Friday, November 20, 2009

Three cheers to the old masters

I watched Cries and Whispers more than two years back in the Hyderabad Film Club. Both Bergman and Antonioni had passed away some time back and they were screening Cries and Whispers and Blowup to celebrate both these legends. That was the first Bergman movie that I watched and that was probably during the time that I started watching European and world cinema.

I still remember the experience vividly. I don't remember the plot exactly but I can never forget the emotion that it invoked in me after watching the movie. The movie is about three sisters. Two of the sisters(Karin and Maria) visit their youngest sister(Agnes) in her deathbed. She is being taken care of by a maid(Anna) who stays along with them. The entire movie is a dissection of the human nature with all its beauty and ugliness-- with no complaints. The sisters caring at the beginning later start to wish that this trauma better gets over soon, not because they dont want to see Agnes suffering, but because the trauma and the reunion kindles lots of things that were swept under the carpet. I was unable to appreciate this part of the story fully at that time. I felt how odd women are, they say something else, but think something else. It is always veiled, concealed. But now I know better, or atleast I think I do.

But its the climax that still lingers in my mind. Agnes and her unrequited love towards her sisters wanes away finally as we see her die a painful death.

In the last scenes we see(through Agnes diary) an image of the past, where all the sisters enjoy a bright sunny day laughing and enjoying the company of each other.

Agnes says - “I feel profoundly grateful to my life, which gives me so much."

We are aware of the mercurial nature of her sisters, but it is the present that counts. It is the now, that should be enjoyed. At that instance, we forget all the ugly wrangles of the sisters that happened for the past 90 minutes and we enjoy that instance of happiness with them. The picture above says it all. Its a moment in cinematic history to be savoured forever.

Absolutely wonderful cinematography for which Sven Nykvist got an Oscar.


I was not familiar with the works of Patricia Highsmith before watching the talented Mr.Ripley by Anthony Minghella. I am trying to get the book for a long time, but in vain. But thats the past. Now I have found an easier way of getting books. Ordering online. Will read it soon.

I happened to stumble on a short story by her during just-another-session-of-clandestine-wikiing during office hours . It's a great read.

The mobile bed-object

You might immediately guess where I got the first line of my first short story inspired from.


The final thing that I am going to write about for today is the movie Adaptation by Charlie Kaufman. This movie is about a screenwriter(Charlie Kaufman himself) with a creator's block while trying to adapt a novel by Susan Orleans for screen.

In the first half of the movie, the protagonist Charlie Kaufman, brilliantly portrayed by Nicholas Cage(who got an Oscar Nomination for this role) struggles with adaptation of the book 'Orchid thief'. He is in a mid life crisis. His dumb brother Donald Kaufman writes movies on MPDs and serial killers and it seems to be making big money and gets all the girls. Charlie is confused.

At one crucial instance in the movie, Charlie Kaufman attends a screen writers seminar by Robert Mckee owing to his block and the suggestion made by his brother Donald..

Charlie Kaufman: [voice-over] I am pathetic, I am a loser...
Robert McKee: So what is the substance of writing?
Charlie Kaufman: [voice-over] I have failed, I am panicked. I've sold out, I am worthless, I... What the fuck am I doing here? What the fuck am I doing here? Fuck. It is my weakness, my ultimate lack of conviction that brings me here. Easy answers used to shortcut yourself to success. And here I am because my jump into the abysmal well - isn't that just a risk one takes when attempting something new? I should leave here right now. I'll start over. I need to face this project head on and...
Robert McKee: ...and God help you if you use voice-over in your work, my friends. God help you. That's flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can write a voice-over narration to explain the thoughts of a character.

Almost the first half of the movie is full of voice overs. After this particular instance, you don't even here a single voice over(it took me some reading and a second watch to appreciate this). There is an entire change in way the events unfold after that. The story will move from a Charlie Kaufman-sensible-drama-type to DonaldKaufman-car-chase-shoot-them-all type.

This movie is a perfect example as to how great narration can be and how important it is to elevate a simple story to art. This movie is thoroughly enjoyable movie on the first watch and on further watches it becomes more of an intelligent movie than a fun one.

The credits to this movie include Donald Kaufman as one of the screen writers along with Charlie Kaufman. And thus he became the only fictional character ever to be nominated for an Oscar, for Best Adapted screenplay.

Ok so, what is the thing that is common between Patricia Highsmith, Cries and Whispers and Adaptation?

