening. The detailing is as good as an author describes his story. There’s even a poetic narration which gives the feel of reading a novel. Few scenes bored me off but weren’t many. The entire experience of watching this piece forgives the annoying scenes. It’s undoubtedly a must-watch film for people interested in film; as audience and as filmmakers.

Maska- A movie review

Maska is a recently released family drama film written and directed by Neeraj Udhwani and started streaming on Netflix from March 27, 2020. 

Initially, let’s talk about the characters of the film. The film goes around the main character named “Rumi Irani” played by Prit Kamani. The mother of Rumi Irani, “Diana Irani,” is played by Manisha Koirala and the father role, “Rustom Irani,” is played by Javed Jaffrey. Sheryl Setia as “Persis Mistry” and Nikita Dutta as “Mallika Chopra” hold the roles of his girlfriends. These are the main characters in the film.

The story revolves around Rumi Irani trying to become an actor until he realizes his real skills. Rumi is a lovely son of his mother Diana, who runs an age old cafe of their family. Later, Rumi wants to become an actor and falls in love with Mallika through the journey. With a twisting turn in the story, Rumi starts understanding reality.

PS : Not going to reveal the story.

Coming to the performance, Manisha Koirala and Javed Jaffrey carried their roles flawlessly as usual. We feel that Prit Kamani and Sheryl Setia could have performed much better concerning their characters. Nikita Dutta gave a decent enough performance.

About the elements of the film-

Carrying the watchers through humor and serenity, the cinema wins our hearts, making us emotional. For a contemporary movie buff like me, I find it quite amazing. The storyline is written in a very subtle and sweet manner that one can’t manage to ignore even a shot. The videography takes you completely into the film.

Overall, the film is quirky, feels good, and must watch. And I personally love the theme song, “ BUN MASKA,” which made me pep like a vintage person. This quarantine make sure you watch Maska with your family.