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Welcome to PipingHotViews, a minimalist movie review website. Contrary to the popular practice of reviewing movies based on numbers, we focus on highlighting the prominent features of the movie, both on the positive and negative fronts.
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Tamil Movie Reviews
Just when we thought we had seen all there is to the Siva-Ajith combination, here comes 'Vivegam' - a gutsy attempt from the team to step out of their comfort zones. Despite an unimpressive storyline, Ajith’s maniacal commitment ensures an unabated action blast that sets the adrenaline pumping throughout to make the experience worth every penny spent!
In our part of the world where cop movies are either about machoism or the good prevailing over the bad, 'Vikram Vedha' remains refreshingly non-judgemental and evolves into a stunning psychological thriller that’s crafted exquisitely and executed to perfection by the charismatic lead cast!
8 Thottakkal is a film that could have been so much more, but loses steam in the second half in spite of a towering performance from M.S.Bhaskar. Too many stage-play-like dialogues and convenient coincidences bring down the engagement quotient. Still a good effort from a debutant filmmaker who places value on content over style.
English Movie Reviews
With Dunkirk, Nolan takes himself, his crew and the viewers through uncharted waters and as we sail through the story, shows how war films could be handled extremely different from some of the most famous ones we may have seen and yet give an equally immersive experience as they all have done.
The monochrome background of Dublin stays a perfect canvas for this wonderful tale that brings out the ethereal bliss of making music for love and rebellion. After Once & Begin Again, Carney has once again come up trumps with a film that will make you root for the protagonists unequivocally and also push you to buy the soundtrack album.
Hindi Movie Reviews
Movies like Dangal are more of an experience than just a watch. Revolutionaries are spirited individuals who had the courage to face adversity head on and inspire change. To state that Mahavir inspired Geeta and Babita to fight their opponents just inside the ring would be an understatement. The Dronacharya award stands testament to this!
Other Language Reviews
In an age where content-driven movies are hard to come by and humor usually means double entendre, Ondu Motteya Kathe is a welcome change and has not just a simple and strong story line but also some intense individual performances and shrewd direction. It does take guts to make a movie out of a situation that one come across in everyday life but it take some real astuteness to sell it as a product and convince the audience. Raj B Shetty checks these boxes!!
‘Angamaly Diaries’ cannot be simply described in words for it is undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime. A flawless portrayal of craft and skill and loaded with the local flavour of Kerala, this creation is definitely not to be missed – arguably the finest one would have seen in a long time!
Short Film Reviews
A young couple is being shown a fully furnished house in Mumbai by a broker who waxes lyrical about the housing society and how neighbors are never a problem as everybody has their own business to mind. As decision time beckons we see the differing perspectives of the couple and the fact that they are in a live-in relationship. Out of nowhere, the broker says the society doesn’t allow live-in couples. Of course, we don’t see the lady breaking into a song to impress the association head à la Ok Kanmani. The broker instead proposes an idea to solve their problem. And what an idea it is!
While Over A Chai had the viewer at a distance throughout (not the relatability but the actual proximity to the characters on screen) 'Andha Naal Nyabagam' is highly claustrophobic especially after the Rajagopalan character enters the life of Karthik.