All these had a direct or indirect influence to my first short story Of fond memories and fonder lies.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In search of the absurd man

"All the boys are please come with me" - cried out a shrill voice. The audacious misuse of a language he loved made him squirm uncomfortably in the upper berth seat where he was lying down. He had his head on the side facing the pathway. He liked the hazy blue light on that side. He rolled over to track the source that was molesting his first love and trampling over it like a bull dozer. She even resembled one. She was a hefty lady in her mid forties in a bright blue sari that made your eyes sore if you dared to watch it continuously for more than a minute. She had an yellow jute purse on her side which she held on to very tightly. She had a maroon colored scarf tied around her head. Must have been the cold. For whatever reasons, he felt that the scarf suited her yellow purse and blue attire perfectly.

"The number of Boys heads is more, Maddam", she said. "No Maddam, it is for good only, to separate them to the other compartment".She was arguing with a fellow teacher in the same age group. He turned around noisily in his upper berth and looked at the face belonging to the shrill voice. The sudden noise made her look at him. He stared at her with contempt. She did not know why the youngster in the upper birth was looking at her with disgust. She returned his look with an equally kind look of scorn. He mumbled something and turned back again. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep. The events of the previous day came to his mind and made it difficult for him to sleep. He rolled over again and uttered a noiseless cry thinking about the stupidity at the so called practical requirements of the world. The lady in the blue stared at the unknown someone who was starting to annoy her with his frowning face.

The boys moved one by one with their bags to the next compartment. They looked as if they were around 12-13. The killer of English was 'GUIDING THEM' to their respective berths. She returned after ten minutes to my bogey and sat on the side lower birth. She had traded her side upper berth with a young boy who had to oblige to her sympathetic plea of old age. He lay now cramped in his side upper trying to beckon the sleep that was far from his wary sight.

It was only her and her girls now. The girls were flocking her. They were asking her to suggest a fun game for them to play. The girls looked like they were around 15-16. A select few had the look of a nymphet. Oddly the boys of the same class had looked puny and lost compared to the girls. It involuntarily reminded him of something he saw in National Geographic once about female black widow spiders that kill and eat the tiny male ones after they mate. This thought made him chuckle. This time he attracted attention from many people. He laid his head down immediately. This time the stare from the big blue lady was good enough to incinerate an unguarded offender to ashes in seconds.

She went back to her chores. She taught the girls a carol praising the Lord and started singing with zeal that can be matched only by a devout, with rapid movement of her hands. The innocent girls, not knowing what to do, started singing along. One girl pulled the plait of the girl who had asked her 'Maddam' for something FUN to do. It was as though she was asking how she could ask 'Maddam' for something like this, knowing very well what the notion of fun was in her dictionary.They still enjoyed it and sang aloud, since the sing-along part was entertaining.

He was thinking of the possible cheeky retorts he would have given, had he been in the girls' position. He sneered at the singing lady. The guy in the upper berth, the one who lost his lower berth to the singer below, noticed his sneer and acknowledged it with a smile, turned back again in his relentless pursuit of the invisible sl(sh)eep.

He lay prone and and fumed. Fumed at the inane lady. She reminded him of the many happy folks that he hated. He hated them for being full of easy convictions, running behind things they love or lust. How happy would it be to believe one belief and have no questions about it, he thought. How he was unlike them. How difficult it was for him to not question things around him. He felt that he could never love any single person with so much motivated love; motivated- though for a variety of reasons.He so wanted to be the Absurd man that he had always envied. But conspicuous efforts to do so always leave him frequently anti-social and cynical as this instance in the train. Self wrought absurdity could never equal the real deal, enjoyed by the many, he realised with time. He usually became depressed again at his ephemeral misanthropy.

The events of yesterday played before his eyes like the trailer of an Oscar winning melodrama -- complete with the sepia undertones, slow motions, close ups and recycled version of Satie's Gnossienne no. 1. He had long waited for yesterday's meeting. His heart raced so badly before the meeting that he felt that he would die of a silly asphyxiation before the much coveted encounter even began. Butterflies in the stomach-- a silly cliché, but life is definitely overwhelmed with clichés, he thought, as that was the only thing that he could feel then.

By this time the compartment was very silent. Most people had dozed off. The girls started to disperse to their berths and laid down and had small talks in groups there. Eventually even they drifted off. He didn't feel like sleeping. This is pretty common for him during the times of his depression. He felt hungry and drained of energy. He had not had any food since breakfast. He didn't want to lay down any more. He felt very cramped and wanted to move freely. He crept slowly from his berth and started getting down, without a noise. He didn't want to wake up anyone. When he got down the lady in the blue, got up in one swift motion that was very much unlikely for a person of her age. She groped in her bag for her glasses. She must have thought that he was a thief trying to rob her luggage. Once she saw him, she must have recalled him as the guy with the frowning face and particularly rash attitude towards her, as it could be easily deduced from the change in her expressions. He thought of apologizing to her, then after a second he thought again and left quietly without a word, to the end of the bogey. It was calm and cold there.

The memories of the events past should have ideally left him unhappy, but for reasons unknown failed to do so. He did not feel bad for getting rejected. He was not angry for being ruled out. The reason for rejection was that he was too young for what he aspired to be. Though it sounded ludicrous he could understand perfectly well why he was rejected on those grounds. He even felt that he had been served proper justice, in one warped but possible angle. He was sad at the turn of events, as he had expected and banked so much on this meeting.

The scorn and outward contempt at things around him was also an effort to act as the absurd man of love, hate and conviction. The poor lady in the blue. He felt sorry for throwing glances of disgust at her. What did she do, to deserve this? There she sits, with her love and care for her girls, and of course for her luggage. Oh stop it you sceptic fool, he thought. He felt like crying. Ah, here starts the bout of reflection and depression, he thought. How he wished for a moment of pure, intense, unadulterated love or loathing. It was all that he needed to get out of this vicious cycle.

The train started to slow down. It was the next junction. His hunger called him again. He thought of getting down and grabbing something to eat. He opened the compartment door that was closed and leaned to see if there were any shops open. All the shops had closed. He checked the time. It was close to one am. There was a canteen of sorts about 30 metres from his compartment. He did not know how much time the train will stop there. Few folks covered in tight dresses and shawls were boarding the train. Very few were alighting the train. He got down the train and started pacing slowly towards the canteen. It was a small tea shop. They had almost closed it, when he went. He hurriedly asked the shopkeeper for some biscuits and a tea in a disposable glass just in case. The short guy in the stall, sleepily got a pack of dusty good day biscuits and tea as he had asked.

The train gave the usual jerk before start. He gave two ten rupees notes. The shop keeper was fumbling to get the change. The train's whistle, tearing the cold mist reached him. It started moving slowly. For a moment, thinking if he had made a stupid decision of getting down the train, he rushed back to his bogey without getting the change. When he was nearing the train with his heart racing, for a second he thought that he would miss the train, when suddenly the train came to sudden halt with a jerk. He too stopped with a jerk. The tea in the glass was almost half empty due to the climactic thrill that the train had successfully provided. He started walking slowly now.

By the time he had reached his bogey, the train had started moving again. But he was so close, he didn't take pains to rush. Only when he reached his bogey did he realise that the door was shut. By the time he realised that he could not force it open, the train had picked up speed. He reached the next window, where the lady in the blue sari was sitting, to ask for help. She was watching him with a cold stare. He shouted at her to open the door. He signalled her saying that the door was stuck. She made no effort to move and continued to peer at him. It took a few seconds for him to realise that this silence was intentional. Her lips curved into a sheepish smile.

The shock left him speechless for a moment and he came to an abrupt stop. It didn't strike him that he could still continue to shout for someone to open the gate, or rush towards the next compartment door. The train had picked up considerable speed, and it was stupid for anyone in their right minds to chase it now. He stood there, shocked, wondering and maddened. He had never been so tempestuous and started cursing her loudly. 'That vile old cunning hag, how could she?', he wondered. His face froze for a minute. It struck him only then. He started laughing, a small chuckle at the beginning. Isn't this what he had wanted all along. He laughed and laughed like a mad maniac. The train soared past him noisily unaware of his happiness. Pure, intense and unadulterated happiness.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Of fond memories and fonder lies

Arun stopped reading newspapers when he was 17. When he is asked why he did not read them, he says, that they are not interesting and he finds it not worth wasting his early morning hours. Politics and sports don't interest me - he says. He is the kind of guy who prefers playing a game of cricket or tennis, rather than read the news about them. It was the participation that made it fun for him. The glit and glam cant seduce me -he says with a laugh.

Nothing odd, one might be inclined to think. Lots of people don't read newspapers, what is the big deal, one might think. Lots of people don't read the dailies, because they just don't find it enticing. But with Arun, the laugh and the 'this doesn't interest me' replies are just a facade to mask the singular aversion that he has towards the dailies. It is never a concern for him till someone notices that it is more than a disinterest.

Arun was an average looking guy. He was 5' 10", lean, with a thin frame, dark colored with thick,unkempt hair. His left eye winks at odd frequencies. It does so because of an accident he had when he was in the high school cricket team. He was the team wicket keeper.An unorthodox spin from his best buddy's ball did that. He had 8 stitches to get the skin above the zygomatic bone in place. The doctors said that some nerve had suffered slight damage. He was hospitalized for a week or so.

He hates it when someone while talking to him, looks at his eye when it involuntarily winks. But he likes when people twitch uncomfortably at the unexpected wink that comes their way for the first time. He does intentionally wink at the girls that he ogles at and who, though familiar with his winks and the reasons behind it, get a queasy feeling of uneasiness, when he does his fake wink, or to be precise, his actual voluntary wink. But he is always undoubtedly granted the benefit of doubt.

He works as a medical representative. He does not mind much about his work. For him every day work was not of much concern. Each day of work was like walking a insignificant mile in a desert that spans an eternity. He is 27 now. In his leisure time he likes to follow people around. He likes chemistry. He also like to watch movies in foreign languages. Its always fun to watch people speak with a rhyme in a unheard tongue. It has a pleasing mystery to it he feels.

Are there many people like Arun? People read the news papers for no specific reasons. They would say, to know more about what is happening around. They might say, one has to know the current affairs to sustain in this harsh world. Or plainly just to keep themselves engaged, for a paltry yet significant hour or half, like a pleasant detour .People who shy away from news dailies are also pretty common. But I wonder if one more of Arun's kind existed, the ones who don't read the newspapers because of the obituaries section.

It started as a silly thing. He was always curious of the obituaries section. 'May he rest in peace' it said. 'His fond memories will always be cherished'- by the wife and sons of Mr. Balakumaran, his next door neighbor, who died in a road accident, hit by a rushing ambulance, while trying crossing the relatively high traffic S.K.road, the one besides the new construction site, where they were constructing the 16 storey-ed office complex. The office complex had become a landmark of sorts. They never had such huge buildings in their place.

Death-it confused him. It confused him, about the life and the way that he had been seeing it till now. Was he scared about death? yeah, a bit. But more than that, he was scared when he thought about his past, how he had been floundering in the corridor of life. Or the so-called one. If there was one thing, that the obituaries section made him realise, it was that, he was as unique as a molecule of sucrose in a box of sweets, as unique as a blade of grass in a savannah, he could die anytime, he could be killed anytime, an earthquake, a flash flood, a freak road accident, a malignant tumor in the brain, stabbed by a desperate mugger or in the worst, a slip in the toilet. He could vividly imagine himself dying in different ways in different places.

It was not the expectation that he was supposed to be unique and bestowed with the will of God, to achieve innumerable things, that scared him but the fact that there is an ugly, devouring marsh of quicksands beneath the picturesque beauty of life as portrayed by folks around. He wanted to scream at them at them "why did you lie to me?". "I dont want a happy fables, but a true one" -he shouted. "We prefer happy ones" -they shouted back in return. Doesn't it hurt to think, that you who had plans to change the world for good, are not given your due respect, and you are considered as valuable as a speck of dust in space, your death doesnt matter to God who had actually bid you with those tasks to change the world? He felt miserable.

Then it all passed away. Non chalance took over him. He was enthusiatic and indifferent. His actions were more determined by coin toss, rather than thoughts. He did many things, that he wouldn't normally do. Thats when he started shadowing people. He was curious to know about the things that people ran around for. He was good at shadowing people. Till now, no one that he has followed, knew that they were being followed.Just once did he get a black eye, from a muscular guy. He stopped following such guys from then on. He must have had it in him, to follow people. He had always wanted to do that, but hadn't done that before, probably due to the moral obligations that he had. More probable were the legal ones, he thought with a smile.

He started the voluntary wink only after that. He got slapped by a girl once. But when he explained to her about his damaged nerve, she gave him a suspicious and inquisitive look, followed by a sorry smile. She was beautiful. She was short, around 5'3" and cute with beautiful black curly hair, tied into a pony's tail. She had a disarming smile and an animated face. She was on phone the entire time when he was shadowing her. He had followed her all along, from the Hayagreeva Perumal koil bus stop, to her house. She was working in BPO, he later came to know. He told her all about his wink story, the original version, after he had proposed to her. He got slapped again, more than once this time. He enjoyed it this time though.They were more of tender caresses, than slaps.

He still follows people around. But its no longer frequent. He prefers spending his time pampering and spoiling his loved one. He tried teaching her, about the nuances of following people. But she was too scared for that. Isn't it wrong ?-she asked naively. Ah, how he loved her. He still doesn't read the dailies. He tried to stop his impromptu winks. It was her order. It was hard, but he would at any given time, rather try hard to do her bidding, than the ones delegated by the omnipresent and the invisible.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Idhallavaada Padam.. mathadhellam.. @#$@#$ padam

Sitting in the last row of an otherwise comfortable Air conditioned bus, on an urgent trip to chennai; pulling the thick blanket over my head, cocooning myself to save me the agony of watching the bright visuals and jarring cliches of a Telugu film that was being shown as a part of the uber comfy trip package they offer; thinking about the gorgeous half Russian half American beauty sitting two rows before me, who was missing out on her chance to meet the guy of her dreams, by a mere 168 degree turn of her head.. I was suddenly awaken from my deep thoughts by jolts of intermittent laughter.

I couldn't think about anything else as i was constantly distracted by people around me laughing.. because of the funny reactions the movie was inducing.. i decided to sit through the movie.. it was about to finish.. after watching the last ten minutes of that movie, i was thinking, who would have been the bigger loser, the Russian girl, for not having seen me, or me, who could have missed this revelation of a movie..

It is difficult to describe miracles, but i would try to describe the one that i witnessed..

The stage was set for the grand finale of the movie.. the characters were on position.

Mr. Honor Mama(H.M) - the self righteous father of the heroine, who would not think twice to kill his submissive wife, their domesticated daughters, his irritating neighbor or the sick road side dog with only three legs to save the honor of his family. The hero works as a servant for his mama. He even went so far as to send his elder girl off the house, for falling in love with some loon.

Mrs. Honor Mama - or Honor mami - the fifty year old lady who can evoke a river of tears at any cue and whose main reason for existence is to be slapped around by the vain Mama to uphold his pride and his family's honor.

Miss Shilpa Shree (S.S)- 2 romantic songs, one sleazy number, and one introduction song at a friend's(preferably of some other culture - provides great costume choices) marriage function. She is also the disciplined(only part time) daughter of the Mr.Honor mama

The Hero - Accompanies Shilpa Shree in her songs, also has two songs of his own, one with the big bosomed servant girl whose main interest in life is to bed the hero, one for his introduction. He is basically from a village, but has danced in the streets of Europe with his big eyed girl friend, in matching costumes a few times. Fate makes him work for his future Mama to whom he is dedicated and loyal.

The Taxi driver - best choice for this role would be ( 'engammmmmmma Sir' guy from Abhiyum Nanum) always wears white dress of a chauffeur, who constantly witnesses the loyalty, naivety and the honesty of the hero, but never witnesses the servant girl(whom he is eyeing, unfortunately) hitting on the hero.He is waiting for the right chance to shower praises at the hero, when his loyalty is questioned.

These are the main characters. Other than this there are
Politician Mama(P.M) - He is a mama and is into Politics. Father of the second hero and he also serves as a Villain.

P.M's wife - No potential use. Just to fill a few gaps and to give the last nudge for P.M to confess his sins. (Max two days call sheet and 1000 bucks.)

Second Hero -Their Son - Might get one song. Otherwise his job is to get lectures of leading a good life from the hero. and falling on the feet of all elderly couples as and when needed. High chance of getting a marriage scene in silk veshti and silk chattai.

The Doctor- The character artist from television who aims at becoming big in the silver screen by acting more than what he is paid..

Bystanders - No one knows who they are and why they are standing there..

Ok, to the climax sequence now..


The Hero admits some girl to hospital and has paid for her surgery. H.M comes to know of this and he cannot figure out how hero could have paid for the surgery. He storms into the hospital with his family and the police to inquire how the hero came in possession of such a huge sum. Even S.S starts doubting the hero's honesty.

When subjected to rigorous questioning by the police, the hero gives his answer
"I did a PROJECT for P.M".. everyone is shocked to the core, either for their underestimation of the hero's capacity or for the ambiguity and improper use of the word PROJECT(am not sure which one).

The Police call the P.M and ask. He answers in negatives, because it was all black money that was used for the PROJECT. So the police arrest the hero.

Now the Doctor gives a running commentary on what would happen to the girl if the operation is postponed.

Now the two following sequences are shown as inter cut..

The hero is escorted by the constables outside.. The doctor's running commentary goes on. The panic stricken hero grabs the revolver from the inspector and shoots twice at the ceiling. He locks the hospital and threatens the police and the entire crowd to stand at one end and at the mean while asks the doctor to proceed with the operation.

The second hero, learning that it is his girl who is in the hospital, rushes to the hospital to see her.. but fate makes him rush under the wheels of a white ambassador and there by he is rushed to the same hospital as an emergency case now.

The nurse comes running in panic to the center stage and tells the doctor who is busy with his hands raised that the admitted patient's blood group is a rare one (AB+ve) and there is no stock in the hospital now.

The Hero tells "I am AB +ve. take my blood" (engaluku than munnadiyae theryume)... and in an ensuing scene of great emotion gives his blood at the center of the reception with a revolver in one hand.

By this time, the P.M and his wife come to know of his son's great misfortune and reach the hospital.

The second hero is saved by the hero's blood and starts jumping around the hospital in search of his lover. The hero comes to know that it is the same girl that he has hospitalized and on whom the operation is going on and explains the same to the second hero.

Seeing that his son was saved by the hero's valor and due to the constant nagging by his wife, the PM accepts that it was him who funded the hero's PROJECT.

Now what follows is nothing less than extraordinary.
The police take away P.M
Extreme Close Up of the H.M's face showing his shame for doubting his future son in law
Extreme Close Up of the H.M's wife face showing her shame for her husband doubting his future son in law
Extreme Close Up of the H.M's daughter (S.S) face. Romantic looks +relieved expression

But if you think its over.... NO.. not yet.

The surgeon comes and says that the girl who was in coma, is out of it and is healthy now.. Everyone rushes in to the operation theater, where the second hero introduces the hero to his girlfriend as DEVUDU(for people who don't know Telugu - devudu means God).

Another series of close ups of the H.M family. Everyone giving a bewildered look.. But why(i thought everything was over)...

The girl in the bed, is H.M's long lost elder daughter, who ran away long back with someone..

I was so much shocked at this climax that it took some time for me to gather my shattered senses back..

This sequence is a pleasure to your aesthetic and audile senses .. notice the BGM when any character experiences shock.. i am in awe, how many times have you heard that sound in your life..

And guess what the name of the movie is..

{big sister's name} + {little sister's name} + {Hero's name/Audience's Savior's name}

The Rest is for you to view..

P.S: My understanding of Telugu is limited, i might have got a few things wrong, but i think i have preserved the essence of the movie.. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Inglourious basterds

Inglourious Basterds - the latest movie by Quentin Tarantino.
It will be screened in Cannes Film Festival in the following few days. I would do anything to be there. Sadly, its not possible now.. :(
And he himself calls it his best. 10 years of meticulous work goes into this, he says. Even Jackie Brown(one of my favorites) was kinda an exercise in getting funds for this.. Like Dasavatharam for Maruthanayagam

I cant wait to watch this... and look at the star cast.. i had a look at the trailer.. its mind blowing.. I place all my bucks for this one to get the Palme d'or , even before the screenings start.. This one is going to be so huge, that it will make pulp fiction look small..

Thalaivar is the reason that I am into movies now.. So all the credit for inspiring and bringing such a mastermind(of the future :)) into movies goes to Thaleevar!!!
Its my personal opinion that Ayudha Eluthu was Mani Rathnam's attempt to try a Tarantinoesque movie.. but he kinda failed at that.. He just got the confusing chronology and jumping timeline part, which is ofcourse a part of a Tarantino movie, but he failed to get the wit, the style and lifelike dialogue and the rest in place..

Look at the style of the screenshots.. I feel like crying out of happiness, just watching them.. Watching a good movie for the first time, is an unmatched experience.. the consequent watches are never the same.. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.. It officially releases in the US sometime mid august and in India, god knows when..

Thursday, May 7, 2009


came across this link.. yet to go through the blogs in that list.. but a few blogs that i liked are in that list.. So if you feel bored.. have a look at this..

Best Blogs of India

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rainy day women

Listen to this. I usually dont listen to the lyrics very much.. this one caught my ears.. and I am becoming a fan of Bob Dylan now..
Bob dylan - Rainy day women

Well, they'll stone ya when you're trying to be so good,
They'll stone ya just a-like they said they would.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to go home.
Then they'll stone ya when you're there all alone.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

Well, they'll stone ya when you're walkin' 'long the street.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to keep your seat.
They'll stone ya when you're walkin' on the floor.
They'll stone ya when you're walkin' to the door.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

They'll stone ya when you're at the breakfast table.
They'll stone ya when you are young and able.
They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to make a buck.
They'll stone ya and then they'll say, "good luck."
Tell ya what, I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

Well, they'll stone you and say that it's the end.
Then they'll stone you and then they'll come back again.
They'll stone you when you're riding in your car.
They'll stone you when you're playing your guitar.
Yes, but I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

Well, they'll stone you when you walk all alone.
They'll stone you when you are walking home.
They'll stone you and then say you are brave.
They'll stone you when you are set down in your grave.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The purple pill

I was having a phone conversation with a friend of mine... to whom I talk about anything and all... I talk to this person about the movies that I watch the books that I read and what I like about them... I was telling to her about Crime and Punishment and Dostoevsky which I am reading currently...

She asked me "What is existentialism?"

I am not good with definitions... So I started off with something, but in the end, I was very much impressed by the explanation that I came up with, based on my understanding of existentialism and it led to a bizarre discovery of the metaphor in matrix…

To start of with, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who believe in religion, friendship, love, God and so on and so forth and they tend to get a shock when someone tends to defer with their view...

When Mr.T_____ says to them,"You know what I think, God does not exist, and the same goes for love, friendship, family. All these thingamajigs were created by the collective conscience of self-righteous men, for the so called betterment of the people of the world...”

He might get one of the following...

1) "IS THAT SO??? Do YOU want to know what I think of you(to be said like Homer Simpson) ... I think that you are a stupid freak of nature, running behind anything that sounds fancy.."

2)"eh, so what?"

3)"Hey you crazy @%#%^!@#$.... Fuck off"

4) An excruciating kick in the crotch...

The second kind might or might not believe in the all the aforementioned stuff... He might be an atheist, agnostic or a devout believer... it is not these things that actually put him in the second category... But when he is told something like what was told to the first guy... He might not be that very reproachful... He might even think that there might be some possible truth to this theory...

Life is miserable, you know… It’s good or bad, only till you don’t analyze it… when you start that, it becomes miserable… but miserable is not bad, since it’s true… but miserable is good, only for people who want the truth...but one never gets to know the truth, because there is no one truth, or at least that is what people in search of the one truth would say... kind of reminds me of the sour grapes story, but what if these grapes where actually sour this time… you never know... but you know what… many don’t need the truth… they are happy as they are… good for them…these people who would fall in the first category, unaware of the the actual state, but definitely happy to be in a virtual reality built by the rules of our everyday world…but what’s wrong with that?--says Mr.T____

You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.--Morpheus

The conversations in The Matrix, is not only Sci-Fi-machine-takes-over-humans stuff, but has a strong philosophical undercurrent… I watched it once more today… and almost all the dialogues had another meaning this time…It was great fun...

And then I realized that many might have already found this out… and searched on the net… I googled for the words “the matrix metaphor” and got lots of interesting articles…
This one particularly sums it up all…

Matrix Philosophy

So if you are one who finds everything around you ok, palatable though not very tasty… then its better you take the blue pill… but if you have something like a splinter in your mind( in words of Morpheus) .. then you are eligible to take the red pill… but there is a high chance that you might feel like what Cypher felt… ‘Ignorance is bliss’… but that’s the way the clockwork is wound…As Woody Allen would say, human happiness was NEVER a part of the design…

This is what Cypher says
“You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] .Ignorance is bliss. “

There are many, who after taking the red pill of truth, realize that the blue pill of farce is better than the miserable truth… and they finally come back to the rules of the everyday world, but bend them in their own way as is the case with the real world… They are usually people who fall in the second category…they are very much tolerant… but wouldn’t miss a chance to give a kick in your crotch… when you start bullshitting in front of them…just for the heck of it…

So to anyone who watns to know what existentialism is…? This is my answer

"Get Lost, buddy... don't you have soemthing useful to do...? Go digg it on your own, you lazy bonehead.."

Hmm on a funnier note

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nights of Cabiria

Browsing used to be one of the engaging time passes around two years back...
its getting kinda boring nowadays... its no longer new and enticing.. or it may be that i have stopped stumbling upon interesting sites... the standard daily mails on omnipresent and ennui inducing positive thinking... and the 'Fwd: Really Funny' , 'Amazing photos' and 'Good morning: have a great day' 'FWD: THIS IS TRUE LOVE'... are getting more and more redundant these days..

i was browsing imdb, which consumes a considerable part of my life in a cubicle and acts as a saviour.. thanks to those folks who decided that this site is pretty much innocent and hence thought that it was not very needed to block this site.. if they see me using this, they ll probably rethink their decision on this.. hope that they dont..

i was thinking of putting some kind of list about my favourite movies.. and started putting a list of my favourite movies... but felt that the list wont do proper justice to the films of my liking... because a few movies that i loved very much got a lesser rating.. but i remember a few sequences till now... its those sequences that make the movie memorable.. so i decided that i wont put a list of that kind but instead.. i will put a list of my favourite moments in movies..

