Saturday, January 08, 2005
If someone's debut movie gets nominated to the Oscars, turns out to be an IIM case-study, generates rave reviews on being a brilliantly classy entertainer and creates a major impact at the box-office, then how would you expect his second movie to be ? Anything that Ashutosh Gowariker makes is bound to be compared against the standard he has set - the historic Lagaan. And Swades is nowhere near Lagaan.
Swades lacks the magic ingredient that Lagaan had, although the undercurrent is the same in both movies. A goal to be achieved, suppressed societies, a motivating leader, team work and a victorious finale - all this interspersed with minimal romance that does not hinder the flow of the story. Though Swades is not even half as convincing as Lagaan, it was definitely fun.
Swades is about Mohan Bhargav, an NRI NASA Project Manager, who visits India in search of his childhood caretaker - Kaveri Amma. His five-week India stay open up to him all that he hadn't felt about India until then. Witnessing all the struggle, poverty, illiteracy and lack of empowerment that seized the nation, he takes it upon himself to do his might for the village where Kaveri amma stayed. As the first step, he succeeds in bringing electric power to the village. And for the rest of the steps, he has to get back from the USA for good. And whether he gets back to his roots or not is the climax - well you wouldn't call that much of a suspense either. It was an obvious ending.
Shah Rukh is perfectly understated without any of his usual histrionics. Gayathri Joshi does well for a big screen debutant. AR Rehman's music is awesome. Udit, Rehman and Hariharan's vocals are amazing.
Still Swades is no Lagaan because of its weak storyline. Swades - we the people are kind of disappointed.
Posted by Bharani - 12:42 pm -
Thursday, January 06, 2005
May you always have enough of whatever touches your world with love, your life with beauty and your heart with deepest joy. Happy New Year Folks.
Though the new year was preluded with nature's angry tidal waves, I guess we should look at it as nature's gentle instruction to humankind to mend its destructive ways. It is also an opportunity to serve the affected people, thereby upholding the fact that human values have not yet perished.
It has been highlighted that, though the tsunami stuck several places, it spared many ancient temples close to the seashore. This goes to show that places of worship are power centers. Man should strive to imbibe more "satva" in his life and indulge in more prayers, meditations, service and the like. This would increase the positive energy all around, compensate for the negativities and elevate human consciousness above such calamities.
Wish you all a fabulous 2005...:-)
Posted by Bharani - 08:31 pm -
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Oh My God ! The kind of ads that catch my eyes these days. They are... well, scary would the right word to describe them. Advertisements need to be effective enough to inscribe the product in the minds of prospective buyers. But I have a feeling that these ads will never make a positive impact whatsoever.
There was one ad that wants to get across this message - "Dress To Kill". And the visual to get this message across is a lady dressed in clothes from this particular shop, and there is this guy who is dead and lying on the stairs with blood all around the place. Is this the only way to get across the message ? Is the message they want to get across right in the first place ? I actually avoid looking in the direction of the hoarding that hosts this gory ad. Its kind of inauspicious to look at, first thing in the morning, when you set out to work.
There is this other ad which potrays creativity at its peak - It says "Thoughts Unzipped" and has the picture of a tonsured head and a zipper that runs through the head, the zipper unzipped to half the distance of the head. Instinctively, I moved my eyes away from the ad. To date, I have not bothered to check what that ad was for.
So whats the big point in making ads aimed at being head-turners, but end up turning heads away in disgust ?
There's more to write, but some other day maybe....
Posted by Bharani - 05:46 pm -
When the wave forgets that its part of the vast ocean,
When the ray forgets that its part of the mighty sun,
When the toddler forgets that its doting mother cares for him,
When man forgets that he is part of the eternal divine,
... thats when fear arises.
Posted by Bharani - 04:54 pm -
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Was I gone for long ? And how long was that ? An epoch ?
Now I'm back. And back for real.
