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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eyes Wide Open...

Wondering. Dreaming with my eyes wide open, I am. I wish things were a little different. I want to change them, but I cannot. I am not asking for much, but just those few wishes, I dream of them, sometimes of the gardens, I had walked before in, of the gates I have walked through. Almost, always looking back.

Do I like the present or the past, but I really do not want to live in the past. But, then again, it had its moments, I miss them. My mind is full of dreams, dreams of a wonderful future, dreams of a beautiful present, and yes, dreams of the haunting past too. I cannot choose, which I like best, I do not want to, anymore. We'll watch it, as it unfolds, be a part of it, even.

Some things never change, and we are glad of it. Like those, times, when we used to sit and blabber on into the night, all those times we laughed, and all those people who made us laugh. Like those sunsets, I would watch, at almost every hill station, wishing for the moments to be captured in my mind.

My mind's eye can still see them. Like those beaches I went to, like those sea shells I collected, like this castles I built, in the sand and in the air. Like those thoughts, which would come to me, and stay on as dreams. The book stores, I went to. All those books, I bought, to help me build my castles further. To help me breathe in the fragrance a little longer, to touch and feel the very essence of all those thoughts.

To see it come to life, the very thought, that very feeling, to hear the sounds of laughter, the sounds of grief, and the sound of silence. To have me look on into the distance, and still see those very thoughts come to life. I dream on, then, because they are all I have to hold on to. To help me, through it all. To help me see the sun, rise again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raavan --- A miracle watch.

Now that I think of it, have to give it marks for its natural beauty. I felt like going and sitting in the rains, some more. I think it might have done better if it was released here in the summer, considering the heat, people would have love the rained out look. Full marks to the technical team. :)

But also, full marks on the perspective that Mani Ratnam has on Ramayan. Ram (if not born in that era, would probably have had the kind of anti-hero kind of characterization.) I felt Aishwarya Rai was ill-suited for that role. She was expressionless, almost. Except in a few scenes even her beauty has failed her. The stunts by Aishwarya were pretty commendable, (if she did them herself like they claim).

Vikram, knowing fully well about his lack of knowledge of the Hindi language, could not give the extra edge to his role. Coming to Abhishek Bachchan, well, what can I say… he was funny when he was supposed to be scary. He was funny when he was funny when he supposedly intense. Let’s just say, he was funny… did not expect him to be so bad, guess the characterization was too sketchy.

Other than that, Govinda’s role was almost nothing. I mean the character, which could have been powerful, was reduced to a comic nothing. He is the only guy who managed to get to Raavan’s lair, and got to do something. His role, as the funny guy, in which he jumps everywhere, was finished in the first bit when they introduce him. Ravi Kishen ? was alright, in whatever little role that he had.

And the story began, (well, whatever little they could muster) only in the second half, and ended there. What a waste of time.

I thought that it would be alright, in spite of whatever I heard, but I have never felt like getting up and walking out of the theatre for any movie as I felt for this one. That too, a Mani Ratnam movie!! Still, it did not get me to walk out. So, three cheers for that??!! :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Book Picking!

Picking a book. What happens when you pick a book? What are you expecting from it? Are you expecting joy or sadness, or are you wanting to find out the best of nature or sciences? Or better yet, are you just expecting a good read?

This, perhaps is probably one of the few things one expects in books. Why do you say you loved a book? I hated ‘The Wuthering Heights’ when I first read it. Is it because I did not see anything in it? Or perhaps I did not want to see anything in it? Same with ‘Tess of the ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’. These literary giants, both in terms of writing and the emotion they can make you feel are perhaps the qualifying factors in reading these books.

If I hated ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, then its purpose was achieved. Thomas Hardy’s purpose was achieved. I hated everything about Alec d'Urberville, his very character was enough to make me hate an entire book. How, then had Hardy managed to achieve it? The same with Wuthering Heights, the same with Heathcliff. What a character he was. He was ruthless, yet he managed to have so many people love him and hate him at the same time. Again, why?

Perhaps, I repeat, both these books have achieved their purposes. There are ‘happy’ books, such as those by Jane Austen or Louisa May Alcott, who have managed to write incidents from their pasts, and yet managed to have the happy themes going. Why did I like them and hate the former ones? It is simple. I liked everything, but just thought I hated some, not because I hated the authors or even their styles of writing, both of these which were excellent.

If Hardy wanted me to dislike Alec and Bronte, Heathcliff who am I to disagree? So, I did. I disliked, even hated these two characters. By moving me, emotionally to dislike these characters, the authors have managed to make me react. React beautifully, to everything they were writing with the passion they felt, perhaps at that time.

So, when I go to pick a book now, I do not know too much about it. I just walk into a book store and pick up books, randomly. Probably, just read the blurb, if at all, I cannot decide. And this has led me to find possibly some of the best books, even by authors, I did not know. A book also depends on my mood, so ideally I would pick book depending on my mood, that day. But, hey a book is a book is a book. Love it, hate it, but you just can’t live without it.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fighting in Parliament? What for?

As the parties are battling it out in Parliament, it could truly be a Mahabharat. Essentially, this should have been something we shouldn't even be fighting over, let alone in the Parliament. In fact, there should be a bill which should well be passed, which says that women, should have at least 50% reservation in both the sabhas.
As we go on talking about women taking a lead in this and that, why in the world are we put in a position, where we have to ask for our place under the sun? But, well, so much for our country and all it ups and downs...
If certain people feel so bad about other sections of the community which, we call India being left out, then perhaps they should step down and put up someone from these 'communities', who are not allowed to jump in. People, who probably do not have enough 'political mileage' to suit the requirements of the parliament. Because, these people are definitely not answering my call or perhaps even the call of at least, half the country's population.
Again, they seem to be missing the point. That is that, this sort of reservation is present only in the Panchayats, which represents one of these so-called socially and economic backward communities. The panchayats are from the villages, how come they have the intelligence and do not have to fight our politicians, like the way we do?
A mere 33.3% is only what is being asked for, when truly, at least we should have proportional reservation. If what happened yesterday, is an example, then we truly need women in there. I hope there would be a time when we stop bickering about such things among ourselves, and start fighting the real fights.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Cracked calling Karthik!

I think it's high time, we all stopped cribbing about all the time wasted on Hindi films, because that's the way it is. Something for everyone ;).
Like in 'Karthik calling Karthik' for example, everyone missed the fun of the movie, which was essentially the phone calls. Of course, there was all the romance and of course, there was all the song and dance. If you sleep through the first half, the movie magically appears in the second half.
I liked the movie. I agree Farhan Akhtar over does the creepy bit as if he is in a horror flick or something, but hey, he is good in the rest. The movie is essentially about him and his odd disorder, and his capacity to cope with it. Of course, that definitely wasn't a part of the movie, but we are to understand that he coped with it. That is definitely not what the director is trying to do. You get it, coz he spends zero time trying to explain the disorder, except that Karthik needs help.
The crux of it, I felt, was Karthik's ability to deal with it, minus his friends and relatives. He shows his willingness when he manages to almost deal and vanquish it, when he disappears, by himself and takes his 'alter ego' with it, before resurfacing again.

Deepika Padukone was pleasant and all the other characters were good too, providing the romantic, comic and the important parts of the movie. Of course, I did miss his parents, where were they? Or were they dead and did I miss that? Completely unnatural, when they disappear so willingly in the second half and show up now and then, don't you think? Oh, did I mention his doc just runs away? :) Kinda funny?

Ok, we get it. It's Farhan's film, and Deepika's so, she comes back to his relief. This movie can be truly enjoyable, both in the positive sense and also in the negative sense. See, the first is the good parts that is when they show how and what is wrong with him. If you like it, there it is. But if you like my bad part, ie when they go overboard over the romance, taking their own sweet time for the kill, then well, there it is too.

But, I do not know if Mr Lalwani meant for me to interpret it differently. As in talking about his willingness to kill the beast by himself, despite his not realising it. It actually could be that way. I mean, a guy would resist something to a point, but then if you have someone to hold him back, only then would he be willing to take the last step and keep with it.
Farhan was pretty good in the movie, restrained and subtly does his acting come out. Deepika, by the way, despite the really silly reason on her ex-boyfriend's bit, comes in to her own, every now and then at least, because the script does not really call for it. Vijay Lalwani did a pretty neat job of it, 'very slowly' managing to develop his character, by that I mean the phone's not Farhan's.
By the way, what in-film advertising!! Very nice, except the phone's. Am sure I am not getting that phone, for sure.
I liked it, in spite of all its shortcomings! :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

On a mission to save the world... from Aish Rai

Old advertisements on the internet. What else could I do? Beyond spending the evening watching and laughing at them? Nowadays, there isn't much to watch. Of course, the interest in ads still stays, I know I bring the place down about switching channels, even today. And I can see it not waning away anytime soon.
Yet, the interest was something, which came to me only with the older ads. Today, I know that I cannot remember a single advertisement. Ask me the last Pepsi or Coke ads, no clue, totally blank.
But then, I used to remember the latest ads earlier, even a year down the line. Ask me of the Maaza ad, I remember something. The Coke ad, which had Aamir Khan in it and not to mention Aishwarya Rai? Loved the Lakme ads which had her in it too... The ads then were something... which were ideas, which one could aspire to. You had actors telling you to have only the 'best' Seemingly, important. Even if it wasn't, you still could aspire to do it, becasue, well, an Aamir or a Kapil Dev asked you to do so...
But, now it's a joke. You have everything from washing powder, (Salman Khan telling you to buy one) pens (Amitabh, Sachin and Shah Rukh telling us to go get them), or even L'oreal products Aish Rai claiming to save the world, in bright red lipsticks and red skirts and shoes. Gawd, really?
I'd go red in the face, just talking about it. ( No product necessary for that one.)
I know that I liked the Lakme stuff a lot better, it was then a matter of getting something exclusive, if she was advertising for it. Now, it's just a matter of getting anything off the shelf. Exclusivity, be damned!
Besides then, there were ads, superstars notwithstanding, which came to your mind. Probably because of a really nice jingle, the sense of humour...
Now... missing.
There seem to be very few ads, which show these... enough to remember them by, at least for a few days. I'm not complaining about the varieties we have in them, not mentioning to you the different tooth pastes and their tastes. I know that I won't remember them as days go by.
I understand the need for change, but I do not understand the need for change in intelligence. What are we talking about? Is it the so called models in ads, is it the products and their varieties in ads or is it the product itself? I would not know, because if you are going to show them, they had better be smart or funny perhaps both, otherwise, well, what is the point?
Because I am asking for a shortage of all these ads. If not, well, I'm confused, hope I'm not getting conned and fused at the same time.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lead on...leader!

Leader! Saw it today, went there expecting a wonderful movie. It was. And I wasn't at all disappointed. Oh yeah, Suhasini, subtly and in a very understated way manages to have the wonderful screen presence, she is known for.
The story, though somehow impossible, did manage to strike a chord. It had all the elements of a true, honest movie. Sadly, only a movie. I actually wished for a leader to be exactly like that. You wish and wish for something like that to happen. So, Shekar Kammula deserves all the points for that one.
The story, I felt was very powerful in its own right. It comes at the right time too. However, somehow the shoulders on which it rests on, does not give us a reason to watch it again. The movie went on very slowly, gaining strength though, and finally manages to reach complete power, right towards the end. That pretty much is when it happens, when it manages to touch you, right at the end.
It lets you feel a plethora of emotions in the last twenty minutes. Quite a bit of screen time wasted though, I felt.
Oh yeah, did I mention the item number? It was thankfully, the most decent item number, I've ever seen.
The actors were excellent, but then we have always managed to see, whether it was a Suhasini or a Kota Srinivas Rao come out with good performances. Rana Daggubati has an impressive screen presence, his height and his entire personality add to the movie. He does seem like 'The Leader', which the movie was supposed to have. One can imagine very few people in his place. But, unfortunately that is all. He does not bring anything else to the 'CM's table'. His face was blank, almost throughout the movie. But his personality carries him through. His face has a shadow of brilliance, which should come through, eventually.
Harsha Vardhan's role was good and he does his bit with full justice. End Note about the heroines. It was rather nice watching Priya Anand on the screen, she was funny. On Richa, she was alright, too. Really did not have much to do, but I felt and wished she could have done much more in her few scenes. Some scenes were cut, I guess.
An excellent start. I hope there will be more movies like this, with good story lines, sound tracks and performances. :) Because... god knows, we need them.
Oh yeah, Belated Happy Holi people!! :)