The attacks of 26/11

8 04 2013


Ram Gopal Varma’s brilliant portrayal of real incidents surrounding Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11/2008 leaves everyone deeply disturbed. Even though no amount of imagination, empathy, or even a true depiction of terror/horror in the form of art/media can truly emulate the experience of it, Varma’s film provides the closest glimpse of the tragedy.

It is very difficult not to gasp at the sheer horror of the incident; the ruthlessness, the hatred, and  the audacity of the perpetrators. It is impossible not to shed tears at the lost lives of many innocent people, including little children. How would one react to being in the midst of  a massacre’s aftermath – with dead bodies spewed all around? May be by letting out a loud heart-wrenching wail – just like that policeman at CS Terminal.

Salute to the brave policemen who ventured forward and got killed for that. Salute to people amidst the tragedy who tried to save others despite the risk. Salute to that receptionist of Taj who reached for a wailing child and got instantly killed for her efforts. Salute to that doctor in CAMA hospital who saved so many people, who could respond to the killing of an elderly patient despite the guns aimed at him.

Above all, salute to the Joint Commissioner of Police, who handled the situation well. He expressed exactly my thoughts when he said: “What kind of hatred is this? Can you understand it?” The kind of pleasure the terrorists take in killing people is just unbelievable. Kasab’s explanation on why they do it (I think I need not reiterate here, it’s anybody’s guess) are outright stupid, if not for the countless lives they took and the terror they created all over the world.  I believe that the commissioner’s reply to Kasab in the mortuary reflect the feelings of every true Indian.

People do inconceivable things when they are drunk, are under certain influence which numbs their senses, emotions and conscience. And these people are drunk on distorted religion. Misguided fanaticism is what makes them do extreme things. These particular terrorists are dogs, just as the Joint Commissioner remarked. I say, mad dogs set loose with weapons.

I seriously fail to understand when and where has it all started. What do their leaders really want to accomplish? Do they want to kill everybody who they “think” oppose their religion? Do they want to make a graveyard of this world?   I fail to make sense of their ultimate goal. Does the top person, really believes that what he/she is doing is sacred/justified? Isn’t it madness? Is terrorism the consequence of one man’s madness?

I really hope that the real Kasab has gone through the same horror at the anticipation and face of death as shown in the movie; that he has not gone to the gallows with pride feeling himself as a martyr.

Nana Patekar was brilliant and so were each of the other actors. Once again, Varma – great movie.

Fun with movies

19 07 2012

Sakuni – a feel good movie. The hero wins with his intellect. The comedy track between the hero and his autodriver friend gives the movie a lighter note despite the serious theme. You won’t feel disappointed if you don’t expect anything radical. The usual “Tamil” flavor exists. Heroine is just ornamental, with unusually less screen time. But Praneetha looked very glamorous and pretty.

 Endukante Premanta (EP) – It’s an OK movie. Quite engaging and entertaining too. Has a supernatural element, which I think didn’t go well with the audience and hence their lukewarm response. I’m surprised why people who can easily accept and approve of slim built hero, usually supposed to be a common man, performing inconceivable stunts and win over dozens of heavily built, tough-looking bad guys, can’t accept certain things. May be they don’t go well with one’s fantasies and innate hidden desires. I would like to understand the psychology behind this. Or may be the movie genuinely lacked something important. Coming back to EP, it’s directed well and logically linked (can’t expect anything less of Karunakaran). Went with zero expectations and wasn’t disappointed. The reason to go for it in the first place is the star cast and the basic expectation of it being a “youth” film.

Cocktail – Loved the movie, though I would have to say that it’s not a perfect one. The first one hour or so seemed more like a documentary with disconnected scenes. The movie gets much better after the interval. I love Deepika and she is absolutely awesome in Cocktail. Her smile lights up the screen. It seems so natural and genuine that it’s a pleasure in itself to watch it. Diana Penty is good. She has considerable resemblance to Sonam Kapoor and also Samantha. It was fun watching the movie. Definitely would like to watch it again. To say something about the subject and characterization, the treatment is mature and the plot reflects and addresses contemporary issues.I have my doubts and questions about various things portrayed and dealt with in the movie, which I choose to save for another day.

Gabbar Singh

21 05 2012

A treat to Power Star’s fans. A complete entertainer. Enjoyed it very much. I must admit I occasionally indulge myself by getting carried away by the charisma of the star(s) and this surely is one such an occasion. It’s an adrenaline rush experience to watch him and listen to people around whistle and applaud at his style, stunts, and dance.

The in-built comedy both tickles and derives quite a few good laughs; Even the punch dialogues are not too overboard. They all make sense coming from Pavan Kalyan. He has it in him – power. He surely has put on some weight and reminded me of Chiranjeevi many times. 🙂

Pavan Kalyan has created magic. Sruthi is decent. Music is great.  My favorite is the title song, with the item song coming a close second.

There is a lot of energy in the movie; na, the hero. Would like to watch it again.


25 08 2011

Been to this historical fantasy movie last weekend. Liked it very much. It was so picturesque and beautiful. Of course, what else can we expect from the acclaimed cinematographer cum filmmaker Santosh Sivan?

This is the story of a little known hero from Kerala (Chirakkal Kelu Nayanar  – Prithvi Raj)whose mission is to kill Vasco De Gama, who did atrocious things to its citizens and had been a threat to its wealth and future. The way Santosh drew analogies between the history and the present was good. At the time of watching the movie, I thought it depicted the history accurately but a superficial search on Net revealed that much of it is fiction.

The narration in the first half, especially the first 45 minutes or so, had been so fast, as the director tried to acquaint the historic backdrop and significance of the story/events to come, that the audience were really kept on toes. But the pace dropped down alarmingly to match that of snail’s in the second half and it’s only the chemistry between Genelia and Prithvi , which attempted to hold the audience’s attention at that point – with marginal success.

The performances were good. Prithvi was awesome – elegant and macho. He is such a looker. I was practically drooling over him. Nitya, Prabhu Deva and Arya did well. Arakkal Ayesha is a very remarkable character and Genelia was adequate in it.

The backdrop chosen by Santosh Sivan was so novel and fresh that the movie acquired a unique appeal.

By the way, to those who are wondering what Urumi means – it’s a long sword made of flexible steel. It’s the hero’s weapon in the movie. Innovative, isn’t it?

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

12 08 2011

Finally I got to watch the mega and much awaited movie of the year so far – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It took us more than a few weekends to finally manage to make it to the movie.

Well, I liked it. It’s definitely new age, with sophistication in every bit of it – taking, story, characters, dialogues and the like. I admit that it’s slow but I feel inspite of that, it manages to exude a charm and make an impact. The slow narrative had in itself been a plus point for me, which enabled me to enjoy the whole experience in a leisurely way without being subjected to a whirlwind of emotions like in many other movies.

The spectacular and scenic Spain besides the beautiful Katrina (a few words about Kathrina here – She has improved a lot compared to her earlier films and I can see the truth in Bollywood’s comments that she works really hard. I feel that she is the most striking lady in the Bollywood second only to Aish. In fact I feel that in some ways, Kathrina is even better. While Aish always seems to me like a pretty doll, Kathrina has her sweet smile and her foreign genes in her favor which gives her an appeal much greater than that of Aish.) and hot Hrithik more than ensure one’s unwavering attention. Even though not all can really relate to the ultra-modern and cosmopolitan protagonists – living in London with means enough to take an expensive vacation trip and with an adventurous streak in them -, I feel that the image they portray has been very becoming these days and it’s something which can appeal to the fancies of many. Still, it can be said that it’s yet another NRI movie (movie made with NRIs as the main target audience).

Despite the rave reviews, I wasn’t very excited for the movie before. The sandy brown hues of the scenes from the trailer reminded me somehow of the dreadful Kites which, instantly curbed any kind of enthusiasm I might feel about ZNMD. I know it’s an absurd reaction but still there it was. So, the movie had been a kind of pleasant surprise for me and I took it all in greedily.

The songs didn’t really register with me.

My take on the comment that “ZNMD is the DCH of this decade” – I can’t really say anything about it as my memory of DCH has faded except that we loved it then and watched it countless times. I doubt ZNMD emulates that kind of reaction with any comparable intensity. Or is it just the fact that I’m a decade older now that’s responsible  for this judgment? 🙂

Wake Up, Sid! (Bollywood movie)

21 10 2009

Lazy weekend, gloomy weather: perfect motives for watching a good movie. Encouraged by the positive reviews of Wake Up, Sid!, we drove 30 miles to watch it in the only desi-movie-screening theater nearby. We weren’t disappointed. It’s a well-made movie and I have more than a few words to say about it. 

For starters, Ranbir was really handsome! I felt that Konkana didn’t look her best though. I’m not sure what the film-maker actually wanted to convey but from what I understood, it’s about responsibility, maturity, friendship and love. 

I liked the scene where Rahul comments Konkana that she is immature and she was totally caught off-guard.  I thought it to be one of the important scenes in the movie. Rahul’s remark surprises her because she considers herself as a very mature person, especially when compared with Ranbir, which of course is very true. I feel that after some point, maturity is just a relative concept, like everything else. 

And Ranbir and Konkana eventually falling in love with each other reminded me of my theory that if a man and a woman live together or at least spend so much time together, they are bound to fall in love at some point. Time and opportunity plays a very important role. It doesn’t matter how much alike or different they are. (Any extremes are ruled out by the fact that they remain in and/or enjoy each other’s company.) 

An unconventional aspect of the movie is that the heroine is older than the hero. Well, it can be said that it is demanded by the story because the script requires the lead woman to be more mature than the lead man. But as is common knowledge, women usually tend to be more mature compared to men of the same age. So it could have been the same way in the movie, in case one wants to stick to conventionality. But the impressive fact is that the age difference was never imparted any significance. In fact, the atypicality didn’t even strike me until after the movie ended. That doesn’t mean that I have any problem with the girl being older than the guy. I’m just mentioning it because it is not the norm. 

The music was pretty bland. In fact, I didn’t even notice when the songs started or ended.  All were just background songs. I could have done with something more interesting.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

10 09 2009

I’ve just started reading this novel by Audrey Niffenegger. Though the title was  self explanatory, I was not prepared for what is actually inside the book.

Henry is a time traveler who travels back and forth in his life. His wife Clare knows him ever since she is six, but he meets her for the first time only when he is 28.  The author tells the story by a strange jumble of dates and ages:

September 7th 1987, Henry 32, Clare 16 etc

For the first 50 pages, I was overwhelmed by all those dates and it seemed to me that the story wasn’t progressing in any particular direction. One question I kept asking myself was – how the hell did the author contrive such a story idea. And I’m really awed by the author’s power of imagination.

Once I got over my initial shock and got adjusted to the style, I’m found it very interesting..  The fact that it’s a love story made things easier, because if it was about  some mundane subject, it would have been a very confusing and difficult read.

I’m still around page 100 and there is a long way to go.. But I already have a feeling that it will turn out to be a very touching love story – perhaps one of the best I’ve ever read.

I’m also very eager to see the movie, but I would first like to finish reading the book.