And thanks a heap to all you guys who kept pinging this page for updates. That was really very flattering and warming. And I wont promise that I'll be more regular hereafter, because I want to blog when I feel more spontaneous hereafter and not just to weave a storm out here with words. I feel easy with thoughts more during a drive than when I sit in front of this computing machine. But yeah, I started this blog partly due to my fancy for the language thats English and partly because I felt I had a mind full of thoughts which I necessarily needed to empty somewhere (something like what Professor Dumbledore does in Harry Potter - download all thoughts to a pensieve for later introspection). If only unloading thoughts to someplace was so easy !
I read quite a few books over the past few months - well, that was not an epoch after all. Lol.
Real good books they are - yeah, 'real' books. Autobiography Of A Yogi by Shri Paramahamsa Yoganandaji, The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle & The Guru Of Joy by Francois Gautier.
I dunno if I really have the right to review these 'scriptures'. I'd never be able to get the right words however spontaneous I try to be about it, still I am going to do it. I will write about the energy valves that these books unplugged in me, the enormous capacity of the mind that so long remained unused that they revealed to me, the amazement and gratitude that they made me feel towards everything around me and most importantly the 'attitude-transformation' that they have bought about in me that makes me LOVE life, love each and every moment of life, yeah, each and every moment of life!
Posted by Bharani - 10:24 am -
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Lakshya - Thats the name, atleast..
The trailors were inviting. The dance performances were astounding. The movie was disappointing.
We enjoyed the two songs 'Agar Main Kahoon' and 'Main Aisa Kyon Hoon' immensely. But otherwise the movie is another LOC Kargil with a single Captain though. Preity Zinta's reel life portrayal as Romila Dutta is loosely adapted from Burkha Dutt's real life role as an NDTV reporter. Hrithik as always gives his one hundred percent to everything he does in the movie, so much that sometimes its close to over-acting and is really frustrating. Amitabh Bachchan was wasted. If Farhan intends to convey that Amitabh inspired Hrithik to go for his Lakshya, it nowhere looks like that in the movie. It appeared more like he wanted to reach his Laksya because he was rejected by Romila and later on to avenge the death of his comrades who were gunned down by enemies.
Very very disappointing! Tch Tch!
P.S - This is a post that I had drafted nearly a month and a half back.
Posted by Bharani - 02:19 pm -
Monday, May 31, 2004
Ayitha Ezhuththu was okie types..
An evening show at the Prarthana Open Air Theatre. Movie - Ayitha Ezhuththu. Expectations - Very High. Result - Disappointment in proportion direct to expectations.
Manirathnam has enjoyed creating this novel on screen. But what an average movie-goer who looks at entertainment value for his money, expects of a Manirathnam creation is a tad different. The movie looked more like a lift and join of ideas from his previous movies - Roja, Alaipayuthe, Nayakan, Mouna Ragam. But what we expect of Manirathnam is freshness, novelty, creativity at its zenith.
The movie appears a bit disjointed at some places and keeps coming back to the Napier Bridge scene, taking us back to the restless Maddy in Alaipayuthe. We have admired Mani's picturisation of songs so much over his past movies. But in AKK, except for "Fanaa", none of the other songs stand out. After the likes of "Pachchai Nirame" and "Kaadhal Sadugudu", AKK's "Unmai Sonnaal Nesippaayaa" is a big let down. Sidhdhaarth and Trisha remind us of Maddy and Shalini, while Surya and Esha's romantic encounters are reminiscent of Arvindswamy and Madhoo in Roja. The dialogues were pretty predictable, especially the ones between Sidhdhaarth and his father. Again, its probably because we are so accustomed to Mani's style that his dialogues have become kind of refrains and are etched in our minds forever.
Here are the positives - the cast, Surya's character sketch, Rahman's music and...and...well, am thinking hard but can't think of anything else. I liked Main Hoon Na better.
Posted by Bharani - 10:29 am -
Friday, May 14, 2004
We watched Main Hoon Na over a weekend. Miraculously landing the tickets for a movie that was houseful for two days in advance, we were sort of destined to watch it that day. This post is kinda late for the movie that we watched two weeks back. But nevertheless, here are my two cents.
