The true hallmark of a master is in using such blemishes to create magic.
Some filmmakers are happy performing superficial gimmicks and manage to fool a section of the audience that there’s some depth to their work. Karthik Subbaraj demonstrated this in Iraivi. Now it’s Pushkar-Gayathri’s turn in Vikram Vedha.
The first thing that strikes you about Mahendran's films is his precision with words and images.
There’s a whole bunch of young filmmakers who’re making their entry into films, but lacking a certain maturity and perspective of life. I felt comparing 8 Thottakkal (8 Bullets) to Stray Dog, the film it was inspired from, would be a good case study of this problem.
"He eats one person every other day, collects a small piece of bone from each carcass, shaves it patiently into the shape of a skull and keeps it with him. Once he collected 108 such pieces, each from a different person, he strung it into a chain and gifted it to me.”
This book by Douglas Adams is as crazy as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The only difference is that while Hitchhiker’s is completely crazy, Dirk Gently is crazy with a more organised plot.
These self-help books operate with a very simple strategy. They tell you stuff that’s quite obvious. So obvious that you can’t deny them. You’d be a fool if you deny them. And then, they pile up loads of anecdotes, examples and case studies to further elucidate those basic points.
Based on the cover design, I thought this will turn out to be a quirky and fun mystery novel. Something along the lines of Nury Vittachi’s Feng Shui detective. But, I was wrong.
These were some of the films I watched in 2016 that made me pause, reflect and learn.