My Year of Prakash Raj

Some people spend a year
cooking Julia Child's recipes, or following all of the rules in the Bible, or reading books by people who spent a year doing something. My quest is to watch the 200-some films of South Indian character-actor-extraordinaire, Prakash Raj. (It'll probably take more than a year... and I'll post about some Prakash-less films here as well.)

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Round-up for November 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total:  5 (November 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 297 (as of 11/30/15)
Lion, Heart Attack, O Kadhal Kanmani, Thoongavanam, Size Zero

The end is in sight! Only five movies this month, and then several TV shows, which will be updated in another post. Themes for the month: dramatic deaths and looking at computers:

O Kadhal Kanmani

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Round-up for October 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total:  9 (October, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 292 (as of 10/31/15)
Ranna, Theeratha Vilaiyatu Pillai, Dhool, Bhaag Milkha Baag, Dhoni, Rudramadevi, Bheema, Puttakana Highway, Kadhalagi

The end is in sight. After years of having lots of movies to pick from, and anything to suit my mood, it’s odd to reach a point where I only have a few movies to choose from. Still, it’s the usual mix of remakes and some new releases. Theme of the month: sleeveless suit coats.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Round-up for September 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 16 (September, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 283 (as of 09/30/15)
Temper, Malai Malai, Ongole Githa, Suyetchai MLA, Power, Policegiri, Crazy Star, Chennaiyil Oru Naal, Alludu Seenu, Mukunda, Vinavayya Ramayya, S/O Satyamurthy, Dabanng 2, Pulan Visarinai 2, Rowthiram, Entertainment

Themes of the month: Lots of films from the last year, Tamil and Kannada remakes of Traffic, films launching star kids, and two sequels! Also a recurring theme of kabbadi games:
Alludu Seenu

Alludu Seenu

Vinavayya Ramayya

S/O Satyamurthy

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Round-up for August 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 23 (August, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 267 (as of 08/31/15)

Thillu Millu, Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu, Gouravam, Santhosam, Thulli Vilayadu, Heropanti, Rainbow, Anukoolakkobba Ganda, Khakee, Pandhyam, Saravana, Govindudu Andarivadele, Collector Gaari Bharya, Naam, Raghavan (Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu), Lee, Saguni, Hoo, Pillaiyar Theru Kadaisi Veedu, Mumbai Mirror, Zanjeer, Rajjo, Singh Saab the Great
Wow, I think 23 films is definitely my record for most Prakash Raj films watched in a month. I think in the past I was probably sprinkling more non-PR Indian films in the mix, and I wasn’t watching as many K-Dramas this month, so that may explain the current binge.

Themes of the month: Remakes of Telugu blockbusters and the full range of noble cops, corrupt cops, diagnosing doctors, villainous politicians, and gaudily-dressed gangsters.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Round-up for June-July, 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 10 (June-July, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 244 (as of 07/31/15)
Thaila Nagaram, Viyabari, Aadivaram Adavallaku Selavu, Devudu Chesina Manushulu, Katha, Golimaar, Damarukam, Arai En 305-il Kadavul. Balapu, Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam

I didn’t watch any films in June, but got back into the swing of things in July. There must be something about summer that screams “binge-watch South Indian Films.”

The theme for the month is divine characters, since I watched films in which Prakash Raj portrayed:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Round-up for May 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 5 (May, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 234 (as of 05/31/15)
Hai, Thekkekara Superfast, Juniors, Preethi Prema Prenaya, Bimba
Still working through the early 2000s. The find of the month were two great Kannada films directed and written by Kavita Lakesh, that were really interesting "slice of life" films with well-developed female characters.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Round-up for April 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 6 (April, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 229 (as of 04/30/15)
Preminchalani Vundi, Adrustam, Usire, Baava Bamaida, Premakke Sai, Dhaya
Still working my way through turn-of-the millenium films, full of dancing and saxophone-playing psychopaths.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Round-up for March 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 9 (March, 2015)
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total: 223 (as of 03/31/15)
Nagavalli, Shart: The Challenge, Pandipadda, Chinna Chinna Kanile,  Tirumala Tirupathi Venkatesa, Sadduku Podam Randi, Alexander, Mommaga, Keralida Kesari
Before the long break I was mostly watching the films in no particular order, as the mood struck me. Now that the end is in sight, I’m trying to be methodical and watch them chronologically. I was so happy that I’d made it through the 90’s, and was done with 2000, when I decided to check up on the Prakash Raj filmography on Wikipedia. To my surprise, another 8-10 films, mostly from 1990-2003 had been added to the list! The good news is, most of the films are also available on youtube channels. So back I went to the slow, rock-up-the-hill task of checking off films, year-by-year.
Themes of the month:
1) This street set in Ramoji Film City.