April started with a bang for Tamizh Cinema with opinions cluttering our social media feeds on Kaatru Veliyidai and 8 Thottakal being accepted almost unanimously for its daring content. With Kadamban being passable, it was Pa Paandi that became the talk of the town for its mature content and music, with the additional attraction of being Dhanush’s debut directorial venture. The magnificent Baahubali storm took hold of not just Kollywood but Indian cinema as a whole for a few weeks with only brave independent films like Lens managing to sustain despite releasing in its aftermath. Films like Saravanan Irukka Bayamaen and Yeidhavan (which was well-intentioned) could not break the spell of Baahubali which had audiences thronging the theatres for repeat viewing and multiplex programmers giving it the prime shows. The end of May saw some good efforts like Sangili Bungili Kadhave Thorae and Brindavanam get good response from the critics as well as the box office. Samuthrakani’s much-delayed Thondan was as usual panned by the critics for being preachy yet it managed to attract the masses. Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, fresh from its premiere in 17th edition of The New York Indian Film Festival managed to get fantastic reviews from a majority of the critics but could not get widespread audience acceptance due to the lack of shows. Gautham Karthik’s much delayed Rangoon opened to excellent reviews with the debutant filmmaker Rajkumar Periasamy’s scripting and attention to detail being praised. Vikram Prabhu’s Sathriyan directed by S.R.Prabhakaran was disappointing while Peechankai was dismissed for not being able to achieve the quirkiness of Soodhu Kavvum in the Black Comedy genre in spite of the interesting knot. Uru suffered the same fate as Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu due to lack of shows and the reviews could not sustain the film long enough in the big screen. But one’s loss is another one’s gain as Maragadha Naanayam which released in the same week became one of those rare films that got critical and commercial acclaim. The fantasy storyline and the hilarious unravelling of the knot worked big time with the masses. Silambarasan’s much talked about Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan [1D] opened to disastrous reviews which aided films like Maragadha Naanayam, Vanamagan and Ivan Thanthiran capture more screens. Vanamagan was praised for the monumental effort of the entire team in terms of performances and CG, it was however derided for being quite similar to Kadamban which released few months back. Ivan Thanthiran got some great comments from both the youth and the critics and it was two in a row for Gautham Karthik with Rangoon also doing well. However, due to the GST and local municipal tax issue and the theatre strike that followed, all the films releasing in June suffered in terms of collections. Overall we at PipingHotViews ended with the below 5 picks of the films that released in this quarter with films like Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu, Ivan Thanthiran, Brindavanam and Uru narrowly missing out.
Beaten-to-death Bairavaa, Bogus Bogan, Sonorous Singam 3, Cocky Kavan - The less said about the big films of 2017's first quarter, the better. There have been quarters when our team has had a tough time in deciding which film to leave while making the Quarter's 'Top Picks'. This one too was difficult but for the exact opposite reason! Of the 43 releases in the quarter, 4 off 5 films that made it to our list are small films from inexperienced film makers that endeared us with their charm and intent. So biggies in pipeline, beware. We see a shift in pattern coming along. Heading to our Five (yes, we were forced to cut down from 'Six' to 'Five') picks now:
The last quarter of the year, for all practical purposes over the last few years, is an extended one going by the latest trend of movies releasing in the last couple of weeks in December. Such schedules have gone on to become a film editor's nightmare who would otherwise have his/her list prepared in time for the New Year's Eve. Precisely for that reason, we have our last quarter's coverage extended to the week before Pongal. Over this extended quarter, there were two grand festivals - The Navarathiri week that was lit up by the Remo, Rekka, Devi trio followed by Deepavali, which, despite the lack of a huge star film release, clicked with the release of Dhanush's Kodi that surprised us with its meaty role on offer for the female lead! Gautham's reunion with Simbu in AYM was the big release in November & with the Chennai Sharks' reunion in Venkat Prabhu's Chennai-28 II early in December, the holiday mood got set in advance. The year ended on a fine note with 21 year old Karthick Naren's Dhuruvangal 16 coming literally out of nowhere and knocking the viewers over with its presentation. 2017 might be that year, after years, when films of all the four big stars in Kollywood might have a release. Which 4 are we talking about?! We will leave that to your imagination. On that note, let's head to give one last good-bye to 2016 with our picks from its last quarter.
In popular opinion, the year that has almost gone by, has been considered one of the most cruel ones with its share of bad news and happenings considerably higher than the share of good ones. There are always exceptions . Virat Kohli, for example, may not agree. He has had one of the most accomplishing years in his ever-growing cricketing career. Looking for an exception within the Kollywood circles, you needn’t go any further than Vijay Sethupathi!