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Chhello Show (“The Last Film Show”, dir. Pan Nalin, 2022)

One day, Samay’s father announces that he is taking his family to the movies. Samay (Bhavin Raberi) is curious about this – his family has not been to see a movie since he was five years old. “Listen,” says his father, “once you’ve seen this one, you’ll never watch another…

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Four Samosas (dir. Ravi Kapoor, 2022)

Artesia is a small city in Los Angeles County in California, possibly home to an artesian well (there are wells in the area, hence the name), but definitely home to Vinny (Venk Potula), an underachieving wannabe rapper.  Vinny feels that his creativity and confidence have been stifled after being dumped…

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W.O.M.B: Women of My Billion (dir. Ajitesh Sharma, 2021)

“When I started out on my journey I looked upon this big mountain.  This mountain was made up of the molesters, the acid throwers, the abusers. It was scary, and it was breathing fire at me.  But I decided to march towards it with one thought in mind – in…

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Orange Marangalude Veedu (“House of Orange Trees”/dir. Dr. Biju, 2021)

Malayalam filmmaker Dr. Biju returns to the film festival circuit with Orange Marangalude Veedu (“House of Orange Trees”), currently screening as part of the New York Indian Film Festival.  I’ve written before that Dr. Biju’s emphasis as a filmmaker is to create films that serve to inform and advocate on…

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Aarkkariyam (“Who Knows?”/dir. Sanu John Varghese, 2021)

Ittyavira (Biju Menon) is a retired math teacher living in Kottayam.  His daughter Sherley (Parvathy) is widowed and remarried to Roy (Sharafudheen, who in the space of a few films has become a particular house favourite), whose business is facing financial issues.  Roy has borrowed money from his friend Vyshak…

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Paka (“River of Blood”) dir. Nithin Lukose, 2021

A man is pulled from the Johnson River in Kerala’s Wayanad district, in Kerala’s mountainous Western Ghat region.  At night, a group of young men sit around a fire, drinking, and ponder how the dead man got into the river.  Murder, suggests one, but Johnny (Basil Paulose) says that couldn’t…

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T.P. Balagopalan M.A. (dir. Sathyan Anthikad, 1986)

T.P. Balagopalan (Mohanlal) is a low level employee at Falcon Products.  He earns 800 rupees a month, and uses that money to support his eldest sister, Radha (K.P.A.C. Lalitha) and her family – her husband, Chandrankutty (Kuthiravattam Pappu) who is a bus conductor and largely absent, as well as their…

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Fire in the Mountains (dir. Ajitpal Singh, 2021)

The Uttarakhand hill stations in India are often compared to Switzerland because of their spectacular mountain vistas, and Munsiyari, which provides the setting for Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains, is stunning in its beauty, sitting as it does at the base of the Himalayas.  It’s no wonder, then, that…

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India Sweets and Spices (dir. Geeta Malik, 2021)

“I’ve had a blast raising social justice consciousness!” cries Alia Kapur (Sophia Ali) at the final party of her year at UCLA before she heads home to her family in New Jersey.  The trip home begins with a flurry of text messages from her mother Sheila (Manisha Koirala) – whom…

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The Miniaturist of Junagadh (dir. Kaushal Oza, 2020)

In the winter of 1947, as the princely state of Junagadh was moving back and forth between India and Pakistan in the wake of Partition, Husyn (Naseeruddin Shah), an old, blind Muslim man and his family – his wife, Sakina (Padmavati Rao) and daughter, Noor (Rasika Dugal) – are preparing…

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Short Film Sunday: Ettam Page (“8th Page”/dir. Thanzeer S, 2017)

This post first appeared on Totally Filmi on March 26, 2017. Vinay Forrt stars as a journalist held back by his work on page 8 — the obituaries — which he sees, literally, as a dead end. Also starring Aliyar as his boss, and M.R. Gopakumar as a clown —…

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