Tirumala Tirupati Venkatesa

Shart: The Challenge
2) Prakash Raj characters burying murder victims, then frantically digging them up again.

Chinna Chinna Kanilae


Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Heroine's Journey in Pournami

This is something that I started to write three years ago for blog project that Katherine at Totally Filmi organized about women in Indian Film. In honor of International Women's Month, I'm finishing it up and getting it posted for International Women's Day.

The Telugu film industry is the most hero-centric of all of the Indian filmdoms, with its larger than life fighters, acrobatic dancers, and hirsute comedy heroes.  Many of these films trace the journey of the hero, and closely align with Joseph Campbell's Monomyth/Hero's Journey/Hero With a Thousand Faces. The hero is called to adventure, and after first refusing the call, finds a mentor, faces a series of tests, leading an ultimate ordeal, reward, and return to normalcy.

The second or third Telugu film that I ever watched was Pournami (2006, Prabhu Deva, dir.), the intertwined stories of two dancer sisters and a young man caught up in a violent family feud. If Pournami followed the pattern of most Telugu films, the protagonist would be the tall, mustachioed dance instructor/tortured factionalist Shivakesava, played by Prabhas. It would also be logical, and an interesting twist, if the protagonist was the title character, dancer/circus performer Pournami, played by Trisha. (In fact, these two characters get center billing on the DVD cover.)
But I think that there's a compelling case that the true protagonist of the film is Pournami's younger sister, Chandrakala, played by Charme Kaur. This film--directed by Prabhu Deva, no less--is a rich story of a young women's heroic journey, and that's why it remains on my favorite and most rewatched films (even though Prakash Raj isn't even in it.)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Round-up for February 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total (February, 2015): 6
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of 2/28/15): 214
Nila, Chamtkara, Gunshot, Dhinamum Ennai Gavani, Shanti Shanti Shanti, Preminchedi Endukamma

Digging deep. One positive of taking a long break is that a whole lot of older movies that I couldn't find on dvd 3 years ago are now available online, so was able to cross off a lot of films from the 1990s.

Highlights of the month: Prakash Raj characters holding people at gunpoint in cars.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Round-up for January 2015

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: 2

Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of January 31, 2015): 208

Race Gurram, Mithileya Seetheyaru

I watched two (!!) Prakash Raj movies this month, which is already two more than I watched in all of 2014. During my hiatus, it seems like a lot more films are available online, which is helpful since I'm so used to watching just about everything (American TV, K-Dramas, etc) through online services. I've also noticed that a lot of the older Tamil and Kannada films that I couldn't track down are now available online. It's fantastic that so many older films may get second life, AND that I was able to move five-six films from my "can't get" to "watch online" column!

Something new, and something old.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Round-up August 2012-December 2013

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total: (5)
 *August 2012 - 1
 *September 2012 - 1
 *December 2012 - 1
 *May 2013 - 1
 *July 2013 - 1

Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of December 31, 2013): 206

Adavi Chukka, Nandhini, Wanted, Rajadhani,  Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu

These are all movies I watched after I started getting into K-dramas. I have very little memory of most of these (my file folders full of screencaps are evidence that I did watch the films), so I blame Hyun Bin and Lee Min Ho for distracting me.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Round-up for June-July 2012

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total:
 *June 2012 - 8
 *July 2012 - 2

Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of July 31, 2012): 201

Keerthi Chakra, Veerappu, Harakeya Kuri, Bodyguard, Subash, En Swasa Katrae, Ajay, Premaku Swagatham, Koduku, Pistha.
Note: I'm writing this 2 1/2 years late, so my descriptions and impressions of the films is going to be fuzzy, at best.)

Prakash Raj in water seems to fit films
I watched in the summer.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

So, about the long break...

Greetings to anyone who still checks in with the blog.  You are probably wondering, "What happened to the blog? She didn't watch them *all* yet, did she? Prakash Raj is still making films, so what's going on?"
Spoiler Alert: The blog is back!
All good questions! The last post was in May 2012, and then several things happened that altered my pop culture consumption and blogging: