Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The porposal.

Warning: Slightly more understandable for Tamizh audience. Translation/Transliteration though attempted may not convey the 'joke'.

No, the title is not a typo. Let me explain.

End December. Radio Mirchi(Chennai) was having one of its year end specials, where the caller will have to call up and narrate the most "mokkai" thing he had done that year (an event which everyone except you seems to want to remember and share).

Caller: Vannakam Sir(Salutations! Sir.)

RJ : Vannakam .. sollunga. (Return Salutations! Please go ahead and bore us to death with what you have to say.)

After some banter which is least important and therefore omitted. (I forgot that part.)

Caller: Sir, na panna mokkayaan vishayam ennana.. (an event which everyone except I seems to want to remember and share is .. )

RJ(doing a tremendous job of feigning interest) : Ah.. Sollunga. (Damn!! (to himself) Tell me.(to the caller))

Na romba naala oru ponnu kooda chaat panninden sir. (For a long time, I was desperately trying to hook up with this female on the internet).

Anda ponnum oru naal vaanga beach la meet pannalamunu sollichu (That female also seemed to be desperate in equal measure and suggested we meet at the beach and take it 'forward')

Naanum romba espect panni ponen sir. (Like a hungry dog which rushes towards a bone with its tongue stuck out, I also agreed and went to the beach)

Anga poi paartha daan therinjudu, en life eh damage nu. (But after seeing her I realized the age old adage of The swelling is proportional to the size of the finger (like a flashback in a flashback, i shall translate the above back into tamil forming a rather confusing chain .. Viraluketha Veekam)) is totally true. So, my family, Total Damage)

Anda ponnum PORPOSE pannidichunga .. (That female being well versed in the life's teachings of answering the door as soon as opportunity knocks porposed, sorry , proposed, to me. )

RJ: Ennadu.. anda ponnu ungalukku PORPOSE panniducha?? (I really tried, but then just could not capture the essence of that statement in any translation. for (int i=0;i<(1/0);i++) {And no, the above is not a translation. ; })

P.S My inspiration for the above post is this. So any rude comments/ire may be directed there. Anything remotely positive maybe registered on the comments here. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire: A series of fortunate co-incidences

Lets play this little game. And no, this doesn't win you 2 crore rupees,oops 20 million.

You are a citizen in one of those first world countries. Close your eyes and tell me what are the images that you visualize when I say India. Like in Who Wants to Be Millionaire I'll also give you options to make your job easier.

a) Taj Mahal
b) Beggars (specifically child beggars)
c) Muslim dons
d) Religious riots
e) Slums
f) More slums

If your answer is all of them and not much else, you are on Danny Boyle's side.

Now second question. Which amongst the following are thoroughly realistic?

a) Policemen and constables conducting interrogations in impeccable English.
b) Boys growing up in slums who go on to become thieves to make a living and in the process gain something more than just cash, a British accent.
c) A game show being shown live across news channels with what seems to be the entire nation hooked on.
d) The contestant being recognized by random people in the street. The contestant then having finished his round, sitting alone in one of Mumbai's most crowded railway stations a few hours later.

Now, if you think the answer is none of the above then move over to my side. And sorry, you do not have much company here.

For someone who has grown up watching Pakistani terrorists and Canadian doctors speaking tamizh , the above points shouldn't seem like major issues. But then I choose to apply the same yardstick and therefore ridicule the happenings on screen. Besides the afore mentioned movies did not go on to win Golden Globes.

Frankly, Slumdog Millionaire makes for a riveting drama. If I was born and brought up in the UK I would have lapped up every single frame of the movie. But being an Indian most of the movie seems to me like short selling of the true India to pander to the sensitivities of the western audience.

As stated earlier I hold nothing against the movie or its basic plot and the execution. An adaptation of Q and A by Vikas Swarup, the narrative which crisscrosses between the present and the past, is a delight and is captured beautifully on camera, starting from the initial "chase sequence" to the game show. Every single actor fits the bill perfectly, from the young Salim and Jamal to Shaurabh Shukla as Sergeant(?) Srinivas. The movie , though , belongs to Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor. Dev Patel wins your heart (besides the money, of course) with an understated performance. But, I would stick my neck out and say that it is Anil Kapoor who delivers the film's best with a calculated over the top performance. Freido Pinto looks simple and stunning. AR Rahman's background score for this movie cannot escape mention in any review and to state the well known and the widely accepted, it is simply stunning.

On the whole it is a good drama and any more significance to it will depend on which side of the Indian border you reside in.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Aham Brahmasmi

This is possibly the significant preaching of Hinduism. This post though, does not deal with that aspect, as the author is grossly unqualified to comment on an issue of such deep philosophical significance.

This has to do with a certain movie called Naan Kadavul (a literal translation of the Sanskrit title). Not often does a movie let alone its trailer totally sweep you off your feet. Bala ,though, has proved in just 3 movies that with him you can only expect the unexpected. In 2 and a half minutes of sheer brilliance Bala has set the expectations from the movie soaring.

How many film makers would dare release a full length trailer with barely a dozen words spoken and all of them in a language foreign to the primary audience of the movie. How many film makers would showcase nothing other than a gory looking man hitting out at any one who comes in his way in an absolutely cold blooded manner for the most part of the trailer? No sign of the heroine, who going by the past movies of this director will not be the usual puppet like caricature as in most other movies. No time for a song sequence, as is the norm in any trailer of these parts. Its action from the word go, and for the next couple of minutes you are transported to a totally different world.

The stunning visual imagery cannot possibly be described in words. The camera has captured the gushing waters and the raging fires in a spectacular fashion. The music! Illayaraja! Be it the heightening of the tempo or the momentary silence , the grand maestro elevates the impact of the trailer every single second of its length.

In any Bala movie, the actors doesn't matter ,for, with a story as powerful as his, the actor playing the lead pales into insignificance and only the character remains with you and this time promises to be no different. Arya , who has given his everything for this movie for two years looks to have done a fantastic job. The other sadhu who seems to have been given quite a bit of prominence in this trailer is one of the many characters I am dying to see being etched out on the big screen, come Pongal.

In the rather unlikely event of the movie being a total disappointment, I'd still take this 2 and a half minute thrill a second trailer ride to 95% of the movies being released. To quote a very famous dialogue, "idhu verum trailer daan.. ! ".