Main Hoon Na was a sweet entertainer. For those of us who were disappointed with Kal Ho Na Ho, Main Hoon Na is a real make over. The story see-saws between serious terrorist activities and a happy college environ. Shah Rukh as Ram Prasad Sharma is an impressive army Major. Sushmitha Sen makes the role of a Chemistry teacher formidable. The use of Matrix stunts has kind of become a routine in Indian movies these days, but still makes enjoyable viewing. While Amrita Rao as Sanjana is refreshing and Kiron Kher as the mother is dignified for the role, the one who steals the scenes and our hearts at the end is Zayed Khan. He was simply marvellous. He comes across as a damn damn cute, jolly-go-lucky Laxman Prasad Sharma aka Lucky. He epitomises Generation Next as perfect IBCds - Indian Born yet Confused Desis. Shah Rukh and Zayed's interactions in the college are awesome and so were the comical sequences involving Sathish Shah and Booman Irani.
If something was on the flip side, it was Sunil Shetty's acting. Was it purposefully downplayed that way or not, I am not sure. But I was tending to contrast his performance with Ajay Devgun in Khakee and that made it look all the more miserable I guess.
Otherwise, its a great movie. Just go and watch it. Its 100% fun.
Posted by Bharani - 03:24 pm -
Monday, May 10, 2004
Sunset time for Election fever. With an impressive branding/campaigning strategy, the NDA has imprinted the India Shining and Rath Yathra on our minds. Now time, oops, the count alone will tell water for water and milk for milk (dont mind the poor joke, cudn't stop myself from cracking that).
Sunset time for Cricket fever. Atleast momentarily. With the boys bringing home the cup from our cordial neighbours and all the ooh-aahing over now, this one more passion of the nation has slightly subsided now.
So whats up ? What do we all look forward to now ? What else - ManiRathnam's most eagerly awaited flick - Yuva aka Ayudha Ezhuthu, Of Course !
Posted by Bharani - 10:30 pm -
Monday, April 19, 2004
When I read Herman Hesses's Sidhdhartha,
it wasn't much of an influence on me or my psyche. It was just another story of just another worthwhile seeker of truth. That was it. But I guess somewhere deep inside, it has made an impact. This impact probably got buried under the constant and petty chatter of the intellectual mind, which endlessly scouts for rationale and evidence.
Of late, this obscured impression in my mind has started surfacing. I realise what experiences can do to our perceptions. While our parents were content with believing and living in the words of elders, our generation chooses to experience first and believe next. This is exactly why 'Sidhdhartha' did not impress me before. And this is exactly why 'Sidhdhartha' refuses to leave my memory now.
I had then jotted down some sentences from 'Sidhdhartha', not for the intensity or profundity of the philosophy that it discusses, but for the literary depth and the summarizing effect that it had. I then felt that it was not my experience and I was no one to endorse it. But now, I just feel like sharing those words out here. Again, words cannot describe emotions quite well, but still Herman Hesse has really bought out few truths in simple language. The value of any knowledge, I feel is significant only after its experience.
The Excerpts -
** A goal stood before Siddhartha, a single goal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy and sorrow. Dead to himself, not to be a self any more, to find tranquility with an emptied heart, to be open to miracles in unselfish thoughts, that was his goal. **
** What is meditation? What is leaving one's body? What is fasting? What is holding one's breath? It is fleeing from the self, it is a short escape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against the pain and the pointlessness of life. **
** He saw: this water ran and ran, incessantly it ran, and was nevertheless always there, was always an at all times the same and yet new in every moment! **
** "This," he said playing with it, "is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maya; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything - and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship.--But let me speak no more of this. The words are not good for the secret meaning, Everything always becomes a bit different, as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly--yes, and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this, that this what is one man's treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person." **
Posted by Bharani - 02:34 pm -