i know this is kind of cliched list..but anyway.. the first movie that comes
to my mind when i think of any such list is Fellini's Nights of Cabiria... This is one of the most powerful film ever to be created.. I didnt like other films of fellini as much as i liked this.. they were not as innocent, naive and simple as this..the main reason for me to like this movie is Cabiria..

i had asked a friend of mine to see this film, someone who can appreciate good cinema.. and she had told that Cabiria was foolish.. that she doesnt learn from her own mistakes...i say its naivety at its best.. but i think.. should we learn from our mistakes or so called bad experiences..but wat do people learn from mistakes.. a few learn to be a bit selfish, greedy and cautious to the point that it they never try out things.. to prevent them form getting hurt the next time.. and give it a name 'precaution'.. not that these are vices and not that everyone goes into such a path trying to learn from mistakes.. but it happens in many a case... but i for one, think that of all the experiences that i have ever had in my life.. nothing is so hard that i could give it an adjective like 'bad'..i would probabaly put adjectives like funny or quirky.. but not bad.. .. or ideally that is wat my mind in its harmonious state would tell me ...

Cabiria does a mistake and reaps very hard consequences because of it, she comes across a choice of the similar nature once again.. and wat does she choose... and wat happens finally.. the final 15 mins of the films make me sob each and every time i see it.. (sob is an understatement :P).. i know the above story line is very lousy.. but this is all i can give out without spoilers..
beautiful visuals, top notch acting by Guiletta Masina, and main credit to Fellini for coming up with a charater like Cabiria.. I dont feel like adding
more and more cliched adjectives to this gr8 movie..

If i would get a chance to make a movie... i would like to make one like this.. :)

PS: I feel like a moron after writing this.. I try to make my review better each time.. but finally write one that makes me look like a person who he thinks 300 is the best film ever to be made in the whole whole whole universe... i soon run out of adjectives.. and end up with a review as above.. :(

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

back to hyderabad

i am back in hyderabad after a much needed vacation.. and wat a vacation it was...
i had an appointment with a dentist (my sis) for my poor oral hygiene ... i had an RCT... no wonder people are scared to meet a dentist... the whirring of their equipments are no different from the sound made by the props used by killers in movies in the league of 'the midnight meat train', 'tokyo gore police', 'texas chainsaw massacre' and 'saw'...

i saw myshkin's interview on nandhalala .. heard that it mite most probably release for pongal... its going to be a definite hit... on his interview he told that there are only two songs in the movie... but the re recording by ilayaraja is going to be the best after some 35 years(i am not sure wat happened exactly 35 years back).. if some one is aware do let me know... for abt 30 -35 minutes of the climax, there is going to be no dialogue either... its going to be great .. the sad thing is i wont be able to get a look at it any soon if its going to be releasing for pongal :(

watched quite a few movies...

watched revolutionary road by sam mendes.. though not as good as american beauty... it was a nice movie... based on the debut book by richard yates.. read that the book was even better... great acting by both kate winslet and leonardo dicaprio... i liked kate winslet more because she portrayed an intelligent character.. at points it so happens that the characters get above the acting.. so while judging an actor... somehow his characer comes into play.. which it should not be.. the same thing happened with anbae sivam where lots of people liked madhavan over kamal... of course kamal got all the respect that he deserved.. but many ppl liked madhavan... coz many ppl could identify with his character.. good person at heart- a bit selfish- didnt have opportunities to prove his goodness-but doesnt shy away from doing good when he gets a chance- has his own idea of good and bad..

also watched happy go lucky and thus got introduced to mike leigh... mike leigh is a great director.. to create such a character as poppy is a machiavellian task.. wonderfully acted by sally hawkins.. nothing preachy.. i was very much awed by the dialogues.. have to see vera drake now... immediately..

watched a few others too

frost/nixon - good acting, nice story.. i kinda liked nixon's character... though i dont know much abt him

slumdog millionaire- good movie... but definitely not worth the hype.. good acting by dev patel and superb music by rahman.

bommalattam- nice movie with a great final twist.. i couldnt even get closer even after making lotsa guesses and hearing from friends that the twist was gr8..

ghajini- nothing new- same as the tamil ghajini.. asin will become a huge hit.. she comes with pretty decent acting capabilities which is actually not that needed for bollywood... amir khan.. had no visible role.. other than showing off.. surya did a much better job (vijay is better still :P)... the only thing in this movie is they were genius enuf to remove that lame-o climax they had in tamil..

silambattam- only one word -YUCK