articles by Ranjani Krishnakumar

Entertainment

Penguin movie review: Keerthy Suresh shoulders thrilling, though unconvincing, search for a lost child

Penguin draws a clear line — this is a story about a mother. Rhythm is only that. For her, and for the film, that is enough.

Entertainment

Ponmagal Vandhal movie review: Jyotika doesn't punch hard but sincerely delivers clarion call to believe women's stories

Ponmagal Vandhal fits perfectly into Jyotika’s pursuit: Every film is a milestone in her single-minded journey of women’s empowerment.

Entertainment

A murder mystery, a society on the brink: Death in Buenos Aires is Natalia Meta's commentary on '80s Argentina

Death In Buenos Aires opens with the face of a beautiful young man sitting at the edge of a luxurious bed. Just behind him, soaked in blood, yet peacefully dead, is a man of Argentinian high society.

Entertainment

Mr Family Man: Praveen Kumar's comedy show is uncompelling, except for a short burst of multilingual wordplay

With a funny punchline here and a smart pun there, Mr. Family Man isn’t entirely unwatchable.

Entertainment

In 2011's Baishe Srabon, literal proof that a satisfying detective story is always about the poetry of pursuit

Inspired perhaps by the De Niro-Pacino buddy cop film Righteous Kill, Srijit Mukherji's Baishe Srabon (2011) investigates a serial killer, who gruesomely murders marginalised Kolkatans in the dead of night and leaves a poem in his wake.

Entertainment

Kannamoochi: An indifferent web series where the horror isn’t scary and the thriller has no mystery

At the outset, Kannamoochi had the potential to be an interesting thriller. The premise revolving around child abduction — especially given it’s a girl child — itself gives the story its tension. But the web series flounders it.

Entertainment

Tamil web series Topless takes a story about women, honour and makes it about the absurdities of men

The one thing that makes Topless, a Zee5 web series, work is that it’s through and through absurdist: There is no meaning, morality, purpose, or even order in its universe. But it stops just short of truly exploring ideas that intersect with honour, and also makes some seriously problematic assumptions.

Entertainment

Queen review: Slow and brooding, Ramya Krishnan stars in a craftily made, J Jayalalithaa-inspired hagiography

If you can look past the biased hero-ing of a controversial figure, Queen is exceptional craft. Over eleven episodes, about 50 minutes each, Queen holds the attention of the viewer, in spite of its slow and lingering style.

Entertainment

Karoline Kamakshi review: Meena — and Tamil audiences — deserve better than this hotchpotch of ineptitude

Karoline Kamakshi, Zee5’s new web series, botches one of the world’s oldest, and perhaps most endearing buddy cop tropes.

Entertainment

Police Diary 2.0: Without skill or sense, the show is a mishmash of unnecessary sex, institutional violence and machoism

Police Diary 2.0, a new web-series streaming on Zee5, is the story of four police officers, led by an SP, who runs the Special Task Force.

Entertainment

Dubbing, subtitles and clever casting: Is the web really creating pan-India content?

Any show not watched in its original language is invariably jarring. Voices don’t match, idioms don’t work, translations are literal, but most irritatingly, when the voice language is localised and subtitles aren’t, it feels like parallel tracks of dialogue | Ranjani Krishnakumar writes in 'Serial Chiller'

Entertainment

Serial Chiller: Zee5's Fingertip is a highly relatable, acutely watchable series about modern Tamil lives

Fingertip, a Zee5 Original Tamil web series, captures our technology-hooked modern lives through the prism of the five deadly sins

Entertainment

Marmadesam: Tamil’s truly captivating nostalgia TV is coming episode-by-episode to YouTube

Adapted from Indra Soundar Rajan’s novels, by himself, directed immaculately by Naga, Marmadesam, for me, is what nostalgia television is all about.

Entertainment

Tamizha Tamizha: A comfortably centrist talk show where the personal doesn’t get political enough

Tamizha Tamizha is numbly centrist. It does many of the right things — but little to shake up the status quo.

Entertainment

Thiravam review: An earnest but mediocre and unsatisfying attempt at multi-genre fiction

An endeavour of this nature needed better actors, better locations, better action choreography and perhaps more investment. Without these, Thiravam is merely a wannabe in the age of web content, whose earnestness doesn’t compensate for its mediocrity.

Entertainment

Serial Chiller: Web series Auto Shankar, although engaging in parts, ultimately disappoints

There is no doubt that in the world of original web series in Tamil, Auto Shankar ups the ante. But for a form that one watches at home without the darkness of the cinema to suspend disbelief, Auto Shankar gives us a lot of time to fiddle with the phone or step away to make tea.

Entertainment

Serial Chiller: On watching LOL, or why even the worst piece of art serves a purpose for someone

Watching LOL is like going to a BYOB party where you know no one: you can reasonably guess what’s going to happen, you will be mildly amused, out of alcohol, bored, and will leave without knowing anyone any better.

Entertainment

Serial Chiller: I watched mega-serials every day for two months; why I plan to continue

Mega-serials have everything that our films should have — but don’t — making them utterly delightful to watch. If only we could look beyond our cinema-tinted perspective.

Entertainment

Serial Chiller: From family melodramas to romantic comedies, who is watching Tamil television?

One would expect that Tamil cinema's creative cousin — television — would get half as much, if not the same attention. However, there is very little conversation around Tamil television, forget any scholarly/serious intervention.

Entertainment

Kaatrin Mozhi to 2.0 and Ghajinikanth, how Tamil cinema used self-referencing for easy laughs in 2018

If you have ever taken even the slightest interest in Tamil cinema, you’d know by now that it’s very closely embedded in society and vice versa.