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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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Doubles With Slight Pepper (dir. Ian Harnarine, 2011)

This post first appeared on Totally Filmi on September 1, 2011. “I come from a long line of poor and stupid coolies,” says Dhani, not without some bitterness.  It’s a bitterness that’s justified:  Dhani’s father left Trinidad for Canada, promising to bring Dhani and his mother later, leaving them with…

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The Eclipse of Taregna (dir. Rakesh Chaudary, 2011)

This post first appeared on Totally Filmi on September 30, 2011. The film is now available for viewing on Rakesh Chaudary’s YouTube channel. As a former history student, and as someone with a life-long love of history, it is perhaps not surprising that I adore decorated manuscripts, those carefully planned…

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Pranchiyettan and the Saint (dir. Ranjith, 2010)

This post first appeared on Totally Filmi on November 11, 2011. Late one evening, businessman Chirammal Enashu Francis (AKA Pranchiyettan, as per the film’s title) makes a visit to the churchyard, first, to “visit” with his ancestors (whom he claims later to be able to actually see).  Pranchiyettan needs their…

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Traffic (dir. Rajesh Pillai, 2011)

This post first appeared on Totally Filmi on December 30, 2011. A cinema superstar.  A discredited traffic constable.  A surgeon about to celebrate his first year wedding anniversary.  A young journalist just starting his first day on the job.  Their friends, their partners, their families, their colleagues.  All of these…

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